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Academics: Curriculum

Undergraduate Curriculum

The Metal BFA program emphasizes technically based coursework at the onset. Early assignments introduce fundamental craft skills, explore materials and processes, and address content and form while encouraging personal expression. In upper-level classes, Metal majors deepen their experience with more sophisticated techniques and technologies that enhance their work formally and conceptually. Students research important influences and movements in the field, prepare professional portfolios, and produce bodies of work to be exhibited in the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art; this work comprises the capstone experience for the Metal major.

Metal's comprehensive technical curriculum offers instruction in the following courses: Basic Metal, Construction and Fabrication, Enameling, Metal Forming, Processes and Experimental Techniques I and II, and Selected Topics courses as offered. Demonstrated techniques include: fabricating mechanisms such as hinges, clasps, stone settings, jewelry findings; specific soldering methods and torchwork; metalsmithing, such as anticlastic raising, and hot-forging with non-ferrous metal and steel; processing metal alloys; wax work and lost wax casting; electro-forming and electro-etching; vitreous enameling.

Beyond metal-specific studio courses, Metal Majors take Computer-Aided Design, and they choose other Art Studio courses and Digital Design/Fabrication as electives on the Metal plan of study. The seminar course, Contemporary Ideas in Metal provides an overview of the field’s history and current perspectives in relation to Art, Craft and Design, stimulating critical discourse and deeper understanding.

Coursework is further supplemented by field trips and participation in professional conferences. Students benefit from the college's proximity to major cultural centers, which allows for visits to museums and expositions. The Student Art Alliance organizes a robust Art Lecture Series, inviting prominent artists, writers, critics, and curators to campus to give lectures and critique student work. Their contributions greatly enhance conceptual development and give students an introduction to the professional field and expanded community.

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for specific information about the plan of study, course descriptions, and admissions requirements.



Visual Arts majors may pursue Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees with a concentration in Metal.

Please refer to the Visual Arts section of the undergraduate catalog for specific information about the BA/BS plan of study, course descriptions, and admission requirements.

Contact the Department of Undergraduate Admission for application information.


Graduate Curriculum

The State University of New York at New Paltz is among the largest graduate metal programs in the country and has earned the distinction of being ranked #1 by US News and World Report.

Our alumni contribute to the richness of this field in meaningful ways; they actively participate in building a critical and productive community while they expand the field through their energetic, creative professional work.

Please visit the Metal section of the Master of Fine Arts website for more information.

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