FAQs

  1. What kinds of degrees can I earn at Shepherd University?
  2. Does Shepherd University require an entrance portfolio?
  3. How much will it cost per semester at Shepherd University?
  4. Are there job opportunities once I graduate?
  5. How is the Shepherd University program different from other liberal arts colleges?
  6. Do I have to know what I want to major in when I start, or do I have some time to decide?
  7. I am concentrating in Photography/Computer Imagery what type of camera will I need?
  8. Will I need an external Hard Drive or USB drive for my art courses?
  9. I would like to purchase a computer upon entering Shepherd, what type of computer do you recommend?
  10. Will I need to purchase additional software for my computer?
  11. Who do I contact for more information about specific areas like
    graphic design or photography?

 
1. What kinds of degrees can I earn at Shepherd University?
The Shepherd College Art Department offers two degrees. (See the Shepherd University Catalog for additional information or the degree options link on the Art Department website) BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) is a professional four-year degree. This is the only recognized degree for those who with to compete for professional positions in studio art or to enter graduate school for an MFA (Master of Fine Art). Students select a major in one of the following areas: graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, or sculpture. (Please refer to the University Catalog for detailed class requirements for each concentration area within the BFA program). After graduation graphic design and photography students will be on a first-name basis with contacts in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore and will be able to compete successfully for positions. Painting, printmaking, and sculpture students may elect to continue toward a master’s degree at a major university.

BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Art Education is a four-year degree program which allows students to teach art in levels K-12. The program is designed to provide the graduate with the skills and technical knowledge in art combined with an understanding and experience in the educational process. Graduates may receive certification to teach art at three educational levels, K-4, 5-8, 9-12, and K-12.

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2. Does Shepherd University require an entrance portfolio?
Yes, there is a new Application Procedure for all incoming students. In order to maintain a quality learning environment, admission into the Department of Contemporary Art is both selective and competitive. Acceptance into the university does NOT guarantee a student acceptance into the Art programs. Therefore, in addition to the university's general requirements, applicants interested in majoring in Art are required to also submit a Department Application Packet. Any questions about the application procedure should be addressed to Stephanie Robbins, Enrollment Coordinator.

Click here to learn more about the application procedure

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3. How much will it cost per semester at Shepherd University?
Beyond tuition, the cost for an art major will vary depending on the major, particular classes, and the nature of the individual student. Art is expensive. A typical art student can go through over $650 worth of supplies in an academic year. Some will exceed this; still others will manage well under that amount. Photography and graphic design are the most expensive majors. This is due in part to the technology required in both fields. The cost escalates each year and the student progresses and demands more and better technology to render an improved product.

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4. Are there job opportunities once I graduate?
Yes, the Shepherd University Art Department has an excellent placement record. Shepherd University utilizes the region more effectively than any other institution in this area. We have made it our business to connect with firms and professionals so that our students can move easily from an educational experience to a professional career. Internships, co-ops, and professional teaching in the program offer a direct line to future employment for Shepherd University graduates. Students may elect to complete the requirements of their major through internships or co-op programs in Washington, D.C., or Baltimore which will greatly enhance their ability to locate jobs after graduation. (click here for alumni stories)

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5. How is the Shepherd University program different from other
liberal arts colleges?

The major difference is that we ask our freshman to take 12 credit hours (or four art classes) their first semester. Most liberal arts universities require only one or two art classes. Why is the program at Shepherd so different? The art faculty have observed that most freshman do not fully comprehend the amount of work, dedication, and time required to succeed as an art student. Students genuinely interested in being artists want more art.

Students trying to decide whether they have what it takes need enough art courses to accurately gauge and make a decision. At the end of the freshman year at Shepherd, most students who started in art will have had sufficient experience to make some sound decisions about their academic future. In other liberal arts schools, a student could reach his or her junior year before having taken enough art classes to determine if art is the correct major. Our Program allows each student to discover quickly if art is the right choice.

The other difference in our programs are the introductory classes. The faculty at Shepherd guide you in developing problem-solving skills and generating creative thought processes. Successful competition in graduate school and art careers demands not only proficiency in manual technology but more importantly requires individuals to be self-motivated, effective problem solvers, and developers of creative or unusual solutions to situations and limitations. At Shepherd University you will develop technical proficiency and discover ways to push your creative skills.

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6. Do I have to know what I want to major in when I start, or do I have
some time to decide?

No, you do not need to know your major when you start. However, you will be asked to declare a major when you enter Shepherd. This is done so that an advisor may be assigned who can help guide you toward a rewarding and successful academic search. Many students opt to change their majors within the first or second semester. If you know you want to be in art but are unsure which area of concentration would be best for you, don’t worry. You will have ample opportunity in the first two years to investigate a variety of options before you decide. If you are not completely sure if art is right for you, we recommend that you devote your first semester to exploring our program. Students who are not convinced they should be in art usually discover very quickly if they have the dedication and determination it takes to succeed as an artist. It is best to find out soon, so you do not waste time and money.

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7. I am concentrating in Photography/Computer Imagery what type of camera will I need?
First Year Photography/Computer Imagery students shoot film in both PHOT 281 Basic Photography and PHOT 282 Intermediate Photography. It is during the second year, students’ transition to a digital SLR. Students will need a 35mm SRL Manual Focus Camera. The camera should be manual or have the option to shoot using manual mode. We recommend the Canon AE-1 or the Pentax K1000. However, any 35mm SLR film camera that operates in manual mode and is in good working condition would work for these classes. Contact either Stephanie Robbins or Rick Bruner if you have additional questions.

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8. Will I need an external Hard Drive or USB drive for my art courses?
If your concentration is Photography/Computer Imagery or Graphic Design, it is highly recommended to purchase an external hard drive to back up your work regularly and carry a USB Flash Drive to class. However, most classes will require you to write a paper or make a presentation, backing up those files on a USB drive is good practice and will ensure that it is not stored in only one place (like your computer’s hard drive).

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9. I would like to purchase a computer upon entering Shepherd, what type of computer do you recommend?
Within the department, the computer labs are equipped with Apple iMacs, scanners, and printers. The computers have industry standard software such as the Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Express, and QuickTime Pro. It is recommended to purchase a 15” laptop so it can be brought on campus and used during class. However, it is a personal decision and in the end it is what works best for you.

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Will I need to purchase additional software for my computer?
Yes. Students concentrating in Art will use various applications of the Adobe Creative Suite. While we do have two computer labs with the necessary software, many students find it helpful to purchase and use their own computers for projects. Adobe offers student pricing. This software can also be purchased in our bookstore. Visit adobe.com for more information on the Creative Suite and student pricing.

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11. Who do I contact for more information about specific areas like
graphic design or photography?

Dow Benedict, Chair of the Art Department, can answer most art-related questions; however, if you would like to know specific information about individual concentrations, it is best to contact the coordinator of that program.

Rick Bruner, Coordinator of Photography/Computer Imagery
304-876-5372 - rbruner@shepherd.edu

Stephanie Robbins, Coordinator of Photography/Computer Imagery
304-876-5446 - srobbins@shepherd.edu

Sonya Evanisko, Coordinator of Painting
304-876-5254 - sevanisk@shepherd.edu

Kristin Kaineg , Co-Coordinator of Graphic Design
304-876-5186 - kkaineg@shepherd.edu

Melissa Scotton, Co-Coordinator of Graphic Design
304-876-5678 - mscotton@shepherd.edu

Rhonda Smith, Coordinator of Printmaking
304-876-5294 - rsmith@shepherd.edu

Christian Benefiel, Coordinator of Sculpture
304-876-5393 - cbenefie@shepherd.edu

David Modler, Coordinator of Art Education
304-876-5223 - dmodler@shepherd.edu

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