May 25, 2019  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin

Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

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Program: B.F.A.
Department of Fine Arts
College of Visual and Performing Arts

Visual Arts Building 117 ~ 260-481-6705 ~

The student learning outcomes for the degree are as follows: 

  • Students within the Bachelor of Fine Arts program will acquire the technical virtuosity to be successful as professional artists.  Many students who seek a B.F.A. degree have aspirations towards graduate studies in a Masters of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree leading to careers such as professorship positions, corporate commissions, gallery ownership, museum curatorships, art criticism, and independent studio careers.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program is designed for exceptional students who are interested in pursuing a professional career in the field of fine arts. They must have demonstrated superior quality and motivation in a particular studio art discipline. Students within the B.F.A. program can concentrate in ceramics, drawing, metal-smithing, painting, printmaking, or sculpture. Department of Fine Arts students who wish to attain a B.F.A. start in the B.A. program, then petition for formal entrance into the B.F.A. program after the completion of 200-level studio requirements. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is divided into two parts; 33 credit hours of General Education classes, and 87 credit hours of art history and studio classes.   All B.F.A. students must maintain a 2.5 cumulative G.P.A. and a 3.0 G.P.A. within the Content Field courses (studio and art history) of the B.F.A. program.  A total of 120 credit hours of study are required for graduation. 


Students must meet the requirements of IPFW (Regulations )

Components: Credits
I. General Education       33
II. Content Field       87
    Total   120

IPFW General Education Requirements Credits: 33

General Education Requirements    

A grade of C- or better is required in each course used to satisfy the IPFW general education requirements. If a student decides to enter the B.F.A. degree, FINA H111 & FINA H112 will not count in the General Education area. Two additional A/B courses will be required in the General Education area. No remedial courses that do not count towards a degree are allowed in General Education or General Studies Elective area.

College of Visual and Performing Arts Requirements

II. Content Field Credits: 87

Students must complete a minimum of 72 credit hours in studio and 15 credit hours in FINA art history classes for the B.F.A.

100 Level Foundation Courses Credits: 12

100 Level Foundation Portfolio Review Checkpoint

Students will submit a portfolio of 100 level Foundation studio work to be reviewed by department faculty at the end of all completed 100 level Foundation courses.

B.F.A. Portfolio Review

Each student must submit a portfolio of 200 level work to attain formal acceptance into the B.F.A. program. Each petitioning student must apply to present their work through the Department of Fine Arts office in the semester in which they complete all seven (7) 200 level Fundamentals classes. Each student applying for acceptance into the B.F.A. program will declare their area of studio concentration, i.e., painting, sculpture, with the understanding that areas of art can be interdisciplinary and flexible. The portfolio should consist of 15-20 works, with at least two works from each 200 level Fundamentals course. Consideration of work will be given by each student’s intended concentration area, i.e., printmaking majors should be able to show strong drawing skills. It is highly recommended that students seek faculty advice, especially from faculty whose area students are intending to apply, on which works to submit for review. Faculty evaluations will be based on a student’s strong knowledge and skills in:

  • Showing competence in representational drawing of volume, pictorial space, and the depiction of the human figure. An understanding of linear perspective should be evident.
  • The ability to compose aesthetic element of line, tone/value, shape, texture, color, and 3D form in space.
  • Demonstrating technical and aesthetic excellence (for the 60 credit level) in your chosen major; i.e. drawing, ceramics, metalsmithing, painting, printmaking, or sculpture.
  • (for 2D majors) drawing, painting, printmaking as well as the demonstration of competence and serious investigation in 3D media.
  • (for 3D majors) ceramics, metalsmithing, and sculpture with competence and serious investigation in 2D media.

B.F.A. Portfolio Review Outcome

A student applying for acceptance into the B.F.A. program may be accepted, deferred, or denied. A student’s acceptance into the B.f.a. will allow them to advance into 300 level studio classes as a declared B.F.A. major. A deferred student will be asked to re-submit their portfolio for B.F.A. consideration after re-taking requested classes. A student denied entry into the B.F.A. program might wish to continue in the B.A. program or apply once again for entry into the B.F.A. program with permission from the department.

Advanced 300/400-Level Concentration Courses Credits: 21

  • Complete seven (7) classes in declared Concentration Area. Students are allowed up to two (2) compatible upper-level studio classes in the concentration area with the approval of the Chair. Two 300 level classes must be taken before any 400 level classes in a given area. 400 level classes can be repeated to meet Concentration area requirements.

300/400 Level Studio Electives Credits: 12

300-400 Studio Electives                                                        

  • Complete four (4) courses in elective classes.  Classes can be either FINA or VCD.  Usually these are classes outside the Concentration Area.

Senior Project Requirements Credits: 6

The Senior Project & Critiques:

The capstone event of the Department of Fine Arts B.F.A. program at IPFW is the Senior Project, which ultimately leads to the thesis exhibition in the spring. The senior project is a two-semester course in the student’s studio concentration area during their senior year. In this course, B.F.A. seniors will meet three times to critique artwork with the senior committee made up of all full-time Fine Arts faculty. Evidence of research, like sketches and studies, must be brought to each critique to enlighten the faculty on each student’s working process. At each critique, unfinished works should also be displayed.

Area Supervisors & Weekly Studio Meetings with Chair:

Before the start of the fall semester, students must choose a full-time Fine Arts faculty area supervisor, (Painting, Printmaking, Drawing, Ceramics, Metals, and Sculpture) to work with between the three group semester critiques. The goal is to initiate and monitor each student’s work, ideas, and progress, this must be within a classroom setting. However, when seeking clarification, all questions and issues regarding the Senior Project class must be directed towards the Fine Arts Chair, who has the final say.

The Department Chair will schedule individual studio visits with each senior.  These will be held on average of one each week, or when new work is available to view.  Please be prepared to cooperate with the Chair as schedules allow.

BFA Exhibition:

A cohesive and ambitious body of artwork (minimum of 4-5 completed ambitious works per semester). Student’s artwork created under P450 and P451 will ultimately result in the B.F.A. thesis exhibition at the fulfillment of six (6) credits. This exhibition must be reviewed by the committee before it is displayed as well as related publicity regarding the exhibit. The Fine Art’s BFA exhibition is held only in the spring semester as part of P451 Senior Project II. Students must participate in the installing and de-installing of the exhibition under the supervision of the Gallery Director and at the assigned dates and times.

Artist Statement:

The student must develop a written artist statement. This statement will be required each critique and include an artist’s projection, addressing their planned ideas for the project including the number of works created. The statement should also include insights to the faculty of the student’s influences, aspirations, and ideas. An electronic copy of the student’s statement must be provided to the Fine Arts Chair one week before the next scheduled critique. Students are required to send an electronic copy of their artist statement to all full-time faculty a day before each critique. There should be a noticeable development of the statement throughout each semester.  Students are expected to work with the Fine Arts Chair in revising their statements and must bring revised versions of the document to each of the critiques.


Students in Senior Project will receive a final grade based on the following criteria:

  • Body of cohesive and ambitious original works of art (minimum of 4-5 completed per semester)
  • Participation in all critiques
  • A clear artist statement developed and refined with the help of the Fine Arts Chair
  • Evidence of research including sketches and studies, unfinished artworks must be brought to enlighten the faculty on each student’s working process to each critique
  • Participation in the installing and de-installing the exhibition under supervision of the Gallery Director and at the assigned dates and times (Spring Semester)
  • Participation in the spring semester BFA Exhibition in the Fine Arts Gallery. Students must exhibit in the Spring BFA Exhibition to pass this class.

Final Course Grade:

Each full-time studio faculty members present during the semester senior critiques will issue a grade to the Fine Arts Chair, who also contributes a grade. The Fine Arts Chair will then average the faculty’s grades for a final course grade. 

Photography of Artwork:

The Fine Arts Chair will work with the students in the spring semester of P451 Senior Project II to schedule a photography shoot of artwork for the exhibition poster, postcard, and publicity.


Total Credits: 120

Recommendations, Requirements, Transfers, and Policies

Recommendations Students should schedule classes within the B.A. program under the guidance of the official departmental advisor.


Residence Requirements  For a bachelor’s degree, registration in and completion of at least 33 credits of resident course credit at the 200 level or above, including at least 15 credits at the 300 level or above, in courses applicable to the major.


Transfer and Returning Student Credit All studio and art history courses transferred from another institution or former IPFW art programs must be evaluated by appropriate faculty in the Department of Fine Arts program before they may be applied to a major in Fine Arts. See Transfer and Returning Student Credit Review.


Transfer and Returning Student Credit Review Courses in studio art that have been transferred to IPFW from another institution or former IPFW art programs are not counted as part of the Fine Arts major unless they have been reviewed by the Department of Fine Arts faculty. For a review of transferred studio credit, the student should provide the viewer with a portfolio consisting of representative work in each area (e.g. painting, sculpture, etc.) for which the transfer credit is desired. The portfolio should include both studies and finished work and be as encompassing as possible.       


Academic Probation/Dismissal Policies

If a student does not meet the university’s GPA standard, they will be notified that they have been placed on academic probation and will be asked to make progress towards meeting campus standards. Department of Fine Arts programs have their own academic standards as stated above. If a student is not meeting these standards, they will be notified and placed on departmental academic probation. If a student does not make positive progress towards meeting the academic standards of the department within twelve (12) credit hours of study, they will be subject to dismissal from the Department of Fine Arts program.

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