BACHELOR OF ARTS | BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS | DUAL DEGREE | MINOR
An experimental approach to art-making and access to a research university for engaged, diverse and inquisitive artists.
In our Fine Arts degree programs, you discover your own creative direction through foundational coursework, exposure to diverse creative practices and experiences, rather than through directives for specific artistic aesthetic. We encourage our students to develop their own artistic direction through studio practices, our experienced faculty and the inspiration of Washington, D.C.’s vibrant cultural life and renowned galleries and museums.
The Corcoran offers three undergraduate degrees in fine arts:
- a bachelor of fine arts,
- a bachelor of arts,
- a dual major in art history and fine arts.
Studying the arts at a major research university provides students access to the George Washington University’s extensive research resources. With an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary artistic practices, Corcoran students are encouraged to extend beyond their comfort zones, redefine their practice and prepare for creative pursuits after graduation.
THE ARTS AT GW
Studying at the Corcoran and GW is perfect for students excited to make a commitment to their creative progress within a challenging but supportive academic community. Choosing an art school at a major research university in a metropolitan area provides unique experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. While our class sizes are small, making it possible for in-depth discussions and access to faculty, you also have opportunities to work with curators and researchers around D.C. and across the larger university. You’ll find yourself blocks away from world-renowned cultural institutions, can easily attend D.C. art events and can view and participate in exhibitions on campus in spaces like Gallery 102.
Studying your craft at our school is right for you if you’re ready to make a commitment to exploring your creativity and research interests while being mentored by the country’s leading artists and scholars. If you want to find out what you can become at a place where you are supported in building a practice engaged with issues in the studio and world, the Corcoran and GW are home.
PROGRAM OF STUDY
Courses in the fine arts cover a wide range of studio arts including, sculpture, ceramics, photography, video, painting, drawing, printmaking, book arts, performance, socially engaged practices and new media. Our curricula emphasize a critical and creative relationship between content and form, an awareness of historical connections, and engagement with varied contexts of creative production. The program you choose will impact the course requirements.
All first-year BFA students take Corcoran Foundations courses. For two semesters, you are an essential member of a tight-knit group of artists, designers and photographers. You will develop relationships across studio areas and foster multi-disciplinary approaches to making and problem-solving that can sustain a life-long investigative practice. Here you learn to think and communicate like an artist, take risks and challenge your assumptions, while developing the fundamental skills necessary to read and manipulate the complex language of images, forms and cultures that make up the world around you.
BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS
The BFA degree in Fine Art is a full-time program requiring 120 credits. The program begins with four foundations courses. Focusing on key aspects of art and design, these courses are required for all Corcoran BFA programs:
- Drawing and Surface,
- Form and Materials,
- Time and Light, and Interaction.
In subsequent semesters students in Fine Art Studio and Thesis courses are presented with content-driven assignments geared to guide you towards an increased understanding of your own artistic practices in relation to the contemporary art world, meaning students can choose work in any medium. Courses of focused study include ceramics, painting and drawing, printmaking, sculpture and performance and time-based media.
BACHELOR OF ARTS
The BA degree in Fine Art is a full-time program where students balance studio-based work with other academic programs of study. Fine Arts students are encouraged to cross boundaries of conventional visual, technical and conceptual boundaries as well as to engage with the history and traditions of art. Working at a research university prepares students to respond to the complexity of possibilities facing the contemporary artist. The program emphasizes a critical and creative relationship between content and form, an awareness of art historical connections, and engagement with the contexts of creative production.
DUAL BACHELOR OF ARTS IN FINE ARTS & ART HISTORY
If you are interested in art making, as well as the history and development of art practices over time, this dual degree program may be the one for you. Studying at a research university prepares students to respond to the complexity of possibilities facing the contemporary artist with expanded avenues for artistic research. If your artwork considers conceptions of the body and gender or comments on politics, for example, you can take courses from experts here at GW. In today’s world, artists must take an interdisciplinary approach to create innovative and interesting art, and at GW you have the opportunity to put this skill into practice. With a more diverse background, our students are prepared to ideate richer subject-matter, processes and outcomes.
Our program emphasizes a critical and creative relationship between content and form, an awareness of art historical connections and engagement with diverse contexts of creative production.
WHAT WE CREATE
Layla Saad, Fine Arts
Layla Saad is a Fine Arts major who stands out with her own unique perspective as a Muslim student. She is grateful for the freedom of expression she has found at the Corcoran, and enjoys the creativity and problem solving it takes “to express [her] art on [her] own terms.” The videographer, Adil Siddiqui, is an international student from Pakistan, who just graduated from the MA New Media Photojournalism program in 2018.
500 17th Street, NW
Undergraduate Advisor for students pursuing a BA/BFA in Fine Arts or a Dual BA in Art History and Fine Arts