Art History, Criticism and Conservation

“Art” covers a broad range of topics, from landscape architecture to art education, from fashion design to game and interactive media design. In general, arts majors prepare individuals to succeed as creative artists. The first step in choosing what type of art major to pursue is figuring out where you want to end up. Broad categories include fashion/textiles, graphic design, spatial design, 3D product design, digital/multimedia, photography, fine art, and arranging/display. Majoring in art can also translate to organization and people management, such as becoming an Art Therapist, Private Art Instructor, or Artist Agent. Art degrees are offered at every level, and many can be completed online.

Baccalaureate

The two most popular degree levels are a Bachelor’s in Art or a Bachelor’s in Fine Art — the difference may only be one word, but can mean a lot. A BA is considered a generalist degree in liberal arts education. The general curriculum tends to include the integration of art and design, art history, art and new media, as well as intermediate visual studies.

A BFA, as defined by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), specifies a focus and expertise in one or more artistic mediums. Fine/Studio Arts involves a heavy course load inside of a studio practicing a focalized art.

Options include painting, printmaking, woodwork, sculpture, animation, illustration, and more. Possible career paths for Fine/Studio Arts majors include: Artist, Art Teacher, Art Therapist, Illustrator, Graphic Artist, Art Critic, Cartoonist, Curator, Greeting Card Artists, Sculptor, Painter, Art Gallery Owner. Nationally, the starting salary for a Fine/Studio Art major is $32,000.

Commercial art, sometimes known as advertising art, uses artistic means to promote, narrate, or inform. Color theory, drawing, graphic design, and typography are career uses for commercial art, while the ability to use computer software programs are usually essential in this field.

Graphic design is one of the most popular uses of commercial art and has an entry-level salary of $40,000.

Master or Master of Fine Art

A Master of Art or Master of Fine Art are both options for postgraduate education, as well as doctoral degrees. MAs are typically more scholarly and academic, while MFAs are terminal professional degrees that qualify graduates to teach at the university level. MFAs focus on deepening an artist strengths, whereas a PhD in the Arts often signifies a commitment to academia.  

Career options for graduates majoring in the arts include: Craft Artists, Graphic Designers, Fine Artists (Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators), Multimedia Artists, Museum Technicians and Curators, and Archivists.

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Colleges

The University of Texas at El Paso

Founded in 1914, The University of Texas at El Paso is a 4-year public institution situated on the US-Mexico border and the second-oldest school in the UT system. With a majority Mexican-American student body, UTEP is home to 10 colleges conferring...

“…It depends on the way a teacher shows there class, some teacher can just leave it up to you to read the book and expect you to learn.” – Jason from El Paso, TX

Santa Fe Community College is a 2-year institution serving New Mexico’s capital city and most of Santa Fe County. SFCC is home to six academic schools and three departments offering over 100 degree and certificate programs in subjects from Biofuels...

“…The high school that I graduated from was not the best school for academics and I found that I did not possess many of the skills needed for succeeding in college. Thankfully, many of my professors spent time making sure that I understood my classes...” – Stephanie from Citra, FL

The American University of Rome

The American University of Rome is a 4-year institution in Italy situated atop Rome’s highest hill and grants American degrees. As a member of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities, classes are taught in English but the...

Truckee Meadows Community College is a 2-year institution with a main campus and four extension sites in Reno. TMCC is home to academic divisions in Liberal Arts, Sciences, Business & Social Sciences, and Technical Sciences. In addition to its...

“…I had dreams of going to a giant college. In my senior year I destroyed my chances by failing math. I was devastated. TMCC was really my only option. My first day I walked in with the attitude of pessimism and negativism. I was so so surprised by the...” – Jacob from Sparks, NV

Kansas City Art Institute

The Kansas City Art Institute is a private school of fine arts and design based in Kansas City, Missouri. KCAI primarily promotes a learn-by-doing program with their professional, studio-oriented majors, such as Creative Writing, Sculpture, and...

“…The teachers are really into their work. The love the subjects they teach and thus I feel like I'm really learning a lot about the subjects. Everything is clear and straight to the point, yet very in depth. ” – Britney from Hannibal, MO

William Paterson University of New Jersey

Founded in 1855, William Paterson University of New Jersey is 4-year public school in northern New Jersey. Set on a 370-acre wooded campus, William Paterson is home to colleges of Arts & Communication, Business, Education, Science, and Humanities...

“…William Paterson University offers an education of tremendous value in a learning community that is committed to providing academic excellence. ” – Deziree from Paterson, NJ

Flagler College-St Augustine

Located on the site of a former 19th century luxury resort hotel, Flagler College is a private liberal arts college in northeast Florida. Flagler hosts schools of Business, Creative Arts, and Humanities conferring undergraduate degrees in 35 academic...

“…At Flagler the classes are so small, and the students to teacher ratio makes sure that you have that intimate relationship where you can gain more knowledge. The teachers are always willing to help you and they all want to make sure you succeed. They...” – Amy from Saint Augustine , FL

Sewanee-The University of the South

Sewanee, The University of the South, is a 4-year liberal arts college in south central Tennessee. Operated by the dioceses of the Episcopal Church, Sewanee offers bachelor’s degrees in 36 academic majors. In addition, Swanee holds a partnership with...

“…The classes here challenge me greatly. In high school I got A's with little to no studying, especially my freshman and sophomore years. This is only my first semester here and I only have one A the last time I checked (everything else is a B,...” – Alisha from Knoxville, TN

Bard College at Simon's Rock

Bard College at Simon's Rock is an early college with “more selective” admissions where high school students can enroll before graduation. The average age at entry is 16. Simon’s Rock is based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and provides a...

“…Even though it is the most stress a person can endure, any amount of time at this school is worth it. The professors are incredible and have so much wisdom to share. The community of students also makes every class a unique experience.” – Andro

Aquinas College
Grand Rapids, MI
Aquinas College (MI)

Founded in 1886 by the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids, Aquinas College is a Catholic liberal arts college in western Michigan. Aquinas offers undergraduate degrees in over 100 fields of study including the first Sustainable Business program in the...

“…The teachers here are really focused on helping students learn and are always open to discuss any problems you have. Also, the classes are stimulating and very interesting. Classes are small and everyone knows each other in the class and this helps...” – Running Guy

Saint Ambrose University

Founded in 1882, Saint Ambrose University is a private institution that provides a liberal arts curriculum in the “Catholic Intellectual Tradition.” Admissions are rated as “selective” and the campus is home to several buildings listed on the...

“…The small student to teacher ratio will be great. Offer may different types of programs.” – Jacqueline from Bartlett, IL

SUNY College at Potsdam

With campus a few miles from the Canadian border, the State University of New York at Potsdam is one of the oldest colleges in the United States. Located in the Adirondack region of northern New York State, SUNY Potsdam features schools of Arts &...

“…The professors here are exceedingly helpful. They are always available by phone or office hours and show concern for your grades. They even cordially invite you and other students to their houses for smores and pizza! It's a reassuring feeling to be...” – Patricia from Stillwater, NY

University of Akron Main Campus

University of Akron is a public land-grant institution and research university located in Akron, OH. Akron is home to seven colleges conferring bachelor’s and associate degrees, as well as a Student Recreaction and Wellness Center that features a...

“…The classes are generally small and the professors are fantastic. After you finish your electives, all the major-specific class are enticing and exciting. I'm glad I chose Akron over a smaller school. There are tons of opprotuniteis here for...” – Abby from Bellville, OH

California College of the Arts

Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts is a Bay Area-based school of art and design with campuses in San Francisco and Oakland. CCA is home to 22 undergraduate programs in core disciplines of Architecture, Fine Arts, Design, and Humanities....

“…I am deeply passionate about art. I have been drawing since i was a baby, and my love for creating has only grown since then. My technical skills were sub par prior to attending CCA. In my first semester i learned how to draw, how to REALLY draw. it...” – Matthew from Oakland, CA

SUNY College at Geneseo

Founded in 1871, the State University of New York at Geneseo is a public liberal arts college in western New York State and a campus of the SUNY system. Geneseo grants bachelor’s degrees in 50 academic majors and 27 interdisciplinary minors. With...

“…Despite the frigid weather, the atmosphere at SUNY Geneseo is unparalleled with attention grabbing sunsets, rolling hills and a picturesque college town vibe. The academic program at Geneseo provides a diverse array of classes with professors who...” – Danielle from Coram, NY

Hobart William Smith Colleges

With a campus overlooking Seneca Lake, Hobart & William Smith Colleges are liberal arts colleges in the Finger Lakes region of New York State that operate in a coordinate college system. Originally founded as separate colleges for women and men,...

“…I am currently taking a wide variety of classes, being a current first year. HWS has 8 required goals that must be completed for graduation. These goals help to broaden your horizon, while meeting your Major/Minor requirements. This school has...” – Abigail M. W.

Columbus College of Art and Design

Founded in 1879, The Columbus College of Art & Design is one of the oldest art and design colleges in the United States. With a campus adjacent to the Columbus Museum of Art, CCAD confers bachelor’s degrees in 12 artistic fields of study such as...

“…I thought learning foundation classes would have been a hassle when I first came to the school. But after now finishing my first year I couldn't have been happier. Most of the basic information (such as color theory or art history) is really...” – Amanda from West Chester, OH

Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

The Mansfield University of Pennsylvania is a public, 4-year institution established in 1857, and is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State system. The college offers over 80 major and minor areas of study, with programs resulting in...

“…The people and teachers are awsome which makes it a wonderful environment to learn and meet new people.” – Nazareth, PA

CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College is a public institution located in New York City. The school awards 2-year certificates and associate degrees in 15 different fields. Popular fields of study include teaching, community organization and...

“…I definitely learned a lot from BMCC and this amazing college experience thus far.” – Emily from Corona, NY

University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez

The University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez is a state institution also known as Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez. Classes at UPRM are primarily taught in Spanish, and students are required to have a moderate understanding of English as well in order...

“…This university has great professors, beautiful agricultural research stations and amazing architecture. It is in the west side of the island where the best beaches are. People are friendly and helpful, this campus is the best. ” – Laura from Puerto Rico

With a campus along the banks of the Mississippi River, Principia College is a 4-year liberal arts institution in southwest Illinois with an emphasis on Christian Science. Principia confers bachelor’s degrees in 28 majors as well as an Individualized...

“…It is one of the most uplifting campus' I have ever been on, because everyone understands the importance of Christian Science. The small size of the campus means that you get one on one time with all your professors, and they are able to take a...” – Hannah

LIU Post

Named for breakfast cereal magnate C.W. Post, LIU Post is a private school on Long Island’s north shore and the largest campus of Long Island University. LIU Post grants bachelor’s degrees in over 50 academic majors. In addition, LIU Post is home to...

“…LIU Post is an exquisite school equipped with a full recreational center, gourmet food, and a club for everybody. Like all schools the work is diifficult but there are upperclass tutors and teachers available to assist in any problems you may have. I...” – Khadija from Brooklyn, NY

University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras

Founded in 1900, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras is Puerto Rico’s first public university and the most extensive in the UPR system. The Carnegie Foundation designates the school as having “high research activity.” The Institute of Caribbean...

“…A top student institution, that will help you develop your skills in a variety of ways. Provides a wide range of activities like sports, musical groups and night life for the students. It will present the student with academic challenges that will be...” – Paola from Puerto Rico

Drew University

Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Drew University is a 4-year liberal arts institution in northern New Jersey. The University’s College of Liberal Arts offers bachelor’s degrees in 47 fields of study. Additionally, Drew is home to the...

“…There is no doubt in my mind that I am learning a lot at Drew. This college is on the Princeton Review's list of top universities and top liberal arts colleges for a reason! The topics are very engaging and intense, and although I've had a couple of...” – Eve from North Bergen, NJ

College of Art & Design is an independent, nonprofit organization offering baccalaureates for women and co-educational degrees at the graduate level. Founded in 1848, Moore was the first women’s art school in the nation. The college features a Writer...

“…I cannot believe how much I have learned so far at Moore. I must say that the first year is absolutely critical. I saw the improvement within the first semester. The teachers are great. They are all accomplished artists themselves, therefore,...” – Rachel from Clayton, NJ

With campus a short distance from the English Channel, The Arts University at Bournemouth is a school of the visual and performing arts in southern England. AUB awards undergraduate degrees in 23 artistic and creative fields of study such as Make-Up...

Originally founded as a night school, Terra State Community College is a 2-year institution in northwest Ohio. Terra State is home to academic divisions in Business, Humanities, & Industrial Technologies and Allied Health, Nursing, & Human Services....

“…I love it! The instructors are knowledgeable. The curriculum is up to date and valid.” – Catherine from Sandusky, OH

CUNY Graduate School and University Center

CUNY Graduate School and University Center is rated as a Doctoral University with Highest Research Activity and set in Midtown Manhattan. The graduate school is home to several research centers and promotes interdisciplinary research and...

Hope College

Hope College is a 4-year liberal arts institute located in downtown Holland. Hope partners with the Reformed Church in America but welcomes students of all faiths, as well as those of no faith. The liberal arts curriculum at Hope is threaded through...

“…The academics at Hope are outstanding. Yes, that means the classes can be difficult and a lot of work, but the professors are all excellent; supportive, encouraging, and willing to help you out at virtually any time. They genuinely want you to...” – Dale from Grandville, MI

Bryn Mawr College

Founded in 1885, Bryn Mawr College is a women’s liberal arts institution in the greater Philadelphia area and part of the Seven Sisters. Bryn Mawr offers undergraduate degrees in 37 majors and was the first women’s college to confer a PhD....

“…The campus is absolutely beautiful. The academics are rigorous. ” – Mary from plano, TX

Concordia University-Montreal

Concordia University is a comprehensive institution offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in Canada. Created by a merger between Loyola College and Sir George Williams University in 1974, Concordia operates out of two campuses in Quebec,...