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Painting, B.F.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #51 (BCR) Boston, MA, United States
The Painting program offered by Boston University promotes painting as a fundamental form of visual and artistic expression. The principal component of the Painting program is studio activity, and students explore various forms of painting in the first years of the major.
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Students of the Painting program offered by Boston University also consider the roles of sight, insight, and perception in relation to processes of making from the foundation level onward. Critical dialogue and rigorous expectations about studio practice support work toward a young artistic vision in upper-level courses.

The sequence of seven semesters of Painting courses is intended to provide a solid base for postgraduate involvement in the larger art world. In the foundation year, observational studio work is combined with inventive assignments as a means for students to learn about medium, form, content, broader artistic concepts, and the kinds of questions they wish to address with their work. The post-foundation sequence includes Painting II and Painting III in the sophomore year, Junior and Senior Painting Studios, Painting Techniques, and three semesters of seminar courses. Students have their own studio spaces in the upper level and work in individual conversation with the professor and in group critiques with one another to develop a cohesive and ambitious body of work and to refine artistic voices. The BFA Painting major culminates in the BFA thesis exhibition, which includes a written component.

Students are also expected to develop a strong drawing practice and to verbally critique and write about their own and others’ work. Writing and visual research are strengthened in three semesters of Art History. A range of additional studio electives encourage students to see and make creative connections between diverse practices.

Learning Outcomes

All students graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Boston University School of Visual Arts are expected to:

  • Develop a body of work that exhibits inventiveness, creativity, ambition, and clarity of thinking.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in studio process including materials, tools, and techniques appropriate to the practice.
  • Demonstrate one’s ideas through a unique visual language.
  • Demonstrate spoken and written critical-thinking and communication skills.
  • Apply appropriate models of interpretation based on historical and contemporary artistic knowledge.
  • Generate a collection of materials that sustain a professional practice: artist statement, CV, image documentation, and online presence.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    132 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses included:

  • Foundation Painting, Painting II, Painting III
  • Foundation Sculpture
  • Art History
  • Freshman Writing
  • Painting Major Studios
  • Painting Techniques
  • Contemporary Art History
  • Language/Literature/Philosophy

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

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General Requirements

  • Common Application or Coalition Application     
  • High School Transcript
  • Senior Year Grades
  • Counselor Recommendation and School Report Form   
  • Teacher Evaluation
  • Standardized Tests
  • Secondary School Records
  • Documentation of Financial Support
  • Copy of Data Page of Passport

Tuition Fee

  • International

    54720 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 54720 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    54720 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 54720 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Boston

  • 1560 - 3240 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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