BA in Art

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art is for students who desire a studio program in visual arts that incorporates substantial study in the liberal arts and integrates arts research with broad-based studio art training. The BA in Art degree offers a range of introductory studio courses, a special topics seminar focused around arts research practices, and a menu of student-selected intermediate courses to prepare each student for a senior capstone project. As a liberal arts degree, the BA in Art is focused around integrating studio processes with the development of intersecting capacities important in study of the arts that are also taught in the BU Hub, including: research, creativity, communication, and critical thinking related to the visual arts, and in particular to studio art processes.

The BA in Art prepares students for graduate work and academic careers in a wide range of arts-related fields, including arts administration, cultural entrepreneurship, museum studies, arts and community development, and other fields outside the arts that require expertise in research, problem-solving, and creative thinking.

Unique Opportunities

The BA in Art can uniquely provide opportunities for students interested in interdisciplinary perspectives who wish to combine an interest in studio art with the myriad undergraduate offerings at Boston University. It is generally expected that students pursuing the BA in Art will augment their study with a minor (or second major) in a program outside of the School of Visual Arts. Students who wish to pursue the BA in Art as part of the Dual Degree Program are required to follow all University application procedures of the Dual Degree Program.

Learning Outcomes

All students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Boston University School of Visual Arts are expected to:

  • Develop a visual sensitivity that is informed by both material practice and creative research.
  • Obtain the technical skills, perceptual development, and understanding of principles of visual organization sufficient to achieve basic visual communication and expression in one or more media.
  • Refine the ability to make workable connections between concept and media.
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze and contextualize the works and intentions of major artists/designers and movements of the past and the present, both in the Western and non-Western worlds.
  • Demonstrate spoken and written critical-thinking and communication skills.
  • Develop skills of research and information literacy as they relate to the visual arts, culminating in a capstone research project.

Hub Requirements

All BU undergraduate students, including both entering first-year and transfer students, will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements can be satisfied in a number of ways, including coursework in and beyond the major as well as through cocurricular activities. Students pursuing the BA in Art will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Philosophical Inquiry, Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness, and some requirements in the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, cocurricular experiences.

BA in Art Program of Study

Students in the major take a combination of foundation courses as well as a choice of required electives within the studio and art historical components of the major, and a choice of general and liberal arts electives, as outlined below. For the Art History elective, a 200-level survey course in non-Western art or an art history course with a Hub unit in Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy is recommended. This includes the CFA History of Graphic Design course.

The BA requires 128 semester credits.

CFA FA 100 Doing, Making & Knowing: The CFA Experience1 or SVA elective2 2 cr
CFA AR 193 Visual Arts Drawing, CFA AR 194 Drawing/Collage, CFA AR 131 Drawing 1, or CFA AR 132 Drawing 1 4 cr
CFA AR 123 Foundation Design 2 cr
Foundation elective in Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, or Photography (CFA AR 121, 141, 243, 250; all 4 cr) 4 cr
CAS AH 111 and AH 112 Art History I and II 8 cr
Elective in Art History or History of Graphic Design (all CAS AH or CFA AR 580) 4 cr
CFA AR 260 Special Topics in Visual Art Seminar (spring only, recommended sophomore year) 2 cr
General studio electives (Group A) 6 cr
Intermediate studio electives (Group B), usually taken during the junior year 8 cr
Upper-level studio electives (Group C), usually taken during the senior year and relating to Capstone 4 cr
CFA AR 480 Senior Capstone 4 cr
BU Hub Requirements Outside Major and Electives
General electives (CAS, CGS, COM, QST, ENG, SAR, SHA, SED, CFA FA) 40 cr
BU Hub requirements outside the major, including First-Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 120) and Writing, Research & Inquiry (e.g., WR 151/152/153) 40 cr
Total credits 128 cr

1 Incoming first-year students only
2 For second-semester or later entry into BA

Studio Electives

Group A:

  • CFA AR 121 Foundation Sculpture*
  • CFA AR 132 Foundation Drawing*
  • CFA AR 141 Foundation Painting*
  • CFA AR 194 Collage*
  • CFA AR 221 Materials and Methods in Sculpture
  • CFA AR 225 Sophomore Graphic Design I
  • CFA AR 226 Sophomore Graphic Design II
  • CFA AR 241 Painting II
  • CFA AR 242 Painting III
  • CFA AR 243 Photo I*
  • CFA AR 250 Intro to Printmaking*
  • CFA AR 251 Intro to Printmaking
  • CFA AR 261 Intro to Art Education
  • CFA AR 270 Bookmaking Techniques

* Starred courses can be taken toward general studio electives if the Drawing and Foundation elective requirements have already been met.

Group B:

  • CFA AR 223 Installation Art
  • CFA AR 224 New Genres
  • CFA AR 236 Human Anatomy for the Artist
  • CFA AR 238 Drawing Concepts
  • CFA AR 239 Figure Drawing
  • CFA AR 295 Visual Arts Painting
  • CFA AR 321 Junior Sculpture Studios I (with instructor permission)
  • CFA AR 322 Junior Sculpture Studios II (with instructor permission)
  • CFA AR 327 Sculpture Techniques
  • CFA AR 337 Welding
  • CFA AR 341 Junior Painting Studios I (with instructor permission)
  • CFA AR 342 Junior Painting Studios II (with instructor permission)
  • CFA AR 344 Painting elective
  • CFA AR 369 Art, Community, and Social Engagement
  • CFA AR 385 Sophomore Type I
  • CFA AR 386 Sophomore Type II
  • CFA AR 412 Architecture Design (with instructor permission)
  • CFA AR 425 Artist and the Book
  • CFA AR 428 Architecture Site Design (with instructor permission)

Group C:

  • CFA AR 447 Etching and Monotype
  • CFA AR 448 Lithography
  • CFA AR 450 Art of the Multiple
  • CFA AR 470 Ceramics
  • CFA AR 500 Drawing elective
  • CFA AR 501 Drawing Venice
  • CFA AR 502 Branding
  • CFA AR 508 The Experimental Photograph
  • CFA AR 512 Architecture Design II (with instructor permission)
  • CFA AR 515 Digital Photo
  • CFA AR 517 Digital Printmaking: Ink & Pixel
  • CFA AR 521 Site-Specific Art
  • CFA AR 527 Drawing into Animation
  • CFA AR 528 Architecture Site Design II (with instructor permission)
  • CFA AR 547 Painting Techniques I
  • CFA AR 548 Painting Techniques II
  • CFA AR 558 Contemporary Issues in Art Education
  • CFA AR 565 Art, Access, and Inclusion
  • CFA AR 581 Web Design
  • CFA AR 589 Interactive Design