Jun 18, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Art, B.F.A.

Program Description

Coordinator: Mark Rooker
Phone: (540) 568-6410

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art offers concentrations in ceramics, fibers, metals, painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. It is designed for students who aspire to develop a professional art practice as expansively defined in today’s world. Students are prepared to produce and exhibit art and to pursue further study at the graduate level.

The art faculty is made up of practicing artists who work closely with the students, and students also work closely with each other as they develop their studio practice. Visiting artists and scholars, workshops, field trips and frequent on-campus exhibitions of professional artwork enhance student engagement with contemporary art. Additionally, students have opportunities to exhibit and present their artwork, to assist in running on-campus galleries and studio art labs and to partake in other hands-on art experiences.

Students graduating with a major in art will:

  • Display technical command of at least one medium and display fluency in a range of media
  • Effectively analyze and apply two- and three-dimensional design principles and devices
  • Develop an independent line of creative inquiry that embraces risk-taking and inventive solutions
  • Knowledgeably critique and contextualize their artwork to cultivate expressive ideas and meaningful content
  • Demonstrate awareness of contemporary art and art history within a global context

Special Admission Requirements

Architectural Design, Art, Graphic Design and Industrial Design Majors

All prospective freshmen, transfer and change of major students intending to major in architectural design , graphic design  or studio art must meet JMU admission requirements as stated in the Undergraduate Catalog. In addition to meeting JMU admission requirements, all students seeking the B.F.A. with a major in architectural design , art studio or graphic design , or the B.S. with a major in industrial design  are required to submit a portfolio to the school’s SlideRoom account (https://jmuart.slideroom.com). The submission of a portfolio is optional for students seeking the B.A. and B.S. with a major in art studio. All students regardless of degree type, who wish to be considered for a scholarship must submit a portfolio to SlideRoom. The submission of a portfolio is seen as evidence of a student’s interest and potential for future success in art. The deadline for submitting portfolios to SADAH’s SlideRoom site can be found on the School’s Portfolio page. There is a $10 charge for this submission.

Transfer and Change of Major Students

Transfer and change of major students seeking the B.F.A. with a major in architectural design , art studio, or graphic design  or the B.S. with a major in industrial design  are required to submit a portfolio and also need to upload unofficial transcripts and a statement of intent to the school’s SlideRoom account that explains their educational and artistic goals, articulating the reasons for choosing this area of study.

On-Campus Portfolio Feedback Days and Scholarships

All students who would like to be considered for scholarships are required to attend one of the on-campus or virtual portfolio feedback days. Students will show their original art and participate in a faculty interview. If time-based media examples (video and animation) are included, students will need to bring their own digital device for presentation purposes. Refer to the SADAH website for the dates of the upcoming portfolio feedback days and for additional portfolio requirements. All scholarship awards are based on merit and vary in amount. Tours of facilities and program information sessions will take place at on-campus events.

Off-Campus Portfolio Feedback Days

The SADAH  also offers students the opportunity for faculty critiques on their portfolio, prior to their digital submission and before an on-campus or virtual portfolio scholarship interview. The off-campus portfolio feedback events provide an opportunity for students to meet SADAH’s faculty. All prospective first-year, transfer and change of major students are strongly encouraged to attend a portfolio feedback day, on or off campus, prior to submitting their portfolio.

SADAH Computer Hardware and Software Requirements for Art, B.F.A.

SADAH’s programs require all students to have a laptop computer equipped with and capable of running any necessary software. SADAH considers a laptop an essential tool for total participation in classes and content.

SADAH faculty determine the hardware and software requirements annually to ensure students purchase the most up-to-date technology conducive to participating in the curriculum.

For all hardware and software requirements, please see the department’s website at: https://www.jmu.edu/sadah/index.shtml

Degree and Major Requirements

Degree Requirements Credit Hours
General Education  courses 1 41
University elective 1  1
Major requirements (listed below)





1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

Major Requirements

The major requires 78 credit hours in art, art history and art related courses.

Required Art Courses

Foundation Courses

Studio Concentration (choose one of the following): 15 Credit Hours

Credits taken to fulfill the studio concentration must be taken in a single studio area.

Metals and Jewelry

Painting and Drawing


Art History electives (300-400 level): 6 Credit Hours

Excludes ARTH 490 , ARTH 495  and ARTH 499 .

Art and art-related electives: 12 Credit Hours

Art and art-related electives may include courses from graphic design, architectural design, art education independent study, industrial design, internships and study abroad studio courses but excludes courses taken to fulfill the studio concentration.

Major Requirements Total: 78 Credit Hours

Recommended Schedule for Majors

First Year Total: 30 Credit Hours

Second Year

Second Year Total: 30 Credit Hours

Third Year

  • Art history elective (300-400 level) 3 Credit Hours
  • Required two- and three-dimensional studio art electives 9 Credit Hours
  • Studio concentration 6 Credit Hours
  • General or art electives (any level) 3 Credit Hours
  • General Education: The Human Community  courses 6 Credit Hours

Third Year Total: 30 Credit Hours

Fourth Year

Fourth Year Total: 30 Credit Hours

Program Total: 120 Credit Hours