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Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree

The BFA program teaches students the creative and technical skills needed to thrive as career artists. Advanced instruction is offered in non-figurative and figurative fine art, including painting, sculpting, and printmaking. Our Sculpture department has one of the largest and most advanced facilities of its kind in North America, and our state-of-the-art printmaking facilities merge traditional tools with cutting edge technology.

BFA Fine Art Unit Requirements

Core 36 units
Major 42 units
Art Electives 9 units
Liberal Arts 45 units
TOTAL 132 units

BFA Fine Art Degree Requirements

  • 3 Written Communication courses
  • 4 Art Historical Awareness courses
  • 1 Employment Communications and Practices course
  • 1 Historical Awareness course
  • 1 Quantitative Literacy course
  • 1 Cultural Ideas & Influences course

And:

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 108 Composition for the Artist

Additional Information

BFA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication

  • (Painting & Printmaking) Produce a consistent body of work demonstrating proficiency in a breadth of fine art disciplines
  • (Sculpture) Demonstrate understanding of three-dimensional composition, crafting (technical skill) and applying underlying concept to the overall sculpted solution.
  • (Painting & Printmaking) Demonstrate basic skills in composition
  • (Sculpture) Demonstrate basic skills in 3D composition
  • (Painting & Printmaking) Demonstrate effective use of color theory
  • (Painting) Demonstrate effective use of proportion and gesture
  • (Painting) Demonstrate effective use of perspective
  • (Painting & Printmaking) Use value effectively when creating form
  • (Painting & Printmaking) Use appropriate style and techniques to effectively execute ideas
  • (Painting) Apply anatomical knowledge to accurately draw the human form
  • Demonstrate craftsmanship and fine attention to detail
  • (Sculpture) Develop ideas (concept) that supports the overall composition (or construction) of a sculptural form.
  • (Sculpture) Devote attention to transitions and effectively solve transition problems
  • (Sculpture) Present and light work in gallery-ready form, including designing effective mounting systems

Technical Execution

  • (Printmaking) Demonstrate technical proficiency in the six major components of printmaking (etching, lithography, silkscreen, monotype, relief and book arts)
  • (Printmaking) Demonstrate technical proficiency in editioning
  • (Sculpture) Execute sculptural solutions with media-specific technical proficiency

Concept Development and Critical Analysis

  • Explore and clearly articulate concepts and creative possibilities with a given topic or subject
  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of concept and execution of a given artwork

Professional Communication

  • Describe work effectively

Professional Readiness

  • Produce a professional-standard portfolio of well-crafted artwork demonstrating coherence and personal vision

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Associate of Arts (AA) Degree

The AA program offers a strong introduction to the core principles of creating fine art. Students choose an area of emphasis from drawing and painting, printmaking, or sculpture. The Associate of Arts degree can be used as a stepping stone to the BFA program.

AA Fine Art Unit Requirements

Core 33 units
Major 15 units
Liberal Arts 18 units
TOTAL 66 units

AA Fine Art Degree Requirements

  • 2 Written Communication courses
  • 2 Art Historical Awareness courses
  • 1 Employment Communications and Practices course

And:

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum grade of C- in all core courses, major courses, and LA 108 Composition for the Artist

Additional Information

AA Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication

  • Demonstrate basic skills in composition
  • Demonstrate effective use of color theory
  • Demonstrate effective use of proportion, gesture, and perspective
  • Use value effectively when creating form
  • Use appropriate style and techniques to effectively execute ideas
  • Apply anatomical knowledge to accurately draw the human form
  • Demonstrate craftsmanship and fine attention to detail

Technical Execution

  • Demonstrate technical proficiency in the six major components of printmaking: etching, lithography, silkscreen, monotype, relief and book arts (printmaking only)

Professional Readiness

  • Produce basic materials required for an entry-level job search

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Certificate

The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Fine Art. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Fine Art. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.

Certificate in Fine Art Unit Requirements

Core 36 units
Major 42 units
By Advisement 24 units
Art Electives 12 units
Art History 6 units
TOTAL 120 units

Fine Art Certificate Requirements

  • Minimum 2.0 GPA
  • Minimum grade of C- in all major coursework

Certificate Program Learning Outcomes

Undergraduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Visual Communication

  • (Painting & Printmaking) Produce a consistent body of work demonstrating proficiency in a breadth of fine art disciplines
  • (Sculpture) Demonstrate understanding of three-dimensional composition, crafting (technical skill) and applying underlying concept to the overall sculpted solution.
  • (Painting & Printmaking) Demonstrate basic skills in composition
  • (Sculpture) Demonstrate basic skills in 3D composition
  • (Painting & Printmaking) Demonstrate effective use of color theory
  • (Painting) Demonstrate effective use of proportion and gesture
  • (Painting) Demonstrate effective use of perspective
  • (Painting & Printmaking) Use value effectively when creating form
  • (Painting & Printmaking) Use appropriate style and techniques to effectively execute ideas
  • (Painting) Apply anatomical knowledge to accurately draw the human form
  • Demonstrate craftsmanship and fine attention to detail
  • (Sculpture) Develop ideas (concept) that supports the overall composition (or construction) of a sculptural form.
  • (Sculpture) Devote attention to transitions and effectively solve transition problems
  • (Sculpture) Present and light work in gallery-ready form, including designing effective mounting systems

Technical Execution

  • (Printmaking) Demonstrate technical proficiency in the six major components of printmaking (etching, lithography, silkscreen, monotype, relief and book arts)
  • (Printmaking) Demonstrate technical proficiency in editioning
  • (Sculpture) Execute sculptural solutions with media-specific technical proficiency

Concept Development and Critical Analysis

  • Explore and clearly articulate concepts and creative possibilities with a given topic or subject
  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of concept and execution of a given artwork

Professional Communication

  • Describe work effectively

Professional Readiness

  • Produce a professional-standard portfolio of well-crafted artwork demonstrating coherence and personal vision

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.

Classes

Not ready for a degree program? Explore our course catalog and take classes based around your interests and schedule online or in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Undergraduate Degree Breakdowns

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)  

The School of Fine Art provides students with the creative and technical skills needed to thrive in today’s art world. The School offers instruction in non-figurative and figurative fine art, including painting, sculpture, and printmaking. The sculpture center, with its own developed curriculum and designated faculty, is one of the best sculpture facilities in the nation.

Fine Art (8 Semesters)
Associate of Art (AA)

The Associate of Arts degree provides students with an introduction to a particular field of study in art and design with a firm foundation in the concepts and problem-solving skills of that field. Once earned, the Associate’s degree can also be used as a stepping stone to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and to apply for entry level positions in the industry.

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Craig Nelson

Director of Fine Art–Painting

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