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How can you find the inspiration to create art that is true to who you are?

In our unique BFA program, you will access this source of inspiration through the Transcendental Meditation® (TM®) technique and express your creativity in four months (or more) of full-time studio practice guided by prominent and caring artists.

Self-discovery through art

As a student at MIU you’ll get in touch with your deepest self, the source of all creative inspiration, through daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique.

This research-based technique lowers stress, heightens clear thinking, and enhances creativity, allowing you to learn and create in a way that is uniquely your own.

Dive deeply into your work

Our BFA program is perfect for students who want to go to graduate school in art or enter the art world.

The BFA schedule will allow you to dive deeply into your work, enriched by critiques, readings, and group discussions.

As a BFA student, in the Spring semester of the senior year, students have a spacious, semi-private studio for four consecutive months (or more) focused on developing their art practice while creating a body of work.

Learn from expert artists

Our low student-faculty ratio means you’ll get the individual attention you need to find your own voice. You will interact with expert faculty/artists, peers, and a diverse group of prominent guest artists.

Our faculty care about your well-being as an artist and as a person. They will help you create a sustainable studio practice that supports a healthy, happy life and maximizes your artistic output. This will give you the foundation you need for an MFA or a career in art.

Three possible tracks

Traditional Track

You’ll apply for the traditional BFA program during your junior or senior year after completing a Minor in Art.

BFA Upgrade Track

On the BFA Upgrade track, you’ll turn your BA into a BFA through as little as one year of MIU classes and dedicated studio time. Requirements differ depending on whether you earned your degree from MIU or another institution.

Graduate School Preparation Track

You’ll earn a BFA in Art plus pursue the additional studio time that you need to perfect your portfolio and apply to graduate school.

Featured courses


Artist as Philosopher: Critically Reading Visual Experience


In this course you’ll critically analyze, interpret, and contextualize art in terms of the history of art, art theory, and culture while studying some of the most significant writings by modern art critics, theorists, and artists.


Intermediate and Advanced Contemporary Studio


You’ll capitalize on your artistic strengths through studio time and work closely with our expert faculty, who will provide support you through presentation, installation, and documentation of your thesis work.


Modern to Contemporary Art, 1945-1989


Explore the artists, ideas, and styles that have most influenced contemporary art—including Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Pop Art, Conceptual Art, Earth Art, and Feminism—and learn about the unique qualities and perspectives that each expresses.

Courses may include:

This course provides the knowledge and practical experience of how visual elements are organized by principles universal to the fine and applied arts. Topics include: examining and applying design principles and vocabulary such as figure/ground, interdependence, symmetry, rhythm, shape, and texture; understanding how these principles and their components apply to the scope of the visual arts, including drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, graphic design, architecture, fabric design, and landscaping; and understanding and expressing how design principles can be correlated to the balance and order of nature, the universe, individual and societal life. Materials fee: $45 (4 credits)
In this course, students develop powers of observation and imagination, abilities that are vital for all the arts. Students focus on establishing the use of principles of drawing through observational methods. Topics include: still life, figure drawing, interior and landscape. Art majors take drawing courses as they advance through the curriculum. May be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor. Materials fee: $35. (1-4 credits)
Painting expresses the artist’s connection with the deep laws fundamental to seeing and creating visual images. Students are immersed in the fundamentals of drawing and painting from nature and a variety of other subject matter. The curriculum addresses the students’ development of formal and technical skills along with a conceptual and critical understanding of the language of painting as preparation for independent studio work. May be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: a previous art course and consent of the instructor. (1–4 credits)
Students explore the great achievements of art and architecture in prehistoric cultures and in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, and the European Middle Ages. In each of these cultures, the quest for the divine created art that continues to 2016/17 53 inspire human consciousness. Students explore how contemporary artists have been influenced by art from these periods. Topics include: sacred sites that connected humanity with the cosmos, images of the sacred feminine from Mother Goddesses to Mother Mary to a modern return to Goddess imagery, the development of styles in Greek art and how they mirror stages in the evolution of consciousness, and the creation of a heavenly kingdom on Earth in Christian art and architecture. A highlight of the course is a 4-5 day field trip to an art center such as New York, or St. Louis/Kansas City. Field trip fee: $200-250 (4 credits)
Delve into the most inspiring creations of Western art and architecture from the 1400s to the present. Discover how artists have expressed both sacred and secular values in their quest for perfection in art and fulfillment in life. We will look at this epoch’s art in terms of four cultural worldviews and visual paradigms: Idealism/Naturalism (as begun in the Renaissance), Modernism, Deconstructive Postmodernism, and Revisionary Postmodernism—an art of expanded awareness. We will explore these questions: How are art and consciousness transformed in each paradigm? What artists, styles, symbols, cultural values, and aspects of awareness typify these major paradigms? How has the art of the past influenced modern artists? A highlight of the course is a 4–5 day field trip to a major art center such as Chicago. Field trip fee: $200-250 (4 credits)
This course is a guided experience examining major artists, artworks, and movements in Western art after World War II. Students explore the emergence of the New York School and its links to a new global economy centered in New York, Dada’s revival, Pop art’s flowering in mass consumer society, and Minimalism’s formal refinement and emphasis on spatial context. The course then considers Conceptual art’s fundamental questioning of art, the development of multimedia artistic practices and performance art, and the influence of identity politics on art. Each phase of art is interpreted in terms of the consciousness of the artist and the audience, and the collective consciousness of the culture. Course fee: $125. Field trip fee: $25. (4 credits)
  • Topic 1: Hand-building in low-fire earthenware clay, drawing inspiration from ancient origins to contemporary masters
  • Topic 2: Exploring the relationship between surface and form in thrown and hand-built forms using high-fire stoneware clay
  • Topic 3: Addressing the image on hand-built, low-fire earthenware forms
  • Topic 4: Exploring the limits of function in hand-built and thrown high-fire stoneware forms

Students at all levels in ceramics will increase their studio skills related to forming, understanding glazes and other surface possibilities, plus various firing methods. Faculty and peer interaction is structured to support the integration of method, meaning, and function (depending on the individual student’s need) to express the inner value of consciousness in matter in this medium. In some studios, wheel-throwing opens a new dimension of experience for the student potter. The challenge to center and form a pot while the clay is spinning through the hands leads to synchronicity that powerfully connects potter and pot, awareness and matter, in the process of creation. Students are exposed to the traditions and history of ceramics that continue to emerge worldwide. Lab Fee $40 (4 credits) Prerequisite: Suggested one of these but not required: FA 301 or FA 311 or FA 353 (4 credits)

By exploring organic forms and creating designs from imagination, students make original sculptural surfaces that emerge from a two-dimensional plane. Exercises that expand the capacity to envision and create give students a deeper appreciation of the 2016/17 51 nature, creation, and function of sculpture, and thus the opportunity to express the fundamental laws that structure form in the natural world. Topics include: low, middle and high relief; organizing principles of two and three-dimensional design (balance, rhythm, economy, etc.); light and shadow; transforming clay reliefs into plaster reliefs; the history of relief sculpture. Materials: paper/cardboard, clay and plaster. Materials fee: $40. (4 credits)
Prerequisites: at least one of the following courses: FA 205, FA 301, FA 302, FA 311, FA 312, FA 353 and consent of instructor. (4 credits)
Painting expresses the artist’s connection with the deep laws fundamental to seeing and creating visual images. Students are immersed in the fundamentals of drawing and painting from observation, with a focus on moving fluidly between painting outdoors in the landscape, and then applying ideas and observations gathered outdoors to studio-based paintings (and vice versa). The curriculum addresses the students’ development of formal and technical skills along with a conceptual and critical understanding of the language of painting, as well as the particular issues, philosophies, and history associated with landscape painting. May be repeated for credit with permission of the instructor, subject to satisfactory progress in the previous course and a clear plan for the progression of learning in the subsequent course. Prerequisites: a previous art course and consent of the instructor (4 credits)
Students learn to critically analyze, interpret, and contextualize art in terms of the history of art, art theory, and culture while studying some of the most significant writings by modern critics, theorists, and artists—responding to them through writing exercises and classroom discussion. Students apply skills and knowledge gained by formulating, refining, and completing a research essay that involves a modern artist or contemporary issue, as related to the larger context of philosophical ideas and consciousness. Textbook fee: $25 Prerequisite: Senior BFA student, MA students who do not have a BFA from MIU, or consent of Instructor (4 credits)

To graduate, students must also satisfy the general requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

Cost & Aid, 2022-23

Annual Cost and Typical Financial Aid
Tuition and fees$16,530
Housing (single room) and meals$7,400
Health insurance (estimate)$3,506
Personal expenses, books, unexpected needs (estimate)$3,500
Cost Per Year$30,936

Full-time students may apply for up to $6,000 scholarship based on qualifying documented family income. Our undergraduate scholarship application form will be made available to you upon application to the university.

Tuition, other fees, scholarships, and financial policies are subject to change prior to the entry date.

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