Art & Design

The Art and Design department at Southern Arkansas University offers three concentrations of study designed to educate students for distinguished careers in the arts. Those concentrations offer Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees in Communication Design, Game, Animation and Simulation Design and Studio Art.

Students are given the opportunity to work on research projects in conjunction with other departments at Southern Arkansas University where they team up to  provide support for designing everything from traditional murals to interactive apps.

The award winning Brinson Fine Arts Building was designed for the artist and student. Studios are well lit, well ventilated and designed to accommodate all disciplines. The art gallery provides ample exhibit space for work by artists of national and international reputation, faculty, and students. A Macintosh computer laboratory allows graphic design students to work in a professional environment. Noted artists and other art professionals visit the university each semester.

Those students who plan to teach art in the public schools can pursue the B.F.A. degree with a minor in education and completion of the student teaching semester.

Studio Art

Students in studio art are educated in drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, photography and mixed media, and use their abilities to produce, and or curate art for public spaces, galleries, museums, and for those interested in education students may go on to teach with our Masters in Teaching program.

Game Animation and Simulation

Students choosing Games, Animation and simulation design are taught 3D animation techniques, production and management of game environments for the entertainment industry, but also for a broad variety of training scenarios which require prototyping 3d designs for manufacturers of medical equipment, transportation and the military.

Communication Design

Students enrolled in Communication Design will be able to experience new digital formats for print, web and mobile design making graphic novels, comic books, text books, package designs, merchandise design, publication design for the corporate and advertising community, as well as learn motion design for web, cable and broadband television.

All students at SAU regardless of concentration are required to take classes in drawing, painting and art history.


Art careers in all three categories are abundant.

The list of well paying jobs in a variety of industries  which require the creative mind,  analytical eye and critical thinking skills of the artists who graduate at Southern Arkansas University includes:

  • Art Directors
  • Graphic designers
  • Multimedia artists
  • Game designers (2D for mobile -3D for all platforms)
  • Character developers
  • Motion Designers
  • Art lead
  • Web design
  • Package designers
  • Corporate Identity design
  • Animators
  • Production artist for print
  • Production design for video and web
  • User Interface design
  • Creative Director
  • Photographer
  • Industrial designer
  • Sculptor
  • Painter
  • Curators for museums and galleries
  • Educator
  • Illustrator

Special requirements 

To succeed at the university level requires work and dedication. To become a freshman art student at  Southern Arkansas University or to be admitted into the program consult the Office of Admissions.

Completion of of the prescribed requirements and accepted proficiencies with a concentration in either Communications Design, Game, Animation and Simulation Design, or Studio Art is required in order to obtain a BFA. These requirements are:

  • a. a 3.0 GPA cumulative in Art Courses throughout your academic career
  • sophomore review: choosing one piece to submit from each 2000 level course enrolled in and submitting a paper outlining its historical or design relevance to be reviewed by art faculty.
  • acceptance into at least one regional and/or one national arts competition by the end of your junior year or prior to your senior year
  • completion of service learning requirement with donations of service to a non profit or not for profit organization by your senior year
  • proof of membership in a professional organization in conjunction with your concentration by the second semester of your senior year
  • capstone review