The Curriculum

The Curriculum

The first–year Foundation Program, a focused progression of studio and critical art theory courses, enables students to explore many forms and philosophies of art making, giving them an unusually wide array of skills and visual languages with which to express their ideas. Students develop technical and analytical skills, as well as creative discipline, and a clearer understanding of the relationship between art and society.

In the following years, students begin to take core liberal arts classes and choose studio courses in consultation with an adviser. Students complete a studio concentration and complete interdisciplinary projects and department electives. Praxis courses combine critical theory with innovative artistic practices, and classes in experimental forms, such as Autobiography, Art and Activism, Sex and Contemporary Art,and The Artist as Visionary and Saboteur, expand the definitions of art and its audiences. Students may also select a minor concentration from among many of the undergraduate programs at NYU.

Senior Studio is a year-long course that every BFA candidate enrolls in for the final year of their undergraduate education. The emphasis of the class is to provide a concentrated, non-media-specific forum for students to receive rigorous feedback from faculty and peers as they push a body of work towards a spring semester thesis exhibition. Senior Studio dovetails with every senior receiving a private studio in which to develop said work at their own pace without the interruption of the shared spaces they've grown accustomed to working in. Throughout the semester students are expected to be working extensively in their studios, putting in, at minimum, 25 hours a week.

The BFA Curriculum is designed to progress from foundational to advanced levels and provides students with opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviors described in the program’s goals. Through participation in our program, students are expected to develop in the following areas:

  1. A broad base of knowledge in the humanities, social sciences and sciences is developed which complements the art-making process and provides students with opportunities to interpret the meaning of their artwork.

  2. Technical expertise is demonstrated and is related to the meaning of the artwork.

  3. Understanding of historical and contemporary art modes, coupled with a development of language-based and theoretical models for contextualizing their artwork.

  4. Ability to critique – to identify aesthetic/content problems – in the work of others and self.

  5. Self-discipline.

  6. Ability to demonstrate initiative and ingenuity in devising and sustaining a plan of experimentation or action.

  7. Ability to use research and other resources in the completion of artworks.

  8. Risk-taking in art work; willingness to experiment and maintain an open mind.

  9. Awareness and avoidance of banality and superficial levels of sophistication.

  10. Growth/development toward a personally constructed conceptual direction in their art work.

The BFA Studio Art Degree Requirements.

Read general descriptions of Art Department courses.

Liberal Arts Courses
, both required and elective, encourage a broad historical and aesthetic perspective and the cross-pollination of ideas. At the core of the liberal arts program is the Morse Academic Plan (MAP), offered through the College of Arts and Science. MAP courses immerse students in comparative, critical, exploratory, and interdisciplinary studies in the liberal arts.

, in the junior and senior years, allow the exploration of career opportunities within the context of the professional art world.

Continued Study, MA Art Education
Students interested in continuing on for the MA in Teaching Art may take a graduate-level art education course in the spring or fall term of their senior year and reduce the credits required for the MA.

Course options include:
Contemporary Art and Critical Pedagogy: Identity, Representation & Multiculturalism
Special Education, Disabilities Studies and Contemporary Art
Media Literacy and Art in the Classroom
Course descriptions

Financial aid in the MA program is different than it is in the undergraduate program.  All potential graduate candidates must submit a FAFSA by the February 1 deadline.  Learn more about graduate financial aid.