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Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

Major/Minor Image

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) is for students who want to pursue a career in the studio arts and continue on to graduate school in a specific medium.

Why should I study fine arts?

The role of visual images in our culture is enormous. Can you imagine a society with no images? Graphic designers, advertisers, information designers, web designers, studio artists, art gallery owners, museum curators and art critics are among the many professionals who work with images on a daily basis. Whether as practical designs for business clients, or artistic expressions of spiritual meaning, images serve culture in rich and diverse ways.

Not only are there a thousand uses for images in all forms of media—there exists a wide range of professions and jobs for the creatively trained and visually gifted people who make them.

Bethel's B.F.A. will train your mind to consider the various mediums and uses for these images, fuel your creativity, and strengthen your passion.

What can I do with this degree?

The deep investment in studio practice and art history required of the B.F.A. prepares a student’s mind, practice, and portfolio for graduate school and a professional life as a working artist.

Alumni have continued on to graduate schools including:

  • Yale University
  • Cranbrook Art Academy
  • Claremont Graduate University
  • Pratt Institute
  • Goldsmiths University of London
  • Hunter College
  • The University of Barcelona

In addition to working as professional studio artists, our graduates have careers in:

  • Animation
  • Architecture
  • Fashion design
  • Film and video production
  • Furniture design
  • Liturgical art
  • Product design
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Teaching at the university level
  • Intellectual property law
  • Music and entertainment

Our graduates also work in many fine arts roles, including:

  • Co-owner of The Outlet Gallery, Brooklyn, New York
  • Director of The Midway Center for Contemporary Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Independent curator in New York City, New York
  • Exhibitors at international museums like the Whitney in New York City, New York and the Essl Museum in Vienna, Austria
  • Exhibitors at national and regional galleries such as The Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, Wisconsin; Altered Aesthetics Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Form + Content Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Mystery Science Theater 3000, Los Angeles, California; Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Gallery, New York City, New York; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

What skills will I develop?

  • Grant writing, exhibition proposals, and project applications
  • Building a professional web presence
  • Intermediate and advanced technical skills in the following studio of your choice: drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics
  • Understanding the physical and conceptual aspects of making art in two- and three-dimensions
  • Idea development through conversations with artists and the study of artists and movements
  • The ability to analyze, interpret, and critique art
  • Forming a personal style and vision for your artwork

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?


As you progress through Bethel's program, you'll also have other opportunities to earn recognition and receive monetary awards. For example, as a result of the Professional Practices class, many students have been included in professional exhibitions, and one recently earned a $10,000 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Bethel students have also had their work featured in the International Sculpture Center's (ISC) Sculpture magazine and have received ISC awards.

Finally, at the annual Raspberry Monday spring student art exhibition, the art department decorates students with a number of monetary awards, including the Raspberry Monday Award for the student with the best all-around performance; the Cameron Booth Painting Award for the student who is the strongest painter; the Jeff Koeningsberg Award for an exemplary art student; the Janet Wingblade-Johnson Ceramics Award for the most excellent ceramics student; and the Purchase Award for artwork chosen by faculty to add to Bethel's permanent collection.

Participate in hands-on internships

Not only do we have many on-campus opportunities for students—including the chance to work as a teaching assistant in the department's two galleries and/or multiple studios—our students have earned notable internships at places including:

  • The LAB Digital
  • Alec Soth Studio
  • Franconia Sculpture Park
  • Form + Content Gallery

Learn from professional artists

You'll interact with regional and national artists for studio visits, conversations and critiques in our galleries and courses. You'll also work with professional artists on a daily basis—receiving one-on-one attention from Bethel's professors who are not only exemplary educators, but also active and experienced artists.

Exhibit your artwork

On campus, you'll have many chances to exhibit your artwork, at events including:

  • The annual all-student exhibition, Raspberry Monday
  • Student-curated exhibitions during J-term
  • The bi-annual poster and pottery sales
  • Senior exhibition

Study art abroad 

Spend a semester abroad in Italy, Germany, England or Ireland or participate in one of our art and design focused Interim Abroad Opportunities. Spend a month in India or Guatemala getting to know the culture and working on a highly collaborative project where you will research, write, photograph and create an award-winning magazine and documentary telling the stories of the people you meet.  Or visit North Africa and Europe where you will investigate the multifaceted artistic and historical legacy of the area through travel, readings, presentations, personal travelogues and guided art experiences.

Access well-equipped studios 7 days a week

Academic Plans and Course Catalog

See plans


exhibits each year featured in our 2 on-campus galleries


external exhibitions by students or recent graduates since 2014

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