Student painting

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in
Visual Arts

Earn your bachelor's degree at a visual arts school that values the sacred connection between your internal landscape and your external creations. Naropa's commitment to contemplative education and our rich history in the fine arts creates a powerful undergraduate experience for emerging artists.

Begin your career in the visual arts at Naropa, named one of the Best Visual and Performing Arts Colleges in Colorado in 2020.

Naropa takes great pride in its fine arts legacy. With four visual art galleries, a 2D art studio, a recording studio, an arts library, and studios for pottery, sculpture, and media arts, Naropa is committed to creating fertile ground for undergraduate artists to explore their artistic vision. 

Here, you'll grow as an artist as you contribute to and learn from a thriving community of other artists, performers, scholars, writers, and healers.


Quick Facts

  • 36 Credit Hours
  • 4 On-Campus Visual Art Galleries
  • 1 Gallery Show for Each Graduating Senior


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in Visual Arts

In the Naropa bachelor's degree in visual arts, you'll learn to find your artistic edge, taking risks that help you grow as an artist. Our curriculum tackles the techniques and methods of studio art while also engaging artists in contemplative practice. Whether they're fine-tuning their figure drawing, throwing clay on a pottery wheel, or writing an artist statement, our students approach their work with authenticity and introspection. A bachelor’s in the arts should challenge the mind while also engaging the heart, hands, and spirit.

Courses in the Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts include:

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If you’ve been searching for art therapy schools with curriculums that address heart and spirit along with mind, you’ve found your home. Naropa's unique Bachelor of Arts in Contemplative Art Therapy offers a vibrant arts community, experiential learning, and a deeply introspective undergraduate curriculum aimed at healing you, your future clients, and the world.


Careers in the Visual Arts

If you feel compelled to create, a bachelor of fine arts will help you to dedicate your life to that passion. Graduates of the Naropa bachelor’s degree in visual arts go on to advanced degrees in art, art therapy, and art history. Many find rewarding careers as photographers, arts administrators, designers, entrepreneurs, art teachers, or professional exhibiting artists. 

Naropa’s visual arts school will teach you more than just the skills and techniques of creating art. You’ll also learn how to succeed as an artist in the world. Let us help you find your unique artistic path.

Artistic Development

Artistic freedom is integral to Naropa's visual arts program. Early on, faculty and mentors will push you to experiment with form, method, and technique. The foundation of this risk-taking is a solid community of undergraduate visual arts students, graduate mentors, and supportive faculty. 

Here, you'll find a thriving community that supports your artistic and personal growth. When you present your culminating work at the Naropa Gallery through the Portfolio & Gallery Presentation course, you'll celebrate that growth among friends, family, and your arts community.

Contemplative Approach

Discover a visual arts school that challenges you to dig deep. Rather than promote a specific method, Naropa’s visual arts curriculum asks you to look within for creative vision and to then apply yourself to learning the artistic techniques that will bring your vision to life. 

Founded by accomplished artist and Buddhist master teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Naropa's legacy is unlike that which you might find at other schools of art. Our visual art degree is uniquely founded on deep contemplation as integral to both the creation and expression of visual art.



“I struggle with multiple disabilities and gaining access to an equal education has been a lifelong battle. My time at Naropa has helped me find sacredness within my own skull. Now, I'm finally starting to see my brain as it is, strange and beautiful.”
Elizabeth Comport, BA in Visual Arts, 2017


What to Expect


Engage more deeply with your art through meditation and self-inquiry.

Fluency in Artistic Language

Learn to speak fluently about your own art and the role of art in culture.

Artist Portfolio

Design and assemble a portfolio of your best, most authentic work.

Exhibition Experience

Present your work at the Naropa Gallery in the company of fellow artists.

Artistic Community

Join a dynamic community of visual artists, writers, scholars, and thinkers.