New Joint BFA Degree Offered This Fall
Date: August 25, 2005
Beginning with the fall 2005 semester, the departments of art & design, communication, and digital media and photography have joined forces to offer students a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree. This new BFA provides students eight different areas of emphasis to choose from: art direction/advertising, fine art, graphic design, pre-art therapy, multimedia arts, photography, video production, and web design.
The decision was made in an effort to create cohesiveness between the three, inter-related departments, two of which are from the College of Arts & Sciences and one from the College of Technology. Previously, students could receive, for example, a bachelor of technology degree in photographic imaging or graphic imaging from the College of Technology or a BFA in photography or graphic design from the College of Arts & Sciences, both requiring separate classes. Now, under the new joint BFA degree, the different programs are together under the same umbrella structure. The BFA, as opposed to the more professional degree focus of the bachelor of technology, will enable students to either begin working in their careers directly or go on to graduate school.
Each of the three departments will oversee different emphases according to their areas of specialization. The digital media and photography department will be working with students majoring in multimedia arts, photography, video production, and web design. Art & design will be handling the fine art, graphic design, and the pre-art therapy majors, while the communication department works with art direction/advertising students. However, curriculum development for each of the emphases has benefited from interdepartment discussions. Instead of separate introductory courses in separate departments, a common core has been developed for all freshmen in the BFA program.
“This allows students to get acquainted with all facets of the fine arts field of study before finalizing on a specific area eliminating the smaller, costly courses and the duplication of similar courses,” explains Verlyn Benson, dean of the College of Technology. “Students will have access to a much broader “department” of talented professors and sense a stronger camaraderie among their peers.”
Regardless of their emphasis, students working toward the BFA degree are required to follow a four-part curriculum that consists of classes in: 1) art history; 2) studio core; 3) foundation courses, and 4) concentration areas.
Steve Hansen, professor of art, will be the contact person/advisor for all first-year and undecided BFA students. At the end of that first year, students will be advised from the department that handles their particular chosen area of emphasis.
“This new BFA program is an exciting breakaway from traditional organizational thinking and opens the way for the best academic achievements in a creative environment,” Benson notes.