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Coquette
12-26-2006, 04:01 PM
I have a few questions regarding college degrees in art.

How does a BA in Art with a concentration in Studio Art stack up against a BFA with a concentration in Painting?

Also, if I have a BA w/concentration in Studio Art, can I apply later to get my MFA or can I only do that if I already have a BFA?

The reason I am asking is that the BA offers a broader exploration of art (painting, drawing and scuplture) than the BFA, which I would like and then maybe concentrate on one aspect of art (painting) later for the MFA.

I would appreciate any insight you might have.

Consuelo

zheni
12-27-2006, 01:35 AM
It does seem confusing, but I believe a BA in Studio Art or a BFA would both work. The advantage of getting a BA, say at a liberal arts college, is the broader exposure to other areas of study. Not only does that enrich your understanding of the world, and hence enrich your art, but it also gives you more choices when starting a career. Maybe you will decide to paint on your own, but have another job. A BFA is a 100% art career path I think. Does anyone have different input? Which is better?
zheni

nicanfhilidh
12-27-2006, 08:39 PM
I'm not sure about how much having a BA will affect your chances at getting into a school for your MFA; it probably depends on the school. I'd imagine that for most a good solid portfolio and indication of commitment would be more important that what your undergrad degree was in. I do know that when I was an undergrad, those who expressed an interest in going on to grad school were counseled to get a BFA.

For me the advantage of the BFA over the BA was more studio time. I think it comes down to personal preference in the end.

Coquette
01-03-2007, 06:17 PM
Thank you both for your replies. I was thinking of checking on USC, which is I understand, very difficult to get into their MFA program. My best bet I think, is to just stop by and chat with them before I get too far along in my BA degree studies so that if I need to change direction I can do it early.

Thanks Again!!

Consuelo

saralindsey
01-15-2007, 12:58 AM
I have a BA in Art and from my researching for acceptance into a MFA program it hasn't affected me from what I have seen. Granted I'm not certain on going anytime soon just wanted to research portfolio requirements and degree options I had at OU.

ebineesey
01-27-2007, 05:20 PM
I have a BFA in painting and a lot of my instructors had MFAs and the like, and their previous education was psychology or whatever else.
That being said, I don't know from experience, but i think you just need a 4 year degree, regardless of the subject, to enter a graduate course. I think, as everyone is saying, your portfolio is the most important thing to worry about.
If the BA path appeals to you more than the BFA... go for the BA (or vice versa).

Coquette
01-30-2007, 02:18 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies!! That makes me feel better about the BA. :)

Consuelo

lightinthewindow
02-01-2007, 02:10 PM
If you know for sure you will go for an MFA it is best to get a BFA. The BA does give you broader experience in art, but when applying for the MFA program you will need extensive experience in one specific field of studio art. The BFA will give you that.

As for the reply from ebineesey mentioning people with degrees in other fields...they had to complete their deficiencies in art before actually entering the MFA program. In other words they had to take all the required undergraduate courses in art first. I too have known several people in that very situation.

One question you might ask yourself (if you haven't already) is if you want to get an MFA or an MA. The MFA is of course the terminal degree in studio art, equivilent to a PhD in other fields. One is qualified to teach undergraduate and graduate students at a university with the MFA only. But in order to teach at a community college, all that is needed is the MA. Obviously the MFA gives you more options, but the degree takes twice as long.

rghirardi
02-05-2007, 12:47 PM
As I understand it, the BFA is a post-graduate degree that is the equivalant of a doctorate in another field. That is, it is a terminal degree. Just about every college/university requires that instructors have a BFA/MFA. Some exceptions might be made for a BA graduate who is pursuing a BFA/MFA.
I read someplace that universities produce approximately 10,000 BFAs a year. Unless you're planning to teach in a university, you don't need a BFA.

nicanfhilidh
02-05-2007, 01:42 PM
As I understand it, the BFA is a post-graduate degree that is the equivalant of a doctorate in another field. That is, it is a terminal degree. Just about every college/university requires that instructors have a BFA/MFA. Some exceptions might be made for a BA graduate who is pursuing a BFA/MFA.
I read someplace that universities produce approximately 10,000 BFAs a year. Unless you're planning to teach in a university, you don't need a BFA.


This is not correct. A BFA is not a post-graduate degree, and it will have no bearing on your ability to get a teaching job later. A BFA is a bachelor's degree (Bachelor of Fine Arts) that requires more studio time in a specific discipline than a BA does. There are good reasons for many people to get a BFA, but it's not for everyone and it really comes down to the needs of the individual. The MFA (Master of Fine Art) is the post-graduate terminal degree which is a requirement for teaching on the university level. I have never met or heard of a college-level art instructor who had only a BFA. I do, however, know of many college-level art instructors whose undergrad degrees are BAs rather than BFAs.