Frequently asked questions regarding the BFA degree program
What is the difference between the BA/BS and the BFA in Studio Art? BA/BS Art
The Bachelor of Arts and Sciences/Liberal Arts program is designed for a student who desires significant breadth of experience and understanding rather than a professional specialization. Upon graduation, students will possess a developed visual sensitivity, the ability to conceptualize observations and some familiarity with the works and intentions of the major artist and movements of the past and present, as well as the mature of contemporary thinking in art.
In addition to their art studies, students pursue study in an academic area outside art. This area serves to complement the major and synthesize knowledge from a variety of disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary subjects. For example: students in the past have chosen to focus their studies outside of art in such areas as the physical sciences, psychology
and education. The choice of an area of concentration is often associated with a student's post-graduation plans (including graduate coursework in art conservation, art therapy, art education or positions in arts organizations, journalism and related fields).
Many students opt for the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Art in preparation for graduate programs, the Master of ARts in TEaching (M.A.T.). The prospective art teacher must be familiar with the basic expressive, technical, procedural and organizational skills, and the conceptual insights that can be developed through studio art and design experiences.
The Bachelor of Arts degree is designed to offer flexibility and breadth to the educational background of the student. Graduates find employment in various settings and may attend graduate schools to pursue professional degrees.
Typically, graduate programs for students with a Bachelor of Arts degree include the M.A. and PH.D. in areas such as Art Education, Arts Administration, Teacher Education and Art Therapy.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is the primary professional degree in art. The BFA degree in art offered at Western Oregon University presents concentrations in ceramics, graphic design, painting, photography, print-making and sculpture. While students in both degree programs combine the knowledge and attitudes drawn from the breadth of their liberal arts experience at WOU with their studio practice, the primary emphasis of the degree is to develop skills, concepts and sensitivities for the professional artist. Successful candidates for this degree must be practitioners who exhibit technical competence and broad knowledge of art and Art History, sensitivity to artistic style, and insight into the role of art and design in a global culture. Evidence of these characteristics and potential for their continuing development is essential for the awarding of the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Candidates for this degree must possess exceptional talent, artistic sensitivities, and above all, a strong sense of commitment. Studio experiences are of prime importance in the preparation of the student for a professional career in art or design. Students are expected to achieve a high level of technical skill in the medium and its expressive possibilities. Studio work will begin in the first year of study as an art major and extend progressively until the completion of the BFA thesis exhibition.
Professional Applications: The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is designed to train graduates to be professional artists. Graduates may opt for careers in such areas as graphic design, studio work, museum operation and conservationship, government agencies, advertising agencies, marketing firms and the in-house art departments of large corporations. Our graduates will be ready to create their own studios or work within institutional and
Graduate Study: The Master of Fine Arts degree is the one most often pursued by the recipient of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. The MFA is the terminal or highest degree offered to the studio artist. Graduates of WOU will be prepared to apply for admissions in programs that offer the MFA degree. We expect our students who have attended an MFA program and completed their final degrees to realize opportunities working as university professors, art teachers and/or professional artists.
What is the difference between the Bachelor of Arts or Science in Art (BA/BS) and the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), and how can I decide what is right for me?
The BFA, which requires 218 credits, provides more breadth and depth in art than the BA/BS, which requires 184 credits. The BFA is considered the degree for professional preparation; however, the BA/BS degree provides the opportunity to make a solid art foundation for a career that may include the combination of another area of interest. For example: the BA enables a student to study both art and psychology in preparation for a Masters in art therapy. Discuss the degrees with your advisor, any of the art faculty, or the Head of the Art Department.
What if I am a freshman and haven't decided whether to apply for the BFA?
In the first four years, courses for the BA/BS in Art and the BFA are identical. This permits you to complete your BA/BS and decide upon the BFA later in your scholastic career. STudents intending to apply for the BFA should begin in the freshman year by taking the prescribed studio courses for an Art major every term and complete all of the BA/BS courses for art. You might also consider a study abroad opportunity or service learning experience that would conform to the requirements of the BFA. This would eliminate that portion of the requirements should you choose to apply for the program at a later time.
I am a freshman. Can I complete the BFA in four years?
Freshmen can complete the BA/BS in Art in four years by carefully following the term-by-term plan worked out for you by your advisor. The BFA degree is a fifth year program and will require an additional year to complete.
Questions about applying for the degree program
Can I apply for admission into the BFA program as a Freshman?
This is not necessary since the degree is not available until you have completed the coursework for a BA/BS in Art.
When should I apply?
You should apply for the BFA Program in the spring term of your senior academic year.
I have senior status but will not complete until Winter term of next year. Can I apply now and begin the program at any time?
Students applying for the BFA program must be within one term of completing the BA/BS requirements to be accepted. Due to the intensive nature of the program, students must begin in the Fall term of the academic year.
If my application is turned down, can I reapply in the future? And if so, how many times can I reapply?
You can reapply for the BFA program up to three (3) times. The Art Department suggests that you speak with the professors in your concentration areas to determine the best ways to prepare for additional applications.
Where is the BFA Application Form?
The forms are available in the art office and from the Head of the Art Department.
Professor Kim Hoffman
345 Monmouth Ave
Monmouth, Or 97361
Completed forms should be returned to the art office at the above address.
Art Department 503-838-8000 | or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org