Studio Art - BFA - Curriculum and Requirements
UPDATED STUDIO ART BFA CURRICULUM LAUNCHED
BEGINNING FALL 2022 REQUIREMENTS AND COURSES IN THE STUDIO ART B.F.A. DEGREE WERE UPDATED.
For information about past curricula, please refer to the respective catalog year.
Paired with their studio courses, students in the BFA degree have the opportunity to broaden their practice by integrating other areas of study at GVSU through a robust General Education program that prepares students for informed citizenship, leading to responsible participation in local, national, and global communities.
Your 4-year BFA Experience
Years 1: Exploration
BFA students start their studies investigating multiple modes of practice in the Studio Art Major.
Year 2: Exploration
The exploration phase culminates in the Second Year Review when students confirm their Emphasis on the Studio Art Major.
Year 3: Focus
After the Second Year Review, you will have a confirmed emphasis area in the major, when you will actively engage with one of the many modes of practice in Studio Art.
Years 4: Culmination
In your final year, you will wrap up emphasis requirements and start preparing for life after graduation.
This page should help guide your first-year registration at GVSU. If you want to pursue a BFA in Studio Art declare your major and emphasis right away so you can get full advising. You can change your major at any time.
- Second Year Advisory Review
- Junior Review
- Senior Review
Foundations Courses (12 credits)
BFA-seeking students must complete four core classes included in the foundations curriculum. These courses emphasize drawing, design, and problem-solving skills. This shared curriculum provides students with the conceptual, technical, and critical skills necessary for later studio work.
- ART 150 - Foundations: 2D Design & Color
- ART 151 - Foundations: 3D Design
- ART 153 - Foundations: Making and Meaning In Art and Design
- ART 155 - Foundations: Introduction to Drawing I
Film and Video/ Photography Course (3 credits)
BFA-seeking students must complete one course in Photography or Film and Video Production.
3D Studio Elective (3 credits)
BFA-seeking students must complete 1 course in Ceramics, Jewelry/Metalsmithing, or Sculpture. This requirement must be completed for the Second Year Review.
3D Studio Elective
Emphasis Pathway Courses (15 credits)
BFA-seeking students must complete five pathway classes included in an area of emphasis. These courses emphasize deep engagement with one area of practice.
Emphasis Pathway Courses
Studio Electives (27 Credits)
Students are encouraged to work with their advisors to determine which courses will suit their interests and requirements.
BFA-seeking students must complete nine elective courses in Studio Art. These courses broaden the student's engagement with the arts and expand their skillset across multiple practices and media.
- The elective courses must span across three different emphasis areas.
- You must take at least two courses in 2 areas
- See the course catalog for a full list of options.
- Students can choose from any course offered in the Studio Art major, except ART 149, 159, 209, and 350. Some elective courses may have prerequisites.
- Drawing courses can apply toward studio electives as well.
- Each emphasis can recommend up to 3 electives.
- Students can take 3 more credits in Photography or Film and Video Production
Recommended Electives per Area
Culmination Courses (9 credits)
BFA-seeking students must complete three culmination courses in Studio Art. These courses prepare the student for life after graduation. The culmination courses vary per emphasis.
Art History Courses (12 credits)
BFA-seeking students must complete four Art History courses. Studying Art and Design History allows the student to engage with questions of context, interpretation, how these concepts have changed over time, and to develop a critical practice. It transforms the way a student approaches their creative work. Students must complete the following:
- ART 221- Survey of Art History I
- ART 222 - Survey of Art History II
- Art History Elective I (300-level or above) (**)
- Art History Elective II (300-level or above)
(**) Students in Graphic Design must take ART 218; Students in Illustration must take ART 219.
ART HISTORY ELECTIVE OPTIONS
- ART 218: Design History (for Graphic Design emphasis students only)
- ART 219: History of Illustration (for Illustration emphasis students only)
- ART 322: Goths to Gothic: Medieval Art
- ART 323: Rethinking Renaissance Art
- ART 327: Art Since 1945
- ART 380: Topics in Art (courses with an art history emphasis)
- ART 399: Readings in Art History-Senior Thesis
- ART 420: Asian Art
- ART 421: Surrealism
- ART 422: Art and the Worlds of Islam
- ART 423: Animals in Art
- ART 425: Depicting a Nation: 19th Century American Art
General Education Courses (41–44 credits)
The Grand Valley State University General Education Program provides a broad-based liberal education experience that fosters lifelong learning and informed citizenship. The Program prepares students for intelligent participation in public dialogues that consider the issues of humane living and responsible action in local, national, and global communities.
Students must refer to the General Education Handbook for information on General Education Course Offerings.
General Education Requirements
Required Academic Milestones
Second Year Review
The Second Year Review marks the conclusion of the introductory part of the program and supports the student with advising and planning for the remainder of their studies. A faculty review panel will assess craft, technique, strengths, and interests evident in the studio work from completed and in-progress courses.
The Junior Review assesses your progress in the emphasis area and in the broader skill set you have acquired up to this moment. A faculty review panel will assess craft, technique, strengths, and interests evident in the studio work from completed and in-progress courses.
Senior Exhibition and Review
To complete their Senior Project (ART 415, 416, or 498), graduating B.F.A. students must present their work in either a group exhibition or solo exhibition, reviewed by Studio Art faculty, and earn a grade of at least a C.