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The BFA in Art + Design: Painting offers professional, studio-based training in the visual arts with all the advantages of a university education.

The BFA is a professional degree with concentrated areas of specialization, so you will take more art courses than you would in a BA program. At UMass Dartmouth, you also have the advantages of a university education where you can diversify your studies and expand your career opportunities.

As a painting student, you'll learn fundamental skills and contemporary practices through a wide spectrum of course offerings such as:

  • form
  • color & space
  • the human figure
  • concept-development
  • mixed media
  • abstraction
  • time-based media
  • installation

You'll develop cross-disciplinary sensitivity—with the possibility of combining painting with printmaking, photography, digital media, textiles, and other disciplines in contemporary art making. You'll also be able to explore fields across the university, such as business, engineering, and science.

Fine artists are inherent problem-solvers, negotiators, collaborators, and team-players; they have excellent hand/eye coordination and can illustrate their ideas—often quickly—so that others can understand a concept beyond the written or spoken word. The skills of a fine artist can be applied in education, business, advertising, set design, and arts management (gallery directors, administrators), to name a few.

Your courses—from professional preparatory courses to the senior seminar and BFA capstone course—will prepare you to pursue a creative livelihood.

You'll be invited to on-campus exhibitions and presentations and off-campus field trips. You'll have the opportunity to participate in numerous exhibitions, both locally and regionally. You'll be able to join faculty-led study abroad programs.

Our faculty will prepare you to become a creative artist, pursue graduate study, or engage in one of the fine arts-related professions.

For the BFA in Art + Design: Painting, you'll complete 78 credits in courses related to your major, and 120 credits overall.

A minor in painting will provide you with the aesthetic, technical, and intellectual training necessary to succeed in the professional art world.

For the minor, you'll complete 18 credits.

Student Success

Alison Paige Borges in studio painting
Alison Paige Borges BFA '23

Alison's paintings tell a story of empowerment as I explore the intensity of the unknown.


The RISD Museum

Career Placements

School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Graduate Schools

University of Washington School of Art, Art History & Design

College of Visual & Performing Arts undergraduate mean starting salary:

NACE Data Collection of Class of 2022 Undergraduate Alumni

UMassD advantages

  • Internships: enhance your studies while gaining first-hand experience in creative fields
  • Studio facilities: located at the university's Star Store campus in New Bedford, our studios feature state-of-the-art equipment and ample work areas
  • Campus Gallery: exhibit your own work and gain exposure to the work of contemporary artists
  • Honors College: take advanced courses, pursue research, and be part of a community of scholars
  • Study Abroad: earn academic credits and gain a global perspective on your field
  • Undergraduate Research: faculty work with students on cutting-edge research projects
  • University Studies: gain the benefit of a broad university education to enhance your knowledge and skills

Master of Fine Arts: Develop your personal voice and advance your creative skills with a master's degree. You can specialize in drawing, painting, printmaking, or sculpture.

Master of Art Education: With an emphasis on how the arts are integrated into daily life, the MAE program leads to a single-level professional certification in Massachusetts as an art teacher in grades Pre K-8 or 5-12.

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Fine Arts: Designed for artists who have earned BFA or BA degrees, and would benefit from immersion in an academic/studio environment. Applicants may wish to develop their artwork for application to graduate school, professional residency or to launch a professional career.

Painting Faculty

Anthony Fisher
Elena Peteva
Suzanne Schireson