Admissions

Academics & Majors

Art

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Fine Arts
Offered as:
Major
Minor
Graduate program

Overview

The arts are vital to cultural expression; they enrich our lives while challenging and broadening our views of the world. The fine arts faculty foster an educational environment that encourages creativity, individual growth, and meaningful expression. They provide interdisciplinary approaches to the practice of art and the study of visual culture. At WSU, students have the opportunity to put their ideas into form while becoming visually literate, historically grounded, and familiar with the diversity of arts and cultures worldwide.

The University offers courses of study leading to a bachelor of arts (B.A.) in fine arts or a bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.). You can specialize in any of several creative areas:

  • Art history/visual culture
  • Ceramics
  • Digital media
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Strengths of the program
  • Opportunities for internships, study abroad, and personal interaction with faculty.
  • The Forst Visiting Artist Endowment brings diverse artists to the Pullman campus for interactive residencies with students each semester.
  • Close relationship with the WSU Museum of Art, one of the top five museums in the Northwest, including annual faculty and M.F.A. thesis exhibitions.
  • WSU undergraduate students manage one of the department's two galleries in Pullman and assist faculty with the Art Center on the Tri-Cities campus.
  • Art history faculty whose research engages relevant twenty-first-century issues with an international breadth.
  • Studio faculty who are practicing artists and scholars and exhibit regularly in the Northwest, nationally, and internationally.
  • State-of-the-art facilities for metal and wood fabrication, ceramics, printmaking, black-and-white photography, and digital media (two Mac labs).
Careers in fine arts

An undergraduate fine arts degree prepares students for rewarding careers in film, video, or sound production; media and web design; studio photography; public relations; public arts and nonprofit arts programs; and more.

Some students earn advanced degrees after graduation to teach at the K-12 or college/university levels (WSU does not offer teacher certification in art education) or work in museums as curators.

What you can do with a degree in fine arts:

  • Art appraisals
  • Education
  • Art history
  • Museum, gallery curator
  • Film, video, sound production
  • Media and web design
  • Public relations
  • Studio art, photography
  • Public arts and nonprofit art programs

Skills you can market with a degree in fine arts:

  • Techniques and theories of studio production
  • Knowledge of art history
  • Ability to communicate ideas and concepts through the production of art
  • Effective written and oral communication
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Time management and organization
  • Ability to work solo or as a team member
  • Reading and listening comprehension
Scholarships and financial aid
For art students

Ten $500 scholarships are offered to first-year fine arts students through the Visual and Performing Arts scholarship program.

The Arthur Gibson Scholarship awards $1,000 to a promising sophomore, with the possibility of renewal.

The Department of Fine Arts offers the following scholarships to deserving juniors and seniors: the John Ludwig Scholarship, the Frances Drake Scholarship, and the Warren Scholarship. Approximately eight scholarships, ranging from $150-$1,000, are awarded each year.

Fine arts majors also may apply for more than $50,000 in scholarships awarded by the College of Liberal Arts.

Available to all students at WSU

A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs. Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.

Students should complete the Washington State University general scholarship application and the FAFSA to ensure their eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.

For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.

Bachelor of fine arts (BFA)

Program overview

The bachelor of fine arts is a professionally oriented degree program. Certified BFA majors select art courses in a major area of emphasis (broadly defined) and can use elective credits to specialize or do interdisciplinary exploration. Each student also prepares a written thesis and participates in a BFA degree exhibition at the WSU Museum of Art during the final semester of study.

Signature courses

PREREQUISITES

Before certifying into the BFA program, students complete a set of prerequisite courses that build knowledge of fundamental art techniques and concepts. BFA prerequisites include:

Visual Concepts I and II
Drawing
Figure Drawing
Beginning Painting
Sculpture
World Art History I and II

To join the BFA program, students need to earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in fine arts courses and put together a CD/DVD portfolio and an exhibit presentation of original art work.

CORE COURSES

Courses like these form the core of the BFA degree program.

World Art History through 1450
World Art History 1450 to Present
Modern Art–19th Century
Modern Art–20th Century
Advanced Drawing
Painting
Sculpture
Senior Exhibit
Contemporary Issues Seminar

In addition to the core courses, your BFA program will include 18 credits in your chosen area of emphasis and 9 credits of additional fine arts electives.

Note: See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.

Bachelor of arts in fine arts

Program overview

The bachelor of arts (BA) in fine arts is a flexible liberal arts degree program that allows students to combine fine arts with other subjects. Students have opportunities to double major or earn a minor from another academic department (a total of at least 48 credits in fine arts is required).

Featured courses

PREREQUISITES

All fine arts students complete a set of core courses that emphasize fundamental skills and concepts before certifying into the program. Prerequisites include:

Visual Concepts I and II
Drawing
Figure Drawing
Beginning Painting
Sculpture
World Art History I and II

To certify as a fine arts major, students need to earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in fine arts courses.

CORE COURSES

Courses like these form the core of the BA degree program.

Advanced Drawing
Figure Drawing
World Art History through 1450
World Art History 1450 to Present
Modern Art–19th Century
Modern Art–20th Century
Beginning Painting
Sculpture
Ceramics
Intermediate Sculpture

The BA degree also includes nine credits of fine arts electives, so that you can explore areas that interest you and refine your talent.

Art history option

The art history option in the fine arts BA program looks at the production and consumption of art in various cultural contexts. The program begins with a broad view of the history of the visual arts, then focuses on specific cultures and historical time periods. Art history students also learn basic aspects of studio production to enhance their visual skills and knowledge of material practices. Students complete their studies by writing a thesis paper.

FEATURED COURSES

The art history option in the fine arts bachelor's program includes courses like these.

World Art History through 1450
World Art History 1450 to Present
Modern Art–19th Century
Modern Art–20th Century
Non-Western art history
Art History Thesis

Studio courses: Visual Concepts I and II, plus a studio elective of your choice

Art history electives: 9 credits from 200- or 300-level art history courses and 21 additional credit that focus on areas of your choice

NOTE: See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.