University of Massachusetts Amherst

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BFA in Studio Arts

Highly motivated art students who choose UMass enter the University with both creative dreams and focused career goals. We are committed to nurturing both of these essential elements found in aspiring professional artists.  Studying art at the college level harnesses students’ need to create, sharpens critical, analytical and practical thinking skills, improves attention, and prepares students for satisfying, productive careers in all areas. Recent research* supports the resilience and power engendered by undergraduate art study.

Undergraduates majoring in Art may enroll in our Bachelor of Fine Arts Program, tailored to students who plan to become professional artists.  High school students may apply to be admitted directly into the BFA program in Studio Arts, or first-year students may apply to participate for the remainder of their years at UMass.

An interdisciplinary approach gives student artists maximum flexibility to develop the content of their work while exploring contemporary media.  After completing a year of Foundations and Art History, Studio Arts students go on to a range of intermediate and advanced courses in the following disciplines: animation, ceramics, intermedia (photography and video production), painting, printmaking, and sculpture.

Studio Arts Majors culminate their BFA experience with the senior thesis, which is a one semester multifaceted project that includes forming a faculty committee, composition of a body of work, a written thesis, an oral defense, and a solo exhibition.

*There is a wealth of information about the value of a bachelor of fine arts degree in art at this clearinghouse for research in this area.