MSU Denver

Explore Art at MSU Denver:

Start your possible with us

Learn more about this program

Explore more of our program options

If you are a curious and creative individual who wants to engage the wide spectrum of contemporary ideas and processes in visual art, consider the bachelor of fine arts degree in Art at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Why MSU Denver? MSU Denver vibrates with diversity, creative energy and the hum of people who are transforming their lives through education. This exciting environment serves as the backdrop to the dynamic, hands-on education you’ll receive in this National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredited program.

As an Art major in MSU Denver’s B.F.A. program, you will obtain a foundational studio art and art history education as well as take classes in how to build an art career. You will also create and study art across disciplines by choosing a studio emphasis and complementary area in ceramics, drawing, jewelry, painting, photography, printmaking or sculpture, and delve into integrated media in classes such as performance art, installation art and user interface design. Finally, your B.F.A. program will culminate with a senior exhibition and thesis.

MSU Denver’s B.F.A. in Art program prepares you to become a creative thinker and maker, who exhibits and sells work here and abroad, and for further graduate studies.

Benefits of Earning Your Degree at MSU Denver

Art student draws while wearing headphones.

As an MSU Denver Art B.F.A. student you will have the chance to:

  • Attend exhibitions and acquire professional experience at MSU Center for Visual Art (CVA). Located near campus in Denver’s Santa Fe Art District, the CVA offers outstanding contemporary art shows and educational programming and serves as an interactive art laboratory for MSU Denver students and the community.
  • Study internationally in legendary art locales such as Paris, Rome and Barcelona.
  • Acquire community-service experience through MSU Denver’s Community Painting: The Mural class.
  • Learn from well-known artists through MSU Denver’s Visiting Artist, Scholar and Designer Program.
  • Get involved in art-related student clubs and organizations that include the Art Education Club, the Art Guild, The Elements (for Ceramics), Future Leaders of Design, Metalmorphosis, Vicious Ink and Metrosphere — MSU Denver’s art and literary journal.

As an MSU Denver Art student you will have the chance to work in MSU Denver’s outstanding facilities that include:

• Ceramics Studio is outfitted with 18 potters wheels, six electric Skutt kilns, three glass kilns and one raku kiln.

• Communication Design Studio offers cutting-edge digital technology, printing and production facilities. The program also has a small letterpress printing facility.

• Drawing Studio has professional-quality drafting tables, mat cutter, computer and printer.

• Jewelry Design/Metalsmithing Studio has 18 individual work stations as well as torches, fume exhaust hoods, sandblaster, vulcanizer, lathe and more.

• Painting Studio offers professional grade Klopfenstein easels, individual lockable taborets (for advanced students) and two computer stations.

• Photography Studio has traditional wet process labs, individual color darkrooms, alternative process labs and digital photography lab.

• Printmaking Studio is equipped with presses and equipment for intaglio, lithography, screenprinting, relief and various photo-mechanical processes.

• Sculpture Studio is a 5,000-square-foot facility with fully equipped wood and metal studios, a state-of-the-art ceramic shell investment room, separate sanding and metal finishing studios and a fully equipped tool room with hand, power and pneumatic tools and various supplies.

• Creative Technology Commons at the Auraria Library on campus serves as a creative hub for teaching and learning with digitation capabilities for image, video and audio content, large-format printing and more.

• Coming Soon: Digital Fabrication Lab will have multiple 3-D printers, 3-D scanners, laser engraver and large format printers.

Career Opportunities for Our Graduates

Four images of MSU Denver Art students and their classwork

Careers for graduates with bachelor of fine art degree can include the following (some careers may require additional education or training):

  • Fine artist, studio artist, gallery artist, community artist, public artist, performance artist, installation artist, fine art photographer, ceramics artist, fiber artist, jewelry designer, wearable-art designer, sculptor, mural painter, illustrator, graphic novelist, cartoonist
  • Arts activist, arts advocate, arts promoter, critic, blogger
  • Book artist, concept artist, medical illustrator
  • Art restorer, photo restorer, art appraiser, studio manager, art installer/handler
  • Artisan, entrepreneur, arts retailer, gallery manager/director.

Featured Faculty

Professor Michael BernhardtMichael Bernhardt

Assistant Professor Michael Bernhardt teaches foundational art courses and sculpture. He holds an M.F.A. in drawing and painting from the University of Colorado Boulder and his work has been shown nationally in New York, Ohio, New Mexico and Texas, and internationally in Columbia, France, Australia and China. His work was published in the October 2009 edition of New American Paintings and in Propeller Magazine.

Professor Tsehai JohnsonTsehai Johnson

Associate Professor Tsehai Johnson holds an M.F.A. from the University of Colorado in ceramics and her work has been exhibited everywhere from Colorado to Korea. Her work also resides in collections at the Museum of Ceramics in New York, the Museum of Outdoor Arts, Colorado and the Reyzjanesbaer Art Museum in Iceland. She completed an Art in Architecture Commission for the Rogers Federal Building in Denver in 2013.

Alumni at Work

MSU Denver Art alumni have exhibited work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. MSU Denver alumni work appears in major museums and in corporate and private collections. Several MSU Denver alumni also have curated exhibitions. Other graduates have started successful business ventures of their own or gone on to prestigious graduate programs including those at Cornell University, Tufts University, Columbia University, Goldsmith’s University of London, the University of Colorado and many more.


MSU Denver’s Art programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). MSU Denver is one of only four schools in Colorado to have this accreditation.

Contact the Department of Art


[email protected]



Office Location:

Arts Building, Suite 187
Auraria Campus