BFA vs MFA: Difference and Comparison

Education is the finest way to invest. You might be able to realize a desire you had when you were a child. Consider enrolling in a fine arts program; it may be attainable for you.

You might study for a Bachelor of Fine Arts or perhaps a Master of Fine Arts degree. So, just what is the difference between the two?

This article will examine the distinctions between the two well-known degrees, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

We will also look at the problems and subjects and compare the two degrees and courses, so you can decide whether the Masters is beneficial or not.

Key Takeaways

  1. A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is an undergraduate degree in visual or performing arts, whereas a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a graduate degree in the same field.
  2. MFA programs require a BFA or equivalent experience and focus on advanced techniques, research, and professional development.
  3. An MFA is necessary for those seeking careers as professional artists, college-level educators, or arts administrators.


The difference between BFA and MFA is that BFA stands for Bachelor of Fine Arts, whereas MFA stands for Master of Fine Arts, and MFA is applicable only if you have qualified for the Bachelor’s degree. The BFA is the preliminary working degree that is accompanied by a bachelor’s degree along with various opportunities in the field of Fine Arts, whereas the Master’s degree opens new doors and is more difficult as well as enriched with specializations.


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The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) certificate is regarded as the most distinguished bachelor’s degree there in creative arts. This selection is for those who want to get as much photographic experience and skill as feasible.

It involves at least sixty credits in received training. A Bachelor of Fine Arts is just like a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts. It is awarded to someone who can complete a degree in fine arts; artistic works are eligible, but performing arts aren’t.

An MFA or Masters of Fine Arts degree indicates that a pro-artist has accomplished a series of advanced classes in his or her form of art and also that he or she is proficient in his or her selected craft, whether that is a knowledge-intensive research area like art and design or film making or an innovation art form like an illustration.

An MFA is a graduate-level certification, which means that you must first have a bachelor’s degree.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBFAMFA
Full FormBFA stands for Bachelor of Fine Arts.MFA stands for Master of Fine Arts.
YearsThe course time is of 3 years which includes industrial visits and internships as well as co-curricular activities in that field.The course time is 2 years which includes job placements and internships too. This degree is essential for obtaining pHD in the field of Fine Arts.
FieldThe field is Fine Arts and falls under humanities. This course is a requirement for artists and people who want to pursue a career in visual arts and teaching professions too.This and BFA have similar fields although the master degree focuses on specializations and performing arts as well.
Degree TypeIt is an undergraduate integrated programme offered by numerous colleges and universities all over the world.It is a postgraduate integrated course programme that is taught in some universities which are deemed. 
SubjectsHistory of Arts, Composition Painting, Graphic Printmaking, Graphic designing, Ceramic and Moulds.Visual arts, Photography, Filmmaking, Art history, Dance, Theater, Acting and Creative writing.

What is BFA?

BFA stands for Bachelor of Fine Arts. In most programs, a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree differs. There are programs that include actual studio components and lecture and discussion sections.

Usually, two-thirds of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the United States is spent learning the arts. There are also more courses in general liberal arts.

It is awarded to those who are able to complete a degree in fine arts; musical theatre and other performing arts are not eligible.

The Bachelor of Singing and Dancing or Bachelor of Drama is a distinct degree for performance arts. The curriculum was developed in collaboration with the National Society of Education in Art and Design’s Artist Teachers Program.

It is separated into three trimesters yearly, with students working in workshops. Over 70 Macs, a projector, transparent printers, and a digital content studio may be found in certain facilities.

All learners have the option to participate in seminars such as sound and video, engraving and lithograph, and even cinematography. Mentors encourage their pupils’ uniqueness, effort, and entrepreneurship.

They ensure that their goods are self-sufficient, confident, well-informed, and driven.

A Bachelor of Fine Arts is just like a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts. It is awarded to someone who can complete a degree in fine arts; artistic works are eligible, but performing arts aren’t.

art students

What is MFA?

MFA, aka Master of Fine Arts programs, allow you to pursue further studies in fields such as cinematography, theatre, graphic arts, dance, and language arts.

These degrees can be obtained as an MFA. MFA degrees vary primarily in that they emphasize a more hands-on learning method, whilst MA programs are more likely to emphasize close analysis of art theory.

According to MFA degree holders, graduate school education helped them to enhance their creative ideology and design abilities while increasing the quality of their work to make it more original, refined, and intriguing.

Furthermore, MFA degree recipients claim that holding an MFA has provided them with the qualifications needed to teach seminars in their form of art at academic institutions and an adequate understanding of their art field to offer critical criticism.

Students in the MFA program are also required to conduct scholarly research. Prospective contemporary artists must complete a three-year rigorous acting education that includes rehearsing and performances of traditional and contemporary works.

Only through this education can someone detect the significant contrasts and similarities between new and classical art.

Furthermore, pupils will be able to understand dramatic literature in a new way. A Master of Fine Arts is the finest option for anyone who wishes to pursue acting and media as a career.

master of fine arts

Main Differences Between BFA and MFA

  1. BFA stands for Bachelor of Fine Arts, whereas MFA stands for Master of Fine Arts.
  2. BFA is a 3 years-long course, whereas MFA is just 2 year-long course.
  3. BFA is focused on preliminary studies, whereas MFA includes specializations and detailed subjects for professional utility.
  4. BFA is a course with integrated Master’s eligibility, whereas the MFA is only accessible to post-graduate students.
  5. BFA excludes performing arts as it focuses mostly on theories, whereas MFA includes the research and studies of performing arts as well as creative arts.

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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