2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Studio Arts, BFA

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Program Faculty


The BFA in Studio Arts is the degree for the professional artist. Focusing on the practice and production of contemporary art, this degree affords the student the opportunity to pursue Intensives in traditional modes of art making such as Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, or Jewelry and Metalsmithing while exploring more contemporary approaches such as, Installation, Performance Art, Public, and Social Practices. Offering a single degree, students have the opportunity to choose to focus within one of the traditional media or pursue an interdisciplinary practice that incorporates various mediums, methods, and approaches guided by mentorship and extensive advising. With a focus on professional practices emphasizing skills, conceptual understanding, critical reflection and abilities to develop and maintain a sustainable artistic practice, this degree aims to build on the School's rich legacy of educating the innovative artists and cultural practitioners of the future.

Students must complete a total of 122 degree credits for the Studio Arts, BFA. This includes 30 credits of liberal arts and science courses, 9 of which must fall under the AIC (Arts in Context) category.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Develop a coherent art practice that demonstrates a thorough understanding of the materials, processes, and concepts relevant to your work.

2. Apply creative thinking skills to develop and solve problems within your work. 

3. Use research skills to develop and articulate an understanding of contemporary art, art history, and visual culture, as they relate to your art practice. 

4. Demonstrate critical thinking and communication skills to meaningfully critique both your own and others’ work.

Program Requirements



Through the art intensives, students have the opportunity to choose to focus within one of the traditional media or pursue an interdisciplinary practice that incorporates various mediums, methods, and approaches guided by mentorship and extensive advising.


Art in Context can be satisfied by courses related to art and design history, theory and philosophy.

As part of these AIC classes, students must take AIC 340 Visiting Artist Lecture Series, a 1-credit class, three times, for a total of 3 credits.

Students must also take one of the following survey classes from the Department of Art & Music Histories:

HOA 106 Art and Ideas II

HOA 176 The Visual Arts of the Americas

HOA 378 Twentieth-Century American Art

Students may also petition for a survey-style selected topics class that covers modern or contemporary art, under HOA 200, 300, and 400, to fulfill this requirement. Not all HOA selected topics classes will count; they must be focused on modern or contemporary art (roughly 1860s to present) and must be a survey class, meaning that they cover a broad range of work instead of focusing on a narrow topic.

*The required 12 credits should consist of 9 Liberal Arts & Sciences credits.


WRT 105   Writing Studio 1

WRT 205   Writing Studio 2

Liberal Arts & Sciences Electives (15 credits)/Academic Electives (11 credits)*

Academic electives are most courses offered outside of art, design, or transmedia (for example, courses offered in CRS, Arts and Sciences, Whitman, and other colleges outside of VPA). These academic courses usually have non-art-related content, such as math, natural sciences, astronomy, global history, political science, psychology, and entrepreneurship, and languages, among others. You can find a comprehensive list of approved academic electives here.

*The required 26 credits should consist of Liberal Arts & Sciences (15 credits), and Academic Electives (11 credits)


Studio electives are courses usually offered in VPA through art, design, or transmedia.  The content of the courses directly relates to the preparation of students for professional careers in art, design, and transmedia. The course content includes, but is not limited to, conceptualization, process, product, and critique of creative work in studio practice. These courses meet for a much longer time, for a minimum of four hours per week for the duration of the semester. Usual meeting patterns are: the class meets once per week for four+ hours, or the class meets twice per week, usually for two or more hours each. You can find a comprehensive list of courses that count as studio electives here.


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