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Curriculum | Degree Requirements

BFA, Studio Art

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.

Beginning as early as second semester Freshman year and beyond, students begin to take Liberal Arts Core classes and choose studio courses in consultation with an adviser. Students also complete upper level interdisciplinary studio projects and departmental studio and theory based 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 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. Ability to work independently, developing a unique and meaningful artistic practice, as well as in collaboration with fellow artists. 
  10. Growth/development toward a personally constructed conceptual direction in their art work.

Liberal Arts Courses, All undergraduate Steinhardt students are required to complete a significant number of courses in the liberal arts. For students pursuing a B.F.A.  must complete 40 units.  According to New York State regulations, liberal arts courses “comprise the disciplines of the humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences,” and are to be distinguished from courses that emphasize applied knowledge, and/or practical, occupational or professional training.  

Internships provide a valuable opportunity for students to network and gain professional experience within the professional art world. Students may receive a maximum of 6 credits toward graduation in exchange for internship hours as early as Spring Sophomore year. To seek credit for an experience, students must register their internship prior to their start date. 

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

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.

Degree Requirements

A summary of class requirements for the BFA in Studio Art Program for students entering Fall 2018 and after. (For students who entered Fall 2017 and prior, please contact your advisor for details.)
Liberal Arts Requirements Credits

42 Credits

College Core Curriculum (CORE)

20 Credits

Foreign Language


Expository Writing


EXPOS-UA 1 Writing the Essay (Fall Freshman Year) 


ACE-UE 110 Advanced College Essay (Spring Freshman Year)


Foundations of Contemporary Culture


CORE-UA 4xx Texts and Ideas


CORE-UA 5xx Cultures and Contexts 4

Other Liberal Arts Requirements

22 Credits

ARTCR-UE 58 Global Histories of Art (Fall, Freshman Year)


ARTCR-UE 51 Histories of Art Since 1945 (Fall, Sophmore Year)


ARTCR-UE 37 Art + Contemporary Culture (Spring, Sophomore Year)


ARTCR-UE 52 Contemporary Art (Fall or Spring, Junior Year)


ARTH-UA xxxx Restricted Elective in Art History  
or ARTCR-UE 10 Art: Practice and Ideas*                  
or ARTCR-UE 55 Art of Now*
or ARTCR-UE 1153 Art and Ideas: The Art World Today-Berlin and Beyond




Natural Science or Psychology*


*Selected by advisement


Additional Requirements


SAHS-UE 1 New Student Seminar


Writing Proficiency Examination

Studio Art Specialization (Major)

86 Credits

Foundation Studios

20 Credits

ART-UE 107 2D Fundamentals (Fall or Spring, Freshman Year)

ART-UE 211 3D Fundamentals I (Fall, Freshman Year)


ART-UE 212 3D Fundamentals II (Spring, Freshman Year)


ART-UE 314 4D Fundamentals Fall or Spring, Freshman Year)


ART-UE 22 Intro to Interdisciplinary Art Practice I (Fall Freshman Year)


ART-UE 23 Intro to Interdisciplinary Art Practice II (Spring Freshman Year) 3
Intermediate Studios 12 credits
Choose any 2 (Fall Sophomore Year) and any 2 (Spring Sophomore Year) from the following courses:   
ART-UE 1517 Ceramics 3
ART-UE 1420 Design  3
ART-UE 1316 Digital Art 3
ART-UE 1114 Drawing 3
ART-UE 1514 Glass 3
ART-UE 1116 Painting 3
ART-UE 1314 Photography Analog 3
ART-UE 1315 Photography Digital 3
ART-UE 1118 Printmaking 3
ART-UE 1221 Sculpture 3
ART-UE 1318 Video 3
Studio Projects, Advanced Projects, and/or Interdisciplinary Projects 12 credits
ART-UE xxx 3 credits
ART-UE xxx 3 credits
ART-UE xxx 3 credits
ART-UE xxx 3 credits 

ART-UE 900 Visual Arts Praxis (Fall or Spring Junior Year)

3 credits
ARTCR-UE 1095 Senior Thesis Seminar (Fall Senior Year)  3 credits
Senior Studios: 4-8  
If department Elective requirement totals the minimum 8 points, Senior Studio I and II must total 6 points combined.   
ART-UE 1905 BFA Individual Critique and Review: (Fall Senior Year) 1 credit
ART-UE 1905 BFA Individual Critique and Review: (Spring Senior Year) 1 credit
ART-UE 1901 Senior Studio I (Fall Senior Year) 1-3 credits
ART-UE 1902 Senior Studio II (Spring Senior Year) 1-3 credits
Department Electives 8-12 credits
If Senior Studios requirement totals the minimum 4 points, Department Elective requirement must total 12 points at a minimum.   
ART-UE xxxx  
ART-UE xxxx  
ART-UE xxxx  
Unrestricted Electives
Within the Department of Art & Art Professions or elsewhere within NYU 
20 credits
Total credits for graduation 128 Credits