Skip to main content

2022-2023 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [In Progress]

Search Help

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art

Requirements for all eight possible emphases and suggested order of coursework The B.F.A. is a degree option for Studio Art majors developed to prepare students for a professional career in one of eight emphases: ceramics, graphic design, illustration, jewelry/metalsmithing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, or visual studies. In addition to specific emphasis requirements, students seeking a B.F.A. degree must complete a minimum of 81 credits across the Department of Visual and Media Arts, as outlined below. A 2.75 GPA must be maintained in the upper-level studio courses for a B.F.A.

First Two Years

Students pursuing a B.F.A. in studio art are required to complete:

Art History

Students pursuing a B.F.A. in studio art are required to complete:

Capstone

Students pursuing a B.F.A. in studio art are required to complete:

Students register for a section taught by an art history professor. Completion of the art history requirements for the B.F.A. program is a prerequisite for ART 495 .

Senior Project Requirement

All B.F.A. students pursuing an emphasis in ceramics, jewelry/metalsmithing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and visual studies must complete ART 498 - Senior Project (3 credits). All B.F.A. students pursuing an emphasis in graphic design must complete ART 415 - Graphic Design Senior Project (3 credits). Those B.F.A. students pursuing an emphasis in illustration must complete ART 416 - Senior Project: Illustration (3 credits).

General Education Requirements

In the GVSU general education requirements, the Foundations section lists ART 101 - Introduction to Art (3 credits) as a choice. ART 101 is not required for the B.F.A., B.A., or B.S. in studio art. Some of the material in ART 101 will be duplicated in the required coursework. Majors are advised to take one of the other classes in the general education Arts category.

Benchmarks

The following are key moments of assessment in each student's progress toward a B.F.A. degree:

Second-year

The second-year review marks the conclusion of the introductory part of the program and supports the student in planning. A faculty review panel will assess craft, interests, technical, and other strengths evident in the studio work from completed and in-progress studio courses. This advisory review happens near the end of the semester that students will have completed (or transferred) the following courses: ART 150, ART 151, ART 153, ART 155 and five other studios in four different areas, including the required course from a 3D area (ceramics, jewelry/metalsmithing or sculpture). Students should plan to take these courses and schedule their Second Year Review as early as possible in the program.

Junior Review

Two semesters before their B.F.A. exhibition, all B.F.A. students are required to present a faculty review panel with examples of the work they have completed since their second-year review, in order to discuss potential paths forward to their Senior Project. Based on the review, students may be asked to do remedial work and submit to an additional review. If an additional review is unsuccessful, the student will be asked to shift from their current program or the department.

B.F.A. Exhibition

In order to complete their Senior Project (ART 415, ART 416, or ART 498), graduating B.F.A. students must present their work in either a group exhibition or solo exhibition, reviewed by studio art faculty and earning a grade of at least a C.

Emphases

Ceramics

Requires 57 credits as follows:

Required Pathway Courses (total 15 credits)

Culminating Courses (total 9 credits)

Film and Video Production or Photography Course (3 credits)

Students may select any studio course in Film/Video Production or Photography.

Studio Elective Courses (total 30 credits)

Students may choose from any studio courses offered in the Studio Art major. A minimum of one studio elective must be taken from either the jewelry/metalsmithing or sculpture areas. Some elective courses may have prerequisite courses. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in determining which courses will be appropriate for their interests and the requirements.

For students desiring more engagement in the ceramics emphasis, ART 478 - Ceramics: Advanced Studio (3 credits) is suggested as an optional studio elective class. This course is repeatable and up to six credits in ceramics will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree. For students desiring more depth in Photography or film and video production, any additional studio courses in the two programs are suggested. Up to three additional credits in photography or film and video production will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree.

Students are encouraged to complete courses in studio art and other areas of interest beyond the minimum required. Unrestricted elective credits, i.e., those beyond the 27-credit minimum, will apply toward the GVSU 120 credit-hour baccalaureate degree requirement and may help satisfy general education requirements.

Graphic Design

Requires 57 credits as follows:

Required Pathway Courses (total 15 credits)

Culminating Courses (total 9 credits)

Film and Video Production or Photography Course (3 credits)

Design History Course

Students must substitute ART 218 - Design History (3 credits) for one of the two Art History elective courses.

Studio Elective Courses (total 30 credits)

Students can choose from any studio courses offered in the studio art major. A minimum of one studio elective must be taken from either the ceramics, jewelry/metalsmithing, or sculpture areas. Some elective courses may have prerequisite courses. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in determining which courses will be appropriate for their interests and the requirements.

For students desiring more engagement in the graphic design emphasis, any additional graphic design courses are suggested. Up to nine additional credits in graphic design will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree. These include:

For students desiring more depth in photography or film and video production, any additional studio courses in the two programs are suggested. Up to three additional credits in photography or film and video production will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree.

Students are encouraged to complete courses in studio art and other areas of interest beyond the minimum required. Unrestricted elective credits, i.e., those beyond the 27-credit minimum, will apply toward the GVSU 120 credit-hour baccalaureate degree requirement and may help satisfy general education requirements.

Illustration

Requires 57 credits as follows:

Required Pathway Courses (total 15 credits)

Culminating Courses (total 9 credits)

Notes on prerequisites and sequencing

Illustration courses are divided into three levels: Fundamentals, Intermediate and Advanced. Students may take one class from each tier following this sequence: Fundamentals to Intermediate to Advanced Illustration. However, to be awarded an illustration emphasis, both courses in the Fundamentals and Intermediate tiers and one Advanced course should be completed before Senior Project. For example:

  • Fundamentals of Illustration: 2 courses (6 credits)
  • Intermediate Illustration: 2 courses (6 credits)
  • Advanced Illustration: 1 course (3 credits)

Film and Video Production or Photography Course (3 credits)

Illustration History Course (3 credits)

Students must substitute ART 219 - History of Illustration (3 credits) for one of the two art history elective courses. The other elective must be 300-level or above.

Studio Elective Courses (total 30 credits)

Students can choose from any studio courses offered in the studio art major. A minimum of one studio elective must be taken from either the ceramics, jewelry/metalsmithing, or sculpture areas. Some elective offerings may have prerequisite courses. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in determining which course will be appropriate for their interests and the requirements.

For students desiring more engagement in the illustration emphasis, additional Illustration courses are suggested. Up to nine additional credits in illustration will be applied toward the B.F.A. These include:

For students desiring more depth in photography or film and video production, any additional studio courses in the two programs are suggested. Up to three additional credits in photography or film and video production will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree. Students are encouraged to complete courses in studio art and other areas of interest beyond the minimum required. Unrestricted elective credits, i.e., those beyond the 27-credit minimum, will apply toward the GVSU 120 credit-hour baccalaureate degree requirement and may help satisfy general education requirements.

Jewelry/Metalsmithing

Requires 57 credits as follows:

Required Pathway Courses (total 15 credits)

Culminating Courses (9 credits)

Notes:

Film and Video Production or Photography Course (3 credits)

Studio Elective Courses (total 30 credits)

Students can choose from any studio courses offered in the studio art major. A minimum of one studio elective must be taken from either the ceramics or sculpture areas. Some elective offerings may have prerequisite courses. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in determining which courses will be appropriate for their interests and the requirements.

For students desiring more engagement in the jewelry and metalsmithing emphasis (also known as JEM), both ART 347 and ART 349 may be repeated once. No more than 6 additional JEM credits may be applied toward the B.F.A. degree. Students are also encouraged to take ART 271 - Sculpture: Digital 3D Modeling and Design (3 credits).

For students desiring more depth in photography or film and video production, any additional studio courses in the two programs are suggested. Up to three additional credits in photography or film and video production will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree.

Students are encouraged to complete courses in studio art and other areas of interest beyond the minimum required. Unrestricted elective credits, i.e., those beyond the 27-credit minimum, will apply toward the GVSU 120 credit-hour baccalaureate degree requirement and may help satisfy general education requirements.

Painting

Requires 57 credits as follows:

Required Pathway Courses (total 15 credits)

Culminating Courses (9 credits)

Film and Video Production or Photography Course (3 credits)

Students may select any studio course in film/video production or photography.

Studio Elective Courses (total 30 credits)

Students can choose from any courses offered in the studio art major. A minimum of one studio elective must be taken from either the ceramics, jewelry/metalsmithing, or sculpture areas. Some elective offerings may have prerequisite courses. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in determining which courses will be appropriate for their interests and the requirements.

For students desiring more depth in photography or film and video production, any additional studio courses in the two programs are suggested. Up to three additional credits in photography or film and video production will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree.

Students are encouraged to complete courses in studio art and other areas of interest beyond the minimum required. Unrestricted elective credits, i.e., those beyond the 27-credit minimum, will apply toward the GVSU 120 credit-hour baccalaureate degree requirement and may help satisfy general education requirements.

Printmaking

Requires 57 credits as follows:

Required Pathway Courses (total 15 credits)

Culminating Courses (total 9 credits)

Note:

Film and Video Production or Photography Course (3 credits)

Studio Elective Courses (total 30 credits)

Students can choose from any courses offered in the studio art major. A minimum of one studio elective must be taken from either the ceramics, jewelry/metalsmithing, or sculpture areas. Some elective offerings may have prerequisite courses. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in determining which courses will be appropriate for their interests and the requirements.

For students desiring more depth in photography or film and video production, any additional studio courses in the two programs are suggested. Up to three additional credits in photography or film and video production will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree.

Students are encouraged to complete courses in studio art and other areas of interest beyond the minimum required. Unrestricted elective credits, i.e., those beyond the 27-credit minimum, will apply toward the GVSU 120 credit-hour baccalaureate degree requirement and may help satisfy general education requirements.

Sculpture

Requires 57 credits as follows:

Required Pathway Courses (total 15 credits)

Culminating Courses (9 credits)

Film and Video Production or Photography Course (3 credits)

Students may select any studio course in Film/Video Production or Photography.

Studio Elective Courses (total 30 credits)

Students can choose from any studio courses offered in the studio art major. A minimum of one studio elective must be taken from either the ceramics or jewelry/metalsmithing areas. Some elective courses may have prerequisite courses. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in determining which courses will be appropriate for their interests and requirements.

For students desiring further engagement in sculpture, both ART 371 - Materials and Making: Digital Fabrication in Sculpture (3 credits) and ART 372 - Mold Making and Casting: Digital Foundry in Sculpture (3 credits) may be repeated once. No more than six additional sculpture credits may be applied toward the B.F.A. degree. Students are also encouraged to take either ART 245 - Fabricating Adornment: Jewelry Basics and Design (3 credits) or ART 275 - Ceramics: The Basics (3 credits) as a studio elective course.

For students desiring more depth in photography or film and video production, any additional courses in the two programs are suggested. Up to 3 additional credits in photography or film and video production will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree.

Students are encouraged to complete courses in studio art and other areas of interest beyond the minimum required. Unrestricted elective credits, i.e., those beyond the 27-credit minimum, will apply toward the GVSU 120 credit-hour baccalaureate degree requirement and may help satisfy general education requirements.

Visual Studies

Requires 57 credits as follows:

Working with their advisor, students design individualized learning plans that include required and elective courses in the Studio Art major. Learning plans are reviewed every semester. Individualized learning plans in Visual Studies can include deeper engagement in varied studio areas and combinations, and be developed together with other scholarly, community, experiential, and career objectives.

Required Pathway Courses (total 15 credits)

Students must choose four visual studies courses from the following options:

Students must choose a fifth course from the following options:

Culminating Courses (9 credits)

Film and Video Production or Photography Course (3 credits)

Studio Elective Courses (total 30 credits)

Studio elective courses are chosen from any courses offered in the studio art major as part of the individualized learning plan. A minimum of one studio elective must be taken from either the ceramics, jewelry/metalsmithing, or sculpture areas. Some elective courses may have prerequisite courses. Students are encouraged to work closely with their advisors in determining which course will be appropriate for their interests and the requirements.

For students desiring more engagement in the visual studies emphasis, any additional Visual Studies courses are suggested. Up to nine additional credits in visual studies will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree. Visual studies courses can be repeated once.

For students desiring more depth in photography or film and video production, any additional courses in the two programs are suggested. Up to three additional credits in photography or film and video production will be applied toward the B.F.A. degree. Students are encouraged to complete courses in studio art and other areas of interest beyond the minimum required. Unrestricted elective credits, i.e., those beyond the 27-credit minimum, will apply toward the GVSU 120 credit-hour baccalaureate degree requirement and may help satisfy general education requirements.

Suggested Order of Coursework for a B.F.A. in Studio Art

Year One

Fall Semester (15 credits):

  • Two general education courses (6 credits)
  • Three foundation studio courses:
  1. ART 150 - Foundations: 2-D Design and Color (3 credits)
  2. ART 151 - Foundations: 3-D Design (3 credits)
  3. ART 155 - Foundations: Introduction to Drawing I (3 credits)

Winter Semester (15 credits):

  • Two general education courses credits, including MTH (6 credits)
  • Three studio courses, including one course from a 3D area: CER, JEM, or SCU (9 credits)

Year Two

Fall Semester (18 credits):

Winter Semester (15 credits):

Year Three

Fall Semester (15 credits):

  • One general education Issues courses (3 credits)
  • Art history elective (3 credits)
  • Three studio courses (9 credits)

Winter Semester (15 credits):

  • One general education Issues courses (3 credits)
  • Art history elective (3 credits)
  • Three studio courses (9 credits)

Year Four

Fall Semester (18 credits):

Winter Semester (15 credits):

Click here for the program description.



If you are in need of assistance please submit any questions or comments.