BFA in Art
Expand awareness and create
Do you want to become a professional artist but don’t want the intense competition and stress of a typical BFA program? MUM’s Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is a professional degree program that will help you hone your artistic skills while developing yourself as a healthy, well-rounded person.
- Enhance your creativity and lower stress through regular practice of the Transcendental MeditationⓇ technique
- Focus on one full-time course per month and enjoy a holistic, healthy lifestyle that sustains your studio practice
- Be mentored by caring and experienced professional artists who personally support your creative and personal growth
- Enjoy the support of a peer group of inspired, creative students
What you’ll do in our BFA:
- Discover and develop your unique artistic voice
- Specialize in painting and drawing, ceramics, sculpture, or photography for four months with a spacious, semi-private studio
- Gain inspiration from field trips and personal meetings with visiting professional artists and art professors
- Increase your creativity, perception, and problem-solving abilities, skills which you can use for the rest of your life
- Create a portfolio for graduate school or for independent studio practice
Earn your degree with less stress
Earning your BFA doesn’t have to be stressful. That’s why our students learn more with less stress through our block system.
In the block system, you’ll be taking only one full time-course per month. You’ll be able to immerse yourself completely in the classroom or the studio without the distraction of other classes, final exams, or excessive homework.
Visit the Unity Gallery website to learn more about MUM’s artistic community
Meditation and holistic health
Our class schedule incorporates daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, which has been proven to reduce stress, enhance clarity of mind, and improve overall health.
You’ll also enjoy a healthy routine, single-living dorm rooms, and organic vegetarian meals.
This holistic healthy lifestyle will let you overcome your stress to find the source of creativity within.
Apply for the BFA in Art
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Small classes & supportive community
Our student-to-faculty ratio is low, meaning that we usually have about 12 students per faculty member. Each of our students receives personalized mentorship from our professional faculty.
Students will also enjoy support and inspiration from their fellow students, as well as from the larger artistic community of Fairfield, Iowa, which includes art galleries, monthly Art Walks, a performing and visual arts center, opportunities for local internships, and more.
“The BFA students receive excellent attention and mentoring—often more than BFAs receive at institutions that have grad programs.”
—Laurel Farrin, Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing, University of Iowa
Every year, our Art Department hosts an experienced professor from another university or art school as a visiting reviewer. Here are some comments about our BFA from past evaluators:
- “The students… were perceptive and imaginative with a strong sense of self. They were able to generate ideas and articulate them.”
- “These students are profoundly committed, authentically motivated, genuinely curious, and iridescent in their dance through the infinite gardens of art.”
- “The faculty is a totally dedicated, professional community that reveals sensitivity and understanding of every student’s needs [and] exhibits professional competency in each of their respective areas…”
MUM art students usually rate in the top 20% of all students the evaluator has worked with, and some students rate in the top 10%.
“The BFA exhibition this year is one of the strongest I have seen from an undergraduate program. The students are clear thinking, hard working, collaborative in spirit, as well as very mature young adults. I was impressed with the breadth of each student’s body of work…”
—Susan Chrysler White, Professor of Painting and Drawing, University of Iowa
On the traditional BFA track, you’ll complete your BFA in Art at our university.
Students apply for the traditional BFA program during their junior or senior year after completing a Minor in Art. To learn more about BFA requirements, click here.
Graduate school preparation track
On the Graduate School Preparation track, you’ll earn a BFA in Art plus pursue the additional studio time that you need to perfect your portfolio and apply to graduate school. Our students have been accepted into prestigious graduate schools, often through scholarships and teaching assistantships.
This BFA track incorporates an extra semester of graduate school preparation work. To learn more about this track, click here.
BFA upgrade track
On the BFA Upgrade track, you’ll turn your BA into a BFA through as little as one year of MUM classes and dedicated studio time.
Requirements for the BFA Upgrade track differ depending on whether you earned your degree from MUM or another institution. To learn more about this track, click here.
Recent graduates of our department have been admitted to top-ranked graduate programs such as the Cranbrook Academy of the Arts, the University of Iowa painting program, and the University of California at Davis ceramics program. Two received full scholarships and paid teaching assistantships.
Hilary Nelson was awarded the Mildred Pelzer Lynch Fellowship for a graduate student in Painting at the University of Iowa (includes tuition scholarship and $9,000 a year).
“My time studying art at MUM created a strong foundation that I pull from continuously. The professors were so inspiring and supportive and their guidance allowed me to go deep into my work and move forward from that level. While at graduate school I think I have been grounded while flexible, and I attribute this largely to my MUM education.”
Alex Gabriel is a BFA in Art alumnus and currently a graduate student in Art at the University of Iowa.
“In the MA in Art when we talk about ideas of aesthetic theory like “moments of being.” I can understand them in terms of my own experience of transcending in Transcendental Meditation. I learned at the strategy of approaching things holistically at MUM, which has helped me connect ideas from class to my studio work. The several months I worked in self-directed studio guided by MUM faculty has helped me feel at home in my studio, be self-motivated, and know how to move through projects with greater ease.”
The Art Department also offers a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program that provides BFA graduates with an intensive fine arts studio experience in preparation for an MFA. Click here to learn more about our Post-Bac program.
For information on the cost of our Bachelor’s degree programs, visit our Financial Aid Calculator here.
Apply for the BFA in Art
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Faculty profile: Gyan Shrosbree
Gyan Shrosbree is an Assistant Professor of Art at MUM. She earned her BFA in Painting and Drawing from The Kansas City Art Institute, and her MFA in Painting and Drawing at Cranbrook Academy of Art. She has had her art exhibited in US galleries such as A.I.R. Gallery (New York, NY), Parallax Art Fair (New York, NY), Stacey Hill’s Space (San Antonio, TX), Haus. (Los Angeles, CA), The Santa Fe Art Colony (Los Angeles, CA), and Unity Gallery (Maharishi University, Fairfield, IA).