Fine Arts

Today’s artist is as likely to use a stylus and a graphics tablet as a charcoal pencil and a sketchpad. If you plan to work as a professional artist after graduation, it is critical that you gain an understanding of the digital tools available to artists as well as the fundamentals of design, composition, and color. Digital art and design are important aspects of all things creative, including websites, advertising, publishing, videos, animation, gaming, and more.

The fine arts cognates introduce you to the fundamentals of art and design. Learn all about visual communications and the tools used to create in the traditional and digital worlds. Choose from two options:

  • Computer Art. This cognate focuses on using technology as a tool for artistic expression. Learn a variety of skills for creating your own art and 3D graphics, and how to enhance drawings, scans, photos and other illustrations. Use interactive multimedia to express ideas, capture a game, storyboard or online environment you envision. Explore your creativity while expanding and honing your skills. 
  • Graphic Design. This cognate focuses on using technology to create functional visual designs from logos, books, and posters to Web sites. Learn the principals of design, typography, style, placement of text and graphics, and production. Use design and other tools to solve problems, improve an online experience, and produce a variety of functional digital elements and visual communications.

If you love to create and design, and want to develop your skills the fine arts cognates prepare you for a wide variety of careers including graphic designer, art director, game designer, 3-D programmer, Web designer, and digital animator. Students interested in graduate school should consider further studies in human-computer interaction design.


  • FINA-N 110 Introduction to Studio Art for Nonmajors
  • FINA-S 250 Introduction to Design Practice
  • FINA-D 210 Digital Art: Survey and Practice
Select three courses from one of the following areas:

Option I: Computer Art
  • FINA-D 310 Interactive Multimedia
  • FINA-D 318 3D Computer Graphics
  • FINA-D 410 Advanced Multimedia
  • FINA-D 418 Computer Graphical Environments
Option II: Graphic Design
  • FINA-S 351 Typography I
  • FINA-S 352 Production for the Graphic Designer
  • FINA-S 451 Graphic Design Problem Solving
Students also may consider computer-based courses in printmaking, photography, and video. All courses selected for the cognate must be approved by the School of Fine Arts. Students are cautioned to review prerequisite requirements for upper-level courses.