Painting Studio

Painting, with its many traditions, is a medium put to an extraordinary diversity of contemporary uses. Capable of representing everything from the material to the intangible, painting continues to be a means for artists of vastly different interests to address their subjects in highly individual ways.

The painting concentration at Notre Dame fosters the aesthetic, critical, and technical development of each student through a program of course work, independent study, and regular critiques. Emphasis is placed on being well-versed in contemporary critical issues, on articulating individual themes, and on developing the technical means to give visual form to thematic concerns.  Apply now.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree requires 67 hours of coursework (or 22 courses) in the major area while the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree requires 36 (or 12 courses). Students will be advised by faculty with respect to which degree fits their interests. Generally, the BFA affords a larger portfolio due to considerably more studio experiences. A candidate for a BFA also has the opportunity to pursue a year-long, self-driven thesis project. B.F.A. entrance will be based on a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher in the seven core courses. The seven core courses must be completed before taking the B.F.A. studio seminar. Faculty-taught sections are mandatory for majors. See the Bachelor of Fine Arts course requirements. 

Bachelor of Arts

The BA is more suited to students who wish to double major or desire to create a custom experience combining painting and drawing with other art studios, art history, marketing, psychology, athletics…and more. For studio art majors (B.A. program) specializing in painting, the following courses are recommended studio electives. See the Bachelor of Arts course requirements. 

Basic Courses

  • Drawing I
  • Painting I
  • Multilevel Painting
  • Topics in Contemporary Painting

Art History Recommendations

  • Modern Art I
  • 20th Century Art II

Recommended Studio and Design Courses

  • Industrial Design: Design Drawing
  • Lithography
  • Artists Books & Papermaking

Outside of Department

  • American History
  • Anthropology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Creative Writing
  • Film
  • Gender Studies
  • Literature
  • Sociology

Study Abroad

Thinking of perhaps London or Rome to take an Art History course requirement? Students are encouraged to spend a semester abroad to get credit towards their degree in visual communication. Your academic advisor will help with options and scheduling.

Contact for Advising

Contact Director of Undergraduate Studies, Elyse Speaks, for general questions about the various Art, Art History & Design programs. If you have specific questions about painting, feel free to contact a faculty member directly.

Visit the Program

If you are planning to visit campus, please stop by Riley Hall while you are here. Riley hall houses all the studio arts in the department. If you are considering studying painting at Notre Dame, feel free to contact our department office and staff members will arrange for a tour.


Considering painting as a major? Visit the department's main office: 306 Riley Hall of Art and Design. General questions about majoring in studio art can be sent to the Department of Art, Art History & Design at art@nd.eduApply now.