Which Art and Design Universities Are Near Oakland, CA?

Learn about art and design schools near Oakland, CA. See degree and specialization options, program requirements, school information, and course details. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are you looking to study art and design in or around Oakland, California? Continue reading to discover bachelor's and master's degree programs in the area.

What You Need to Know

Areas around Oakland, CA, which include San Francisco, San Jose and Berkeley, are home to universities that provide bachelor's and master's level studies in art and design. You can earn a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts in art, art history or art practice. Specialization areas in both undergraduate and graduate degree programs cover a wide range of artistic pursuits, including photography, printmaking, graphic design, painting/drawing, sculpture, ceramics and digital media. A master's degree can be earned in 2-3 years. In addition to classroom instruction, your education could include developing a portfolio, participating in an art exhibition, attending visiting artist lectures and creating art and design projects. You might also take trips to art galleries and museums. Depending on your intended career path, you might be required to hold at least a bachelor's degree to begin working in the fine arts field.

Art and Design Bachelor's Degree Programs near Oakland, CA

California State University - East Bay

CSU - East Bay is located about 13 miles southeast of Oakland, in the midsize city of Hayward. As an advanced art student, you will have the opportunity to exhibit your work in this school's student art gallery. Depending on your area of specialization, the capstone requirements vary, including a senior thesis, portfolio, projects and professional practice.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Specialization Areas: BA: art studio, art history, photography, graphic design, pictorial arts, multimedia and spatial arts; BFA: multimedia, graphic design, traditional arts and photography
  • Program Length: Four years
  • Tuition and Fees: $6,564 per year for in-state students; $17,724 per year for out-of-state students (full time; estimated tuition and fees for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: 15 units of specific college prep classes (minimum grades of 2.0); BFA: earn 30 units in studio art in BA program (minimum GPA 3.5)
  • Admission Requirements: BFA: written statement and portfolio
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 12,300 undergraduate students and 2,500 graduates

San Francisco State University

Approximately 15 miles west of Oakland, SFSU's fine arts gallery is run by art students who are getting work experience in a professional setting. In addition, you will have the chance to exhibit your work in the student art gallery. In some cases, students in studio art are allowed to choose dual areas of specialization.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Art
  • Specialization Areas: Art history and art education; studio arts such as ceramics, painting/drawing, conceptual information arts, sculpture, printmaking textiles and photography; studio art/art history combination
  • Program Length: Four years
  • Tuition and Fees: $6,476 per year for in-state students; $17,636 per year for out-of-state students (full time; estimated tuition and fees for 2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Proof of immunizations and placement tests; application for admission to art majors is limited to certain months
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 25,900 undergraduate students and 3,500 graduates

University of California - Berkeley

Your art practice program includes drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, performance art, digital video, ceramics and digital animation. In this project-based program, you should expect to have your work critiqued by your classmates and instructors; there is a departmental gallery for exhibits by both students and faculty. You will visit area galleries, museums and studios to augment your learning.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Art Practice
  • Program Length: Four years
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,431 per year for in-state students; $38,139 per year for out-of-state students (full time; estimated tuition and fees for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: To declare an art major: two studio courses and one art history class (minimum 3.3 GPA)
  • Admission Requirements: Submit a portfolio
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 27,100 undergraduate students and 10,400 graduates

Art and Design Master's Degree Programs near Oakland, CA

San Francisco State University

These graduate programs could prepare you for work in museums, art galleries, secondary schools and community colleges. You might also choose to continue your education in a doctoral program. For completion of the requirements, you will write a thesis or complete a project with a paper. Some students need five semesters to finish the MA program and complete the thesis during the last semester.

  • Program Name: Master of Fine Arts in Art or Master of Arts in Art History
  • Specialization Areas: MFA: conceptual and information arts, ceramics, drawing/painting, new practices (across media), printmaking, photography, textiles or sculpture; MA: Renaissance, Asian art, modern art, history of prints, Spanish art, history of queer art and new media art
  • Program Length: MFA: three years; MA: two years
  • Tuition and Fees: $6,738 per year for in-state students plus $1,004 in fees; $15,666 per year for out-of-state students plus $1,004 in fees (full time; estimates for 2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: MFA: undergraduate art degree (minimum 3.0 in last 60 units); MA: undergraduate degree with 18 units of art history (3.5 GPA in major; 3.0 overall GPA)
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 25,900 undergraduate students and 3,500 graduates

San Jose State University

San Jose is located approximately 35 miles southeast of Oakland. SJSU's MA program would prepare you for a doctoral program or for jobs in research, museums or visual resource libraries. The MFA degree program would further train you as a studio artist and prepare you for teaching at a university or college. MA students will complete a project or final thesis, and MFA students will exhibit a final thesis project in a department gallery.

  • Program Name: Master of Fine Arts or Master of Arts in Art History
  • Specialization Areas: MFA: photography, digital media, spatial art or pictorial art
  • Program Length: 2-3 years
  • Tuition and Fees: $6,738 per year for in-state students plus $1,906 in fees; $15,666 per year for out-of-state students plus $1,906 in fees (full time; estimates for 2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: MFA: 60 undergraduate art units, resume, academic summary form, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose and portfolio; MA: 30 units of art history classes, in addition to other items
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 26,700 undergraduate students and 6,000 graduate students

University of California - Berkeley

The graduate program at UC Berkeley is interdisciplinary; you take classes in environmental science, geography, classics, disability studies, art history, cognitive science, philosophy, interactive design, film studies, rhetoric and comparative literature. You will meet international artists through a visiting artist lecture series and artist studio field trips. Each student is expected to accomplish a significant amount of work in this program; it will be exhibited throughout both years.

  • Program Name: Master of Fine Arts in Art Practice
  • Program Length: About two years
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,220 per year for in-state students plus $2,211 in fees; $26,322 per year for out-of-state students plus $2,211 in fees (full time; estimates for 2015-2016)
  • Admission Requirements: Undergraduate degree (minimum 3.0 GPA) including sufficient courses in chosen field, English proficiency and portfolio
  • School Type: 4-year, public; about 27,100 undergraduate students and 10,400 graduates

To summarize the above information, bachelor's degree programs in art and design are offered by California State University's East Bay campus, San Francisco State University, and the University of California's Berkeley campus; the latter two institutions also provide master's degree programs, alongside San Jose State University.

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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