BFA+BA Degrees

The College of Art is all about making—and you choose the particulars. We offer two different degree paths, both of which have options in Art and Design for your specific major:

At a Glance: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
- Majors in Art, Communication Design, or Fashion Design
- Capstone course work required
- Culminating exhibition/public showcase of work
- 65 credits of studio work: greater disciplinary depth within the major*

At a Glance: Bachelor of Arts (BA)
- Majors in Art or Design
- No capstone experience
- 30-36 credits of studio work: greater flexibility to pursue second
majors/minors and to take courses across the University; students may take up to two non-SFS courses as specified by this list*

*For students entering in fall 2018 or after

Whatever path you choose, you can also take classes in other fields that interest you: environmental science, art history, engineering, psychology, literature—anything WashU offers—all of which will enrich your studio work. You can even pursue second majors and minors in these other disciplines.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

The BFA program is ideal for students who want to pursue professional careers as designers or artists and want an intensive studio experience. Nearly half of your classes will be in the College of Art, and you will develop a capstone project for exhibition in your senior year. This degree program offers three majors:

Art: Optional concentrations in Painting, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture. Learn more>>

Communication Design: No formal concentrations, but areas of emphasis include graphic design, illustration, and interaction design. Learn more>>

Fashion Design: Coursework in patternmaking, textile design, experimental fabrication strategies, and illustration. Learn more>>

Bachelor of Arts (BA) Program

The BA program is designed for students who want a deep liberal arts experience that integrates a studio major. About one-quarter of your classes will be in the College of Art, and there is no capstone course or final exhibition during the senior year. There are two majors in this degree program:

Art. No formal concentrations, but coursework includes hybrid media, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Learn more>>

Design. Optional concentrations in Communication or Fashion. Learn more>>

Facilities & Resources

Our spacious facilities support all kinds of making, with a large-scale etching press, a letterpress book studio, 3D printers, laser cutters, a digital fabrication lab, dedicated wood and metal shops, and more. You can research and explore the books, art, and special collections of the world-class Kemper Art Museum, Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library, and D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library—all right on campus. Learn more here>>

Career Outcomes

A degree in art or design prepares you to pursue any number of professional paths. As proof, 96% of our alumni reporting are employed in desired professions, or enrolled in graduate programs, by the fall after they graduate. Our dedicated Career Services office provides you with one-on-one advising and specialized programs to pursue your professional interests. Learn more here>>

About St. Louis

St. Louis is made for artists and designers. Beloved for its distinctive red brick, its incredible parks and gardens, its thriving food scene, and its numerous galleries, St. Louis is a place for curiosity and exploration. Its neighborhoods are vibrant, varied, and alive. All the city's art museums are free—including the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and the Sam Fox School's own Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. Learn more>>

Student Spotlights

What's it like to be a WashU student? First-year BFA student Connor Seger captured a second of video every day at the outset of his college career.

You can also get the scoop on life at WashU from bloggers Megan Stansbury (communication design, Class of 2020), Allana Thompson (art and communication design, Class of 2022), and Sparkle Whitaker (fashion design and sociology, Class of 2022).

Fox Fridays

Each Friday during the academic year, the School hosts a free workshop that transforms a particular resource facility or tool space into a classroom for exploration. These workshops provide quick, effortless, and fun investigations into mediums and tools that might not ordinarily find their way into your studio practice. Prior experience in a given area is not required, and workshops are open to all students.

Workshops have included: Image Making in Photoshop, Pulp Fiction: Painting with Paper, Generative Modeling: Rhino and Grasshopper, From Print to Web: Basics in Coding for the Web, Adobe Illustrator & Beyond, Alginate Body Casting, Laser Cutting, Prototyping Mindset: How Google Learns Quickly, Drone Photography, Scan Your Head: 3D Scanning and Printing, Darkroom, and Textile Surface Design with Natural Dyes. For more information or to sign up for a workshop, visit the Fox Fridays website.


Interested in learning more about our BFA and BA programs? Contact us>>