Jul 10, 2020  
2018-2019 University Catalogue 
2018-2019 University Catalogue [Archived Catalogue]

BFA in Fine Arts

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Rebecca Sack, Program Director



Students in the Fine Arts Program are exposed to a wide range of art historical precedents and contemporary art in order to recognize the idea that meaning is integral to form. The Program encourages students to choose techniques, processes and formats that are appropriate for their artwork. Students develop a personal studio practice based upon conceptual interests, technical advancement and expansion, and the appreciation that the personal, the cultural and the historical are interlaced.

The Fine Arts curriculum is based on a framework of research, studio experimentation, artistic invention, and daily practice. Personal vision and artistic innovation anchor the development of work. This prepares the student to produce significant cultural contributions and dialog, exhibit art in gallery and museums, as well as create work for diverse communities and public spaces. To that end, students will be given assignments designed to develop conceptual skills in order to become proficient in the necessary processes and techniques appropriate to their artistic vision and intention.

Students in the Fine Arts Program have multiple options. They can choose an emphasis in Painting + Drawing, Printmaking + Book Arts, or Sculpture. Each of these emphases has five required classes. Using electives, the Fine Arts majors can choose a broad field of study or acquire deep knowledge within their chosen discipline. Generally, Fine Arts majors take one discipline specific class and one Interdisciplinary Commons class each semester. These courses fulfill studio requirements and balance the acquisition of discipline specific skills with a comprehensive conceptual development.

Critical thinking and visual analysis is combined with research into culturally important areas outside of the arts; such as, philosophy, psychology, history, sociology and science. Our emphasis on the liberally educated artist assures that our graduates will be knowledgeable beyond contemporary studio skills. They will be enabled and motivated to add something of value, not only to Art’s historical legacy, but to the broader contemporary context of serious human enterprise.

The senior thesis project/exhibition prepares each individual for successful entry into graduate-level programs, and to be competitive in gaining other forms of support, such as those available in grants, residencies, and gallery exhibitions. The program also addresses and prepares students for a variety of professional pathways related to their skill base and interests.

Program Objectives

  • Students demonstrate independent, creative problem solving and original thinking through the development of a distinct and personal approach to art making informed by contemporary issues and historical precedents.
  • Students demonstrate critical and conceptual development through research and analysis, applying readings, theories and methodologies toward the production of critically informed artworks.
  • Students acquire and demonstrate the professional skills needed to be successful as practicing artists, entrepreneurs, and productive citizens, including further study at the graduate level.
  • Students effectively communicate, orally and in writing, the thoughts behind their choices and decisions concerning content and strategies.
  • Students demonstrate proficiency in a number of advanced techniques in their individual studio practice, including a deep familiarity with materials and processes.

Academic Plan

Academic plans provide a semester by semester suggested course sequence. Plans can be customized through discussions with academic advisors.

Program Requirements (120 Credits)

Discipline History (12 Credits)

Critical Studies (30 credits)

Students will complete a writing placement exam to determine their composition sequence. Students who do not complete the exam may be placed based on standardized tests scores (if available) or high school GPA. Some students may be required to complete additional developmental coursework.

Students will complete one of the following sequences:

First Year Writing (6 credits)



Critical Approaches to the Arts and Culture (9 credits)

  • Select 3 courses from subject CRIT

Scientific Inquiry Foundation Track (3 credits)

  • Select 1 course from subject SIFT

Critical Studies Electives (12 credits)

  • Select courses from subjects:
    • AHST (Art History), HIST (History)
    • FRCH (French), ITAL (Italian), LITT (Literature)
    • PHIL (Philosophy), RELI (Religion)
    • MATH (Math), SCIE (Science)
    • ANTH (Anthropology), PHIL (Philosophy), PSYC (Psychology), SOCI (Sociology)
    • STCU (Cultural Studies), STDA (Dance Studies), STGS (Gender & Sexuality Studies),
      STMU (Music Studies), STPF (Performance Studies) 
  • Select courses from  : Art History or Critical Studies Elective.

Electives (16.5 credits)

  • Complete 16.5 credits of free electives. This requirement is satisfied by any undergraduate course that isn’t required by the program.

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