Welcome to the Kennesaw State University School of Art and Design.

visual arts building banner
The Visual Arts Building of Kennesaw State University is at the corner of Bartow Avenue and Cartersville Drive.

Director Geo Sipp

Here at Kennesaw State University School of Art and Design, you’ll be pushed to think, create and work at the highest level. You’ll explore different media in our state-of-the-art facilities and grow from close mentorships with our world-class faculty. You’ll bring your ideas to life, and you’ll develop the tools to change culture and business for the better.

The School of Art & Design offers a BFA degree in Art, a BFA in Digital Animation, a BS degree in Art Education, a BA in Art History, a BAT in Apparel Textiles Technology, and an MAT in Teaching Art. BFA in Art students concentrate in Ceramics, Graphic Communications, Illustration, Painting and Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, Sequential Art, or Sculpture, and receive a solid classical foundation while exploring contemporary styles, methods, and materials. The Applied Arts programs (Graphic Communications, Illustration, and Sequential Art and the BFA in Digital Animation) prepare students for creative careers in the burgeoning film, television and gaming industries in Atlanta and beyond. Art History students experience visual culture from a range of periods, regions and contexts. Art Education leads to K-12 teacher certification, and offers classroom experience early in the program.

More than 800 declared majors are enrolled in visual arts programs. The faculty includes 28 permanent, full-time professors, and 27 part-time faculty members. Our faculty are all practicing artists and scholars who provide an intense, professional learning environment for students.  Students, faculty, and staff contribute regularly to the University and to Kennesaw State University’s creative communities. The school is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Our award-winning Visual Arts Building provides 32,000-square-feet of studio and classroom space with state-of-the-art equipment, including computer labs with Cintiq monitors for students. Construction will soon begin on a 21,000 square-foot expansion with studio spaces for the Printmaking, Painting and Drawing programs.

The KSU School of Art and Design and the City of Atlanta are a powerful combination: we provide the education, and the city provides networking opportunities that launch careers into both the local and international creative industry.

I am privileged to be the Director of the School of Art and Design. This is a unique place of learning and creative inquiry. Please explore our website; we are here to get you started and answer any questions you might have. The future is always being designed. I welcome you to be part of it.

Geo Sipp

Professor of Art and Director
Kennesaw State University School of Art and Design

  • The mission of the Kennesaw State University School of Art and Design is to lead in the education of art students and to promote the visual arts as an essential expression of the human condition. The School cultivates artistic and intellectual growth by developing creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and technical proficiency. All programs uphold and exceed national standards in studio art, art history, art criticism, aesthetics, and art education. A commitment to excellence in teaching, research, creative activity, service, and scholarship provides students with the tools to be informed citizens in a global society and to succeed professionally. The School continually seeks to expand its engagement with and prominence in the local community, the state, the nation, and the world.


    The 2013-2017 SOAAD Strategic Plan was developed following a three-month process of data gathering and collaborative discussion between representatives of full-time faculty, part-time faculty, staff, and students within the School of Art and Design. Using the COTA strategic plan as a model, School of Art and Design full-time faculty met in five sub-committees, each writing objectives and action steps specific to SOAAD strategic goals. For further ideas on Plan development, the SOAAD Strategic Planning Committee constructed a student survey that was disseminated to approximately one hundred SOAAD students participating in a variety of classes chosen to reflect the full range of disciplines and demographics within our school. Survey results therefore reflect an adequate representation of the students within our various programs. The survey questions were designed to obtain student perceptions of SOAAD strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats pertaining to each goal. The SOAAD Strategic Planning Committee then met to edit and refine the document to further clarify and address student needs, especially in the areas of online learning, advising, and community outreach. The SOAAD Strategic Planning Committee was composed of the following individuals representing staff and faculty of SOAAD: Jessica Stephenson (art history classroom and adjunct perspectives), Joe Thomas (administration perspectives), Diana McClintock (art history classroom perspectives), Valerie Dibble (studio classroom perspectives), Lin Hightower (administration and studio classroom perspectives) and Shane McDonald (staff, student, alumni, and public perspectives).



    Promote excellence and innovation in education through teaching, supervising, and mentoring students; research, creative activity, and scholarship; and professional service.

    Objective 1: Increase online and hybrid learning in appropriate courses

    • Support the ongoing development and evaluation of technology-enhanced education through incentives
    • Fund and support innovative technology and appropriate technical support

    Objective 2: Promote excellence and innovation in teaching, supervising, and mentoring of students Support and increase innovative teaching strategies through targeted incentives

    • Expand faculty mentoring and the development of student research and creative activity at prominent venues
    • Support regionally, nationally and internationally prominent scholarship of teaching and learning through increased commitment to funding

    Objective 3: Promote excellence and innovation in research, creative activity and scholarship

    • Create ongoing and recurring funding opportunities for faculty conducting long-term scholarly research and creative projects
    • Advocate for merit pay incentives for excellence in research and creative activity
    • Support regionally, nationally and internationally prominent scholarship in research and creative activity that will enhance the standing of faculty and staff within their disciplines and workplace through sabbatical leaves, course releases, or other appropriate means

    Objective 4: Promote excellence and innovation in service Create incentives to reward exemplary internal and external professional service

    • Support the hosting of local, regional, national, and international disciplinary conferences, workshops, and symposia
      Continue to support student participation in service activities


    Improve recruitment, retention, progression, and graduation rates (RRPG) in accord with the Complete College Georgia initiative, while continually increasing the quality, breadth, and relevance of academic and co-curricular programs.

    Objective 1: Utilize student data and implement best practices to develop effective RRPG initiatives

    • Develop written guidelines for both students and faculty in order to foster consistent student advisement
    • Implement an exit survey for all School of Art and Design graduates to gather data on deterrents and accelerants to graduation
    • Implement a data-based, flexible recruitment plan as developed by the Recruitment Committee
    • Implement recognized high-impact educational practices

    Objective 2: Integrate community engagement with recruitment and retention efforts

    • Expand internship and service-learning opportunities for students
    • Expand use of social media as a recruitment tool and as a means of communication with students
    • Reward and support faculty and staff initiatives that recruit and retain students through community engagement
    • Develop a fundraising plan specifically for student scholarships

    Objective 3: Improve and expand the quality and breadth of academic programs

    • Systematically compare peer and aspirational institutions to increase the quality, breadth, and relevance of academic and co-curricular programs
    • Promote and expand interdisciplinary curricula through cross-listing, and through minor and certificate programs
    • Create proposal for masters degree in art education and research demand and interest in additional graduate programs


    Become more engaged and prominent in the local community, Georgia, the nation, and the world.

    Objective 1: Promote greater visibility and increase the reputational standing of our programs by highlighting faculty, staff and student achievement.

    • Foster a diverse and engaged community through coordinated promotion and marketing of expanded programming and exhibition
    • Strengthen and expand existing and new partnerships here and abroad
    • Engage community through art and design events, presentations, and collaborations
    • Target and support programs or projects with potential for national and international prominence

    Objective 2: Recognize and support engagement at the local, state, national, and international level.

    • Create a realistic budget that includes incentives to support engagement activities
    • Collect data about engagement activities in existing programs for NASAD, API, SACS and other accrediting agencies
    • Strengthen and sustain reciprocal engagement with alumni Continue and expand partnership with the Zuckerman Art Museum and Museums, Archives, and Rare Books in various collaborative endeavors


    Enhance the collegiate experience, and foster a welcoming, diverse, and inclusive environment.

    Objective 1: Foster a welcoming and collegial environment that promotes a culture of diversity, inclusion, and sensitivity

    • Promote principles of inclusion, sensitivity, and diversity by re-defining diversity to include a wider variety of markers as well as the support of under-represented art forms
    • Strengthen diversity through student and faculty recruitment, including scholarships, collaboration with student organizations, and effective equal opportunity hiring
    • Promote the School of Art and Design as a leader in diversity and inclusion by programming events that foster diversity as a means to designate a recognizable and distinct identity

    Objective 2: Enhance the work experience and job environment

    • Develop workshops that create greater discipline-specific proficiency in grant writing and improved knowledge of potential funding agencies
    • Host a “Works in Progress” lecture series that showcases and is supported by colleagues and students
    • Initiate and support events and activities that enhance collegiality in the School of Art and Design


    Expand resources, and improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.

    Objective 1: Expand facilities to support need, growth and demand

    • Develop long-term plan to integrate our program into building projects that expand classrooms, studios, and support space
    • Regularly review and maintain facilities’ functionality, appearance, safety, and security
    • Expand facilities’ operational hours while ensuring safety and security
    • Research and develop further sources for financial and in-kind support

    Objective 2: Improve operational efficiency and effectiveness

    • Review and modify, as necessary, business and operational processes to improve service and efficiency
    • Utilize an active Department Faculty Council (DFC) to ensure and formalize shared governance structures and processes in order to achieve and ensure transparency and guarantee accountability
    • Develop and implement a formal plan to increase support staff and student assistants
    • Develop information-sharing tools and signage to enable students and the larger community to more effectively navigate the program and facilities