» Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art

Students declared in the BFA in Art program, partake in many shared learning experiences throughout the comprehensive studio art curriculum. Freshman and Sophomores explore a broad range of media in foundational studio courses designed to develop technical proficiencies. Sophomores and Juniors explore a range of contemporary artistic practices through required courses in Contemporary Gallery Practice, Modernism and Contemporary Art History. Juniors and seniors take four intermedia interdisciplinary studio art courses that promote critical and conceptual thinking as they develop individual artistic voices. The senior seminar course is the capstone experience in the program requiring students to write a thesis statement and install an exhibition of their artwork in Chapman’s Guggenheim Gallery. Every semester, students work together to install shows which are judged by visiting professional artists and gallerists.

Program Learning Outcomes
Students are expected to use identifying and comparative language to explain how their own artwork is positioned within the general context of contemporary artistic practice both orally and in writing. They will also produce/create artwork that evidences a mutually reinforcing integration of form and content. We require students to participate in personalized education that helps them develop an independent, informed and articulate voice as an artist, which they will demonstrate through their studio work, artist statement and exhibition.

We help students develop writing competencies commonly used in the discipline of contemporary art, the ability to write both descriptively and analytically about works of visual art both their own art and that of others in a variety of media.

AP Art scores can be counted towards GE credit but will not be considered to count towards the major in art.


Student art in the campus gallery

Visual Thinker Lecture Series
The Department of Art presents lectures each semester designed to explore visual culture from a wide range of art professionals across disciplines offering opportunities to learn, be inspired, and network.

Student Art Club
This is a student led organization providing a platform for community and social activities related to artistic practice outside of usual course curriculum. Students visit contemporary galleries, museums, artists’ studios, attend lectures and art openings, immersing themselves in the dynamic Los Angeles and Orange Counties based art communities. Please join our social media platforms, Art Club Facebook and our Instagram account, @ciacart.


Student ceramics pieces

The intermedia and interdisciplinary coursework educates students in the expanded field of contemporary visual art, exposing them to the ways in which artists today challenge traditional categories of art-making through a wide range of strategies, from collaborative pStudents at Jet Propulsion Labublic interventions to curatorial projects.

Students will be exposed to the cutting edge of artistic discourse, addressing issues that are relevant to the culture at large, from sustainability to popular media, from the critical and informed points of view, while being encouraged to take part in projects that empower students and help them develop their voices.

The wide-range of material covered in the Art 384 series coursework prepares students for a career in the arts as coordinators, curators, fund-raisers and organizers, artists, teachers and or, critics. In many cases, an art career in the 21st century asks that artists be all of these things and more.

Students will take the Art 384 series courses each semester in their Junior and Senior years. Some examples explored in conceptual art courses include Intersection of Art & Science (collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Curatorial Practice, Collaborative Practice, Installation Art, and Spirituality in Art.

Personalized Education

Student art exhibit

Students independently organize and produce work and participate in a group exhStudents preparing for exhibitionibition in Spring of their Junior year. In the Fall of their Senior year, students prepare for a Senior Exhibition with a committee preparing them to produce and exhibit their capstone work in Spring. This path gives students an opportunity to develop an independent voice while having creative and academic guidance from faculty who are professional, practicing artists.

The Department of Art has established relationships with several top tier galleries in Los Angeles, and offer students competitive internships providing professional experience and an insider’s look at the contemporary art world. Internship opportunities have been secured at Cherry and Martin, Regen Projects, Ghebaly Gallery, LAXART, Angles, Jancar Gallery, Kopeikin Gallery and Cottage Home.

While most studio classes include sections on the presentation of art, our students study the history, theory and day to day business of running a gallery and curation through courses such as Art 296 Contemporary Gallery Practice and Art 384 E Curatorial Practice. Students will interact directly with Museum Curators, Gallerists, Gallery Directors and Artists, learning first-hand about the presentation of art work in professional settings, such as museums, commercial galleries, non-profit art spaces and artist run galleries.

In our campus gallery and project spaces, students have the opportunity to experiment with the learned concepts and their individual ideas curating their own exhibitions and producing accompanying material, such as press releases, exhibition essays and exhibition documentation. Students have the opportunity to exhibit work each semester in the “Departmental”, a juried exhibition, Juniors organize and curate a week long junior exhibition and Seniors participate in committee work with faculty to prepare and execute their capstone exhibitions. Addition opportunities for exhibition include the Flaboheim on the second floor of our Guggenheim Gallery, and the Cubenheim, an architectural sculpture which was created in Advanced Sculpture, and turned into a temporary exhibition space.

International Opportunities

Student at the canvas

We encourage students to participate in study abroad programs. Studying overseas provides a unique opportunity, which can open up fresh perspectives on international political, economic and social issues, interpersonal relationships and ultimate career choices. Read more about Global Education! »


Recently, students have studied in countries such as Prague, Italy, Costa Rica, England, France, Argentina, Germany and Spain. The studio department offers two studio courses;  ‘The Origins of Art and Science: the Rise and Influence of Alchemy, Anatomy, Machines, and Astronomical Discoveries in Art of the Italian Renaissance” is a three week studio course offered every other Interterm, and  “Contemporary Art in Berlin and Venice” is a two week course offered every other summer where students visit galleries, artist studios and underground spaces in Berlin, Germany, and see the Venice Biennale in Italy.