What Is a Fine Arts Degree?

A degree in fine arts can prepare students for careers in the visual arts or the performing arts. Programs at colleges, universities, art academies and technical schools often provide an overview of fine arts before requiring students to choose a concentration. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Fine Arts Coursework

Fine arts programs are as varied as the students who enroll in them. Students may choose to concentrate in a visual art, such as painting, photography or sculpture, or they may concentrate in a performing art, like dance, voice or theater. Examples of topics a fine arts student can expect to study are listed below:

  • Art history
  • Art theory and criticism
  • Performing arts
  • 2D art (painting, drawing, photography)
  • 3D art (sculpture, pottery)
  • Digital art

Associate of Fine Arts (AFA)

An associate's degree program in fine arts from a two-year or four-year college or university provides a foundation for upper-level class work leading to a bachelor's degree. Two-year technical schools and art academies may provide more specialized training in a shorter amount of time. Some career opportunities available to Associate of Fine Arts graduates are listed below:

  • Private music or art teacher
  • Theater production assistant
  • Freelance photographer
  • Jewelry designer

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Bachelor of Fine Arts programs help artists define their creative expression and develop professional skills that will help them promote their art as freelancers or obtain jobs with arts-related companies or nonprofit organizations. This undergraduate degree qualifies graduates for entry-level positions with galleries, museums and theater companies, including such job positions as the following:

  • Creative writer
  • Actor/director
  • Art teacher
  • Art therapist
  • Dance instructor

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

A Master of Fine Arts can lead to management and directorship positions in arts-related enterprises. Graduate degree programs offer both the creative and the management skills needed to become a museum director or a theatrical producer, for example. Master of Fine Arts candidates specialize in their chosen area of concentration. Career opportunities include the following:

  • Curator
  • Appraiser
  • Costume designer
  • Archivist
  • Nonprofit administrator

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Media Institute

    Media Institute responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Media Institute:

    • Associate Programs

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Madison
  • Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design

    Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design:

    Campus Locations:

    • Colorado: Online Campus, Lakewood
  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Duke University

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Durham
  • University of Notre Dame

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Notre Dame
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • Georgetown University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington