Fine Arts (BFA)


The University offers a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) 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 profession-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 (digital art, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking)
  • 3-dimensional arts (ceramics, sculpture/metal)
  • Intermedia (combinations of above media)

Art students must participate in a portfolio review, usually in their fourth semester of study or upon transferring from another institution, to assess strengths and opportunities for development.

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

The Fine Arts Program is distinguished by its small class sizes 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 digital art studios, classrooms, the art education facility, 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 provide students with additional opportunities to view or exhibit artwork. BFA students also have learning opportunities through hands-on and other experiential work with ISU’s Permanent Art Collection. The department enjoys a strong collaborative relationship with the Swope Art Museum, nationally recognized as a major regional museum.

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 museums, galleries, community arts centers or design firms.

Required Courses


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, tile artist
  • Digital Arts: digital artist, television and film post-production compositor, videographer, multimedia exhibition designer, motion graphics designer, digital animation artist, game art design, video editor
  • Drawing: artist, cartoonist, commercial illustrator, comic illustrator, courtroom sketch artist, draftsperson
  • Graphic design: web designer, publications designer, illustrator, computer artist/computer graphics designer; corporate and small-business branding, advertising designer, presentation/display designer.
  • Painting: caricaturist, cartoonist, curator, display painter, gallery staff, mural artist, painter, scene painter
  • Photography: aerial photographer, commercial photographer, digital photographer, fashion photographer, fine art photographer, large format photographer, portrait photographer, still-life photographer, video photographer, photographer’s assistant, photography stylist
  • Printmaking: studio assistant, master printer, or careers in etching, intaglio, lithography, serigraphy (silk screening)
  • Sculpture/metals: 3-D artist, artist welder, foundry artist, stone carver, tile sculptor, fabrication studio worker

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

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


The Graduate Catalog and Undergraduate Catalog of Indiana State University are the documents of authority for all students. The requirements given in the catalogs supersede information issued by any academic department, program, college, or school. The University reserves the right to change the requirements at any time.



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