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BFA in Art, Consciousness, & Creative Practiceon-campus

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.

Watch the webinar about the degree programs in art, 12 minutes

Get started by contacting Adriene

Adriene Crimson, admissions counselorAdriene Crimson is this program’s admissions counselor for US students. Adriene will provide you with all the details of becoming a student, including connecting you with program faculty when you have questions.

Contact Adriene >

Contact Adriene >

International applicants may connect with us through our international inquiry form.

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, Consciousness, & Creative Practice, plus pursue the additional studio time that you need to perfect your portfolio and apply to graduate school.

Featured courses


Illustration as Creative Process


This course focuses on taking a simple idea and evolving it through creative problem-solving approaches like storyboarding and freewriting. Using digital drawing and photoshop, as well as traditional materials like paint, markers, and fabric, you’ll learn to push the boundaries of illustration and visual narrative.


Ceramics Studio


You’ll learn not only the fundamentals of building and throwing forms in clay, but also become familiar with all of the infinite possibilities of glazes, surfaces, and firing techniques. Working with clay brings a unique awareness of the synchronicity between matter and creativity.


Drawing I – Drawing from Within


Through a variety of traditional and contemporary drawing techniques and approaches, you’ll develop your powers of observation and imagination – abilities that are a vital foundation for all of the arts.

    This course explores the theory and practical application of some of the deeper organizing principles that are foundational and universal to both 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.
    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, subject to satisfactory progress in the previous course and a clear plan for the progression of learning in the subsequent course.
    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, subject to satisfactory progress in the previous course and a clear plan for the progression of learning in the subsequent course.
    To many, the term ‘Ancient art’ might suggest that which is, first and foremost, old and far removed from the contemporary concerns of today’s artist or art student. Such a perception would be inaccurate, however, for the so-called Ancient Cultures comprise those stages of societal development when Western Civilization was in its infancy and its burgeoning youth. The artistic legacy of these early cultures speaks to us today, communicating across time, on the fine level of feeling, in images that are startling in their freshness and purity, and reminding us of the timeless continuity of collective consciousness.
    Beginning in the latter half of 15th Century Europe, a profound synthesis of art, philosophy and culture took place within collective consciousness, which greatly affected the evolution of society and the images it produced for centuries to come. We will explore how this synthesis differentiated itself, under such burgeoning influences as Secularism, Humanism, and the Objective World view, to unfold a rich progression of artistic styles and attitudes. Styles include: Pre-, Early, High, and Northern Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, French Naturalism, etc.
    Beginning in the late 19th Century, and especially into the 20th Century, the ‘look’ of art changed so rapidly and radically that for many it seemed to defy all sense of connectedness to the traditions of art that preceded it. Has such change been the result of capricious discontinuity, or an understandable expression of the dynamics of collective consciousness and ever-changing cultural contexts? This course will examine the How and Why of Modern Art up to the 21st Century. Although drawing appropriately on the fields of Philosophy, History, Art Theory, etc., and involving classroom discussions and critical writing assignments, this course, like other courses in this series, will be centered around extensive, purposeful visual focus. For those students already familiar with many of the forms of Modern Art, here is an opportunity to more deeply appreciate and understand those forms within the fuller context of their cultural and historical connectedness.
    As rich and compelling a narrative the Art History of Western Civilization may be, the visual vocabulary of today’s artist or art student would be incomplete without a basic familiarity with the forms and images produced by societies whose respective world views differ uniquely from that of Western Culture. Alternate ways of perceiving and visually representing values like nature, the flow of time, the cosmos, and mankind’s role in it, further substantiate the universality and diversity of the expressive nature of consciousness. Moreover, this course offers an opportunity to explore new vistas of aesthetic possibilities and formal expression to any aspiring artist or student looking to expand their sources of creative inspiration. This course will serve as a foundational, visually oriented survey of image-making traditions from such areas of the world as Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Asia, India, Mesoamerica, and Oceania. An additional feature of the course will be the consideration of the many instances over time in which non-Western art has significantly influenced the course of Western art.
    • 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 a 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.

    This course concerns itself with spatial and structural relationships in sculpture. Exploration in form, context and installation are addressed. Students learn to realize ideas in form with consideration of delivery through an understanding of the deeper organizing principles that underlie three-dimensional space. Methods include constructive, additive and subtractive processes involving various prescribed and found materials.
    This course addresses experimental approaches to drawing. Through a structure that approaches drawing as a tool to respond to our physical environment, we will explore, expand, and develop or ‘redraw’ our personal perception. Expanding the definition of drawing in the context of contemporary art encourages the development of a personal visual vocabulary while becoming a platform for the exploration of materials and content. Using unconventional and imaginative resources to construct both 2-Dimensional and 3- 2020/21 57 Dimensional drawings, students will have open assignments that introduce various ways and material to develop a visual story. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with installation, wearable drawings, performance, and the body.
    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.
    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.
    Advanced and intermediate level students work with a studio structure that allows them to go deeply into their work at the late middle and final stage of their degree requirements (generally senior year). This course is designed to forward studio work by capitalizing on students’ strengths through intensified pure studio time coupled with personal contact with faculty. During these months the student connects thinking with action in the artist’s statement and receives direct support for presentation, installation, and documentation of thesis work. The cost of materials will vary by student.

Degree requirements

A minimum of 128 credits (semester hours) is required for students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. This may include up to 90 transfer credits.

Undergraduate degree students can apply transfer credits to cover electives, some general education requirements, and up to half the course work in the major, for a maximum of 90 total credits. General transfer credits are accepted for courses completed with a grade of “C” or higher.

To graduate with a bachelor’s degree, students must satisfy the following general education requirements:

    This course introduces students to three fundamental sources of knowledge that can be used together to evaluate any idea: personal experience, scientific reasoning, and traditional wisdom. On the basis of evidence from all three sources, a new consciousness-based framework is introduced as a new way of viewing the world and addressing its challenges.
    The course will explore the new paradigm in science that the “Physiology is Consciousness.” Current concepts of mind and body will be understood in terms of this new paradigm. This course will present our facts of brain structure and function in light of Maharishi Vedic Science and the discovery of Veda and the Vedic Literature in human physiology done by Tony Nader, MD, PhD. We will examine how our brain constructs reality at every moment and how the experience of unboundedness – the Self of every individual – can transform our physiology and awaken the total creative potential of the brain in enlightenment, which is the birthright of every human being.
    This course gives a deep and non-mathematical understanding of the differences between classical and quantum physics. It explains the meaning and mechanics of unification and symmetry, and the main concepts of unified quantum field theories and superstring theory. It shows that at the basis of the universe lies a completely unified field, a self- interacting entity from which all particles and forces arise through the process of spontaneous symmetry breaking. The course gives students experience and understanding of the interconnectedness between the laws of physics, the universe, and themselves.
    You will learn how the mathematics requirements at MIU affect you and whether you need to take a math placement assessment at a Mathematics Placement Meeting.
    Composition 2 develops the student’s ability to use language for a variety of purposes, subjects, and audiences. It focuses on both exposition and persuasion to strengthen those skills that will assist the student in succeeding academically. In this course, we read and discuss a range of prose models that reflect the diversity of thinking and writing across the disciplines. This course may be waived through transfer credit.
    This course explores the unfoldment of higher states of human consciousness — the full realization of your own limitless potential — as described by Maharishi and as experienced naturally and spontaneously by Transcendental Meditation practitioners and by people throughout history. The course examines the experiences belonging to each state, the developmental processes that culture each state, pertinent research, and practical outcomes of these experiences in daily life, thereby providing an overview of the range of possible experiences on the way to full enlightenment. This course is question and discussion-driven, with an emphasis on connecting this understanding of higher states to your own experiences.
    This course presents the latest knowledge from Western science and the Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care program concerning the optimum daily routine for establishing the foundation for lifelong excellent health and growing enlightenment. The major focus is on the details of the ideal routine of sleep, diet, exercise, meaningful activity, recreation, and the importance of the regular experience of pure consciousness for optimum health and evolution.
    A Forest Academy studies interdisciplinary themes from the Exploring Consciousness course, together with deep rest and rejuvenation. Students can explore more deeply the principles associated with developing their own inner intelligence and understand how that intelligence can be practically applied to specific areas of life. The goal of these academies is to connect the knowledge of the rest of the curriculum with universal principles of natural law and transform it into a living and useful dimension of the students’ lives. Fit for Life and Higher States of Consciousness are examples of forest academies.

Cost & Aid, 2024-25

    US On-Campus Undergraduate

    This estimate is based on one year for a typical on-campus Federal Pell Grant recipient (represents 80% of our onsite undergraduates). File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and then contact our financial aid office for questions on variables.

    Annual Cost and Typical Financial Aid
    Tuition and fees$16,530
    Housing (single room) and meals*$7,400
    Grants and Scholarship (typical)-$14,400
    Net cost per year$9,530
    Federal student loans-$9,530
    Your payment$0

    *Applicable only to students living on campus

    Additional Financial Aid Information

    $2,400 Federal Work Study is available toward your estimated $4,800 out of pocket costs.
    Scholarship from MIU described above consists of the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Education Grant and is based on (1) full-time enrollment and (2) financial need based on expected FAFSA outcome.
    Repayment begins after your enrollment ends. Unique repayment plans are available such as income-based, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and deferments based on low income or unemployment.

    There are a variety of money-saving tax benefits to assist in reducing the cost of education expenses. More about education tax benefits.
    Veterans should contact the VA for information on Veterans Education Benefits. Veterans eligible for BAH monthly benefits: The VA utilizes a scale of credits per block of courses; therefore, the VA sometimes pays part-time benefits for an individual month while the university delivers full-time federal aid for an entire semester. Our Veterans Certifying Official is our Director of Financial Aid.

    Loan Repayment Options

    Payments are a fixed amount that ensures your loans are paid off within 10 years (within 10 to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).
    Payments may be fixed or graduated and will ensure that your loans are paid off within 25 years.
    Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years, and are for an amount that will ensure your loans are paid off within 10 years (within 10 to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).
    Your monthly payments will be either 10 or 15 percent of discretionary income (depending on when you received your first loans), but never more than you would have paid under the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan.
    Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income, family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Any outstanding balance will be forgiven if you haven’t repaid your loan in full after 25 years.
    Your monthly payment is based on annual income, but your loan will be paid in full within 15 years.

    Tuition, other fees, scholarships, and financial policies are subject to change prior to the entry date. For more information, contact us at finaid@miu.edu for a quick reply — normally one business day — or see more about financial aid.

    International On-Campus Undergraduate

    Annual Cost and Typical Financial Aid
    Tuition and fees$16,530
    Housing (single room) and meals$7,400
    Health insurance (estimate)$1,992
    Personal expenses, books, unexpected needs (estimate)$3,500
    Cost Per Year$29,422

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