B.F.A. with an emphasis in Painting

  • painting
  • outside the "never not" exhibition
  • paint brushes with paintings behind it
  • students painting in a studio

The painting program offers courses emphasizing diverse media and individual approaches. Our students generate many personal exhibitions each year, ranging from the traditional to the experimental, that are displayed in the student galleries. We are happiest when we hear that students who graduated a decade or more ago are still painting and exhibiting, and we hear that often.

Video of WMU Frostic Tour: 2D Art Spaces
The B.F.A. (85 credit hours is different from the B.A. degree (54 credit hours). A student accepted in the B.F.A. painting program has a graduation presentation and exhibit of their work, does a written statement and has to defend the work before a committee of faculty members. The B.F.A. degree is designed for qualified students who intend to become professional artists and/or pursue graduate study in art.

Art majors must submit an application to the Frostic School of Art painting committee for admission to B.F.A. candidacy after completing 30 hours in art and one semester residency in the Frostic School of Art. It also is necessary to be at or above the 300-level in the area to which one is applying. 


Curriculum: Bachelor of fine arts with an Emphasis in Painting (B.F.A.)

Basic studies requirement—12 credits

  • 1040 Object Drawing*
  • 1050 Drawing Studio*
  • 1070 Form and Surface*
  • 1080 Form and Space*

*Prerequisites for all studio art and art education majors and minors

Writing—3 credits

  • 3250 Writing About Art

Art history—12 credits

  • 2200 Caves to Cathedrals
  • 2210 Modern and Postmodern
  • Art history elective 3000-4000 level
  • Art history elective 3000-4000 level

Painting emphasis requirement—21 credits

  • 2400 Painting I
  • 3400 Painting II
  • 5400 Painting Workshop (15 hrs.)

Art studio electives—34 credits

  • Three hours of non-western art history, and all art education credits, may be applied to the elective requirement.

Graduation presentation—3 credits

  • 4930 Graduation Preparation

Summary of Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting

  • Art Major—85 credits
  • General Education—37 credits
  • Total Credit Hours—122 credits

Students should consult the WMU catalog for the painting program course descriptions and requirements.

WMU Catalog

Portfolio Reviews

Portfolio reviews for admission into the B.F.A. program with an emphasis in painting will be held in the second week of November and March.


Student Group

Modern Painter's Society—MPS—seeks to further the knowledge and love of painting for students here on Western Michigan University’s campus, empower BFA students to gain confidence in their abilities as an artist, and provide opportunities to create connections in the art world. In addition, MPS looks to promote a higher regard and appreciation for the arts in the public eye.