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School of Visual Art and Design

facade of McMaster College


The School of Visual Art and Design, located in historic McMaster College, encompasses four major areas of study and research—art education, art history, media arts, and studio art.

At the School of Visual Art and Design, great artists and scholars of the future can earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in four major disciplines: Art Education, Art History, Studio Art, and Media Arts. Classes are held in our 85,000-square-foot facility designed specifically for the study and creation of the visual arts.

Art Education

Students pursuing a degree in art education receive broad exposure to studio art, art history and criticism and aesthetics. Depending on your interests, you can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree, a Master of Arts degree or the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree. Our Art Education program trains and produces most of South Carolina’s K-12 art teachers!

Art History

The art history program offers courses in American, European and Asian art and architecture across all chronological periods. Students develop skills in research, analysis, criticism and theory. Those desiring a Master of Arts degree in Art History pursue in-depth knowledge in areas such as Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture, 18th-century contemporary European art and architecture, American art and architecture, and photographic and film history.

Studio Art

Studio art encompasses seven areas of specialization: ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. We offer B.A., BFA, M.A. and MFA degree programs.

Media Arts

Students in media arts make films, video games, internet art, mobile applications and more. Media arts students can pursue a B.A. or M.A.

Go Beyond the Classroom

Our students are artists, teachers, and researchers. The experiences they have outside of the classroom are as important as what they learn inside of it. We provide opportunities for our students to teach, show their work, study abroad and more. We're proud that our department and students are such an important part of the arts community here in Columbia.


Photo: The front facing facade of our School, McMaster College at the University of South Carolina.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.