Share your vision with the world.

A degree in fine arts prepares students to explore and expand their vision and creativity while learning about present and past artistic styles and techniques. For aspiring artists, a fine arts degree may provide the ideal way to gain hands-on experience, make professional connections and land a dream job. Your college curriculum can give you access to techniques that can only be learned from a professional.


Program type:

Major, BFA



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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art -

Studio Practice Emphasis

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with an Emphasis in Studio Practice offers students the opportunity to explore essential cultural and professional systems through creative visual practice. The degree is considered a professional degree program in art, as well as traditional preparation to pursue graduate studies in the field. 

Studio Practice encompasses painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics and digital arts in 2D and 3D. Students encounter both traditional and new technologies in their study and in creating the visual world in which we live. Students in the Studio Practice program enjoy the benefits of close relationships with the St. Louis visual arts professional community. Our professors maintain a rigorous program that prepares students for immediate employment as creative professionals and enriches lives through creative practice.

Outcomes and Career Outlook

Upon completion of the BFA in Art with an Emphasis in Studio Practice, graduates will be able to develop visual and verbal responses to visual phenomena and organize perceptions and conceptualizations both rationally and intuitively; explain the major achievements in the history of art and design, including the works and intentions of leading artists and designers in the past and present; develop the capacity to identify and/or solve visual problems within a variety of physical, technological, social and cultural contexts; explain and evaluate contemporary thinking about art or design; develop competence in a number of art or design techniques; and make valid assessments of quality and effectiveness in design projects and works of art, especially their own.

Fine arts is an evergreen industry with applications across a wide range of sectors. Employment of fine artists is expected to increase by 7% through 2029, with a median annual salary of $60,820, according to wage and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2029

Career Opportunities

  • Professional Fine Artist and Entrepreneur
  • Transmedia/Multimedia Artist
  • Commercial Photographer
  • Comic Book Artist
  • Game Artist and Model Maker
  • Art Director
  • Art Handler
  • Gallery Owner and Curator
  • Exhibits Designer
  • Maker Space Director
  • Printshop Director


Plan of study


ST ART 1020 Expanded Artforms 3
ST ART 1150 2D Design: Surface 3
ST ART 1151 3D Design: Space 3
ST ART 1140 Drawing I (MOTR PERF 105D) 3



Select five 2000-level courses from the following:
     ST ART 2205 Graphic Design I  
     ST ART 2220 Computer Design I  
     ST ART 2230 Drawing II  
     ST ART 2235 Comics and Cartoon Illustration  
     ST ART 2245 Painting I  
     ST ART 2252 Printmaking I  
     ST ART 2260 Photography I  
     ST ART 2270 Ceramics I  
     ST ART 2275 Sculpture I  
     ST ART 2285 Entrepreneurship for the Visual Arts  
     ST ART 2278 Introduction to Fibers and Textiles  

History of Art and Visual Culture

ART HS 1100 Introduction to Western Art (MOTR ARTS 100) 3
ART HS 2280 Modern to Contemporary Art 3
Choose one non-Western History of Art and Visual Culture course from the following: 3
     ART HS 1120 Global Art and Visual Culture (MOTR ARTS 101)
     ART HS 1140 Indigenous Arts of the Americas
     ART HS 1150 Introduction to the Art and Visual Cultures of Africa
     ART HS 1160 Introduction to the Art and Visual Cultures of Asia
Choose one course from the following: 3
     ART HS 2211 Art and Archaeology of The Ancient World
     ART HS 2212 Greek Art and Archaeology
     ART HS 2225 Medieval Art
     ART HS 2235 Renaissance and Baroque Art
     ART HS 2250 Rococo to Realism
     ART HS 2270 Art of the United States
     ART HS 2275 History of Illustration
     ART HS 3390 Special Study
     ART HS 2295 Selected Themes in the History of Art and Visual Culture

Major (Studio Art Emphasis)

Select ten (10) of the following courses: 30
     ST ART 3330 Drawing III
     ST ART 3332 Figure Drawing I
     ST ART 3333 Figure Drawing II
     ST ART 3342 Painting II
     ST ART 3343 Painting III
     ST ART 3344 Watercolor Painting
     ST ART 3351 Printmaking II
     ST ART 3352 Printmaking: Screenprinting
     ST ART 3354 Printmaking: Lithography
     ST ART 3356 Printmaking: Etching
     ST ART 3360 Photography II
     ST ART 3362 Digital Color Process
     ST ART 3364 Non-Silver Photography
     ST ART 3366 Commercial Applications in Photography
     ST ART 3382 Advanced 2D Practices
     ST ART 3385 Advanced 3D Practices


Choose two elective courses from any 2000- or 3000-level Studio Practice or History of Art and Visual Culture courses 6


ST ART 4495 Senior Studio Seminar 3
ST ART 4496 Senior Studio Seminar 3

Total Hours


All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements Review Sample Four-Year Plan

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Student organizations

Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations. Here are several opportunities you may be interested in as an art major. 

Honors College

The UMSL Honors College is a certificate program that can be paired with any major without adding extra classes or extending time to graduate. Classes in the Honors College are seminar-style, meaning that they are based in reading, writing, discussion, and critical thinking. This unique class format fosters an intellectual climate centered around democracy, diversity, civility and academic excellence.

Undergraduate research

We encourage and support students as they engage in exciting activities in and outside of the classroom that enrich their academic and professional understanding of their chosen area of study. All majors are encouraged to participate in Undergraduate Research and Scholarship to produce discipline-specific intellectual or creative innovations to their field.