IAIA - Institute of American Indian Arts

Degree Requirements

The Studio Arts program is designed for students interested in pursuing a professional career in the field of fine arts. It offers the student a flexible and comprehensive course of study, Through exploration of multiple forms of art and contemporary practices, students develop technical and conceptual skills essential for success as professional artists or graduate students in a Masters of Fine Arts program. Studio production, critical thinking, and hands-on instruction by dedicated faculty are combined to foster development of artistic direction.

Students begin their exploration with the Foundations, which include:

• 2D Fundamentals

• 3D Fundamentals

• Studio Fundamentals

• Drawing I

• Drawing II

• Color Theory and Practice

During the sophomore and junior years, students have the opportunity to delve into areas of possible interest by selecting from seven media-specific courses. Each course focuses on the medium’s techniques, skills, concepts, history, materials, methods and process. Students are encouraged to develop a solid understanding of the underlying concepts and ideas that inform art making. Introductory through advanced studio courses in a specific media provide students with innovative ways of thinking and creating. Students select an area of emphasis through Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced courses in:

• ceramics

• digital art

• jewelry/metals

• painting

• photography

• printmaking

• sculpture

In the senior year, the student’s primary focus is on creating a coherent body of personal work. Students are given individual workspace and are challenged to excel through weekly faculty reviews and critiques with guest artists and the arts faculty. Toward the end of the students’ final semester, students celebrate their accomplishments by showing their best work in the BFA exhibition at our Museum of Contemporary Native Art and in the campus’ Primitive Edge Galleries. Our small class sizes, accomplished faculty (over half are native artists from the U.S. and Canada), excellent facilities, and top-notch equipment provide a creative learning environment for a future in the arts.


We recognize that each student brings unique energy, experience, vision, dedication and creative expression to the studio arts program. The focus of our program is to help each student develop expressive abilities through creative inquiry and professionalism. Our approach is to provide a program where students are challenged to develop creative solutions.


Students who have completed Introductory, Intermediate, Advanced I, Senior Project I and Senior Project II in the same emphasis, when petitioning to graduate, can request to receive a BFA in Studio Arts with an Emphasis in: ceramics, digital arts, jewelry/metals, painting, photography, printmaking or sculpture.

Learning Outcomes

Students in Studio Arts will be able to:

• Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental concepts of art and design

• Analyze works of art within a historical, contemporary or cultural context

• Develop works that demonstrate personal expression

• Demonstrate competencies in a chosen medium

• Develop professional practices towards a studio arts career

Bachelor of Fine Arts

120 Credits

Course # Credits
  General Education REQUIREMENTS 30
FUND100 Studio Fundamentals 2
FUND101 2-D Fundamentals 3
FUND102 3-D Fundamentals 3
FUND103 Color Theory and Practice 2
FUND111 Drawing I 3
FUND212 Drawing II 3
FUND221 Figure Drawing 3
ARTH300 Contemporary Native American Art  
  History 3
ARTH312 Contemporary Art 3
ARTM301 Writing About Art 3
ARTM402 Portfolio 3
SSEM403 Studio Arts Seminar 2
  Choose 1 course below 3
ARTH211 Native American Art History I  
ARTH212 Native American Art History II  
  Choose 1 course below 3
ARTH221 European Art History Survey I  
ARTH222 European Art History Survey II  
  Choose any 1 Art History Elective
  Introductory Studio in 2D: Choose 2 6
PTNG111 Introduction to Painting  
PRTM101 Introduction to Printmaking  
PHOT121 Introduction to Photography  
 DIGA101 Introduction to Digital Arts  
  Introductory Studio in 3D: Choose 2 6
CERA101 Introduction to Ceramics  
JEWL121 Introduction to Jewelry/Metals  
SCUP131 Introduction to Sculpture  
  Choose at least one Intermediate Studio & one Advanced Studio in the same studio emphasis 6
PTNG211 Intermediate Painting  
PRTM201 Intermediate Printmaking  
PHOT221 Intermediate Photography  
DIGA201 Intermediate Digital Arts  
CERA201 Intermediate Ceramics  
JEWL221 Intermediate Jewelry/Metals  
SCUP231 Intermediate Sculpture  
PTNG311 Advanced Painting  
PRTM301 Advanced Printmaking  
PHOT321 Advanced Photography  
DIGA301 Advanced Digital Art  
CERA301 Advanced Ceramics  
JEWL321 Advanced Jewelry/Metals  
SCUP331 Advanced Sculpture  
  Studio Arts Electives:  14

Studio electives include Ceramics, Drawing, Digital Arts, Jewelry/Metals, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture studio courses. Cinematic Arts and Technology studio courses and Traditional Arts lab courses can also be counted as studio electives.

  Two Elective Courses 6
  Senior Projects in chosen focus area  
451 Senior Project I: (Focus Area) 5
452 Senior Project II: (Focus Area) 5

Associate of Fine Arts Degree

60 Credits

Course #   Credits
  General Education REQUIREMENTS 31
FUND100 Studio Fundamentals 2
FUND101 2-D Fundamentals 3
FUND102 3-D Fundamentals 3
FUND103 Color Theory and Practice 2
FUND111 Drawing I 3
FUND212 Drawing II 3
ARTH211 Native American Art History I 3
ARTH212 Native American Art History II or  
  other Art History elective 3
  Any 2-D Introduction to Studio 3
  Any 2-D Introduction to Studio 3
  Any 3-D Introduction to Studio 3
  Any 3-D Introduction to Studio 3

Studio Arts Minor

23 Credits

Course #   Credits
FUND101 2-D Fundamentals 3
FUND102 3-D Fundamentals 3
FUND111 Drawing I 3
FUND100 or   Studio Fundamentals or  
FUND103 Color Theory and Practice 2
  Any Art History Course 3
  One Introductory Studio Course 3
PTNG111 Introduction to Painting 3
PRTM101 Introduction to Printmaking 3
PHOT121 Introduction to Photography 3
CERA101 Introduction to Ceramics 3
JEWL121 Introduction to Jewelry/Metals 3
SCUP131 Introduction to Sculpture 3
  One 200 Level Studio Arts Course
PTNG211 Intermediate Painting 3
PRTM201 Intermediate Printmaking 3
PHOT221 Intermediate Photography 3
CERA201 Intermediate Ceramics 3
JEWL221 Intermediate Jewelry/Metals 3
SCUP231 Intermediate Sculpture 3
  Studio Arts Elective: Choose one 3