Which Art and Design Schools Are in the Memphis, TN Area?

Learn about art and design programs in the Memphis, TN, area. Get information about degrees available and admission and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Students can attend private or public institutions in the Memphis, TN, area to study art and design at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Here you can read about four schools and get an overview of their programs that can help you make a decision on your education.

What You Should Know

The Memphis area offers art programs at 2- or 4-year colleges that confer degrees at different levels. Although a college degree isn't generally required for artists, undertaking a degree program can help you enhance your artistic skills and expand your portfolio. You might start out by earning an associate's degree in art meant to transfer later to a 4-year school. Art bachelor's degree programs include those with a wide focus on general studio arts and others offering formal concentrations in specific media, such as sculpture, photography or painting. You could also earn a master's degree in an area of specialization within about two years, in a program that requires a thesis and exhibition of your work. Keep reading to see if one of these programs looks appealing.

Art and Design Associate Degree Program in the Memphis Area

Northwest Mississippi Community College

Northwest Mississippi Community College's art program is intended for students who plan to transfer to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program at a 4-year school. The program covers a number of general education requirements in subjects like history, English and science, as well as art subjects such as design, drawing and computer art. It also includes art history courses, and you can choose from electives in artistic media such as painting or ceramics. The school's location in Mississippi is about 40 miles south of Memphis.

  • Program Name: Associate of Arts in Art
  • Program Length: 2 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $2,550 per year for MS residents; $4,950 per year for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: List of art commendations, interview, 10-piece portfolio, 2 recommendation letters, ACT or SAT scores
  • School Type: 2-year, public; 7,559 students (all undergraduate)

Art and Design Bachelor's Degree Programs in the Memphis Area

LeMoyne-Owen College

The art program at LeMoyne-Owen College comprises a number of required art classes on topics such as photography, sculpture, design and art history. In addition, you'll undergo foreign language courses in either French or Spanish, and you'll take a mandatory course in research methodology. You'll also choose from high-level art electives that provide instruction in areas like graphic arts, typography and computer illustration.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Art
  • Program Length: 120 credits (approximately 4 years, full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $10,680 per year (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 1,006 students (all undergraduate)

Rhodes College

Though formal concentrations aren't offered in the art program at Rhodes, instruction is offered in the areas of painting, sculpture, digital arts and drawing. Requirements of the program include introductory courses in 2 out of the 3 media of painting, drawing and sculpture, as well as 2 art history classes. As part of your required senior thesis project, you'll add 5 photographs of your completed work to the 5 you were required to submit with your application to the program, and you'll update the artist's statement you composed at that time. Your thesis work, usually undertaken during the last semester of your senior year, will involve an ongoing research agenda and correlative creative work, as well as formal critiques from classmates and faculty members.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Art
  • Program Length: 128 credits (approximately 4 years, full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $43,224 per year (costs as of 2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: 5 images of completed work, artist's essay
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 2,054 students (2,031 undergraduate)

University of Memphis

Beyond general education courses, the undergraduate art program at the University of Memphis begins with foundational art courses that cover topics such as drawing, idea development, digital technology and elements of design. All of the program areas of emphasis require courses in art history, as well as a minimum number of art electives.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art
  • Field of Study Options: Studio arts, graphic design, art education, photography
  • Specialization Areas: For studio arts option: Ceramics, painting, printmaking, sculpture, independent studies
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $8,903 per year for TN residents; $20,615 per year for non-residents ( 2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: For admission into a concentration: Portfolio; requirements specifically for the graphic design concentration: Portfolio with 5 pieces and writing assignment
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 21,059 students (17,073 undergraduate)

Art and Design Master's Degree Program in the Memphis Region

University of Memphis

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program at the University of Memphis requires that you complete 36 credits of studio art courses, with most being in your area of specialization. You'll also take classes in art history and choose from upper-level courses on topics such as computer animation, mixed media, visual communication and 3-D media. To graduate, you'll undergo a written exam (potentially followed by a corresponding oral exam) and prepare a thesis that involves an exhibition of your work. If your specialization is graphic design, you'll need to complete a written thesis that correlates with accompanying visual documentation.

  • Program Name: Master of Fine Arts in Art
  • Specialization Areas: Printmaking/photography, graphic design, ceramics, sculpture, painting
  • Program Length: 60 credits (approximately 2 years, full-time)
  • Tuition and Fees: $10,211 per year for TN residents; $18,994 per year for non-residents (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Undergraduate degree with at least 70 credits in art
  • Admission Requirements: Portfolio with 20-30 pieces, 2 recommendation letters, personal statement
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 21,059 students (17,073 undergraduate)

In conclusion, choosing from a wide variety of specializations, students near Memphis, TN, can earn their associate's degrees at Northwest Mississippi Community College, their bachelor's at LeMoyne-Owen College, Rhodes College or the University of Memphis and their master's degrees in art at University of Memphis.

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:
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