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Degree: BA, BFA

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

Fine art as a discipline involves the realization of ideas and the creation of meaning through the production of images, objects, performances and experiences. The program at Ohio State is broad-based, both discipline-intensive and boundary-pushing, a modern laboratory in which students create and explore art and ideas.

Art students at Ohio State experiment with material and content through the production, examination and evaluation of the visual arts and gain skills in networking, persuasion and project management. They have numerous opportunities to work within the larger community to effect positive change.

Admitted students directly enroll as art students within the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is the professional major for students seeking careers in the studio arts. A first year Foundation Program is a studio based experience designed to give students breadth across a broad range of materials and concepts. Core studio courses allow for further experimentation and individual choice. The first two years leads to the development of a portfolio that the student submits for a review by a committee of faculty. Following this review, students may pursue one of seven rigorous and challenging studio endeavors:  art and technologyceramicsglasspainting and drawingphotographyprintmaking, and sculpture

Students may also apply to the Bachelor of Arts in art, a liberal arts major program, after successfully completing the department’s foundation program. The BA in art is a liberal arts degree with a focus on creative problem solving and a broad understanding of how art works within the world to form and transform culture. 

Freshman year

Encountering Contemporary Art 
Two-Dimensional Art
Three-Dimensional Art
Expanded Media
Digital Image
History of Art    

Sophomore year

Core Art Studio    
History of Art
Portfolio Review    

Junior year

Art Studio Concentration  
History of Art

Senior year

Advanced Art Studio Concentration    
Senior Seminar    
Senior Exhibition   

The BFA program concludes with the completion of a participation in a senior project and participation in a group exhibition, complemented by an artist’s statement and contextual information describing their project.

Art students can benefit from art-focused study abroad programs specifically for art majors offered through the Department of Art. Students are supported by the department with individual counseling appointments that help plan study abroad experiences that keep them on track for timely graduation.

Internships allow students to apply what they know about practicing art in professional environments. Art students have worked with professional artists, nonprofit organizations, government institutions and businesses regionally and abroad to gain experience.

Students can find internship opportunities by attending annual internship and opportunity fairs, and through individual counseling and online career planning guides offered through the Arts and Sciences Career Services Office. Students can also use FutureLink to connect with employers and internship sites in the corporate, nonprofit, and government sectors that are interested in recruiting Ohio State students.  

In their sophomore year, any art student with an overall GPA of 3.4 can apply to Arts Honors, a program separate from University Honors that allows for different accumulation of honors units that accommodates the specific curriculum in the arts professional programs. Students in Arts Honors participate in co-curricular experiences and complete honors course work. Honors students are also encouraged to pursue independent research and distinction.

Students who participate in the Arts Scholars Program live in the same residence hall and have experiences that complement their education, including lectures and workshops, group excursions and trips outside Columbus, and opportunities to exhibit and showcase art.

Learn more about the Honor and Scholars Programs at

Undergraduate art students can conduct an independent research thesis or assist faculty with their research.  

Any student with a cumulative point-hour ratio (CPHR) of 3.0 or higher may apply to complete a research thesis and graduate “with research distinction.” Student researchers also have the opportunity to participate in the annual Denman Undergraduate Research Forum. 

Students planning to complete a research thesis can apply for funding through the Arts Undergraduate Research Scholarship competition. Learn more about funding for research and creative activity at

The Visual and Performing Arts Learning Community is for anyone who wishes to express creative ideas. Students will have an opportunity to literally "leave their mark" on their residence hall community through wall murals, t-shirts and logo designs and programming that caters to their artistic needs. The community is for students passionate about one or more dimensions of the arts (music, theater, art, design and dance) and engaging with them in a community setting.

Students may also join an active Undergraduate Art Student Council that programs visiting artists, runs bus trips to art venues in cities like New York and Chicago, and hosts the biannual student open house. 

Additionally, each of the seven areas of emphasis in the art major has a corresponding student organization, and students frequently attend conferences through professional organizations within all areas of art.

Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts is the gateway to a career as an artist and provides professional preparation for additional education at the graduate level. Many graduates work in arts administration positions with museums, galleries and public agencies. In addition to working as artists, graduates also find work in fields as varied as law, medicine, architecture and policy.

While salaries vary greatly within the arts, the median salary for a graduate with a BFA is $45,000. 

  • Students will think critically about a wide range of art, effectively and articulately making historical and contemporary connections within a broader cultural context.
  • Through the engagement of materials and ideas, students will work fearlessly, live creatively and impact the world around them. 
  • Students will confidently understand the value of making and the ways in which art forms informs culture. 
  • Students will view the world through the lens of an artist, allowing for change and malleability and creative problem solving and they will take this skill with them out into the world.