Degrees & Majors
Choose from dozens of nationally ranked and recognized programs and more than 250 majors, minors and pathways at the university offering the widest variety of fields of study in Georgia.
The ceramics concentration emphasizes professional skills and achievements and fosters personal direction, diversity, technical proficiency and professional presentation. Students in this program develop a broad base of technique and process knowledge that emphasizes experimentation and conceptual development. The program encourages mixed media exploration, stemming from a core knowledge of ceramic art. Students develop an understanding of ceramics’ vast history and investigate contemporary practices. Methods include handbuilding, wheel throwing, mold-making, slip casting, press molding, clay extrusion, figure sculpting, portrait sculpting, glaze calculation, decal creation, china painting and 3D modeling. Students gain the experience of organizing events and marketing through their involvement with the student organization, Student League of Independent Potters. The organization is responsible for managing a budget, participating in fundraising through two annual sales of work and coordinating two annual visiting artist workshops.
The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Ceramics program emphasizes professional skills and achievements and fosters personal direction, diversity, technical proficiency and professional presentation. The Ceramics program offers a highly progressive curriculum that considers ceramics as a broad-based, interdisciplinary practice while providing a strong foundation in the history of the discipline and fostering technical mastery of the material. The individual direction of each student is further developed and focused through intensive time in the studio, group interaction across disciplines and periodic critical reviews. Diversity of working methods and aesthetic define the work that emerges from the Ceramics Department, work ranging from sculptural to functional, formal to conceptual, traditional to innovative is embraced. Sensitive handling of material, integrity of craftsmanship and depth of inquiry are the unifying characteristics of work made in the ceramics M.F.A. program. The program emphasizes individual tutorials, group seminars and critiques to provide a variety of settings for the development and exchange of ideas relevant to the arts in general and ceramics in particular. The curriculum addresses the broad range of perspectives found in contemporary ceramic art, from sculpture to vessel-reference work, to pottery. Historical and contemporary references are examined through two unique art history courses specific to the area of ceramic art. In the final two semesters of the graduate program, the student completes a creative project, usually in the form of a thesis exhibition, and writes a supporting thesis paper. A strong component of the graduate program involves assistantships in either studio work or in teaching undergraduate-level courses. Students are encouraged to teach a variety of courses during their studies, from 3D Design to wheel-throwing and hand-building skills. These experiences in conjunction with the acquisition of professional skills such as resume writing, job application skills and self-promotion prepare the student with the tools to be a professional artist once studies are complete. Students also gain the experience of organizing events and marketing through their involvement with the student organization, Student League of Independent Potters. The organization is responsible for managing a budget, participating in fundraising through two annual sales of work and coordinating two annual visiting artist workshops.
The graduate program in Film/Video/Digital Imaging prepares students for professional activities in all areas of film/video/digital imaging in which the school has emphasis (moving image production and moving image studies), as well as for continued advanced graduate work at the Ph.D. level. The tracks in Moving Image Production provide students with practical experience in the production of moving-image works and emphasize the aesthetic and narrative dimensions of moving image works. Students in these tracks produce creative theses (videos/films, new media works or feature screenplays). Those in the Moving Image Studies track write research theses examining problems in the theory and history of moving images. The M.A. track in Moving Image Studies can be pursued as an end in itself (for example, educators in English and the humanities who find themselves increasingly working with moving images in their disciplines), but is often the stepping stone for pursuing the doctorate.
The Ph.D. in Communication Studies with a concentration in Moving Image Studies is specifically designed to provide students with the conceptual and methodological tools to study the complex and vastly expanded moving image environment of the 21st century, where the boundaries separating cinema, television and new media are breaking down. Moving Image Studies is an outgrowth of cinema studies, television studies, new media studies, cultural studies and critical theory. Many of our core seminars are designed to cut across media boundaries (by examining how models, paradigms and methods are problematized and enriched, as we move across specific media); while other seminars are devoted to intensive examination of problems within a specific media formation. The doctorate in Moving Image Studies is designed to give students a solid foundation in a specific moving image medium (whether cinema, television, or new media), while at the same time give them the preparation and the confidence to research and write about moving images wherever they circulate. The program encourages innovative new work that challenges existing paradigms of media study, that is theoretically rigorous, and that is aware of historical and cultural specificity.
The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Drawing and Painting program supports artists who explore unique approaches to the creative endeavor and who transcend boundaries. We are interested in applicants who are searching for new insights into our culture and our time. The faculty encourages innovative and original ideas. The curriculum of the Drawing and Painting program ensures a comprehensive exposure to an array of perspectives as represented by the various approaches to media, content, imagery and teaching styles of our faculty. Students are encouraged to explore the traditions of printmaking as well as drawing and painting, and to work in pursuit of new forms and with contemporary issues. While students work in the drawing, painting and printmaking combined seminar for a majority of their studio credit hours, they are highly encouraged to move among media in the discipline, as well as with other studio areas in the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design.
The Drawing and Painting concentration hosts diverse media-specific and conceptually focused classes, dedicated classroom studios and a project/critique space. A stylistically diverse faculty offers courses in specific media and material content—oil-based, water-based, life drawing, digital possibilities—as well as concept-driven courses such as “Figure as Content,” “Sound and Radio,” “Anthropocene Studies,” “Research Methodologies,” “Maps and Messages,” “Science + Art” and more. Philosophically, the faculty engender a range of visual expression, media experimentation, social practice and conceptual art—all grounded in traditional technical training. Faculty areas of expertise include classical drawing, mixed-media, collage, video, sound, animation, trompe l’oeil /ultra realist and abstract painting, sculpture and installation. A range of international travel programs have been hosted by area faculty and student internships are supported by faculty. The Printmaking curriculum introduces students to cross-disciplinary modes of working while enhancing their understanding of foundational principles of design and the importance and beauty of method, process, discipline, repetition and perseverance. Emphasis is placed on mastering the elements of mark-making while encouraging variation and risk-taking with the tools at hand. Stressing the notion of drawing and the formal elements of process and design as a language, the faculty encourage students to broaden their vocabulary and fluency in the medium, honing and translating their perceptions of a tangible world into legible and poetic works. Students look at the history of art and the tradition of printmaking in order to trace the evolution of the medium to the position it now enjoys as a vibrant and viable means of creating contemporary art. They are taught technique and concept through discussions, demos, examples, museum/studio/gallery visits and readings that demonstrate the uses of print-based techniques for image-making, which serves as a vehicle for learning and the proliferation of meaning and messages, taking cues from all aspects of the contemporary political, philosophical and social sphere. Students gain technical skill and are shown methods of employing the techniques unique to printmaking’s fundamental processes to make work that marries form and content in meaningful ways and when appropriate reaches beyond the confines of the traditional print. The Printmaking area cultivates a culture of collaboration and is enhanced by a student-run organization, Printmaker’s Workshop, which organizes trips to conferences, museums and studios in Atlanta and beyond.
The Film and Media major is devoted to the interdisciplinary study of film, television and new media. Courses focus on the histories and theories of cinematic, electronic and digital media and provide the opportunity for practical experience in film/media production. Students work closely with faculty members to devise an optimum program of study integrating creative and collaborative thinking. This liberal arts approach to film, television and new media provides the student with the necessary skills and knowledge to adapt to the changing media environment.
The School of Film, Media, & Theater offers a professionalized dual-degree program for bachelor of arts (B.A.) Film students aspiring for advanced honors-level and master of arts (M.A.) thesis production. This program is designed to take five years (including a student’s freshman and sophomore years), at the end of which, a student will receive both a bachelor of arts degree in film and media and a master of arts degree in communication with a concentration in film, media and digital imaging. The dual-degree program is ideal for students who are sophomores or juniors and want to use their senior year as a segue into graduate work. The senior year would involve advanced coursework that one would usually take in the first year of the M.A. program. The first (and only) year of the M.A. program would involve only advanced coursework and the thesis film.
The Georgia Film Academy (GFA) is a collaborative effort of the University System of Georgia and Technical College System of Georgia supporting the workforce needs of the film and digital entertainment industries. The academy certifies workforce-ready employees in needed areas of film-making crafts such as lighting, special effects makeup, sound and production design, and editing. The academy provides students with a basic level of on-set film production skills, knowledge and experience with film-industry standard organizational structure, professional equipment and on-set procedures. Students are trained by professionals in the film, television and new media industries and have opportunities to work on major professional productions. Students who wish to minor in the Georgia Film Academy must take 15-18 hours in the specific area, including at least nine semester hours at the 3000 level or above. Students must complete GFA 1000 (Introduction to On-Set Production) before enrolling in the minor. A grade of C- or higher is required in all courses counting toward the minor.
Students learn graphic design principles through problem-solving. The program encourages students to meld the practical aspects of applied design creatively with more abstract issues of personal exploration, social consciousness and individual goals. The implementation of historical knowledge, contemporary cultural issues, conceptual and philosophical research, and media experimentation is fundamental to the graphic design experience at Georgia State. The business of graphic design and the practical aspects of the profession are also key elements of the program. Students participate in internships with local, regional, national and international firms, which provide them with a firm footing for their careers once they leave Georgia State. In addition to the permanent faculty, the program uses a diverse and rotating staff of guest instructors, each a prominent member of the professional design field. The professional teaching staff provides an important bridge between the academic program and the professional community. Course and topics taught: Introduction to Graphic Design, Typography, Print and Editorial Design, Interactive Design, Design for Education, Graphic Design in Popular Culture, Internship in Graphic Design, Motion Design and Timed Media, Corporate Identity Design, Graphic Design through Advertising, Professional Practices in Graphic Design, Specialized Applications of Graphic Design.
The Design M.F.A. program is for focused, motivated, experienced designers who want to introduce a multidisciplinary perspective to their work by collaborating with graphic designers, interior designers, fine artists, art historians and those from other related disciplines. Based on these experiences, graduate students in design will push their work into compelling and groundbreaking conceptual and visual directions in communication. Graduate students will take pedagogy coursework, shadow other instructors and are expected to teach entry-level design courses or work in a professional capacity for the university.
The B.F.A. in Interior Design program prepares students for successful careers in the rapidly growing and changing field of interior design. It strives to reflect the values of contemporary interior design practice as it prepares graduates for careers as licensed professional interior designers who are adept at providing provocative aesthetic solutions to client needs while managing program, schedules and budgets. The Interior Design program is highly competitive and requires the submission of a portfolio for admission into the concentration. Following a year of required fine arts foundations coursework, Interior Design applicants take three introductory classes in the fall of their sophomore year to qualify to submit B.F.A. application portfolios for admission into the concentration. The initial 3000-level courses: are open to potential Interior Design majors who have completed the first-year Art & Design foundations course sequence; introduce varied practical aspects of contemporary interior design practice; introduce critical analysis and evaluation methods applied to current and historical architecture and interior spaces; and introduce basic architectural drawing (drafting) and communication skills required of successful Interior Design majors.
The curriculum of the Interior Design program ensures a comprehensive exposure to an array of perspectives as represented by the various approaches to media, conceptual development, content, visual representation, and a variety of teaching styles exhibited by our faculty. The program is highly individualized and ideal candidates will have already completed an undergraduate degree in interior design or a related field, ideally followed by some professional experience on which the graduate student reflects during their time in the program. Students are encouraged to pursue new forms of expanded interiors practice and research while building on traditional design practice competencies. While students work in the interior design and graphic design combined seminar for a majority of their studio credit hours, they are highly encouraged to move within other studio areas within the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design that align with an expanded understanding of contemporary interiors practice, including 3D studies (sculpture, ceramics, and textiles), drawing, painting and printmaking, and photography, to name a few. Opportunities: A significant component of the Interior Design graduate program revolves around the students’ 10-hour per week paid assistantships, either as graduate research assistants (GRA) assigned to specific faculty research initiatives, as studio lab assistants (GLA) working in essential support areas of the school (e.g., CAD labs, 3D maker spaces, materials resource labs) or teaching undergraduate-level courses as graduate teaching assistants (GTA). Following year-one requisite preparation in instruction, year-two and three GTAs are encouraged to teach a range of undergraduate courses related to their degree. Possible courses include Introduction to Studio, 3D Design, Drafting, and select courses in our CAD sequence. Actual course teaching opportunities will vary depending on departmental needs and specific language and skillsets unique to each GTA. These experiences, in conjunction with the acquisition of professional skills in evidence-based research, prepare the student with the tools to be a professional practitioner or educator once their studies are complete. Beyond assistantship responsibilities, M.F.A. candidates in Interior Design are encouraged to pursue professional internships with one of the numerous interior design firms in Atlanta. Notably, 9 of the top 10 firms listed in Interior Design magazine’s 2020 Top 100 Giants have offices in Atlanta, with GSU alumni currently employed at 8 of those top 10 firms, including Gensler, Perkins & Will, HOK, Nelson Worldwide, and Hirsch Bedner Associates. Research Thesis: In addition to the required coursework, M.F.A. candidates must produce a written graduate research thesis with a graphic component. This written document, combined with a specialized design project reflecting the chosen area of research, completes the thesis and is presented in a final M.F.A. thesis exhibition prior to graduation.
Choral Conducting at the Georgia State School of Music offers exceptional training to talented musicians wishing to study the choral art at an advanced level. Intensive study with Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Deanna Joseph, and regular performance experience is the foundation for developing highly qualified, professional conductors. Students in the program regularly conduct the Master Singers, an auditioned chamber choir of 20 to 30 voices in rehearsal and performance, and assist with the University Singers (the School of Music’s top choral ensemble) and Choral Union (open to all). Full scholarships and graduate assistantships, including the Robert Shaw Choral Award, are available. The mission of the Georgia State School of Music is to preserve, promote and advance humanity’s rich and expanding tradition of artistic music-making through performance ...
This concentration prepares students for careers as professional composers, teachers of composition and preparation for doctoral programs in composition. Successful applicants have a portfolio of compositions representing a variety of media and techniques. Portfolio/recording review required. The mission of the Georgia State School of ...
The Master of Music with a concentration in guitar performance provides advanced preparation for a career as a concert performer, as both soloist and chamber musician and as a teacher of guitar. Georgia State's location in the heart of Atlanta, a cultural gem of the South, allows Master of Music guitar students to take advantage of numerous performing and teaching opportunities on and off campus. Completion of the degree normally necessitates four semesters of full-time study and requires a one-hour solo recital as well as a one-hour chamber recital. The mission of the Georgia State School of ...
This concentration develops competence in jazz performance, improvisation and knowledge of jazz history, develops professional competence in establishing, organizing and maintaining a high school or college-level jazz programs and nurtures the creative talents of students in jazz arranging and composing. The Jazz Studies program provides opportunities for students to participate in quality jazz organizations such as large jazz bands and jazz combos. In addition to the performance groups, a student may supplement his or her playing by participating in some of the academic jazz courses such as jazz improvisation, jazz arranging and jazz pedagogy, etc. The mission of the Georgia State School of Mu ...
This concentration emphasizes the development of advanced, research-based knowledge and skills in music teaching and learning. The focus is on school music programs. However, students may pursue courses in effective teaching at all age levels, including early childhood through adulthood. Graduate students in music education will be given the opportunity to conduct research and to learn to apply their findings in the classroom. The music education faculty is continuously involved in research related to adolescent voices, educational policy, cognition behind improvisation and more. They use qualitative, quantitative and brain imaging methods to explore important questions with the goal of understanding and improving music learning and teaching. Successful applicants for the music education concentration generally have experience as excellent general, choral or instrumental music teachers in schools. The music education concentration is not appropriate for candidates seeking initial teaching certification. Applicants should either hold or be eligible for an initial teaching certificate or license. GRE or MAT scores required. Interview recommended. The mission of the Georgia State School of Mu ...