Art (BFA) with Studio Emphasis | Webster University

Art (BFA) with Studio Emphasis


Effective 1 June 2020 through 31 May 2021

Please see the Temporary Adjustments to Policy on Grading for Undergraduate Courses for Spring 2020

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program is offered by the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts/Department of Art, Design and Art History and is only available at the St. Louis home campus.

Program Description

The BFA in art with a studio emphasis degree familiarizes students with the rich tradition of the visual arts, provides them with an understanding of the tools and materials available to the artist as a means of personal expression, shows students that there are fundamental concepts which unify all art yet which allow for infinite variation, and introduces to them alternative ways of looking, seeing, finding and discovering. BFA studio art students explore a wide variety of media, gaining extensive studio experience and learning the techniques and expressive opportunities unique to each. A primary focus of the program is on students finding their own creative and conceptual voice, and discovering ways to visually communicate their thoughts and ideas.

BFA studio art students also more thoroughly investigate such potential in a single area of emphasis, from among those listed below. Students at this level learn within a more professional framework, where the relationship between student and teacher becomes that of apprentice and master. Through this unique teaching relationship, students develop a high level of achievement in an area of expertise, while further developing personal creative abilities. In this manner they establish a sound basis for significant professional accomplishments in art.

Students in the BFA program with a studio emphasis fulfill the same core requirements as for the BA in studio art. In addition, they complete 9 further credit hours in art history and criticism; 9 further credits in additional studio course distribution; 18 further credit hours in studio courses consisting of 15 from their declared area of emphasis and 3 in drawing; and 3 credit hours with the BFA thesis.

Areas of Emphasis

  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Electronic and Time-Based Art
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture

Learning Outcomes

Successful graduates of the art with a studio emphasis program will be able to:

  • Express an individual, creative voice through an artistic practice that engages with contemporary global art and design discourse.
  • Implement the formal vocabularies of art and design as a foundation for artistic dialogue.
  • Practice drawing as a means to develop ideas.
  • Draw upon the history of art and design as a wellspring for ideas, solutions and meanings within one's own artistic practice.
  • Analyze and discuss art and design through discipline- and emphasis-specific vocabularies and methods.
  • Exhibit the potential for practicing art as a means of engagement and discourse.

By focusing in one of the following emphases, graduates of that emphasis program will also be able to:


  • Demonstrate technical proficiency in handbuilding and wheelthrowing processes, glaze application and formulation and knowledge of kiln theory.
  • Use clay-building and three-dimensional design skills to design and construct utilitarian, functional and sculptural ceramic work.
  • Conceive and produce authentic ceramic work.


  • Demonstrate a mastery of observational drawing and experiment with techniques of non-objective drawing.
  • Address concepts of cultural significance or personal expression through drawing.
  • Practice with traditional and non-traditional media to integrate drawing with contemporary, interdisciplinary practices.

Electronic and Time-Based Art

  • Define time as a material and/or process in performance, video, sound and digital art.
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency in the media of electronic and/or time-based art.
  • Employ electronic media and/or time as a means for the conveyance or expression of ideas.


  • Demonstrate proficiency with painting mediums and materials, and their formal and expressive applications.
  • Conceive of paint-handling skills as both material and process in an individual application to content.
  • Practice an effective use of painting mediums and techniques in relationship to subject matter as an individual and relevant strategy for further development.


  • Identify and explain photographic techniques, materials, aesthetics and processes.
  • Demonstrate their photographic technical proficiency (e.g., technical control during photographing and printing).
  • Communicate their personal vision effectively through photographic images.


  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of various printmaking techniques.
  • Distinguish between and analyze different approaches to making prints.
  • Recognize and criticize inherent qualities of prints.
  • Create a body of work of printmaking that displays mastery of the media.


  • Demonstrate sculptural technical proficiency to manipulate mediums such as wood, metal and plastic.
  • Identify social and cultural contexts in which sculptural works of art are displayed or installed, and their impact.
  • Practice the creation of sculptural works of art within multiple frameworks (e.g., gallery-based, interactive, site-specific, public).

Special Requirements

All studio majors must register for ART 2900 DADAH Critique in the first semester after completing 18 studio credits. For traditional freshmen this will occur in the fall or spring of their sophomore year. For transfer students this will occur in their first semester at Webster, or when they have a combined total of 18 studio credits. The DADAH Critique is a review of student progress by DADAH full and part-time faculty held on one day during the fall and spring semesters. Following the review, students will meet with their advisor to discuss faculty concerns and recommendations as written on the evaluation form by the advisor during the review. In some cases a student may be advised to undergo a second review in the following semester. The department notifies students of portfolio review dates.

Students must apply for BFA candidacy by completing the BFA candidacy form and presenting an acceptable selection of specialized work. This must take place one year prior to graduation. Successful completion of a written application and submission of a selection of work that demonstrates a studio specialization, technical facility and conceptual sophistication are required for acceptance. Students receive either written notification of acceptance or a recommendation to continue pursuing a BA after review of the portfolio and application are reviewed by the faculty of the Department of Art, Design and Art History.

Candidates for the BFA in art with studio emphasis will designate a specific studio area of emphasis from those listed above and earn a minimum of 18 credit hours in that area.

Degree Requirements

For information on the general requirements for a degree, see Baccalaureate Degree Requirements under the Academic Policies and Information section of this catalog.

  • 84 required credit hours
  • Applicable University Global Citizenship Program hours, with accommodations for art and design BFAs
  • Electives

Global Citizenship Program for Art and Design BFAs

  • GLBC 1200 Global Cornerstone Seminar
  • 6 credit hours from courses designated ‘Roots of Cultures’ (ARHS 2200 or ARHS 2210 will fulfill GCP and major requirements simultaneously)
  • 3 credit hours from courses designated ‘Social Systems & Human Behavior’
  • 3 credit hours from courses designated ‘Global Understanding’
  • 3 credit hours from courses designated ‘Physical & Natural World’ or ‘Quantitative Literacy’
  • KEYS 4XXX Global Keystone Seminar

NOTE: Except where specified otherwise, the above courses must not also satisfy major requirements. One course from above must be coded for the 'Ethical Reasoning' skill; other GCP skills requirements are fulfilled by DADAH core distribution courses. 'Arts Appreciation' is satisfied in meeting the requirements for the major.

Required Courses

Core Distribution:

  • ART 1010 Creative Strategies (3 hours)
  • ART 1110 Introduction to Drawing (3 hours)
  • ART 1120 Principles of Drawing (3 hours)
  • DESN 1210 Design Concepts (3 hours)
  • DESN 1220 Design: 3-D (3 hours)
    or ART 2315 Sculpture I (3 hours)
    or ART 2530 Ceramics: Space (3 hours)
  • ART 2110 Figure Drawing (3 hours)
  • ART 2120 Intermediate Drawing (3 hours)
  • ARHS 2200 Current Art (3 hours)
  • ARHS 2210 Intercultural History of Art (3 hours)
  • ART 2900 DADAH Critique (0 hours)
  • ART 4020 Visual Arts Seminar (3 hours)
  • Studio course distribution (see below) (24 hours)

BFA-specific courses:

  • ART 3900 BFA Review (0 hours)
  • ARHS courses at 3000-level or above (9 hours)
  • ART 4110 Advanced Drawing (3 hours)
    or ART 3110 Conceptual Drawing (3 hours)
  • Studio area emphasis courses (see below) (15 hours)
  • ART 4950 BFA Senior Thesis (3 hours)

Other Program Requirements

  • Students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework selected from each of the following studio areas: ceramics, electronic and time-based art, graphic design, painting, papermaking, printmaking, photography, and sculpture. At least one course must be at the 3000-level or above. If ART 2315 or ART 2530 completes the three-dimensional requirement above, the same course cannot also be used to complete this studio requirement.
  • Students must complete 15 credit hours of coursework in a declared emphasis chosen from among the following areas: ceramics, drawing, electronic and time-based art, painting, printmaking, photography, or sculpture.
  • When the declared studio BFA area emphasis is drawing, it is necessary, due to total departmental requirements, to earn a minimum of 30 credit hours in that studio.