Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Sam Fox School is a place for making. Here, you will work with new materials and new technologies, and discover new ways of seeing the world.

WashU has an exciting, multidisciplinary campus. You can take classes with experts in any field that interests you—environmental science, art history, engineering, literature, neuroscience, marketing, psychology, and many others. You can pursue majors, minors, and dual degrees across disciplines, so your education will be just right for you.

BFA Majors

You can pursue the following majors within the College of Art:

- Art: Surrounded by other artists, you'll be fully immersed in studio culture. The skills you've already mastered will become the foundation for more exciting, daring, and meaningful work. You'll learn to create with technical and conceptual depth. Select a concentration in Painting, Sculpture, Photography, or Printmaking, or take courses in all four.

- Communication Design: Whether you want to create original animations or illustrate your own books, you'll develop the skills you need to make it happen. You'll connect with industry leaders on road shows and in critiques. Design solutions for public health. Or, create graphics for games and apps.

- Fashion Design: You'll dive head-first into the industry, learning the business, the history, and the hottest trends. You'll learn pattern-making, experimental fabrication strategies, textile design, and illustration. You'll create one-of-a-kind pieces and learn to design for mass-production.

Regardless of the path you choose, you will become an autonomous maker and develop a critical problem-solving process. Our faculty and your peers will help you learn to conceptualize projects and visualize ideas. You will gain valuable experience through collaborations with people from other fields.

BFA Curriculum: A Four-Year Snapshot

1. Build a foundation. In your first year, your required studio course work includes drawing, two-dimensional design, three-dimensional design, digital design, and a weekly lecture course taught by the leaders of the School.

2. Choose your path. As a sophomore, you select courses across art and design, choosing from introductory courses in fashion design, graphic design, typography, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. During your second semester, you select your major. For more information about instruction in digital technologies, click here.

3. Focus your study. In your junior year, you dive into your major, choosing among rigorous studio courses taught by faculty with diverse expertise.

4. Culminate with capstone. As a senior, you take a yearlong capstone course, which provides a bridge to your future after college. You begin with research that results in finished work and a public exhibition.

Liberal Arts Foundation

As a BFA student, your liberal arts foundation is built on a combination of required academic courses, art history and visual culture courses, and elective courses. There is time and space to explore fields across WashU's undergraduate divisions: Architecture, Arts & Sciences, Business, and Engineering & Applied Science.

Departments across the campus include:
- Anthropology
- Computer Science
- Entrepreneurship
- Environmental Studies
- Marketing
- Neuroscience
- Philosophy
- Psychology
- Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies

For a full list of areas of undergraduate study at WashU, click here.

Sam Fox School Electives

Art and design undergraduates take two or three elective courses to experience new forms of visual making. Courses include:

– Comics
– Typography
– Furniture Design
– Patternmaking
– Blacksmithing
– Visual Reportage
– Textile Design
– Urban Books
– Ceramics
– Digital Filmmaking
– Animation

Facilities & Resources

Our workspaces include wood and metal shops, a large-scale etching press, a letterpress book studio, and laser cutters. All juniors and seniors have their own individual studios.

You can research and explore the books, art, and special collections of the world-class Kemper Art Museum, Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library, and Dowd Modern Graphic History Library—all right on campus.

BFA Degree Profile

The College of Art subscribes to the standards for the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree as set forth and accepted by the College Art Association of American (CAA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

A BFA degree requires a total of 128 credits of course work, with a minimum of 39 credits taken in Arts & Sciences. Specific details about degree requirements can be found on the individual major pages for Art, Communication Design, and Fashion Design.

Washington University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA-HLC).