The Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in painting requires twelve credit hours of painting coursework as well as a three credit-hour professional development capstone course. A faculty-supervised summary critique is required of each student graduating with an emphasis in ceramics before completion of the degree. You can find complete BA degree information here. 


Our program begins with a strong foundation in the tradition of painting. Painting I builds proficiency in the formal skills of painting, including spatial representation, form, mark, pictorial design, and the understanding of color.

Intermediate level topic-based courses provide sustained study of varied approaches to painting, including figure and landscape painting, formal and perceptual abstraction, contemporary approaches to representation, and water media. Intermediate coursework stresses the development of conceptual content and awareness of the historical and contemporary contexts of painting.

Upper-level classes reinforce the idea of painting as a practice of inquiry. Research, questioning, and systematic experimentation form the basis for the development of an individual voice in painting. In addition to individualized studio instruction, the advanced student interacts with their peers, other faculty and visiting artists as well as engaging with the community. Professional skills are developed that prepare the student to join the community of professional artists.

BFA students are required to participate in individual and group critiques by presenting their work to faculty, visiting artists, and other students. In addition, BFA students may be required to go on painting-focused trips to an urban art centers such as Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, and New York. There are also annual exhibitions of work by students in the BFA program, usually held late in the Spring semester.


Painting I 

An exploration of different ways of articulating visual forms on a picture plane, using common materials and procedures. 


Introductory course presenting basic materials and techniques of watercolor, gouache, and acrylic painting. Form and composition to be studied through observation and imagination. Traditional techniques as well as experimentation and personal expression are to be explored. 

Figure Painting 

Introduction to representational and interpretive figure painting and to contemporary issues in figurative painting. The model as well as other visual sources will be used as a basis for observation, interpretation and invention. 

Perception Into Abstraction 

Investigation of the abstraction of visual phenomena. Various starting points and approaches will be studied. Emphasis on the analysis of form and the creation of pictorial structure, as well as the conceptual basis of perceptual abstraction. 

Landscape Painting

Exploration of perceptual and conceptual approaches to painting the landscape. Both traditional and experimental techniques of oil painting will be studied. Includes outdoor on-site painting. 

Advanced Painting Topics 

Revolving topics in painting at the advanced level. 

Senior Painting Studio

Intensive course for those art majors concentrating in painting. Extended, individually determined projects will emphasize production of a well researched, conceptually grounded, and cohesive body of work. Supplemented by reading, writing and discussion of contemporary issues in painting. 

Special Problems in Painting 

Individual technique and subject matter projects to be arranged with the instructor. May be repeated for 6 hours.