Fine Arts - Art


Why study Fine Arts - Art?

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Program provides students with strong technical and critical thinking skills.

Studios are taught by artist-teachers who are active professionals in one or more visual arts disciplines. Faculty provide a dynamic mixture of media, craft, and aesthetic viewpoints that expose students to various ideas and attitudes about art. In this context, art students are encouraged to develop their own innovative philosophies and approaches to art and a unique visual language. The BFA program requires a broad exposure to many media and techniques through introductory and advanced studios. Fine Arts students will complete a three-course track in one of these 6 areas: Art & Technology, Ceramics, Drawing & Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture. Each track consists of 3 introductory-level classes taken prior to each student's first co-op in the spring of their third year. Transfer and transition students blend in as their transfer course histories are evaluated. In addition to the track courses, students will take ten studios in various disciplines. Studio practice is complemented by art historical and visual studies courses in survey and seminar formats and a series of theory-based courses covering avant-garde forms of expression from Modernism to the present. 

Admission Requirements

The College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati seeks to attract, enroll, and graduate academically talented students of varied and diverse backgrounds. Success in our programs is largely dependent upon sound academic preparation. In multidisciplinary programs like those in DAAP, students’ insight and perspective are greatly enhanced by exposure to students from different backgrounds, geographies, and co-curricular interests. DAAP has an admissions review process to support these goals. In addition to the required application materials, students who apply to Fine Arts may submit an optional portfolio. Please note that it’s impossible to predict – or guarantee – what credentials a student will need to gain admission into DAAP, because the size and quality of the applicant pool varies each year.

Applicants to Fine Arts who are not accepted will be considered for admission to Pre-Fine Arts.

Pre-Fine Arts: The Pre-Fine Arts program provides an alternative means for possible entry into the Fine Arts program. Students do not apply directly to Pre-Fine Arts; they are placed in the program based on the strength of their application and academic credentials. Pre-Fine Arts students take the same curriculum as students in the Fine Arts program. At the end of the first year, they must qualify for admission into the Fine Arts program on the basis of their academic performance and they must successfully pass a portfolio review. 

Optional Portfolio Review

Students who include Architecture, Communication Design, Fashion Design, Fine Arts, Industrial Design, or Interior Design among their program options on their admission application will be invited to submit a portfolio for admission consideration. This is an optional portfolio, but students are encouraged to submit one if they think it would strengthen their application. The portfolio is not part of The Common Application. After the application is received, an email containing a link and instructions for portfolio submission will be sent. Please note that required application materials will continue through the admissions review process, and it is possible that students will be admitted based on the strength of those materials.

DAAP Optional Portfolio Guidelines

  • Include 12-20 pieces of work from the last two years
  • Include examples of architectural work, design (e.g. clothing, interior spaces, logos, posters, websites), drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, 3-D renderings, work in other media, and/or things you have sewn, built, or invented
  • Include some samples of drawing from observation (instead of from imagination or reproduced from photographs)
  • Emphasize your artistic and design strengths
  • May also represent your extracurricular involvement and interests
  • Include the title, medium, date completed, and a brief description that addresses each work’s concept and/or inspiration

Please visit the Admissions Office's website for more information, including application materials, requirements, deadlines, and timelines.

People who are successful in the fine arts tend to have visual and kinesthetic/tactile learning styles. Fine artists are creative, imaginative and visionary, and possess good hand-motor skills. They learn by doing and relish integrating various elements into a cohesive whole. Fine artists are open-minded and interrogative — questioning everything. They have a passion for creating their art and a heightened intellectual and visual perception. Fine artists provide original views and interpretations of the world and its inhabitants, giving us a greater appreciation of the character and values of society and culture. A sense of humor often enhances their work.

Fine artists express themselves visually using one or several different art forms. For example, they may find employment as photographers, ceramists, model builders, or video animators. If students complete the teaching licensure option offered within the School of Art, they can teach elementary and/or secondary school art. With advanced study, they may become college teachers, art restorers, art administrators or curators for galleries, museums or exhibition centers.

The School of Art offers a 24-credit-hour fine art minor for students interested in studying fine arts and developing their artistic expression and abilities. The curriculum includes studio coursework in drawing, space, and time. Students must also choose introductory and advanced studio work in various fine arts disciplines including art & technology, ceramics, drawing & painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. 

Students must have a 2.5 GPA to pursue the minor. Admission to the minor is limited. Students can apply by filling out the application form and submitting it to the DAAP Student Affairs Office, 5470 Aronoff.

Prospective students are encouraged to explore the information on our website and contact DAAP Student Affairs at 513-556-1376 or with questions. The Transfer and Transition Advising Center is available to assist prospective transfer and transition students. Current DAAP students are assigned an academic advisor based on their major/program. For more information on DAAP advising, please visit the DAAP Undergraduate Advising webpage.

  • The city of Cincinnati, once called the "Queen City of the West" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, provides an excellent array of cultural resources for students who intend to pursue a degree in the visual arts. It offers the energy and assets of a larger city, along with quiet neighborhoods steeped in rich traditions. Cincinnati offers live music venues that range from top-notch symphony and opera companies to a growing pop and rock community. Home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center, the city also enjoys the presence of numerous art galleries and a strong support system among practicing artists.
  • UC's College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) is one of the most comprehensive colleges of its type in the country. A collection of nationally respected design and art programs is housed in a unique and educationally stimulating architectural setting. Students have opportunities to enroll in courses in a range of related disciplines and to participate in interdisciplinary studios or special projects.
  • Students learn creative and technical skills in the studio environment, taught by a passionate faculty who interact with their students on a daily basis. The goal is to guide students as they grow both intellectually and professionally.
  • Other educational opportunities include study abroad and minor and certificate programs within the college and the university. Students are encouraged to share their interests in these opportunities with their academic advisor.
  • The Robert A. Deshon and Karl J. Schlachter Library for Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning has an outstanding collection of books, periodicals and visual resources supporting architecture, planning, design, art history, and related subjects. Access to library holdings is provided by an automated online catalogue, UCLID, which provides access to the University of Cincinnati Library information database, and through OhioLINK, the holdings of other academic libraries throughout Ohio.
  • DAAP’s multiple labs, centers and initiatives support our programs and the creative work and research of our faculty, staff, and students.

Computer Requirements: All undergraduate students in this program are required to purchase a personal laptop computer. Each discipline has its own specific recommendations for hardware and software. Please note that these recommendations may be slightly altered as equipment evolves. Therefore, students new to DAAP are encouraged to delay their computer purchase until the summer prior to entering to make the most informed computer purchase. Many of our programs have additional technology requirements for students in the later years of study.

In consultation with faculty advisers, fine arts students determine their own interests and elect creative work in one or more of the program’s disciplines: art & technology, ceramics, drawing & painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

In addition, students complete course work in art history and electives in humanities, sciences and social sciences from other colleges in the university. The curriculum is completed with a senior thesis colloquy, which emphasizes professionalism and culminates in an exhibition of the student’s work. Seniors are required to participate in the annual DAAP senior show.

Students must obtain a minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 and, in addition, must have at least a 2.0 grade point average for the senior year to be eligible for graduation. In order to be eligible for graduation with honors, a student must have completed at least 60 semester hours in the college and have earned at least a 3.6 grade point average.

Students seeking to transfer from another regionally accredited university or college must be in good standing to be considered for admission. Students wishing to transfer into a DAAP program should submit a Transfer Application. Transfer students are generally admitted to the first year of our studio-based, co-op programs due to the sequence of studios and co-op. For further information such as minimum grade point average and application deadlines, please refer to the DAAP Transfer and Transition webpage.

Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC must be in good standing to be considered for admission. Students wishing to transition into a DAAP program should submit an Application for Change in College and Program. Transition students are generally admitted to the first year of our studio-based, co-op programs due to the sequence of studios and co-op. For further information such as minimum grade point average and application deadlines, please refer to the DAAP Transfer and Transition webpage.

Please visit the university’s Office of Admissions website for general admissions information and application requirements for international students.

Application Deadlines

High school applicants who submit a complete application by the December 1 Early Action deadline will be pooled and reviewed for selection. Early Action applicants can expect to learn their admission decision on Cincinnati Decision Day. This date varies by year and is shared on the university’s Office of Admissions website. Students who apply by December 1 also receive maximum scholarship consideration. Applications received after December 1 may be considered on a space-available basis.

Students seeking to transfer from other colleges and programs at UC or another regionally accredited university or college should submit a complete application for admission by the priority deadline of March 1 for the following academic year.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

All programs in the School of Art are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Contact Information

DAAP Student Affairs
P.O. Box 210016
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0016
(513) 556-1376

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Program Code: 23BC-FAA-BFA