Art at Aquinas College

Fine Arts Majors: Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, New Forms, or Sculpture (BFA)


Major Requirements: Seventy-eight (78) hours.

Seventy-eight (78) hours made up of Thirty six (36) hours of foundation studio courses, twenty-one (21) hours in a primary studio concentration, nine (9) hours in a secondary studio concentration, six (6) hours of art electives, and fifteen (15) hours in art history courses.

Required courses:

  • AT130 (AP)
  • AT131
  • AT142 (AP)
  • AT143 (AP)
  • AT201
  • AT202
  • AT212 or AT211 (AP)
  • AT230 (AP)
  • AT311
  • AT321 (AP)
  • AT341 (AP)
  • AT400 (SC)
  • AT150 (AT)
  • AT161 (AT)
  • AT350 (AT, WI)
  • AT391 (AT, WI)
  • An art history elective
  • Six (6) hours of art electives
  • A Secondary studio concentration (9 hours) in: ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture or new forms studio
  • A primary studio concentration (12 hours) in: ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture or new forms studio

B.F.A. majors are required to earn a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours in studio and nine (9) semester hours in art history at Aquinas College. At least nine studio art semester hours must be earned during the last two years before graduation. Entry into the B.F.A. program is via a portfolio review conducted near the end of each semester. To remain in the program, B.F.A. students are required to have their portfolio successfully reviewed each semester. A final thesis exhibition is required of all B.F.A. students at the end of their final spring semester. This exhibition must be approved by the Art Department faculty and verified by the department chairperson. B.F.A. Majors are required to submit a portfolio of work completed at Aquinas before mid-term of their last semester. See department chairperson for details of this portfolio.

B.F.A. acceptance requires a portfolio. Repeated application is allowed (and even encouraged). Note: Students interested in the B.A. in visual art are not required to provide a portfolio of their work for acceptance into the major.


  • Global Perspective requirement is met with AT 360 Art: A Global Perspective
  • Writing Intensive requirement is met with AT 350 Modern Survey or AT391 Contemporary Art
  • Senior Capstone requirement is met with AT 400 Art Seminar

B.F.A. majors are strongly advised to enroll in the following courses as outlined below:

First year, First semester
-AT130 Basic Drawing I (AP)
-AT143 2 and 3 Dimensional Design (AP)
First year, Second semester
-AT131 Basic Drawing II
-AT142 Graphic and Digital Design (AP)
Second year, First semester
-AT150 History of Art & Architecture I (AT)
-AT201 Life Drawing
Second year, Second semester
-AT151 History of Art & Architecture II (AT)
-AT202 Advanced Drawing


  • AT130 Basic Drawing I (3) AP

    Course offered fall only Introductory course in drawing from life using traditional materials and subject matter including still life, landscape, and the human figure. A sequence of projects isolates technical and compositional problems.

  • AT131 Basic Drawing II (3)

    Course offered spring only Continuation of AT130. Emphasis on increased understanding and control of composition as well as basic elements of drawing. Exploration of additional drawing media and techniques. Individual creative solutions encouraged. Prerequisite: AT130.

  • AT142 Graphic and Digital Design (3) AP

    This course introduces the technical and creative aspects of graphic design, digital design and the design process. Assignments will introduce the most current computer applications and image making software used in the graphic design profession. Traditional and digital design environments will be explored, and principles of 2-d design will be woven into every unit, every project, and every media used.

  • AT143 2 and 3 Dimensional Design (3) AP

    This course will cover the basic elements of both 2 and 3 dimensional design. Studio problems, readings, and critiques will create a visual vocabulary and develop familiarity with both 2 and 3-D materials. Color theory will also be introduced.

  • AT201 Life Drawing (3)

    Course offered fall and spring Beginning course in drawing the human form using both clothed and nude models. Accurate observation and rendering will be emphasized along with compositional elements and recognition of a developing personal aesthetic. Prerequisite: AT131.

  • AT202 Advanced Drawing (3)

    Course offered fall and spring Continuation of AT201, Life Drawing; broadened technical and conceptual approaches introduced; strong encouragement in recognizing and developing individual direction. Prerequisite: AT131. This course is not accepted for the Artistic Theory or Practice requirement.

  • AT212 Photography I (3) AP

    Course offered fall and spring Exploration of photography as fine art. Includes: basic camera handling, black-and-white film development and printing, aesthetic discussion and critiques. All photography courses require an additional lab fee. Consult current course schedule. Equipment required: 35 mm camera.

  • AT211 Beginning Digital Photography (3) AP

    Our goal in this course is to learn the techniques of a medium, here digital photography, to allow you to express your own ideas. We will explore digital photography, including basic camera handling, image editing and printing. Techniques, aesthetics and concepts will be discussed through class critiques.

  • AT230 New Forms Studio (3) AP

    Course offered fall semester only Based in a post-modern art aesthetic, this course will allow students to make art using a concept-driven approach. Ideas will be developed via reading, journal-writing, sketching, video, and photography. Final art works will use media appropriate to the idea.

  • AT311 Painting I (3)

    Course offered fall and spring Beginning course in oil painting. Introduction to basic tools and techniques, with an emphasis on observation and composition. Prerequisites: AT130, AT140 or instructor approval.

  • AT321 Sculpture I (3) AP

    Course offered fall and spring Traditional life-sized figurehead project modeled in clay and either kiln-fired or cast in plaster. Additional figurative sculptural problems.

  • AT341 Printmaking I (3) AP

    Course offered fall and spring Beginning course in etching, lithography, and relief printmaking. Introduction to materials, techniques and methods unique to these media.

  • AT400 Art Seminar (3) SC, AP

    Structured experiences centered on the profession of being an artist: digital documentation of artworks, portfolio and resume preparation, discussions with art 70 professionals, and learning techniques for mounting an exhibition. Substantial writing component. Prerequisite: junior or senior status.

  • AT150 History of Art and Architecture I (3) AT

    Course offered fall only. A survey of global art from pre-history to 1300 CE.

  • AT151 History of Art and Architecture II (3) AT

    Course offered spring only. A survey of global art from 1300 CE to the present.

  • AT350 Modern Art (3) AT, WI

    Course offered fall only. A survey of modern art practices in Europe and the United States from 1880 to 1945.

  • AT391 Contemporary Art (3) AT, WI

    Course offered spring only An exploration of the primary currents in the visual arts from 1945 through the present. Leading figures and artistic currents in the United States and Europe are discussed as will the expanding role of art theory and criticism.