Beginning in Fall 2021, Athens State University will offer students the opportunity to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art. The BFA degree is for students who are serious about pursuing careers as artists or art professionals. The BFA in Studio Art is a pre-professional degree leading to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) or directly to a career in the visual arts.
The BFA has been added as an additional offering to other art degree programs available at Athens State including BA in Art (Studio Arts or Computer Graphics options), Art with Minor in Education, and Drama & Theatre Arts.
A BFA degree is suitable for students who wish to attend graduate school in art (earn an MFA), work professionally as an artist, teach art at a college or university, or work in a variety of arts-related professional fields such as commercial arts, arts entrepreneurship, and community development, arts organizations, or non-profits.
Coursework for the new degree program will be housed at Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur, a state-of-the-art facility that is shared with Calhoun Community College. The top-quality technology, equipment, and space at the Alabama Center for the Arts provides an ideal environment for faculty to deliver instruction for this program in a traditional classroom studio setting with limited online courses.
There is a strong need for individuals with BFA degrees in the art industry. Almost 80% of job postings in the field require a BA/BFA in Art and job growth is predicted at 5.73% in Alabama over the next ten years. Athens State’s BFA program maps to ten different occupations with an average salary of $66,040 in the state, including Graphic Designer, which appears on Alabama’s “In-Demand Occupations” list for 2019-2020. The Wall Street Journal also reported that students who earn a BFA degree have ‘surprisingly high’ income levels, job prospects, and levels of job satisfaction.