More Information

Fine Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts

BFA Fine Arts
132 Credits
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Queens Campus


Drawing by Lucia Barafato, BFA in Fine Arts, 2014

Studios, galleries and multimedia communications firms are just some of the organizations that are in constant need of talented, creative and professionally trained artists. And with the rising consumer preference for more realistic video games along with movie and television special effects, such as 3D animation, this need will continue to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that jobs for artists will increase 12 percent by 2018.

You can prepare for these opportunities through the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree Program. The Department of Art and Design in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has attained the prestigious National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accreditation, held by selective art schools nationwide.

This 132-credit degree provides students with the necessary technical and creative tools as well as a rigorous liberal arts education. Students gain the experience and intellectual preparation to carve out their individual artistic identities. They develop a thorough understanding of the various media used in visual arts, while refining their artistic skills through drawing, painting and working with computer graphics software. They also acquire essential critical thinking and analytic abilities, benefiting from the University’s well-rounded liberal arts curriculum.

Benefiting from St. John’s location in New York City — a global capital of the arts and media — fourth-year students have access to invaluable, career-enhancing, for-credit internships at a cross-section of leading cultural and arts organizations.

Contact Information
Belenna Lauto
Professor and Chair
[email protected]


As part of the admission process, each candidate applying to any of the B.F.A. degrees must also submit their portfolio of original artwork to the Department of Art and Design via SlideRoom. This online portfolio service will allow you to upload, label, arrange, and submit your portfolio electronically. We request 12-15 images using JPG format, for the Macintosh platform. More information on the types of files accepted for upload and specific instructions for portfolio submissions and requirements is available on our portfolio requirements page.

After completing the SJU Undergraduate Application, you will be able to upload your images by linking to our SlideRoom portal.

We accept portfolios and applications on a rolling basis, but you must submit the portfolio via SlideRoom on or before January 15 if you wish to be considered for one of the visual art scholarships. If you wish to apply for early action, please submit your portfolio via SlideRoom by December 15.

If after reading the portfolio requirements page you have any questions regarding this process, please feel free to contact the department chair directly at [email protected].

If you would like more information about admission to this and other acclaimed undergraduate programs at St. John’s University, please visit Undergraduate Admission


Career Outcomes

Thanks to their strong personal and professional connections, our professors help students build their own networks in New York’s art scene. Seniors gain internships with publishers, magazines, advertising agencies, graphic design studios, museums, galleries, and other organizations that enable them to launch successful careers.

A new survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal survey includes St. John’s among its Top 100 colleges that are “most likely to help students land a job in key careers and professions — areas that are growing, pay well and offer high levels of satisfaction.” Studios, galleries, multimedia communications firms, and business companies in general rely on the creative intuition and skills of designers to reach their target audience. This competitive field is expected to grow an estimated 13 percent, especially in the interactive media sector. Our alumni find great success within their field of study and most of our interns are hired by the hosting firm before they even graduate.

For a small selection of a few of our alumni success stories, enjoy the links below:

    Global Approach to Education

    In the area of Global Education the Department of Art and Design has been in the forefront of Global Studies since 1989. All of the courses abroad offered by the Department can be taken as art electives by our BFA candidates. Our courses and programs abroad are offered in Rome, Paris, Spain, and during the summers in destinations that span the world. Students are encouraged to view the world as a tangible place and use their cameras, and visual media as tools that aim to provide a broader understanding of humanity from both a global and personal perspective.

    Below is a sampling of some of the courses we offer abroad:

    • The Italian Sketchbook
    • The French Sketchbook
    • Painting in Italy
    • Drawing and Design in Rome
    • Culture of Southern Italy, a Visual Journey
    • Photography in Paris
    • Art in Vietnam
    • Survey of Art and Architecture in Italy
    • Art and Architecture in France
    • Italian Renaissance Art and Literature

    Additional Information

    Our BFA students at St. John's gain a solid foundation in art theory and its applications to various media. Students learn from an enormously gifted, internationally known faculty of artists whose work appears in galleries, exhibitions and publications in New York City, across the country and around the world.

    The Department of Art and Design offers full and partial scholarships to freshmen with a record of exemplary skills in high school. Two full-time, four-year scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate extraordinary proficiency in drawing, painting, printmaking, illustration, graphic design and/or photography.

    St. John’s also bestows a $1,000 incentive scholarship to high school seniors who demonstrate excellence in the visual arts. Students are selected through the portfolio review process. For more information, contact Nerissa Palad-Palermo: 718-990-6250; [email protected].

    Our studios provide an ideal atmosphere for students to learn as they create under the guidance of master teachers. Facilities include the state-of-the-art classrooms, featuring cutting-edge equipment and software.

    Each of our BFA programs avail the student the option of either a Thesis or Internship during their senior year as the culmination of their degree. Thesis students work closely with their chosen faculty advisor in order to embark upon and complete a body of work so as to present to galleries or use as part of their portfolio for future MFA program applications. Internships are individually arranged according to the student’s interests, strengths, and career objectives. Since we are located just 20 minutes from New York City, and have established a strong network of affiliates and alumni, who now hold impressive positions within the art world, the internship opportunities our students have to select from our quite extensive. Our programs benefit from 50 years of experience and educational excellence in the visual arts.

    Program News

    Inspired by the University’s Vincentian Mission, St. John’s students in the Department of Art and Design have created an outdoor mural expressing the optimistic vision of a local child...