Affordable Fine Arts Degrees

Scroll down to see the most affordable fine arts degrees in 2016, as well as info on the different types of fine arts degrees and fine arts program accreditation.

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Experienced hands will tell you that art is a passion, not a profession. Yet, despite the starving artist label, many fine arts graduates earn incomes comparable to liberal arts majors. In 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported that the unemployment rate for recent MFA was just under 5%, with a median yearly income of roughly $50,000. On the flip side, artists often have to suffer through periods of economic insecurity, work multiple jobs and explore alternative career paths.

Committed to the creative life? In our short guide to fine arts degrees, you’ll find a primer on programs at every level. Discover the difference between the BFA/MFA and BA/MA, refine your options by consulting our degree checklist and make an informed decision on the DFA. Since your job prospects may live or die on the basis of your school’s reputation, we also cover the importance of accreditation and the meaning of acronyms like NASAD, AICAD and the like.

Note: For advice on subjects other than art & art history, check out our profiles of affordable Graphic Design, Drama/Theater, Music and Film, Video & Photography degrees.

Types of Fine Arts Degrees

Associate of Fine Arts (AFA)

An Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) is a 2 year undergraduate program focused on the fundamentals of a fine arts field (e.g. painting, sculpture, dance, etc.). The AFA is offered by community colleges, universities, art academies and technical schools. It is usually a stepping-stone for students who want to earn a BFA or BA in fine arts. A high school diploma or the equivalent is required to apply.

The AFA or the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in fine arts is considered by CAA and NASAD to be a pre-professional degree if:

  • It is structured to transfer to a professional baccalaureate
  • Requires students to earn 65% of course credit in the creation and study of art and design

Sample Coursework

An AFA typically includes a mixture of fine arts courses (i.e. studio work) and liberal arts courses. You may find that art academies and technical schools concentrate on professional training. Some will include work opportunities and internships. Whatever choice you make, be sure your credits will be transferable to your favored 4-year programs.

Career Opportunities

Looking for entry-level jobs that can help you earn money for your BFA? Consider working as a production assistant, photographer’s assistant, freelance musician, web designer, private tutor, etc.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is a 4-5 year undergraduate program focused on visual arts or performance. You’ll find them in traditional universities, but also in art academies and technical schools. A high school diploma or the equivalent is required to apply.

These highly competitive programs are available in any number of disciplines, including acting, creative writing, fashion, animation, musical theater, painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics, industrial design, film/TV production, etc. Since the BFA is a professional degree, you will often be required to submit a high school portfolio or perform auditions as part of the application process.

Sample Coursework

A BFA degree starts with 2 years of introductory courses focused on fine arts (i.e. actual practice) and liberal arts (e.g. literature, history, psychology, math, etc.). After that, the program will concentrate more on practical work and internships. During this time, you can build your portfolio and present projects. Occasionally, studio coursework may lengthen a degree past 4 years.

BA vs. BFA

According to the College Art Association (CAA):

  • The BFA focuses on studio work and professional training supported by a program in general studies (~2/3s fine arts courses; 1/3 liberal arts). Students prepare to be working artists.
  • The BA is a traditional university degree that focuses on the study of art, design, and art history in the context of a broader program of general study (~2/3s liberal arts courses; 1/3 fine arts). Preparation for a studio career is not the final endpoint.

Since BFA and BA degrees often share core courses/electives, you may not have to make a choice of degree until after your 1st or 2nd year. Consult an academic advisor and mentors for help in making your decision.

Career Opportunities

Some BFA and BA graduates become what you might expect – artists, art historians, actors, writers, film directors, dancers, photographers, interior designers, etc. But many others use their skills to work as advertisers, teachers, marketers, publishers, administrators and similar art-related professions.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a 2-3 graduate year program focused on professional training in visual arts or performance. A bachelor’s degree is usually required, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a BFA. The most critical part of your application will be your portfolio or performance audition.

Like the BFA, MFA degrees are available in almost every arts discipline (e.g. writing, visual arts, graphic design, photography, filmmaking, theater, dance, etc.). The program often culminates in a major project or a performance.

MA vs. MFA

  • An MFA is focused on practice. The fine arts “core” is seasoned with occasional classes in liberal arts. This is a professional program designed for students serious about becoming artists.
  • An MA is concerned with critical study and scholarship. The curriculum is more “academic” (e.g. 50% liberal arts courses and 50% fine arts).

Career Opportunities

MFA and MA graduates become artists, art historians, art teachers, gallery managers, museum directors, curators, archivists and more. They may also ascend to management and directorship positions in their profession.

One important thing to note – unless you’re studying music, the MFA is generally considered a terminal degree. That means MFA graduates can become full-time professors at the university level. Unfortunately, not all schools are aware of this fact. This has lead to the development of the DFA.

Doctorate of Fine Arts (DFA)

A Doctorate of Fine Arts (DFA) is an academic program focused on high-level research and theory. Although doctorates are more common overseas, there are a small number available at U.S. universities. The goal of a DFA is to prepare students to teach studio work plus art history and critical theory at the university level (i.e. tenure-track positions).

DFA vs. MFA

In theory, an MFA should be enough to qualify you for professorships. However, many hiring committees don’t understand that the MFA is a terminal degree. When looking at résumés, they often pass over qualified candidates.

You could consider a DFA. But be careful. By concentrating on scholarship and theory, artists often lose touch with their professional practice and studio work. Most doctoral students find their art production drops to nil during study. The title of “working artist” is gradually replaced by “historian and theoretician.”

Note: An academic DFA is not to be confused with an honorary degree that has been granted to those who have made outstanding contributions to the arts.

Certificate in Fine Arts

Certificates in fine arts are typically offered at the graduate level. Unlike the MFA, a certificate is a non-degree program that generally takes less than 1 year to complete.

Sample Coursework

Certificates are composed of foundation courses in a specific area of interest (e.g. arts management, documentary film, digital photography, ceramics, etc.). Some may be available online. If you wish to earn certificate credit hours for a future MFA, make sure your credits will be transferable.

Career Opportunities

You may be wish to earn a certificate in order to:

  • Boost your portfolio, job prospects and earning power
  • Earn credits for an MFA further down the track
  • Add new skills to your existing MFA

Checklist for a BFA or MFA Program

Location

Placement is key to building contacts. Los Angeles will connect you to up-and-coming artists, the film industry and computer animation; New York may be optimal for dance, stage acting and art restoration/museum work. Go where the action is.

Internships/Apprenticeships

Does your fine arts program prepare you for employment? Train you for career certifications? Introduce you to movers and shakers? Networking is a huge factor in becoming a successful artist.

Faculty Quality

Teachers can make or break an MFA program. Consider their body of work as professional artists, their industry reputation and their potential connections.

Campus Facilities

For the money you pay, you deserve up-to-date technology and materials, high quality spaces (e.g. metalwork forges, painting studios, dance rehearsal rooms, etc.) and student support services.

Financial Aid

A number of institution-based scholarships and fellowships exist for promising artists. Don’t be afraid to ask what your school can offer.

Important Accreditations

Regional Accreditation

Regardless of whether you’re considering a BA/MA or a BFA/MFA, we recommend attending a school with regional accreditation. This is a “seal of approval” granted to non-profit and public institutions by one of six regional accrediting bodies (e.g. New England Association of Schools and Colleges).

You can learn more about the difference between national accreditation, regional accreditation and diploma mills in Accreditation: Understanding the Difference Between Real Schools and Diploma Mills.

Benefits of Regional Accreditation

A degree with regional accreditation will make it much easier for you to:

  • Transfer credits (many regionally accredited institutions will not accept course credits from nationally accredited schools)
  • Apply for student loans, scholarships, tuition reimbursement and funding opportunities
  • Be accepted to regionally accredited graduate schools
  • Look good in the eyes of headhunters and recruiters

Regional accreditation only applies to the institution. For fine arts programs, you can also look for program accreditation from NASAD, AICAD and/or subject-specific accrediting bodies.

NASAD

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) establishes national standards for undergraduate programs, graduate degrees and related credentials for schools of art and design. In NASAD’s view, the term “schools” includes universities and colleges, but also post-secondary non-degree-granting schools for visual arts. It has approximately 323 accredited institutional members.

Search for NASAD-Accredited Institutional Members

AICAD

In addition to NASAD, some art schools choose to be members of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). This is a non-profit consortium of 42 leading art schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Membership is open to specialized colleges of art and design that are private, non-profit, free-standing, BFA and/or MFA degree-granting and accredited by NASAD and the appropriate regional accrediting agency. Over 70% of students in AICAD schools receive financial aid to support their education.

Search for an AICAD institution

Subject-Specific Accreditations (e.g. NAST)

NASAD and AICAD aren’t the only players on the block. There are a number of associations that focus specifically on fields of performance and design, including:

When in doubt, consult your high school guidance counselor or undergraduate advisor for advice on appropriate accreditations.

School Rankings

1

New Jersey City University

The Art Department at New Jersey City University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art, a Master of Arts in Art and a Master of Fine Arts in Art. The B.A. in Art is available in seven specializations, including art history, art therapy, communication design, design and crafts, fine arts, photography and art teaching. The B.F.A is available in four specializations: communication design, design and crafts, fine arts and photography. B.A. and B.F.A. students who choose the specialization in communication and design can further specialize their studies by choosing a concentration in illustration, digital design, illustration design, and graphic design. Similarly, design and crafts majors can choose concentrations in jewelry/metals or ceramics, and fine arts majors can choose concentrations in drawing/painting, printmaking or sculpture.

CAG Score 97.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,136 Students

2

University of California-Irvine

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with the following areas of emphasis: painting & drawing, performance art, photography, digital filmmaking, electronic art and design, sculpture, and critical theory. Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees are available in art and in critical and curatorial studies. MFA in Art students can choose from the same undergraduate emphasis areas, but also from the following additional fields: feminist studies, Asian/American studies, and visual studies. Courses for the interdisciplinary MFA in Critical and Curatorial Studies program are taught by faculty from the School of the Arts and the School of Humanities. Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for the H.B. and Isabelle Yolen Memorial Scholarship ($2,000).

CAG Score 97.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

30,051 Students

3

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Art Department at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill maintains a small program that allows faculty to work closely with students. The studio art program offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with emphasis in painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, electronic media, mixed media, and printmaking. Art History students can choose a Bachelor of Arts degree or combine studio courses with Art History for a BFA. Graduate programs include a Master of Fine Arts in studio arts and Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Art History. Summer research and international study opportunities are available. Scholarships include the George Kachergis Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship Fund, Penland School of Crafts Scholarship, and Marvin Saltzman Fund in Art.

CAG Score 97.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

29,135 Students

4

CUNY Queens College

The Art Department at Queens College offers bachelor's and master's degrees in art history, art education, studio art, and a bachelor's degree in design. Undergrads studying studio art can earn a 51-credit Bachelor of Arts or a 72-credit Bachelor of Fine Arts. The Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art is a 54-credit program. The Bachelor of Arts in Art History requires 36 credits, and the Master of Arts in Art History requires 30 credits. The Bachelor of Science in Design allows students to concentrate in Communication Design, Interaction Design, or Animation and Illustration. The 60-credit design program prepares students for careers or graduate study. Undergrads can also declare a minor in studio art, art history, or design.

CAG Score 97.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

19,310 Students

5

University of Minnesota-Duluth

The University of Minnesota-Duluth offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Art History. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The Bachelor of Arts in Art requires a second major or minor in another area and is a popular choice for those planning to continue to a professional graduate school. BFA students specialize in digital art and photography; general studio; painting, drawing and printmaking; or sculpture and ceramics. Students have additional creative outlets outside of classrooms, with organizations such as the Art History Symposium, Student Photography Cooperative and Mud Guild. Scholarships include the Art Mitchell and Schissell Scholarship and Dale C. Hagen Art and Design Scholarship.

CAG Score 96.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

11,093 Students

6

Amherst College

Amherst College's Department of Art and Art History offers undergraduate majors in the history of art and in the practice of art. Both majors require the completion of 10 major courses. Students who concentrate their studies in the history of art are required to take an introductory art history course; two courses in African, Asian, or the Middle Eastern art; courses in European and American art; two upper-level courses or seminars; and one studio elective. Students who concentrate their studies in the practice of art complete three introductory studio courses, five additional studio courses, a contemporary art history course and one additional art history course. Students in both majors are required to complete a comprehensive examination, except for those who choose to complete a thesis in the practice of art.

CAG Score 96.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,792 Students

7

CUNY York College

York College grants bachelor's degrees in art history and in studio art. The Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art is a 45-credit program that requires students to take basic classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, and design as well as advanced studio art classes. Studio art majors are also required to take at least three classes in art history. Students who want to minor in studio art must take 15 classes in fine arts. Art history majors also take some studio art classes. On-campus facilities dedicated to fine arts include art studios, slide library, art gallery, and dedicated computer labs. Scholarships for art majors include the Community Commemorative Quilt Committee Scholarship for Creative Arts and Academic Excellence (up to $1,000).

CAG Score 96.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,493 Students

8

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Students at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities find in-depth studio instruction in areas of ceramics, photography, sculpture, drawing and painting, printmaking, and experimental and media arts. The school offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in these areas, with a general Bachelor of Arts available. International study is offered in China, Uruguay, Ireland and Germany. The school also offers the New York City Program, which culminates in a class exhibition in the city. Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees in Art History are also offered. Art History students have the option to gain hands-on experience in a museum setting and conduct scholarly research. The department offers competitive, merit-based scholarships.

CAG Score 96.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

51,147 Students

9

St Mary's College of Maryland

The Department of Art and Art History at St. Mary College of Maryland offers undergraduate majors and minors in the fields of art and art history. Students majoring in art are required to complete four core courses, five elective courses in an area of focus, two courses in art history and a senior capstone experience. The capstone experience can be completed in the form of an eight-credit St. Mary's Project in art or two 300- or 400- level art studio courses. The art history major requires a minimum of 48 credits of coursework, including two core courses, one 200-level and four 300-level art history courses, an advanced seminar or topics course, an art criticism course and a senior experience.

CAG Score 96.7

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,721 Students

10

Texas Woman's University

Students in the Department of Visual Arts at Texas Woman's University have access to modern, well-equipped studios to develop their artistic abilities. Degrees include a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Art History and Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, and Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts with concentrations in ceramics, graphic design, painting and drawing, photography, and sculpture. The Student Gallery offers exhibition space for students while the East and West Galleries host visiting exhibitions and qualifying student artwork. There are a number of extracurricular organizations for those with interest in a specific medium. Scholarships include the Thelma Merrifield Painter and Clarence Painter Endowment, Marie Delleney Memorial Scholarship and Sue E. Comer Art Scholarship.

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

15,071 Students

11

Rutgers University

Through its Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University's Visual Arts Department offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and a Master of Fine Arts. The B.A. in Art focuses on the fundamental principles of visual art through studio and art history coursework. The B.F.A. in Visual Arts allows students to specialize their studies in one of seven concentration areas: design, drawing, media, painting, photography, print or sculpture. The M.F.A. is a 60-credit program in which students complete seminars in painting, sculpture, photography, media and printmaking. All M.F.A. students receive scholarships that cover the cost of full out-of-state tuition their first year and full in-state tuition their second year.

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

6,321 Students

12

Wayne State College

The Department of Art and Design at Wayne State College offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in studio art that are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The program is designed for students interested in pursuing graduate work in art, as well as those seeking immediate employment as visual artists or in other fields of art. Students complete coursework in subjects like drawing, painting, printmaking, digital imaging, pottery, sculpture and art history. Students also participate in a senior exhibit the second semester of their senior year. Additionally, studio art majors are eligible for scholarship opportunities like the Special Abilities Art and Design Scholarship, which is awarded to incoming freshman who demonstrate exceptional abilities in art or design.

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

3,470 Students

13

University of Florida

Students at the University of Florida interested in the arts can choose from Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Art History, a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts, and Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts. Disciplines offered include ceramics, creative photography, drawing, graphic design, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Art History is a research-based program with a senior seminar and individual research projects required. The Visual Arts degree is flexible to allow students to combine studio work with a double major outside the arts. The college offers a residential community for students in Reid Hall, with studio space and a gallery. Scholarships include the Amy Nicole DeGrove Memorial Scholarship.

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

49,459 Students

14

California State University-Long Beach

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree at CSU Long Beach is offered in the following studio art programs: ceramics, drawing and painting, graphic design, illustration, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and 3-D media (fiber, metal, and wood). Students are required to submit a portfolio to be considered for any of these programs, and are given only two attempts to qualify. The College of the Arts (COTA) also offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Art degree with a concentration in studio art. The MFA program is designed to be completed within three years. A certificate program in museum and curatorial studies is also available. Each year, qualified continuing COTA students are considered for at least $60,000 worth of scholarships.

CAG Score 96.6

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

36,809 Students

15

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

The University of Washington-Seattle offers students the opportunity to explore multiple creative pursuits through the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts. Students take courses from across the college, with the freedom to study related fields. The school also offers a BA, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing and BFA and MFA degrees in Photomedia and 3D4M, which combines the disciplines of ceramics, glass and sculpture. Those interested in research and theory of art can choose a BA, MA and Ph.D. in Art History. There are multiple international study opportunities, with established programs in Rome, Spain, and the Netherlands. Scholarships include the Mary Gates Endowment and the Crabby Beach Foundation.

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

44,784 Students

16

Buffalo State SUNY

The Department of Fine Arts at Buffalo State grants a Bachelor of Arts in Art or in Art History. The college also grants a Bachelor of Fine Arts for students who want to specialize in painting and drawing, photography, printmaking, or sculpture. The B.A. in Art program allows students to study a variety of visual media after taking introductory design and drawing classes. Art history majors often plan on continuing their studies in graduate school. Both B.A. programs require 42 art credits. The B.F.A. programs are more intense, requiring 78 art credits. Before being admitted to the painting and drawing program, students must submit a portfolio. B.F.A. students are required to mount an exhibition of their work before graduation.

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

11,083 Students

17

CUNY Hunter College

Hunter College offers degrees in studio art and in art history. Students seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Master of Fine Arts select a field of concentration: painting, sculpture, graphics, photography, ceramics, or combined media. The MFA is a full-time program that students must complete in three years. The college provides studio workspace to MFA candidates, and all MFA students must complete an MFA project which must be sponsored by a faculty member and placed in a formal group exhibit. The Art History program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree that requires students to take at least 30 credits in art history. Entry in the part-time Master of Arts in Art History is highly competitive.

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

23,112 Students

18

CUNY Brooklyn College

Art students at Brooklyn College can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Art or Art History or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art. The college also offers a Master of Arts in Art History and a Master of Fine Arts in Art. The college faculty includes distinguished artists, and many others come to campus as visiting artists or lecturers. Students have access to the city's museums and galleries and may be able to work as an intern for one of these institutions. The college has a specialized art library and a suite of art studios and workrooms, including digital labs and a printmaking suite. Departmental scholarships include the Cerf Scholarship in Art, open to undergraduate and graduate students.

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

17,390 Students

19

Berea College

Berea College offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in studio art and art history. The B.A. in Studio Art requires three foundation courses, three studio courses (that include both 2-D and 3-D experiences) and a studio medium taken to the 400-level. The B.A. in Art History requires five foundation courses, three art history electives and a design course. It is also recommended that art history students complete three courses in a foreign language, like French or German. Students in both concentrations are required to complete a capstone course, with studio art majors completing a senior seminar and art history majors completing an advanced research course. The Art Department offers students various scholarship opportunities, including the Art and Art History Student Travel Award ($500) and the James Bobbitt Scholarship Fund.

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,621 Students

20

University of California-Los Angeles

UCLA's School of the Arts and Architecture offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art degree that augments the studio arts core with interdisciplinary liberal arts studies. There are several studio arts fields for students to focus on, including ceramics, drawing and painting, photography, sculpture, and new genres. The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program offered at the school is ranked as No. 4 in the country by U.S. News & World Report (2012). In addition to the MFA in Art degree, the school also offers an MFA in Design & Media Arts program. UCLA art majors can apply for several need- or merit-based financial aid, including the Alumni Arts Scholarship (freshmen and transfer students) and the US Regents Arts Scholarship (freshmen only).

CAG Score 96.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

41,845 Students

21

CUNY City College

The Art Department at the City College of New York grants degrees in all aspects of art. Bachelor of Arts degrees are offered in Studio Art, Art Education, and Art History, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts is available in Electronic Design and Multimedia. The Master of Art History program has three tracks: Art History, Art Museum Studies, or Art Museum Education. An M.A. is also available in Art Education, and Master of Fine Arts degrees are granted in Studio Art and Digital and Interdisciplinary Art Practice. The department has gallery space for art shows and has studio and work space equipped for painting, drawing, ceramics, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Multimedia design students have access to fully equipped computer labs.

CAG Score 96.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

15,579 Students

22

Appalachian State University

Students pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts at Appalacian State University can specialize in a concentration area of their choice: clay, fiber, metal smithing and jewelry making, painting and drawing, photography, print making, and sculpture. The Art Department also offers a Bachelors in Art Education for students who plan to become art teachers, a BFA in Graphic Design, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Visual Culture with concentrations in art history or art management. The Art Department is equipped with everything from a darkroom for photography students to plasma cutters and a forge for sculpture students. Art scholarships include the Martin and Doris Rosen Scholarship and the Sherry Edwards Memorial Scholarship (amounts vary).

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

18,026 Students

23

Fashion Institute of Technology

The Fashion Institute of Technology offers an Associate in Applied Science and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Arts. Many students who earn the associate degree go on to the B.F.A. program to continue their studies. The associate program covers the fundamentals of 2D and 3D design, drawing, representational and abstract painting, sculpture, and printmaking. In their last semester, A.A.S. students can study in Florence, Italy. Students in the B.F.A. program create a thesis project in sculpture or painting and work an internship in an art-related setting in New York City. Members of the art faculty at FIT are successful professional artists. Student clubs such as the Art Collective arrange trips to museums and hold student art exhibits.

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

9,764 Students

24

Dominican University

The Art Department at Dominican University offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in two studio/fine arts disciplines - painting and sculpture. Both programs require a minimum of 24 hours in the major to be completed at Dominican. Foundational and major coursework include the following: life drawing (anatomy, portrait, and figure in space), history of modernist and contemporary art, sculpture, printmaking, painting (form and content, materials and processes, and personal directions), and ceramics. The completion of a senior thesis is a requirement for graduation for both programs. The Alice Welsh Skilling Scholarship supports qualified visual arts students, including painting and sculpture majors. Freshmen receive up to $7,500 a year for four years, while transfer students receive the award amount for two years.

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

3,498 Students

25

Brigham Young University-Idaho

Students who know they want to be a professional artist can apply for Brigham Young University-Idaho's Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the end of their sophomore year. BFA students can specialize in two-dimensional art (drawing and painting), three-dimensional art (sculpture and ceramics), graphic design, illustration or photography. BFA students take more art classes and go more in-depth than students pursuing a standard Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts. BYU-Idaho offers a standard BA in Studio Arts with concentrations in printmaking, drawing, painting, graphic design, printmaking, three-dimensional art and illustration. The department also offers a BA in Art Education. BYU-Idaho awards Talent Scholarships based on a review of digital portfolios ($100 to $800 per semester).

CAG Score 96.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

36,624 Students

26

The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas at El Paso offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education, Art History, Ceramics, Drawing, Graphic Design, Metals, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics, Drawing, Graphic Design, Metals, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture. As UTEP is located right on the Mexico/U.S. border, the setting provides for a cultural blend that gives students a unique artistic experience. Scholarships are available specifically for art majors, and students may participate in the Maximo Art Society, a student-led organization whose goal is to establish a creative network among artists throughout the community and UTEP.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

23,079 Students

27

Texas A & M University-Commerce

The Department of Art at Texas A&M University Commerce offers a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Certification, a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts (Ceramics, Experimental Studies, Painting, Photography Studio Arts, or Sculpture), a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication (Art Direction, Design, New Media, Photography Visual Communication), a Master of Arts with an emphasis in Studio Arts, a Master of Arts with an emphasis in Visual Communication, a Master of Fine Art with an emphasis in Studio Arts, and a Master of Fine Art with an emphasis in Visual Communication. Texas A&M University Commerce has state-of-the-art facilities, and students receive individualized attention in small classes.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

12,111 Students

28

Presbyterian College

The Art Department at Presbyterian College offers bachelor's degrees in art and art history as well as minors in art and art history. Studio classes are small, providing the students with a lot of individualized attention and critique time from their professors as well as their peers. Graduating seniors have the opportunity to present their work in an exhibition, which is always a point of pride for the entire department. Students who have majored in art at PC have pursued careers in graphic design, art auctioning, architecture, medicine, law, and teaching. Others have gone on to graduate school at institutions such as Tulane University and New York University.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,460 Students

29

SUNY College at Oswego

The Art Department at SUNY Oswego offers a Bachelor of Arts program and a more intensive Bachelor of Fine Arts program. The Bachelor of Art program offers a 40-credit track in studio art, graphic design, or art history. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art requires students to earn 80 credits in major classes. They must also choose a studio concentration from ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, or sculpture, and they must mount an exhibition of their work. Students seeking the B.F.A. in Graphic Design also must earn 80 major credits, and they are required to complete a graphic design practicum. Candidates in the master's program choose an emphasis in studio art or graphic design.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,034 Students

30

Saint Cloud State University

The Art Department at St. Cloud University prepares students to become art teachers, art historians and professional artists. Studio art majors can concentrate in 2D or 3D art, graphic arts or integrated media, which uses new and emerging technologies. Along with a faculty of working artists, students learn from visiting lecturers who lead workshops and meet personally with students to critique their work. Facilities include specialized studios for ceramics, metalworking, printmaking and digital work. Students also run an art gallery in downtown St. Cloud, providing extra exhibit space. Scholarships include the Jay Paul Bell and Julie Kiefer-Bell Art Scholarship ($500 to $1,000), the Bill and Sharon Ellingson Art Scholarship ($500) and the May Bowle Art Scholarship ($500).

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

16,076 Students

31

University of Massachusetts Amherst

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst offers in-depth artistic instruction in areas of animation, ceramics, intermedia, painting, printmaking and sculpture. Students can choose a specialized Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in one of these areas or a Bachelor of Arts degree that will allow for a double major. The College of Humanities and Fine Arts also offers Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Art History. Amherst is part of the Five College Consortium, allowing students to take classes of interest at Smith, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire colleges. The art departments offer an Advanced Studio Seminar, as well. The New York Professional Outreach Program connects students to working professionals in the city's art community.

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

28,635 Students

32

University of California-San Diego

The Department of Visual Arts at UC San Diego offers a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts program that combines hands-on experiences with technical and conceptual instruction. A Master of Fine Arts degree is also available. The MFA program provides training in several disciplines including environmental art, film, installation, painting, performance, photography, and sculpture. U.S. News & World Report (2012) ranks UC San Diego's MFA program as No. 13 in the country. A Doctor of Philosophy degree in art and media history, theory and criticism is offered. Students pursuing the PhD program can select artistic practice as their area of concentration. Fine arts majors can apply for the Visual Arts Endowment Scholarship ($4,000) and the Italo Scanga Memorial Scholarship ($2,000).

CAG Score 96.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

30,709 Students

33

University of North Texas

The University of North Texas offers a BFA degree in ceramics, drawing and painting, fibers, metalsmithing and jewelry, new media art, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. They offer MFAs in all of the above concentrations as well. The College of Visual Arts and Design also offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in art history, art education, and design. The CVAD is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. UNT has been ranked in the top graphic design programs in the country by many sources. Students are eligible for the New Freshman and Transfer Student Scholarship as well as the Continuing Student Scholarship.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

36,486 Students

34

SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Students can choose studio concentrations in ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, or sculpture in the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts programs at State University of New York-Plattsburgh. BFA degrees include a portfolio review for admission, additional studio courses, and completion of a senior exhibition. The BA studio degree allows for a student to pursue a second major. BA students may also choose to specialize in art history. The school offers studios for each study area and the Plattsburgh State Art Museum hosts numerous exhibitions throughout the year. Scholarships include Winkel Scholarships and Internships, Jane Prescott Rowlson Award, and the Elliot D. Allen Award.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

5,968 Students

35

CUNY Lehman College

At Lehman College, both traditional studio art and digital art are part of the fine arts program. The Art Department offers a range of graduate and undergraduate degrees, allowing students to earn degrees in art history or art education along with studio art. Undergraduate options include a 30-credit Bachelor of Arts in Art History, a 42-credit B.A. in Art Studio, or a 60-credit Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Studio. Studio art students specialize in ceramics, computer generated imaging, design, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, or sculpture. An interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Computer Graphics and Imaging is also available. Graduate options include a Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts in Art Studio, and M.A. in Art Education.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

12,398 Students

36

Barnard College

Barnard College offers a bachelor's degree in art history, and students who major in art history also have the option of concentrating in visual arts. Art history students must take at least 12 courses within the major, while visual arts students take at least five studio art courses - such as painting, drawing, photography, and mixed media - along with some art history courses. Art history students must write a senior thesis or paper, while visual arts students may substitute a senior project, which will be exhibited at the end of their senior year. Because of Barnard's location in New York City, the Art History Department incorporates the resources of local galleries and museums into the art program.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

2,573 Students

37

Alfred University

Alfred University's School of Art and Design offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design and a Bachelor of Science in Art History and Theory. Additionally, Master of Fine Arts programs are available in ceramic art, electronic integrated arts and sculpture/dimensional studies. The B.F.A. in Art and Design is available in several concentration areas, including ceramic art, art history, expanded media and sculpture/dimensional studies. Students can also complete the B.F.A. in conjunction with an art education minor. Students in all three graduate M.F.A. programs are required to submit a graduate art portfolio in an electronic format. Graduate students are eligible for financial assistance in the form of graduate assistantships and fellowships.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

2,310 Students

38

University of Minnesota-Morris

The University of Minnesota-Morris offers Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Art History degrees. BFA students may study studio arts in painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, digital imaging, photography and printmaking. Student work is often presented in the Edward J. and Helen Jane Morrison Gallery as well as businesses and living facilities in the community. The Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance, a local arts advocacy organization, offers opportunities for service learning and community engagement. Art History students can find internships with prestigious art museums and can take on directed study in an area of interest. Upper-level students can also serve as teaching assistants for introductory courses. Scholarships include the John Vo Memorial Scholarship.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

1,899 Students

39

Michigan State University

The Department of Art, Art History, and Design at Michigan State University places students in a multi-disciplinary environment in the Kresge Art Center, where they are surrounded by specialized art studios. Undergraduate programs include a BFA in Art Education, a BA in Art and Visual Culture, and BA or BFA degrees in Studio Art, with a concentration such as ceramics, electronic art, painting, sculpture, printmaking or graphic design. The intensive Master of Arts program allows a student to develop a body of work in ceramics, graphic design, painting, printmaking, or sculpture. Art majors may apply for a number of scholarships, including the Creative Arts Scholarships ($3,000 to $500) given to four students each year.

CAG Score 96.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

50,081 Students

40

Marshall University

The School of Art & Design at Marshall University offers bachelor's fine arts degrees in foundations, graphic design, fibers, ceramics, printmaking, art education, art history, photography, painting, and sculpture. Class sizes within the fine arts programs remain small so that students receive more personalized attention. Students may be eligible for scholarships such as the John Q. Memorial Scholarship, the Outstanding Student Award, the Art & Design Scholarship, and the Garth Brown Scholarship, among others. Art students may take courses such as History of Art, Visual Culture and Research, and also studio classes.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

13,381 Students

41

Holy Family University

The art program at Holy Family University is known to be a supportive learning environment for students seeking to grow as artists. There are four art major tracks that students can choose from: Studio Art, Graphic Design, Art-Secondary Education, and Pre-Art Therapy. Studio classes are small, and all art students are given the space they need to develop their creative and technical artistic skills. Students who graduate with a Bachelor in Fine Arts often pursue careers as art therapists, art historians, studio artists, graphic designers, museum directors, and interior designers, among other things.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

2,658 Students

42

SUNY College at Brockport

Students who want a career in art can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art at SUNY Brockport, while those seeking a more rounded college experience can earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Studio Art. The B.F.A. is an intensive program requiring 81 credits in art, including 21 credits in a concentration area, such as ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, or mixed media. Entry into the B.F.A. program requires a portfolio review. The less intense B.A./B.S. program requires students to complete 42 credits in art and art history. Students who choose to concentrate in graphic design must earn 45 art credits. Students may also minor in graphic design, art history or studio art.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

8,106 Students

43

SUNY at Binghamton

The graduate program in art history at the State University of New York at Binghamton is known for its international, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach to the history of art, architecture and visual culture. The masters and doctoral programs in art history attract an international student body, training students for careers in research, teaching, gallery management and publishing. Undergrads at Binghamton can earn a bachelors degree in art history or in studio art. Studio art majors select a concentration from five areas: painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture or graphic design. Visiting artists, a campus art gallery, and lectures and seminars all contribute to the lively art scene on campus. Available scholarships include the David P. Mancini Fine Arts Scholarship (amount varies).

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

16,695 Students

44

Northwest Missouri State University

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree offered at Northwest Missouri State University is a comprehensive major that offers areas of specialization in art history, as well as in the following studio arts: ceramics, photography, printmaking, drawing, painting, and sculpture. There is also a BFA in Graphic Design degree available. Students accepted to the graphic design program are required to complete a summer internship, typically between their junior and senior year. The upper-division curriculum includes coursework in package design, 3D animation, graphic design history, digital illustration, and typography. BFA students specializing in ceramics and painting are given priority for the Hildegarde Dreps Scholarship ($1,500), while full-time art majors with excellent academic performance are considered for the Nany O'Reilly Art Scholarship ($5,000).

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

6,720 Students

45

University of California-Davis

The Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts degree at UC Davis provides lower division students with a broad-based introduction to visual methodologies such as drawing, sculpture, and art history. Upper division students can specialize in the following: ceramics, drawing, media arts, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video production. There is also a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree available. Graduate students are given 24/7 access to spacious, individual studios on campus with facilities for drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, video, and sculpture. MFA students receive financial support through paid teaching assistantships and through the Art Studio Program Fellowships. Undergraduate students can apply for a number of scholarships including the Freemon Gadberry Award in Sculpture ($1,000) and the Marcia Carey Anti-Gravity Award ($1,000).

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

34,508 Students

46

California State University-Fullerton

California State University Fullerton offers Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Arts and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Arts degrees in the following areas: ceramics, crafts (wood and jewelry/metalsmithing), creative photography, drawing and painting, glass, graphic design, illustration, and sculpture. Additionally, a BFA is offered in entertainment art/animation, while an MFA is available in exhibition design. The university also offers a graduate certificate in museum studies, which may be completed as a standalone program of study or in conjunction with an MFA degree. Full-time Art department students can apply for a number of scholarships, including the Jeff & Rosalie Bacon Scholarship ($2,000), the Millie & Dale Hallberg Scholarship ($5,000), and the Leo Freedman Foundation Graduate Art Scholarship ($5,000 to $10,000).

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

38,128 Students

47

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

At Cal Poly Pomona, the Art Department is part of the College of Environmental Design. The department offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art History program that includes the study of global art (antiquity to present-day) and assists students with the development of skills in visual analysis and in the analysis of the cultural context of art. The curriculum includes coursework in the following: foundations of drawing, visual arts in the twentieth century, history of design, contemporary art, world art, and foundations of two-dimensional design. The Dian Divelbess Endowed Scholarship ($500) supports full-time Department of Art students who are in their junior or senior year. The scholarship is awarded on the basis of merit, regardless of the student's financial need.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

23,966 Students

48

California State University-Stanislaus

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Stanislaus State University offers the following areas of concentration: graphic arts, mixed emphasis, painting, sculpture, and video and time-based media. The program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Foundation coursework include classes in drawing, printmaking, digital media, painting, sculpture, and art history. After the completion of the general education units and the foundation pre-requisites, students must submit a portfolio to be considered for admission to the BFA Major. The Art Department Freshman Scholarship considers gifted and academically outstanding first-year art majors. Continuing art students with demonstrable financial need can apply for the Jeffrey A. Pearl Memorial Scholarship. Award amounts for both scholarships vary from year to year.

CAG Score 96.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

9,045 Students

49

University of Wyoming

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in visual arts available at the University of Wyoming offers the following concentrations in studio arts: ceramics, drawing, graphic design, metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. A concentration in art history is also available. Students must submit a portfolio of 10-20 artworks to be considered for admission. Once accepted, students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.25 to keep their place. Students must complete up to 70 semester hours of studio and art history coursework, in addition to the 58 semester hours required for the University Studies Program. BFA majors can apply for scholarships such as the Donald Wiest Fine Arts Scholarship ($1,000) and the Robert D. Coe Fine Arts Scholarship (variable amount).

CAG Score 95.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

12,820 Students

50

Stony Brook University

The Art Department at Stony Brook University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Arts degree with the following areas of concentration: painting, drawing, and printmaking, electronic media and photography, and sculpture and ceramic sculpture. Stony Brook also offers a Master of Fine Arts program that admits no more than 20 students each year. MFA students are given their own studio space during their residency at the university. Students have access to a ceramics studio, darkrooms, printmaking studios, digital labs and video facilities, and foundry, metals, and wood shops. Participation in the annual MFA exhibition at the University Art Gallery is a requirement of the program. Qualified MFA students can apply for paid teaching assistantships that award partial tuition scholarships.

CAG Score 95.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

24,607 Students

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