Northern's Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with studio art emphasis is designed to take you and your art to a professional level.

    About The Program

    The BFA in Studio Art degree program prepares studio art majors to excel in highly technical areas of art, including:

    • Painting
    • Drawing
    • Sculpture

    It's the perfect gateway to attending graduate school for a master of fine arts degree (MFA) or doctorate in art education degree.


    With this professional degree, you can investigate visual and aesthetic discourse within your own artistic practice and in the context of history and contemporary culture. Because a BFA requires more art studio and art history courses, you'll engage with your discipline on a professional level, preparing you for careers in art fields or for graduate studies. You'll build a strong foundation in art technique and history and learn to research  problems  that  require  visual solutions. Through critical study, you can become a creative problem solver and evolve into a natural leader - unleashing your career potential.


    The program offers three areas of emphasis:


    1. 2D art: paintings, drawings, prints, and photography
    2. 3D art: computer models, animations, and sculptures
    3. Interdisciplinary media: photo imaging and technology-based art

    With a solid foundation gained early in the program among media, styles, and methodology, followed by challenging classes with a focus on your individual interests, you'll have plenty of time and opportunity to grow your artistic practice before entering the workforce.


    A BFA in Digital Media presents several potential career paths, including designer, art director, arts manager, independent artist, museum facilitator, and curator. According to Americans for the Arts, 72 percent of all employers say that creativity and critical thinking are necessary characteristics of business leaders and that creativity is the No. 1 skill they seek when hiring.


    The art department offers a variety of competitive, merit-based awards. Scholarship assistance requires strong academic performance, minimum GPA of 3.0, and demonstrated potential for academic and career success. Scholarships also are available for minority students and students who excel in specific art disciplines or media.


    Fine Arts Scholarships

    NSU Scholarships


    Sample Plans of Study
    Contact Information

    For more information about this degree, call 605-626-2267. Or, contact NSU Admissions at 605-626-2544 or

    M.F.A., University of California-Santa Barbara

    B.A., Augustana College



    I have exhibited my artwork in regional and national venues for more than 25 years, with works in the Knight-Ridder Collection, South Dakota State Art Collection, Contemporary Arts Forum (Santa Barbara) and numerous private collections.


    Discipline Specialties




    M.F.A. Digital Filmmaking - University of Central Arkansas

    M.S. Instructional Design & Technology - Emporia State University

    B.G.S. Special Major: Digital Film & Computer Production - University of Kansas




    Originally from Northeast Kansas, Knowles is an award-winning filmmaker who teaches courses in digital media, web and interface design, and motion graphics at Northern.  At other institutions, he developed and facilitated in-person and online classes in filmmaking, live-streaming/broadcasting, 3D animation, media writing, and podcasting/audio production.


    Jason's media production interests include writing and directing screenplays with strong female lead characters whose journeys transcend the genres of action-adventure films, science…

    M.Ed., Lesley University
    B.S.Ed., Northern State University
    Nadya Preszler graduated from NSU in 1999. A Roscoe, S.D., native, she was a track athlete during her time at Northern. She spent five years teaching art in Marshall, Minn., and five years at Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls, S.D. At Northern, she concentrates on art education.

    M.F.A., East Carolina University

    B.A., Hastings College