Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
Fine arts students painting outdoors

What is fine arts?

Whether you plan to work as an artist or pursue graduate studies, our fine arts degree will prepare you with a solid foundation in art history and studio art. Students admitted to the studio arts program may submit a portfolio of work to be considered for the B.F.A. Through your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a broad array of media, with access to facilities including our sculpture, ceramics, and woodworking and furniture design studios.

Why study fine arts at UNH?

You’ll develop and refine your creative vision while in the fine arts degree program at UNH, also gaining a practical understanding of what it takes to survive as a working artist. You’ll find inspiration through the Museum of Art and Paul Creative Arts Center on campus, and within the arts-rich community of Portsmouth just minutes away. The fine art museums of Boston are within an hour’s drive. You’ll also meet and learn from artists and historians from around the world through our Visiting Artists & Art Historians program.

Potential careers

  • Commercial artist
  • Fine furniture maker
  • Professional artist
  • Professor
  • E.J. Theriault in her studio
    Fine Arts Major (Sculpture)
    How did you choose your major and why? As an undeclared student my first semester as a freshman, I explored a variety of classes and enrolled in a biology class which I immediately dropped after the first meeting. With a gap that needed to be filled, I registered for Professor Ben Cariens evening drawing class and was instantly sucked back into the magical world of creating…
    Learn More
  • Tejas Moses with Don Williams, senior lecturer in art
    Fine Arts Major
    A native of Dublin, N.H., Tejas Moses came to UNH because he wanted to maintain his relationships to people and places he had before college, while feeding his desire “for challenge and adventure and bliss.” Those and “a really good financial aid package” that included a prestigious Hamel Scholarship, landed Tejas in Durham and UNH, where he majored in fine arts with a concentration…
    Learn More

Curriculum & Requirements

Incoming first-year and transfer applicants wishing to enter the bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degree program must first apply for, and be admitted to, the bachelor of arts (B.A.) in the Arts: Studio Art option. Students may submit a B.F.A. portfolio after they begin their studies at UNH, as early as the spring semester of their first year. A full faculty review is held each spring semester.

The B.F.A. curriculum provides advanced training for students who plan to enter professional graduate school or pursue careers as professional artists.

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: No

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

Students selecting to work toward a B.F.A. degree must complete a minimum of 17 courses and 72 credits, with a minimum grade of C in each course. Transfer of 3-credit courses from other institutions will require additional course(s) to fulfill the major requirement of 72 credits. Transfer courses can fulfill only 8 requirements. The following courses are required:

Core Foundation (3 courses)12
ARTS 510
Principles of Design
ARTS 532
Introductory Drawing
ARTS 567
Introductory Sculpture
Core Supplemental (3 courses)12
One additional 500/600 level 2D:
ARTS 536
Introduction Printmaking: Intaglio
ARTS 546
Painting Design I: Perceptual Painting and Color Theory
ARTS 632
Intermediate Drawing
ARTS 633
Life Drawing
One additional 500-level 3D:
ARTS 501
Introductory Ceramics
ARTS 525
Introductory Woodworking
One photography course:
ARTS 551
Introduction to Darkroom Photography
ARTS 552
Introductory Digital Photography
Core Seminars12
ARTS 598
An Artist's Life
ARTS 798
Seminar/Senior Thesis (two-semester course)
5 Studio courses in a concentration (see concentration courses below)20
One Studio Elective (Jterm and summer courses allowed)4
Select from ARTS 501, ARTS 525, ARTS 536, ARTS 546, ARTS 551, ARTS 552, ARTS 596, ARTS 598, ARTS 601, ARTS 610, ARTS 611, ARTS 612, ARTS 613, ARTS 614, ARTS 625, ARTS 632, ARTS 633, ARTS 636, ARTS 646, ARTS 651, ARTS 667, ARTS 696, ARTS 732, ARTS 746, ARTS 791, ARTS 792, 796
Core Art History (3 courses)12
ARTH 480
Introduction to Art History
or ARTH 474
Introduction to Architectural History
2 600-level elective art history courses (select from ARTH 654, ARTH 655, ARTH 656, ARTH 674, ARTH 675, ARTH 677, ARTH 678, ARTH 679, ARTH 680, ARTH 681, ARTH 682, ARTH 684, ARTH 685, ARTH 686, ARTH 688, ARTH 689, ARTH 693, ARTH 694, ARTH 695, ARTH 697, ARTH 795)
Total Credits72

Concentration Courses (5 courses)

Minimum of four 600-700 level studio courses and no more than one of the following:  ARTS 600 Internship in Studio Art (with approval), a 600-700 level art history (see selection of courses in art history requirement above), or a 500-level studio course (select from ARTS 501, ARTS 525ARTS 536, ARTS 546, ARTS 551, ARTS 552, ARTS 596). Jterm and summer courses cannot be used.

ARTS 601
Ceramics Workshop (may be repeated)
ARTS 610
Principles of Typography
ARTS 611
Animation and Motion Design
ARTS 612
Interaction & Game Design
ARTS 613
Design and Place
ARTS 614
Design and People
ARTS 625
Wood/Furniture Design Workshop (may be repeated)
ARTS 632
Intermediate Drawing
ARTS 633
Life Drawing
ARTS 636
Printmaking Workshop (may be repeated)
ARTS 646
Painting Design II: Perceptual Painting and the Individual Artist's Vision (may be repeated, must be taken twice before advancing to 746)
ARTS 651
Photography Workshop (may be repeated)
ARTS 667
Sculpture Workshop (may be repeated)
ARTS 732
Advanced Drawing (may be repeated)
ARTS 746
Painting Design III: Perceptual Painting and Narrative Themes (may be repeated)
ARTS 796
Independent Study: Studio Art (K: Wood Design, may be repeated)

The possible areas of concentration within the department are painting, sculpture, ceramics, design, drawing, printmaking, photography, and furniture design. Proposals for individualized programs are accepted only by permission of the departmental chairperson, the major adviser, and the departmental bachelor of fine arts committee. Candidates applying for the bachelor of fine arts program are required to submit a portfolio to the B.F.A. committee, which meets each spring semester.

The Discovery Program capstone requirement may be fulfilled by completing ARTS 798 Seminar/Senior Thesis.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program.

Fine arts majors may use two major-required courses to satisfy two Discovery category requirements.

Introductory (500) Level:

  • Basic skillset in a particular arts discipline
  • Working knowledge of the tools and materials used in a particular arts discipline
  • Basic understanding of analytical thinking when making and talking about art
  • Demonstrate development of artistry

Intermediate (500/600) Level:

  • Demonstrate development of artistry and skill set in a range of artistic disciplines
  • Demonstrate knowledge of tools and materials beyond the basics
  • Deeper ability to discuss and analyze works of art
  • Ability to verbalize intent in a particular work of art
  • Ability to research particular artists
  • Ability to declare an area of concentration for advanced  in a particular arts discipline  

Advanced (600/700) Level:

  • Demonstrate a high level of artistry
  • Ability to work independently
  • Develop and Demonstrate an individual sensibility
  • Ability to understand and verbalize intent in a work of art
  • Ability to construct a professional capstone portfolio or thesis
  • Demonstrate in-depth familiarity with a range of artistic movements both historical and contemporary