So you want to be an artist. Or maybe you already are one. Whichever the case, we'll help you make your mark on the art scene by perfecting your craft—whether it's printmaking, ceramics, photography or fiber arts. Mentors are here to guide you on a path that may take you across the world or help you change it.


of Xavier Art graduates are employed, enrolled in a full-time graduate program or volunteering within 6 months of graduation.

Program Options

BA in Art

So you want to be an artist. Or maybe you already are one. Whichever the case, we'll help you make your mark on the art scene by perfecting your craft—whether it's printmaking, ceramics, photography or fiber arts. Mentors are here to guide you on a path that may take you across the world or help you change it.

Four-Year Course Sequence | Go to the Art page

BFA in Fine Art

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) program is distinguished from the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree by its intensity, structure, and required number of required credit hours. Extended experience (at least 18 credit hours) in one of the Art concentrations is a graduation requirement. The B.F.A. degree is usually a prerequisite for acceptance into a M.F.A. program.

Four-Year Course Sequence

BA in Graphic Design

Graphic Design blends the worlds of art, technology and marketing. Graduate with a dynamic, detailed portfolio and the valuable internship experience needed to succeed as competitive, creative designers.

Four-Year Course Sequence | Go to the Graphic Design page

Art Concentrations

Specialize in the area of your choice:

Art History

The Art History offerings at Xavier include survey courses of the Western world and specialized courses in 20th Century, American Art, Women Artists and Art, and other topics.

Art History is taught from the perspective of the studio artist, with an emphasis on the contemporaneous nature of art and the experiential. Students learn to critique art from the basis of the work itself initially through the analysis of its facture, representation, and content, and then through the historical and biographical facts surrounding the art. Visits to local art museums, and other artistic and historical resources provide tangible experiences of art and the artist for students.

Art majors may pursue art history as a concentration area which culminates in a research thesis during senior year.


Ceramics at Xavier involves both hand-building and throwing on the potter's wheel. While practicing the various hand-building skills, students are encouraged to discover the spiritual essence of their work. And while honing their throwing skills on the potter's wheel, students must constantly juggle the dualities of form vs. function.

Firing capabilities include both electric and gas kilns, as well as Raku and pit firing. This gives the opportunity to experience firing in an extremely primitive manner to the most current, state-of-the-art methods of bringing permanence to clay work. Students become involved in all areas of studio maintenance and management.

Senior thesis exhibitions in ceramics have ranged from palm size pinch pots to 9' free-standing sculptures. The most versatile of all media, the possibilities are endless while working in clay.


The Drawing program at Xavier University is structured around the belief that learning to draw is learning to see. With this in mind, the four stages of the program provide a course continuum in which students begin by learning how to draw anything they can see (from life or in their mind's eye).

Continuing through all four stages, students learn to use drawing to explore and share their own developing vision in compelling ways. The suite of courses offered takes the student through a rigorous academic traditional approach to drawing and delivers them to a contemporary state of opportunity where concept and content, process and product, beauty and meaning can be interchangeable.

In all cases, students are guided in the process of honing perceptual sensitivies, a strong creative process, a strong critiquing manner, personal vision, a disciplined work habit, and a sense of responsibility for how their artwork functions as a product delivered to an audience. With this they become empowered as artists, and as people.

Fiber Arts

The Fibers program of Xavier University provides students with a wide variety of art experiences utilizing on and off-loom techniques.

Beginning students explore the possibilities of fiber art through pattern weaving, tapestry, painted warp and weft, double weaves, felting, Batik, coiling, mixed media sculpture, dyeing and printing on cloth, handmade paper, image transfer, fiber collage and construction.

Intermediate and Advanced students are encouraged to experiment and broaden their range of fiber manipulation to express their creative vision.

As emerging artists, students who choose their senior concentration in Fibers Arts create a body of work, evolved from their acquired knowledge of fibers and its unlimited possibilities.

Graphic Design

Graphic Design at Xavier is a rigorous discipline that focuses on the creative, innovative, and critically minded designer who designs/illustrates with versatility, originality, and an understanding for the cultural and artistic implications of their role as designers. Students are taught the technical, aesthetic, conceptual, and ethical issues of graphic design through assignments, readings, and in-class critiques and discussions.

Classes teach design skills ranging from traditional logos/identities, posters, and brochures to web-sites and motion. All projects are intended to stress an importance on typography, layout principles, and contemporary approaches such as postmodern aesthetics.

Students work with the following computer applications: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, and After Effects.

Our design studios consist of computers with state-of-the-art software, color printers, and scanners. Many of our art majors as well as minors are now employed in the graphic arts, own their own design firms, or pursue higher degrees in related fields.


The Painting program at Xavier University consists of four distinct stages, which parallel similar stages within the Drawing program. Throughout all levels the advancement of technique, craftsmanship, media choice, and hand skills are stressed. The first two stages serves as an introduction to the use of wet media in the description of objects, landscapes, human anatomy, and other perceptual subject matter. The second two stages explore abstraction, symbolism, mixed media, variations in scale, and especially, issues of content. Further study beyond these four basic stages is defined on a one-on-one basis with the professor.

In all cases, students are guided in the process of honing perceptual sensitivities, a strong creative process, a strong critiquing manner, a disciplined work habit, personal vision and a sense of responsibility for how their artwork functions as a product delivered to an audience.


Photography is an intensive discipline that requires the student to be both creator and thinker. Through projects, readings, and class discussions emphasis is on understanding both the aesthetics issues of making a photograph as well as the theory and history of photography. Students are required to produce high quality work that is both visually successful and conceptually engaging and relevant.

Both traditional Black and White darkroom techniques and digital techniques (Adobe Photoshop) are taught in depth. Students will develop a strong sense for looking at their own work as well as others' and be able to articulate their critique both verbally and through written assignments.

Our photo studio consists of a traditional side with a new darkroom and a digital side with computers state-of-the-art software, color printers, and scanners.

Print Making

Printmaking at Xavier encompasses a variety of media that are taught on semester cycles including relief (i.e. emboss, collagraph, linoleum cut, woodcut), lithography, intaglio, and monotype. You are taught these media through demonstration, studio practice and critique.

Emphasis is on your technical mastery alongside content/image development, edition printing, print suites, conceptual awareness, shop etiquette and personal growth. As the print student advances you continue your investigations of the previous print area(s) while exploring the new print media. You achieve further technical proficiency (such as multi color printing) while increasing your range of content, productivity , and scale.

Advanced students are also encouraged to initiate individual direction for your work with particular emphasis on serially developing ideas, as well as exploring mixed print media including digital applications - experimentation is encouraged! Throughout your printmaking studies, understanding and control of procedures of drawing, processing and printing continue to be stressed.

As an exiting thesis student, you will focus your energies to producing series of suites of images linked thematically and stylistically, utilizing the printmaking techniques you most enjoy. The culmination of these explorations will foster your creative thinking, and promote deeper self-awareness and self-evaluation.

The printmaking studio offers a large working space with one proofing press, a Rembrandt litho press, a Takach etching press, and a large (4' x 6') Griffin convertible (etching/litho) press.


Sculpture at the Xavier University Department of Art is thought of as a fine art discipline within a liberal arts education context. Alongside the acquisition of skills and good craftsmanship, we emphasis an intellectual and conceptual approach to sculpture making. Both our course offerings and our well equipped facilities support this goal.

Students are encouraged to explore all avenues of sculptural self-expression, whether their impulse is to create a finely crafted object-oriented piece, a conceptual installation and performance, a modeled figure, or a fabricated metal structure.

We emphasize diversity and a broad definition of sculpture that leaves the door wide open for students to incorporate unconventional materials, mediums, and processes into their work.


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Art in the Queen City

Cincinnati's known for its love of the arts. Take advantage of faculty-mentored, for-credit internships or employment opportunities at local museums, magazines, design showrooms, foundations, media groups and other businesses.

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See the World

Join classmates studying art in Rome during the Summer Study Abroad program. The art program provides exceptional learning opportunities on-site in Rome and the Vatican City, as well as opportunities to travel to Venice, Assisi, Capri and Pompeii.

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Express Yourself

Engage in original research working directly with faculty. Take advantage of opportunities to present at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research or exhibit your work locally and regionally as an undergraduate.

Welcome to the Family


Careers After Xavier

Graduates from programs within the School of Arts and Innovation have accepted challenging, rewarding jobs at top companies and organizations like

Cincinnati More Fortune 500 companies per capita than
Los Angeles, New York or Chicago
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