Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Practices

Program Overview

The BFA in Art Practices offered by the School of Art + Design at Portland State University is a competitive one-year long program providing a comprehensive education in visual art practices, applications, contemporary theories and art history, with an emphasis on current trends in contemporary art.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program requires a selective application process. Upon admission, students are required to research, develop, assemble and present a body of work, which is well researched, conceived and executed. The program culminates with an end of the year BFA thesis group exhibition. A formal individual oral review will take place prior to the exhibition, when students meet individually with their BFA committee members and present a selection of their production conducted during the one-year program.

The BFA differs from the BA/BS in Art Practices. The BA/BS is a Liberal Arts degree in Art Practices (88 Art credits required), while the BFA (108 Art credits required) is designed as an alternative professional degree, providing students with greater knowledge and tools for a future professional practice.

The admitted students will follow a specifically designated BFA track for one year, and upon completion of all the required credits, graduate with a BFA degree. The first three years of the BA/BS and BFA tracks are identical and seamless. Therefore, students not admitted into the BFA Program may simply complete all the BA/BS in Art Practices requirements and graduate with that degree.

Applications for the BFA program are due once a year during Spring Quarter. Students are asked to submit an online digital portfolio along with other required application documents. Specifically, prior to applying, students must have senior status, must have completed a minimum of 72 or more Art credits required for the BA/BS in Art Practices, completed 72 or more credits of their general university requirements and carry a minimum 3.0 GPA in their Art Major (see Application).

Studio Space

During the yearlong residency, the admitted BFA students will receive a designated studio space, in the BFA Studios AB 60. Most of BFA core studio courses, as well as other related meetings and activities will take place in that space. Students have access to their studios 24/7. Students need to be accommodating and sensitive to the needs and practices of their colleagues, respect the BFA studio guidelines and maintain the designated facilities in good order throughout their residency. At the end of the residency year, by a given date (to be announced), students will have to vacate their studios, clean the entire space and return it the way it was first received.

$350 Admission Fee + Class fees

$350 one-time non-refundable studies fee (plus other various class fees) may be used for: field trips, guest artists, rental of off-campus exhibition spaces, catalog publication, special materials etc.

Final Project/BFA Group Exhibition

At the end of Spring Quarter, the BFA students will present, in a group exhibition, a selection of their work completed during the three-term residency program. The work for this exhibition will be specifically selected and is to be representing a culmination of all the work produced during the BFA program. As a graduation requirement, this exhibition will be arranged and presented as a formal public event. The utmost care should be invested in the designing and presentation of this exhibition! An in-house produced catalog will be published in conjunction with this event.

Graduation/Final Oral Review

During the Thesis Exhibition, an individual Oral Review will be conducted with each individual student. The Oral Reviews require all students to formally present their work to a designated Thesis committee, highlighting the conceptual, formal and personal context of the presented project. At this presentation, the students are responsible for addressing their research as it is reflected in the exhibited project, and for answering specific questions posed by the committee members. In preparation for the final review and as part of the overall program's curriculum, a variety of readings and writing assignments, presentations, group and individual critiques and other related activites will be offered.

Upon successfully completing all the university required degree credits (including the Thesis Exhibition plus the Oral Review requirements), students will be graduating with a BFA degree.

General Course Plan (Recommendation)

Subject to change. Please consult your BFA coordinator or Advising Faculty regarding your individual needs.

ART 492 BFA Contemporary Studio Practice (4 credits) - offered fall and winter

ARH 498 Contemporary Art I (if needed) (4 credits) - offered fall

ART 330 Critical Theories in Art I (if needed) (4 credits) - offered fall

ARH 300/400 (one course at your discretion)* - offered winter

ARH 499 Contemporary Art II - offered spring

ARH 430 Critical Theories in Art II - offered winter

ART 498 BFA Thesis Exhibition** - offered spring

If other required courses are missing from your Degree/Major (including general university requirements, ART/ARH courses, Upper Division courses, etc.), please attend to them accordingly. Ideally, you will dedicate a good part of the BFA residency year to research and production in preparation for the Thesis Exhibition projects. Please plan well in advance and discuss all your related issues with your BFA advisers.

*ARH 300-400 can be replaced with some of our art related International summer courses (other replacements can be arranged). More on these opportunities will be discussed at regular advising sessions.

**As a graduation requirement, at the end of the Spring Quarter, BFA candidates are required to present a public BFA Thesis Exhibition. An oral review presentation will take place prior to the exhibition.