The Venice Studio Arts program offers studio art coursework in addition to art history and Italian language studies in one of the most artistic cities in the world. Offered in the fall and spring semesters, the Studio Arts program will provide students with rigorous studio and elective courses in graphic design, painting, printmaking, murano glass, drawing, Italian, art history, and sculpture. Courses are taught either at the Boston University Academic Center, or at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts, by local faculty as well as by visiting faculty from Boston University. In addition to regular class meetings, students have access to studios during the building hours. No background in Italian language is required and all courses (other than First-Semester Italian) are taught in English. During their time in Italy, students are placed in furnished apartments in Venice.

Upon successful completion of the program, students earn 16-18 Boston University Credits.

In addition to regular class meetings, students have access to studios during the building hours. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Required Courses

All students enroll in either a painting or graphic design course, and First-Semester Italian (unless they have prior Italian language background):

Required Studio Course:

Students choose one of the following courses in graphic design or painting.

  • CFA AR 225/226 Sophomore Graphic Design (4 credits)
     CFA AR 385/386 Typography (2)

    • Spring only. Previous design experience is beneficial.
    • Sophomore-level graphic design studio examines design principles and communication strategies. Image making and conceptual problem solving will be emphasized. Image making will be discussed vis-a-vis how principles of design impact composition, hierarchy and ultimately, communication. A student is expected to build upon the concepts—visual logic, narrative, and color studiesdeveloped during foundation year to generate innovative and inventive form in both analog and digital formats.
    • Syllabus (AR 226)
    • Syllabus (AR 386)
  • CFA AR 381/382 Junior Graphic Design (4)
     CFA AR 487/497 Typography (2)

    • Spring only. Prerequisite: CFA AR 225 & 226.
    • Junior-level graphic design studio focuses on editorial graphics and design. The course teaches students the technical foundations for transforming an idea into an editorial object, focusing on the magazine, the newspaper, and the book. Students also learn the essential elements necessary to creating logos, including how to create the final image, the visual material, the use of words to describe the product, and the realization.
    • Syllabus (AR 382)
    • Syllabus (AR 497)
  • CFA AR 341/342 Painting Studios (4)
    • Required for painting majors. Prerequisites: Painting I/II and Drawing I/II, or the equivalent.
    • Examines techniques of design, painting, and drawing. Students learn pencil, pastel, carbon, charcoal, ink, oil, wax, and mixed design techniques; tempera, acrylic, watercolor, oil, and mixed media painting techniques; and perspective, tonality, abstraction, chiaroscuro, and color in drawing. They also review different artistic genres, including still life, portraiture, nudes, and landscape as well as research into the figurative and abstract styles.
    • Syllabus

Required Language Course:

  • CAS LI 111 First-Semester Italian (4 credits)
    • Required for students without prior Italian language study.
    • Grammar, conversation practice, written exercises, and compositions.
    • Syllabus

Elective Courses

Students enrolled in the Venice Program have the option of participating in two of the following electives. Students enroll in a total of 16 credits. Some electives will be held off-site at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia or at the School of Glass in Murano.

  • CAS AH 354 Venetian Renaissance Art and Architecture (4 credits)
    • This course explores the development of Venetian visual culture from the 13th century through the end of the 16th century. Lectures take place in different locations each day and emphasize the importance of seeing and understanding works of art in the physical and historical context for which they were originally created. Therefore, class time will consist of visits to important public spaces, churches, and monuments (as well as some important galleries and museums) in Venice. To help put the Venetian context within the larger one of Italy as a whole, we will also go on field trips to the island of Torcello and cities such as Padua, Florence, and Rome.
    • Syllabus
  • CFA AR 419 Murano Glass (on the island of Murano) (4)
    • Spring only
    • An introduction to professional glassmaking methods.
    • Syllabus
  • CFA AR 447/448 Printmaking (Intaglio and lithography) (4)
  • CFA AR 501 Drawing Venice (4)
    • The main goal of this course is to provide the opportunitythrough drawingto explore Venice as a physical, historical, and multifaceted city and as a prominent center of art. Various concepts will be presented to foster the drawing process including: line, mass, space, light and tonal structure, automatic drawing, gesture, abstraction, medium, and transitioning from drawing to painting.
    • Syllabus
  • CFA VN 321 Sculpture Studios (4)
    • Fall only
    • This class focuses on teaching materials, tools, and methods essential to the process of sculpture making. Practical problem solving will be taught through working with materials including wood, clay, found objects, plaster, resins, found objects, and armatures. Students will develop a facility with a wide range of tools. There will be a strong focus on developing the students' ability to resource and experiment with materials, and for students to create works with personal content and conceptual framework.
    • Syllabus

The Global Learning Experience: An Online Course

Students in all Fall and Spring programs have the opportunity to enroll in The Global Learning Experience at no additional cost.

  • CAS IP101 The Global Learning Experience (1 credit)
    • All program participants have the opportunity to make the most of their semester abroad with The Global Learning Experience, a self-paced, Pass/Fail course with brief readings and experiential assignments that accompany them while living and studying in a country and culture different from their own. Students post their work, experiences and observations to an online platform to trace and articulate their achievements abroad from an academic, personal and professional standpoint. The course links students with the faculty instructors as well as peers studying on other BU Study Abroad programs around the world. Students earn one credit in addition to the total program credits mentioned below at no additional cost.
    • Syllabus
Program Residence

  • Fully furnished, shared apartments. Multiple occupancy bedrooms (typically double-occupancy rooms; a single room can be arranged for medical reasons, extra fees may apply), shared bathrooms.
  • Shared kitchen, stocked with all essential cooking and dining supplies.
  • No board included.
  • No dining hall available.
  • Laundry facilities are either in home (typically dryers are not available), or students will need to use a local laundromat.
  • BU Venice Center has common study, studio, and classroom spaces.
  • Fall Semester: early September to mid December
  • Spring Semester: mid January to mid May
  • Fall Semester: March 15
  • Spring Semester: October 1