About the Department

Mission Statement

As a unit of the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, the Department of Art & Art History is committed to the philosophy that prospective artists, designs and art historians must be provided with a thorough education, and practical skills for productive lives as professionals.

The department also educates students preparing for careers in art related fields and students wishing to enhance their education through art study and experiences, and serves the broader Nebraska community by providing cultural enrichment.

The department’s goals include:

  • To educate students for professional or academic work in art and art history to the highest degree of the students’ artistic and intellectual ability,
  • To provide an environment that is conducive to growth and development of students and ensures that all students have the opportunity to succeed,
  • To assist all students in the development of an intellectual foundation with critical awareness of visual culture,
  • To offer programs that keep Nebraska’s best students in state, that also attract the nation’s and world’s best students, and that support the retention of all students.
  • To provide access to varied and meaningful cultural experiences that enhance the quality of life for all of Nebraska’s citizens through public exhibitions, publications and presentations.

Teaching, research/creative activity, and service are the traditional and primary courses of action utilized in order to accomplish these program goals. Our educational outreach and public service mission is a direct outgrowth of our teaching, research, and creative activity, and serves to enhance the quality of life and the cultural diversity of Nebraska’s citizens.

The department offers five degrees: the BA, BFA and MFA in Studio Art, and the BA and MA in Art History. The studio art degrees can emphasize any of the following areas of study: Ceramics, Drawing, Graphic Design, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture.

The department is currently in the process of creating two additional degrees: the BA and the BFA in Graphic Design. These new degrees will enable students who are interested in Graphic Design to pursue that subject in greater depth.

About the Department

As an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, UNL’s Department of Art and Art History meets the highest academic standards required of all professional art and design schools.

We offer two degrees at the undergraduate level: the bachelor of fine arts (BFA) with a major in art, and the bachelor of arts (BA) with a major in art or art history. Art majors may choose to emphasize in one or more of the following areas:

Our graduate programs include the master of arts (MA) in art history, and master of fine arts (MFA) in ceramics, drawing, new genres, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

Students work closely with teachers who have national and international reputations in art, art history, and archaeology. The Sheldon Museum of Art and Great Plains Art Museum offer additional opportunities for students to learn and work with major art collections.

As part of a major national university, students can complement their art studies with courses from 120 different degree programs from Classics to International Business, or Horticulture to Textiles. The university's national reputation for research, academic excellence, and athletics makes this an extraordinary college experience for all of our students. When you come to UNL you will join a thriving community of professional artists and focused students. You will work in one of the best art making environments in the country.

Pete Pinnell

Pete Pinnell Chair, Department of
Art & Art History

Message from the Chair Change the world! Become an artist and designer.

Do you realize that practically everything that is produced represents the work of an artist/designer: clothes, furniture, buildings, cars, and all media, including videos, movies, publications, and websites.

Give your style and vision to the world! Study art and design at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Whether you are a beginning student, a transfer student, have a personal interest, or big career goals, realize your dreams at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.