Studio Art

Video produced in 2016.

About Our Studio Art Programs

The Sam Fox School's Studio Art programs provide an individualized learning environment where students develop a professional artistic practice while pursuing diverse academic interests. As part of a top research university, you'll have access to faculty experts and programs in virtually any field. You will learn to become an artist with technical and conceptual depth while developing a deep knowledge of contemporary art and art history.

We offer both a BFA in Studio Art, which offers a more studio-intensive experience, as well as a BA in Studio Art, in which students can pursue more courses in other disciplines. Whatever degree path you choose, you can take classes in any area that interests you at WashU—environmental science, psychology, engineering, business, literature—all of which will enhance your studio work.

All Sam Fox School students can pursue second majors, minors, and even dual degrees, in other disciplines across the University.

Socially Engaged Practice

You can participate in dozens of community-engaged courses and initiatives. Check out recent projects, and learn about the Minor in Creative Practice for Social Change.



Our faculty are nationally and internationally renowned artists and designers whose work is in the collections of major museums. See their recent work in their faculty portfolios.


Alumni Spotlights

Your art education will uniquely prepare you for your career, whether that's as an artist, or as an attorney, doctor, or entrepreneur. Hear from our alumni about their professional paths.

Jenie Gao


Degree Paths

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art (BFA)
- Provides a studio-intensive experience
- 65 credits of studio course (about 1/2 of your total coursework)
- Optional concentrations in Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, or Time-Based + Media Art
- Capstone experience (required): A public exhibition of your work at the annual BFA in Studio Art show

Bachelor of Arts in Art (BA)
- Provides a broader liberal arts focus and greater flexibility in pursuing second majors and dual degrees
- 30-36 credits of studio courses (about 1/4 of your total coursework)
- No capstone experience

Did you know? Students enrolled in other schools at WashU can pursue second majors and minors within the Sam Fox School. Learn more>>

The College of Art subscribes to the standards for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree and Bachelor of Arts (BA) 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). For students entering the College of Art in fall 2020, a BFA degree requires a total of 121 credits of course work, and a BA degree requires 120 credits of course work. Detailed degree requirements for the BFA and BA degrees can be found here>>


Undergrad Studio Art Work

See more student work here>>

In your first year, you'll take core studios, including drawing, 2D design, 3D design, digital studio, and a weekly seminar. Drawing studios are team-taught by studio art and communication design faculty. You'll develop observational and illustrative skills, working mainly with charcoal, graphite, ink, and pastel. In 2D design and digital studio, you'll build essential skills in composition and communication through manual processes and digital design software. In 3D design, you'll learn fundamental sculptural and spatial skills, experimenting with new materials and processes, while learning how to use specialized tools and machines. Check out recent work from Foundations courses here>>

Every first-year student is mentored by a dedicated academic advisor who guides them in shaping the educational and degree path they desire. This includes course selection and scheduling.

As your education progresses, so will your course flexibility. You can choose between studios in core areas—Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, and Photography—as well as ones in hybrid media, time arts, public art, socially engaged practice, and much more.

Your studio courses will be supplemented by readings and seminars that acquaint you with the field of contemporary art and in developing an understanding of where your interests fit in the historical arc. You will also take professional practice seminars, taught by our dedicated career specialist, in which you'll develop essential skills like writing an artist statement, preparing a CV, applying for opportunities, and presenting a public lecture on your work.

All studio courses have a low student-to-faculty ratio to ensure personalized attention.


Digital Fabrication for Object-Making Visualizing Otherness: Race, Gender, & Class Printmaking: Propaganda to Decoration
Foundry & Blacksmithing Collage: History & Practice Art & Feminism
Compositions in Clay Sculpture: Iterative Systems Architecture through the Photographic Lens
Contemporary Portraiture Material as Metaphor Representation after History
Drone Photography Documentary Filmmaking Painting: Place & Space
Eco-Art The Painted Figure Art, Environment, Culture, & Image

All BFA in Art students integrate a mix of disciplines and approaches into their practice, regardless of whether you decide to pursue a concentration in a specific discipline.


This interdisciplinary program combines a study of the figure with abstraction and experimental practices. Students work across media, integrating other two- and three-dimensional strategies in their work.


Photography courses cover a range of techniques, including digital processes, working with drones, documentary work, large format cameras, studio photography, and traditional film techniques.


Students can explore relief printing, lithography, monotype, etching and aquatint, and screenprinting. The newly expanded printmaking suite includes a dedicated studio for book arts.


Students are able to take several electives, including blacksmithing, foundry, furniture design, ceramics, and metal fabrication. Sculpture also includes sound art, video art, installation, and performance art.

Time-Based + Media Art

Students can take courses in video art, digital film, sound art, new music, performance art, animation, and expanded cinema, plus work in other hybrid forms of digital, electronic, interactive, & analog time-based media.
Time-Based + Media Art

BFA Capstone

In the senior capstone course, BFA in Studio Art students commit to an artistic position—evidenced through studio production, presentation, and writing. You'll deliver a public presentation about your work and participate in the BFA in Studio Art Thesis Exhibition at the Des Lee Gallery in downtown St. Louis.

See the 2021 BFA in Studio Art Virtual Capstone Exhibition>> | See the 2021 BFA in Studio Art Junior Virtual Exhibition>>

Studio Spotlight: Sculpting in the Virtual Classroom

Learning to make three-dimensional work can be challenging, even with in-person instruction. Here's how five Sam Fox School sculpture faculty members made the transition to teaching online during the current pandemic, and a look at the incredible work their students are creating, from Eco-Survival Suits and Tool Kits to Corona Candygrams. Full story>> 

How to Apply

Learn about the application process, including submission guidelines for the portfolio, here>>

Questions? We’d love to speak with you by email, phone, or video about our program.
Please email Rachel Youn at