Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Studio
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art with a Concentration in Studio Art is a professional degree consisting of 120 hours with an emphasis in Studio Art and a concentration in a selected media area. The degree requires eighteen credit hours of selected media area coursework as well as a three-credit-hour professional development capstone course. Requirements of admission, continuation, and completion of the degree are as follows:
The Bachelor of Fine Arts program is designed to offer students a more specialized program of study. Because there is a greater emphasis on art courses than in the BA program, the student graduates with a more intensive studio background. The BFA program allows students to work closely with instructors resulting in greater attention and advancement in the student’s work. Depending on availability and seniority, there is some studio space available to upper level BFA students.
BFA students are required to participate in an individual critique of their work every semester. Each student puts up recent work for critique by faculty and other students. In addition, the BFA students are required to go on the annual trip to an urban art center. BFA trips in recent years have visited Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans, and Kansas City. There is also an annual exhibition of work by students in the BFA program, usually held late in the Spring semester.
Admission to the BFA: Students who have earned a grade-point average of 3.00 or higher in art (after the completion of ARTS 1919C and ARTS 1929C) and who have maintained an overall grade-point average of 2.00 are eligible to make application to the BFA degree program. In addition to meeting the required grade-point average, all students must submit, as part of their application, a portfolio of current representative work for evaluation by the art faculty. Acceptance into the BFA program is contingent upon favorable evaluation by the art faculty of the applicant’s portfolio. Upon acceptance into the BFA degree program, each student will be assigned a major adviser for the purpose of completing a degree plan, which must meet departmental approval.
The student must complete a minimum of thirty-five credit hours of the state minimum core (three of the thirty-five hours in the Fine Arts credit is fulfilled in the department through the successful completion of ARHS 2913 and ARHS 2923), seven credits of electives in any course, and eighty-one credit hours of Studio Art and Art History courses including:
In Foundations – ARTS 1919C: Studio Foundations I and ARTS 1929C: Studio Foundations II, eighteen credit hours (including Drills scheduled on Thursday nights from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m).
In Art History – a completion of a minimum of six courses (18 credit hours) of Art History and one course (3 credit hours) in Philosophy of Art.
In Art Electives – Students must complete eight courses (24 credit hours) in Studio Art electives and at least one course (3 credit hours) in each of the following studio areas: Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, and Visual Design. With the approval of the Art Department, up to six credit hours taken outside the department may be counted as electives
In selected media area, for a primary concentration – six courses (18 credit hours) in selected media area and one course (3 credit hours) in Professional Development.
The BFA Professional Development course (ARTS 4923) is designed to prepare graduating students for pursuing careers as professional visual artists. Students will be introduced to various aspects of studio practice, including but not limited to gallery documents/contracts, shipping/documenting artwork, time management strategies, and standard business research associated with the field. The course is structured as a seminar that involves collective dialogue, research, presentations, and assignments. This course is required for all BFAs in Studio Art. This is taught in studio areas as a stand-alone course and/or a combined course in the advanced-level courses based on student enrollment.
After entry into the BFA program, the student is required to complete two semesters with a minimum of three credit hours of course work in their major studio area each semester.
Off-campus Study Requirement: Each student is required to complete an approved off-campus study experience each semester in the program. This may involve a field trip to an urban center that includes visits to major art collections.
Degree Requirements: The BFA degree will be awarded to students who, upon the completion of the approved program, have maintained a 3.00 grade-point average within the University of Arkansas Department of Art and a 2.00 grade-point average overall. Students in the BFA program whose grade point average falls below 3.0 in art classes for two consecutive semesters will be dismissed from the BFA program. A faculty-supervised critique of the work of each student, once each semester the student is in the program, is required. A senior review and exhibition will be required prior to the granting of the degree.
Applying to the BFA program
The application process to the BFA program consists of a written application and a portfolio review. Reviews are held on Dead Day of the Spring and Fall semesters. You may apply if you have completed all of the BFA foundation courses and maintained the required grade point averages. Acceptance into the B.F.A. program is contingent upon favorable evaluation by the Art faculty of your portfolio. Once you get into the program, you will be assigned a major advisor for the purpose of completing a degree plan that must meet department approval.
Signs are posted every semester on the bulletin boards in the art department notifying everyone of the application date for the BFA program. Applications are available in the office with a cover sheet that tells you when and where you take your portfolio to be viewed by the faculty.
Portfolio requirements for B.F.A. degree program applications:
- Fifteen to twenty pieces of work are suggested.
- Actual works are expected. However, photographs and/or slides are accepted if the originals are not available or if photographs/slides were the product of a course.
- The portfolio should include a selection of works from a variety of your art courses, with emphasis on work in the proposed area of concentration.
Recommendations for presenting your portfolio in an effective manner for the BFA portfolio review:
- Make sure the pieces you present are in good condition. Yellow or torn drawings, dirty sculptures, show that you just don’t care.
- Small pieces, such as photos, design projects, and small prints and drawings will look better if they are mounted or matted. While there is no requirement that you mat the things in your portfolio, it is well worth the time and effort for these smaller pieces.
- When you display your work, plan out how you want it to appear to the viewer. If your portfolio is presented as a cohesive unit, it is pleasing to the eye as opposed to being uncomfortably awkward and haphazard.
- Have a list itemizing the pieces of your portfolio that includes the title, date (or semester), and class in which it was done.
- This is optional, but it is convenient for the viewer. You can make labels for each piece so it can be identified on sight and corresponds to the list.
- Be sure to clearly label the portfolio as yours. If the faculty can’t identify whose it is, they won’t know whom to accept into the program.
Transfer credit will be allowed from other accredited and recognized art departments so long as the credit earned is compatible with program and course requirements within this department, and reflects a grade of “C” or better. The department will not accept more than 50% of the required BFA professional degree credits from other institutions.
Off-Campus Study Requirement
Each student is required to complete an approved off-campus study experience each semester in the program. This may involve a field trip to an urban center which could include visits to major art collections.
The Fulbright College research/analytical writing requirement for art majors, B.A. and B.F.A. degrees, will be fulfilled in Art History courses 4833, 4843, 4853, 4863, 4873, 4933, 4943, 4963, and 4973. May also be an honors thesis in art history (only).