Student painting sculpture

Art Program

The Art program at College of DuPage provides a foundation for students wishing to pursue a degree in visual arts. Students can take advantage of a wide range of course offerings in studio art and art history, state-of the-art studio spaces and equipment, as well as transfer opportunities with top fine arts programs.

Art courses may serve as personal enrichment, satisfy a general education requirement, or be the first step toward a career in freelance artwork, art teaching, art criticism, curatorial studies, art gallery direction, museum work or design and illustration.

Potential art transfer degree-seeking students should take the period courses in global art history, ART 2211, 2212 and 2213 and begin with the studio sequences of ART1101 Drawing 1, ART2201 Life Drawing, ART1151 2D Foundations and ART1152 3D Foundations during their first year at COD.

Students not majoring in art who are interested in a lecture-based or field studies approaches to the principles, processes and history of art can take ART1100 Introduction to the Visual Arts, a course that satisfies general education degree requirements. Those who are interested in an introduction to working with studio art materials may select ART 1105 Introduction to Studio Art.

Determine Your Path

COD offers foundational art courses and a variety of advanced courses in art history, ceramics, design, digital media, drawing, metalworking, painting, printmaking, sculpture and time-based media.

You want to attend a college that stands out from the rest. At COD, you'll discover:

  • Dedicated instructors with years of professional experience.
  • Instruction utilizing professional on-campus art galleries, equipment and resources.
  • Affordable programs to help students achieve success without creating overwhelming debt or draining a savings account.
  • Small class sizes that ensure students receive personalized attention from instructors.
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation.
  • Accredited distance learning programs due to several flexible learning options for students, including face-to-face, hybrid, virtual classroom meetings and online-only classes.
  • Articulated transfer program with several prestigious institutions.
  • Opportunity to study outside of the classroom through immersive field study trips to iconic locations like New York City, the Southwest, New England, Mexico City, Barcelona and the Greater Chicago Area.
  • Extracurricular opportunities for exploration of the visual arts.
  • Exposure to locally, nationally and internationally acclaimed artists through the Visiting Artist Series.
  • Access to free resources including Adobe CC, media labs, Kanopy streaming services and free admission to the Art Institute of Chicago.

Associate in Fine Arts

The Associate in Fine Arts degree is designed for students wishing to transfer into four-year programs with a major in studio art, often leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree or a degree in Art Education.

Associate in Arts

The Associate in Arts degree is designed for students planning to pursue a Liberal Arts degree focusing on either art history or studio art, leading to transfer into a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The Art course catalog has classes for every interest including art history, ceramics, design, digital media, drawing, metalworking, painting, printmaking, sculpture and time-based media.

In ART2281 Time-Based Media, students will develop a broader vocabulary in this 4D area through creation of work in experimental sound editing, video, video mapping, projection, performance and installation.

COD Stories

Mariam Pare

"Everyone was so helpful. There were people who went to my classes with me, carried my books and set up my art materials. COD taught me that even if I can’t physically do it, it was still my art if I can direct someone to do it." -Mariam Paré

Mariam's COD Story

COD Stories

Jason Mack

"College of DuPage is fantastic place to begin your art career. I always recommend students try out as many different mediums and processes as possible. You never know what might click and stick with you the rest of your life." - Jason Mack

Jason's COD Story

COD Stories

Kimberly Kuba Rodey

"COD helped me toward achieving my dream of becoming an art teacher, but it also helped me learn what I needed to do to and what it took to succeed in college." - Kimberly Kuba Rodey

Kimberly's COD Story

COD Stories

Tony Fitzpatrick

“College of DuPage has the right combination of education, willpower and talent. It was the place where I set my compass, where I realized I could be a working artist.” - Tony Fitzpatrick

Tony's COD Story

Get Started Today

The first step to getting started in art is to apply for admission.

Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.

Students who complete courses in Art will:

Develop Visual Literacy (Looking at/Thinking About Art)

  • Explain the relationship between form, content, and meaning in works of art
  • Develop formal language for writing and speaking about art
  • Research cultural, historical, and contemporary images and texts
  • Critically analyze images, objects, and spaces
  • Apply elements and principles of design effectively

Knowledge of Materials and Methods (Making Art)

  • Demonstrate proficiency with tools and processes in one or more media
  • Investigate, experiment, and manipulate one or more media in the realization of work
  • Create a portfolio for transfer or other applications

College of DuPage has several art transfer agreements in place with four-year colleges and universities to save you time, money and make the transfer process easier.

Many of these agreements with other colleges and universities have specific course requirements and a pre-determined course plan that needs to be followed to be eligible to transfer. Contact a program faculty member or academic advisor to learn more as course requirements vary by institution.


Art Students Inside and Outside the Classroom

students drawing in nature

Students work on their drawings as the classroom is brought outside.

Student working on ceramics

Student Marie Flynn turns her ceramics mold into a work of art.

Student working with teacher on creating jewelry

Art professor Kathy Baum assists a student in a jewelry making class.

Two students working on a painting

A peek inside the classroom as two students collaborate on a painting.

Students painting a mural

COD art students paint mural to reflect sustainable environment on campus.

Student Work

Drawing of pillows

Drawing by Maggie Reynolds from an ART1101 Drawing 1 class.

Jewelry with bead

Jewelry created by student Denise Peterson from Aleksandra Vali's Introduction to Jewelry class.

Art ceramic sculpture

Ceramic sculpture created by student Saima Mussani from Marina Kuchinski's Art 1140 Introduction to Ceramics class.

sculptures on the wall from art class

Cone-shaped sculptures created by student Madelene Przybysz from Mara Baker's ART 1152 3D Foundation Studio class.

Students working on lighting in art class

Video installation by Beth Berg for Jackie Weaver's ART2282 Time Based Media 2 class.

Art Classrooms

Art Studio Space

Studio Space in the McAninch Art Center overlooking DeShane Pond.

Art Ceramics Room

Ceramics studio, equipped with three gas kilns, seven electric kilns, an outdoor wood fire and raku fire kiln, 18 wheels, two slab rollers, a state-of-the-art glaze mixing rooms and installation space.

Art Woodshop Room

Sculpture studio with fully equipped woodshop, plaster room and installation space.

Art Printmaking Studio

Printmaking Studio

Art studio space overlooking pond

Digital Art Studio equipped with student Macbooks and Epson projectors for each student.

Art Galleries on Campus

With three separate galleries on campus, students will have access to a variety of well known exhibitions. Past exhibits include Frida Kahlo, as well as iconic work from the collection by artists like Andy Warhol, Kiki Smith, Jeff Koons, Jenny Holzer, Kehinde Wiley, Olafur Eliason, Sanford Biggers, Maya Lin and Sol Lewitt.

The Cleve Carney Museum of Art offers visual art exhibitions showcasing art by regional, national and international artists.

Students will also feel inspired by works from the College of DuPage's Permanent Art Collection, which includes:

  • More than 720 individual artworks are displayed across campus
  • 69 pieces in the William E. Gahlberg Native American Contemporary Art Collection
  • More than 100 Ecuadorian masks
  • 17 World War II posters in the Library Collection

Exhibition experience is available through the Wings Gallery and Techcetera Design Gallery.

Frida Kahlo Painting

Photo provided by courtesy of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Worldwide and completed by former student Mariam Paré.

Wings Student Art Galleryoffers students an opportunity to exhibit their work and to learn and practice aspects of curation and professional gallery operation.

Wings Gallery

COD technical students can feature their work throughout the Techcetera Gallery. The gallery helps celebrate the interdependence of technology, media and design.

Techcetera Design Gallery

Visiting Artist Series

College of DuPage Visiting Artist Series provides opportunities for the community to interact with leaders in the field of contemporary art, design and culture. Through lectures, conversations and workshops, a diverse range of art professionals provide students with new perspectives on contemporary artistic practices.

Past artists include Nick Cave, Trevor Paglen, Mary Mattingly, Edra Soto, Jenny Kendler, Amanda Williams, Faheem Majeed. The series is a collaboration between the Cleve Carney Museum of Art and the Fine Arts, Architecture and Photography programs. All lectures are free and open to the public. Visit for updated artists, times and locations.

Community Artist in Residence Program

The Community Artist in Residence (CAIR) program grew out of the Visiting Artist Series as a way to provide students with an extended experience working with professional artists over a period of several week, as they create a community-minded project with the artist-in-residence. See how Dustin Hunt works with COD art student sin the creation of two murals.


Career Information

Explore careers based on your interest, location and salary range or view top occupations by income.


Follow the Art Program on Instagram

Follow on Instagram to see student work and stay updated on art department news and opportunities.