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College of Arts and Sciences
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Degrees Offered in Art and Design

The Department of Art, Art History and Design offers degrees which foster individual and professional growth of each student. Our programs promotes cultural enhancement through artistic production and scholarly research. As a department we value diversity and seek to enrich the cultural atmosphere and intellectual awareness of Northeast Florida through art exhibitions, lectures, hands on workshops and study abroad opportunities. Our programs are NASAD accredited.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Art History

The B.A. in Art in Art History is a foundational program for students seeking a broad understanding of the impact of art and society. Students may find a career in Art History or related field or choose to progress towards a Masters in Art History at another higher educational institution. Please note any prerequisites to this program of study.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Graphic Design & Digital Media

The Graphic Design and Digital Media Limited Access Program provides students with unique learning opportunities through practical projects and process driven design. Our program is highly regarded in the region for preparing students to handle the challenges of the design field upon graduation. Faculty are committed to student success and helping students find internships and employment opportunities.

The acceptance rate for our program is more than 75%. Students may apply in Fall or Spring semester. Transfer students are encouraged to discuss credits and requirements with advisors prior to applying. Learn how to apply to our limited access program below.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Studio Art Concentrations

The B.F.A. degree is designed to provide an intensive background in art or design for successful completion of the first level of professional education in the visual arts. This degree seeks to develop artistic awareness, studio competence and historic and philosophical perspective. The following are available concentrations leading to the B.F.A. in Fine Arts. Please note any prerequisites to this program of study.

  • Photography
  • Ceramics
  • Painting and Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture

Art History

Program of Study UNF Catalog

In addition to our class offerings at the university, we offer courses in museum studies at MOCA, the contemporary art museum in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. The museum studies courses enable students to actively engage with the collection and museum professionals. Students may even choose to complete an internship with the museum following the course.

As a student in the Art History department you will also have the opportunity to Study Abroad in Rome. The month-long summer trip is a life-changing, fast-paced adventure visiting ancient ruins and museums to standing in the Sistine Chapel staring up at the marvelous work of Michelangelo.

Career Options for Art Historians

Upon completion of your Art History studies at UNF, you will have gained extensive knowledge of major artists and artworks in various art historical periods, and will have developed adequate research skills should you choose to continue on with your studies, pursuing a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. Our four full-time faculty members are well-respected experts in their particular fields of study, and all are accessible to spend one-on-one time with students to discuss academic or career aspirations. For more information regarding the B.A. in Art History program, please call (904) 620-4037 or e-mail


Program of Study UNF Catalog

In the ceramics program both handbuilding and wheelthrowing techniques are taught. To help the student gain success with the medium a broad knowledge of technical skill, aesthetic awareness and craftsmanship are addressed. Focus is given to the principles and elements of design and the design process.

Students are introduced to as many facets of the ceramic medium as possible through lectures, visiting artists, assignments, personal research, and individual exploration. Advanced ceramic students and ceramic majors are encourages to explore new ideas as they work towards developing a personal body of work.

Students participate in the “Empty Bowls” Community Based Transformational learning opportunity and are encouraged to participate in the University Potters’ Guild.

Facilities Information

The ceramics studio is equipped with:

  • 16 Brent CXC Electric Pottery Wheels
  • 1 Lockerbie kick wheel
  • SR-20 mid-sized floor model Brent slab roller
  • North Star manual extruder
  • Bailey electric kiln SPB 2327
  • L&L electric kiln e28T
  • Evenheat electric kiln 4320 LT
  • Bailey downdraft car kiln SH Pro 40
  • Sprung arch down draft soft brick kiln
  • Small test gas kiln
  • Complete clay and glaze mixing facilities
  • Peter Pugger pm-100 clay mixer and pugger
  • Bluebird clay mixer

Graphic Design and Digital Media

Program of Study UNF Catalog

The Graphic Design & Digital Media track prepares students to become participating members in an exciting and dynamic field. Course work enables students the opportunity to design projects that may include: visual identities, advertising design, packaging, posters, web sites, mobile design, motion graphics and more.

Graphic Design is a demanding course of study, and is appropriate for those who are conceptual thinkers, who are interested in solving problems and for the visually curious. Those who are drawn to contemporary style in all forms, while keeping an eye on the past, are ideal candidates for this line of study.

Note: This is a Selective Admissions major. Applicants must complete the review process before taking major restricted classes. Transfer students, please apply to Painting/Drawing (Selective Admissions programs will not be able to accept your application). 


A wonderful video created by Connor Dolby, a Graphic Design and Digital Media alumni, describing our program at UNF. Enjoy the video:  UNF GDDM Program

Also-UNF Alumni, now Jaguars Design/Marketing team!

Painting and Drawing

Program of Study UNF Catalog 

The B.F.A. of Studio Art Programs offer two-dimensional concentration in painting and drawing. Our studio curriculum addresses technical and material means of visual expression while also focusing on issues inherent in one's work. We encourage a spirit of search, critical thinking and creative commitment on the part of each student. Our goal as a faculty is to enable students to go beyond mere competence and proficiency to a higher degree of excellence.


Program of Study UNF Catalog

Our program is designed for the serious student of art who is interested in exploring the expressive potential of photography. Students are challenged to pursue their own direction through a curriculum that emphasizes experimentation and encompasses a wide range of media and approaches including: traditional black and white photography, historical processes, studio practice focused upon the aesthetics of portraiture and fashion, digital imaging, as well as history and criticism.

Required Photography Materials

Students enrolled in PGY 3401/Black and White Photography and PGY 3410/Intermediate Photography must have a 35mm single lens reflex (SLR) film camera equipped with manual controls. At the Intermediate level, students may work with a 120 mm roll film camera that also has manual controls.

All students enrolled in analog (film-based) courses will also be responsible for purchasing photographic film, photographic paper; variable contrast filters for printing; tripod, and other materials as designated by the instructor.

Students enrolled in digital photography classes should have a digital single lens reflex (SLR) camera. Additional materials for digital courses include: digital ink jet papers, and purchase of ink jet cartridges for lab printers.

On average, material cost for a class (excluding purchase of analog or digital camera) is approximately $300. It is suggested that you contact the instructor for additional information about material prior to registration for a class.


Program of Study UNF Catalog

The B.F.A. in Fine Arts Concentration in Printmaking offer a variety of techniques in traditional printmaking. Our studio curriculum addresses technical and material means of visual expression while also focusing on issues inherent in one's work. We encourage a spirit of search, critical thinking and creative commitment on the part of each student. Our goal as a faculty is to enable students to go beyond mere competence and proficiency to a higher degree of excellence.


Program of Study UNF Catalog

Contemporary sculpture is interdisciplinary in nature; materials and process follow concept. In this way, we teach our students to take their ideas from initial concept through fruition, emphasizing that the medium should be appropriate to the idea and vice versa. Through research and practice, students create work that is engaging and well-crafted. Technical skill and conceptual skill are integral elements of the sculpture educational experience at UNF. We seek students who are curious, hard-working and passionate about art.

Facilities information

The sculpture studio is equipped with:

Inductotherm Induction Furnace

  • Oxy-Acetylene Torch Setup
  • Arc Welder
  • Plate Shear
  • Drill Press
  • Mitre Saw
  • Chop Saw
  • Bench Grinder
  • Bandsaw 

Student Sculpture Auction

Seven student sculptures that have been on display at UNF’s Seaside Sculpture Park in Jacksonville Beach will be auctioned online Aug. 15 - 30. Proceeds from the auction will support UNF’s sculpture program. Find out more about the pieces being auctioned and how you can bid on them!

Graphic Design and Digital Media Limited Access Information

Review date for the Spring 2024 Term

Spring 2024 Date: March, 8th 10:00 a.m. 

You must be formally accepted to the University before you can apply to the Graphic Design and Digital Media specialized admissions program

Welcome and thank you for your interest in The Graphic Design + Digital Media program at the University of North Florida. This is a specialized admissions designed to offer the student an in depth study in the field of graphic design and digital media. Students will be exposed to unique learning opportunities and industry standard software packages that will provide them with a competitive edge when entering the workforce or further education pursuits.

Course work will focus on the students acquiring several portfolio building pieces through the development of fundamental skills and techniques and an understanding of the creative process. The work will consist of, but will not be limited to: page design, web design, UX/UI, posters, packaging, corporate identification systems and time-based motion graphics. The development of problem-solving skills and critical thinking will be stressed in all aspects of the program. Each course will emphasize the creative process as it relates to Graphic Design + Digital Media.

The graphic design and digital media field is quite competitive, and our program keeps in line with this to prepare our students for success. The design field is a mix; part business, part creativity, part tech and even part math. We always need to keep the client and audience in mind when developing work. In the program you will focus on developing communication skills through hand-drawing, computer development and mockups of projects. Our focus is on typography, branding, packaging, motion and UI/UX design and web design.

Occasionally there is some confusion about which jobs are connected with a GDDM degree. Here are a few areas NOT connected with design; Interior Design, Industrial Design, 3D Animation, Character Development, Comics/Manga or Fashion design. Our students do get work in; web design, print layout, advertising, screen interface design and brand identity.

Reviews will be conducted in October (approximately week 9 of Fall term) for enroll in Spring classes, March (approximately week 9 of Spring term) for students who desire to enroll in Fall classes.

To be accepted into the Graphic Design & Digital Media track students must be admitted into the University and successfully pass the specialized admissions review. All students that have taken and passed the prerequisite courses or approved equivalents are eligible to apply.

  • How do I apply?
    Apply online at before the posted deadline. Students will self enroll in a Canvas course through the previous link. Answers to the review questions and portfolios will be posted here before the posted deadlines.
  • Candidates must have the following status

    To be considered for admission into the limited access program in Graphic Design + Digital Media, applicants must:

    1. Be accepted to the University of North Florida.
    2. Have passed all prerequisites leading up to and including ART1600C Digital Imaging Methods with a minimum of a C or approved state equivalent, AND be enrolled in, or have completed:
      1. GRA2190C Graphic Design: Principles
      2. GRA2160C Graphic Design: Process and Methods
      3. GRA2110C Graphic Design: Creativity and Critique
      4. GRA2208C Type Visualization
    3. Have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better.

    Transfer Students, please note:

    Transfers MUST be accepted to the university and have an N-number in order to apply to the program. Do not apply as a Graphic Design and Digital Media major.Transfer students applying to the University as GD+DM will be placed on hold (students cannot apply directly to a limited access major). Please apply as a non-limited major. The department recommends applying as a Painting & Drawing major. If you are accepted into the program, your major will be changed to Graphic Design and Digital Media.

    Faculty recommends transfer students enroll in Graphic Design prerequisite and core classes at UNF. Transfer students should have completed GRA2190C Graphic Design: Principles or state equivalent with a minimum of a C. Please work with admissions or an academic advisor to check on all transfer credits. 

  • Review Day
    Faculty will review the submitted written component and portfolio from the Canvas course GD+DM LA on the designated review date per term (week 9 of each semester). Students' design work and writing will be evaluated and used to determine acceptance into the GD+DM track. There are limited spaces available for entry into this limited access track. Students will be ranked in order by scores from the evaluation form. Students will receive notification via email and in the mail within approximately one week. The committee's decisions are final.
  • If Approved

    Students will be notified of their status by mail or email prior to registration for the following semester. Students should follow the recommended course of study made available through the department. Accepted students will be allowed to register for Limited Access classes for the following term. Students reviewing in Fall will be available to take Spring classes, students reviewing in Spring will be available to take Fall classes.

    Your advisor will be notified of the committee's decision and your major will be changed in the system for you. Therefore you should not have any holds for registration. Admission into the Limited Access program does not guarantee enrollment in any given class during a specific term.

  • If Denied
    Students will have 1 additional chance to submit a revised portfolio in an upcoming semester. Faculty decisions are considered final, portfolios may not be re-evaluated after the completion of the review. Please review the department letter for suggestions of what needs to be improved before the next review. You may discuss your portfolio with a design professor for suggestions and improvements to your work.
  • What do I include in my portfolio?

    Please create a portfolio of 8 visual arts pieces for the committee to consider. The portfolio should include a minimum of 6 graphic design works.

    Graphic Design Works (6 minimum)

    At least 6 works MUST be graphic design-based (typically typography + image) and MUST come from projects (not smaller skill-building exercises) completed in the following GDDM core pre-req classes:

    • GRA2190C Graphic Design: Principles
    • GRA2160C Graphic Design: Process and Methods
    • GRA2208C Type Visualization
    • ART1600C Digital Imaging Methods (or ART2605C Basic Computer Images)

    Other Works (2 maximum)

    No more than 2 examples of fine art from the following categories: photography, illustration, painting, drawing, or printmaking. You may also submit graphic design work done outside of the GDDM core pre-req classes for these examples. (A cohesive series of any of the preceding may count as a single work.)

    Do not submit examples or photographs of 3-D work, such as sculpture, ceramics, 3-D computer rendering.


    Process slides are required for your design pieces. Multiple slides can be placed after each of the design projects. Include stages of process that show progression to the final result. Be sure process shows all phases of your work, from conceptualization to execution.

    You may include process for your 2 other works if you have it, but it is not required.

    Slide List

    Make a slide list of thumbnails for the 8 works in the portfolio submission on the last page of the PDF. Include the following information: project name, term and date, materials or programs used, and class name.

    Submission PDF

    Portfolios will be submitted in Canvas as a multi-page PDF document.

    • Final files should not exceed 50 MB.
    • Create in Landscape/Horizontal orientation
    • Saving as screen quality will help keep file size down.
    • Test your file to make sure it opens and has all the required information, designed as you intended.

    Present your work in a well-designed portfolio

    • Don’t overdesign it — your projects should be the main focus
    • Clean up your digital documentation of your work
      • Image quality should be clear and not pixelated
      • Scans and other documentation of your work (including process) should have good lighting, be in focus, be cropped to remove any cluttered backgrounds, be adjusted as necessary to show the work in good contrast
    • Organize, align
    • Proofread — careless typos and spelling issues indicate a lack of attention to detail
    • It helps to give a little context for each piece (labels, very brief descriptions — don't crowd your slides with a lot of text, as the work should speak for itself)
  • Reviewers will be considering the following criteria for evaluation

    Creativity: Approach to design problems/assignments, concepts and ideas.

    Exploration/Process: Level of experimentation with solutions at all stages of the design process. Visual proof of testing is evident.

    Overall Design and Composition: Arrangement of visual elements on the page, which shows consideration of form, composition, principles, details and typography.

    Technical Proficiency: Ability to use the computer and an understanding of software, digital camera, scanners and other relevant technology as effective tools in the execution of design work.

    Communication in written form: Ability to organize and express ideas clearly, use design terminology, correct use of spelling & grammar and fully answer the questions by supporting the main ideas. Meets minimum length on writing requirements.

  • Please answer the following questions

    Answer the question below.

    1. Discuss a professional work of graphic design (designed by someone other than you) that you consider effective visual communication based on message, concept, format, and design principles. Include a visual reference and examine the designer, client, and audience to help expand your reasoning.
    2. Discuss areas in the graphic design field that you find motivating and offer insight into your decision to apply to the program.
  • Portfolio review question requirements
    • Insert reference imagery at the top of the page to accompany your essay (required for first, as relevant for second).
    • Express your thoughts fully and clearly, using a formal writing style.
    • You will be evaluated on clear communication, use of design terminology and spelling/grammar.
    • Proofread for typos, spelling errors, grammatical errors, etc. Good visual communicators must also be good verbal communicators.
    • Your answers should be approximately 250–500 words per essay.
    • Respond to each prompt on a separate page.
    • Save both responses in one file as a PDF. Name your file: your last name, first initial, and "essays," followed by term and year (ex: smithb-essays-F23.pdf)
  • Transfer Students

    Transfers MUST be accepted to the university and have an N-number in order to apply to the program.

    Apply to the University as a Painting & Drawing major.

    Your application to the University will be held up if you apply directly as GD+DM (students cannot apply directly to a limited access major).

    Faculty recommends transfer students enroll in Graphic Design prerequisite and core classes at UNF. Transfer students should have completed GRA2190C Graphic Design: Principles or state equivalent with a minimum of a C. Please work with admissions or an academic advisor to check on all transfer credits. 

  • Additional Information

    Students in the Limited Access program in Graphic Design & Digital Media will need to go through the Limited Access Review process again if;

    1. A student leaves the program for more than 3 consecutive terms.
    2. A student receives a failing grade in Introduction to Graphic Design the term he or she reviews.

    If breaking continuous enrollment for 2 semesters or more, the student must discuss re-enrollment options with the faculty and advisors.

    Students that change majors or tracks (art history, ceramics, p/d/p, photo or sculpture) after being accepted into GD+DM, are no longer permitted to enroll in Limited Access classes.