Studio Art BFA Info Session

rock n roll performance art
abstract art, colorful patterns like an inkblot test
polyhedron of thin members with projections behind

What is Western's Studio Art BFA Program?

  • The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is an additional degree on top of the Studio BA degree that most of our students graduate with.
  • It is a competitive cohort of up to 12 students.
  • Students develop an individual body of work over three quarters.
  • Culminating in an exhibition in the Western Gallery in Spring Quarter.
  • The Cohort meets in a weekly critique seminar with the BFA Coordinator.
  • Students also work with a committee of two tenured studio faculty to guide their development over the course of the academic year.

Who can apply to the BFA program?

  • Students who have completed the requirements of the Studio BA degree and are in good standing.
  • Students who are currently enrolled as a Studio Art Major.
  • Students who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 within the Studio Art Major

Why would you want to get your BFA?

  • To develop an INDEPENDENT body of artwork beyond assignment based class work.
  • To do this with the support of faculty mentors, and the critical dialogue of a cohort of other motivated students.
  • To do this with access to your own studio space.
  • To do this with access to the facilities and resources on Western’s campus.
  • To present this body of work in a professional gallery setting at the end of Spring quarter.

What does a BFA get you?

  • More time to develop your ideas, concepts and practice
  • Developing a sustainable studio practice that will serve you beyond graduation
  • Preparation for application to Artist Residencies, Grants & Exhibitions
  • A taste of what a Masters of Fine Art (MFA) would be like
  • Professional experience to build your Curriculum Vitae with additional exhibitions and possibly grants.

How and when to apply to the BFA program

  • Applications are due Sunday April 9th at 11:59 p.m.
  • Application Requirements:
  • Portfolio of 12 examples of your best work.  In addition to your skills this should show the focus in media and concepts you want to pursue.
  • A 300-word Artist Statement that addresses your artistic goals, your preferred media, your artistic influences and what you hope to get from Western’s BFA program
  • Unofficial Transcripts

What should your portfolio look like?

  • Make sure your work is well documented. (i.e. well lit, in focus, cropped and free of other distracting information)
  • Present examples of your best work, but also importantly work that demonstrates your individual focus.
  • Keep in mind the areas where we have faculty and facilities to support you:
  • Ceramics, Drawing & Painting, Fibers, Mixed-Media, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture and Time-Based Media.
  • Time-based media such as video, performance, animation or sound pieces should include a placeholder image and an hyperlink to the media.  Do not embed this content into your portfolio.

What should your artist statement address?

  • This should be the first slide in your portfolio presentation
  • It must be 300 words or less
  • It should address your goals as an artist
  • It should address your preferred media and the content / subject matter you wish to pursue
  • It should address your artistic influences
  • It should address what you hope to gain from studying in the WWU Studio Art BFA program


  • Start working on the application now!  Scan &/or photograph your work as best as you can.  Professional looking photographs can make a huge difference!
  • Portfolio: submit images of your best work and artwork that demonstrates the medium that you would like to work in … probably not a good idea to submit work that was created in your foundation courses.
  • Get a professor to review your portfolio before you submit it.
  • Get a friend or parent to review your statement.
  • Spend time on the statement.  If you have an idea of the imagery and or medium that you would like to work in, make sure to express it in the statement.

What to expect if you are accepted

Art Studio, BFA

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is the professional undergraduate art degree.

It is a selective expanded program focused on a year-long development of a professional body of work, culminating in a Western Gallery exhibition and catalog.

Plan of Study


  • Completion of all requirements for the Art Studio BA program of study
  • 15 credits of:
  • Art 498 - BFA Seminar Credits: 5
  • 9 credits of:
  • Art 492 – BFA project / Exhibition Credits: 3
  • 10 credits of studio practice in area of focus
  • 10 credits of 300- or 400-level art history (A/HI 300, A/H 302, A/HI 305 and A/HI 306 are not accepted toward the major.)
  • 5 credits of electives specific to the course of study
  • Fall, Winter and Spring faculty committee reviews
  • Final Exhibition

Additional Requirements

During the BFA program, students spend three quarters creating a self-determined body of artwork.  Attention is given to the medium(s), method(s), and content of the creative activity.  Evaluation of the student’s full committee occurs during Fall, Winter and Spring quarters.  At the culmination of the project each student is required to exhibit their completed work in a group exhibition at the WWU Western Gallery.  In addition, the student is required to submit a research-driven artist’s statement that supports the individuals own intellectual and creative achievement.  The student’s final review with full committee will be scheduled during the period of the exhibition in the Western Gallery.  This is an opportunity for the student to discuss and defend their work.

Failure to meet these requirements on schedule will be considered as unsatisfactory progress and may result in the student completing the BA degree only.

Recent BFA Graduates

Amanda Jenkinson 2021

a pastel plush doll fused like a conjoined twin at the back to another one. Both have baby doll faces for their eyes.

Anastasia DeVol 2018

WWU Outstanding Graduate Award

a plain table with assorted ceramic tiles mounded, stacked and boxed

Austin Herrman 2018

printed paint like a fingerprint
printed paint like a fingerprint
printed paint abstraction looks like cross section of brain
blue green abstract lines of paint
printed paint abstraction looks like a blue green leaf vein pattern
criss cross lines of paint look like a prismatic sunset through a twiggy shrub

Lily Foss 2021

a woven textile work depicts a naked sex worker. The image is streaky and blurred by the weaving technique.

Chloe Dichter 2021

half eggshells, dome up and lighted from beneath sit on a black background. The shells are cyano printed with portraits.

Ruby Jones 2019

shells and bones mounded around pale white ceramic fingers and toes, the tips of which are blue-black.

Need more info?

For advising and information about the Department of Art & Art History, email us or call 360-650-3660.