The Foundations Program at the New Hampshire Institute of Art


“Foundations at NHIA is about more than skill development. By bringing together faculty, students and artists who work in a wide range of media, we are building a community where students create, invent and learn. Students in the Foundations program develop into creative professionals with the ability to question everything and the technical agility to be really amazing makers.” Joel Gill, Foundations Faculty

Our Foundations program gives you a rigorous grounding in the fundamentals of art and design. This first-year program will be taught by a team of faculty from every department, integrating liberal arts and sciences and the majors, to provide all students the experiences, skills, and well-rounded education they need to succeed in their chosen discipline right from the start.

The results of the year long program are on display at our annual Foundations exhibition. This year’s show was titled “Untitled." Check out the exhibition catalog here.

We start by combining theory and practice to create a firm understanding of the rules artists use to make art, whatever your medium, then grant you the confidence to break those rules and create your own voice. You’ll accomplish this with close personal guidance and support from faculty who are passionate about helping you develop as a professional. Whatever your choice of major, Foundations ensures that you set out on your personal journey with the knowledge, skills and work ethic needed to compete and thrive in today’s creative world.

What else you need to know

  • We are the ONLY college in America offering BFA degrees that require all students to complete three semesters of professional practices, business marketing, and entrepreneurship studies for the arts.
  • Our partnership with UNH Manchester expands course offerings by double, without adding expense or time to complete your degree
  • We require nine credits of a professional practicum (paid or unpaid internships) in all disciplines
  • Every freshman gets a fully loaded Macbook laptop for no additional expense 


Undergraduate Viewbook
Virtual Tour
Catalyst - An NHIA News Magazine
Ayris - Student Run Magazine

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