Columbia College Chicago

Art + Design

Art + Design offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in a number of disciplines, including Fine Arts, Product Design, Interior Architecture, Illustration, Graphic Design and Advertising Art Direction. Our BFA programs are intended to provide intensive training in the intellectual, technical and physical skills necessary for art and design professionals. The Bachelor of Arts degree allows you to take a broad approach to your studies, blending disciplines and techniques from the entire department. This program requires fewer credit hours than BFA degrees and allows for a more tailored educational experience. If you've already earned a bachelor's degree from Columbia or another accredited institution, you can earn a second bachelor of art at Columbia.

Majors & Programs

For requirements and more information about these programs, visit the course catalog.

Advertising Art Direction, BA


When an ad catches your eye, thank an advertising art director. The BA in Advertising Art Direction offers students opportunities to practice multiple roles and skills in an increasingly digital marketplace. You’ll master critical design, technology, content creation and strategic planning skills to enter the fast-paced world of advertising and marketing.

Art History, BA


Art history majors develop visual literacy through diverse coursework in modern and contemporary art, history of design, history of photography and global art. With strong backgrounds in the historical and cultural contexts of human expression, our graduates typically pursue advanced degrees in preparation for careers in museums or art galleries, art criticism, arts management, editing and publishing and cultural advocacy.

Fine Arts, BA


Fine Arts BA candidates develop a comprehensive understanding of art history and contemporary art practice to support the creative work they undertake in studio classrooms. The Fine Arts BA offers a core of courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, digital practice and new media genres. This program invites you to progress through a flexible, engaging curriculum in which you can refine your personal voice and vision.

Graphic Design, BA


At Columbia, we nurture graphic designers who are great communicators, problem solvers and digital innovators. Whether you join an organization or strike out on your own, you’ll master the key disciplines, emerging technologies and entrepreneurial skills you’ll need to bring inventive design solutions to the world.

Graphic Design, Publication Design, BA

Students seeking a Graphic Design BA may choose to focus on Publication Design. This degree is the initial path for all BFA candidates in Illustration.

Graphic Design, Web Design, BA

Students seeking a Graphic Design BA may choose to focus on Web Design, generating visual solutions to web-based design problems. This degree is currently the initial path for all BFA candidates in Illustration.

Fine Arts, BFA


In this program, you’ll develop a body of focused work in 2D, 3D or 4D. You’ll be guided by dedicated, practicing contemporary artists whose expert instruction and dedication will help you transition from student to working artist. Students who choose this program are encouraged to recognize the connections between their work and current cultural production. Students who complete this degree often continue on a course of graduate study.

Illustration, BFA


Columbia’s Illustration BFA offers students a comprehensive education in the most current expressions of the illustrative arts. You’ll develop a background in fine arts and visual design and learn both traditional and digital techniques to prepare for illustration careers in publishing, advertising, television and film.

Interior Architecture, BFA


Interior architects create commercial spaces that are both functional and visually engaging. In Columbia’s Council for Interior Design Accreditation-accredited Interior Architecture BFA program, you’ll study design principles and professional practice. Internships can further your knowledge of the design industry and build your professional network. You’ll build the skills and portfolio necessary for an entry-level design job and the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam.

Information on student achievement, retention, graduation rates, job placement, and acceptance into graduate programs

Art History Minor


Columbia’s Art History minor is designed for students who seek a background in the history and context of visual culture to support a major in another field. With courses in modern and contemporary art, theory and global arts, the program provides a strong understanding of the importance of arts and culture in communities large and small.

Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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