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Studio Art

Studio Art

Thinking by seeing, learning through making. Situated within a nationally recognized research institution, SOVA attracts students and faculty who value the study of art in a broad cultural and intellectual context. Pursuing a B.F.A. degree in Studio Art equips emerging artists with critical thinking skills, visual and cultural literacy, and the technical skills to communicate their ideas through visual art.

Student painting

During the first year, all SOVA majors complete studio courses together in a shared foundation program. From there, Studio Art majors move on to build skills through core studio courses in painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. Our students also take courses in professional practices that prepare them for careers in a variety of creative fields. 

Studio Art students and faculty produce research and creative work that spans disciplinary boundaries. Our flexible curriculum includes opportunities for students to take elective courses in graphic design, creative technologies, and art history. Students are also encouraged to infuse their creative work with interdisciplinary breadth by integrating the wide range of courses taught at Virginia Tech.

Our program culminates in a year-long capstone course in which students work closely with a faculty mentor to develop a self-directed body of work, which is displayed in public exhibitions in Virginia Tech’s Armory Gallery and the Moss Art Center.

Spaces for making

Many of our classes are taught in newly designed teaching studios. These include studios for drawing, printmaking, painting, woodworking, and metal fabrication, as well as a multipurpose seminar room, lighting studio, and 2D/3D print lab.

Student wearing gloves working on print.

Student-focused faculty

Our esteemed faculty are professional visual artists who are dedicated to nurturing students’ creativity and curiosity. With a student-to-teacher ratio of 10:1, our program provides abundant opportunities for mentorship.

Student and professor looking at painting together.

Curriculum overview

As a Studio Art major, you will take 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, including Virginia Tech's Pathways General Education. During the first year, students complete a series of Foundations Studio courses together with all SOVA BFA majors. Students begin taking their required studio art courses in their second semester and continue throughout year two. These courses introduce drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture. During their final year, our majors take Senior Studio, a two-course capstone experience in which students prepare a coherent body of studio work under faculty supervision, culminating in a professional public exhibition. Our students all take a minimum of 12 credits in art history, as well as a course in professional practice and exhibition design and display. Students also take 24 credits in SOVA electives (including art history, creative technologies, and graphic design), and 9 credits in open electives that can be any courses offered at Virginia Tech.

Student work

Drawing Concepts

Introduction to Photography



Topics in Photography

Where are our alumni?

Graduates of the Studio Art program apply their creative skills in a variety of careers. Some become professional artists, exhibiting at national galleries and museums, or pursue commercial careers in photography, painting, illustration, and sculpture. Others seek their Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree or postgraduate degrees in related arts fields such as material culture, art therapy, art education, exhibition design, and art conservation. Our alumni have gone on to become professional artists, university professors, K-12 teachers, and pursue careers in galleries and museums.