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Department of

Art And Visual Culture


Integrated Studio Arts (BFA)

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Integrated Studio Arts focuses on in-depth studio work with an emphasis on crossing conceptual and media boundaries. It is designed for students intending to become professional artists and those planning to continue their studies in a graduate program in studio art.

The BFA is an enrollment-managed, accredited four-year degree program. Students enter the major as Pre-Integrated Studio Arts (P ISA). The pre-major designation indicates that a student has not yet received admission to the full Integrated Studio Arts (ISA) major. To remove the pre-major designation a student may complete one of the two following options:

  1. Complete the College of Design Core Program at Iowa State University and subsequent application to the Integrated Studio Arts major.
  2. Submit a 20-page PDF portfolio containing images (15 examples minimum with up to 5 detail images) original artwork created during high school and/or college/university experience to
    • Applicants choosing this option are guaranteed admission to the Integrated Studio Arts major pending completion of the Core Program, 30 credits, and minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA without submitting to the application process described in option one.
    • Application for direct entry should be received by April 15, 2023.

For questions regarding your admission status, please contact the College of Design’s Undergraduate Recruitment and Marketing Coordinator, Jennifer Anderson.

BFA in Integrated Studio Arts presentation (pdf)


Our unique curriculum emphasizes breadth in technique with a focus on conceptual development and problem solving. The art studio is the fundamental structure for BFA students to develop an understanding and ability to apply the design process through diverse media.

In the sophomore year, students complete rotations in our eight media areas:

  1. Ceramics
  2. Textiles
  3. Jewelry/metalsmithing
  4. Furniture design
  5. Painting
  6. Printmaking
  7. Digital media
  8. Photography

Classes in color theory and intermediate drawing round out the year. Junior- and senior-level studios provide focused investigation in specific media areas and help prepare students for professional practice and/or graduate study toward a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Art history courses enhance the studio environment by providing a strong context as students develop their ideas and technical abilities.

Interdisciplinary opportunities are encouraged, and independent study options — where you can work one-on-one with a faculty member of your choice — are available following the completion of regular course offerings. A required seminar/exhibition serves as a capstone experience in the final year.


The BFA in Integrated Studio Arts from Iowa State may lead to careers in such areas:

  • Digital media (including 3D animation, digital illustration and video/computer game design)
  • Illustration
  • Furniture design
  • Ceramics
  • Jewelry and metalsmithing
  • Textiles
  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Two- and three-dimensional mixed media
  • Photography
  • New technological genres in combination with the traditional fine arts

Curriculum Sheet
This curriculum sheet includes number of required credits, list of courses, and a suggested four-year plan with courses broken into semesters and years.

ISA Curriculum Sheet 2018-2019 (PDF)

ISA Curriculum Sheet 2019-2020 (PDF)

ISA Curriculum Sheet 2020-2021 (PDF)

ISA approved general education course list (PDF)