Fine Art

The Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts program (B.A.) at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design allows students to balance fine arts courses with other academic programs of study by fostering an experimental approach to art-making. The B.A. program is less studio intensive than the B.F.A. Students take coursework across a wide range of studio arts, including ceramics, photography, new media and graphic design. With a foundation in the liberal arts, this program emphasizes a critical and creative relationship between content and form as well as an awareness of art historical connections.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Fine Art at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is a rigorous, studio-based program of study. Students begin their first year with four foundation courses: Drawing and Surface, Form and Materials, Time and Light, and Interaction. In subsequent semesters, students take a series of other media-specific workshops to further develop technical skills and core studio courses composed of content-driven assignments that guide students toward an increased understanding of their own artistic practices in relation to the contemporary art world. These allow focused work in any medium of the student’s choosing. Senior year is devoted to the investigation, fabrication, and exhibition of thesis projects— the culmination of the student’s professional artistic development. 

When applying to the B.F.A. program, applicants should submit approximately 20 images of artwork and/or up to 10 minutes of time-based work.  While applicants may submit a variety of single images to show competency in multiple media and approaches to art-making, it is most helpful to see at least one larger series that demonstrates how an idea has been developed over an extended period of time.

What can I expect to learn in the Fine Art program at GW?

The Studio Arts program offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Fine Art and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Fine Arts for undergraduate students. Our programs foster a rigorous and experimental approach to artmaking while encouraging students to pursue their creative commitments in the studio and the world. Students may pursue a wide range of studio arts including sculpture, ceramics, photography, painting and drawing and new media.

What is the Fine Art community like at GW?

Taught by faculty mentors who are practicing artists, the program requires a core of studio courses but allows plenty of flexibility for electives so that students can tailor their studies to their interests. Students have an academic home in the Corcoran community, where students learn interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving through exposure to design, interior architecture, theatre, dance, music, museum studies, and art history.

What is the Fine Art learning community like at GW?

Studying at a research university further prepares students to respond to the complexity of possibilities facing the contemporary artist. The Studio Arts program emphasizes a critical and creative relationship between content and form, an awareness of historical connections and engagement with the contexts of creative production.

What can I do in the Fine Art field?

Graduates of the program continue practicing as independent artists. Some go on to earn their MFA degrees in order to open up teaching opportunities, while others have secured positions at the National Gallery of Art, the Phillips Collection, the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress and Christie’s. Additionally, there are many graduates who have started independent businesses in the arts and crafts field, such as decorative painters, furniture makers and designers.