Art & Design majors study at George Fox, a top Christian college

Growing Fields

With employment growing at a rate* of 13 percent across all areas of visual design, 38.7 percent in web design, 13 percent in arts administration, and 8 percent in fine and craft-based arts, there has never been a better time to study art. *Burning Glass Technologies, 2018

Professional Preparation

The Department of Art & Design focuses on professional preparation. Our students get the training and mentorship they need to pursue a career and life of fulfillment through art. They become well-versed in the creative process and design thinking that is highly sought by cultural institutions and businesses, both regionally and throughout the world.

With partnerships throughout the region and a weekly visiting artist series, you will have opportunities to meet practicing professionals, take on internships, and engage in client-driven work while still in college.

Diverse Media

As a major in our department, you’ll have the opportunity to explore a range of media – painting, printmaking, drawing, ceramics, photography, interaction and print design, branding, interior design and drafting, curation, digital illustration, and many other media-driven practices – all at a Christian college where professors know you by name.

Our robust offerings also provide students with opportunities to go deep by taking multiple layers of coursework in areas they are most interested in. Students in our program craft large-scale murals; develop freelance illustration portfolios; create the logos and visual branding for regional businesses; design layouts and structures for residential properties; work alongside artists to install and curate exhibitions; and much more.

Five Majors

Choose from five majors: graphic design, interior design, arts administration, illustration, or studio art. Or opt for an interdisciplinary major that combines art with other fields of study. If you have a passion for art and design, you’ll feel right at home at George Fox University.

Choose from these majors:

Guiding Creative Organizations

Students with a passion for developing, managing and directing creative organizations have a place in arts administration. The arts administration major offers a grounding in the visual arts along with the historic, curatorial and business administration needed to pursue a career in the leadership and management of arts-related organizations.

Through work with George Fox’s galleries and existing art collection as well as partnerships with regional nonprofits and arts institutions, students will be able to look behind the scenes at what it takes to run an arts organization, facilitate community arts events, and curate an exhibition.

Interdisciplinary Study

The arts administration major is one of the most interdisciplinary majors that we offer, drawing on communication, history and business education. Students interested in history, facilitation and in becoming advocates for the arts will find themselves at home here.

Artistic Leadership

Whether you’re an artist or leader who wants to guide the work of others, or a business-minded historian with a desire to help artists succeed, this program will establish the foundations needed to pursue a career or graduate work in arts administration.

Students who major in arts administration will be prepared for careers as a/an:

  • Manager of a creative institution
  • Gallery director
  • Gallery assistant
  • Curator
  • Art instructor
  • Community outreach director
  • Exhibition developer
  • Archivist
  • Workshop leader
  • Arts interpreter
  • Arts administrator
  • Exhibition director
  • Program manager
  • Fine art specialist
  • Gallerist
  • Curatorial assistant
  • Arts instructor
  • Art handler
  • Gallery installer
  • Art manager
  • Collections manager
  • Art event coordinator

Certified for Residential and Commercial Design

George Fox’s interior design program educates students to become creative and responsible interior designers for residential and commercial buildings. The program has been built to prepare students for National Council for Interior Design Qualification certification.

Students receive training through coursework that prepares them for each portion of the certification process. Upon graduating and working in the field for the required number of hours, they will be ready to sit for the exam and be fully certified to practice interior design independently. This professional emphasis is a unique offering for those looking to study interior design at a Christian college.

Environmental Health and Human Care

The interior design program emphasizes best practices, including concern for environmental issues, LEED certification, ADA requirements, and construction of holistically considered and relatable environments through problem solving in applied design studios.

With a particular focus on spatial design and space planning, complimented by the application of surface decoration, our students learn to design spaces for living, working, business, health and recreation environments. As courses progress, students are challenged by design problems that increase in size and complexity, and develop an understanding of the influence of sustainable building and reuse on human health, well-being and performance.

Arts Foundation

The major shares a foundational curriculum with the studio and applied design areas of our program. As a result, students are exposed to an interdisciplinary, integrated curriculum that stresses the broad intellectual development needed for a robust design practice, whether as a team member of a larger design firm or a freelance practitioner.

Networking Opportunities

Each semester, multiple professional interior designers are brought to campus through our visiting artist series. Students also are able to connect with regional interior resources and partners through trips to Portland and other regional centers.

Diverse Curriculum

Courses include AutoCAD for Interior Design, History of Architecture, Kitchen and Bath Design, Material Resources, Surface and Textile Design, Informed Interior Design (instruction in building codes and requirements), Commercial Design Studio, and many others.

If you love crafting meaningful spaces for people to inhabit, find yourself interested in architecture, arranging space and considering how people connect with their environment, consider majoring in interior design.

Students who major in interior design will be prepared for careers as a/an:

  • Interior designer
  • Interior assistant
  • Draftsperson
  • Space planner
  • CADD drafter
  • Design firm assistant
  • Materials acquisition specialist
  • Design showroom consultant
  • Textile design consultant
  • Home stager
  • Kitchen/bath specialist
  • Floor plan consultant
  • Stage and set designer
  • Facilities designer
  • Home furnishings buyer
  • Occupancy planner
  • Strategic planner
  • Store planner
  • Visual display designer
  • Leasing agent specialist
  • Home stylist
  • Interior design teacher

Illustration majors at George Fox cultivate a distinct personal approach to constructing illustrations while developing versatile image-making skills to support the wide-ranging communication needs of clients.

Entrepreneurial Artists

Contemporary illustrators are sometimes known as artistic entrepreneurs, since their practices range from editorial work, self-directed projects and exhibition to merchandise design and much more. Our faculty of working professionals guide students through curriculum in traditional media, digital tools and portfolio building that prepares them to pursue work and contracts as practicing freelance professionals.

Whether sitting at an easel or working with a Wacom tablet, our students develop creative problem-solving abilities and authorial voices, and learn to translate ideas into visual forms.

Professional Preparation

In order to be professionally prepared, an emphasis is placed on the kinds of visual innovations, storytelling and technical precision that are required for creating images suitable for reproduction and distribution. Students break outside the boundaries of a piece of paper as they complement their traditional art core with explorations in digital and time-based media.

Traditional and Digital Tools

Traditional media, digital tools and concept development are incorporated throughout the curriculum and lead students to success. WIth an ability to paint, draw and craft digital images, students graduate ready to illustrate books, create surface designs for products, deliver imagery suitable for web or game development, produce character and concept art, and much more.

Students in the illustration major will be prepared for careers as a/an:

  • Freelance illustrator
  • Children's book designer
  • Lettering artist
  • Comic book or graphic novel illustrator
  • Concept artist
  • Editorial illustrator
  • Technical illustrator
  • Medical illustrator
  • Storyboard artist
  • Cartoonist
  • Color specialist
  • Production artist
  • Brand illustrator

Collaborative Creativity

Our studio art major fosters the development of collaborative, resourceful and creative makers who work in a research-based practice informed by contemporary and historical art and culture. We work in a variety of two- and three-dimensional media including, but not limited to, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography and lens-based media, print media and utilitarian ceramics.

Creative Thinking and Technical Precision

We place an emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving and risk-taking throughout the program, encouraging students to develop the confidence to experiment and the self-reliance to become courageous life-long learners.

Instruction in technical competencies and skills of the studio practice are partnered with conceptual strengthening projects and polished off with professional and business practice capstone work to send our emergent practitioners out equipped for a life of successful creating and earning.

Learn from Professional Artists

All faculty are practicing artists with a wide range of current studio and curatorial practices. Course highlights in the studio major include Mixed Media, Introduction to Painting, Screenprinting and Traditional Printmaking, Ceramics, Color Theory, Traditional Darkroom Photography, as well as Senior Thesis and Exhibition.

We also offer a variety of art history classes available to majors, minors and all studio and applied design concentration students: Art and Christ, Contemporary Art Forms, Native American Art, African Art History, and Women in Art.

Exhibition Opportunities

The senior year for studio artists culminates in a solo or group exhibition. If you love looking at and making objects and images, want to live and work in creative spaces, and find yourself constantly exploring materials, you may want to consider studying studio art.

Ceramic, Sculpture and Studio Facilities

Also offered is a ceramics and sculpture facility that allows students to explore pottery and various sculpture mediums. Seniors have the opportunity to set up their own studio space in the art annex with its own workspaces, kitchen and ceramic kiln. (video).

Students with a concentration in studio art will be prepared for careers as a/an: 

  • Exhibiting fine artist
  • Freelance artist or illustrator
  • Artist in residence
  • Artist’s representative
  • Arts administrator
  • Fine arts instructor
  • Curator of exhibitions or collections
  • Archival specialist
  • Art restorer/conservator
  • Sculptor
  • Architectural model maker
  • Framer
  • Display designer
  • Exhibit designer
  • Gallery director
  • Illustrator 
  • Mold maker
  • Welder
  • Textile/surface designer
  • Mural artist
  • Public commissions artist
  • Studio potter
  • Ceramic tile designer
  • Art therapist (requires additional post grad education)

Request more information about the art & design major at George Fox University or schedule a visit to begin your education at Oregon's Christian university, ranked as one of the top Christian colleges in the nation by Forbes.

Jobs, Internships and Graduate School

Art majors at George Fox study at one of the West Coast's top Christian colleges

There has never been a better time to be an artist. The Internet and digital communications have made this the most visual time in the history of humankind. Artists are trained to be creative problem-solvers, and in an increasing global marketplace, there is no more valuable commodity. Our art alumni have been highly successful in placement as teachers at all levels; they are sought after as designers in the commercial world; they are actively engaged in a wide variety of ministries; and they have been extremely successful in admission to graduate schools.

  • Disney
  • Nike
  • Nordstrom
  • Bank of America
  • VSA Associates, Chicago
  • Landor & Associates
  • Norm Thompson Outfitters
  • Impact Printing
  • Clark & Company
  • The Climb
  • Pivot Group
  • Pigeon Toe Ceramics
  • Chehalem Cultural Center
  • Copper River Design
  • Harvest House Publishing
  • Portland, Beaverton, Salem, Tigard and Sherwood Public Schools
  • Livengood & Nowack
  • The Pivot Group
  • Bank of America
  • Nike
  • Norm Thompson Outfitters
  • Lawrence Galleries
  • Code Monkeys, Web & Game Design
  • Hillsboro Hops
  • Hannah Anderson
  • Asterix Creative
  • Nordstrom
  • Anthropologie
  • Contemporary Craft Museum
  • Chehalem Cultural Center
  • Iridio, Photographic Services
  • Climax Industries
  • Kent State
  • University of New Mexico
  • California College of Art
  • Washington State University
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Loyola College
  • University of Idaho
  • Pacific NW College of Art
  • Burren College of Art, Ireland
  • Lewis & Clark College
  • Eastern Oregon University
  • Portland State University

Student Experiences

Ryan Littrell ('05)

“One thing I loved about learning design at George Fox was the push from professors to get involved with real-world design problems. Applying what I was learning in class to real-world projects made the teaching come alive and helped me to understand everything from design principles to the business methods needed to make a happy client.”

- Ryan Littrell ('05)

 Megan Clark ('06)

“The best preparation I had at George Fox was working with real clients. We went through the entire creative process together, with real people to answer our questions and offer truthful feedback to our solutions.”

- Megan Clark ('06)

Points of Distinction

  • Learn from accomplished faculty, all of whom continue to work professionally in the field and bring together more than 300 years of combined professional experience
  • Take advantage of our visiting artist program. We offer one of the most active and robust visiting artist programs in the Council for Christian Colleges & Unviersities, including a Monday night Art Talk program that brings in professional artists from all over the nation who represesent every possible media and profession in the art and design world.
  • Experience a diversity of emphases, approaches and media, including traditional studio craft, utilitarian ceramics, digital tools, interactive design, and interior drafting
  • Faith is fully integrated in all areas of study
  • Experience a family-inspired focus on authentic and committed community
  • Connections to regional businesses and institutions allow our students to work in placed internships and work with clients/commissions while still in school.

Why George Fox?

Christ-centered community

Our faith influences everything we do here, from the way our professors teach to the way we relate to one another and serve in the community.

Global opportunities

More than half of George Fox undergraduate students study abroad, ranking George Fox among the nation's leaders in study abroad participation (U.S. News & World Report).

Small classes

Our 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio means you'll get to know your professors on a personal level.

National recognition

George Fox University is a Christian university classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university, and Forbes ranks George Fox among the highest Christian colleges in the country.