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 include:

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

Important Facts About a Fine Arts Degree

Common Courses Arts and ideas, 2-dimensional design, 3-dimensional design, painting, drawing, art history
Prerequisites High school diploma, or equivalent
Concentrations Graphic design, photography, sculptural practices, painting, drawing, and printmaking
Learning Environment Traditional classroom and online options available

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:
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

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

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    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
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    Popular programs at CDI College:

    • Certificates

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    • Anywhere: Anjou, Laval, Longueuil, Montreal, Point Claire
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    • Maryland: Towson
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    • California: Stanford
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    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • University of Pennsylvania

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    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Howard University

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    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
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    • North Carolina: Durham