Harper College

Student FAQs

About Studying Art at Harper and Preparing for a Career

We aren't trying to read your mind. But, we're guessing you might be asking some of the frequently asked questions listed below. If you don't find the answers you're looking for here, contact us and we will get you the information you need. Feel free to download a PDF version of this page.

The Fine Arts encompass a host of disciplines which are centered on personal and cultural expression as well as creative production for various industries. Careers include: Animator, ceramic artist, college professor, fabricator, film/video maker, furniture maker, jewelry artist, painter, photographer, printmaker, prop/display production, sculptor.

The Design fields primarily serve the needs of business and industry. Almost all career areas in design are digital-based. Careers include: Animator, college professor, fashion designer, film/video maker, game designer, graphic designer, illustrator, industrial designer, interior designer, landscape designer, photographer, web designer.

Art History:
Careers include: College professor, curator, researcher, writer.

Art Education:
Careers include: Primary and secondary education.

Museum Studies:
Careers include: Administrator, conservator, curator, director, museum educator, preparator, restorer.

Art Therapy:
Careers include: Clinical therapist, institutional counselor.

Yes. Art and design classes are available to any student who is interested. Students who are pursuing other degrees or students not pursuing degrees may take studio or lecture courses in the Art Department. A counselor can advise you on which art and design courses fulfill elective requirements if you are pursuing a degree.
The following courses do not have prerequisites nor do they assume that the student has any prior knowledge or experience in the subject field:

Course Articulation Code Title Format
ART 105 IAI F2 900 Introduction to Visual Art Lecture
ART 110 IAI ART 904 Drawing I Studio
ART 114 Introduction to Film IAI F2 908 Introduction to Film Lecture
ART 121 IAI ART 907 Design I Studio
ART 130 IAI F2 901 Ancient and Medieval Art Lecture
ART 131 IAI F2 902 Gothic Through Romantic Art Lecture
ART 132 IAI F2 902 Modern and Contemporary Art Lecture
ART 133* IAI F2 903N Non-Western Art Lecture
ART 151   Digital Photography Studio Studio
ART 291   Ceramics Studio Studio

*This course satisfies the World Cultures and Diversity requirement

IAI (Illinois Articulation Initiative) codes identify courses that are articulated with all public universities in Illinois.

Art history courses are lecture-based and require reading, writing and viewing art. These courses meet for three hours per week and are three credit hours.

Art studio courses provide an environment for hands-on investigating of techniques and concepts through making. These courses meet for six hours per week but are three hours of credit.

Depending on the level at which you want to teach, the degree requirements differ.

K–12 (Kindergarten–high school)

To teach at the K–12 levels, a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with an Emphasis in Art, a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education, or a Bachelor’s Degree in Art with a Certificate in Education is required. The institution you choose for transfer will require one of these options.

College or university

To teach at the college level there is no Education Degree requirement. However, a Masters Degree is required. Obtaining a Masters degree in Fine Arts or Design will be more beneficial when seeking a position teaching in the studio art areas. A Doctoral Degree in Art History will most likely be required when seeking a position teaching Art History at a liberal arts college or university.

Be aware that the number of credits accepted and the level you are placed at may vary widely among institutions. For studio majors, a portfolio of your work can play an important role in helping the transfer institution determine what your status should be.

In selecting a transfer institution, you will need to do some research. Some factors you should consider are location, cost, size and aspects of the particular program you wish to pursue, such as its philosophy or "school of thought" (formal, technical, conceptual, academic, research-based, art school, design school, etc.).

A portfolio is a representation of your commitment as a Studio Major. It should include your most current and highest quality work. The portfolio may include work produced in or out of class while pursuing coursework at the college level. Art faculty are available to assist you in determining which work to include for your final portfolio and how it should be presented. This final preparation will probably take place during your last semester at Harper.

Portfolios may be required by the transfer institution to determine studio course transfer, advanced studio course placement and for scholarship consideration.

High school students who have Advanced Placement drawing or design portfolios may submit them to the Art Department for review. If the portfolio has been scored 3 or above, the student will receive either 3 hours of elective credit or 3 hours of course-specific credit depending on the contents of the portfolio.

For more information, see the AP Portfolio Review Process.

The Art Department provides a foundation for Art and Design Majors seeking to transfer to a four-year institution, non-art majors seeking to fulfill art or design elective credit, or students seeking personal enrichment.

Harper also offers other art-related programs outside of the Art Department. Career Degree and Certificate Programs provide training in specific areas of industry for the student seeking more immediate employment in the workforce. In addition, the Continuing Education Program offers non-credit courses in art.

Harper has many dedicated counselors on campus and Art Department faculty are always available to help. Simply call and set up an appointment to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.

Academic Advising and Counseling Office
Building I, Room I-117

Art Department Office
Building L, Room L-203


Last Updated: 4/8/24