This degree takes advantage of NAU’s studio facilities to accustom students to working in studio environments. Students will learn important techniques, analysis of materials, planning, critique, global influences, and more.
A studio art degree prepares you for a wide variety of different potential jobs and paths. Unabashed experimentation with materials, imagery, technology, and ideas are the hallmarks of a BFA in Studio Art. The career path for every artist is as unique as the individual. Demand for creative and critical thinkers is on the rise and will not be replaced soon by outsourcing or artificial intelligence. Many of these jobs will require additional education in the arts such as an MFA. Our program offers a BFA degree with emphases in ceramics, new media arts, painting, printmaking, and sculpture with small classes and close interaction with our nationally and internationally active artists/faculty.
To receive a bachelor's degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete at least 120 units of credit that minimally includes a major, the liberal studies requirements, and university requirements as listed below.
In addition to University Requirements:
Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.
|Minimum Units for Completion||120|
|Highest Mathematics Required||MAT 114|
|Emphasis, Minor, Certificate||Required|
|University Honors Program||Optional|
|AZ Transfer Students complete AGEC-A||Recommended|
|Progression Plan Link||View Progression Plan|
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts degree encompasses knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are in demand from an array of creative fields—including but not limited to medical, entertainment, and design—in addition to the skills needed to be studio artists. Studio artists work in a variety of different occupations that require a combination of hand skills, an understanding of a variety of material applications, and creative problem solving. Upon graduation, students are expected to exhibit the strong critical thinking, aesthetic design, and conceptual thinking skills needed to participate effectively in a competitive creative arts market.
Beyond the skills of artistic creation, students develop business practices for artists including graduate school application, grant application, gallery representation, self-promotion through web and print media, and maintaining a sustainable and safe studio practice. Studio Arts students learn how to apply their skills beyond traditional studio art applications to other industrial and non-industrial fields outside the world of art.
School of Art faculty teach students to apply critical thinking and analysis, innovation and creative solutions, as well as technical artistic processes towards the production of art while building an open mind to criticism respect for public opinion. All Studio Arts majors are required to complete a Foundation year which includes drawing and basic 2D, 3D, and 4D design coursework. Eventually, students work primarily in one of five emphases: Ceramics, New Media, Painting, Printmaking, or Sculpture. Classes are studio-based and include classroom critiques and discussions about work produced in class, review of professional artwork and artists, and professional practices of an artistic practice. Each Studio Arts student works towards a senior thesis which reflects the student’s experiences and research the student has completed throughout the program.
Emphases Learning Outcomes
Through a detailed curriculum, students learn all of the making and firing processes in ceramics, to understand sound craftsmanship, and to think critically in design decisions. The curriculum also provides a thorough education in the technical aspects of ceramics, such as an understanding of ceramic materials through glaze calculation and the practical knowledge of kiln design and construction.
New Media Art
A New Media student’s education focuses on 4D design and the applications of technology to create artwork. Students learn how to synthesize content, processes, and components to express compelling purpose, story, emotion, or ideas in a variety of media including but not limited to performance art, installation, interactive programming, and video. The work created in this program focus on personal research reinforced by additional electives outside of the School of Art to allow more in-depth interdisciplinary exploration.
Building upon the drawing and design skills learned in the Foundations program the painting program focuses on the application of pigment to a surface. Students begin their learning with representational approaches and over time work towards a personal expressive manner of painting that can be as unique as the student. Students explore both water and oil based painting processes as well as a variety of methods of application of paint.
Building upon the observational and design skills learned in the Foundation program, students in the printmaking program explore a variety of different image making technique including but not limited to lithography, intaglio, silk-screen, wood cut, and bookmaking. What distinguishes the Print Making program from the other emphases is the focus on multiple copies of images.
The BFA Sculpture emphasis focuses on 3D physical and spatial design. Students begin with learning basic metal working and welding techniques. Over time students also learn to create 3D artworks with wood, cast metal, plastics, and other composite materials. Students develop their building and fabrication skills in service of developing 3D art. These skills can be applied in a variety of occupations and opportunities like architectural theming and product prototyping in addition to studio art
Student Learning Outcomes:
Create original two-dimensional, three-dimensional and/or four-dimensional fine artwork utilizing the elements and principles of design.
Take the following 54 units with a Grade of "C" or better in each course:
The two elective tracks selected above must differ from your emphasis.
Select an emphasis that differs from either of the elective tracks chosen above. Take the following 30 units with a grade of C or better in each course.
Ceramics Emphasis (30 units)
Additional coursework is required, if, after you have met the previously described requirements, you have not yet completed a total of 120 units of credit.
You may take these remaining courses from any academic areas, using these courses to pursue your specific interests and goals. We encourage you to consult with your advisor to select the courses that will be most advantageous to you. (Please note that you may also use prerequisites or transfer credits as electives if they weren't used to meet major, minor, or liberal studies requirements.)
Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.