where academic investigation +
christian faith +
service to others unite

The La Sierra Advantage

When you study art and design at La Sierra University, you will:

  • Take classes from professional artists who are producing and exhibiting their art regularly throughout Riverside and Los Angeles.
  • Enjoy trips to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Getty Museum, and local art exhibits in Pasadena, Long Beach, and other locations.
  • Benefit from La Sierra’s partnership with design companies willing to examine and critique undergraduate work.
  • Showcase your art in the Brandstater Gallery, an on-campus venue reserved for students and faculty in the program.
  • Join an on-campus art club where you can meet students with similar interests who enjoy trips, documentaries, and discussion of the latest issues in the field of art.

Why Study Art?

Art is a powerful form of communication that crosses barriers and reaches diverse groups of people. The study of art isn’t learned through random experience any more than is the study of math or biology. It is a technical skill that stimulates critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity — all valued skills in today’s workplace. People who study art are generally visionaries who are intuitive, self-motivated, and very aware of their aesthetic environment. Students who major in art, fine arts, or graphic design will gain a solid foundation in color theory and application, visual design, traditional media applications, and contemporary digital media. Students graduating from the program will be prepared for professional employment, graduate school, and other meaningful contributions to society.

We offer the following:


Art & Design Undergraduate Programs

Fine Arts Bachelor of Fine Arts

Students studying fine art gain basic experience in the artistic processes of several different studio areas. Candidates choose a primary area of concentration from painting, ceramics, printmaking, and textiles. The secondary emphasis may be chosen from painting, ceramics, printmaking, textiles, drawing, photography, sculpture, or graphic design. Many students plan to become commercial artists or art teachers.


Students in graphic design are taught to use color, design, and typography to create effective visual communication. The majority of the art is created through the use of industry-standard computer software. Students take classes such as digital design fundamentals, structure drawing, web design, and 3-D design. The demand is high for graphic designers in the creation of websites, packaging, advertising, marketing, publications, television, and video.

Fast Facts Customized Major Program

Average completion time4 Years
Program Units103


Average completion time4 Years
Program Units103

Art Bachelor of Arts

The art program includes the opportunity to work in a wide variety of artistic media such as drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, and photography. The program is primarily designed for those students who may not be entering an artistic profession, but who still enjoy the study of art and wish to have the enrichment of a liberal arts education. The major may be pursued on its own, but it is also an excellent supplement for a career in medicine, dentistry, law, education, or communication.

Fast Facts The Art Major Program

Average completion time4 Years
Program Units75

The La Sierra Art Department is a small, but very rich, program. It offers a variety of classes that help the art and design students explore different media to enrich their artwork. Faculty are always willing to share their knowledge and help each student individually even outside of their office hours."


Student Learning Outcomes

  1. To transform individuals into artistically trained, socially aware, skilled graduates ready to contribute to society through a trans-disciplinary university experience
  2. To expand the awareness and appreciation of the history, culture and individuals that produced art through human history.
  3. To prepare students for:

    • Professional employment
    • Graduate school
    • Meaningful contributions to society

  4. To provide an atmosphere of academic excellence, nurture and promote creativity.
  5. To create a positive environment where students can grow in their:

    • Spiritual awareness
    • Social awareness
    • Ability to recognize the contributions the  arts can make to address human nature and environmental challenges.

  6. To have a solid foundation in:

    • Color theory and application
    • Visual design
    • Traditional media applications
    • Contemporary digital media

  7. To enable students to understand, respond to, and articulate their responses to their work and the work of others
  8. Through the visual arts inspire curiosity and exploration, increasing, interdisciplinary collaboration
  9. Encourage faculty growth and professional development in their areas of academic expertise.

"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."


Meet our Faculty

Terrill Thomas
Susan Patt
Timothy Musso
Rodney Vance
Carrie Specht

Paying for College

The Student Financial Services office is here to help with financial aid processes. The staff also keeps up to date on scholarships that could benefit La Sierra students.

Choosing Classes

First-year students meet with their academic coach/advisor each week for their first two quarters. Then they are assigned an advisor from their major department who will help them choose the classes they need to complete their program.

Beyond Class

A lot of learning takes place outside of the classroom. The Division of Student Life is headquarters for student government, activities, organizations, spiritual life, and much more to enhance your college experience.

Career Center

We want you to find a good job after you finish your degree at La Sierra. A new Career Center, located in the Zapara School of Business, is expected to open before the end of fall quarter.

University Studies

All undergraduate students at La Sierra University participate in a comprehensive general education curriculum called University Studies, which is rooted in the concept of liberal education as a formative and transformative process. University Studies offers an integrated curriculum that:

  • stimulates the meaning-centered development of its students.
  • familiarizes students with the various academic disciplines.
  • exposes students to intercultural, international and inter-ethnic concerns.
  • encourages students to recognize the importance of developing a personal value system to distinguish between right and wrong.

Contact and Location


Phone: 951.785.2170
Visual Art Center, Room 105