Art & Design General FAQ’s

Do I have to submit a portfolio in order to be admitted to any major in the department of Art and Design?

Portfolios are not required for entrance into Art and Design programs of study. The submission of one does, however, enable a student to potentially receive a portfolio scholarship. Please download the PDF portfolio review form on the main Art and Design webpage to see more information on portfolio submissions. Faculty are available for previously arranged portfolio review appointments during the four admissions events schedule throughout Brenau’s academic year. Such events change on every year’s calendar, so please check ahead for the best weekend event for your schedule. To make an appointment, please contact the Department of Art & Design Chair, Lori Gann-Smith, at We appreciate your working with us ahead of time to ensure a smooth procedure for evaluating your portfolio.

What are the benefits of a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree?

BFA programs entail 120 or more credit hours, depending on your choice of programs in Graphic Design, Studio Art (drawing/painting, ceramics or sculpture), Fashion Design, and Arts Management. These programs are designed to be completed in 4 years’ time. The BFA degree prepares a student for professional work and further pursuits in a given subject field at the graduate level. Intensive study in a series of increasingly challenging studio courses enables the student to be both generally and specifically educated in foundations and upper level subjects.

Can I major in photography?

The Department of Art and Design does not award a degree in photography, although we do offer two courses in black and white traditional photography and also digital photography. Independent study opportunities are available in either of these two forms of photography, and students are welcome to enlist and hone their digital photography skills in our lower and upper level Web Design courses, in Digital Media Design, as well as in Digital Graphic Design.

What are the benefits of obtaining a BFA at a liberal arts school instead of an ‘art school’?

At a liberal arts school such as Brenau, you get the best of both worlds: a general foundation in various academic subjects that ultimately inform and inspire the student artist or designer, PLUS the advantage of specialized study and exploration in art and design discipline. True, it isn’t ‘all art all the time,’ but balance in your educational pursuits (i.e., ‘liberal’) is key to your success in whatever endeavor you choose beyond graduation.

Career flexibility is something we see more and more of in the 21 st century. While you may know who and what you wish to be post-graduation, you may in fact change your mind and direction at a later time. A liberal arts education can certainly enable you to be successful in the job you find, but it can also enable you to be successful in the job that might find you.

Can I take all of my general study courses at a community college and then transfer into an Art and Design program for the last two years of my course of study, thereby only taking art and/or design classes at Brenau for two solid years?

While we do accept the admission of transfer students from other colleges, with or without associate degrees (which generally take two years to complete), and we are happy to work with such students, we cannot recommend that a Brenau University student attempt to take ONLY art and/or design courses in two years’ time. The structure of our program is such that the freshman immediately starts taking courses in her program of study and continue to do so for 4 progressive years- the transfer student with an associate’s degree will have to finish her program of study at Brenau for a minimum of 2.5 to 3 years.

BFA programs are intensive, containing several studio courses – each taking 5 hours a week. Thus, the student who takes ALL art and/or design courses in sequential semesters may be pushing the limits of time and energy. The Liberal Education curriculum of Brenau University is designed to impart a sense of balance , where the student takes other subjects – in math, science, English, foreign language, speech, etc., as well as electives in a wide range of subjects – simultaneously with art and design courses. This process yields a much more well-rounded student, who is engaged in – and informed by – subjects of the world at large while pursuing a creative field.

How will I obtain supplies for work in my major courses?

Our campus bookstore carries required textbooks and basic school-related supplies. For more specifically art and design-related materials and supplies, a lab fee may be attached to a given course, and the student is invoiced for those lab fees through our business office. Courses involving the use of printers, plotters and other electronic devices such as computers will also necessarily entail the application of lab fees billed to every student. All students in the department of Art and Design are charged a basic, nominal copy fee for use of the department photocopy machine.

Am I required to have a laptop computer?

Students in Art and Design may find laptops useful in a variety of classes in and outside of the Department. Several locations across campus are outfitted for wireless internet access, and this does include a number of Art and Design classroom spaces and facilities. Students are also welcome to use campus computing facilities in the Redwine Technology Center, adjacent to the Brenau Trustee Library.

How will I find employment in my field upon graduation?

Brenau University Career Services does assist intended graduates with general career preparation, and the Department of Art and Design includes internships as well as student teaching as components of several programs. Our graduates often manage to locate employment through these opportunities, and all program directors are avid to assist graduates with exploring graduate school options and/or career opportunities.