Art student works on a sculpture


The B.F.A. in studio art offers the following concentrations: 

  • Ceramics 
  • Digital Media Design 
  • Graphic Design 
  • Metalsmithing & Jewelry Design 
  • Painting 
  • Photography 
  • Printmaking 
  • Sculpture

Foundations in Art 

A strong foundation in art is essential to understanding the basic concepts you will use in your study of art. Therefore, you will begin your course of study by completing seven courses in drawing, two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design and digital media during your first four semesters. 

You must earn a minimum grade of C in your foundations courses in order to be eligible to enroll in studio concentration courses. You are encouraged to enroll in an entry-level studio concentration course (STUDIO I ONLY) while in each of the last two foundations courses (ART 204 and 205), provided you have earned a minimum grade of C in the first four foundations courses. This allows you to explore possible choices for your major concentration. 

While enrolled in your first Synthesis course (ART 204 or ART 205) you must participate in a woodshop lab. This experience will familiarize you with tools, techniques and safety precautions necessary for working with power tools and other specialized equipment. The woodshop lab typically meets on Fridays. You may choose between a morning or afternoon session. For more information, contact the Main Office or your art faculty advisor. 

You should save the work you have completed in your foundations courses to begin creating a well-organized and professionally maintained portfolio. This portfolio will be necessary should you participate in the Annual Talent Award Competition or transfer to another college or university. 

Upon completion of your foundations courses, you will be able to select an area of concentration and fill out a plan of study with your art faculty advisor.

Program Details

Course Information

Click below for information on course requirements, course descriptions and the Academic Rhode Map, which lists all the courses you will need to complete this program and graduate in a timely fashion. 

Course Requirements  

Course Descriptions

Academic Rhode Map

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to this program, you must have:

  1. Prior acceptance to the Studio Art B.A. Program.  
  2. A completed Plan of Study approved by assigned advisor. 
  3. A completed Declaration of Major Form, indicating your studio concentration. 
  4. Completed a B.F.A. application. 
  5. Completed all studio foundations courses, with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.50 and a minimum grade of C in each course.  
  6. Completed the Studio I course in the concentration, with a minimum grade of B. 
  7. A positive portfolio review. The portfolio must include work from studio foundations courses and the introductory studio art course in the concentration. Portfolios are reviewed once per semester. Review dates are posted in the main office of ALEX AND ANI Hall. 

Note: For information on transferring credit for courses taken at another institution or credit for advanced placement art courses, see  Art Transfer Students

Retention Requirement 

A minimum grade of B in all concentration courses. 

Program/Learning Goals

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate visual literacy, including competency with the nonverbal languages of art and design. 
  2. Generate visual, verbal and written responses to visual phenomena and organize their perceptions and conceptualizations both rationally and intuitively. 
  3. Identify and solve problems within a variety of physical, technological, social and cultural contexts. 
  4. Demonstrate competency in a number of art or design techniques. 
  5. Discuss major achievements in the history of art/design, including the works and intentions of leading artists/designers in the past and present. 
  6. Understand and evaluate contemporary thinking about art or design. 
  7. Make valid assessments of the quality and effectiveness of design projects and works of art, especially their own. 

Writing in the Discipline

1. In what ways is writing important to your profession? 

The Art Department offers three separate undergraduate majors: art education, art history and studio art. Across these areas, students will learn to write clearly and analytically about works of art, whether they are made by the students themselves or by other artists. 

If you are pursuing the studio art major (B.A. or B.F.A.), you must be able to write clear and interesting artist statements, job applications, and grant and commission proposals. 

If you are pursuing the art history major, especially if you are interested in graduate studies, you must be able to write research papers. Jobs in museums and galleries require the ability to write clearly and concisely, including descriptions of artworks, business letters and grant applications.

If you are pursuing the art education major, you must be able to write lesson plans and other kinds of documents specific to the education field.  

2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement by your department? Why these courses? 

Two courses satisfy the WID requirement for all three majors in the Art Department: Art 231: Prehistoric to Renaissance Art and Art 232: Renaissance to Modern Art. If you are an art studio major, area-specific writing in upper-level studio classes complements the writing in art history. If you are an art education major, you will write in numerous upper-level courses, as well. 

3. What forms or genres of writing will you learn and practice in your WID courses? Why these genres? 

The genres of writing students in the Art Department learn to write vary by major. In Art 231 and 232 students write descriptions, analyses and comparisons of individual artworks – these are the most basic components of writing in art and must be mastered to develop either as an artist, art educator or art historian. 

In advanced and upper level courses, art students write research papers and responses to art historical scholarship, learning to integrate the ideas of other writers into their work and to deepen their understanding of artworks and art movements. 

4. What kinds of teaching practices will you encounter in your WID courses? 

You will encounter many different kinds of teaching practices, including scaffolded writing projects, peer review, in-class writing, writing-to-learn exercises and discussions of and lectures on writing and writing assignments. 

5. When you have satisfied your WID requirement, you should be able to: 

Write interpretive descriptions and comparisons of artworks, thesis papers based on artworks, research papers, artist statements, cover letters and project proposals. 

Minor in Art

Declaring a minor allows you to explore other areas of interest and make interdisciplinary connections. Minor areas at RIC complement and reinforce all major areas of study. By declaring a minor, you can set yourself apart as a candidate for job, internship and volunteer opportunities. Click below for information on the minor in art. 

Minor in Art