Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program allows students to concentrate their efforts in a studio art education. Mentorship by dedicated faculty prepares students for a successful career in the arts.

Admission into the Bachelor of Fine Arts program is a selective process, requiring acceptance by both the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Department of Art BFA Committee. Students who exhibit the potential for success through strong coursework and portfolio are encouraged to apply for admission into the program.   

Students who become BFA candidates have demonstrated the considerable commitment required for the study and production of art. BFA candidates are expected to devote a large measure of time to studio work as they plan for a professional life in art.

The structure of the program provides the candidate with many opportunities for interaction with the department faculty and fellow BFA students, encouraging close working relationships and mentorship.

Completion of the program culminates in a written thesis and exhibition at the Kimura Gallery in the Fine Arts Building.

Admission Requirements

Satisfy the Application and Admission Requirements for Baccalaureate Programs.

Admission into the BFA program, withdrawal from it and granting of the degree are done at the discretion of the BFA Committee.

Students admitted into the BFA program must complete a minimum of 24 Art credits (upper or lower division courses) in residence at UAA after acceptance into the BFA program.

Transfer students need a minimum of 12 resident Art credits that must be completed in the primary area of studio emphasis and a minimum of 3 resident Art credits completed in the secondary area of studio emphasis.

Applicants for admission into the BFA program must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Applicants must have been officially admitted to UAA as a declared pre-major in the BFA program.
  2. Applicants must have completed all lower division Art major courses in the Foundation Core and the Beginning Studio categories required for the BFA degree.
  3. Applicants must have been enrolled at UAA for at least one semester prior to application to full major status in the BFA program.
  4. Applicants must meet minimum academic GPA requirements of 2.50 for overall coursework and 3.00 for overall Art coursework.

All materials must be submitted to the Department of Art at least two weeks prior to the BFA Committee’s scheduled application review:

  1. Application for admission into the BFA program.
  2. Letter of intent stating objectives and qualifications in relation to the BFA in Art program.
  3. Copies of all college transcripts.
  4. A projected plan of study signed by the College of Arts and Sciences academic advisor for the Fine Arts area.
  5. Portfolio of 15-20 pieces of studio work in primary and secondary concentrations showing technical skills, design abilities and a potential for developing a conceptual vision. Applicants must submit work for consideration in digital formats (preferred) or slides. Applications will be reviewed only in the fall semester. Admission decisions are determined by a consensus of BFA Committee members in October.

Academic Requirements

To graduate with a BFA in Art students must have met the following GPA requirements:

  1. A minimum overall major GPA of 3.00 in the major.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.50 in the primary area of studio emphasis.
  3. A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 in all university coursework.

Semester Reviews

The progress of all BFA candidates will be reviewed a minimum of once a semester by the BFA Committee.

Thesis Project and Capstone Course

With approval, upon completion of all studio courses in the student’s primary and secondary areas of emphasis, BFA candidates will enroll in ART A491, offered fall semesters only, and ART A499, offered spring semesters only. ART A491 meets the integrative capstone GER. Students enrolled in the BFA program must submit their thesis proposal for approval during the fall semester of the academic year. Once the BFA Committee has reviewed and accepted the thesis proposals, candidates will be granted permission to register for ART A499. During ART A499 students will complete a body of work that will culminate in a formal exhibition. BFA students enrolled in ART A499 will meet with the BFA Committee a minimum of twice a semester.

The BFA Committee’s evaluation of the student’s thesis project will be based on content, presentation and the degree of success in visual realization of the written proposal. At least 10 slides or digital images of the student’s thesis will be furnished to the Department of Art. These images must be acceptable to the BFA Committee and will become the property of the Department of Art. The slides or digital images must be received by the department before a grade for ART A499 is awarded.

Exhibitions and Presentations

BFA candidates will generally participate in the BFA Group Show to be held in the Kimura Gallery. All aspects of the thesis exhibition must be approved by the BFA Committee. Works will be selected by the BFA Committee. The BFA Group Show will be held during the spring semester each year. Graduating BFA students are invited, but not required, to donate one work of art to UAA’s permanent collection. Acceptance of donated student work is left to the discretion of the BFA Committee. Prior to completing all BFA requirements, the student is responsible for submitting an Application for Graduation to obtain the degree.

Graduation Requirements

Major Requirements

Foundation Core Courses
ART A105Beginning Drawing3
ART A111Two-Dimensional Design3
ART A112Color Design3
ART A113Three-Dimensional Design3
ART A205Intermediate Drawing3
ART A261History of Western Art I3
ART A262History of Western Art II3
ART A307Life Drawing and Composition I3
Beginning Studio Electives
Choose one course from the two-dimensional list and one course from the three-dimensional list, and one course from either list:9
Two-Dimensional Area
Beginning Watercolor
Beginning Painting
Beginning Printmaking
Beginning Photography
Beginning Graphic Design and Illustration
Digital Art and Design I
Three-Dimensional Area
Beginning Handbuilt Ceramics
Beginning Wheelthrown Ceramics
Beginning Sculpture
Art History
Select three of the following:9
History of Non-Western Art I
History of Non-Western Art II
History of Graphic Design
History of Modern Art
History of Contemporary Art
Italian Renaissance Art
Asian Art
History of Photography
Art History Seminar
Primary and Secondary Studio Concentrations
Select Primary and Secondary Studio Concentrations from the following:
Digital Art and Graphic Design
Primary Studio
Select a primary studio concentration from the list above and complete the following studio courses in the same concentration:
200 level beginning studio course *3
300 level intermediate studio course 6
400 level advanced studio course 6
Select a support course from the following:3
Selected Topics in Studio Art
Selected Topics in Studio Art
Individual Research
Other course by permission of advisor
Secondary Studio
Select a secondary studio concentration from the list and complete the following courses in the same concentration:
200 level beginning studio course **3
300 level intermediate studio course 3
Select a support course from following:3
300 level intermediate studio course
400 level advanced studio course
Selected Topics in Studio Art
Selected Topics in Studio Art
Individual Research
Thesis Requirements
ART A491Senior Seminar (fall semesters only)3
ART A499Thesis (spring semesters only)3
Additional Requirements
ART A203Introduction to Art Education3
PHIL A401Aesthetics3
Complete 6 credits of electives selected from art history, art education or art studio courses.6
Total Credits87

Students must choose a beginning course in their emphasis. Exception: Students with a drawing concentration may choose from any 200 level two-dimensional class listed under Beginning Studio Electives.


Must be other than a course selected to fulfill the Beginning Studio Electives.

A total of 121 credits is required for the degree, of which 42 credits must be upper division. A total of 84 credits in Art may be applied to the degree. 

Program Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts will be able to demonstrate:

  • Effective communication and fiscal skills to be a practicing artist as applied to art proposals, exhibitions and business matters.
  • The expression of ideas in a cohesive body of work.
  • Critical thinking, writing and research skills allowing the discovery of original approaches to creative problem solving.
  • Mastery of techniques, composition, and the use of materials.