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Established in 1954 to combine the intensive studio education of an art school with the opportunities of a large urban university, Boston University School of Visual Arts is committed to educating the eye, hand, and mind of the artist.

We believe that students become visual artists when education, practice, and awareness of historical and contemporary context enable them to think critically and imaginatively, and to express those ideas with skill and conviction. The professional artists and educators that make up our faculty lead small classes of highly motivated students.

The Foundation program is the bedrock of our undergraduate program, and emphasizes a mastery of traditional skills and visual problem-solving. All BFA freshmen begin with drawing courses and continue foundation studies in painting and sculpture before they choose a studio major. MFA programs in Art Education, Graphic Design, Painting, and Sculpture focus and elaborate professional studies. Studio electives expand and enrich all graduate and undergraduate Visual Arts major programs.

Courses in studio art, art history, and the liberal arts and sciences taught by the nationally and internationally recognized faculties of the University’s 17 schools and colleges provide the intellectual framework for our curriculum. University-sponsored international study programs broaden the Boston campus experience and encourage global awareness.

Boston provides a rich cultural resource for our School. The city’s renowned museums and musical organizations, art galleries, theaters, libraries, and other universities, colleges, and schools offer exhibitions, concerts, theatrical performances, and lectures of the highest quality.


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  • Across the Bridge: A story of community, sociality, and art education 

    Bourgault, Rebecca (Penn State Libraries, 2018-09-25)
    The article examines the planning, development, and outcome of an experiential learning project that brought together undergraduate studio art students and the workers of a power plant about to shut down. As one of the ...
  • 21st century skills in the art room: developing a curriculum for high school students’ career success 

    Negron, Liz Emille (Boston University, 2015)
    Learning does not stop at the schools; the rapidity of change and the advancement of technology place an emphasis on multimedia as a learning tool. The directive of the study was to provide information on how multimedia ...
  • Beginning the end 

    Rubin, Jami; West, Samantha (Beginning The End, 2018-03-24)
  • A Historical Study of Drawing Instruction 

    Salomon, Patricia (2015-05)
    Abstract Emerging from my interest in past methods of drawing instruction, and personal experiences of being taught drawing in the 1960’s by an industrial arts teacher, led me to the study of teaching methods of Walter ...
  • Blue vs. Pink: Promoting Gender Equality through Contemporary Works for Elementary Students 

    Brazeau, Melissa C.
    The following qualitative research study examines how an art educator engages students in elementary school with contemporary art, related to gender, in order to foster understandings of gender and social justice. The ...
  • A Study of Self-Image Through Portraiture 

    Szabo, Benjamin (Boston University, 2014-12-01)
    This active research study reviewed the relationship between portraiture and self-image in eighth grade students. The question that guided the research asked: How might student self-image of eighth graders at American ...
  • Artsonia: A Digital Tool for Enhancing Family Engagement in Perceiving and Responding to Student Artwork 

    Bryce, Kristen
    This study focuses on how introducing Artsonia, an online student art gallery, to Narragansett Elementary School families might enhance their response and perception to student artwork. Triangulation was used to collect ...
  • Local Street Art and Graffiti 

    Manrique, Danielle F. (Danielle F. Manrique, 2015-01-13)
    The Masters Research Project examines how local street art and graffiti might be integrated in a curricular design. The research takes place in Bogota, Colombia. This city has become renowned for its street art and graffiti ...
  • Impact of Art on At-Risk Students 

    Vineyard, Christine
    The research study focused on the influence and impact of art education on at-risk students who have experienced or are experiencing trauma. Through support of literature, including scholarly journals and case studies, and ...
  • The Role of Music in Art Education 

    Aissis, Arlene (2014-05-19)
    This is a report of an action study involving the role of music in elementary art education.

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