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Division of Art and Design

Let your imagination lead the way while you hone your artistic craft in one of the University of Central Missouri’s affordable and accredited programs in Art and Design.

Art and Design has five unique fields of study

  • Art Education: If you want to teach art to students in grades K–12, our Art Education program will prepare you to excel in the classroom with hands-on experience leading Gallery Kids, a twice-a-semester community outreach program conducted with the Gallery of Art and Design.
  • Graphic Design: As one of the few programs in Missouri accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), our Graphic Design program prepares graduates who are in high demand in nearly every major industry.
  • Interior Design: Accredited by both CIDA and NASAD, UCM Interior Design offers degrees that will qualify you to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Examination — distinguishing you from other interior designers in the field.
  • Studio Art: Focus on sculpture, painting, ceramics, printmaking, illustration or photography and master your medium in a collaborative, community-building environment.
  • Art History: Gain a broad understanding of the history of visual arts and cultures while enhancing skills such as critical thinking, communication and researching in our Art History minor.

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NASAD-accredited since 1986

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Small classes and individual attention

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Nationally recognized programs

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Work in the field and even study abroad

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Your choice of student organizations

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Faculty are artists and educators

Find your Art and Design future at UCM

When you join one of our Art and Design programs, you’ll benefit from an experience-driven curriculum with a close-knit community:

  • Art and Design faculty: Thanks to our small class sizes, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to work closely with distinguished faculty mentors who are accomplished artists and educators. You’ll also enjoy one-on-one advising from faculty to help you build your network and prepare for the job market.
  • Art and Design community: At the core of our program is a strong and engaged student community. Make friends and learn from others in our many student-run clubs and organizations dedicated to art and design and fostering creativity.
  • Real-world experience: See firsthand how art can impact communities and help you travel the globe through our many field experiences. Past events include: working with Habitat for Humanity to practice interior design while helping build a home; faculty-led study tours to Paris, London, Madrid and Rome to view and create art; and Art Camp — a summer intensive in which students stay in cabins in a nearby state park and make art for a week.


What can you do with a degree in one of UCM’s Art and Design programs?

Helping artists find their creative voices since 1872, we remain the longest continually NASAD-accredited four-year public Art and Design program in Missouri. When you graduate from one of our programs, you’ll be recognized by employers and universities across the country for your dedication and expertise.

Our Art and Design programs can prepare you for a huge variety of careers in art and related fields, including:

  • Education
  • Advertising
  • Residential design
  • Interior design
  • Sales

Our graduates have also been accepted into prestigious graduate programs, including Maryland Institute College of Art, Arizona State University and Kendall College of Art and Design, to name only a few.




Paint and print making supplies


Undergraduate Majors and Minors




We offer scholarships for prospective freshmen and transfers, as well as for current students. Only full-time students are eligible. The deadline for applications is February 1 of each year.

Prospective Student (incoming freshmen and transfer) Scholarships are awarded for both the fall and spring semesters of the first year a student attends UCM while majoring in an Art and Design program. All Incoming Freshman and Transfer scholarships require an online application which includes a digital portfolio. The digital portfolio consists of 15-20 good quality photographs of recent work (saved into one PDF Document (.pdf)), which may include drawings and two- and three-dimensional pieces.

Current Student Scholarships (Foundation Scholarships) are available to currently enrolled Art and Design majors only. These scholarships are available through the University of Central Missouri Foundation Office and have been established by former faculty, alumni, or friends of Art and Design. All Foundation scholarships require an online application at the UCM Scholarship Finder and a submitted online digital portfolio. The digital portfolio consists of 15-20 good quality photographs of recent work (saved into one PDF Document (.pdf)), which may include drawings and two- and three-dimensional pieces.


High School Art Contest Day and Competitive Exhibition

Art Exhibition


The UCM High School Art Exhibition is a selection of outstanding artwork which will be on display March 4-22, 2024. The event is open to all high school students. 

Link for submissions to exhibition


Students are allowed two pieces of work and can enter any original work that falls into the following classifications:

  • Drawing
  • Painting (oil, acrylic, watercolor)
  • Mixed Media
  • Printmaking (serigraphy, relief, intaglio)
  • Fibers
  • Design/Graphics
  • Photography (minimum size 5” x 7”)
  • Ceramics
  • Sculpture

The call for all art entries begins January 1, 2024 and closes February 11, 2024. 

Questions about the Exhibition? Contact Jamie Platt, Gallery Director, at or 660-543-4498.


Art Contest Day


The 2024 High School Art Contest Day will be held on Friday, March 22, 2024. Registration begins February 1, 2024.

Questions about the Contest Day?  Contact Justin Shaw at or 660-543-8717.

Click here to register students for the Contest Day



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