Bachelor of Fine Arts

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The world needs visual thinkers, and your degree in art or design will equip you to make an impact in your community and in your profession. Our undergraduate programs lead to the following degrees:

- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art

- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design

- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design

Regardless of the path you choose, your Washington University education will allow you to mix rigorous courses from across the campus with an intense studio experience. You will become an autonomous maker and develop a critical problem-solving process. Our faculty and your peers will help you learn to conceptualize projects and visualize ideas. You will gain valuable experience through collaborations with people from other fields.

Liberal Arts Foundation

As a BFA student, your liberal arts foundation is built on a combination of required academic courses, art history and visual culture courses, and elective courses. There is time and space to explore fields across WashU's undergraduate divisions: Architecture, Arts & Sciences, Business, and Engineering & Applied Science.

Departments across the campus include:
- Anthropology
- Computer Science
- Entrepreneurship
- Environmental Studies
- Marketing
- Neuroscience
- Philosophy
- Psychology
- Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

For a full list of areas of undergraduate study at WashU, click here.

BFA Curriculum: A Four-Year Snapshot

1. Build a foundation. In your first year, your required studio course work includes two semesters of drawing, two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, and Practices in Architecture+Art+Design, a weekly lecture course taught by the leaders of the School.

2. Choose your path. As a sophomore, you select courses across art and design, taking a digitally oriented class and choosing from introductory courses in fashion design, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and typography. During your second semester, you select your major.

For more information about instruction in digital technologies, click here.

3. Focus your study. In your junior year, you dive into your major, choosing among rigorous studio courses taught by faculty with diverse expertise.

4. Culminate with capstone. As a senior, you take a yearlong capstone course, which provides a bridge to your future after college. You begin with research that results in finished work and a public exhibition.

Sam Fox School Electives

Art and design undergraduates take two or three elective courses to experience new forms of visual making. Courses include:
– An Ecology of Art
– Data Visualization
– Digital Filmmaking
– Furniture Design
– Urban Books

BFA Degree Profile

The College of Art subscribes to the standards for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree as set forth and accepted by the College Art Association of American (CAA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Below is an overview of degree requirements for all Bachelor of Fine Arts students. A BFA degree requires a total of 128 credits of course work, with a minimum of 39 credits taken in Arts & Sciences. More specific information can be found on the individual degree program pages.

Academic Requirements                                   12 credits
Writing I                                                              3
Natural Sciences/Mathematics                                3
Humanities                                                           3
Social or Behavioral Sciences                                 3

Art History & Visual Culture Classes                 15 credits
Art, Architecture, Design History I & II                    6
Art History & Visual Culture Electives                      9

Foundation Classes                                           14 credits
Drawing I & II                                                       6
Practices I & II                                                      2
2-D & 3-D Design                                                  6

Major Classes                                                     42 credits

Art/Design/Architecture Electives                    9 credits

Additional Elective Classes                               36 credits

TOTAL                                                               128 CREDITS

Washington University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA-HLC).