Many prominent Northwest artists, designers, and art historians began their professional careers by studying art at Portland State University. An even greater number of successful and productive people have used their training in the School of Art+Design as the basis for careers in commerce, industry, education, and a variety of fields limited only by imagination. Offering a broad curriculum, including undergraduate degrees in Art History, Art Practices, and Graphic Design, as well as MFA and BFA degrees in Art Practices, the school seeks a diverse student population and takes advantage of its geographical location in the heart of Portland, extending our classroom activities into the city’s vibrant cultural community.
With a dedicated faculty actively engaged in their own creative and scholarly research, our student body of aspiring artists, designers and art historians explores new avenues of expression, prepares for professional and academic careers, and builds theoretical and practical foundations for future artistic and intellectual discovery. As a general rule, the major in art requires a minimum of 88 credits in art courses. Included are extensive experiences in studio work and a comprehensive study of the history of art. Majors in art history require a minimum of 68 credits.
The BFA (108 credits) is a professional degree, providing students with knowledge and skills designed specifically to prepare them for a career as a practicing artists and/or the master of fine art degree. It is a competitive program that provides a comprehensive education in visual art practices, applications, theories, and history, with an emphasis on trends in contemporary art. The BFA differs from the BA/BS in Art, providing greater depth conceptually and technically, as well as emphasizing professional preparation. Students interested in the BFA degree will submit a portfolio for review at the end of spring quarter in their third year of study. (Submission is made only after completing 72 of the required 88 credits and selected art courses in the first three years of the BA/BS degree program.) The BFA degree requires the student to research, develop, assemble and present a strong body of well conceived and executed work. The culminating body of work is presented in a thesis exhibition and includes an oral defense.
For the most up to date information on the BFA and how to apply please visit our website http://www.pdx.edu/the-arts/bachelor-of-fine-arts-in-art-practices.