Minor in Visual Arts

The minor in Visual Arts is designed for students who want to explore various visual arts processes and concepts in the context of a professional art school. Visual Arts minors take courses alongside students pursuing professionally focused BFA and liberal arts BA in Art degrees in the BU School of Visual Arts. Minors are welcome to attend CFA events such as artist talks and exhibition openings, and are encouraged to become part of the CFA community.

Students in the minor gain foundational drawing experience and are exposed to a variety of art forms and techniques. The majority of Visual Arts minors take courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture. Some students take a range of courses and some students decide to focus in an area of interest. Courses in art education are also available. While the School of Visual Arts does have a graphic design department, courses in this area are in high demand and limited seats are available for Visual Arts minors.

Minor Requirements

The program consists of 20 units of Visual Arts courses (CFA AR). Students are advised to complete the minor at a pace of one course per term due to the intensity of studio art courses, and to be flexible with their intended course plan as many courses are in high demand. The Visual Arts minor is selective and requires an application for admission. Learn more about the application process.

Drawing Requirement

A 4-unit drawing course is required for the Visual Arts minor. Students may choose between two options:

  • CFA AR 193 Visual Arts Drawing (4 units) is for students looking for a course at the beginning to intermediate level.
  • CFA AR 131 Drawing I (4 units) is the foundational course for the BFA programs in the School of Visual Arts, and may be taken by Visual Arts minors (on a space-available basis) with significant previous experience in studio art courses.

Visual Arts Electives

The remaining 16 units are fulfilled with Visual Arts elective courses (CFA AR).

Visual Arts minors are encouraged to consult an advisor on the best electives for their artistic interests and goals. CFA AR courses that are generally available to Visual Arts minors include the following. This is a representative list; all courses may not be available in a given term or academic year.

  • CFA AR 123 Fundamentals of Design (2 units)
  • CFA AR 133 Introduction to Drawing (2 units, summer only)
  • CFA AR 136 Drawing and the Figure (4 units, summer only)
  • CFA AR 143 Introduction to Painting (2 units, summer only)
  • CFA AR 192 Intro to Drawing (2 units)
  • CFA AR 194 Mixed Media Drawing and Collage (4 units)
  • CFA AR 235 Drawing I (2 units, summer only)
  • CFA AR 236 Anatomy and Figure Drawing (4 units)
  • CFA AR 238 Drawing Concepts (4 units)
  • CFA AR 239 Figure Drawing (4 units)
  • CFA AR 243 Photography 1 (4 units)
  • CFA AR 250 Introduction to Printmaking (4 units)
  • CFA AR 251 Introduction to Printmaking (2 units)
  • CFA AR 270 Bookmaking Techniques (2 units)
  • CFA AR 369 Art, Community, and Social Engagement (4 units)
  • CFA AR 389 Graphic Design elective (4 units, summer only)
  • CFA AR 431 Advanced Drawing (2 units, summer only)
  • CFA AR 447 Printmaking: Etching and Monotype (4 units)
  • CFA AR 448 Printmaking: Lithography and Relief (4 units)
  • CFA AR 470 Ceramics 1 (4 units)
  • CFA AR 471 Ceramics 1 (2 units)
  • CFA AR 508 The Experimental Photograph (4 units)
  • CFA AR 515 Digital Photography (4 units)
  • CFA AR 521 Site-Specific Art (4 units)
  • CFA AR 580 History of Graphic Design (4 units)

In several of the above courses, a selected number of seats will be reserved for declared minors during the registration process, or will become available during cross-registration after all class years have registered. Minor registration is on a space available basis, as many of the above courses are requirements for other degree programs in the School of Visual Arts.

Many Visual Arts minors fulfill some of their minor requirements during BU Summer Term, particularly those who are interested in taking courses in Graphic Design. All BU Summer Term Visual Arts courses (CFA AR XXX) count toward the Visual Arts minor.

Visual Arts courses (not Italian or Art History) in the Venice Studio Arts program offered by BU Study Abroad during the academic year or summer can also be applied toward the minor.

Visual Arts minors who have previous experience in studio art courses and are interested in taking courses other than those listed above can request permission to enroll by contacting the Visual Arts office. Permission is granted on a space-available basis during cross-registration; the Visual Arts office will assist with registration.

A grade of C or better must be received in all courses taken toward this minor. With advisor approval, one transfer course or 4 transfer units may be used to fulfill the minor requirements. For further information, contact the School of Visual Arts in the College of Fine Arts, Room 552, 855 Commonwealth Avenue.