Prospective Students

The School is dedicated to excellence and innovation in the practice, study, and teaching of the arts. The School values the productive interaction between research and the preparation of students for professions in the creation and interpretation of works of art and design. We are committed to elevating and sustaining the arts as both a distinct and necessary approach to understanding as well as a vibrant expression of diverse human experiences.

Undergraduate Programs

Graduate Programs




Director's Welcome

The School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois is a vibrant community that provides a climate well suited for developing a professional career as an artist, designer, educator, and scholar. We have created an environment that offers vast intellectual resources to assist our students in developing their education for the challenges they will face in their future.

Our School is committed to developing the creative, intellectual, and entrepreneurial capabilities of our students in preparing them to pursue art as a passion and a livelihood. Students develop valuable transferable skills in communication, organization, critical thinking, problem solving, research, and business development which will expand the possibilities for their creative careers.

We offer an intimate experience for a student body of approximately 400 undergraduates and 100 graduate students with over 45 full-time faculty, whose range of expertise, background, and interests vary widely and provide an invaluable resource for students to construct an individualized cross-disciplinary experience.

Our students have the opportunity to engage in study abroad, campus entrepreneurship opportunities, internships, and job fairs that have been designed for the visual arts.

The Art + Design curriculum provides expansive collaboration opportunities. Examples of these collaborations are studio artists working in design courses, designers collaborating with writers, and painters making movies. Students also discover the benefits of our close relationship with six academic partners in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, which includes Environmental Arts (Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning) and Performing Arts (Dance, Music, Theatre). This rich collection of art forms provides for a full range of interdisciplinary and intellectual opportunities.

The School of Art + Design's history is long and distinguished. The School's illustrious alumni that are exhibiting, running leading design firms, and teaching at major universities include Phylis Bramson, Sarah Burns, Jerome Caruso, Arline Fisch, Richard Greenberg, Walter Herbst, Greg Holderfield, Tom Kalin, Carolee Schneeman, Bill Stumpf, Lisa Wainwright, William Wegman, Jim Wicks, and J. Fred Woell.

The School of Art + Design is committed to the creation of an environment that offers vast intellectual resources and intersections with other disciplines to assist our students in developing their education for the opportunities that will be available to them in their future.

Alan Mette

Alan Mette
Professor + Director

Art + Design Ambassadors

art + design ambassadors for 2017

Reach out to our Art + Design Ambassadors (student representatives from our different degree programs) about the student experience in the School of Art + Design. To contact an Ambassador, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ambassador Leader: Ana Rodas (Graphic Design)

A Message From Our Alumni

Portfolio Days

Admission to our BFA and MFA programs requires a portfolio submission. We're ready to help you select the images that best represent your abilities. Attend a National Portfolio Day or another event listed to meet and discuss your work and our programs.

Online Portfolio Days

Get details about these online portfolio review sessions.


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Missouri National Portfolio Day

11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. CDT


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Texas National Portfolio Day

11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. CDT


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Illinois National Portfolio Day

11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. CDT


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Wisconsin National Portfolio Day

11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. CDT


Sunday, November 15, 2020

California National Portfolio Day

11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. CST