B.A. or B.F.A. in Studio Art

The Studio Art major immerses you in the study of art through the development of craft and technique combined with concept and meaning.  Otterbein University’s art program is a nationally recognized fine arts program offering both B.A. and B.F.A. degrees in studio art.  Our art department is grounded in the tradition and holistic nature of the liberal arts, providing students with a solid foundation for the future.  The two degree tracks offered have benefits for all types of students of the arts.

B.A. in Studio Art

The B.A. in Studio Art prepares you for art and art-related careers while offering the flexibility of studying across a broad area of interests.  It offers the opportunity to pursue a second major or minor to compliment your artistic interests.  Studio Art majors often complete second majors in Art History; Psychology; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Business; Equine Science; Creative Writing; Race and Ethnic Studies, and many more.  The B.A. in Studio Art combines a thorough foundation in drawing, composition, and design with the opportunity to focus on at least one studio concentration area, including drawing, painting, photography, graphic design, ceramics, printmaking, and intermedia.

Total Credit Hours: 40

B.F.A. in Studio Art

Our B.F.A. is a professional degree that prepares you for graduate study and careers in art and design.  Students seeking a B.F.A. take seven additional courses in art than in the B.A., providing more extensive, in-depth studio experience and research.  Like the B.A., the B.F.A. provides a thorough foundation in drawing, composition, and design along with study in an area of concentration, including drawing, painting, photography, graphic design, ceramics, printmaking, and intermedia.  In addition, the B.F.A. builds on this program with additional requirements in color theory, art history, and studio courses. The B.F.A. also includes an independent study capstone course in your senior year, allowing you to pursue your own creative path and lay the groundwork for a professional portfolio.  Students may apply for the B.F.A. program in their sophomore year.

Total Credit Hours: 61

Studio Concentration Areas

In both the B.A. and the B.F.A., you have the opportunity to concentrate in one studio area. Each concentration requires three courses in that area for completion of B.A. requirements; the B.F.A. requires four courses in the concentration area.

Concentration areas include:


The ceramics program at Otterbein University offers you the opportunity to explore a variety of styles, themes and ideas in ceramics. You explore ceramic form in both a sculptural and vessel format, allowing you to discover your own interests and develop your own personal style. You also delve into material knowledge through hands-on experience such as glaze calculation and various types of kiln firing techniques. Students use an array of tools and techniques, including gas and electric kilns for low-fire and high-fire applications, raku kiln process, wheel throwing, hand building, and ceramic material calculation and formulation.


Drawing is visual thinking. The drawing concentration focus is to develop one’s visual ideas successfully using observation, research, material and technical experimentation and innovative problem-solving. The sequence of three drawing courses establishes strong observational skills in general, builds one’s figure drawing expertise, and culminates in an individualized examination of contemporary and traditional drawing concerns.

Graphic Design

Graphic Design is art in service to ideas and action. The promotion of nearly every consumer product, corporate service, electronic media and application is created through the work of a graphic designer. Our tools are typography, images, shapes, textures, color and words. Graphic Design courses at Otterbein focus on the foundations of typography, visual dynamics, history of graphic design, poster design, corporate branding, media applications such as advertising and web-site design, package design, publication design, portfolio development and self-promotion.


The conceptually driven Intermedia concentration is about experimentation and pushing boundaries, with an emphasis on video art, installation, performance, and digital imaging. We recognize the value of collaboration, the blending of disciplines, and diverse perspectives.  Our Apple computer labs are updated with the latest Adobe CC software, digital and analog recording equipment, large format printers, studio lights, and projectors. At The Point, students have access to a woodshop, metal shop, and a design studio with a large-scale vinyl printer, a laser engraver, 3D printers, and more.


Painting classes include abstract methods of painting and representational painting. Students refine their visual skills by working from observation, from memory, from imagination and with prompts. Explorations are geared towards form, organization of form, color and handling of the paint and how to use these to make successful paintings. Basic drawing problems are tackled simultaneously with painting problems to allow for ideas to be expressed convincingly.


To study photography at Otterbein is to learn not just how to make photographs, but why.  Our students understand the social and aesthetic importance of photographs and make connections between the real world and their art.  Our photography classes are small and our community tight knit—but our ambitions are large: faculty lead by example by exhibiting internationally and participating regularly in the Society for Photographic Education; we have state of the art digital and analog studios and equipment and students become masters their craft before their professional-level senior year exhibition.


Engrave, carve and etch are ancient terms with contemporary resonance. The Printmaking Concentration incorporates traditional and newly-developed, relief and intaglio printmaking processes as means to expand one’s visual vocabulary. Painters, designers, photographers, sculptors, potters, all studio artists can find value in printmaking as a means to make marks and images and to create unique or multiple impressions. The processes and materials of printmaking expand conceptual possibilities through innovative material exploration.

Student Learning Outcomes University Learning Goals (KMERI*)
#1 Students develop and demonstrate core knowledge pertinent to the practice and history of art through the articulation of the concept(s), content and compositional elements of artworks. Knowledgeable
#2 Students develop and demonstrate in-depth skills and knowledge in at least one studio discipline, as well as breadth through the production of work in a variety of media. Knowledgeable
#3 Students explore and engage in the creative process, evidenced through development and demonstration of visual awareness skills (observation, perception, analysis and practice), oral communication, and reading/writing/research skills. Multi-literate
#4 Students develop and demonstrate academic abilities in art history through study, research and writing Multi-literate
#5 Students synthesize an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving by exploring and interpreting relationships between the visual arts, art history, and other academic disciplines. Engaged
#6 Students examine and acknowledge the value of diverse points of view, as well as the uniqueness of their own perspectives, through evaluating and discussing their creative work and the creative work of others. Engaged
#7 Students examine and acknowledge the important social contributions of the visual arts Responsible
#8 Students examine their roles as arts practitioners in a global culture Responsible
#9 Students engage in experiential learning and their professional art practices Inquisitive

*NOTE: KMERI refers to Otterbein's learning goals. It stands for KnowledgeableMulti-literateEngagedResponsible, and Inquisitive. To learn more about KMERI, visit our University Learning Goals page.