Department of Art


YSU is a leader in Northeast Ohio in preparing students for careers in the visual arts and art education. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), our student-centered programs are led by nationally and internationally recognized artist-educators who engage students with experiential-based coursework that encourages interdisciplinary exploration toward furthering our students’ conceptual and technical development. 

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Studio Art select a concentration in Digital Media/Photography, Graphic + Interactive Design, or Interdisciplinary Studio Art. Whether pursuing the professional degree in Studio Art or the Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.E.) in Art Education, students enjoy regular opportunities to exhibit their work in the college’s 20,000 square foot McDonough Museum of Art, our boutique-style Solomon Gallery, or our Student Project Gallery.

Contact Information

To learn more about our degree programs, scholarships, exhibitions, faculty, and students, please contact the Department of Art directly at 330-941-3627. To schedule a personalized campus visit, contact the Cliffe College Program Coordinator of Admissions and Recruitment at 330-941-2346 or

Greg Moring, Interim Chair
Department of Art
1 University Plaza
Youngstown, OH 44555
P 330.941.3627
F 220.941.7183

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Art at Youngstown State University is to provide a teaching and learning environment for the development of skills, concepts, and sensitivities essential to professional artists, designers, art educators, and art historians. This mission and the cultural enrichment it entails are directed at the entire student body and the community as a whole. This mission is accomplished within the context of a local multicultural society, thereby demanding a special concern for dissemination and sensitivity to a wide cultural heritage.

Learning Outcomes

1) Students will be able to demonstrate their proficiency in art vocabulary.

2) Students will be able to demonstrate technical expertise appropriate to their progression in the program relevant to their chosen artistic medium.

3) Students will be able to demonstrate a high level of content expression appropriate to their progression in the program relevant to their chosen artistic medium.

Degree Information & Requirements

The Department of Art offers courses that satisfy major requirements in Art for the degrees of:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Bachelor of Science in Education

Studio Art includes concentrations in Digital Media/Photography, Graphic + Interactive Design, and Interdisciplinary Studio Arts. 

The requirements for curricula and for graduation are in accordance with the published regulations of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

In the Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree, the programs in Studio Art are designed to familiarize the student with the basic concepts in art and the language of visual form. Concentration is on the development and involvement of the student with the processes and practices of Art. After the foundation sequence, passing ART 1503 Freshman Seminar and Portfolio Review (usually spring term of the freshman year) is required to continue moving forward in the program. Also, B.F.A. students are required to exhibit in a senior show at the John J. McDonough Museum of Art.

The Department of Art offers a Bachelor of Science in Education in Art Education that prepares students to become licensed as teachers of the visual arts in kindergarten-12, and to supervise art programs at these levels. Supporting the diverse needs of today’s visual arts learners, students in art education learn about child development, community arts education, and the various issues related to teaching art and visual culture. Art Education students are first and foremost artists who want to teach. Therefore, the curriculum offers a significant foundation in studio art and art history in addition to art education with an emphasis on art’s ability as a creative process to address contemporary issues. Students gain teaching skills through classroom and field experiences and through their required student teaching experience. Degree requirements are listed on the Art Education curriculum sheet found in the Course Catalog.

To transfer into a Studio Art or Art Education degree program, a minimum GPA of 2.5 is required. Studio Art credit for transfer students is awarded based on a combination of portfolio work and prior college credit. Except for state-mandated transfer courses, transfer credit is not awarded solely on a listing of courses on a transcript. Transfer students should make a portfolio review appointment with the Foundation Coordinator in order to confirm transfer credit. For more information regarding transferring into the Department of Art, visit Transfers

Academic Advising

The Cliffe College Academic Advising Office provides optimum assistance to help our students navigate through their undergraduate years and prepare them for academic and future career endeavors! Our Advisors can provide advice about staying on track with your degree program, combining your major with a supporting minor, finding resources to enhance your coursework with study abroad or other student enrichment experiences, and more. Our goal is to see you succeed! The Academic Advisor for Studio Art and Art Education students may be reached at 330-941-3623 or


The state-of-the-art facilities include over 70,000 square feet of dedicated studio and exhibition space for students to develop their craft. The clean and well-equipped studio facilities offer a broad range of high-quality equipment that includes traditional to emerging technologies. Digital technology includes several digital labs with industry-standard Macintosh computers utilizing software (e.g., Adobe Creative Suite, Rhinoceros 3D, open-source creative coding platforms) and hardware (e.g., 3D digital printers, laser cutters, CNC mills, large format photographic printers, scanners). Traditional facilities and equipment include a welding fabrication area, a woodshop, a range of printing presses, photo/digital-based printmaking equipment, ceramic potter’s wheels, kilns, an analog darkroom, medium and large format cameras, studio lighting, and portable backdrops.

The McDonough Museum of Art is directly adjacent to Bliss Hall on the YSU campus. The Butler Institute of American Art and The Beecher Center for Art & Technology are located just across Wick Avenue from Bliss Hall.


Youngstown State University is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and all of our programs meet the rigorous standards set forth by the organization. YSU is one of 363 accredited conservatories, colleges, and universities recognized by NASAD. The Department of Art was reviewed by NASAD in 2016, and the next campus visit is scheduled for 2026. For more information regarding NASAD accreditation, visit NASAD.

Student Activities

We know that students have interests that lie beyond what they're studying or making. Becoming involved in art or university student organizations is an ideal way to pursue those interests, interact with community members on and off campus, and find your own unique niche in the department and at YSU. YSU has more than 200 diverse student organizations that encompass a wide array of interests, including major-based, community service, Greek affiliations, faith-based, and special interests. We encourage you to join a student organization and improve your leadership skills, develop professional contacts, and have a positive impact on your campus and surrounding community. Of special interest to art students may be:

  • Empty Bowls Fundraiser
  • Red Press Collaborative
  • Student Art Association
  • Study Abroad to Glasgow, Scotland

Art Career Possibilities

Advertising Consultant or Designer • Advertising Illustrator • Animator • Apparel Graphic Designer • Architectural Blacksmith • Architectural Illustrator • Architectural Photographer • Art Advisor • Art Appraiser • Art Buyer • Art Consultant • Art Critic • Art Director • Art Educator • Art Fabricator • Art Historian • Art Journalist • Art Publicist • Art Therapist • Author • Backdrop Designer • Billboard Artist • Brand Manager • CAD Designer • Caricaturist • Cartographer • Cartoonist • Ceramic Artist • Ceramic Designer • Commercial Artist • Commercial Photographer • Community Activist • Community Artist • Community Arts Instructor • Concept Illustrator • Conservator • Corporate/Public Relations Photographer • Digital Consultant • Digital Fabrication • Digital/New Media Artist • Ceramic Mold Maker• Ceramic Production Designer• Creative Director • Curator • Design Consultant • Digital Designer • Display Designer Commercial • Display Designer Retail • Documentarian • Draftsman •  Editor • Editorial/Illustration Photographer • Environmental Graphic Designer • Exhibit Preparator • Fashion Illustrator • Fashion Photographer • Fiber Artist • Fine Art Photographer • Gallery Director/Owner • Graphic Designer • Graphic Novelist • Illustrator • Image Processor • Information Architect • Interactive Media Designer • Installation Artist • Jewelry Designer • Letterpress Printer • Magazine Designer • Marketing Strategist • Master Printer • Medical Illustrator • Metalsmith • Metals Artist • Muralist • Museum Curator • Art/Children’s Museum Educator • Museum Registrar • Museum Staff • Newspaper Graphic Artist • Painter • Performance Artist • Photographer • Photo Editor • Photo Journalist • Photo Re-toucher • Police Sketch Artist • Portrait Photographer • Printmaker • Product/Food Photographer • Production Designer • Prop Fabricator • Professor • Public Artist • Renderer • Sculptor • Set Decorator • Set Designer • Social Media Manager • Storyboard Artist • Studio Artist • Stylist • Surface Print Designer • Tattoo Artist • Technical Illustrator • Textile Designer • Video Artist • Videographer • Web Designer • Web Developer • Wedding Photographer • Wood Artist • Wood Worker


The Department of Art at Youngstown State University began in 1935 as an initiative of Howard Jones, the first president of the University. He supported the concept that aesthetics and art play a major role in the development of the individual in society. Howard Jones appointed Margaret Evans, former director and curator of the Butler Institute of American Art, to teach and direct the development of art courses in the curriculum. Evans began to establish a curriculum leading to a career in art education in elementary and secondary schools. During this period of development, art classes were held at the Butler Institute of American Art, the Mill Creek Park art museum, and various locations on the campus, ranging from private mansions along Wick Avenue to the World War II army barracks built on the campus.

Since 1935, the department has grown to over 20 faculty members who teach more than 200 art majors studying drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, ceramics, sculpture, digital media, graphic design, interdisciplinary studio, art history, and art education. 

General Procedures and Policies

Students are responsible for knowing about degree requirements and university and Department of Art policies and procedures. This information may be found through the Art office, from the Art Academic Advisor, or from several sections of this Catalog, including the Academic Policies, Rights, and Responsibilities section.