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Art

BFA in Fine Arts


Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the program is subject to the approval of a portfolio, evaluation of the academic record, and a personal interview. Admission depends entirely on faculty action resulting from this review. Consideration for the BFA is permitted only after 18 credit hours or three semesters of studio work have been completed at American University but before beginning the senior year. 


University Requirements

  • A total of 120 credit hours 
  • 6 credit hours of college writing 
  • 3 credit hours of college mathematics or the equivalent by examination 

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of
    the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and
    Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science
    component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline 

Major Requirements

  • 72-73 credit hours with grades of C or better 

Areas of Specialization

Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, Multimedia, or Installation 


Course Requirements

  • ARTH-105 Art: The Historical Experience (3) 
  • ARTH-210 Modern Art: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (3) 
  • ARTS-205 The Artist’s Perspective: Drawing (3) 
  • ARTS-210 The Artist’s Perspective: Painting (3) 
  • ARTS-235 The Artist’s Perspective: Video Art (3) 
  • ARTS-420 Painting Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-440 Sculpture Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-460 Drawing Studio (3) (9 credit hours total) 
  • ARTS-463 Relief Printmaking Studio (3) or ARTS-464 Intaglio Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-470 Time Based Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-400 Senior Seminar (3) 
  • ARTS-560 Drawing Practicum I (3) 
  • ARTS-561 Drawing Practicum II (3) 
  • 24 credit hours from the following including 18 credit hours from the student’s area of specialization and 6 credit hours from another area: 
  • ARTS-420 Painting Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-440 Sculpture Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-344 Ceramics Studio (3)
  • ARTS-460 Drawing Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-463 Relief Printmaking Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-464 Intaglio Studio (3) 
  • 3 credit hours in art history (ARTH) 

Multimedia Specialization Course Requirements

  • ARTH-105 Art: The Historical Experience (3)
  • ARTH-210 Modern Art: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (3) 
  • ARTS-205 The Artist’s Perspective: Drawing (3) 
  • ARTS-235 The Artist’s Perspective: Video Art (3) 
  • ARTS-460 Drawing Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-470 Time Based Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-400 Senior Seminar (3) 
  • ARTS-410 Multimedia Seminar (3) (9 credit hours total) 
  • ATEC-101 Fundamentals of Audio Technology (3) 
  • ATEC-102 Audio Technology Laboratory (1) 
  • COMM-330 Principles of Photography (3) 
  • COMM-331 Film and Video Production I (3) 
  • COMM-350 Digital Imaging (3) 
  • GDES-220 Digital and Emerging Media Design I (3) 
  • GDES-315 Digital and Emerging Media Design II (3) 
  • 9 credit hours from the following: 
  • ARTS-210 The Artist’s Perspective: Painting 1:2 (3) 
  • ARTS-320 Painting Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-340 Sculpture Studio (3) 
  • ARTS-344 Ceramics Studio (3)  
  • ARTS-360 Drawing Studio (3) 
  • 6 credit hours from the following: 
  • Art history (ARTH) course (3) 
  • COMM-100 Understanding Media (3) 
  • COMM-105 Visual Literacy (3) 
  • COMM-209 Communication and Society  (3) 
  • COMM-511 History of Documentary (3) 
  • COMM-517 History of Cross-Cultural Cinema (3) 
  • COMM-520 History of Animation (3) 
  • COMM-527 History of Photography (3) 
  • COMM-558 Survey of American Cinema (3) 
  • PHIL-230 Meaning and Purpose in the Arts (3) 
  • 9 credit hours from the following: 
  • ATEC-321 Sound Synthesis I (3) 
  • ATEC-311 Sound Studio Techniques I (3) 
  • COMM-434 Film and Video Production II (3) 
  • COMM-516 Topics in Film and Media Arts (3): The Radical Image 
  • GDES-210 Typography I: Visible Language for Publication and Media (3) 
  • GDES-325 Kinetic and Sequential Graphics (3) 
  • GDES-405 Experience Design: Interactive Media and Mobile Devices (3) 
  • LIT-446 Advanced Studies in Film (3) (approved topic) 
  • PERF-110 Understanding Music (3) 
  • PERF-115 Theatre: Principles, Plays, and Performance (3) 
  • PERF-260 Stagecraft (3) 

University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors, students must be admitted to the University Honors Program, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50, and receive grades of B or better in all University Honors course work. There are three levels of University Honors course requirements: Level I (100-200-level); Level II (300-level and above); and Level III (Honors Capstone Project). The department Honors coordinator advises students in the University Honors Program regarding requirements for graduating with University Honors in the major. For more information, go to the University Honors Program.


Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs. Undergraduate students may complete up to 3 credits for every 9 credits required for the graduate degree that may be applied to the requirements for both degree programs.  The department that oversees the graduate program the student enters will determine if the courses the undergraduate student completes will satisfy master’s degree requirements. 

Bachelor’s/master’s students must complete at least 18 in-residence credit hours at the graduate level after the bachelor’s degree is earned and  maintain continuous, sequential enrollment in the two programs. Students must finish the master’s degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master’s program.