Through vigorous training, the foundation year transforms students into technically saavy artists and broadens their theoretical and historical understanding of art.
In the foundation year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program, students will reap numerous benefits, be immersed in an artistic community, explore areas of study beyond their comfort zone, and integrate those newly developed skills/knowledge into their artistic process.
During foundation year, students:
Right from the start, students will be totally immersed in art.
Along the way, students develop a working knowledge of materials and techniques, a fluency of visual language, and keen powers of observation—all vital to their success as an artist.
Foundation classes traditionally taken during the first year lets students dive right into what they love.
Students take one course in their intended medium each semester to discover how their specific area of interest relates to other mediums, approaches, and historical and cultural perspectives. Students not only learn how to produce art but also
learn how to find solutions,
and transform their values into a creative practice.
If you are an advanced student with prior study (say you're transferring in from another art school) and have already decided on your major, you may be able to get an exemption from some or all of the foundation courses. If this is the case you may be able to begin studies in your chosen field during your first year.
Freshmen who enter in January can take a group of courses which allow them to accelerate their progress in Foundation and move into their chosen major in their second semester. These students must still fulfill all credit requirements for a degree in their major.
Learn more about the Photography Foundation Year.
Associate Professor of Foundation
Adjunct Illustration/Foundation Faculty
Liberal Arts and General Education
Graduate Alumni Artwork
Graduate Faculty Artwork
Pre-College Student Artwork
Undergraduate Faculty Artwork
Undergraduate Student Artwork
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Tara Sellios, Class of 2010 - “The best thing about Lesley University is having so many resources—from studio space to materials to supportive teachers—to help you reach your goals.”
Brandon Strathmann, Assistant Professor - “When students graduate, they’re fully prepared to enter the industry. Artists must both achieve mastery in one area and develop a range of marketable skills.”
Stephanie Pierce, BFA, Painting and Printmaking '96 - “Lesley University gave me the time and space to learn, grow, and develop, and to pay attention to the language of my medium and make it my own.”