Associate Degree in Art

Learn what types of general and studio classes you'll take in an associate degree program in art. Find information on career options, as well as how to continue your art education at the bachelor's level. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Classes Will I Take While Earning an Associate Degree in Art?

In addition to college core requirements - English, math and social sciences - coursework for an associate degree in art focuses on creating and recognizing aesthetically pleasing compositions across a variety of mediums. Some programs allow for concentration on a chosen medium in studio classes, while others focus on a broad selection.

General Art Classes

Associate art degree programs require you to complete a series of introductory classes as prerequisites to your studio classes. These classes will orient you with art theories, conceptual design principles and historical background. Introductory classes you will encounter include:

  • Introduction to art
  • Art history
  • Art appreciation
  • 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional design

Studio Classes

Once you complete your prerequisites, you will enter into your instructive studio series. In these practical application classes, you will work with a specific medium to produce compositions that reflect your aptitude for design principles and your skill level. Depending on your college, you may choose one or two specific mediums or receive a broad introduction in several. Studio courses typically offered include:

  • Drawing
  • Ceramics
  • Sculpture
  • Digital art
  • Photography
  • Graphic design

Common Courses Art history, digital art, drawing, sculpture, art theories
Key Skills Critical thinking, design analysis, clear communication, artwork evaluation, application of design principles
Learning Environment Traditional classroom degree options are available
Possible Careers Craft artist, multimedia art, art director, fine artist

What Skills Will I Gain?

After completion of your associate degree, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge of theoretical design principles through your compositions. Your pieces will reflect calculated design analysis and critical thinking skills. You will also be proficient in the evaluation of your peers' artwork through oral and written communication.

Can I Earn an Associate Degree in Art Online?

Given that an art degree focuses on hands-on, classroom-intensive curriculum, accredited online options are not available for this degree. If you are concerned about time restraints or scheduling conflicts, look for a community college that offers flexible course times.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Enroll in a Bachelor's Degree Program

If you are interested in transferring to a 4-year university to complete a bachelor's degree in studio or visual art, you will have a solid foundation for a more in-depth study of a specific medium. Most fine or studio art bachelor's degree programs require a portfolio review for admission. Your 2-year degree will likely provide you with a portfolio that represents your artistic style and skill level.

Consult your desired institution before you enroll, as some universities limit accepted transferred credit hours or certain courses.

Start Your Career as an Artisan

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about half of all art directors, craft artists, fine artists and multimedia artists were self-employed or freelance contractors ( in 2014. Artisans who are not self-employed may work at museums, print publications and advertising firms.

As competition is stiff in corporate and freelance markets, a current, working portfolio is important in increasing your opportunities for positions or contracts.

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

  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Yuba College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Marysville
  • Young Harris College

    Campus Locations:

    • Georgia: Young Harris
  • Yavapai College

    Campus Locations:

    • Arizona: Prescott
  • Western Wyoming Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wyoming: Rock Springs
  • Western Texas College

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: Snyder
  • Western Oklahoma State College

    Campus Locations:

    • Oklahoma: Altus
  • Western Nevada College

    Campus Locations:

    • Nevada: Carson City
  • Southwestern College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Chula Vista
  • Western Nebraska Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Nebraska: Scottsbluff