art studio

Department of Art, Design, and Communication

You want a school that helps you develop and refine your artistic talent?  Mercyhurst's Department of Art, Design, and Communication provides the individualized instruction you need to secure a rewarding career in the creative field. Our coursework provides a hands-on, studio approach to art in our state-of-the-art labs and facilities.

You’ll learn from a dynamic faculty who are working artists themselves, currently exhibiting in the field. They will teach you artistic processes; methods of creative problem solving; the diversity of art materials, media and approaches; the importance of design; and the role of art history. Studio space is always available here, unlike large schools where space may be limited.

With a 14-1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 20 students, you’re never just a number at Mercyhurst. In fact, many upper level courses average 10 or fewer students. We keep our classes small so you can get individualized attention from professors to ensure your success in class and beyond.'

Art Students at Mercyhurst University are encouraged to pursue individual goals. Students are challenged to develop their creative potential through the varied experiences and disciplines of the art field. Art department sponsored field trips, art. art education, and art therapy clubs, slide lectures, workshops, and exhibitions provide enrichment for students.

The curriculum is designed to expose students to a wide range of skills, capabilities, and knowledge in order to compete in their field. The liberal arts curriculum— in combination with major programs —help them think critically, develop values, and comprehend the richness of the world around them.

In order for all art students to understand the discipline of art, a foundation year has been developed to codify knowledge, introduce expectations, and hone skills. This foundation year consists of 3 courses: Drawing I, 2-Dimensional Design, and 3-Dimensional Design. This common beginning allows for more effective critiques, a broad-based, understanding of the field of art, and the creation of a framework for a student to begin to explore art in their chosen area.

Sophomore review allows student to reflect on their work created in the first two years at Mercyhurst. Students create a display of their portfolio of work, an artist statement of intent, and present their academic record in the courses they have taken to date. A student must have a 2.7 major GPA and successfully complete their sophomore review in order to remain as an Art major. During the review, student’s individual goals and issues are discussed with the faculty review panel. Students are provided feedback to reinforce their strengths and properly address concerns.

After successfully completing the foundation year coursework and entry-level classes, Students can choose from a variety of upper level courses. Exemplary courses include Figure Drawing, Wheel Thrown or Sculptural Ceramics, Oil Painting, Intermediate or Color Photography, and advanced Graphic Design, Art Therapy or Art Education offerings.


    Consists of 21 credits as follows:

    • ACCT 101: Principles of Accounting (3 credits)
    • MGMT 120: Principles of Management (3 credits)
    • MKTG 162: Principles of Marketing (3 credits)
    • DANC 200: Intro. to Arts Administration (3 credits)
    • DANC 475: Arts Management Internship (3 credits)

    2 electives of the following, at least one 300-level course.

    • ART 128: Graphic Design Basics (3 credits)
    • COM 240: Digital Video Production (3 credits)
    • COM 260: Intro. to Social Media (3 credits)
    • ART 321: Intro. to Website Design (3 credits)
    • COM 312: Communication & Social Responsibility (3 credits)
    • COM 314: Global Communications (3 credits)
    • COM 330: Web & Social Media Analytics & Strategies (3 credits) Requires COM 260 to be taken previously or concurrently.
    • Art 100 Drawing I (3 credits)
    • Art 122 or 123 Art History (3 credits)
    • Art 125 2-Dimensional Design (3 credits)
    • Art 126 3-Dimensional Design (3 credits)
    • Basic Level 2-D Studio (3 credits)
    • Basic Level 3-D Studio (3 credits)
    • Art Electives (2) (3 credits)
    • ART 122 - Ancient to Medieval Art History (3 credits)
    • ART 123 - Renaissance to 20th Century Art History (3 credits​)
    • ART 128 - Basic Computer Design (3 credits​)
    • ART 223 - History of Modern Art (3 credits​)
    • ART 224 - History of Photography (3 credits​)
    • ART 230 - Graphic Design History (3 credits​)
    • ID 220 - History of Interior Design (3 credits​)
    • ID 221 - History of Architecture (3 credits​)
    • ARTH 125 Art Therapy I (3 credits)
    • ARTH 225 Art Therapy II (3 credits)
    • ARTH 325 Art Therapy III (3 credits)
    • PSYC 101 Intro to Psychology (3 credits)
    • (3) Approved Electives (3 credits)

    Required Courses

    • COM 101: Communication in Society (3 credits)
    • COM 102: Interpersonal Communication (3 credits)
    • COM 260: Introduction to Social Media (3 credits)

    Course Choices (9 credits)

    • Students must take three additional courses within the Communication Department, two of which must be 300-level or higher.
    • ARTH 125: Intro to Expressive Therapies (3 credits)
    • PSYC 101: Intro to Psychology (3 credits)
    • One developmental psychology course (3 credits):
      • PSYC 241: Developmental Psychology: Childhood,
      • PSYC 242: Developmental Psychology: Adolescence, or
      • PSYC 142: Lifespan Development
    • Abnormal Psychology (3 credits)
    • COM 210: Mindful Communication (3 credits), ARTH 275 (3 credits): Group Practices, or SOC 204: Diversity in Society (3 credits)
    • And a least two courses in creative fields or modalities with prefixes ART, ARTH, THEA, DANC, MUS (6 credits) (At least one should be a 200-level or higher)
    • ART 128 Basic Computer Design 3 credits
    • ART 220 Typographic Foundations 3 credits
    • ART 221 Digital Imagery 3 credits
    • Four (4) Approved Art and Graphic Design Elective
    • ART 106 Photography I
    • ART 128 Basic Computer Design
    • ART 206 Intermediate Photography
    • ART 223 History of Modern Art
    • ART 224 History of Photography
    • ART 305 Digital Photography
    • ART 306 Color Photography
    • ART 400 Individualized Studio I

    Students who are majors may pursue the Minor Electives Cluster in Website Design in the Art Department. In contrast, Graphic Design majors may pursue the Minor Electives Cluster in Communication.

    Required Courses

    • ART 128: Graphic Design Basics (3 credits)
    • ART 221: Digital Imagery (3 credits)
    • ART 321: Introduction to Website Design (3 credits)
    • COM 260: Intro to Social Media (3 credits)

    Minor Electives Clusters (Choose one: if courses in the minor cluster are required for your major, please take the opposite cluster.)

    • ART 225: Computer Illustration Technology (3 credits)
    • ART 325: Intermediate Website Design (3 credits)
    • ART 326: Advanced Website Design (3 credits)
    • COM 202: Contemporary Media Literacy (3 credits)
    • COM 240: Digital Video Production I (3 credits)
    • COM 330: Digital analysis & Strategies (3 credits)
    • THEA 110: Acting I (3 credits)
    • THEA 245: Script Analysis: From Page to Stage (3 credits)
    • THEA 290: Topics in Theatre History (3 credits)
    • THEA 401: Practicum (3 credits)
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  • Art student sketching outdoors
  • Art student spinning clay on wheel
  • Art student sketching outdoors