Bachelor of Fine Arts

Woodworking and Fine Furniture-Making

Burlington College’s B.F.A. in Woodworking and Fine Furniture-Making is designed for individuals looking to develop a career as an employee in the furniture-making and wood industry or planning for self-employment as a furniture-maker or wood artisan. In addition to courses taken on Burlington College’s campus, students in the furniture-making program study in residence at the Vermont Woodworking School, a modern facility in a large, historic barn in Fairfax, Vermont. The Faculty teaching at Burlington College’s Fairfax facility include some of Vermont’s most accomplished Master Designer Craftsmen and women.

Vermont’s solid position as a known source of quality high-end custom furniture makes it an appropriate venue for an education program that leverages the values, skills and ethics of furniture-making’s strong history, paired with today’s marketing and design skills to equip the student with the full-package of what will be required for their success in the furniture-making world.

The program begins with a strong emphasis on design, fundamentals of woodworking, and hand-tool techniques along with exposure to current and historical examples of successful furniture-design. With their first furniture-design course, students will begin creating their own challenges through the conceptualization of their individual design projects. Students will have access to ample shop time while they are supported by Master Designer Craftsmen and women through to their project’s completion. In addition to fundamental skills, techniques and design projects, students will gain exposure to the wood industry they will soon be part of; will learn to talk and write about their work; will develop their portfolio through photographing their completed work; and will learn basic business and marketing skills. All students will also have the opportunity to participate in an internship with the goal of making employment connections or experiencing the shop of a self-employed wood artisan.

Students with an eye for design and an inclination to work with their hands will find in the Burlington College B.F.A. in Woodworking and Fine Furniture-Making ample resources to equip them to begin their career in furniture-making.

All students are required to complete an upper-level internship in the major including participation in the Action Learning Seminar for Wood Artisans. Each student also undertakes a 9-credit Degree Project and 3-credit Final Portfolio and Presentation course in the last semester.

Every Bachelor of Fine Arts in Woodworking and Fine Furniture-Making degree candidate must complete Burlington College’s General Education requirements, with the exception of only being required to take one semester of Integration Seminar.  Students must earn 121 credits to achieve a degree. The following course requirements are specific to the Bachelor in Fine Arts in Woodworking and Fine Furniture-Making. Other coursework may be substituted with permission of academic advisor. All courses are 3-credits unless otherwise noted.

Foundation Level: 15 credits
FIN111 Color and Composition
FIN113 Drawing as Communication
FIN201 Art History:Pre-historic-Medieval
FIN202 Art History:Renaissance-Modern
FRN205 3D Design and Sculpting in Wood

Entry Level: 15 credits
FRN102 Fundamentals
FRN103 Beginning Design

Intermediate Level: 18 credits
FRN202 Beyond the Basics
FRN203 Design Studio I
FRN204 Business and Computer Marketing for Artisans

Upper Level: 9 credits
FRN304 Chairs

Upper Level Electives (12 credits)
FRN206 Wood Armature Lamp Design
FRN207 Advanced Turning
FRN302 Designing for Multiples
FRN320 Furniture Elements I
FRN360 Artistic Expression
FRN370 Advanced Furniture Design Project

Internship and Degree Project: 15 credits
FRN303 Action Learning Seminar and Internship for Wood Artisans
FRN389 Final Portfolio and Presentation
FRN450 Craftsmanship Degree Project

Total: 84 credits

View the Woodworking brochure.


Brian Bright, Lead Faculty talks about the Vermont Woodworking School.

Spend a minute in the mill room at the Vermont Woodworking School.