College of Arts & Sciences

Art Department


The mission of the Department of Art at Montana State University Billings is to educate students in the understanding, production, and analysis of visual art and culture.  This educational process includes the development of technical, conceptual and art historical awareness; the development or furtherance of visual and tactile insight; the development of appropriate verbal and written skills; and the fostering of professional attitudes and goals.  The curriculum is designed to prepare students to face the challenges and diverse career opportunities that exist within the discipline and to give students the knowledge, practical skills, and maturity of critical thinking that is necessary to embark on study at higher levels.


MSUB student outside the LA building painting a landscapeThis mission is accomplished through classes in various studio media; in art history, theory, and criticism; through individual advisement and assistance from a concerned faculty; through exhibitions in the Northcutt Steele Gallery, the Yellowstone Art Museum and other museums and galleries in the area; through the activities of the Art Students’ League and Et Vasa Ordinem, also known as the Potters’ Guild; through the visiting artist programs; and through career advisement.


Coursework in the Areas of Concentration—art history, ceramics, drawing, new media, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture—lead to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Art or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Art.


The BA in Art is a liberal arts degree that focuses on art in the context of a broad program of general studies.  Students choose one of the following Areas of Emphasis:  Studio Art, Studio Art with Minor, Art History with Minor, or Studio Art and Art History.


The BA in Art Education is designed for the student seeking licensure (K-12) in the extended major teaching field of art.


The BFA in Art is considered the professional undergraduate degree in studio art and is designed to provide students with a thorough grounding in fundamental principles and techniques with opportunities for emphasis in one or more specific studio art areas.


Students may also obtain teaching licensure with a BFA, but the coursework extends beyond the minimum credits required for the BA in Art Education.