Pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Degree immersed in a supportive, close-knit community that propels you to fulfill your potential and beyond.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree is a 4-year comprehensive studio/liberal arts program offered in the following majors:
Students may elect to earn a 5-year double major in Design/Photography, Design/Fine Arts, Design/Illustration, Fine Arts/Art History, Illustration/Animation, or Illustration/Fine Arts.
Professional internships are required of all majors and are usually completed during the junior or senior year. Appropriate internship opportunities are available from each academic department chairperson or internship coordinator and are listed in the Artists' Resource Center or Career Resource Center. These include, but are not limited to: art studio assistantships, museum or gallery assistantships, and professional placements with advertising agencies, newspapers, magazines, media companies, and design, photography, illustration, or animation studios.
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.
We recognize that in some cases neither academic records nor artistic portfolio readily identify a student's full capabilities. The Visual and Academic Enrichment Programs support students' studies in art college, specifically those who haven't met all of our admissions requirements yet clearly show strong potential for success. These students are accepted into one year enrichment programs, which are variations of our regular foundation curriculum. The programs include a first-year seminar designed to address the individual needs of each student. Students also have a special academic advisor who works with them through their first two years. Upon successful completion of either the Visual or Academic Enrichment Program students move directly to the second year of the BFA program in their chosen major, and can complete their degree in the normal amount of time.
First year foundation students are eligible for advanced placement, foundation studio exemptions, and enrolling in Honors Studio and Honors English. Eligibility is determined by high school grades, SAT and/or AP test scores, and portfolio.
Students in a Bachelor of Fine Arts program may elect to take a 12-credit (4-course) curriculum sequence offered by Lesley's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences BS in Business Management Program, intended to provide leadership and management skills needed by arts organizations. The specialization combines core management competencies with art specific institutional studies and field based learning. Whether aiming to work in arts organizations such museums or galleries, or planning to run their own web-based business, students are prepared to understand the business side of the private, public, or not-for-profit arts sectors. Contact Bruce Logan, Co-Director of Professional Studies, at 617.349.8349, or Julie Stanwood, Director of Academic Advising, at 617.585.6722 for further information.
A three-week mini-session in January and a full summer semester offer students the opportunity to supplement studies in their core discipline, fulfill requirements, and expand their horizons. The intensive January session features a selection of courses taught by AIB faculty. The summer session offers courses from all departments, including liberal arts offerings and travel courses.
Bachelor of Fine Arts students may opt in their junior year to spend a semester abroad. They can choose to study the visual art, history, humanities, language and culture of Italy at The Art Institute of Florence, of France at Pont-Avon School of Art, or of Ireland at The Burren College of Art. The Illustration and Design Departments offer exchange programs with the Willem deKooning Academy in the Netherlands, Ecole de Communication Visuelle in Paris, and Hochschule für Kunste, Bremen, Germany.
Through AICAD, students gain practical training for a semester, or a year, by working independently in a Greenwich Village studio through Parson's School of Design or as an intern in a professional art studio. Distinguished visiting artists supplement this experience with lectures and demonstrations.
Membership in the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) gives students the opportunity to spend one semester of their junior year at one of AICAD's 35 American member institutions or international affiliates, through AICAD's Mobility Program. The Mobility Program provides a wide range of course study options and the chance to study in another region of the United States or Canada.
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Geoff Marian ’08 BFA, Animation, Freelance Animator, splatboom.com - “It’s important to learn about current events, literature, and types of art other than your own. The better informed you are, the better artist you are.”
Julia Kirchmer, Studio/Art History Major, Arts Management Minor, Class of 2013 - “It’s important for an artist to understand what’s come before. To make it new, you have to know what you’re departing from.”
Susan LeVan, Department Chair - “The only criterion that matters: Does it work? The only way to get there: Make more work.”