Art Requirements

Emma Mae Sheedy, Reporter

Whether you’re an English, science, arts, or business major, we all have our own set of skills. Most of us have decided to choose a major in something we are good at and let’s be honest;  a list of our skills most likely does not include being artistic, unless you’re an art major. 

As college students, we aren’t required to take extra courses that have nothing to do with our major, other than the general courses, most of which we have been taking throughout our lives, such as English, science, mathematics, and history. We tend to know what to expect from those classes, but not all students have been required to take any art courses.

“Art, music, theater, or film” is a specific course requirement for every major. There are several entry level classes to choose from, Art 101 and Drawing Skills and Processing, being just two of the most popular of the beginner art classes. But, before choosing an art course, the real questions are: which ones are beneficial to students who aren’t in an art major? And why do we have to take them?

“The art program has several intro level courses- Intro to Printmaking, Intro to Painting, Drawing Skills and Development, Digital Photography,” said Jade Alexis Westhoven, a junior majoring in Graphic Design. “There are so many opportunities to let imagination flow!” 

Jeanette Dick, a sophomore majoring in Art Teaching Education agrees with Westhoven. She thinks no matter what major a student has, one art course should be taken. There are benefits of these classes later in life, she explains. 

“The fine arts and the performing arts [courses] can teach skills like teamwork, public speaking, problem solving, creativity, following guidelines, and planning ahead,” said Dick. “Art specifically can teach you how to make mistakes and how to roll with it.”

These art focused courses support creativity. These skills cannot be taught in any class, but these creative courses give students the ability to explore new ideas. 

Rebecca Rivera, a junior majoring in Art Teaching Education K-12 said, “Art, theater, film and music can teach students how to express themselves in ways that make students feel safe. It brings out the inner creativity and helps people get out of their comfort zone. Art is optimal for everyone and it creates amazing experiences.” 

With these art courses required for all majors, many students struggle to find which class will best fit them and their skills. Westhoven recommends specific art courses to science, math, communications and English majors. 

“If I were an English major, I’d probably go for a 2D design class. It’s beginner level illustration for those who aren’t the best in art,” said Westhoven. “For communications, Drawing Skills and Processes. In the class… we would get up and switch places with people near us… which helped build communication skills. We knew the techniques the previous artist used, so we could continue their work.” 

Westhoven suggests her favorite art course, Introduction to Printmaking, to science majors. She says it was spectacular being able to use chemicals to burn into copper plates for prints and macgyvering the best ways to clean the hardest inks. She talks about how it is a lot of experimentation. This is why she thinks it’s a perfect hybrid of science and the arts. 

“Math- that’s a tricky one, but probably Digital Studio,” Westhoven said. “One of the most challenging in my opinion only because the most tedious parts of the course were getting the correct measurements of each assignment.”

The St. Thomas Aquinas College art courses are available for students to research on the school website (