• Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art
    • Emphasis

    Get Involved

    A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

    • Gallery Exhibits: Students have opportunities to display their work in numerous shows, exhibits, convocations and galas—on campus and in the community.
    • Pathfinder Magazine: An annual publication for student creative work.
    • Student Art League: A branch of the Council for Creative expression, the Student Art League is dedicated to providing visual arts, experiences, professional development, educational opportunities and outreach for Art students.


    Program-Based Scholarships

    Caniff, Al Art Scholarship


    • Full-time Western Senior majoring in Art
    • Overall GPA of 3.0 or above
    • Student must exhibit service to the Art program by involvement with the ART League or other co-curricular art activities
    • Preference will be given to a BFA Senior Veterans of the United States Armed Forces


    This scholarship is provided by Dr. Al Caniff.

    Amount: $1000

    Selected by: Art Faculty in consultation with the Financial Aid Office.


    Contact the Art Department at 970.943.3093 | Quigley Hall 202

    Institutional Scholarships

    Common Scholarships

    Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit

    Early Action Credit

    If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

    Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

    Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit

    Neighboring States Program

    Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

    The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

    For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Presidential Promise

    The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

    For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit

    Tuition Discount Programs

    Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

    For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

    Western Merit Scholarship

    Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

    For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit

    Faculty & Staff


    S. Chase Hutchison, MFA headshot
    Art Department Chair, Associate Professor of Art
    Phone: 970.943.2035
    Office Location: Quigley Hall 240


    FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

     ART 246 - Introduction to Photography (3 credits)

    An introduction to contemporary photographic technique incorporating traditional black-and-white analogue photography alongside digital photographic practice and procedure. Lectures introduce topic areas that the student must exercise in lab sessions. Students must supply their own "quality" 35mm or 120mm camera. Prerequisites: ART 120, ART 171, and ART 172.

     ART 270 - Introduction to Graphic Design and Illustration (3 credits)

    An introductory course utilizing the basic fundamentals of art in a broad base of commercial applications. Design in the areas of corporate identity, packaging, illustration, and typography are explored. Illustration, new techniques, materials, and tools used by the designer are emphasized. Prerequisites: ART 120, ART 171, and ART 172.

     ART 346 - Intermediate Photography (3 credits)

    An intermediate course that explores the expressive possibilities of individual photography direction with an emphasis placed on digital photographic practices and principles. Students collaborate with the instructor to plan a suitable and particular direction of study. Prerequisite: ART 246.

     ART 370 - Intermediate Graphic Design (3 credits)

    A study of graphic design processes and applications. Emphasis is on the exploration of creative solutions to design problems. Topics include past and current design trends, tools, and computer related graphics. Prerequisite: ART 270.

     ART 446 - Advanced Photography I (3 credits)

    An advanced exploration of the expressive possibilities of individual photography direction.Students collaborate with the instructor to plan a suitable and particular direction for study. Prerequisite: ART 346.

     ART 447 - Advanced Photography II (3 credits)

    An advanced exploration of the expressive possibilities of individual photography direction. Students collaborate with the instructor to plan a suitable and particular direction for study. Prerequisite: ART 446.

     ART 448 - Advanced Photography III (3 credits)

    An advanced exploration of the expressive possibilities of individual photography direction. Students collaborate with the instructor to plan a suitable and particular direction for study. Prerequisite: ART 447.

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art
    • Emphasis

    At Western, the phrase "fine art photography" continually undergoes creative, expansive redefinition. The Photography emphasis relates to all other disciplines in the Art Department in an atmosphere of cross-fertilization and evolution. Having significantly influenced every fine art medium in the 20th century, photography has irrevocably altered the perception and participation of artists. Today, that lively interaction continues in Western's photography courses. Faculty members support students’ experimentation and aesthetic freedom, while also teaching technical skills in shooting and post-production.

    The Program

    The Photography emphasis begins with introductory photography classes where students sample a wide range of basic, practical information and conceptual issues. Intermediate classes offer in-depth studies of specific ideas and technical areas. In advanced classes, students have opportunities for more self-directed projects, developed through group seminars and frequent private consultations with the instructor.

    Because the complex relationships between media, emotional expression and visual exploration form such an integral part of the department's approach, students need to gain a general knowledge of other media, a basic understanding of art history and a thorough comprehension of the history of photography.


    The department furnishes strong technical support, including a printing lab, basic chemistry, finishing area, view cameras, tripods and lighting equipment, black-and-white darkroom and Macintosh computers with industry-standard software.

    Learn More 

    Reach out to S. Chase Hutchison, MFA for more information.