View our gallery of student work from the graduate Painting program.

Each student in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Painting program concentrates on developing a personal artistic vision. Student work is enriched through contact with the ideas and experiences of the distinguished painting faculty, visiting artists, and fellow students. Students acquire and practice new painting techniques and explore ideas and images by generating paintings, drawings, and prints. Consideration of works by contemporary and past painters challenges students to adhere to the highest standards while developing a personal artistic sensibility in a unique body of work.

For graduate admission information, please go here.


Students are expected to paint full-time during the two-year course of study. The curriculum consists of individual studio work, painting seminars, and group discussions in addition to liberal arts and studio elective courses. Professors provide guidance and feedback during individual and group critiques. Two extensive group critiques per semester, mid-year reviews, and individual critiques with visiting artists offer additional opportunities for evaluation of student work. Each student determines and develops a body of work that is presented in an annual thesis exhibition in one of Boston University’s on-campus galleries. The range of media used in the program is varied; however, most students paint in either oil or acrylic.

Two-Year Outline of Study

Graduate Painting: 36 cr
Graduate Seminar/Discussion: 12 cr
Liberal Arts Elective: 4 cr
Art or General Electives: 8 cr
Total: 60 cr

Special Opportunities and Events

In addition to the rigorous instruction by the faculty, students learn from each other. The close proximity of students’ individual work spaces creates a setting in which students share ideas, techniques, and processes. An informal evening lecture series offers stimulating weekly discussions with art professionals, including practicing painters, printmakers, curators, art history and literature professors, and critics. Master class workshops and landscape painting trips to Maine offer further learning opportunities for graduate painters.

Address and Contact Information

Boston University School of Visual Arts 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 552, Boston, MA 02215;; (617) 353-3371.