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About the Program

We offer three-degree programs:

Bachelor of Arts in Art Education

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in art education is offered for students interested in the teaching profession with either a K-12 or 5-12 certification.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is the professional degree recognized for students who desire to become professional artists. The BFA curriculum provides students with diversified experiences in art, as well as in-depth experience in one concentration area. Concentrations include Graphic Design, Painting/Drawing, Photography/Computer Imagery, and Sculpture.

Bachelor of Arts in Theater

The Contemporary Theater Studies (CTS) B.A. program at Shepherd provides an innovative plan of study connected to Shepherd’s professional theater company, The Contemporary American Theater Festival (CATF). The program engages students as theater generalists and then encourages students to devise or create an emphasis that reflects their own passions. CTS artists maintain a connection to the core curriculum that includes course work in English, Art, Music, History, Shakespeare and many other disciplines. Please visit for more information about the CTS program.

Five Minor Programs

Minors are offered in Art, Art History, Graphic Design, Photography/Computer Imagery, and Theater.

Our programs align with the following principles:


The Department of Contemporary Art and Theater has adopted a contemporary approach to teaching and is constantly evolving to accurately reflect contemporary practices. Contemporary art is concept-driven, process-oriented, and more socially conscious; it is often interdisciplinary, with the use of unconventional tools and materials to create more symbolic meanings.


At each level, there are courses that focus on professional development, including self-promotion and career advancement opportunities. Self-promotion includes establishing a professional portfolio and associated promotional materials. Career advancement includes joining professional organizations, enrolling in internships, collaborating with clients, curating and marketing exhibitions, etc. Many students secure graduate or professional placement upon graduation.

Local & Global

The Department of Contemporary Art and Theater travels extensively, providing students the opportunity to experience art in the U.S. and abroad. We travel to the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area each semester and to New York City every year. In addition, we travel to international destinations annually, including major cities all across Europe, along with more exotic locations such as Peru, Cuba, Africa, Egypt, China, etc.