Author: Shawn Gillis
Date: November 29, 2012
Categories: Academics|Art

The Art Department at Houghton College recently received approval by the N.Y.S. Department of Education to offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  Numerous students are already enrolled and current freshmen and sophomores are still able to enter the program. 

The B.F.A. degree is the newest offering in the art department at the college and expands upon an already well-developed program. 

Jillian Sokso, art department chair, says:  “Adopting the B.F.A. speaks to the vitality and engagement of our program – our faculty are invested in their personal studio practices and creative professional lives. We are consistently revitalizing our area to provide the most current and critical offering possible.”

In addition to the B.F.A., Houghton’s art program offers a Bachelor of Art degree in either studio art or visual studies as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in art education.  A cooperative program with the psychology and art departments can also be taken by students interested in art therapy.

One major benefit of adopting the B.F.A. program is the extra depth of experience offered in various media.  Art students will be exposed to more art history and have the opportunity to explore different media. 

Another benefit of the B.F.A. degree is the competitive edge it offers Houghton students seeking graduate school or post-graduation employment opportunities.   According to Sokso, B.F.A. graduates will not just have a solid liberal arts education in visual art, but will be well-prepared as professional artists able to pursue a life-long practice in their chosen media. 

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), which accredits the Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in visual art and design in the United States, states that "the professional degree (B.F.A.) focuses on intensive work in the visual arts supported by a program of general studies," whereas "the liberal arts degree (B.A.) focuses on art and design in the context of a broad program of general studies."

For more information about Houghton College’s Art Department and the B.F.A. program, contact Jillian Sokso at: or visit