Which Art and Design Schools Are in the San Diego, CA Area?

Find art and design programs in San Diego, CA, offering certificates and degrees. Learn about art and design careers and get salary info for artists and designers living in the San Diego area. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are you looking to pursue education in the field of art and design in San Diego, California? Below you will find information pertaining to programs in graphic design, photography, painting, multimedia, and more.

What You Should Know

Both 2-year and 4-year schools in San Diego offer art and design programs. You could earn a 1-year certificate or a 2-year associate's degree in art, choosing from specialty areas such as photography or graphic design. You might also pursue a 4-year bachelor's degree in liberal arts, visual arts, applied arts or graphic design. Those programs may offer specializations including drawing, painting, art history, interior design, advertising and video, just to name a few. As a graduate student, you might be interested in master's degree programs spanning 1-3 years with many field of study options from which to choose. Explore the following summaries to determine which program is a match for you.

Schools in San Diego, CA, with Art and Design Certificate Programs

San Diego City College

In the graphic design program, you earn 27 credits by taking classes such as typography, illustration and digital media. You learn page layout and identity systems while also creating assignments that can be assembled into a portfolio. As a student in the photography certificate program, you learn technical skills, aesthetic perception and business operation principles. Some classes you can expect to take include photography history, lighting techniques and composition and design. The remaining portion is made up of electives, which include classes in photography specialties, such as landscape photography, advertising photography, travel photography, photojournalism and portraiture.

  • Program Name: Certificate of Achievement
  • Field of Study Options: Graphic design, photography
  • Program Length: Less than 1 year, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,142/year in-state; $4,670/year out-of-state (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 2-year; public; about 16,300 students (all undergraduate)

Schools in San Diego, CA, with Art and Design Associate Degree Programs

San Diego City College

This public 2-year college offers an Associate of Arts (AA) degree with emphasis in either 2-D or 3-D art, graphic design and photography as well as dance, theater, musical theater and digital music technology. A total of 60 credits is required for each program, although each concentration has a different number of emphasis-related coursework. The school offers a variety of student organizations, including a photography club where you can attend field trips and other social events.

  • Program Name: Associate of Arts
  • Field of Study Options: 2-D art, 3-D art, photography, graphic design
  • Program Length: 2 years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,142/year in-state, $4,670/year out-of-state (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 2-year, public; about 16,300 students (all undergraduate)

Schools in San Diego, CA, with Art and Design Bachelor's Degree Programs

Point Loma Nazarene University

Visual arts concentrations include drawing, painting and printmaking; sculpture and installation; photography; art history; and video, performance and interactive media. The graphic design major has tracks in art and design, advertising, editorial design and illustration. Regardless of which program you enroll in, you will showcase your artwork in a senior exhibition in the Keller Gallery. The Department of Art and Design also offers a bachelor's degree program in art education with options to concentrate in visual art or art history.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Art in Visual Arts, Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design
  • Field of Study Options: Drawing, painting and printmaking; sculpture and installation; photography; art history; video, performance and interactive media; advertising; art and design; editorial design; illustration
  • Program Length: 4 years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $32,400/year (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 4-year, private; about 3,400 students (approximately 2,600 undergraduates)

San Diego State University

The programs at San Diego State University have received accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. In the BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences program, you can concentrate in applied design, which breaks down into additional specialties, including ceramics, fiber, furniture design and jewelry. The painting and printmaking concentration that is offered also breaks down into further specialties: book arts, photography, printmaking and painting. The other concentrations in this BA program include sculpture, graphic design, interior design and multimedia. The BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences has two concentrations in art history and studio arts.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Art in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Bachelor of Art in Applied Arts and Sciences
  • Field of Study Options: Applied design, art history, graphic design, interior design, multimedia, painting and printmaking, sculpture, studio arts
  • Program Length: 4 years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $6,976/year in-state, $18,136/year out-of-state (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 33,500 students (approximately 28,400 undergraduates)

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego is located by the San Diego Bay, and it is only 15 minutes away from the city of San Diego. Despite which concentration you choose, you will complete 4 visual arts classes and 2 art history courses to fulfill your lower-division class requirements. Once you are at the upper-division level, you will take classes covering your specialty along with completing a junior review and a final senior thesis studio seminar. Additional bachelor's programs in art history or architecture are also offered in the College of Arts and Sciences.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Art in Visual Arts
  • Field of Study Options: New media; painting; drawing; sculpture/ 3-D studio art; visual communications; photography; art history; architecture; art, technology and critical studies
  • Program Length: 4 years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $44,586/year (2015-2016)
  • School Type: 4-year, private; about 8,300 students (approximately 5,700 undergraduates)

Schools in San Diego, CA, with Art and Design Master's Degree Programs

San Diego State University

Both the MA and MFA offer concentrations in all the specialties listed above; however, the MFA is considered the terminal degree for the arts. Within the painting and printmaking concentration, you further specialize in book arts, photography, painting or printmaking. Both programs require you to complete an original collection of artwork and prepare a report. The art department offers studio space and tools while you're in attendance and several exhibition facilities to display artworks.

  • Program Name: Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts
  • Program Length: 1-2 years for MA; 3 years for MFA full-time
  • Field of Study Options: Ceramics, fiber, furniture design and woodworking, jewelry and metals, graphic design, interior design, multimedia, painting and printmaking, sculpture
  • Tuition and Fees: $8,242/year in-state, $17,170/year out-of-state (2015-2016)
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE scores, portfolio, artist statement, resume, recommendation letters
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 33,500 students (approximately 5,100 graduate students)

San Diego City College offers certification and an associate's degree program in art and design, while bachelor's degree programs are provided by Point Loma Nazarene University, the University of San Diego and San Diego State University; in addition, San Diego State University offers a master's degree program in fine arts.

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:

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