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SIU drawing degree artwork on display

As part of the 2D area of study, the BFA and MFA drawing programs focus on developing students' individual voices, while also encouraging experimentation with content, style and materials. Students receive an intense and immersive studio experience, combined with inspiration from a wide range of visiting artists, critics and faculty.

The drawing curriculum emphasizes a strong, interdisciplinary foundation, working closely with painting and printmaking as part of the other 2D concentrations. Drawing students create with a range of materials including pencil, charcoal, mixed media, collage, and digital media, while experimenting with traditional and non-traditional methods.

Program Information

The drawing curriculum works congruently with both painting and printmaking. The professional degree path provides a flexible structure, giving you the freedom to experiment with what works best for you.

Prior to entry into the program, students must complete the required foundation studies: beginning coursework in art history, drawing and two- and three-dimensional design. In addition, students must successfully complete a portfolio review of work from previous art studies, from either SIU or another institution.

student at sketch board

Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drawing)

The undergraduate major in Drawing can be accomplished by fulfilling the requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree.

  • Total Degree Requirements: 120 credit hours
  • University Core Curriculum: 39 credit hours
  • Foundation Requirements: 9 credit hours
  • Major Requirements: 54 credit hours
  • Art and Design History Electives: 6 credit hours
  • Studio Art Electives: 12 credit hours

Prior to admission into the BFA degree program, students must complete an initial portfolio review. Students enrolled in 300-level coursework will also present a selection of their studio work at the annual BFA Portfolio Review.

Compass IconCheck out the undergraduate Curricular Guide which helps you outline what courses you would want to take each semester for all four years. View all related undergraduate courses.

Master of Fine Arts (Drawing)

The MFA program offers a comprehensive experience that prepares students as professional artists and/or teachers in higher education. Students must demonstrate a high level of skill in their area of study, present a professional-level body of original artwork reflecting their ability to investigate concepts, issues and processes relevant to their studio practice, and also be able to discuss this work critically.

  • Total Degree Requirements: 60 credit hours
  • Primary Studio emphasis: 27 credit hours
  • Art History or related subjects: 9 credit hours
  • Studio Electives: 12 credit hours
  • Thesis or terminal project work: 6 credit hours
  • Other Electives: 6 credit hours

View all related masters courses.

View our Student Work

sketches on wall

Contact Information

Najjar Abdul-Musawwir
1100 S. Normal Avenue
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-3019

Erin Palmer
Associate Professor
1100 S. Normal Avenue
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618-453-7767


Students have access to excellent facilities in the Allyn Building and Glove Factory, with individual studio and exhibition space. The Historic Allyn Building allows students to work with faculty, visiting artists, graduate and undergraduate students in the classroom and communal workspaces. The Vergette Gallery offers over 400 square feet of naturally lit gallery space with professional track lighting, which allows faculty, visiting artists, and students to exhibit wide range of creative works.

The Glove Factory boasts unrivaled studio space, with 24-hour access for advanced undergrads, grads and faculty, who can work in close proximity. There are classroom and studio areas for drawing, painting, sculpture and foundations. This building is also home to the 4,000-square-foot Surplus Gallery, with events including BFA and MFA thesis exhibitions, the “Rickert Ziebold Exhibition,” several student-organized juried exhibitions and annual fundraising events, such as “Art Over Easy” and “Love at the Glove.”

View our facilities.



Student Organizations

drawing-classroom-rso.jpgIn addition to a robust academic life, our many student organizations help you enhance your campus experience while building a supportive network.

Students are invited to join one of these inter-disciplinary groups to expand their holistic reach across the art fields.


Students focusing in 2D programs have the foundational skills to work in a variety of positions in the art world. With a background in drawing, many of our graduates have moved on to residencies, graduate programs, community art centers and so much more. Some of the popular career options include:

  • Studio Artist
  • Art Teacher
  • Gallery/Museum consultant
  • Community Arts Director
  • Art Therapist
  • Design Assistant



Many students receive financial support from our art and design specific scholarships and fellowships. The School of Art and Design offers academic scholarship opportunities for incoming students with exceptional ACT scores and/or ranking in the top 10% of their high school class; talent scholarships based on portfolio review; research scholarships to offset material costs; and much more.

Additionally, nearly all MFA students receive funding through assistantships, fellowships, grants, federal work-study programs, special awards and scholarships. Information on assistantships is specific to each area of study, while the tuition scholarship program is available from the Graduate School office. Information regarding the federal work-study program and loans is available by contacting the SIUC Financial Aid Office.