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In a world where success means thinking innovatively and strategising creatively, being able to imagine has never been more crucial. Hence why it is no longer “fluffy” or frivolous to choose the artistic route over STEM courses. If the latter has never intrigued you, fret not. Fort Hays State University’s (FHSU) College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) has the resources to turn your artistic passion into a meaningful and rewarding career.

CAHSS takes the liberal arts route to deepen learners’ understanding of human persons and human purposes. It also encourages the exploration of creativity, communication, rational reflection, and the shared experience of people around the world. In the process, you will develop these skills to hone for your own endeavours. The collective experience was designed to inspire a life well-lived.

Such holistic approaches are rare in universities as big as this. FHSU is located on the great plains of the American Midwest on an expansive campus surrounded by great food, fun activities, inspiring live performances, cultural festivals and art exhibits. Despite its size, there’s somehow still enough personalised attention to go around. Expert professors make it possible — all of whom work tirelessly to guarantee every student an outstanding outcome.

“I learned how to look at the world through different eyes,” says graduate Michael Sizemore. “The FHSU staff (especially my Graphics instructors) are second to none! I challenge any college to find professors who care as much about their students as the ones at FHSU.”

Most can be found in the US$14.2 million Schmidt Foundation Centre for Art and Design. The space was recently conceptualised to house all Department of Art and Design programmes, (with the exception of its Sculpture programme) — think Graphic Design, Interior Design, Motion Design, Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Ceramics, Art Education, Art History, and Photography. Every artistic aspiration gets 24-hour access to modern computer labs, art studios, facilities and the department foundry throughout.

Pathways into the space are plenty. CAHSS offers interdisciplinary majors and new added-value programmes — four stand out in their own unique ways.

Fort Hays State University

The US$14.2 million Schmidt Foundation Centre for Art and Design is home to all Department of Art and Design programmes. Source: Fort Hays State University

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design is the broadest programme offered by the  Department of Art and Design. It is taught by Professors Chaiwat Thumsujarit, Karrie Simpson Voth, and Travis Schlitter — all of whom are experts in teaching the arts of conceptual thinking, typography, images, space, and colour to convey information visually to audiences. Successful completion means following in the footsteps of an impressive alumni, who are currently thriving in the areas of graphic design, advertising and motion graphics.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts, Concentration in Interior Design can teach you to strategise a space before presenting the plan to clients with confidence — and everything in between. It will teach you to understand the materials and products that will be used to furnish the space; how texture, colour, lighting and other factors combine and interact to bring the space to life; and the structural requirements of an effective plan, such as health and safety issues, building codes, as well as several other technical aspects. Coursework focuses on residential and commercial interiors, colour theory, business principles and design practices to produce graduates ready to add value as draftspersons, facilities planners, interior designers, or space planners.

Fort Hays State University

The second you begin a programme from the Department of Art and Design, you will be considered an artist and treated like one. Source: Fort Hays State University

Keener on photography? The Bachelor of Fine Arts, Concentration in Photography will help you develop your creative skills and produce work that exudes critical and creative thinking. You will even enjoy several opportunities to collaborate with like-minded peers while exploring painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, drawing, photography, graphic design, and interior design. Additionally, to prepare you for your future, the programme lays a solid foundation in art history as well.

Meanwhile, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Concentration in Studio Art specialises in nurturing a new generation of visual artists with strong creative skills and a firm understanding of art theories, contexts and works. To produce well-rounded artists, it covers the topics of art history, figure drawing, bookmaking, crafts, creative photography, and many more.

Other CAHSS academic offerings include Bachelor of Fine Arts concentrations in Art Education and Art History; A Bachelor of Arts programme in Studio Art; a Minor in Art; several Certificates in Art and Design; a Master of Fine Arts; and a Master of Liberal Studies.

Every path leads to an experiential learning experience of a lifetime. The second you begin a programme, you will be considered an artist and treated like one — from unlimited access to state-of-the-art studios and labs; chances to display your work in one of many Hays venues; expert mentorship; internships; and study abroad trips; amongst much more.

“An internship with Associated Advertising Agency in Wichita prepared me for both work and life more than I ever thought possible,” says graduate Jenny Venn. “I was given a taste of what the advertising world was like and was able to work on actual accounts and see my work published in many different settings.”

International students are welcome to enjoy the same at FHSU’s welcoming, safe campus. They’ll even be encouraged to earn while they learn. In fact, students who maintain their F-1 visa status will be able to work up to 20 hours a week on campus during semesters and up to 40 hours a week during breaks and summer vacation. Eager to know more? Begin chatting with a current student now to get all your burning questions answered swiftly, or find out more here.

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