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How do I get a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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In order to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, one must complete entrance requirements for such a program, submit an application, gain acceptance, and then complete all of the degree requirements. In the United States and Canada, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is usually a four-year program that is completed by students who have already achieved a high school degree or an equivalent degree. Students in this sort of program usually focus on either a visual art or a performing art as part of their major. During their course of study, however, students may study other visual or performing arts. In addition to their education in the arts, a student working to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree may also be required to take courses in mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, history, and the humanities.

The application process for this sort of program usually includes the submission of one's academic records along with either a portfolio or an audition tape. In some cases, students intending to study performing arts may be asked to come to the university campus and audition. Once a student is accepted into a fine arts program, she must begin to work toward completing all of the degree requirements. Such requirements may include coursework, performance, and independent studies.

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There are various visual arts and performing arts that can be studied as part of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Visual art course offerings often include painting, drawing, sculpting, filmmaking, and photography but may also include offerings such as bookmaking and ceramics. Performing arts course offerings may include various disciplines within dance, singing, and acting. It is quite common for students to be asked to take courses outside of their selected majors. A drama student, for example, may take classes in dancing or singing.

Most students are assigned an academic adviser. It is important to consult with an academic adviser or trusted professor while working to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. These sorts of consultations will help a student to choose the right elective courses and to make the most of her time when school is not in session. Many students working on a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree spend their summers working in some aspect of the arts. An academic adviser or professor might be able to make good suggestions about what sorts of off-campus jobs might be most edifying and useful for a given student.

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