Visual Art, B.A.

Program Overview

Do you have an internal force driving you to create or perform? Do you love to challenge norms and conventions, finding new ways of expressing your ideas and vision? If so, consider a degree in visual art.

By majoring in visual art at PLNU, you will be joining one of the most respected studio art programs in San Diego, as well as an inclusive community of artists and performers who consistently challenge one another to improve in their respective crafts. Here you will work under accomplished and knowledgeable professors who showcase their own work regularly in notable art museums and galleries.

Your program and experience will be tailored to your medium, goals, and interests, to best prepare you for the vocation to which you are called. This method has been highly successful, with the number of PLNU graduates going on to MFA programs exceeding the national average. Furthermore, of those who received MFAs in the last five years, 80 percent did so at institutions consistently ranked among the top 10 MFA programs in the country.

We believe creativity thrives in community — and we are blessed to live in one with rich sources of art. Therefore, you will have multiple opportunities to collaborate with other artists in community arts events, visit local and regional museums and galleries, and exhibit your own work. You can even take advantage of our Euroterm, where you will either spend a semester in Europe studying the work of Old Masters, or explore contemporary art through the lens of the world-famous Venice Biennial and Documenta in a faculty-led summer session. Finally, the experiential learning continues with an internship that will help hone your professional skills through practical application.


  • Drawing, Painting, Printmaking
  • Sculpture and Installation
  • Photography
  • Art History
  • Visual, Performance Art/Communications and Interactive Media
Jim Deichend headshot


G. James Daichendt, Ed.D.

For Daichendt, what it means to be human involves creativity, an impulse seen and experienced clearly in art. And according to him, the most exciting and meaningful movement in the art world today is street art, an area he has studied extensively.

Read More

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Visual Art, B.A. program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

Major Map

Start Application

Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

Apply Now

If you are considering transferring to PLNU to join our visual art program, check out our community college articulation agreement to see how your classes will transfer. 

To view an example of our major requirements for a Visual Art, B.A. with a sculpture concentration, check out our advising guide

Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

Career Opportunities

With the huge demand for artistically trained and innovative individuals, the versatile set of skills you’ll develop with a degree in visual art from PLNU will help you pursue a seemingly endless number of available careers. PLNU’s visual arts program cultivates passion, creativity, and a desire to combine art, intellect, and faith, equipping you to become an original and expressive leader in whichever career path you pursue.

A Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art can lead to (but is not limited to) careers in:

  • Curation
  • Art education
  • Art therapy
  • Gallery professional
  • Videography
  • Stage and film art
  • 3D fabrication
  • Photography
  • Performance art
  • Exhibiting artist at museums/galleries
  • Public artist
  • Entrepreneurship

What can you do with a visual art degree?

PLNU visual art alumni have gone on to a wide range of art-related careers such as starting their own businesses and holding various positions at arts organizations such as the Lux Art Institute, Contemporary Museum of Art, The New Children’s Museum, and many more. 

The following are examples of positions that PLNU visual art alumni currently hold:

Art and Creative Directors

2020 Median annual salary $97,270

Art and creative directors are responsible for overseeing all artists and art produced for their organization. Art and creative directors are hired across many artistic outlets such as TV and film industries, advertising, publishing, and video gaming. They’re typically in charge of a team of designers and are meant to facilitate an environment that produces effective and engaging artwork to promote their organization. Some of their tasks include: reviewing finalized designs and providing feedback to artists, working with clients and leadership to understand requirements, presenting artwork to clientele or upper management, and gathering feedback to help improve their organization.

Web Developers and Digital Interface Designers

2020 Median annual salary $77,200

Web developers and digital interface designers create and maintain websites. Responsibilities of web developers and digital interface designers are: writing and editing web page content, designing website layout, and consistently updating websites in time with the organization's developments. It's also important to note that any position related to technology will develop and evolve as technology improves and transforms, meaning your roles and responsibilities will develop and change, so a degree of flexibility is definitely a must for this profession.

What it takes to be a web developer or digital interface designer:

  • Fundamentals of design imaging
  • Basic web design
  • Animation
  • Content management
  • Editing for video and audio
  • Multimedia programming and technology

Postsecondary Teachers

2020 Median annual salary $80,790

Postsecondary teachers instruct students beyond the high school level in a wide variety of academic and technical subjects. Most postsecondary teachers work at public and private colleges and universities, professional schools, and junior or community colleges. Other than fixed hours of direct teaching, postsecondary teachers have flexible schedules. Their other responsibilities may include administrative duties, advising students, and conducting research.

Furthermore, many PLNU visual art graduates have earned degrees from top M.F.A. programs and/or are successfully practicing in fields such as: fine arts, museum and gallery work, arts management, and publishing. Of those who received M.F.A. degrees in the last five years, 80% did so at institutions consistently ranked among the top 10 M.F.A. programs in the country, such as: Cranbrook Academy of Art, Indiana University, Rhode Island School of Design (7 PLNU alumni), San Diego State University, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, University of Edinburgh, University of North Carolina, University of Ohio, and University of Oregon.

Alumni listed the following skills as the top strengths they acquired as a visual art student at PLNU: 

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Graphic design
  • Photography

Visual art as a lifelong skill: 

A visual arts major will help you become more perceptive, artistically analytical, and knowledgeable about artistic conceptualization and art history. By majoring in visual art at PLNU, you’ll develop a deep creative, intuitive mind and discover ways to see the world from an artistic viewpoint — taking you far on any path you pursue. 

Apply to PLNU today or get connected with one of our counselors for additional support and answers to any questions you may have.