University of South Florida

School of Art & Art History

USF College of The Arts


A stroke of the brush, a splash of color. This is your happy place, the creative space within which you express yourself. Refine your skills with various techniques that enable you to excel with painting.


Adapting skills-based learning and research methodologies, the University of South Florida painting program supports art-making as a process of inquiry that is continually sharpened by experience, knowledge and practice. Faculty work closely with students in their painting practice and to consider art within international, national and regional contexts.

Undergraduate Program

At beginning levels, working from observation conveys visual principles of form and space while emphasizing essentials of technical training. Intermediate courses focus on various topics such as the figure, printmaking, mixed media, digital processes, global landscapes, and color theory; special topics courses reflect faculty research interests.

Intermediate courses also introduce theoretical and cultural ideas through projects that prepare students for the tutorial nature of advanced coursework.

At the advanced level, painting and drawing disciplines combine. Students develop a body of work and conceptual framework for their visual practice. Students may apply for private 24-hour access studios.

Graduate Program

Our nationally ranked Master of Fine Arts degree is an idea-centered program encouraging broad media exploration, in-depth projects and engagement with theoretical and cultural issues.

The MFA program encourages our graduate students to take advantage of excellent private studio space, technical facilities and the opportunity to teach. Graduate students receive focused, individual attention in their studio work from professionally active research and teaching faculty. In their first year, graduate students work closely with faculty as graduate assistants, often helping in their courses and gain experience to teach independently. In their studio work and pedagogy, MFA students are integral to the area’s mission for delivering contemporaneous content.

Degrees / Ways to Study

To study Painting at USF, students can pursue the following undergraduate and graduate studio art degrees at the School of Art & Art History.

Area Faculty

Neil Bender, Associate Professor in Painting and Drawing
Phone: 813.974.2360 | Email:

Sue Havens, Associate Professor in Painting and Drawing
Phone: 813.974.2360 | Email:

Ezra Johnson, Assistant Professor in Painting and Drawing
Phone: 813.974.2360 | Email:

Joo Yeon Woo, Assistant Professor in Painting and Drawing
Phone: 813.974.2360 | Email:  

  • People viewing paintings and other student artworks at ArtHouse.

    BFA Painting Curriculum

    Explore the details of the curriculum and example eight-semester plan for the BFA in Studio Art with a Painting Specialization.

    Learn more

  • Opening reception of the annual Juried Student Art Exhibition at the USF School of Art & Art History.

    Apply for Admission

    Get information on how to apply and list of requirements for admission to the University of South Florida and the School of Art & Art History.

    Learn more

  • University of South Florida's academic seal at the front entrance of the Tampa campus.

    Request Information

    Students and families can also request more information about the School of Art & Art History’s programs by filling out the USF College of The Arts online form.

    Request info