Majors / Bachelor of Fine Arts

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

Indiana State University


The University offers a bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) that prepares students to enter the work force as artists, designers, photographers, and a host of other creative professions—or to pursue a master of fine arts or related graduate degree.

The Fine Arts Program is a performance-oriented degree in studio art, designed to develop high levels of competency in one or more studio areas (listed below) and to prepare students to make clear and logical verbal presentations on artistic matters.

Students are encouraged to think and work creatively, and to become engaged members of a variety of artistic and scholarly communities. Each student receives professional guidance and participates in annual department assessment reviews that serve to enhance his or her scholastic and creative development.

Coursework includes study in art history, criticism, and theory. Drawing is a vital part of the program, and provides students with basic perceptual and technical skills.

In addition, students complete a concentration in one of the following areas:

  • Graphic design
  • 2-dimensional arts (computer art, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking)
  • 3-dimensional arts (ceramics, sculpture/metal)
  • Intermedia

Students who wish to teach (Kindergarten-12) must take additional credits to meet teacher licensure requirements.

The Fine Arts Program is distinguished by the smallness of its classes and a curriculum that strikes a balance between traditional art-making processes and cutting-edge technology. Spacious studios and ample equipment enhance hands-on experiences.

Courses are conducted in over 70,000 square feet of professionally equipped and maintained space. The Fine Arts Building houses the graphic design and computer art studios, classrooms, the art education facility, an extensive slide library, and departmental offices. Studios for painting, photography, printmaking, papermaking, and drawing are located in historic Fairbanks Hall. The Fine Arts Annex houses ceramics and sculpture.

Students gain exposure to artists of national and international significance through a regular schedule of exhibitions and lectures in the University Art Gallery. The Bare-Montgomery Gallery provides students with the opportunity to exhibit their own work or to curate exhibitions of student work. Other gallery spaces, including the University's Permanent Collection, provide students with additional opportunities to view or exhibit artwork.

The department offers a number of student organizations, including the Omega Chapter of the Kappa Pi International Honorary Art Fraternity. In addition, students have opportunities to apply their knowledge and talent through real-life experiences such as interning at design firms or community arts centers.

Required Courses:

[ list all ]


Career opportunities are many and varied, and generally follow the student's area of emphasis.

Listed below are a few of the options:

  • Ceramics: ceramic artist, ceramic designer, ceramic technician, ceramics expert, kiln expert, kiln technician, or tile artist
  • Drawing: artist, cartoonist, cell animation artist, comic illustrator, courtroom sketch artist, or draftsperson
  • Graphic design: animator, CAD designer, cell artist, cinematographer, computer artist installation artist, filmmaker, performance artist, video artist, or producer
  • Painting: caricaturist, cartoonist, curator, display painter, gallery staff, mural artist, painter, or scene painter
  • Photography: aerial photographer, commercial photographer, digital photographer, fashion photographer, fine art photographer, large format photographer, portrait photographer, still life photographer, or video photographer
  • Printmaking: studio assistant, master printer, or careers in etching, intaglio, lithography, and serigraphy
  • Sculpture/metals: 3-D artist, artist welder, foundry artist, museum artist, stone carver, or tile sculptor

A myriad of other job opportunities are available such as antiques dealer, architectural art and model building, arts administration, art consulting, education, museum work, display and exhibition design, graphic design, and associated illustration.

In addition, the bachelor of fine arts is excellent preparation for students who wish to further their education and pursue a master of fine arts or related graduate degree.


The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

In addition, the Department of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Students have many sources of financial support for their studies, including financial aid, work-study programs, veterans' benefits, and special scholarships for entering freshmen and transfer students.

In addition, the Department of Art and Design awards several scholarships and juried prizes.

Further Information

Prospective students should contact the Office of Admissions for further information and assistance.

Currently enrolled students should contact the following:

Department of Art and Design
Indiana State University

Last updated: June 16, 2014

The Catalog of Indiana State University is the document of authority for all students. The requirements given in the catalog supersede information issued by any academic department, program, college, or school. The University reserves the right to change the requirements at any time.

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For information on academic programs (including advisement), students should contact their academic advisor or visit the academic department or college in which the major is housed:

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For assistance with admission, campus tours, credit transfer, financial aid, housing options, registration, scholarships, and veterans benefits, students should contact:

Office of Admissions
Indiana State University
318 North 6th St. (Welcome Center)
Terre Haute, Indiana 47809