Fall 2023 BFA Application

Deadline to submit the application:  Friday, May 5, 2023

BFA Program Description

The 61-Credit Major (BFA) is open to the student who wants to complete work in studio art beyond the 42-credit major and particularly the student who intends to pursue a career as a professional artist and attend graduate school. Students follow the regular GER for the BA degree. Departmental approval of the 61-credit BFA concentration is required.

Students who have successfully completed 90 credits may apply to the BFA program, pending an interview with the BFA advisor. Students are required to have a GPA of 3.0 in order to apply to this program and must maintain it throughout their studies.

It is strongly recommended that the student has taken Art LA 360.18 (2D/3D/4D Seminar) or is enrolled in this course at the time of the application to the BFA Program.

The Art Department seeks candidates who show promise of independent artistic ideas developed through a committed, motivated work process.  Admission is on a competitive basis, and applications are accepted every Spring and Fall semester.  Once admitted, entry into the BFA program is effective the following semester.  Students are provided with their own studio spaces at the MFA Studio Building, making it possible for them to practice their professional investigations continuously, spending 15 to 20 hours a week on self-directed projects.  They are joined for one semester by undergraduates from Europe who participate in the department’s exchange program, often creating a group of young artists whose diverse and lively contributions enrich each student’s experience.

In addition to the scheduled course load, feedback from graduate students, peers and critiques from visiting faculty members and mentors will provide ample opportunity for development and personal growth.


The BFA Program is intended to make Hunter students competitive with students from the best art schools and programs in the country.  As a “fifth year” program, it gives students the prolonged, intense focus on studio practice, contemporary art and theoretical issues, which is the kind of training that is typically regarded as an excellent education in the field of fine arts.  The two-semester program prepares students to compete for entry into MFA programs nationwide.


The center of the program is Artcr 459 and Artcr 460, Professional Experience in Art I and II, taken in consecutive semesters.  With 6.5 credits per course, it fulfills half the course load.  The focus is on critical discussion of student work in a seminar setting.  Artcr 405Art and Current Ideas, is taught every spring semester.  In this course, students study critical texts and respond with written evaluations, as well as written reviews of their visits to contemporary art exhibitions.  By taking an art history course on contemporary art in the fall semester and Art and Current Ideas in the spring, students are prepared to enter such discourses and will be able to pursue a line of inquiry applicable to their own work.

The program culminates in the following semester with the BFA Degree Show at the Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery, located on the ground floor of the West Building of the main campus.  This important event presents a new set of tasks and experiences addressing all phases of creating an exhibition, such as planning and scheduling, shipping and installation, lighting, labeling, and the designing of the invitation to the opening of the group show. A student-initiated catalog of the BFA Degree Show can be printed every semester with in-house guidance, subject to approval by the chair of the Department of Art and Art History.




The Main Campus, located at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue, houses the administration, the library and The Judith and Stanley Zabar Art Library.  Students are already familiar with the workshops for photography, graphics, metal, wood, plaster, computer graphics and painting occupying the entire 11th floor of the North Building.  Art History classes are held here, as well as the MFA/MA Lecture Series, to which BFA students are invited.  The clay workshop with its intermediate exhibition space is located in Thomas Hunter Hall.

All BFA students are provided individual studio spaces located at the MFA Studio Facility at 205 Hudson Street in Tribeca.  Students are required to work in these studios throughout their residencies.

The building has both a loading dock and freight elevators, allowing for easy entry of bulky or large materials for making art.  The building is accessible to students seven days a week from 8:00 am to 1:00 am throughout the year.


The BFA Program is designed to offer students the intellectual training and practical experiences of artistic practice.  Critical and analytical visual thinking engages the students in this programmatic context and allows for insights into a life committed to art production.

Students are encouraged to define and pursue their own visions through constant peer contact in the studios, individual work with faculty tutors, group seminars and classes in the theory, criticism and history of art.  The program is open to all media and each candidate must select one field of concentration in studio art: ceramics, combined media, drawing, graphics, painting, performance, photography, sculpture or works on paper.

BFA Learning Outcomes:

1. Students will develop and sustain a fully independent, self-motivated body of work.

2. Student art will correlate to art historical genealogies by extending, adapting, combining or negating them in a demonstrable way.

3. Student work will reflect knowledge of contemporary artistic practices with the goal of making a distinctive contribution to these practices.

4. Students will articulate in speech and writing a knowledgeable viewpoint and specific interpretational strategies for their work, the work of their peers, and cultural production in general.

5. Students will seek self-knowledge of identity and agency as an element in their creative practice and in their critical discourse.

Eligibility and Course Distribution

At the successful completion of at least 39 credits, consisting of three art history classes and ten studio courses, with a concentration in one specific area, plus all basic distribution requirements for a total of 92 credits, students are eligible to apply for the BFA Program.

The Program of Study for the BFA Program begins with the requirements for the 42 credits major.  Art LA 101 and Artcr 221 are prerequisites.  Courses must be taken in the following sequence:

Year 1

Two studio courses and one art history course:

ArtLA 101       Introduction to Study of Visual Experience

Artcr 221        Beginning Drawing

ArtH 111         Introduction to Art History

Year 2

Four studio courses from the following areas:

Artcr 225         Graphic Arts Workshop

Artcr 235         Painting

Artcr 251         Sculpture

Artcr 257         Ceramics

Artcr 271         Principles of Photography

Year 3

Five studio courses with one 300-level course repeated in the area of concentration:

Artcr 326         Advanced Graphic Arts Workshop

Artcr 336         Advanced Painting

Artcr 352         Advanced Sculpture

Artcr 357         Advanced Ceramics

Artcr 372         Advanced Photography

Year 4 – BFA Major

Artcr 459                     Professional Experience in Art I

Artcr 460                     Professional Experience in Art II

Artcr 405                     Art and Current Ideas

Art History elective (see recommendations below)

Art History Requirements:

For the 42 credits major, three Art History courses are required. In addition to ArtH 111 taken in the first year, it is highly recommended for BFA candidates to take ArtH 249 and/or ArtH 250 in the third year, followed by ArtH 251 (Contemporary Art), preferably before ArtCr 405 is taken.  One additional Art History course is required for a total of 15 credits for the BFA degree.

The BFA Program culminates in a formal BFA Degree Show in which the students present their work to the Hunter community and the public at large.

Instructions for Applying to the BFA Program

The BFA advisor together with the student must review the application and all supporting materials, including a brief essay, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Approval must be obtained by the student from the advisor in order to submit the application. (Please note: no exceptions are made for late or incomplete applications). Applications must be completed, reviewed and on file by the application deadline. Please check for exact dates in the Art Department.·

The application package must contain the following material:

  1. Completed BFA Application Form
  2. Current transcript
  3. A completely filled-out Worksheet including names and numbers of courses taken at Hunter and transfer credits and GPA in art
  4. A short essay
  5. Two letters of recommendation, preferably by full-time faculty

Finally, at the time of the interview, each applicant will present a mature body of work that reflects the particular concentration of the student to the BFA Committee. Upon admission, students should file a change of major form, from the 42-credit major to the 61-credit BFA Major.

Students who are refused admission may reapply once.

Application forms can be obtained from the Art Department office, Room 11054 Hunter North.

For further information about the BFA Program, you may contact the Art Department Office Assistant, Anastasia (Staesi) Davis, at (212) 772-4995 or consult an undergraduate advisor.

Because of the extraordinary demands, studio experiences and complexity of the course material, it may take a fifth year to complete the BFA Major.


Required courses for the completion of the BFA Program are: ten courses in Studio Art, with three of the ten studio courses in the area of concentration, and five Art History courses, for a total of 61credits. In order to stay in the BFA Program the student is required to maintain a grade of “B” average at all times.

Transfer Credits

With the approval of the BFA Committee, up to half of the required credits, or 30 credits, may be transferred from other accredited art schools.  In general, credits in the area of concentration will not be accepted.  Students must maintain their working studio at the MFA Studio Facility at 205 Hudson Street. Students who have an undergraduate BA degree, and are eligible, may apply to the BFA program.  To apply, please follow the “INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLYING TO THE BFA PROGRAM” or consult an advisor.

Tuition and Fees

Please consult the HUNTER COLLEGE Tuition & FEE Charge Table

For a complete listing of all financial aid programs please see the Hunter College Undergraduate Catalog and the Schedule of Classes.

Full Time Faculty Serving on the BFA Review Committee

Program Director: Chitra Ganesh

Advisors: Chitra Ganesh, Reiner Leist

Selection Committee:

  • AK Burns
  • Chitra Ganesh
  • Reiner Leist
  • Dave McKenzie
  • Nari Ward