Degrees & Programs Offered

Undergraduate Degree Programs


Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The BA degree emphasizes written and oral communication skills, creative thinking, critical analyses of texts, understanding cultures, and a working knowledge of social, political and historical contexts. The degree is typically pursued by students whose major areas of study are directed toward humanities, arts and social science disciplines.


Students in Associate Professor Jaunelle Celaire's Aesthetic Appreciation: Interrelation of Art, Drama and Music Wintermester course make presentations in a Gruening Building classroom. | UAF Photo by Todd Paris


A close up shot of tattooed hands using a fur knife |UAF Photo by JR Ancheta
Featured Course

ART F360      Indigenous Art and Culture      (h)
3 Credits

Offered As Demand Warrants

Examination of art as a medium of cultural criticism, knowledge, wisdom, learning, and expression of social, spiritual, ecological, and aesthetic relationships in Indigenous societies of North, Central and South America, Africa, Eurasia, Australia and Oceania, and the Arctic.



Have you chosen your minor? The very interdisciplinary nature of the College of Liberal Arts means that you have so many options when it comes to tailoring your degree program so that it is just right for you. Here are some minors that students have paired with a B.A. in Art:


Devante Owens makes a print at the printmaking studio at the Fairbanks campus. Owens is a bachelor of fine arts student at the College of Liberal Arts. | UAF Photo by JR Ancheta

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

The Bachelor of Fine Arts is an undergraduate studio art degree. The BFA degree is professionally oriented and designed to prepare students for careers in art. This degree is also the usual prerequisite for graduate studies in art.



We recommend that prospective applicants review the student handbook to understand the structure and degree requirements of our BFA program. 





B.F.A. Degree Map


Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the University of Alaska Fairbanks as well as the following department-specific criteria.

Students may apply to the B.F.A. program during the last semester of their sophomore year. Students should not apply earlier than the semester in which they complete the 200 level Art Department requirements.

Students must be accepted into the B.F.A. program a minimum of one semester prior to the “Thesis Proposal,” or two semesters prior to the thesis exhibition.

Admission to the program requires that students successfully complete 60 credits, all lower division art core courses plus general university credit requirements.
Students must have a 3.00 GPA in general art credits. Undergraduates must maintain an overall and most recent semester GPA of 2.50 or better.
Students must be “In Good Standing” with the University.
Art major Klara Maisch poses in front of one of her paintings in the Fine Arts studio. | UAF Photo by Todd Paris

Applying to the BFA Program

Admission to the BFA program requires a portfolio review by the art faculty. This review is generally done in the junior year. Enrollment in the BFA program is recommended only for those students willing to make the considerable commitment of time and energy necessary to strive for professional competence in their major areas. 

Applicants must submit the following materials to the Art Department for review:
Senior art major Joel Isaak stands next to life-sized bronze sculpture he made as part of his senior thesis project during its display in the Great Hall. | UAF Photo by Todd Paris
The application for admission to the B.F.A. degree program should be submitted during the student's sophomore year, after all 200-level courses have been completed.
A typed letter of intent stating your objectives and qualifications should show your awareness of the difference between the B.A. degree and the B.F.A. degree programs in Art.
 Unofficial transcripts are fine.
The portfolio must contain of a minimum of 10 slides of 10 pieces of artwork. The submission can be in any medium, but it must include pieces in your area of interest and or study.
This list of art classes taken and grades received assist in our calculation of general art credit GPA.
3 letters of recommendation or names of UAF Art Department faculty who will give a verbal recommendation.


Please Note: Students are responsible for picking up BFA application support materials within one week of notification.


All full‐time Art Department faculty will review applications to determine whether the candidate shall be admitted to the program. Candidates will be notified promptly of the faculty’s decision.


Upon acceptance, the student will file a Change of Major form. In order to facilitate program planning, the successful candidate will meet with the academic advisor from the chosen primary area of concentration.  If the student’s primary area of concentration does not have a full‐time faculty, the student will select a full‐time faculty member they have studied with.




Applicants must submit ALL required application materials by 5:00 p.m. on April 15th for Fall semester admission, or 5:00 p.m. on November 15th for Spring semester admission to the Art Department Office (310 Fine Arts Complex).

B.F.A. Committee


Within one month of acceptance into the BFA program, students will form their committee and begin to discusses thesis ideas/themes. A Thesis Proposal will be submitted for review to be signed off on by their committee.  


The student will form a committee of at least three full‐time faculty members:  

  1. Thesis committee chair (lead faculty of student’s primary area of concentration)
  2. Student selects one other faculty member
  3. Thesis committee chair selects remaining faculty member(s)


  Committee Meetings
Student meets with the individual committee members monthly. Students must meet at least once a semester with the full committee.  It is the student’s responsibility to schedule these meetings.


Please Note: Approval by the full BFA committee is required to change the major area of concentration. The applicant
must reapply to the BFA program if full BFA committee does not approve change.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 120 credits must be earned, including those accepted by transfer, for a BFA degree in art.


  • At least 30 of the last 36 university credits must be in residence at UAF.


  • A transfer student with a BA degree from another institution must complete all general university requirements including residency, BFA degree, and major and minor art requirements.


  • A UAF graduate wishing to obtain a BFA degree must complete a minimum of 24 hours of credit beyond the first BA degree.  All general university requirements, BFA degree requirements, and requirements for major and minor concentrations in art must be fulfilled.



30 credits in upper division art courses are required, with 15 credits in the student’s primary area, 9 credits in the secondary area, and 6 credits of upper‐division electives.

A transfer student must earn at least18 art credits in residence. These must include a minimum of 12 credits in a major concentration and a minimum of 3 credits in a minor concentration in art.

Credits by examination do not qualify as in residence credits.


Concentrations Offered


Tera Jaeger poses for a photograph next to her favorite piece in “Insect N Side,” her Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition on Friday, October 5, 2012 at the Student Art Gallery. | UAF Photo by JR Ancheta
Featured Course

ART F488      Professional Practices for Visual Artists
3 Credits

Offered Spring Odd-numbered Years

This class provides a foundation of practical information for students as they begin to consider various career options in the visual arts. Topics include documentation, websites, promotion and description, exhibit installation methods, marketing, developing application materials for residencies and grants, as well as issues of health and safety.

B.F.A. Thesis

The BFA thesis is comprised of a thesis report, an exhibition and a public presentation. Students must submit a completed BFA Report packet to the Committee Chair for verification of all requirements no later than during the day of the BFA public presentations at the end of the semester. The grade is based on the BFA thesis exhibition, input from the student’s BFA committee, and the BFA thesis report.  The thesis report and its contents will become the property of the Art Department.

More information about the thesis packet can be found in the BFA Student Handbook.

The student should work with the Gallery Director to schedule their show in the University Art Gallery. Space is assigned on a first-come first-serve basis. It is recommended that students try to reserve their space in the gallery about a year in advance.

Tera Jaeger showcases her Bachelor of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition,“Insect ‘N’ Side,” at the Student Art Gallery in Oct. 2012. | UAF Photo by JR Ancheta

Art major Ian Wilkinson poses by one of his ceramic pieces in the UAF Fine Arts gallery. His BFA thesis project, Spheres of Influence, raised more than $18,000 for the Fairbanks Food Bank through the sale of his 1,200 bowls. | UAF Photo by Todd Paris

Funding Opportunities for Undergraduate Students

There are many opportunities for students to find funding, from tuition help to special projects.


Ethan Lauesen, left, and Naomi Hutchens, who both earned bachelor's degrees in art, hug before the University of Alaska Fairbanks' 97th commencement ceremony at the Carlson Center on Saturday, May 4, 2019. | UAF Photo by Sarah Manriquez
Department Chair

Da-ka-xeen Mehner

Fine Arts Complex, Room 308
(907) 474-6972

Department Administrator

Abigail Druckenmiller

Fine Arts Complex, Room 310
(907) 474-7530



colorful ceramic bowls





Minor in Art & Art History

Joaquin Cruz sits outside of the fine arts complex working on an art project for class on Monday, September 10th 2018. | UAF Photo by Sarah Manriquez
Minor in Art

The art minor requires 18 credits and is open to non-art majors.

Athabascan willow baskets carefully stored in the basement of the Alaska Museum of the North | UAF Photo by JR Ancheta
Minor in Art History

The art history minor requires 15 credits.



Graduate Degree Programs




Two students work in the Native Arts Studio | UAF Photo by JR Ancheta

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The Master of Fine Arts is the terminal degree in studio art. Our MFA program is a three-year, 60 credit studio art program. The MFA degree provides artists with the necessary background to compete in state, national and international vacancies. Career opportunities include placement in state and federal arts organizations, galleries, museums, colleges and universities. This degree includes courses in contemporary art world issues, the historic role of the artist and art of the circumpolar north. Study is two-thirds in studio art. The degree culminates in a solo gallery exhibition.



We recommend that prospective applicants review the student handbook to understand the structure and degree requirements of our MFA program. 




M.F.A. Degree Map


Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the UAF Graduate School admission requirements as well as the following department-specific criteria.

The prerequisite for our M.F.A. program is a B.F.A. or B.A. degree in Art.

A student who submits an exceptional portfolio with an undergraduate degree in another field, will be accepted only if they make up any deficiencies as determined by their graduate committee. The same requirements are observed when considering credit for previous schooling from a University other than UAF. Students with a degree from UAF will be considered if they have attended full time a MFA program at another institution for one year.

Master of Fine Arts graduate student Perrin Teal Sullivan stands in the Fine Arts gallery with pieces from her thesis project. | UAF Photo by Todd Paris

Applying to the MFA Program

Applicants should apply to a graduate degree program at least six to nine months before the beginning of the semester in which they plan to enroll. Most departments require earlier submission of credentials for acceptance to their program. Contact the department for specific deadlines. The number of students accepted for graduate study is limited.

Graduate students are strongly encouraged to apply early. Applications received near the deadline will be processed as time permits or may be considered for the following semester.

Photography MFA student Alyssa Enriquez stands next to her thesis show: Nome as Place at Well Street Art Gallery | UAF Photo by JR Ancheta
Applications must include the following:


Apply online. Applications must be received before the published deadlines, along with a $75 nonrefundable application fee. Applications submitted after the published deadlines have a $100 nonrefundable application fee. 
The Office of Admissions requires official transcripts of all college-level course work. To be considered official, transcripts must arrive in sealed envelopes from each institution attended. You may also submit your transcripts electronically through a secure transcript service. Emailed/faxed transcripts will not be considered official.
Include work and research experience, publications, patents, honors, professional and civic memberships, and foreign travel.
Write a statement indicating why study is desired in a particular studio program. Include qualifications and educational experience.
Send at least three letters of recommendation from people able to vouch for the applicant’s academic work, character and ability to undertake graduate study and research.
MFA applicants are not required to submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) results, unless the applicant’s undergraduate GPA is below a B (3.0) average.

A separate portfolio of work; including 20 slides of work or the appropriate digital equivalent (jpegs or Quicktime movie files) must be sent to the Art Department Office.

An information sheet (may be digital) must be included with the digital portfolio. For CDs and DVDs, this should be a color contact sheet of thumbnails of the images with no more than 20 images per sheet. Include the following information on the contact sheet: name, title of piece, size (height X width X depth), medium and date created. If work is collaborative, detail your contribution.


Special Instructions for International Students



The following are deadlines to submit the complete application and all support materials to the Admissions office.
  • May 1: Summer admission
  • June 1: Fall admission
  • October 15: Spring admission

Course Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 60 credits of coursework.


Alongside of the graduate general university requirements and the master's degree requirements,  MFA students fulfill the art requirement which include the MFA Thesis Project or the Non-thesis research/project. Students opting for the later complete a studio course with a two hour oral exam.

A comprehensive exam must be passed before the end of the second semester and a Report on Comprehensive Exam submitted. This includes a demonstration of the ability to synthesize information in the field at a level appropriate for a master’s degree.


Graduate Study Plan

The core of any student’s program is his/her advising committee and the Graduate Study Plan s/he develops with them. This plan outlines subject areas on which the student needs to concentrate, language(s) and research tools and a timeline for completion. The Graduate Study Plan is filed with Graduate School and in Department files.


Students should take 20 credits from their primary studio area, and 9 credits from their secondary studio area. 


Lacie Stiewing poses with a few of her creations during her master of fine arts exhibition, "Fabulaskana," in the UAF art gallery. | UAF Photo by Todd Paris
Featured Course

ART F602      Anthropology of Art
3 Credits

Offered As Demand Warrants

Anthropological study of art in cross-cultural perspective. Social context of art production and use and cross-cultural variations in definition of an artist's role.

M.F.A. Thesis

The MFA thesis contains the thesis exhibition, project report, public presentation and oral defense of the thesis. An MFA project binder must also be turned into the advisory committee by the last day of instruction of the ART F98 Project class. The contents of the project binder can be found in the MFA Handbook.


All project reports must be submitted online through PROQUEST. For instructions visit the Graduate school's Ready to Graduate page and choose the "I am a Master's student who is completing a Project" option.


Advisory Committee

A master’s student must submit an Appointment of Committee form by the end of the first semester of study. An Annual Report of Graduate Advisory Committee form must be submitted by May 15 of every year.

"52 Chainsaw Pickup" cold wax and oil on canvas by Allison Juneau, from Legacy Junk

Browse previous art graduate thesis work through ScholarWorks.


Opportunities for Funding

There are many opportunities for students to find funding, from tuition help to special projects.


Dr. Zoe Jones with MFA student Max Bartsch walk across a snowy UAF campus
Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships (frequently referred to as a TA) vary widely across institutions and disciplines but essentially they are an investment on behalf of the university in graduate student who shows promise in teaching and in working professionally in their discipline. In exchange for teaching and assisting the department the graduate student is given a tuition waiver and stipend.


For more information on TAships, please contact the Art Department Office.

Benefits of TAship

  • Experience teaching as the instructor of record
  • Professional development, training and support
  • Experience working in other studio areas
  • Experience helping with the UAF gallery and possibly the UA Museum
  • Health insurance
  • Tuition Waiver
  • Stipend

Department Chair

Da-ka-xeen Mehner

Fine Arts Complex, Room 308
(907) 474-6972

Department Administrator

Abigail Druckenmiller

Fine Arts Complex, Room 310
(907) 474-7530



Rows of red ceramic bowls