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Studio Art, BFA - Area 2: Painting

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting

Clarify your artistic vision, grow your skills in your craft and gain professional experience and exposure with a BFA in Painting from the University of Central Missouri. UCM’s Painting degree program provides a comprehensive studio experience. Learn from practicing, recognized artists in small classes, supported by a close-knit student community and around-the-clock access to private studio space. You’ll have the opportunity to meet visiting artists and critics, visit museums and galleries and receive individualized mentorship.

Education in the arts has been a pillar of UCM since our founding in 1871. We’ve refined our student-centered approach to learning over more than 150 years, and we’re committed to helping you reach your fullest potential as an aspiring artist.

A Painting degree with practical applications

Earn your bachelor’s degree in Painting from UCM’s standards-led program, fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), to maximize your career potential. Our students graduate well-prepared to tackle the complex responsibilities of life as a professional artist, with transferable communication, critical thinking and self-management skills.

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Accredited program, affordable tuition

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24/7 access to private studio space

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150+ years of art education

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Student-centered learning

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Work 1-on-1 with professional artists

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Benefit from KC’s thriving art community

What you will study

The University of Central Missouri’s BFA in Painting program coursework covers foundational art theory, history and techniques. You’ll receive a solid liberal arts education alongside training in your craft and art form. Some of the core classes of the bachelor’s degree in Painting program include:

  • Observational Painting: Strengthen your ability to transform what you directly observe into art. Work toward your Painting degree, practicing core techniques and learning to see what’s around you with an artist’s eye.
  • Figure Construction: Understanding how the human body is structured is critical to realistic figure portrayal. You’ll study skeletomuscular systems, use academic research and draw from life to explore proportionality and movement.
  • Art in Theory: Explore the relevance of art theory and criticism to practicing artists, educators and designers by creating specific art pieces, engaging in class discussion and reading the works of contemporary and historical thinkers.


Studio Art Laptop Requirement


Excellence in Painting

  • A Best Value College for Fine Arts (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Best Value Bachelor’s Degree for Fine Arts (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Best Value Bachelor’s Degree for Fine & Studio Arts (College Factual, 2022)
  • UCM’s Art and Design program is fully accredited by NASAD


Unique learning opportunities in painting

Art does not exist in a vacuum. Classes for the BFA in Painting frequently use peer and faculty critique as a learning framework, and each semester you’ll engage with other Studio Art majors and faculty in all-area studio critiques. 

Studio Art majors are encouraged to expand their network, professional experience and horizons with a number of experiential learning opportunities:

  • Engage with experts: In addition to benefiting from close working relationships with your Painting degree program faculty, who are all recognized professional artists, you’ll frequently be invited to interact with visiting artists and critics.
  • Explore art in the world: Enjoy regular visits to off-campus museums, galleries and lectures in vibrant Kansas City. You may choose to go further by taking advantage of UCM’s faculty-led study tours to major U.S. cities and abroad.
  • Exhibit your work: Each spring, participate in our professionally juried student show. Coursework for your bachelor’s degree in Painting at UCM will prepare you to begin showing your work externally, culminating in your senior year with an exhibition thesis.
  • Student groups and networking: Participate in Student Artist Coalition activities and travel opportunities, as well as the Division of Art and Design’s seven student organizations, to begin building a network of friends and colleagues that will last you a lifetime.


What can you do with a bachelor’s degree in Painting from UCM?

A University of Central Missouri bachelor’s degree in Painting prepares you to create and exhibit your own work as a professional artist, to apply your communication and design skills to jobs in art-related fields or to pursue higher education in Fine Arts. UCM Painting degree program graduates have gone on to receive advanced degrees from prestigious institutions such as the Slade School of Art in London and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.

Painting degree students with an interest in teaching can choose a double emphasis at UCM for an additional career track option. By adding a BSE in Art Education to your BFA in Painting, you can qualify to teach art in regional or national K–12 classrooms and still graduate in five years.

Learn more about careers with a Painting degree

Use our interactive tool below to explore what you can do with a bachelor’s degree in Painting after graduation. UCM prides itself on empowering students with the practical skills, knowledge and attitude essential to postgraduate success in any career path.




Financial assistance options for your Studio Art - Painting degree

For more than 150 years, the University of Central Missouri has been committed to making a high-quality education accessible to anyone. We have been recognized by LendEDU for the low amount of debt our students graduate with. Plus, 94% of our undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid, including grants, loans, work-study programs, scholarships and more.

A dedicated financial advisor will work with you to determine the best way for you to finance your bachelor’s degree in Painting, which may include funds reserved for Studio Art majors or students in the Painting degree program. To explore program-specific scholarships, please visit the UCM Scholarship Finder.



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Make yourself more marketable.


To expand your career opportunities, consider a double emphasis with another UCM degree program:

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Explore programs related to painting.

Grow as an artist or educator with these alternate degree programs at UCM:



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