Art, B.F.A.

Program Code: ARBFA_BFA

Entrance Procedures

Incoming First Year Students

Incoming first year students must apply to Penn State. Students who are accepted to Art through the undergraduate admissions application will be admitted to the School of Visual Arts pre-major (AAART). Students will typically submit a portfolio for entrance to Art (B.F.A) at the end of their 3rd or 4th semester.

Change of Major/Change of Campus Students

Change of major/Change of Campus students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or above and are required to submit a portfolio to enter the AAART pre-major. Portfolios to enter pre-major are submitted through Slideroom and are reviewed on a rolling basis. Portfolios should include 10-12 images of the applicant’s work and a statement (500-word max) to describe one of the artworks. Students will typically submit a portfolio for entrance to Art (B.F.A) at the end of their 3rd or 4th semester.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must apply for undergraduate admissions to Penn State. Undergraduate applications for admission to Penn State must be complete and submitted before uploading the required portfolio for entry to AAART pre-major. Portfolios are submitted through Slideroom and are reviewed on a rolling basis and should include 10-12 images of the applicant’s work and a statement (500-word max) to describe one of the artworks. Students will typically submit a portfolio for entrance to Art (B.F.A) at the end of their 3rd or 4th semester.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art, a minimum of 123 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 84

6 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes 6 credits of General Education GA courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
ART 11First-Year Seminar- School of Visual Arts1
ART 110Ideas as Visual Images3
ART 111Ideas as Objects3
ART 122YCommentary on Art3
ARTH 111Ancient to Medieval Art Keystone/General Education Course3
ARTH 112Renaissance to Modern Art Keystone/General Education Course3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 15 credits at the beginning level from the following:15
ART 201
ART 203
Introduction to Digital Art and Design Criticism
Figure Drawing
Drawing: Techniques, Materials, and Tools
Beginning Sculpture
Beginning Printmaking
Beginning Oil Painting
Beginning Ceramics
Independent Studies
Special Topics
Foreign Study--Art
Introduction to Photography Keystone/General Education Course
A Chronological Survey of Photography
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 6 credits in art history6
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 47 credits in Art at the 300 or 400 level 147

Learning Outcomes

  • Achieve the conceptual and technical knowhow evident in a developed body of work that demonstrates personal commitment, aesthetic intent, and a clear notion of an artistic voice;
  • Apply a level of competence in the pursuit of a professional career in art and cultural production;
  • Be prepared for specialized graduate studies in visual arts and design;
  • Participate in a comprehensive program of discourse of art theory and criticism, direct engagement with contemporary artists, and the ongoing production of exhibitions;
  • Demonstrate a capacity to use and apply art skills, artistic knowledge and material thinking processes able to be applied to learning situations across disciplines.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Angela Rothrock
School of Visual Arts Advising Coordinator
211 Patterson Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-0444
arb184@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Art, B.F.A. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ART 11*1ART 111*3
ART 110*3ART 122Y (W; US)*3
ARTH 111 (GA; IL)*† 3ARTH 112 (GA)*†3
ENGL 15, 15A, or 30H3General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
General Education Course3 
 16 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3Additional Course, 200-level Studio (see list)*13
Additional Course, 200-level Studio (see list)*13Additional Course, 200-level Studio (see list)*13
Additional Course, 200-level Studio (see list)*13General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
Supporting Course from Art History23Supporting Course from Art History23
 15 15
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Additional Course, 200-level Studio (see list)*13General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
General Education Course (GHW)1.5Supporting Course for Concentration, 300/400-level Studio*24
Supporting Course for Concentration, 300/400-level Studio*24Supporting Course for Major, 300/400-level Studio*23
Supporting Course for Major, 300/400-level Studio*24Supporting Course for Major, 300/400-level Studio*24
 15.5 15.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3Supporting Course for Concentration, 300/400-level Studio*24
Supporting Course for Concentration, 300/400-level Studio*24Supporting Course for Concentration, 300/400-level Studio*24
Supporting Course for Concentration, 300/400-level Studio*24Supporting Course for Major, 300/400-level Studio*24
Supporting Course for Major, 300/400-level Studio*24Supporting Course for Major, 300/400-level Studio*24
 15 16
Total Credits 123

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Program notes:

Students enrolled in the School of Visual Arts may seek entrance into the B.F.A. program no earlier than the second semester and no later than the fourth semester.

There will be a continuous review of portfolio and performance of students enrolled in the B.F.A. program throughout the entire program. Students who do not meet the standards or who do not want to continue in the B.F.A. program may return to the B.A. program in art or choose another program of study.

Career Paths

An art major is a life-long learner who is forever curious and captivated by the personal journey of everyday life. As you hone your artistic dispositions with working techniques and practical studio skills you establish your own artistic vision and voice. We help you foster dialogue among peers about the place of art in society and how you participate and contribute to these changing debates. As you deepen your understanding of your own potential as an artist within a challenging and quickly evolving world you become equipped with the means necessary to embark upon a career in the visual arts.

Careers

An art major possesses very distinctive human attributes, which is a creative capacity to readily adapt to change, a resilient ability to make do with limited resources, and an inventive desire to seek alternative solutions in times of challenge. This independence is powered by a sense of intrinsic motivation and confidence that anything is possible. These creative capabilities are applied by artists in extraordinarily diverse professional activities, occupations, and careers. Although there are many BFA graduates who achieve professional success as artists in their area of specialty, most ‘creatives’ will use their artistic skills in innumerable ways their entire lives.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

As a BFA graduate you have achieved a level of competence that grounds your creative and critical capabilities, which enables you to pursue a range of professional options in visual arts and related fields. As a creative artist with a distinctive practice and specialized expertise in art media of your choosing, you are informed and prepared to negotiate the different forms of professional participation in the art world that can be built around artist residencies, sustained studio practice, and gallery work. You will also have a body of work that will ensure you can prepare a competitive portfolio for application to graduate school.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

University Park

SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS
210 Patterson Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-0444
arb184@psu.edu

http://sova.psu.edu