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|The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA, B.F.A.) is the standard undergraduate degree for students in the United States and Canada seeking a professional education in the visual or performing arts. In some countries such a degree is called a Bachelor of Creative Arts (BCA). In Great Britain the equivalent degree is the Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts. In Australia the Bachelor of Fine Arts is awarded to students completing a degree in visual and performing arts. Specific degrees such as the Bachelor of Dance or Bachelor of Drama are used by some performing arts institutions in Australia and much of Europe. In India a Fine Arts undergraduate degree is known as a BFA or BVA (Bachelor of Visual Arts). It is a four-year degree.
In the United States the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree differs from a Bachelor of Arts degree in that the majority of the program consists of a practical studio component, as contrasted with lecture and discussion classes. A typical BFA program in the United States consists of two-thirds study in the arts, with one-third in more general liberal arts studies. For a BA in Art, the ratio might be reversed.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), which accredits Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in visual art and design in the United States, states that "the professional degree (BFA) focuses on intensive work in the visual arts supported by a program of general studies," whereas "the liberal arts degree (BA) focuses on art and design in the context of a broad program of general studies."
A Bachelor of Fine Arts degree will often require an area of specialty such as acting, musical theatre, ceramics, computer animation, creative writing, dance, dramatic writing, drawing, fiber, film production, visual effects, animation, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, visual arts, technical arts, interior design, metalworking, music, new media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, stage management, or television production. Some schools instead give their students a broad education in many disciplines of the arts.
Although a Bachelor of Fine Arts is traditionally considered a four-year degree, a BFA program may take longer to complete because of the amount of studio course work required.