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Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree is awarded to students who have satisfactorily completed the required 129–131 semester credit hours of study and made the expected commitment to the vocation of art. 

This degree program requires an amount of self-education, based on a sound foundation of studio experience. Students in the B.F.A. curriculum may participate in a wide range of studio class work, including drawing, design, painting, printmaking, ceramics, graphic design, intermedia and photography, and sculpture, as well as a program of art history. 

Teacher certification in art, pre-K–adult, may be earned with any area of studio emphasis in the B.F.A. program. 

Six hours of additional art history can also be completed to receive a minor in art history with the B.F.A. or B.F.A. with certification option.

Curriculum Requirements

Once accepted into the University and the art program, following a review of the applicant’s portfolio, the B.F.A. candidate must complete all curriculum requirements in order to graduate. The B.F.A. curriculum includes required and elective art courses, art history courses, and University-established academic (GEC) requirements. 

During the first two years, the art student must complete a specific sequence of courses in art history, art orientation, drawing, and visual foundations for a total of nineteen credit hours. Art electives, available in all major studio areas, are designed to assist the student in selecting a major in a specific  area of study  by the beginning of the third (junior) year. The student must complete twelve credit hours of these studio electives and six credit hours of advanced figure drawing to complete the lower-school requirements of the art program (a total of thirty-seven hours within the School of Art & Design).

B.F.A. Degree minimum credit-hour requirements

Studio 72 hours
Art Orientation 2 hours
Art History (200/300 level) 6 hours
GEC requirement 41–43 hours
Open Electives 9 hours
  Total 129–131 hours

In order to complete the B.F.A. degree program in four years, a student must take fifteen to eighteen credit hours per semester, or thirty-two to thirty-six credits per year. Thirty credit hours are required in the studio major area: six hours of 200-level courses and twenty-four hours of 300-level and 400-level courses. Additional information is available from the coordinators of the various areas, or the school academic advisor. To enter the upper-school major area studio courses, the student must complete the four-semester lower-school program, including at least two semesters (six semester credit hours) of introductory work from the area of intended major.

Freshman and Sophomore years

The two-year, lower-school requires courses in drawing, visual foundations, art orientation, art history, and introductory studio, preparing the student for advanced study. Idea development, technical ability, and communication skills are taught by involving the student in a wide range of problems. 


The first year of lower-school instruction offers a broad experience in drawing, design, and art history. Emphasis is on basic skills concepts and the development of a common vocabulary with which student objectives can be clearly defined. 


In the second year, students have the option of selecting introductory courses from three of the six major studio areas which are most suited to their particular interests. Figure drawing and advanced drawing are also required in the second year. Lower-school art requirements are as follows:

ART 111  Drawing 3 hours
ART 112  Drawing 3 hours
ART 191  Art Orientation 2 hours
ART 121  Visual Foundation 3 hours
ART 122  Visual Foundation 3 hours
ARHS 120  Survey of Art 1 3 hours
ARHS 160  Survey of Art 2 3 hours
ART 211  Figure Drawing 3 hours
ART 212  Advanced Drawing 3 hours
Studio Introductory 200-level courses 12 hours
  Total hours: 38

Junior and Senior years

The third year of study marks the entry into the upper school. The student begins to concentrate in one area of major studio concern, and to direct and apply the basic skills acquired during the first two years of art instruction. Emphasis areas offered by the School of Art & Design are ceramics, painting, printmaking, graphic design, sculpture, and intermedia and photography.


During the third and fourth years, the studio emphasis accounts for a minimum of twenty-four semester credit hours, or almost half the credit earned. The remaining credit hours are taken in art history, art electives, and liberal arts. Upper-school art requirements are:

ART 300/400  Studio Emphasis 24 hours
ART 200/300  Art Electives 18
ARHS 200/300/400  Art History 6
  Total 48

B.F.A. General Education and ppen elective requirements

These requirements are defined by WVU. The undergraduate art student must successfully complete a minimum of thirty-nine semester credit hours of GEC to qualify for graduation. To satisfy these requirements, the following distribution of GEC credits must be achieved.

ENGL 101 and 102 6 hours
MATH 3
GEC requirements 26–27
Open electives 9
  Total 44-45