a student in a white paint-splatter shirt sits at an easel and reaches over to get more paint. another student sits at an easel in the background.

Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)

With a Painting emphasis in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program, you’ll build strong painting skills with hands-on studio time. You will also develop problem-solving and decision-making skills for all artistic disciplines in a classroom setting.

This is an intense and immersive studio experience, coupled with inspiration from world-class art museums in the city and exposure to a wide range of visiting artists and critics.

The structure of our curriculum allows you to focus on painting while also exploring and collaborating across other fine arts disciplines, such as Sculpture. You'll expand your cultural and intellectual understanding of the world, and prepare to navigate the complexities of being an artist in today's world.

Why Zakiyah Stewart chose UArts


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Student Spotlight

headshot of Sarena Johnson
Sarena Johnson


Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
rush jackson headshot
Rush Jackson


Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
Jessica Dowicz headshot in painting studio
Jessica Dowicz


Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)

In the Fine Arts major, you’ll study with professional working artists who exhibit nationally and internationally.

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Faculty Spotlight

Rebecca Sack headshot
Rebecca Sack

Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
Program Director; artist whose paintings court the extremities of stability and riot, growth and decay
A headshot of Painting faculty, Marcelino Stuhmer.
Marcelino Stuhmer

Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
Award-winning artist whose work includes painting, drawing, written fiction, video and immersive art installations
A headshot of Lauren Whearty with artwork hanging behind her
Lauren Whearty

Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
Award-winning painter and co-director of Ortega y Gasset Projects, an artist-run curatorial collective


The curriculum of the Fine Arts bachelor's program with an emphasis in Painting is based on a framework of research, studio experimentation, artistic invention and daily practice. Personal vision and artistic innovation anchor the development of work for significant cultural contributions and dialogue, gallery and museum exhibitions, and creating work for diverse communities and public spaces. To that end, you will be given assignments designed to develop conceptual skills and become proficient in the necessary processes and techniques appropriate to your artistic vision and intention.

Students who complete the Fine Arts bachelor's program with an emphasis in Painting will

  • demonstrate independent, creative problem-solving and original thinking through the development of a distinct and personal approach to art-making informed by contemporary issues and historical precedents.

  • demonstrate critical and conceptual development through research and analysis, applying readings, theories and methodologies toward the production of critically informed artworks.

  • acquire and demonstrate the professional skills needed to be successful as practicing artists, entrepreneurs and productive citizens, including further study at the graduate level.

  • effectively communicate, orally and in writing, the thoughts behind their choices and decisions concerning content and strategies.

  • demonstrate proficiency in a number of advanced techniques in individual studio practice, including a deep familiarity with materials and processes.

Sample Curriculum

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First Year

Drawing: Objects & Space
Art History Survey I
Writing I Placement
Free elective (your choice)
Body as Form or Found & Fabricated
Drawing: Natural Forms & the Human Figure or Drawing: Ideation
Art History Survey II
Writing II Placement

Second Year

Painting course*
Sophomore Projects
Critical Studies (your choice)
Thinking Through Science
Free elective (your choice)
Digital Requirement**
Expanded Materials
Painting Course***
Discipline history (your choice)
Contemporary Issues

Third Year

Concepts in Painting 
Painting Strategies
Junior Projects/Discourse
Contemporary Issues 

Fourth Year

Fine Arts Thesis Groundwork
Painting course†
Critical Studies (your choice)
Free elective (your choice)
The Artists' Manifesto
Professional Practices
Fine Arts Thesis Studio

UArts Painting alumni are carving out successful and fulfilling careers in their specific disciplines and across many creative fields.

Alumni & Careers

Jonathan Lyndon Chase
Jonathan Lyndon Chase

BFA '13 (Painting)

Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
Exhibitions include Green Hall Gallery at Yale University, The California African American Museum, Los Angeles
Samantha Morris headshot
Samantha Morris

BFA '17

Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
Residencies in Norway & Iceland, work has been published in FreshPaint Magazine, Opción Magazine, ArtMaze Magazine
justin rubich headshot wearing cardigan and against the background of a painting
Justin Rubich

BFA '10

Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
Artist, and Media Relations Coordinator for the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Heet Lee headshot
Heet Lee

BFA '16

Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
Solo exhibition at Museum der bildenden Kunst in Leipzig, Germany
Dan Walsh in gray suit in front of artwork pointing to painting
Dan Walsh

BFA '83

Painting (BFA in Fine Arts)
Internationally recognized painter featured in the prestigious Whitney Biennial.

How to Apply

UArts offers recommended priority deadlines; students who apply and submit all required materials by the priority deadline will receive first consideration for scholarship aid from UArts. Applications received after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling, space-available basis. 

International students requiring an F-1 visa for study in the U.S. might be subject to earlier deadlines to provide time for completion of the visa process. Contact Admissions for guidance if you are an international student who wishes to apply after the priority deadline.

Fall 2022 priority deadline: Our fall 2022 priority deadline to apply has passed, but we will continue to accept applications as space remains available in each program.

We cannot accept fall 2022 applications after Aug. 12, 2022.

The following materials are required for your application.

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A completed application for admission

Start or resume your application. 

  • The application includes two required short-answer questions: What excites you about UArts? What inspires you?

A nonrefundable $60 application fee
  • If you qualify for a fee waiver from NACAC, CollegeBoard, UArts or another source, indicate that on your application. If the cost of the application fee is a barrier, contact Admissions to request a fee waiver code.

Official high school transcript
  • Official transcripts must be sent directly from your school by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

  • International transcript requirements 

  • Transfer student transcript requirements

    • High school transcripts may be waived for transfer applicants who have completed a minimum of 24 credits of college-level coursework, including a minimum of 18 academic, non-studio credits.

    • Official college transcript(s)

      • Official transcripts must be sent directly from all the colleges you have attended by mail, email or a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

      • If you’ve attended college outside the U.S., you are required to have an official course-by-course evaluation of your college coursework sent to UArts. Additional guidelines for international transcripts are available

Your portfolio
  • A portfolio is required for all Art, Design, Film and Writing programs. Your portfolio may be uploaded during the application process or via your applicant status portal after submission. You must confirm when your submission is complete via the linked electronic form before your portfolio can be reviewed for admission.

  • Learn more about portfolio requirements. 

International applicants must submit proof of English proficiency.
Optional letters of recommendation
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers or mentors are optional and may be submitted by the recommender via email to undergradcredentials@uarts.edu or by your high school through a secure electronic document-delivery service. 

Apply now

About the School of Art

The School of Art at University of the Arts deeply values and celebrates creative curiosity, interdisciplinary collaboration and exploration of numerous media and practices. You will be professionally prepared for a creative practice that emphasizes critical thinking and technical skill. You can create your own education through interdisciplinary learning and mixed media, or focus on a chosen discipline. No matter your path, you’ll learn to express your personal vision and innovate your chosen artforms.

Learn more about the School of Art.

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