Visual And Performing Arts

Contact Information

phone: (716) 839-8241


Dan Shanahan 

(716) 566-7890

Degrees Offered

Please see the Education Department section of the Catalog for information on the B.S. in Visual Arts Education.

Certificate Programs:


Mission Statement

The unique mission of the VPA is grounded in the fine arts and prepares students through research, practice, and theory to become professionals in the creative sector.  Upon completion of degree requirements, our students are prepared to enter an ever-changing society as innovative, productive, and culturally literate citizens.  VPA’s mission, which supports the Liberal Arts tradition of the university, is to provide essential visual training to students of all majors in the creation and analysis of images in order to navigate an increasingly visual society.  

Academic Programs

VPA students may pursue Bachelor of Fine Arts Degrees in Animation, Graphic Design, Illustration, Visual Arts Education or Studio Arts (Painting or Sculpture), or a Bachelor of Science in Art or Leadership and Entrepreneurship in the Arts. Students may also pursue minors in Graphic Design, Illustration, Applied Theatre, History of Art, or Entrepreneurship.

Upon completion of their coursework, students will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate mastery of aesthetic terms, technical and media applications, and performance tools;
  • Visually analyze works in a clear and concise manner through written assignments and group critiques;
  • Identify major stylistic and historical art movements through a significant exposure to Art History;
  • Complete the conceptual process of locating a problem, experimenting with a variety of solutions, and determining and supporting the most effective and communicative visual solution;
  • Determine a set of educational goals, and form a plan for their attainment;
  • Present work to the public in a polished manner, both conceptually and technically;
  • Apply the relevant tools to continue research in their field after graduation;
  • And utilize effectively their technical and intellectual skills within their career as an artist, educator, performer, designer, or creative professional.

Students receiving a B.S. in Visual Arts Education will have completed all required classroom work necessary to pursue a Primary or Secondary teaching position, and entry into a Master’s Program.

Admission Requirements


Submission of Art Portfolio is required. Portfolios should consist of 15-20 works of art and include examples of observational drawing. Special consideration may be given to talented students who lack formal art training. (An Art Portfolio is not required of applicants to BS, Arts Administration with Comprehensive Arts or Theater specializations.)

Admission to Upper Division

  1. Completion of a minimum of 45 semester hours, which includes the full foundation program in Art.
  2. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better.
  3. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better in Art courses.  BFA, Animation: An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or better in required Art courses and in Animation courses.
  4. Submission of upper division application, reflective essay, and portfolio of work to be reviewed by the Visual & Performing Arts faculty.

Graduation Requirements

  1. An overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.00
  2. BFA Programs and BS, Art: complete all requirements for ART498 Senior Exhibition;
  3. BFA Programs: Participate successfully in two group critiques during the senior year;
  4. Minimum grade of C in:
    • BFA, Animation: ART445; ART490; all Animation courses.
    • BFA, ART: Drawing/Illustration specialization-Drawing emphasis: ART204, ART205, ART306, ART345, ART346, ART445, ART490.
    • BFA, ART: Drawing/Illustration specialization-Illustration emphasis: ART230, ART346, ART381, ART382, ART383, ART445, ART490.
    • BFA, Graphic Design: ART219, ART301, ART319, ART320, ART420, ART445, ART490.
    • BFA, ART: Painting specialization: ART325, ART326, ART425, ART426, ART445, ART490.
    • BFA, ART: Sculpture specialization: ART267, ART367, ART368, ART445, ART464, ART490.
    • BS, ARTS ADMINISTRATION: ACC225, ACC226, ARTA450, BA211, BA220, ECO201, FIN325, HSM350, MGT208, MGT312, MIS280, MKT209, MKT312.

Please refer to the Education Department section of this catalog for information on the BS in Visual Arts Education.