Book Arts

If you are an artist with a passion for working with diverse materials, the Art major with a Book Arts concentration gives you a unique opportunity to excel at what you love and gain skills that are highly-desired within the field of graphic arts.

Our graduates work at Figge Art Museum, Women Studio Workshop, the University of Iowa, and Rosati's Franchising.

Ambrose Advantages

  • One of Few Book Arts Programs in the U.S.
  • Opportunities and Original Voice
  • Individual Attention and Guidance

printmaking with professor

printing press

professor and art students

Our students use their craft to comment on and contribute to society. Our faculty prepare you for a professional career and life-long involvement in the arts by teaching artistic and technical skills, aesthetic judgment, critical thinking, and historical understanding.

More Information on the Book Arts Concentration

What will I learn?

Book Arts encompasses printmaking, papermaking, book binding, screen printing, typography, digital illustration and creative writing.

Our Art Department faculty work closely with all students, encouraging them to grow, experiment and follow their creative passion.

What have alums from this program done?
  • Heather (Behrens) White '10, a triple major in graphic design, book arts, and marketing, is the Creative Design and Marketing Coordinator for Genesis Health Systems. She was hired after serving as a student design intern for the health services company. Heather also operates a successful freelance design business, Heather White Design.
  • Kim Mahar '10 was so inspired by her book arts studies she went on to a highly-competitive book arts graduate program. Kim's work has been shown in galleries across the country and she recently earned her MFA.
Where will I learn?

St. Ambrose has outstanding student art facilities in the Galvin Fine Arts Center. You can explore traditional and non-traditional print techniques in our arts/printmaking studio, which holds a letterpress, lithography, equipment for screen printing, relief, and non-toxic photo processes. Our papermaking studio has a Hollander beater, paper press, and more than a dozen molds and deckles.

The Figge Museum studios in downtown Davenport also are used for SAU foundation and advanced courses. Students can visit the museum's collection, attend lectures, and participate in workshops for free.

You have many opportunities to explore your talent and connect with others through numerous art organizations and exhibit space within the Quad Cities.

What about Scholarships and Grants?

Scholarships are available for students who show exemplary talent in their artwork. If you have that type of creative passion, we want to talk to you about how studies at St. Ambrose can enrich your talent and help lead to several fulfilling career paths.

An art scholarship recognizes and rewards your special gifts and can provide important financial help for your studies. Click here to learn more about the Art Scholarship

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art with a Print and Book Concentration (30 credits)

Majors also must satisfy the general art requirements (24 credits).

View art courses and descriptions in the online course catalog

+ART 220 Printmaking
+ART 250 Papermaking
+ART 260 Bookbinding
+ART 290 Screen Printing
ART 360 Artist's Books
ART 390 Letterpress
DSGN 220 Typography
ENGL 317 Creative Writing Workshop

Three credits of 300 level art history

Three credits from the following:
ART 320 Advanced Printmaking
WI-ART 410 Professional Practices
DSGN 230 Digital Illustration
DSGN 320 Experimental Typography

ART 402 Senior Honors Book Arts

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in Book Arts.

NOTE: This plan assumes the student has not met the foreign language requirement.

Year One

ENGL 101 English composition 3 IL 101 Information Lit. 1
NSS 101 New Student Seminar 1 COMM 129, 132, 203, 228, 329 3
ART 100 Drawing Introduction 3 ART 203 2D Design 3
KIN 149 Wellness Concepts 1 PHIL/THEO 100/200 LEVEL 3
PHIL/THEO 100-Level 3 MATH 131 OR CSCI 140 3
Total Credits 14 Total Credits 16

Year Two

ART 205 SF Computers in Art 3 ART 331 Typography 3
Elective 3 Natural Science 3
AH 250 Art through the Ages 3 KIN Fitness 1
Social Sci 3 AH 251 Art through the Ages II 3
ART 220 Printmaking 3 ART 207 SF Drawing 3
Art Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 16

Year Three

*ART 307/ART 335 Advanced Topics 3 *ART 360 Art of the Book I 3
*ART 338 Letterpress 3 *PHIL/THEO 300 level 3
Elective 3 WI Elective 3
PHIL/THEO Elective 3 ELEC 300 level 3
*AH 300-level Elective 3 ART Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

ART 361 Art of the Book II* 3 HONORS (ELEC) 1
ART 303 Figure Drawing 3 ART 403 Professional Practices 3
ELEC 300 level 3 ELEC 3
ELEC 300 level 3 ELEC 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 14

*Needs prerequisite
WI=writing intensive

Minors in Art

Art Minor (18 credits)

With an Art Minor, you gain an application of technical skills in a variety of mediums.

You will also learn how to explain and demonstrate the ways in which basic design principles are applied in a variety of art media, methods, and techniques to solve visual problems in unique and intriguing ways.

Take 18 credits of Art and Design (AD) courses.

Check out our other art-related major in Art History and the minor in Museum Studies.

Art Therapy Minor (24 credits)

The minor in art therapy is structured for Art or Psychology majors who are interested in how creative expression can improve individuals' well-being.

Required Core:
+AD 100 Drawing
AD 215 Introduction to Art Therapy
PSYC 105 Introduction to Psychology
PSYC 215 Research Methods

Required for Art majors

PSYC 212 Life-span Development
PSYC 324 Abnormal Psychology
PSYC 342 Theories of Counseling

Choose One (3 credits):
PSYC 327 Psychology & Treatment of the Juvenile Offender
PSYC 384 Child & Adolescent Psychology

Required for Psychology majors

+AD 120 3D Design
+AD 190 Digital Photography
+AD 220 Printmaking

Choose One (3 credits):
+AD 225 Papermaking
+AD 230 Intermediate Special Topics
+AD 260 Bookbinding
+AD 270 Painting I

Arts Administration Minor (18 credits)

With an Arts Administration Minor, you gain the ability to identify and apply a breadth of business skills and concepts.

You will also learn how to effectively communicate business and organizational ideas orally, in writing and through basic visual design, as well as develop adaptability and critical thinking skills necessary to work in the arts.

All Arts Administration minors are expected to have a major in one of the following areas: Art, Art History, English, History, or Music

All courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Choose One (3 credits):
+MUSE 380 Introduction to Museum Studies 
COMM 230 Media Writing
ENGL 315 Written Business Communication

Choose Three (9 credits):
ACCT 201 Financial Accounting
COMM 240 Principles of Public Relations
COMM 251 Public Relations Techniques
MGMT 210 Principles of Management
MGMT 216 Entrepreneurship and Innovation
MKTG 209 Principles of Marketing
MGMT 320 Human Resource Management
MKTG 359 Social Media Marketing
SLS 335 Sales Principles 

Choose One (3 credits):
+AD 140 210 Computers in Art
COMM 225 Introduction to Visual Communication

Choose One (3 credits):
AH 450 Art Historical Methods and Careers
AH 490 Internship (1-4 credits)
WI-AD 310 Professional Practices
AD 410 Internship (1-3 credits)
ENGL 400 Writing Internship (1-6 credits)
THTR 399 Internship (1-5 credits)

+ Satisfies a General Education requirement
WI writing intensive

Design and Interactive Media Minor (18 credits)

With a Design & Interactive Media Minor, students gain an understanding of the basic principles of graphic design, working knowledge of fundamental applications and languages of computer science, and skills to develop integrative approaches to solving interactive media challenges using design and code.

All courses are 3 credits.

+AD 140 Computers in Art
+AD 180 Motion Graphics
AD 290 Interaction Design Lab
+CSCI 140 Fundamentals of Computer Science
CSCI 330 Web Programming
CSCI 360 Database Management Systems

Read course descriptions

+ satisfies general education requirement

Graphic Design Minor (18 credits)

With a Graphic Design Minor, you gain a working knowledge of basic design principles and production techniques in addition to the ability to effectively organize verbal, visual, and written information for diverse audiences.

All courses are 3 credits.

+AD 110 2D Design
+AD 140 Computers in Art
AD 210 Typography
AD 320 Digital Illustration
AD 350 Branding and Identity
AD 390 Interaction Design Lab

Meet one of our alums

Our alumni and students in the fine arts are doing some fantastic things with their degree. Learn more about one of our alumni:

Apply Visit Info


Joseph Lappie, MFA, Department Chair

Galvin Fine Arts Center 7
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, Iowa 52803

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.