School of Art, Design and Art History - The University of Tulsa

School of Art, Design and Art History

The School of Art, Design and Art History is a stimulating but intimate environment to practice, understand and advance the visual arts. With a solid grounding in traditional art-making practices, we encourage innovative and interdisciplinary approaches. In the program, students develop critical thinking tools, understand artistic practices and learn technical and creative skills necessary for work in the art professions or for graduate studies.

Each student is challenged to develop the highest professional standards in concept, technique and presentation and we promote active involvement in the community as a part of good studio practice. Because of small classes and easy access to faculty, students will get individualized attention as they shape the program to their needs.

The School of Art, Design and Art History offer courses in a variety of artistic media – painting, drawing, photography, graphic design, digital media, printmaking and ceramics – as well as in art history. Our purpose is to give all our students a firm grounding in the foundations of art, including drawing. The curriculum is designed to encourage students to explore a variety of media techniques, and later to specialize in one.

  • Art on Campus and in the Community

    Visiting Artists and Professionals

     The School of Art, Design and Art History  routinely brings nationally and regionally recognized artists to campus. These artists provide seminars on their methods and practice, work with students to develop their portfolios and provide critiques of student work. Recent visitors have included printmaker Tom Huck, curator and writer Jennifer Samet, Guggenheim Fellowship winner Jen Liu and sound artist Nathan Young.

    Field Trips

    Students from the The School of Art, Design and Art History travel to local and regional collections to see and experience art in person. Classes often meet at the Philbrook Museum of Art and the Gilcrease Museum, both located in Tulsa. Students travel to Oklahoma City and Crystal Bridges to hear lectures and see shows by artists like Marina Abramović and Kehinde Wiley. The School of Art takes an overnight field trip to a city where students explore collections, meet arts professionals and learn about new developments in the arts world. Previous trips have included: Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, St. Louis and Chicago.

    Tulsa Arts District

     Located only minutes from TU’s campus, the Tulsa Arts District is a vibrant and growing arts scene. Museums, galleries, shops and pop-up exhibitions mingle in downtown Tulsa, and on the first Friday of every month, thousands come downtown to participate in the Art Crawl.

  • Professional Art Opportunities

    Third Floor Design

    Third Floor Design is a unique internship program that offers students in their junior and senior years the opportunity to work on professional design assignments. Founded in 1992, Third Floor Design program matches student designers with clients from the Tulsa non-profit community. Assignments range from print and digital design, annual reports, including the design of posters, logos, websites, videos, animation, letterheads, brochures, corporate identity items, T-shirts and magazines. Students leave the Third Floor Design internship program with professional-quality portfolios.  For more information, please contact the advisor, Sarah Powell.


    Students from the The School of Art, Design and Art History  pursue a wide variety of internships in order to provide them with hands-on experience in their chosen field. Studio, Art History and Arts Management students routinely intern in the curatorial and education departments at the Philbrook Museum of Art, the Gilcrease Museum, the Tulsa Art Deco Museum;  the Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art and the Tulsa Artist Fellowship. Design students have interned at prestigious local and national firms such as RBMM, Brothers and Co., Byers Creative and Cubic Inc. Finally, the D’Arcy Internship has allowed students to work at galleries in the downtown Tulsa  Arts District.

    Gussman Juried Student Exhibition

    Each  year students in the The School of Art, Design and Art History enter work into the Gussman. A curator, gallerist, or prominent artist from outside Tulsa comes in to judge the work and award prizes. The Gussman provides students with experience in selecting and entering finished work in the fast-paced world of juried shows.  Past jurors have included Ronda Kasl, BA’78) Metropolitan Museum Curator of Latin American Art.


  • Student Life


    Stylus is a student-run journal featuring art, fiction, poetry and plays created at TU. Students in the School of Art can submit work for publication as well as participate in the production of the journal by serving on the editorial board. Stylus allows students to gain familiarity with the publishing world and showcase their work at the same time.

    Study Abroad

    The School of Art, Design and Art History encourages students to participate in Study Abroad programs in their junior or senior years, exposing students to different cultures. To offer students a wide choice, they can use the extraordinary resources of the Center for Global Education. To date, School of Art students have taken coursework in Japan, New Zealand, London, Edinburgh, Sydney, Turin, Florence, Rome, Venice and Cortona, Italy.



    The School of Art, Design and Art History has several clubs and organizations that provide ways for students to get involved on campus and in the community. Art Student Society and the Ceramics Club both hold yearly sales of work to fund student research and travel. The Photo Club partners with the Kendall Whittier GROW Garden to teach local children about photography.

  • Scholarships

    School of Art Scholarship Application 

    Undergraduate Awards

    A limited number of scholarships are available to majors. Students interested in applying for scholarship funding in Art History or Art should prepare a portfolio of artwork or writing samples to be submitted as part of their applications. Students must complete the online application and submit their portfolio no later than March 15, before their first year at TU. Students must also take part in an interview with the director of the School of Art, either in person or on the phone; interviews will be scheduled by the chair. Students must be accepted to The University of Tulsa before they can be considered for an undergraduate award. Transfer students are eligible.

    The deadline to apply is March 15. Your application is not complete until a portfolio of work is received.

    For more details and to apply, see the Scholarship Application.

    Jerri Jones Research Award

    The School of Art, Design and Art History also offers the Jerri Jones Research Award to support travel, supplies, participation in summer workshops, conferences or other resources necessary for student research. Students must be enrolled in the School of Art at the time of application.