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Fine Arts Degree Programs and Colleges

Learn about the different fields of study that can be found in a fine arts program, such as creative writing, performing arts or visual arts. Read on for more information about the coursework and online program options.

What You Need to Know

A fine arts degree program consists of general education in the arts, along with the history, theory and practice of the creative medium you choose to study. Many fine arts degree programs exist at schools all across the country. Online programs are also widely available.

Schools Pratt Institute, The University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Goddard College, Ohio University, Berklee College, Yale University
Programs Associate's, bachelor's, master's, Ph.D.
Degree Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.), Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.), Bachelor's of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

What Undergraduate Degree Programs Are Available?

Associate's degree programs are comprised of general liberal arts classes and introductory courses. You can continue your education with a bachelor's degree or begin a professional career upon graduation. A Bachelor of Fine Arts program includes a wider variety of classes with a higher degree of theoretical study and practice in your art form. These courses might be covered in an undergraduate fine arts degree program:

  • Figurative painting
  • Jewelry design
  • Printmaking
  • Drawing
  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Photography
  • Integrated media

What Graduate Degree Programs Are Available?

A Master of Fine Arts program usually takes two to three years to complete and places greater emphasis on research, performance, or skills developed in your selected field. The program is made up of workshops, seminars, and coursework with more advanced critiques and instruction than at the undergraduate level. You'll be mentored by faculty and have the chance to apply for professional internships. A Doctor of Fine Arts is commonly awarded as an honorary degree; however, a few schools offer academic doctoral programs in fine arts. These programs usually require that you first earn a master's degree. With a doctoral degree, you can enter a career in academia.

What Could I Study in a Performing Arts Program?

The performing arts field is highly varied, leading to careers in theater, dance, film, or music. As a theater major, you might specialize in acting, stage direction, set design, or screenwriting. If you enter a program in film, you could study various aspects of filmmaking and video production, such as cinematography, audio editing, and directing. A degree program in music can include specialization in classical vocal training, composition, ensemble work, contemporary songwriting, and production techniques. You're usually given the chance to participate in several productions and performances.

What Does a Fine Arts Degree Program in Creative Writing Entail?

During the course of your study, you'll be exposed to many different kinds of writing, including fiction, poetry, memoir, journalism, and playwriting. In workshops, you'll receive feedback and hone your editorial skills by assessing the work of other students. You could also study literature and literary theory. Many creative writing degree programs consist of curricula designed to prepare you for a career in publishing with courses in book design, literary magazines, and marketing. Practicums are available if you wish to go into teaching.

Can I Find Fine Arts Degree Programs Online?

Many degree programs are offered online, offering you the flexibility of taking courses from home. Some schools may offer only certain classes online and require you to attend on-campus labs and studio sessions. Technical requirements include computer and Internet access. You might need to install particular software and tools in order to access online classes, lectures, and coursework. These colleges offer fine arts degree programs, some with online coursework:

  • Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA)
  • Minnesota State Community and Technical College (Perham)
  • UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Savannah College of Art and Design (GA)
  • Coastal Carolina Community College (Jacksonville, NC)
  • Goddard College (Plainfield, VT)
  • Pratt Institute (Locations in New York)
  • New York University (NY)
  • Ohio University (Athens)
  • University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)