Bachelor of Fine Arts

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

About the Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) is a preprofessional degree focusing on high-level studio skills. It includes intensive portfolio development and prepares students for hands-on careers in the fine arts or for pursuit of a Master in Fine Arts degree. Concentrations available are media, painting/drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

4-Year Degree Plan (Sample)
  • B.F.A. with a concentration in

Degree Requirements (125 cr.)

All courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise designated

Campuswide General Education

For a more detailed description of the IU South Bend campuswide general-education requirements, including lists of approved courses.

All courses certified as meeting the campuswide general-education requirements are designated in the Schedule of Classes.

Campuswide Curriculum (31 cr.)
Fundamental Literacies (16 cr.)
  • Writing | ENG-W 131 Reading, Writing, and Inquiry I (with a grade of C or higher)
  • Critical Thinking | Select from approved course list
  • Oral Communication | SPCH-S 121 Public Speaking (with a grade of C or higher)
  • Visual Literacy | FINA-A 109 Ways of Seeing: Visual Literacy
  • Quantitative Reasoning | Select one of the following:
  • MATH-M 111 Mathematics in the World
  • Other approved mathematics course
  • Information Literacy | COAS-Q 110 Introduction to Information Literacy (1 cr.)
  • Computer Literacy | FINA-P 273 Computer Art and Design I (credit hours counted in concentration for foundation requirement)

Common Core Courses (12 cr.)

Complete one course from each of the following four areas, as designated in the Schedule of Classes. At least one of the areas must be completed at the 300-level. FINA-A 399 Art, Aesthetics, and Creativity taught by an art historian is counted in concentration for art history requirement.

  • FINA-A 190 Art, Aesthetics, and Creativity
  • FINA-A 399 Art, Aesthetics, and Creativity

Contemporary Social Values (5 cr.)

Students must complete one course from each of the following three areas, as designated in the Schedule of Classes.

Additional Requirements (15 cr.)
  • World Languages (6 cr.) | Select two courses in one world language (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish)
  • Upper-Level Electives (9 cr.) | Select three courses at the 300- or 400-level

Core Requirements (77 cr.)
Foundation Level (12 cr.)
  • FINA-F 100 Fundamental Studio–Drawing
  • FINA-F 101 Fundamental Studio–3D
  • FINA-F 102 Fundamental Studio–2D
  • FINA-P 273 Computer Art and Design I

Art History/Foundation Level (6 cr.)
  • FINA-A 101 Ancient and Medieval Art
  • FINA-A 102 Renaissance Through Modern Art

Survey Level (9 cr.)
  • Three 200-level courses, outside area of concentration

Upper-Level Concentration (38 cr.)
  • Thirteen studio courses in one area

Art History/Upper Level (9 cr.)
  • Three courses at the 300- or 400-level

Senior Level (3 cr.) |

It is recommended that students complete the following courses during the final year of study.

  • FINA-S 499 Bachelor of Fine Arts Final Review (0 cr.)
  • FINA-A 409 Capstone Course

Areas of Study

Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program select, with the advice of the faculty, an area of primary concentration consisting of 38 credit hours at the time of their upper-divisional review (discussed below). It is possible for students to select an area of secondary concentration of 15 credit hours; or 18 credit hours for a minor.

Drawing and Painting (38 cr.)

Drawing and painting continue to be relevant and fundamental forms of visual and artistic expression in the 21st-century. The Drawing and Painting program provides a thorough grounding in the development of technical skills and visual description while preparing students for graduate study and enriching careers as visual artists. The primary component of the program is studio activity, with students exploring various forms of drawing and painting to develop an individual vision. The program is particularly strong in its emphasis on the figure while exploring different mediums including oils, charcoal, pastel, graphite and pen and ink. Students in the Drawing and Painting program have the unique opportunity to work in individual B.F.A. studios.

Students who wish to concentrate in drawing and painting should complete the following courses:

  • FINA-S 200 Drawing 1
  • FINA-S 230 Painting 1
  • FINA-S 301 Drawing 2
  • FINA-S 331 Painting 2
  • FINA-S 401 Drawing 3 (may be taken 3 times for credit)
  • FINA-S 402 Pastel Drawing
  • FINA-S 403 Anatomy for the Artist
  • FINA-S 431 Painting 3 (may be taken 3 times for credit)
  • Select two additional upper-level art courses

The following courses are to be taken in the last three semesters (8 credit hours of Bachelor of Fine Arts courses).

  • FINA-S 405 Bachelor of Fine Arts Drawing (3-5 cr.)
  • FINA-S 432 Bachelor of Fine Arts Painting (3-5 cr.)

Photography (38 cr.)

Based on the tradition of fine art photography, this program stresses the formal and conceptual aspects of the medium as well as an aesthetic and cultural understanding of photography in an historical and contemporary context. Students will utilize digital, black and white, and alternative processes in photography. Students interested in graduate study, professional employment, or exploring the use of photography in their personal expression benefit from this program. Students are required to take FINA-A 477 History of Photography as one of the upper-level art history classes. Beginning fall 2012, all Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) photography students will be required to purchase a DSLR camera.

The following courses comprise the B.F.A. concentration in photography:

  • FINA-S 291 Fundamentals of Photography
  • FINA-S 304 Digital Imaging
  • FINA-S 392 Intermediate Photography
  • FINA-S 406 Artificial Lighting
  • FINA-S 407 Alternative Processes in Photography
  • FINA-S 423 Large Format Photography
  • FINA-S 492 Bachelor of Fine Arts Photography (3-5 cr.)
  • FINA-S 495 Advanced Photo Systems
  • INMS-S 300 Video Art
  • INMS-S 323 Intermediate Photoshop
  • Select up to two additional upper-level art classes

Printmaking (38 cr.)

The Printmaking Program recognizes that all individuals express their art in unique ways. The concentration requires that students become familiar with a set of core technologies, intaglio, silkscreen, lithography, papermaking, and book design. They are asked to specialize in one and encouraged to take additional upper-level coursework in one other selected field; choosing from design, photography, or drawing. Bachelor of Fine Arts candidates produce work that synthesizes their areas of expertise.

  • FINA-S 240 Basic Printmaking Media
  • FINA-S 302 Printmaking II Book Arts
  • FINA-S 341 Printmaking II Intaglio
  • FINA-S 343 Printmaking II Lithography
  • FINA-S 344 Printmaking II Silkscreen
  • FINA-S 417 Hand Papermaking I
  • FINA-S 442 Bachelor of Fine Arts Printmaking (6 cr.)
  • FINA-A 447 Printmaking 3
  • 400-level Printmaking courses (5 cr.)
  • Select an area of specialization by choosing from one of the following three areas: Graphic Design, Drawing, Painting, or Photography (6 cr.)

Sculpture (38 cr.)

The sculpture program includes both traditional figure studies and current approaches to the field. The curriculum is designed to facilitate students as they pursue individual creative work in a wide range of traditional media, techniques, and coneptual orientations. Students are encouraged to develop their ideas through experimentation and critical inquiry while developing expertise in figure modeling, stone carving, plaster/metal casting, ceramics, jewelry, and wood or metal fabrication.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program is a perfect basis for moving on to a Master of Fine Arts degree program. The Bachelor of Fine Arts concentration in sculpture includes the following courses:

  • FINA-S 260 Ceramics 1
  • FINA-S 270 Sculpture 1
  • FINA-S 361 Ceramics 2
  • FINA-S 371 Sculpture 2 (must be taken two times for a total of 6 credits | FINA-S 300 Video Art or FINA-S 381 Metal Smithing and Jewelry Design II may be taken instead of the second FINA-S 371)
  • FINA-S 471 Sculpture 3 (must be taken three times for a total of 9 credits; FINA-S 403 Anatomy for the Artist may be taken instead of the third FINA-S 471)
  • FINA-S 472 Bachelor of Fine Arts Sculpture (must be taken four times for credit)
  • FINA-S 497 Independent Study in Studio Art (2 cr.)

Fine Arts Upper-Divisional Review

Completion of the upper divisional review marks a student’s passage from pre-B.F.A./B.A. into the B.F.A./B.A. program. This review is an opportunity for every art student with 50 to 60 credits toward their degree to present their work to the faculty. This dedicated time is an opportunity to discuss the student’s unique interests and goals. Upon satisfaction of the Upper Divisional requirement, students have distinguished themselves as upper-level B.F.A./B.A. candidates, and have made considerable progress towards graduation.

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