Art and Visual Culture Department

BFA Integrated Studio Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Integrated Studio Arts focuses on in-depth studio work with an emphasis on crossing conceptual and media boundaries. It is designed for students intending to become professional artists and those planning to continue their studies in a graduate program in studio art.

The BFA is an enrollment-managed, accredited four-year degree program. Students complete their first year in the College of Design's Core Design Program, then apply for admission to the professional BFA program.


Our unique curriculum emphasizes breadth in technique with a focus on conceptual development and problem solving. The art studio is the fundamental structure for BFA students to develop an understanding and ability to apply the design process through diverse media.

In the sophomore year, students complete rotations in our eight media areas:

  1. Ceramics
  2. Textiles
  3. Jewelry/metalsmithing
  4. Furniture design
  5. Painting
  6. Printmaking
  7. Digital media
  8. Photography


Classes in color theory and intermediate drawing round out the year. Junior- and senior-level studios provide focused investigation in specific media areas and help prepare students for professional practice and/or graduate study toward a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Art history courses enhance the studio environment by providing a strong context as students develop their ideas and technical abilities.

Interdisciplinary opportunities are encouraged, and independent study options — where you can work one-on-one with a faculty member of your choice — are available following the completion of regular course offerings. A required seminar/exhibition serves as a capstone experience in the final year.

The BFA in Integrated Studio Arts from Iowa State may lead to careers in such areas:

  • Digital media (including 3D animation, digital illustration and video/computer game design)
  • Illustration
  • Furniture design
  • Ceramics
  • Jewelry and metalsmithing
  • Textiles
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Two- and three-dimensional mixed media
  • Photography
  • New technological genres in combination with the traditional fine arts.

Curriculum Sheet for the BFA in Integrated Studio Arts (PDF)
This includes number of required credits, list of courses, and a suggested four-year plan with courses broken into semesters and years.