The purpose of this section is to provide you with immediate answers to frequently asked questions about applying to and studying in the School of Art. Please read through the FAQ and then contact us (406) 243-4181.
Q: How many students are in the School of Art?
A: There are about 200 students currently enrolled in the School of Art. The University of Montana has over 13,000 students.
Q: What degrees and majors does School of Art offer?
A: The School of Art offers the following undergraduate and graduate degrees:
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art Studio
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with a Concentration in Art Education
- Art History/Criticism Minor
- Master of Art with Concentrations in Art History or Studio Art (MA)
- Master of Fine Arts - in Ceramics, Drawing, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture (MFA)
Q: Do I need to have a portfolio?
A: Freshmen: A portfolio review is not a requirement for admission at the freshman level for inclusion in the BA program. Students may submit a portfolio in challenge foundations courses (105, 106 and/or 108). The submitted portfolio should be 8-10 digital images that represent work of the quality the school would expect of a student who successfully completed the course being challenged. In order for a student to be considered a Bachelor of Fine Arts candidate, the student must successfully pass the BFA Review, which is held each semester. Generally this occurs during their third year of study.
Transfer students: Please contact the School of Art to schedule a transcript review.
Graduate Students: Graduate applicants must send a portfolio with their application. This is a disc which includes the resumé, statement, and inventory list as a Microsoft Word document or PDF file and a digital portfolio of 20 images using JPEG, 300 dpi, 6” high maximum, collated in a named folder or in a Power Point presentation. All portfolios will be viewed on a MAC platform. This should be mailed directly to the School of Art, 32 Campus Drive, FA 205, Missoula Montana, 59812. We strongly recommend a campus visit.
Q: I would like to minor in Studio Art and/or Art History/Criticism. Can I do this?
A: Yes. Declaring a minor is quite simple and forms are available through the School of Art’s main office. Please see the minor advising sheets for details of the requirements.
Q: May I visit the School of Art?
A: Yes, schedule a tour. We welcome visitors to our beautiful campus, located amongst the mountains of Western Montana. Fill out our Request a Tour Form or contact Edward Morrissey at 406.243.4181. Please try to schedule your visit at least two weeks in advance.
Q: Are there any Scholarships available?
A: Yes. The School of Art understands that financing a college education is one of the most important investments a student and his or her family will make. We encourage students to develop a plan for the student's responsible financial planning. According to Financial Aid Services, approximately 2/3 of all UM students receive some type of financial aid. We encourage students to contact UM Financial Aid for additional assistance and answers to specific questions. Please see the Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarship Sections on this site.
Q: How may I obtain a UM catalog?
A: UM catalogues are available online at www.umt.edu/catalog
Q: Who is my advisor and how do I make an appointment?
A: Undergraduate: Every undergraduate student major in the School of Art is assigned a member of the faculty as their academic advisor. To learn who your advisor is, check your CyberBear account or consult the list posted outside the School of Art office. To make an appointment, contact your faculty advisor directly (and don't wait until the last minute!)
Graduate: All MA and MFA Students share one primary advisor, the Director of the School of Art, Brad Allen.
Q: What can I do with a major in Art, Art History, or Art Education?
Click here for more information about a career in art.
Q: What are the skills/abilities of successful students in Art?
A: Successful characteristics of studio artists would be: creativity, self-discipline, ambition, openness to new experience, and communication skills. Creative people have the ability to sustain a high level of "ambiguity" which means they do not mind being lost at times. They have an ability to risk more, to enjoy the process of their work and are not results-driven. The successful Art Education student combines the skills above with an interest in working closely with people and has an interest in education. Art History students often have the following qualities: attention to detail, a strong visual and aesthetic sense, self discipline, organization skills, writing skills, critical thinking, research and communication skills.
Q: When is the deadline for admissions?
A: The Deadline for Undergraduate Applications for fall is March 1st. The deadline for spring is November 15th. The Deadline for Graduate Applications for fall is January 15th.
Q: What is the difference between a BA and a BFA degree?
A: Art majors have the option of pursuing either the BA or the BFA degree. The BA degree has a total of 57 credit hours in studio Art and Art History/Criticism. The BFA, by contrast, requires 75 credit hours, which include a senior thesis exhibition on campus. If you are planning to become a professional artist or go on to graduate school in art, then the BFA is likely the degree you should pursue. The BA is designed to provide a broad, encompassing education in studio art, art history and art criticism. The BFA allows for a more specified course of study in a particular medium.
Q: How is an admissions decision made, and who makes it?
A: Undergraduate: Once a student is admitted to the university, becoming an art major is as simple as declaring Art as a major through the office of the Registrar. Please visit the UM Admissions site for additional information.
Graduate: The faculty in the School of Art work together to decide who to recommend for admission. The Graduate School at The University of Montana makes the final decision based in part on the recommendation of the school.
Q: I have a Bachelors degree but it is in an unrelated field. May I apply for one of your MFA Programs?
A: Yes. Students can gain acceptance into one of our MFA Programs without having earned a Bachelors in an art-related field. However, a portfolio of artwork containing a cohesive body of work is essential for a strong and competitive application. Please visit the Graduate application page for a complete list of application requirements.
Q: Does the School of Art offer teaching assistantships to the Graduate Students?
A: Annually Graduate Students may apply for teaching assistant awards in the School of Art. These competitive awards provide an annual stipend, ($9,000 per year), and full tuition waiver for either in-state or out-of-state students. Teaching assistants are required to devote 10 hours per week of work assigned by the department, in addition to teaching one class each semester in a foundations-level course, and/or entry-level studio courses.
NOTE: The Graduate Teaching Practicum course (G580) is a required course for all teaching assistants, and is offered in the autumn (fall) semester only. Teaching assistants must complete or be enrolled in the practicum course to qualify to each at the School of Art.
Q: What kind of facilities do you offer?
A: The School of Art encompasses facilities totaling over 50,000 square feet. The main Fine Arts building houses the divisions of Art Education, Art History and Criticism, Drawing, Painting, Photography and Printmaking. The divisions of Ceramics and Sculpture are housed in the Art Annex, with additional graduate studios for Painting, Drawing and Art History students in Schrieber. BFA students have semi-private studio spaces assigned by the head other their division.
Q: Are studio spaces allotted to enrolled students?
A: Yes, studio space is available based on the degree the student is seeking: BFA students share studio spaces generally in the area in which they are studying. MFA and MA students have semi-private, locked studio spaces. BFA space is given to a BFA student at the beginning of their senior year. If the student is accepted into the BFA program before their senior year and if there is room, they can get a space before that. The allocation, organization, and upkeep of the spaces is managed by the faculty from that division. This management of space would include the assignment of space, allotment of keys if needed and awareness of facilities and maintenance issues.
Q: Are there exhibition opportunities for students?
A: Yes, Art students have many such opportunities throughout their time of residence. There are four university-operated galleries on campus. In addition, students may enter their work in the annual Student Juried Exhibition or respond to calls for art around campus.
Undergraduate: BFA students are required to exhibit their work in the annual BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition.
Graduate: An MFA Thesis Exhibition is required of each candidate, and scheduled through the Gallery of Visual Arts.
Q: What do graduates do after leaving the School of Art?
A: The emphasis of the program is on preparation for a career in the fine arts, and our alumni are honored to be exhibiting their work in museums, galleries and non-profit spaces internationally. Our students learn to think creatively and entrepreneurially and find many ways to support their careers, working in all aspects of art, as well as teaching and other areas that utilize their strong visual and conceptual skills.