Areas of Concentration


In addition to providing students with a broad understanding of world art, the Art History program focuses upon African American art and the art of the African Diaspora. In beginning and advanced courses and seminars, students are encouraged to engage in scholarly investigation and analysis of visual styles, cultural movements, and social evidence in the history of art, especially original scholarship in African American and African Art History. The program’s strong research focus provides a virtual road map for students who wish to pursue careers as art historians in academia or in museums as curators and educators.


The Ceramics Program provides students with a technical foundation in basic hand and wheel formation, glaze calculation, clay formulation and a range of finishing and firing techniques. Advanced students are encouraged to explore the full range of possibilities in clay. The ceramics unit is designed to train students to become the traditional production potter; the ceramic sculptor and the visionary artists who want to combine and experiment with state of the arts ceramic materials and technology to create their visual voice.


The BFA and MFA degrees in Design at Howard University are professional undergraduate and graduate degree programs that are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). These degree programs represent a consolidation of design disciplines that have natural affinities in research, infrastructure and interdisciplinary collaboration. The Design program provides common learning experiences for students through shared instructional programming within a multi-track system that caters to individual areas of specialization. Under the multi-track system, BFA students begin their program of study with a series of common foundation courses, in art, design and art history before transitioning into upper-level courses that reflect individual interest in Integrated [Communication or Media] Design, Fashion Design, or Interior Design.  MFA students with related undergraduate degrees are able to specialize Integrated Design, Fashion Design or Interior Design in a two-year program; those with unrelated design backgrounds are immersed in graduate foundation courses for up to a year (30 units) before merging into the design core courses.


The General Design Track in the Design Concentration develops students with an immense range of knowledge, skills and competencies in media arts, information design, and three-dimensional design through cross-curricular experiences. This is achieved through the study of theory and the practical application of learned techniques. This track reacquaints the student artist with foundation principles that are central to design education.  Through an intensive curriculum in visual and technologically mediated communication, students will learn how to identify, research, analyze, and solve design problems at various levels, providing multiple solutions, mechanicals and prototypes.


The Fashion Design Track in the Design program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the fashion industry, including the design, production, evaluation, buying, marketing, distribution, consumption, conservation, and recycling of textiles, clothing, accessories, and home furnishings within the United States and abroad. An interdisciplinary approach helps students to develop theoretical, practical, and critical competencies necessary for personal and professional growth and success.  Students may also choose a complimentary minor in subject areas such as business, foreign language, or communication, depending on their career goals and interests in the global fashion industry. Upon completion of the program, students will be fully equipped for a variety of positions in the industry.


The Interior Design Track in the Design Program focuses on the function and quality of interior environments by considering aesthetic, technical, social and cultural aspects of the built environment. It emphasizes the development of the student’s ability to handle design concepts, space analysis and planning and knowledge of materials, furnishings and construction in order to produce interiors for residential, commercial and special uses. The program prepares the student for further study in interior design and equips them with the skills and knowledge to serve as corporate design team members.


The Electronic Studio program is designed for students preparing for careers as Web Designers, Two- and Three-Dimensional Animators, Special Effect Artists for TV and Film, Product Design, Game Design, and Motion Graphics. The curriculum combines the fundamentals of visual arts: drawing, painting, illustration, and two-dimensional and three-dimensional design. Photography and video, with intensive applied computer technology and software techniques as applied to visual communications and design. Course work is designed to incorporate prerequisite visual arts courses to prepare students to be competitive in the visual arts and computer-aided art and design fields.


The Painting program is designed to introduce students to traditional and contemporary painting techniques with an emphasis on the control of paint and the painted form. In the intermediate and advanced level courses, students are encouraged to experiment with various media and thematic approaches.


The Photography program provides students with skills, techniques, and principals of conventional darkroom practices, which form the framework for digital imaging in advance courses. Color photography, taught in combination with Photoshop, adds another dimension to creative control and expression along with multi-media applications. Advance courses in Studio Lighting, Alternative Processes, and Independent Study, are designed to allow the student to produce portfolios from collective experiences and photographic knowledge.


The Sculpture program provides students with a variety of sculpting experiences. The program offers courses in figure and character modeling, welded and forged steel fabrication, multi-media

assemblage, wood and stone carving, woodworking, cement, and mold making and casting.  B.F.A. candidates may specialize in one or a combination of areas depending on their personal direction and career path.  Graduate and undergraduate students work side-by-side in a 5600 sq ft studio facility which houses three shop areas, graduate studios, an outside gated work area, and a 3D modeling computer lab.