Undergraduate Minor in Art & Design

The Art & Design Minor provides students with the opportunity to integrate creative art and design practices with other academic or research pursuits.

View of colorful fabric installation around the entrance of Stratton Elementary School
Amanda Browder


Students selecting the Art & Design Minor do not necessarily wish to pursue a career as a practicing artist or designer but do want the chance to work creatively in the visual arts and design and develop related skills.

Students must meet the following course requirements for a total of 18 hours:

Distribution of Courses

  • a minimum of 2 courses from the academic course menu
  • one academic course must be chosen from the following: ARTH 110, ART 100, or ART 140
  • a minimum of 3 courses from the studio course menu
  • at least 1 additional course in either an academic or studio course
  • a minimum of 6 hours must be completed at the 300 or 400 level

6-9 hours | Sample Approved Academic Courses

  • ART 100 – Understanding Visual Culture
  • ART 110 – Introduction to History of Art and Visual Culture
  • ART 140 – Introduction to Art
  • ART 310 – Design Thinking
  • ARTH 211 – Design History Survey
  • ARTH 242 – Art Since 1940
  • ARTH 361 – Contemporary Art
  • ARTE 260 – Museums in Action
  • ARTE 475 – Museum and Exhibition Practice
  • ARTE 480 – Popular Visual Culture

9-12 hours | Sample Approved Studio Courses

  • ART 102 – Drawing for Non-Majors
  • ART 103 – Painting for Non-Majors
  • ART 104 – Sculpture for Non-Majors
  • ARTJ 101 – Intro to Japanese Aesthetics
  • ARTJ 209 – Chado (The Way of Tea)
  • ARTS 260 – Basic Photography
  • ARTS 261 – Photography II
  • ARTS 210 – Ceramics Sculpture
  • ARTS 243 – Time Arts I
  • ARTS 244 – Interaction I
  • ARTS 280 – Sculpture I
  • ARTS 281 – Sculpture II
  • ARTS 299 – Special Topics in Studio Art
  • ARTS 445 – Special Topics in New Media


Students will be required to have passed one of the approved courses for non-majors (ART 102, 103, 104 or 140) and submit a portfolio for entry into the Minor. The curricular structure offers a “menu” of approved courses, many of which have no prerequisites. Some upper level studio courses do carry prerequisites for other courses on the approved list. There are numerous upper level art history courses with no prerequisites. The Minor Advisor will work with students to identify upper level courses of interest and to integrate prerequisites as a part of their program of study in the Minor.


Art & Design Minor Advisor

Application Process

In addition to taking one prerequisite course, all applicants for admission to the Minor are required to submit a portfolio.


Prospective students are required to submit a small portfolio and degree audit report (DARS) for entry to the Minor. The portfolio should consist of 5 images of any past artwork the student has completed. This could include, but is not limited to, sketches, digital design work, digital drawing or painting, collage, sculpture, ceramics, video, photography, printmaking or textile or fabric-based work. Often students include work made in their 100-level prerequisite course. Portfolio images are submitted digitally through an online portal.  Contact Minor Advisor Guen Montgomery for the submission link.

Portfolio Submission Guidelines

  • Required: 5 JPEG images, where, ideally, the pixel dimensions are between 1000 and 1500 in either height or width. Individual images files should not exceed 500 KB. IMPORTANT: Check the image file property size (Right click > Properties in Windows, Control+click > Get Info in Mac), and, if necessary, use an image editor (e.g., Photoshop) to adjust the pixel dimensions and the final file size.
  • Optional: Enter up to 2 direct video links, using Vimeo or YouTube. Be aware, the admissions committee might not watch more than 1-2 minutes. Configure your submission appropriately (trailer, excerpt, etc.).
  • Optional: Enter a web address for your artwork webpage.
  • Upload a copy of your DARS degree audit as a .pdf, .doc, .docx, or .jpg

Submission Deadline

Portfolios are reviewed once each semester at midterm.  Accepted applicants will enter the Minor after this deadline for the following semester. Please contact Art and Design minor advisor Guen Montgomery for the upcoming semester deadline and submission link.

If accepted, students will then fill out the online Declaration of Intent to Pursue a Campus -approved Minor form found here.

Guen Montgomery will approve this form, officially declaring your minor.  Please do not submit this form until after you’ve submitted a portfolio and been accepted to the program.

Students who wish to substitute a course or cancel their minor should complete the Minor’s Modification Form (available as a .pdf below).

Additional information about declaring a minor is available from the Office of the Provost.

Ready to Get Started?

Reach out to Professor Montgomery at montgo@illinois.edu to ask questions or submit your portfolio.

Suggested Courses Spring 2022

Open to Campus with No Restrictions:

ART     102     Drawing for Non-Majors
ART     103      Painting for Non-Majors
ART     104      Sculpture for Non-Majors
ART     140      Introduction to Art
ARTE   480     Popular Visual Culture
ARTJ    101      Intro to Japanese Aesthetics
ARTJ    209      Chado (The Way of Tea)
ARTJ    299      Seminar in Japanese Aesthetics
ARTJ    302      Intro to Japanese Animation
ARTJ    397      Zen, Tea, and Power
ARTJ    398      Designing Life in Modern Japan

Limited Seats Open to Campus:*

ARTH   110     Introduction to History of Art and Visual Culture
ARTH   214     Art in China
ARTH   235     Art, Power & Culture in 17th C Europe
ARTH   242     Art Since 1940
ARTH   299     Art Arch Ancient Mediterranean
ARTH   361      Contemporary Art
ARTH   403     Word and Image in Chinese Art
ARTH   443      The Russian Avant-Garde
ARTH   491      Colloquium in EALC
ARTS   220      Introduction to Fashion
ARTS   243      Times Arts I – Section 3
ARTS   244      Interaction I – Section 3
ARTS   299      Special Topics: Jewelry and Wearable Sculpture
ARTS   299      Special Topics: Scientific Illustration
ARTS   443      Time Arts II
ARTS   444      Interaction II
ARTS   445      Special Topics in New Media: Critical Supercuts

*These courses have a limited number of open seats for non-majors. After the non-major designated open seats are filled, these courses may require a course override. The Request for Permit Override form can be found here.

Accessible to Art & Design Minors: *

ART     150      Introduction to Drawing (Unit 1 LLC)
ART     151      Black & White Photography (Unit 1 LLC)
ART     191      Photograms (Unit 1 LLC)
ART     191      Pinhole Photography (Unit 1 LLC)
ART     191      Ceramic Glaze Development (Unit 1 LLC)
ART     191      Introduction to Wheel Throwing (Unit 1 LLC)
ARTS   210      Ceramics Sculpture I (Unit 1 LLC)
ARTS   221      Fashion Illustration
ARTS   250      Life Drawing
ARTS   252      Making and Meaning
ARTS   264      Basic Photography – Sections: 2, 3, 4
ARTS   265      Photography II
ARTS   267      Digital Photographic Output
ARTS   299      Special Topics: Screenprinting
ARTS   365      Photography Workshop
ARTS   405      Special Topics: Lithography
ARTS   420      Making Fashion

*These courses have a limited number of open seats for Art & Design Minors. After the minor-designated open seats are filled, these courses may require a course override.

Minors may take Unit 1 Living Learning Community classes in Allen Hall (Unit 1 LLC) by requesting an override through the online form.

The Request for Permit Override form can be found here.


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