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The Visual Arts Program prepares students for future careers in the arts with an interdisciplinary spirit and a global perspective. Uniquely located within a community of architects, preservationists and historians, the Visual Arts Program plays an active role in bridging the disciplines of the School.  The Visual Arts Faculty consists of active artists who share their experiences with students through lively and challenging discussions and critiques. Media explorations are encouraged throughout the program and culminate in the creation of a body of work that reflects the individual students' interests.  Balancing craft and conceptual agility, new and traditional media, the Visual Arts program positions graduates to engage in an increasingly interdisciplinary world.

To fit the students educational and career goals, Roger Williams University offers two degree tracks for visual artists—the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Fine Arts. The interdisciplinary nature of the program situated within a strong liberal arts curriculum provides a model of study that allows students to explore multiple areas of interest that then informs their creative work.  Our strength is the amount of attention given to each individual student-artist as they develop through the program, preparing them for a future in the arts by cultivating technical proficiency in a number of media, conceptual understanding through ongoing criticism, dialogue and understanding of the cultural context in which they are working.

Visual Arts Concentrations Available

  • Film, Animation and Video
  • Painting, Drawing and Printmaking
  • Photography and Digital Media
  • Sculpture

Distinctive Features of the Visual Arts Program

  • A dynamic student and faculty community with diverse interests
  • Visiting Artists who deliver lectures, have exhibitions on campus and work directly with VARTS students each semester
  • Internship program in partnership with the RWU Career Center
  • Innovative course design featuring the Intersections Program
  • Close Affiliation with the RWU Architecture, Art and Architectural History and Historic Preservation Programs
  • Frequent trips to Museums and Galleries in New York, Boston and beyond
  • Study abroad to our flagship program in Florence, Italy as well as other global venues
  • Facilities that include the Franklin St Warehouse, an open and industrial studio space for Visual Art Seniors

To Apply

A portfolio of two and/or three-dimensional work demonstrating evidence of an applicants creative potential is required for admission to the Visual Arts program.  The intent of the portfolio is to allow the program to begin to assess your emerging potential at this earliest stage in your Arts education.  Consistent with the mission of our School, Roger Williams University is interested in and celebrates the variety of expression that applicants demonstrate.  Applicants come from a variety of backgrounds, and we appreciate this variety as the basis for beginning the study of Visual Art at the college level.

For details, please see the Special Requirements for Undergraduate Admissions web page, or contact the SAAHP Office at (401) 254-3681, or