BSFA Requirements

A Guidefor Students in the Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts Program at Valparaiso University

The Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts, or BSFA, degree requires a portfolio presentation before the art faculty no later than the beginning of the applicant's junior year.The applicant is encouraged to give serious thought concerning his or her motivation for obtaining this degree.The BSFA requires a total of 54 credits of art and is a serious commitment of time and energy. The BSFA is considered a wise decision for those seeking graduate school application or for those who are looking for additional developmental time within a specific field of art.Simply having this degree will not necessarily make you a more attractive job or graduate school candidate. It will, however, afford you additional time to pursue advanced level, individually motivated creative work.

The Senior Seminar

The Senior Seminar, or Art 493, happens only in the final semester of your senior year, in other words, your terminal semester. The semester-long study concludes witha public showing centered around work created during the senior seminar. The senior show is not intended to be a“retrospective” of your work created at Valparaiso University, but rather the content is the result of a specific focus that occurs within the senior seminar. Your work may be augmented by previously done pieces that offer some relevancy to the main body of work created during the Art 493 course, but earlier work IS NOT and will not be accepted as a substitution for new work.

BSFA students may have the opportunity to display work in Gallery 1215 of the Brauer Museum.If a student is presented with that opportunity, the show usually takes place at the end of April or early May.Arrangements must be made by the student with the Brauer Museum director by no later than October 30 of the fall semester preceding the springshow. Publicity for your show is your own obligation. Notification of the event will occur in campus calendars and newsletters; however, any special publications such as brochures or postcards are strictly a matter of self-promotion. Students who are simultaneously involved in the BSFA are encouraged to collaborate on their publicity as well as to consider group shows.

The BSFA Colloquium

During the Art 493 semester, students are required to attend biweekly (every other week) colloquia.These are held at a time to be determined. Full-time faculty members host the meetings. However, other faculty members are invited to attend. During thistime students are required to submit work that demonstrates their progress towards their “project.” All participating members of the current Art 493 class are required to attendthe meetings and submit work. Work is to be ready for presentation at the beginning of each session at a site to be determined. The meetings will be conducted in a critique style forum.

The Project

Prior to the final exams of the preceding fall semester, BSFA applicants must submit a proposal which outlines the nature of the project they plan to be working on during the Art 493 semester. Copies are made for the entire full-time studio faculty and the Brauer Museum director. Think of this proposal as an artist’sstatement. The vision of your project should be evident in this document and it should stress the general rather than the specific. The art faculty is more interested in the idea than in the details. The outlines should consider matters of quantity as well as methods of execution.An example of a proposal statement which covers this information might be, “I plan to create 20 new photo works that convey a sense of hope and despair amongst the working class.”Works in any medium are acceptable and, although you are not limited to just one, we strongly urge you to confine your project to a manageable format.

Planning for the show event occurs earlier rather than later. As part of the senior seminar you will be asked to consider matters of overall presentation that will include framing and preparation.All work must be prepared in a suitable fashion for museum display, i.e., frames with wires for hanging, photos matted, etc.


If you have any questions regarding your BSFA candidacy, you should see either your advisor or the department chair as soon as possible.