Majors and Degree Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Students may choose a concentration in one of the following areas:

The B.F.A. with a concentration in General Studio offers students the option to combine 15 credit hours each in any two studio disciplines within the Department of Fine Arts to create a challenging program. For example, here are a few of the typical General Studio combinations: 

  • Painting (15 credit hours) and Drawing (15 credit hours) 
  • Printmaking and Painting
  • Photography and Printmaking
  • Sculpture and Ceramics
  • Jewelry / Metals and Sculpture

General Studio acknowledges the variety of skills required for a successful career in the visual arts. The program also acknowledges the importance of developing and nurturing the citizen artist who can navigate the ideas and challenges of our time. Please look at the other B.F.A. concentrations to gather basic ideas about the disciplines within the Department of Fine Arts. Though Drawing is not listed as a concentration, it can be used within the General Studio area.

The Ceramics program at Winthrop University is an exciting and energetic area. Students are expected to become proficient with the basic techniques of handbuilding and the use of the potter’s wheel before they are allowed to develop their own creative direction as upperclassmen. 

Two of the principle components of the ceramics program are to develop a deep respect for craftsmanship and gain an intimate knowledge and appreciation of the history of ceramics. Advanced levels will learn how to load and fire their own work, gain instruction on glaze and clay materials, learn and practice kiln-building techniques and ultimately work toward their senior portfolio. 

Exposure to contemporary ceramics trends and artists is maintained through a very active visiting artist program and a strong connection to the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). 

Upon graduation some exceptional graduates will be ready to establish their own studios; however, further study at the graduate level is recommended. Recent grads have gone on to maintain successful ceramic studios, teach at all levels of public and higher education, own and operate art galleries and various ceramic operations.

The Jewelry and Metals curriculum is designed to meet the diverse interests of the students investigating the contemporary field of Fine Arts in metals and jewelry design. By focusing the program toward a spectrum of processes and methodologies associated with the craft, a student experiences numerous projects that deal with form, function, concept and technique. Students are exposed to both traditional and non-traditional processes and materials, including computer-aided design, three dimensional printing and other emerging technologies. The construction of ideas is carried out through the practice of the projects which include, but are not limited to traditional fabrication, finishing, casting, mold-making, forging, forming, enameling, digital modeling, and three-dimensional printing output processes.

It is an exciting time to be a painter. Painting is a medium with a rich history and wide array of approaches towards the question of what a painting can be and what it can do. The goal of the painting program at Winthrop is to develop artists with a strongly developed personal vision who connect what they do in the studio to their life, their communities, and the larger culture. 

With this vision in mind, our program provides a solid foundation in both traditional and contemporary approaches to painting, with an emphasis on intellectual curiosity and creative thinking–whether it be observationally based studio work or explorations of painting’s intersections with new media.

Photography is a contributing medium to much of the innovative work currently being pursued in the visual arts. Studies in photography consist of a careful balance between the development of the student's personal interests and the acquisition of technical skills. As each student moves through the program they build a command of technique, meet the challenges of aesthetic debate, learn about opportunities for work after graduation, and are given some of the essential business information which will help them succeed and prosper in the professional market. 

During their time in the program each student has ample opportunity to identify the direction for their professional career. This decision is arrived at after experiencing a broad range of studio activities, from being required to work on highly structured projects to becoming capable of generating independent work, all the time working closely with professionals in the field.

Printmaking at Winthrop is designed around a thorough technical education in both traditional and contemporary techniques. Printmaking courses in Intaglio (etching), Relief (linocut and woodcut), and Silkscreen printing processes are offered, in which students create and print editions of original artworks. Additionally, processes such as monotype, image-transfer, and mixed-media supplement the program.

This, combined with a challenging, questioning environment towards subject-matter and its relevance to contemporary art and the student's personal interests, is founded on strong drawing skills.

Printmaking involves techniques which are utilized in both the fine art and commercial worlds. It is not surprising, therefore, that students have gone on to work in a variety of fields, including printshop management, commercial screenprinting, digital imaging and graphic design, and as exhibiting fine artists and educators.

The Sculpture program at Winthrop is designed to introduce students to both traditional and contemporary ways of making sculpture. The program emphasizes the development of technical, creative and cognitive skills through an energetic hands-on approach to creating sculpture. The program is committed to graduating students who have a wide range of skills and level of professionalism that will make them highly competitive as they enter the work force as creative specialists.

Students will develop significant skills in materials including but not limited to metal, wood, mold-making, plaster, and concrete. They will also develop skills in digital imaging, video, installation and in the planning, design, construction and installation of public art. These skills are critical, as the field of public art provides students with very sustainable, profitable career opportunities. 

Students are served by a professionally active faculty focused on providing each student with the tools to be a significant artist.

Careers in art education include elementary, middle and high school art teachers, as well as arts administrators, museum educators and college faculty who prepare future art educators. At Winthrop University, art education students earn a Bachelor of Arts in Art degree and receive a K-12 teaching certification through the College of Education. 

Graduates of the art education program at Winthrop have found success teaching art in public and private schools, working in museums, or in arts organizations throughout the state and region. Others continue on to graduate studies to become arts administrators, professional artists, art therapists, or teachers in higher education. 

The art education faculty at Winthrop University are professionally involved in teaching, making and exhibiting art, research, presentations, publications, and workshops, as well as community and cultural service. They are also active members of such organizations as the South Carolina Art Education Association, the National Art Education Association, and the Association for Arts Administration Educators.

The Winthrop University Art History program provides courses covering the arts of the world, from Africa to Europe, and Asia to the Americas. An undergraduate can major or minor in art history and any student interested in music, literature, psychology, anthropology, politics and many other areas will find a complement to these subjects in art history.

Our Bachelor of Arts in Art History degree is designed to produce a well-rounded graduate, prepared for a variety of career options. Students study in small classes within the context of an outstanding fine arts university. Art History majors are encouraged to take studio art classes to gain experience in the techniques of making art. Study abroad opportunities and courses with a travel component are offered annually. Through internships and museum practice courses, our undergraduates gain professional experience for the job market. A variety of student organizations and symposia also offer opportunities for students to hone their professional skills.

In our ever-changing global experience, Winthrop’s Department of Fine Arts acknowledges the importance of developing and nurturing the engaged artist who can navigate the ideas and challenges of our time. The B.A. in Art which incorporates liberal arts, studio and art history is a unique program that can address the challenges of the new environment. 

Like all the programs in the Department of Fine Arts, the B.A. in Art is supported by the dedication, energy and resources of qualified artists, scholars and educators. Students, faculty and staff within Fine Arts comprise a community of active learners and problem-solvers. The Winthrop experience in the Department of Fine Arts is challenging, but prepares each individual to work creatively and collaboratively within his or her community.