BFA in Printmaking

The Printmaking program engages innovative and traditional technologies of printmaking, builds an open, creative community, and provides professional training in all fine print media. Building on the rigorous foundation program, the Printmaking major begins with introductory level courses in intaglio, relief, lithography, screen printing, book arts, and digital printmaking that focus on process and ideas, as well as materials, history, and analysis. The upper-level, advanced practice courses consolidate knowledge and encourage innovation and experimentation, building toward a body of work with an individual voice culminating in the BFA Thesis Exhibition. Students in Printmaking are also expected to critique and write about their own and others’ work, and submit a written statement to accompany their exhibition. A minimum of five major courses in at least three of the print media is required (including a thesis semester), as well as a Contemporary Issues Seminar, Painting II, the Art of the Multiple seminar, and at least one additional semester of Drawing at an advanced level. Additional studio electives provide versatility, visual fluency, and options in cross-disciplinary study, including two courses in one other major studio discipline and free electives supporting in-depth studio practice. Multidisciplinary study is encouraged, and students benefit from a close working relationship with faculty. Students are expected to interact with the community in special print projects, attend national conferences to build professional associations, and maintain an active profile as emerging professional artists. They are also encouraged to demonstrate an awareness and respect for diverse personal voices, backgrounds, and visions.

The ultimate goal is to prepare students for career entry in the world of professional printmaking. Students will be fluent in the concepts, processes, experimentation, and materials that are necessary to create work at an advanced level in printmaking, developing work from idea to finished product. They will be able to analyze and respond critically and become contributing members of the creative community.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Develop, produce, and exhibit a body of work that demonstrates inventiveness, creativity, ambition, and clarity of thinking.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in fine art printmaking processes including materials, tools, and techniques appropriate to the practice—including mastery of at least one printmaking technique (etching, relief, lithography, monotype, digital, silkscreen, book arts), showing the ability both to experiment with technical innovation and to explore and develop personal concepts and imagery.
  • Demonstrate ideas through a unique personal visual language.
  • Demonstrate spoken and written critical thinking and communication skills.
  • Apply appropriate models of interpretation based on historical and contemporary artistic knowledge.
  • Generate career materials sufficient to sustain a professional practice: artist statement, CV, image documentation, and online presence.
  • Complete participation in at least one collaborative or community printmaking project within or outside the department (e.g., Kopanang Community Trust project, printmaking conference, collaborative portfolio, group or exchange exhibition, etc.) involving the student’s studio production.
  • Demonstrate awareness, recognition, value, and respect for diverse personal voices, backgrounds, and visions and demonstrate cooperation and community-building based on respect and understanding.


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 majoring in Printmaking will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy a number of BU Hub requirements in Philosophical Inquiry and Life’s Meanings, Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness, the Individual in Community, First-Year Writing Seminar, Writing, Research & Inquiry, Digital/Multimedia Expression, Oral and/or Signed Communication, Writing Intensive, Teamwork/Collaboration, Research and Information Literacy, and Creativity/Innovation. 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.

The BFA requires 132 semester credits.

Visual Arts Foundation Requirements
CFA FA 100 Doing, Making & Knowing: The CFA Experience 2 cr
CFA AR 131, 132 Drawing I (first-year fall and spring semesters) 8 cr
CFA AR 121 Foundation Sculpture 4 cr
CFA AR 141 Foundation Painting 4 cr
CAS AH 111, 112 Art History 8 cr
Printmaking Major Requirements
CFA AR 425, 447, 448, 451, 452, 517, 518 Printmaking Major Studios (minimum four semesters, including CFA AR 452 in final senior semester) 20 cr
CFA AR 236, 238, 239, 250, 251, 270, 425, 432, 447, 448, 500, 501, 517, 518 Drawing/Printmaking electives (advanced) 12 cr
CFA AR 241 Painting II 4 cr
Graphic Design/Painting/Sculpture electives 8 cr
Additional studio elective 4 cr
CFA AR 329 Contemporary Issues Seminar (fall only) 2 cr
CFA AR 450 Art of the Multiple (spring only) 2 cr
CAS AH 393 Contemporary Art History–1980 to Present (fall only) 4 cr
BU Hub Requirements Outside Major and Electives
BU Hub Requirements outside the major, including First-Year Writing Seminar (e.g., CAS WR 120) and Writing, Research & Inquiry (e.g., CAS WR 151/152/153) or equivalent 32 cr
Additional BU Hub Requirements and/or studio/general electives 18 cr
Total credits 132 cr