BFA in Art

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art is built on two central ideas. First, you will become a maker with technical and conceptual depth. Second, you will drive your own education with the choices you make about what classes to take and what projects to take on. We offer advanced-level courses in all of our concentration areas—Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture—as well as in time-based media and other practices.

Course Work

Undergrad Studio Art Work

In your first year, you'll take core studios focusing on fundamental principles you'll use throughout your undergraduate experience. Courses include drawing, 2D design, 3D design, digital studio, and a weekly lecture course. In your drawing studio, you will learn observational and illustrative skills; the course covers mainly dry media (charcoal, graphite, pastel, etc.). In the 3D design studio, you'll learn fundamental sculptural materials, skills, and ways of thinking while becoming familiar with special tools and machines. Classes are capped at 16 students per studio to ensure individualized attention.

Your choices begin in your second year, when you select two of four Material & Culture studios: painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

During your junior and senior years, you take seven Art Practice courses, which help you to acquire technical and conceptual strategies as you move toward independent work. We offer these courses in a range of areas every semester. Recent Art Practice offerings include:

– Body Image
– Large Format Photography
– The Printed Image
– Material as Metaphor
– Public Practice
– Time-Based Media

Also during your junior year, you will take two Methods & Contexts courses. Taught by teams of faculty, these courses help you understand your own artistic interests within the contemporary, professional field of art.

Check out the 2020 BFA in Art Junior Virtual Exhibition>>


All BFA in Art students integrate a mix of disciplines and approaches into their practice, regardless of whether you decide to pursue a concentration in a specific discipline.

Painting: The program is interdisciplinary in nature and reflects how contemporary artists work today. Students are encouraged to take classes in multiple areas and to combine different processes.

Photography: Photography courses cover a range of techniques. Students are exposed to documentary work, large format studio photography, and black-and-white film photography. We have comprehensive resources including large-format printing, dark rooms, a lighting studio, and equipment students can borrow.

Printmaking: We offer many types of printing, including relief, lithography, monotype, etching and aquatint, and screenprinting. The newly expanded printmaking suite provides resources for all processes related to printmaking, letterpress, and bookbinding. This includes etching presses, a lithography press, and a very large electrically powered etching press.

Sculpture: Through this area, students are able to take several electives, including blacksmithing, foundry, furniture design, metal fabrication, and ceramics. Sculpture also includes sound art, video art, installation, and performance art.


In your senior capstone course, you commit to an artistic position—evidenced through studio production, presentation, and writing. Your work culminates in a spring exhibition.

Check out the 2020 BFA in Art Virtual Thesis Exhibition>> | View photos from the 2019 BFA in Art Capstone Exhibitions>>

Degree Requirements

The College of Art subscribes to the standards for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree as set forth and accepted by the College Art Association of American (CAA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

For students entering the College of Art in fall 2019, a BFA degree requires a total of 121 credits of course work. Specific details for the BFA in Art for the 2019-20 academic year can be found here>>

Studio Spotlight: Sculpting in the Virtual Classroom

Learning to make three-dimensional work can be challenging, even with in-person instruction. Here's how five Sam Fox School sculpture faculty members made the transition to teaching online during the current pandemic, and a look at the incredible work their students are creating, from Eco-Survival Suits and Tool Kits to Corona Candygrams. Full story>> 


Interested in learning more about our BFA in Art? Contact us>>