Art Colleges and Degree Programs

Find information on art colleges and degree programs, including the levels of art programs available, the topics of study and what studio facilities are like. Continue reading to learn about distance learning alternatives. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Art colleges and degree programs are designed to bring out the artistic and creative talents in aspiring art students. Art colleges often include a variety of studies, such as graphic design, theatre, music, photography, creative writing, painting, visual arts and much more. Many programs exist at all levels of study, including online programs.

Degrees Associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctorate
Certificate Undergraduate certificates and post-baccalaureate certificates are available
Online Distance learning programs are widely available

What Kind of Certificate Programs Exist?

Students can pursue a certificate program in a variety of art-related disciplines. For example, you might have online certificate options in digital photography, community arts, graphic design, web design, digital media, and illustration. Continuing education certificates in similar areas of study also exist, such as a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Visual Arts or Fine Arts. Submission of an art portfolio is sometimes required for admission to these programs. The curriculum may involve seminars, studio work, critiques, and internships. Coursework in certificate programs may include:

  • Modern art
  • Contemporary art
  • Art history
  • Drawing
  • Painting

What Kind of Undergraduate Degree Programs Are There?

Undergraduate programs can focus on your specific medium or interest. Some programs focus on art-related careers, such as those in graphic design, interior design, illustration, animation, architecture and art education. As an art student, you'll typically complete general education requirements as well as degree courses and electives.

In a 2-year Associate in Arts degree program, you can take fundamental coursework that will prepare you for a bachelor's degree program. You may pursue a bachelor's degree in a wide range of fields, such as theatre, photography, music, creative writing or visual art. In a fine arts program, the instruction may focus on aesthetics, color studies, use of materials and the development of themes and concepts. Programs generally require the completion of a portfolio of work to be evaluated by faculty members. Online bachelor's programs may also be available in areas such as art history, digital photography, game art and development, or graphic design and media arts.

Can I Earn an Advanced Degree?

Both master's-level and doctoral programs are available in art and related fields. Acceptance into a graduate program usually hinges on the development of your portfolio of work generated at the undergraduate level. You may pursue a master's degree in a specific artistic area, like sculpture, painting, art history, photography or graphic communications. Achieving graduate credentials in art education may enable you to pursue a teaching career in the field. You might pursue a Master of Arts in Art History, Art Studio or Art Education.

Ph.D. programs in the arts may focus on education, theory, criticism and interdisciplinary research. You may also find doctoral programs that focus on media and art, art history or visual communications, such as a Doctor of Philosophy in Visual Studies.

What Kind of Facilities Do Art Colleges Have?

Campus programs feature a variety of facilities and equipment to assist you in your individual studies. Photography labs, woodworking facilities, large format printing equipment and multi-media technology assists artists in their specific program concentration. Many programs also provide gallery space for visual artists and theatre space for performance artists.

How Can I Be Sure I'm Choosing a Recognized Art College?

Art schools apply for accreditation through a variety of regional and national agencies. For example, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredits 352 undergraduate and graduate school programs as of 2018 through a peer review system.

What Alternatives to Campus Programs are Available?

Many online art programs can enable you to submit work without participating in classroom instruction throughout the semester. Distance learning can allow you to find a desired, accredited program without relocation or transportation considerations. If you're a graduate student, many low-residency Master of Fine Arts programs can allow you to spend a minimal amount of time on-campus attending workshops, lectures and conferences while continually submitting work and receiving feedback. Consider these art schools that offer degree programs:

  • The University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA): low-residency MFA programs
  • Sessions College (Tempe, AZ): online undergraduate degree and certificate programs and courses
  • Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA): online undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago (IL): low-residency MFA programs
  • Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (Denver, CO): online undergraduate degrees

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • 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

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Park
  • Winthrop University

    Winthrop University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Winthrop University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Towson University

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Towson
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • Vanderbilt University

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Nashville