Bachelor of Fine Arts

Last updated

A Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A. or BFA) is a standard undergraduate degree for students for pursuing a professional education in the visual, fine or performing arts. [1] [2] It is also called Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) in some cases.



The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree differs from a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in that the majority of the program consists of a practical studio component, as contrasted with lecture and discussion classes.

A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree will often require an area of specialty such as acting, architecture, musical theatre, game design, ceramics, computer animation, creative writing, dance, dramatic writing, drawing, fiber, film production, fashion design, visual effects, animation, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, visual arts, technical arts, interior design, metalworking, music, new media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, stage management, or television production. Some schools instead give their students a broad education in many disciplines of the arts. [1] [3] [4]

Although a Bachelor of Fine Arts is traditionally considered a four-year degree, [2] a BFA program may take shorter or longer to complete because of the amount of studio course work required. After completing this degree, the learner may acquire postgraduate degree; Master of Fine Arts.

BFA in countries


A typical BFA program in the United States consists of two-thirds study in the arts, with one-third in more general liberal arts studies. For a BA in Art, the ratio might be reversed. [2] The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), which accredits Bachelor's of Fine Arts programs in visual art and design in the United States, states that "the professional degree (BFA) focuses on intensive work in the visual arts supported by a program of general studies," whereas "the liberal arts degree (BA) focuses on art and design in the context of a broad program of general studies." [5]


In the United Kingdom, BA Fine Arts is equivalent to BFA. Specific degrees such as the Bachelor of Dance or Bachelor of Drama are used by some performing arts institutions in Australia , the US, and much of Europe. [6] [7] [8]


In India, a Fine Arts undergraduate degree may also be known as BVA (Bachelor of Visual Arts). [9] It is usually a four year program in which the first year is preparatory session. By the second year, learners have a specialization such as Painting, Photography and more. However, some institutions have 3 year curriculum in which students are already opted for their specialization. Specializations such as Acting, Dancing, Singing, etc. would come under Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA).

In some countries such a degree (BFA) is called a Bachelor of Creative Arts (BCA). [10] [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

School of Visual Arts art school in New York

The School of Visual Arts New York City is a for-profit art and design college in Manhattan, New York. It was founded in 1947, and is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.

State University of New York at Purchase

State University of New York at Purchase is a public college in Purchase, New York. It is one of 13 comprehensive colleges in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. It was founded by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1967 as "the cultural gem of the SUNY system."

A Master of Fine Arts is a terminal degree in fine arts, including visual arts, creative writing, graphic design, photography, filmmaking, dance, theatre, other performing arts and in some cases, theatre management or arts administration. It is a graduate degree that typically requires two to three years of postgraduate study after a bachelor's degree, though the term of study varies by country or university. Coursework is primarily of an applied or performing nature, with the program often culminating in a thesis exhibition or performance. The first university to admit students the degree of Master of Fine Arts was the University of Iowa in 1940.

Sandhills Community College

Sandhills Community College is a public community college in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Sandhills was chartered in 1963, and officially opened October 1, 1965. It was the first comprehensive community college authorized and established as the result of legislation passed by the 1963 General Assembly of North Carolina. It is part of the 58-campus North Carolina Community College System. Sandhills Community College has approximately 4,000 students enrolled in college-credit curriculum courses and over 11,000 students who take continuing education courses annually.

California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts (CCA) is an art, design, architecture, and writing school with two campuses in California, one in San Francisco and one in Oakland. Founded in 1907, it enrolls approximately 1,500 undergraduates and 500 graduate students.

New York University Tisch School of the Arts Performing arts institute at New York University in New York City, New York, US

The New York University Tisch School of the Arts is the performing, cinematic and media arts school of New York University, and is among the most competitive film schools in the world for admissions. Founded on August 17, 1965, Tisch is a training ground for artists, scholars of the arts, and filmmakers; the school merges the technical training of a professional school with the academic resources of a major research university to immerse students in their intended artistic disciplines. The school is divided into three Institutes: Performing Arts, Emerging Media, and Film & Television. Many undergraduate and graduate disciplines are available for students, including: acting, dance, drama, performance studies, design for stage and film, musical theatre writing, photography, record producing, game design and development, and film and television studies.

Pacific Northwest College of Art

The Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) is a private fine arts and design college in Portland, Oregon. Established in 1909, the art school grants bachelor of fine arts degrees and graduate degrees including the master of fine arts (MFA) and master of arts (MA) degrees. It has an enrollment of about 500 students. PNCA actively participates in Portland's cultural life through a public program of exhibitions, lectures, and internationally recognized visual artists, designers, and creative thinkers.

A low-residency program is a form of education, normally at the university level, which involves some amount of distance education and brief on-campus or specific-site residencies—residencies may be one weekend or several weeks. These programs are most frequently offered by colleges and universities that also teach standard full-time courses on campus. There are numerous Master's degree programs in a wide range of content areas; one of the most popular limited residency degree programs is the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. The first such program was developed by Evalyn Bates and launched in 1963 at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont.

Carnegie Mellon School of Art

The Carnegie Mellon School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a degree-granting institution and a division of the Carnegie Mellon College of Fine Arts. The School of Art was preceded by the School of Applied Design, founded in 1906. In 1967, the School of Art separated from the School of Design and became devoted to visual fine arts.

Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design

The Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) is a non-profit consortium of 36 art and design schools in the United States and Canada. All AICAD member institutions have a curriculum with full liberal arts and sciences requirements complementing studio work, and all are accredited to grant Bachelor of Fine Arts and/or Master of Fine Arts degrees. To qualify for AICAD membership an art school must be: a free-standing college specializing in art or design; a non-profit institution; grant BFA and/or MFA degrees; and have accreditation from both the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the relevant academic accrediting organization in their region.

Yale School of Art Private Art School in New Haven, Connecticut, USA

The Yale School of Art is the art school of Yale University. Founded in 1869 as the first professional fine arts school in the United States, it grants Masters of Fine Arts degrees to students completing a two-year course in graphic design, painting/printmaking, photography, or sculpture.

The College of Visual and Performing Arts is an academic college of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA. The colleges include three schools: the School of Art and Art History, the School of Music, and the School of Theatre and Dance. The College also includes the Madison Art Collection and the Institute for Visual Studies.

A Master of Design is a postgraduate academic master degree in the field of Design awarded by several academic institutions around the world. The degree level has different equivalencies; some MDes are equivalent to Master of Fine Arts and others to a Master of Arts or Master of Science postgraduate degree in alternative disciplines. It often follows a Bachelor of Design degree and requires around two years of study and research in design.

The New England School of Art and Design at Suffolk University is a school of fine arts and design located in Boston, Massachusetts. The school offers undergraduate (BFA) and graduate (MA) degrees, as well as continuing education courses and programs. The School of Art & Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The BFA program in Interior Design and MA program in Interior Architecture & Design are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). Suffolk University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

The USC School of Dramatic Arts —formerly the USC School of Theatre, is a private drama school at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, California. It is ranked one of the top 10 dramatic arts schools in the world, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Top 25 Drama Schools. The school offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theatre and visual & performing arts; Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in acting, design, sound design, stage management and technical direction; and Master of Fine Arts degrees in acting and dramatic writing.

A Bachelor of Design degree is usually an undergraduate academic degree in the field of design awarded for a course or major that generally lasts three or four years. It is the undergraduate equivalent of the Master of Design, MDes. Bachelor of Design degrees have been popular in Canada and Australia for several decades and are becoming increasingly popular in the United States as discipline-specific design education expands and becomes more specialized. There are several variants of the Bachelor of Design degree, including the Bachelor of Design Arts and the Bachelor of Design Studies.

Paris College of Art (PCA) is an international college of art and design with U.S degree-granting authority and accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) located in Paris, France. PCA's mission is to provide the highest standard of art and design education, taught within an American pedagogical paradigm, while being influenced and informed by their French and European environment.

The University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts is composed of four academic units: the School of Art and Visual Studies, the Department of Arts Administration, the School of Music, and the Department of Theatre and Dance. The Singletary Center for the Arts, the college's performing arts facility, supports the School of Music. The University of Kentucky Art Museum has a collection of more than 4,500 objects.

NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts is composed of three schools. The college also administers several university programs including, the NIU Art Museum, the NIU Community School of Arts, and NIU Huskie Marching Band.


  1. 1 2 "BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) - Courses, Degree, Subjects, Entrance Exams, Scope, Careers". Shiksha. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  2. 1 2 3 "Should You get a BA or BFA Degree?". All Art Schools. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  3. "What Can I Do with a Fine Arts Degree? - Typical Courses & Careers - Video & Lesson Transcript". Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  4. "what is bachelor of fine arts - TELUGU HEAL". Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  5. "Handbook 2017-18" (PDF). NASAD.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. "Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) - The University of Melbourne". University of Melbourne. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  7. "Dance | Bachelor of Fine Arts < University of Florida". University of Florida. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  8. "Best Bachelors of Arts (BAs) in Dance in Europe 2020". Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  9. "BVA (Bachelor of Visual Arts) - Courses, Fees, Colleges | Shiksha". Shiksha. Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  10. "Best Bachelor Degrees in Creative Arts 2020". Retrieved 2020-06-29.
  11. University, La Trobe. "Bachelor of Creative Arts". Retrieved 2020-06-29.

NASAD official website