Studio Art, Art (BFA)

Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts
Major: Art
Concentration: Studio Art
Program Code: 3272

About This Major . . .

The BFA degree in Art with a concentration in Studio Art is designed to prepare students with strong technical skills in a variety of art media. This skill combined with an art historical background will allow them to develop an individual focus in their art. Students can take a variety of two-dimensional courses in drawing, painting, printmaking, or photography. In the three-dimensional area, they can study ceramics, metal casting and sculpture. Extensive studies in Art History engage the students in historic and contemporary artists, art movements, and artistic styles and allows students to understand and place their art within a historical context. A BFA with a concentration in Studio Art prepares the student for graduate school and a career as a professional artist.

Important information for this degree:

  • 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all 200-, 300-, and 400-level Studio Art major courses.
  • Minimum grade of “C” in all 200-, 300-, and 400-level Studio Art major courses.
  • No more than 6 semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Special requirements for admission into the Studio Art program: Every student who is a sophomore in academic standing, or a transfer student with 60 credits or more (including students transferring into a Studio Art emphasis from K-12 Teaching, Graphic Design, or Art History) must satisfy the following requirements:
    • Completion of ARTE 294 Sophomore Seminar with grade of “B” or better.
    • Completion of Art Foundation Courses ARTE 101, ARTE 102ARTE 118, ARTE 119 and ARTS 151, ARTS 152, with a grade of “B” or better.
    • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher in all 200-, 300-, and 400-level Studio Art major courses.
    • Successful completion of Art entrance exam with a minimum of 80%.
    • Completion of all 200-, 300-, and 400-level Studio Art major courses with a grade of “C” or better.
  • Additional fees are required throughout the studio art program for materials.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Interpret and apply formal elements and principles of design. (Critical Thinking)
  2. Demonstrate proper use of tools, materials, techniques, and proper use and care for equipment through quality craftsmanship. (Applied Learning)
  3. Generate individual response through concept and relevant sources of information to create personal content. (Communication Fluency and Information Literacy)
  4. Communicate clearly regarding the critical analysis of art and design both historical and contemporary. (Specialized Knowledge/ Communication Fluency)
  5. Reflect on and respond to ethical, social, civil, and/or environmental challenges as they relate to art, design, and new media. (Personal and Social Responsibility)
  6. Determine the best medium, methods and artistic strategies for evaluating information critically and developing a message by finding relevant sources of information, and applying the information effectively to visual culture. (Information Literacy)
  7. Create and sustain a body of work through self-directed research, experimentation, risk-taking, and reflective analysis. (Applied Learning)
  8. Justify analysis of artwork based on concept and materials. (Critical Thinking)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below. If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 110Mathematical Investigations-GTMA13
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 2
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Foundation Courses

(18 semester hours, minimum GPA of 3.0 required for these courses. Additionally, must pass all courses with a grade of "B" or better.)

ARTE 101Two-Dimensional Design-GTAH13
ARTE 102Three-Dimensional Design-GTAH13
ARTE 118History of Art, Prehistory to Renaissance-GTAH13
ARTE 119History of Art, Renaissance to Present-GTAH13
ARTS 151Foundation Drawing I3
ARTS 152Foundation Drawing II: Figure Drawing3
Total Semester Credit Hours18

Program Specific Degree Requirements

(57 semester hours, must pass all courses with a grade of “C” or higher, unless otherwise noted.)

Core Courses
Art History 200-Level
ARTH 220History of Modern Art3
Art History Upper Division
ARTH 315Nineteenth-Century Art3
or ARTH 316 20th Century Art to 1950
ARTH 400Criticism and Research: Theory and Method3
Art Studio 200-Level
ARTS 225Introduction to Photography3
ARTS 274Printmaking: Intaglio and Relief3
or ARTS 275 Printmaking: Screen Printing and Lithography
ARTS 241Beginning Hand Building3
or ARTS 242 Beginning Wheel Throwing
ARTS 291Painting I: Intro to Painting3
ARTT 270Sculpture I3
Professional Practice
ARTE 294Sophomore Seminar 13
ARTE 494Studio Art Senior Seminar3
Art Studio 300-Level
15 semester hours of ARTS or ARTT 300-Level courses15
Art Studio 400-Level
12 semester hours of ARTS or ARTT 400-Level courses12
Total Semester Credit Hours57

General Electives

All college level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours, including 40 upper division hours. 8 semester hours, at least 4 of which must be upper division.

Select electives8
Total Semester Credit Hours8
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 110 Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 (or higher) 3
ARTE 118 History of Art, Prehistory to Renaissance-GTAH1 3
ARTE 101 Two-Dimensional Design-GTAH1 3
ARTS 151 Foundation Drawing I 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
KINA Activity 1
ARTE 102 Three-Dimensional Design-GTAH1 3
ARTE 119 History of Art, Renaissance to Present-GTAH1 3
ARTS 152 Foundation Drawing II: Figure Drawing 3
ARTS or ARTT 200-Level Studio 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Second Year
Fall Semester
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
ARTS or ARTT 200-Level Studio (2 courses) 6
ARTH 220 History of Modern Art 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
ARTS or ARTT 200-Level Studio (2 courses) 6
ARTE 294 Sophomore Seminar 3
 Semester Credit Hours16
Third Year
Fall Semester
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
ARTS or ARTT 300-Level Studio (3 courses) 9
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Essential Learning - History 3
ARTH 315
Nineteenth-Century Art
or 20th Century Art to 1950
ARTS or ARTT 300-Level Studio (2 courses) 6
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
Electives 5
ARTH 400 Criticism and Research: Theory and Method 3
ARTS or ARTT 400-Level Studio (2 courses) 6
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
ARTE 494 Studio Art Senior Seminar 3
Elective 3
ARTS or ARTT 400-Level Studio (2 courses) 6
 Semester Credit Hours12
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.