Careers

Study Studio Art. Do Anything.

What can I do with a Studio Art major?

Our recent graduates have gotten great jobs in technology, consulting, and government, while many also pursue graduate school in the humanities or sciences. A significant percentage also pursue full-time service work for a year or more, seeking to make a difference in the world by helping others.

Skills you'll learn

  • Ability to articulate complex thoughts and theories
  • Effective oral communication
  • Strong writing
  • Team Work
  • Critical thinking and analytical reasoning
  • Ability to apply knowledge to real-world settings
  • Ethical judgment and decision making
  • Ability to analyze and solve problems with people from different backgrounds

Madeline Baker ’12

Art director for marketing, Conversant LLC

“In my current position at an ad tech/digital media company, I use what I learned in my major on a daily basis through creative decisions. I specialize in brand strategy and data visualization, two of the more analytical subsets of design, but even the calculated parts of my job are rooted in my foundational art knowledge. The benefits to studying Studio Art are very real. Creative passion can be channeled into any job or career path, not just artistic ones. Studio Art teaches you to really care about what you want to do regardless of what that is. The art program at Notre Dame educates you in finding your voice and expressing your opinion.”

  • Madeline Baker ’12

    Art director for marketing, Conversant LLC

    “In my current position at an ad tech/digital media company, I use what I learned in my major on a daily basis through creative decisions. I specialize in brand strategy and data visualization, two of the more analytical subsets of design, but even the calculated parts of my job are rooted in my foundational art knowledge. The benefits to studying Studio Art are very real. Creative passion can be channeled into any job or career path, not just artistic ones. Studio Art teaches you to really care about what you want to do regardless of what that is. The art program at Notre Dame educates you in finding your voice and expressing your opinion.”

  • Julie Farstad ’97

    Professor of painting, Kansas City Art Institute

    Julie Farstad is a professor of painting and chair of the Painting Department at the Kansas City Art Institute. She works in oil, watercolors, and quilted fabric paintings that explore girlhood, mysticism, and landscape. Farstad earned an MFA in Painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. Farstad has exhibited her work nationally, with solo shows most recently at Zg Gallery, Plug Projects in Kansas City, Missouri, and Studios Inc. in Kansas City. She was awarded a three-year residency at The Studios Inc. in Kansas City in 2010 and her work was exhibited in Women to Watch 2010, Body of Work: New Perspectives in Figure Painting at the National Museum for Women in Arts in Washington, D.C.

  • Waleed Johnson ’15

    Engineer, Ford Motor Company

    An engineer by day, developing mobile apps for Ford Motor Company, and artist by night, Johnson has had his work shown in galleries in Chicago, Detroit, and Washington, D.C. Johnson, who was a 2015 Reilly Scholar, also served as an officer of the Voices of Faith Gospel Choir. He received the 2015 Barbara H. Roche Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Painting, as well as the Mabel L. Mountain Painting Prize.

    Johnson recently wrote an article for the International Review of African Art.

  • Shelby Alexander ’14

    Beauty studio designer, Proctor and Gamble

    Shelby Alexander, née Grubbs, majored in Studio Art, with a concentration in Painting. She currently works full-time for Proctor and Gamble as a beauty studio designer. Alexander also continues to create large-scale, mixed-media works. Alexander aims to expand upon contemporary concepts of drawing and painting by combining traditional techniques on paper with innovative collage, using stitched-together textiles collected predominantly from her own closet. Next to Big Oil, the clothing industry is the second-largest polluter in the world. Alexander's textile work aims to increase awareness of this issue, while still respecting and acknowledging the inherent aesthetics of fashion as an art form. 

  • Mary McGraw ’17

    Master's in Digital Media program, NUI Galway in Galway, Ireland.

    “As a masters's student, I have been focusing on incorporating design thinking into my creative practice and refining my skills as a visual communicator. I am interested in marrying my design, fine art, and photography skills to create digital narratives and content that serves to enrich and give back to communities. I also work for the University of Notre Dame’s study abroad centres in Ireland. I serve as a program manager for a growing cohort of premed undergraduate Notre Dame students studying at NUI Galway, as well as managing the social media platforms for Notre Dame Centre at Kylemore Abbey.”

91% of Notre Dame Studio Art majors found full-time employment, enrolled in graduate school, entered service programs, or launched independent projects within six months of graduation.

28% find full-time jobs

  • Assistant, Rothman Brecher Ehrich Livingston 
  • Campus ministry program manager, Notre Dame Dublin Global Gateway
  • Communications coordinator, SKOOG Productions
  • Graduate program, Ford Motor Co.
  • Leadership development associate, Advantage Solutions Group
  • Photography intern, Indianapolis Colts
  • Sales associate, Follett

Our alumni leave Notre Dame with an expansive worldview and a variety of real-world skills.

Employers love that our students are passionate, curious, and socially engaged. Once on the job, they find that our Studio Art graduates are critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, and collaborators.

They are the embodiment of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters’ motto: our students study everything so that they can do anything.

40% go to graduate or professional school

  • Gender studies: University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Geosciences: University of Texas
  • Education: University of Oregon
  • History: Colorado State University
  • Law: University of Notre Dame
  • Medicine: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  • Painting: Kendall College of Art and Design
  • Non-profit administration: University of Notre Dame
  • Studio art: Eastern Illinois University

Going on to graduate or professional school after earning a degree in Studio Art is a fantastic opportunity to branch out into a new area or dive in-depth into a subject focused on as an undergraduate. 

A senior thesis is a great way to prepare for grad school — it demonstrates the ability to do serious research and independent work.

15% enter service programs

  • Alliance for Catholic Education, Memphis, Tennessee
  • City Year, Little Rock, Arkansas

Postgraduate service can be a life-changing experience and provide Studio Art students with transferable skills for the next step in their careers.

Every year, approximately 20 percent of the graduating senior class in Arts and Letters make a one- to two-year commitment to serve in areas such as public and private education, family and children services, after-school programs, developing countries, and non-governmental organizations.

8% launch independent projects

Note: Outcomes data comes from First Destination reports, a survey of recent graduates conducted by the Notre Dame Center for Career Development and Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research. Status is known for more than 90% of each graduating class. 

Independent projects include activities such as writing a novel, making a film or fine arts project, traveling the world, caring for a family member, etc.

Further Reading

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