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BFA = Useless?

bimachrisbimachris Registered User Posts: 843 Member
Does a BFA really sound that bad? Even if it's from a top-ranking college?

I never put much thought into it before but I'm just wondering because my friend was upset today after finding out NYU only offers a BFA in Film, not a BA in Film.

I mean, isn't it all really just the same? People think film majors are useless anyway, so why would the difference in degree matter? Haha, I'm fine as long as all the big hollywood movie execs are cool with BFAs.
Post edited by bimachris on

Replies to: BFA = Useless?

  • worried_momworried_mom Registered User Posts: 2,205 Senior Member
    BFAs are not bad at all; in fact, many people find it to be more appropriate for their particular interests/careers than the BA degree. The primary difference between the two (although the specifics vary from college to college) is the proportion of time spent in very focused studio-type classes vs. more general studies.

    This Wikipedia entry explains the difference quite well:

    Bachelor of Fine Arts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose Registered User Posts: 4,090 Senior Member
    I personally know two people who graduated with BFAs in film from Tisch a few years ago who have been working steadily (and I mean, STEADILY) since they left NYU on any number of projects, including for MTV and on films that have gotten quite a bit of attention. They are doing well enough to be self supporting in New York and Los Angeles. So much for a BFA not having any merit!
    It really is not the letters on the degree (BFA vs BA) as much as your level of skills (and ability to sell yourself and network) when you graduate.
  • paypaypaypay Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    from what i have heard from the professors in SAIC, it is rather more important to have a BFA than BA.
    many jobs would REQUIRE a BFA, so basically they wont pay much attention to your resume if you do not have the "F" in the word.
    but as i said, all my information came from others, so i have never experienced this myself.
  • HeronHeron Registered User Posts: 485 Member
    I think of art school as a kind of trade school. Many of the majors can be considered training for specific types of jobs (graphic design, illustration, industrial design, and I'm sure there are others). Other majors, of course, less so. I know so many kids getting out of college with a BA who aren't trained for anything. It has almost become meaningless in the job world because everyone has one. A BFA indicates a kind of training that is geared towards specific kinds of jobs. Granted, everyone who comes out of art school with a BFA in illustration, for example, isn't going to be able to find a job in that field. But as paypay says, if they are looking for someone trained in illustration, they're probably going to be looking for a BFA.
  • toxic_wastetoxic_waste Registered User Posts: 500 Member
    a BA simply makes you a more desirable candidate for some job unrelated to your major, since you have a much more extensive liberal arts background. it just might hurt your chances within your field, like everyone else said.
  • bimachrisbimachris Registered User Posts: 843 Member
    Wow, you people really know how to convince a guy haha!

    Alright I'm sold, I'm going to happily get my BFA from NYU (if I make it that is). I won't have to take math ever again, so I'm happy about that!

    All I want is steady employment, that sounds like heaven NotMamaRose.
  • KatMTKatMT College Rep Posts: 4,017 Senior Member
    I do not know all the ins and outs of the film business -- but in other arts areas a BFA is never a requirement for securing jobs, any more than a BA would be. There are many jobs that expect one to have graduated with a bachelor's degree of any kind (BA/ BS/ BFA/ BM/ etc..). However, if a graduate has the skills for a job (and can demonstrate that fact) I do not believe that the lack of an "F" in the degree will be the deal breaker.

    The level of skills will vary from school to school in terms of graduation -- There are certainly some students coming out of BA programs who will not have the skill set needed, but there are BA programs where students are coming out with the skills needed. I know students who have graduated from BA film programs and have secured work in their field immediately following graduation.

    I would suggest focusing more on the courses offered (and required) and where graduates work after graduation than the particular degree offered.

    In general in a BA program one will be required to take more classs outside of their major than they will be required to take in a BFA program.

    bimachris -- NYU has a terrific film program! What other schools are you thinking of applying to?
  • bimachrisbimachris Registered User Posts: 843 Member
    That makes a lot of sense, thanks for the words KatMT!

    I'm applying ED to NYU this fall, my heart's pretty much dead set on it haha. But my other top choices are Chapman, USC, UCLA, and BU. I'd be pretty satisfied if I land in any of those schools too, but you know, they just don't give me chills like NYU does haha.
  • KatMTKatMT College Rep Posts: 4,017 Senior Member
    Good Luck!
  • bimachrisbimachris Registered User Posts: 843 Member
    Thank you! I'm going to need it! Haha
This discussion has been closed.