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The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art aims more specifically at the aspiring professional artist and designer and prepares these students with the skills and knowledge needed to go on to graduate study or a design career.

The creative capacity of students pursuing the BFA degree leads them to express themselves visually. The degree curriculum enables these students to determine their artistic identity and their expressive voice, providing them with the tools and means to communicate their ideas, thereby participating within their community through their chosen emphasis. The intellectually rigorous program focuses on the communicative power of art—it demands of students a high level of commitment, introspection, and consideration. While still situated within a university that offers various opportunities for exploration outside the field of art, BFA students focus in greater depth in their graphic design practice. The extra art or design credits taken allow for further investigation into a chosen emphasis, ultimately producing a final body of work in that emphasis to be shown in a final professional gallery exhibition and explained in a final thesis or portfolio project.

Graphic Design

The BFA in Graphic Design degree familiarizes students with the rich tradition of the visual arts, provides them with an understanding of the tools and materials available to the artist as a means of personal expression, shows students that there are fundamental concepts which unify all art yet which allow for infinite variation, and introduces to them alternative ways of looking, seeing, finding, and discovering. Graphic Design students explore a wide variety of media, gaining extensive studio experience and learning the techniques and expressive opportunities unique to each. A primary focus of the program is on students finding their own creative and conceptual voice and discovering ways to visually communicate their thoughts and ideas.

Students at this level learn within a more professional framework, where the relationship between student and teacher becomes that of apprentice and master. Through this unique teaching relationship, students develop a high level of achievement in an area of expertise, while further developing personal creative abilities. In this manner, they establish a sound basis for significant professional accomplishments in art.

Course Catalog Description for BFA in Graphic Design

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Sample Curriculum

The following curriculum for a BFA in Art with an Emphasis in Graphic Design major is an example only. It represents the department’s concern that a BFA Design graduate balance an exposure to various materials and techniques of art practice with a heavy concentration in graphic design practice and theory, while remaining exposed to other fields of thought, and the encouragement of study abroad to broaden one’s global vision. 

ART 1010 Creative Strategies 3
ART 1110 Introduction to Drawing 3
DESN 1210 Design Concepts 3
ARHS 2200 Current Art 3
FRSH 1200 GCP First Year Seminar 3
ARHS 2210 History of Western Art 3
ART 1120 Principles of Drawing 3
ART 2315 Sculpture I  3
ART 2715 Fine Art Photography 3
ARHS 2000 Art Forum 1

ART 2110 Figure Drawing 3
ART 2610 Printmaking Concepts and Techniques 3
ART 2315 Sculpture I 3
ART 2540 Ceramics: Function 3
ART 2900 Major Acceptance Review 0
ARHS 3210 Nineteenth-Century Art 3
INTM 3150 Special Topics: Wordpress for Website 1
ART 2120 Intermediate Drawing 3
ART 2410 Painting 3
ARHS 2820 Sound and Noise Art 3
ART 3530 Ceramics Studio 3
ARHS 2320 Asian Art 3
RELG 2030 Contemporary Topics: Calendars 1

ANTH 1100 Intro to Cultural Anthropology (Gen Ed Val) 3
HRTS 1100 Intro to Human Rights (Gen Ed Hist) 3
PSYC 1100 Intro to Psychology (Gen Ed Sci) 3
MEDC 1630 Media Literacy (Gen Ed ComI) 3
SUST 1000 Intro to Sustainability Studies 3
ART 3110 Conceptual Drawing 3
ART 3690 Book Arts 3
ART 3540 Ceramics Materials and Technology 3
DESN 1500 Digital Visualizations 3
ARHS 3250 Modern Art 3
ART 3900 BFA Review 0
ARHS 2000 Art Forum 1
ARHS 2000 Short-Term Study Abroad Venice or Florence 3

ART 4020 Visual Arts Seminar 3
ART 4530 Ceramics: Special Studies 3
ART 4540 Ceramics: Molds 3
ARHS 4600 Topics in Art History: Symbols: Theory and Meaning 3
FLST 2060 World Cinema 4
ART 4530 Ceramics: Special Studies 3
ART 4950 BFA Senior Thesis 3
KEYS 4019 Art and Social Engagement (GCP Keystone) 3
PHIL 3120 Philosophy and Art 3
ANTH 2300 Culture and Communication 3


Thesis and Exhibition

A BFA student’s experience at Webster culminates in a final body of work, which is discussed in a written thesis and displayed in a final exhibition. Student register for the thesis course in their final semester, and meet weekly with the thesis faculty leader. Students develop a body of work over the course of their final year in the advanced courses of their chosen area of study. Theses take the form of a written produced piece of work that describes the body of work, its concepts, style, media, etc, influences and connections to past or contemporary art production. The exhibition is entirely student led. Students find an exhibition space in St. Louis, set up the exhibition, advertise it, and organize the installation, opening, and deinstallation.

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