2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
    Jan 17, 2022  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Design & Visual Art

Together, all Design & Visual Art students share a core curriculum designed to build strong foundational skills and knowledge, encourage creative problem solving, and promote cultural awareness. They then bring that foundational experience to the specialized and advanced studies of their major.  Each program offers distinct opportunities to develop current in-demand critical thinking skills, gain rich experience with the tools and technologies of their discipline, and access to curricula designed to prepare students for a meaningful career in a creative field.  This includes a required internship, a senior capstone/seminar experience and the opportunity to join one of our professionally affiliated student organizations.


The mission of Maryville Design & Visual Art is to continually provide exceptional programming that prepares students for a life of engagement and achievement within the disciplines of design and art.


  • Promote creative problem solving, and creative expression.
  • Promote liberal arts, aesthetic understanding, historical perspective, and technical proficiency.
  • Create learning environments that promote community, creative spirit, and high academic and professional standards.
  • Advise students into programs which are appropriate for their aptitude, ability, and interests.
  • Provide opportunities for field exposure, internships, and professional experiences for all majors within the Design & Visual Art programming.
  • Create and refine exceptional programming, experiences, curricula, and infrastructure in support of the disciplines of design and the visual arts.
  • Assess learning and improve teaching effectiveness in the context of design and visual arts education.
  • Enrich the cultural life of the University and the community.
  • Provide access to design and the visual arts curricula in support of the University’s liberal arts curriculum.
  • Interact with local, national, and international professional, art history, design, and art communities.

Characteristics of a Maryville Design & Visual Art Graduate

The following describe the defining characteristics of a Maryville Design & Visual Art graduate as established by the Design & Visual Art faculty:

Principles: Elements and Principles of Design and Art
The graduate shall demonstrate the ability to apply fundamental elements and principles of design and visual art in the context of their field of study.

Technology: Technology, Techniques, Materials, Media
The graduate shall demonstrate an understanding of technology, techniques, media, materials, and production within their specific discipline.

Process: Design and Interdisciplinary Art-Making Process
The graduate shall demonstrate an understanding of the processes of design and art-making and their application (contemporary and historic), including problem identification, research, analysis, generation of multiple solutions, organization, and evaluation.

Creativity: Creative Expression / Creative Process
The graduate shall demonstrate skills reflective of creative thinking, creative problem solving, and/or creative expression.

Form: Study, Analyze, Interpret, Articulate, and Create Visual Form
The graduate shall demonstrate an ability to study, analyze, interpret, articulate, and create visual form in response to a range of issues characteristic of design and visual art.

Connections: Design and Art Connections
The graduate shall demonstrate a broad understanding of interdisciplinary elements and systems (practical, theoretical, and historical) associated with creating art and design.

Collaboration: Design and Art Specializations & Collaboration
The graduate shall demonstrate a general understanding of the principles and realities of collaborating across various design and visual art specializations and within multidisciplinary teams.

History: Design and Art History
The graduate shall demonstrate knowledge of a broad range of design and art history, and specific knowledge of the history of their discipline.

Theory: Design and Art Theory
The graduate shall demonstrate knowledge of a broad range of design and art theory and criticism.

Awareness: Cultural Consciousness and Conceptual Knowledge (Social, Cultural, Ethical)
The graduate shall demonstrate an ability to understand conceptual aspects of design and visual art by being able to recognize, analyze, and articulate social, cultural, environmental, personal, political, and ethical considerations.

Critique: Evaluation and Critique
The graduate shall demonstrate an ability to evaluate and critically recognize, analyze, and articulate feedback using evidence, research, and aesthetic, theoretical, and/or conceptual principles.

Professionalism: Internship, Professional, Exhibition, & Field Experience
The graduate shall have the opportunity to gain professional experience through internships, collaborative programs, study abroad, exhibitions, publishing, and/or other design and visual art associated professional and field experiences.


Portfolio Review: Students majoring in a Maryville Design & Visual Art Programs are required to formally present their semester’s cumulative studio at the end of each semester. Students completing the foundational curriculum present their work to the entire Design & Visual Art faculty. After foundational courses are completed, students present to the faculty of their chosen program. Students are responsible for hanging and presenting their work. They are expected to describe their concepts, defend their decisions, identify areas of improvement and accomplishment, and reflect on their personal progress.  Faculty provides feedback concerning areas of achievement and improvement, their presentation and communication skills, and their growth. This process is also used to assess student progress and ability to achieve the goals of their program. Student progress is formally documented.

Senior Exhibit: Graduating seniors are required to participate in a senior exhibit.

Design & Visual Art Foundation Core GPA Requirement: All Design & Visual Art Programs share a foundational core consisting of the following courses: ADAH 100, ADAH 150, ADSA 100, ADSA 101, ADSA 150, ADSA 151, and ADGD 265 or ADID 265. Design & Visual Art students are required to earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (“B Average”) within the foundational core. Students who do not meet this requirement, but who have earned the minimum (“C-“) grade within those courses can petition to continue in a Design & Visual Art major via a formal Design & Visual Art faculty review and approval.

Entrance Portfolio: An entrance portfolio is not required to begin a Maryville Design & Visual Art Program as a first year student.  However, to adequately prepare for our incoming students, as a diagnostic tool, a portfolio of creative work is highly suggested and will be evaluated for merit scholarship.  (Please see Admissions Requirements for guidelines).

Transfer students seeking credit for prior art and design coursework are required to submit a portfolio for evaluation.  (Please see Admissions Requirements for guidelines).


All Maryville Design & Visual Art Programs are accredited by National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).  Maryville’s Interior Design program is additionally accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).​


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