The Best Art Schools 2021

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With an art degree, professionals can pursue careers in various creative fields and the fine arts. Curricula in art programs cover in-demand skills like spatial reasoning and formal analysis in a collaborative environment. Practical experience with gallery showcases and critiques also transfers into administrator and director roles.

Students who plan to enter art and design fields face a highly competitive, yet lucrative field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for art and design careers in 2019 was $48,130. Professionals in niche fields, like fashion design and animation, often earn closer to $75,000 a year.

To earn an art degree, students typically spend four years in studio-intensive programs. Coursework includes design fundamentals and technical instruction within a chosen medium. While the core philosophy varies among institutions, art programs provide degree-holders with a basic understanding of aesthetics and the social value of creative work.

What Can I Do With an Art Degree?



An art degree opens doors to various creative career paths. Those wishing to pursue a career in fine arts learn technical skills invaluable to producing professional quality work. All art programs give instruction on formal design principles applicable across mediums.

Niche artistic fields require specialized knowledge acquired through art degree concentrations. Professional illustrators with documented instruction in drawing have a greater chance of landing a job. Careers in 3D animation also involve mastery of complicated software. As such, companies check for an art degree in computer animation to gauge an applicant's qualifications.

Learners gain visual analytical skills in an art program that they can apply to fields outside of traditional art. Advertising agencies hire art and creative directors and almost always require a degree in marketing or art. Art degree-holders also qualify for positions as gallery curators, interior designers, and graphic designers.

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Accreditation for an Art Degree



Most accredited universities offer an arts program. If a student wants to transfer to a different program or start courses in a community college, accreditation determines how many universities accept their current course credits.

Accreditation boards review a college, university, or program according to a set of quality standards. Most nonprofit public and private universities seek regional accreditation. National accreditation boards review career-oriented or faith-based programs. Regional accreditation boards tend to uphold stringent academic standards, making credits from regionally accredited universities widely transferable.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recognizes the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) as a programmatic accrediting organization. A program with NASAD accreditation meets the standard competency index for each artistic subdiscipline outlined by the board. Students can visit the ED database to check a school or program's accreditation before applying.

FAQ

What kinds of jobs can you get with an art degree?

With an art degree, graduates can work as art and creative directors, commercial artists, gallery managers, and technical designers.

How many years is a master's degree in art?

Typically, a master of fine arts (MFA) program lasts 2-3 years. Programs often require a final exhibition, performance, or manuscript for completion.

What are the different types of art degrees?

The two main types of undergraduate art degrees are a bachelor of arts (BA) and a bachelor of fine arts (BFA). Learners in both programs can typically choose a disciplinary focus. Students can also pursue two-year associate degrees or an MFA in postgraduate studies.

What GPA do you need to get into art school?

In most cases, art school admissions emphasize portfolio strength rather than GPA. However, GPA still matters. If the school is part of a larger university, applicants should gauge required GPA on the institutional average.

What Are the Requirements for an Art Degree?



Admission requirements for art programs vary among institutions. For most first-year entry programs, applicants must submit a portfolio with a statement of purpose. More selective programs may include an interview round. GPA and test scores still play into admission decisions, especially in cases with no portfolio requirement.

The curriculum differs between a BA and a BFA. Both degrees require studio courses and some component of liberal arts instruction. BA curriculum focuses on liberal arts courses while a BFA curriculum emphasizes studio practice. Most programs require a portfolio review or exhibition at the end of a year-long senior seminar.

Courses in an Art Program



Art program curricula cover practice in technical art methods and contemporary concepts. The liberal arts requirement often includes art history and theory courses. Required studio courses develop fundamental observation and composition skills used in future specializations.

Students usually choose a media concentration in their second year, though they can graduate without one. Most schools offer studio courses in drawing, painting, sculpture, and ceramics. In recent years, more programs introduced requirements in film, computer animation, and graphic design software. Most art schools feature the courses below.

Drawing Concepts and Methods
This course is a typical first-year studio course. Instructors cover formal and technical issues through the drawing process. Enrollees study composition, space, proportion, and perspective. These courses increase student awareness of form when approaching art in advanced courses and careers. Most schools require students to complete a drawing methods course before enrolling in other studio courses.
Contemporary Art
Learners survey art movements from 1970 through recent years. Topics include broad artistic movements and influential figures that defined current approaches to art and design. The course familiarizes students with recent issues in art theory and criticism to examine featured artwork through a theoretical perspective. The course covers concepts that allow students to position themselves within current artistic movements and trends.
Critical Disclosures
This course combines elements of theory and studio courses to promote guided discussions. Students develop a critical framework to examine cultural and theoretical production through art. Instructors encourage students to explore new methodologies and examine the discourse that shapes their own practice. The exercises in this course foster self-awareness and flexibility in response to critiques and negative feedback.
Electronic Media Studio
This course introduces students to moving images and interactivity. Enrollees learn software tools for programming and computational media production. Instructors help students develop skills to critically assess their work in relation to digital art traditions. This course provides a foundation for students pursuing 3D animation. Software skills also ease career transitions into UX design and other web media fields.
Senior Studio
Senior studio or an equivalent capstone concludes an art program. Students receive a faculty advisor and reserved studio space to develop topics for their thesis exhibition. At the end of fall semester, learners present their ideas for critique to cohorts and faculty. If successful, enrollees spend the spring semester creating a body of work for the thesis project. Small groups of students plan a combined gallery showing together. Through this experience, students learn to curate artwork, write press releases, and develop event programs.

Certifications and Licensure for Art Majors



For art majors, certifications and licensure allow access to careers in niche professions. Some specialized fields require licensure, such as medical fields applying arts in practice. For graphic artists, certification in industry-standard software provides an advantage in highly competitive job markets. Students should consider what type of specialization they wish to pursue in order to meet certification prerequisites, as seen in the following.

graduation cap

Certified Medical Illustrator

Medical illustrators produce highly detailed images depicting human or animal biology. A certification in medical illustration demonstrates adherence to business, quality, and ethical standards to potential employers. To become a CMI, candidates need a degree in medical illustration with documented hands-on dissection courses and five years of professional experience.

graduation cap

Art Therapy License

Students wishing to combine their art practice with psychiatry can become an art therapist. Art therapy requires a graduate degree and recognition by the Art Therapy Credentials Board (ATCB) as a registered art therapist (ATR). ATRs in some states require additional certifications from state boards. The ATCB also offers national-level board certification, qualifying ATRs for practice anywhere in the U.S.

graduation cap

Unity Certified Professional: Artist

Unity certifications represent technical mastery in interactive 3D applications built with Unity software. For artists, applicants need two years of demonstrated experience using Unity software and experience working in game development. Artists must take a yearly exam to maintain certification.

Professional Organizations for Art Majors



Professional organizations provide continuing education and networking opportunities specific to an artist's discipline. In creative professions, networking creates more access to job openings and chances to publicly show one's work. The following organizations represent the breadth of trade specialization and professional development resources available to artists.

  • AIGA provides professional development opportunities for students and graphic designers. Membership includes access for an AIGA-exclusive job board and entry into the AIGA designer directory. AIGA offers continued education opportunities through webinars, regional workshops, and certification programs. To join, applicants must apply directly to their local chapter and pay annual dues for their desired membership tier.
  • SIAD is an international organization for practitioners in all creative disciplines. The organization connects members to continued education courses and holds a yearly awards competition. Membership qualifications vary between levels. Current students can apply for a diploma membership to include on a CV or job application.
  • The nation's oldest nonprofit membership organization for illustrators, this group gives members access to the Society library and discounts on lectures and workshops. Members can also participate in the Society's awards competitions. Membership tiers include options for current students and creative professionals in related fields.
  • The world's largest organization for video game creators, IGDA connects members to a network of game developers and professionals. IGDA features an extensive Global Mentorship Program that connects mentees with established professionals to develop disciplinary skills. Members also gain access to the IGDA digital resource library and eligibility for software discounts.

Various professional and service organizations offer college scholarships to art students. Scholarship review boards often look for demonstrated ability within a specific medium or discipline and commitment to a career trajectory. Students should also check if their institution awards scholarships or grants through the application process. Aspiring art students can apply for the scholarships below.

AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships

Who Can Apply: AIGA offers scholarships for economically disadvantaged students pursuing degrees in photography, graphic design, or illustration. Students need at least a 2.0 GPA and must demonstrate commitment to a social agenda. Application requirements include a cohesive portfolio featuring 5-10 pieces, a written statement, and two reference letters.
$2,000-$3,000; 1-2 top awards of $5,000

David Barrett Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) grants scholarships to students enrolled in interior design programs. ASID offers this scholarship to one student exhibiting proficiency in applying elements of classical design. Applicants must submit a portfolio featuring 4-12 spreads using classical design with an accompanying statement.
Amount: $12,000

PGSF Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation provides scholarships to students entering careers in publishing, printing, or graphic communications. Applicants need at least a 3.0 GPA and two references. The Foundation automatically reviews current scholarship recipients for renewal each year.
Amount: $1,000-$5,000 per year, renewable up to four years

The Best Art Schools 2021



Harvard University View School Profile Cambridge, MA

Harvard offers 22 total fine arts and design programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Programs fall under the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies (AFVS); the Office for the Arts; or the Graduate School of Design. Through Harvard, students can earn a professional art degree without compromising on a liberal arts education.

Students wishing to major in studio arts declare a concentration in AFVS during their sophomore year. By the end of junior year, AFVS majors establish a media focus to develop a professional-level portfolio. Students choose to complete either a two-semester senior thesis or a project representing their third year body of work.

The graduate school offers professional and post-professional master's programs in design, architecture, and urban planning. Admission to the design master's program requires two years of professional experience. However, undergraduates may apply to the architecture and urban planning programs with a portfolio demonstrating their aptitude for three-dimensional design.

University of Pennsylvania View School Profile Philadelphia, PA

The University of Pennsylvania's Weitzman School of Design offers 28 programs in fine arts and design focused on the interdisciplinary study of art as a response to societal challenges. UPenn awards bachelor's-level art degrees in fine arts or design.

The fine arts program focuses on artmaking technique and requires six studio courses with options such as printmaking, sculpture, and animation. The design program explores the integration of design with science and the humanities. Studio courses under this major offer instruction in the application of contemporary design theory and prototyping and fabrication.

Both undergraduate degrees include a two-semester capstone senior seminar in the final year. The seminar culminates in a public showcase of the student's portfolio. Prospective students applying directly to the art program may submit a supplemental portfolio. Current students enter the program without a separate application by meeting with an advisor to declare a major.

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor View School Profile Ann Arbor, MI

The Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design (Stamps) at the University of Michigan hosts 14 undergraduate and graduate level programs with options tailored toward either a studio or an academic focus. Undergraduates choose from four art degree options: BA or BFA in art and design, BFA in interarts performance, and dual-degree options.

In all programs, Stamps requires studio courses in drawing, design, and inquiry methods. Students must pass a sophomore review in which they present a portfolio of college work to a faculty committee. Students must also complete one course outside the United States in an approved international program unless they declare a minor.

All Stamps applicants need to complete the Common Application or Coalition Application for U-M. Recommendations must include letters from both an academic and an art instructor. Portfolios should include 12-15 pieces representing both conceptual work and direct observation drawings.

Carnegie Mellon University View School Profile Pittsburgh, PA

A private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University offers 17 programs in art and design through The College of Fine Arts. This includes a BFA and a BXA intercollege degree programs.

The BFA program contains four media-based concentrations. Students can choose a specific concentration or create an individualized hybrid curriculum.The first year curriculum includes courses from all four concentrations. After sophomore year, students gain more freedom to choose their major coursework. A year-long senior studio course serves as the program capstone. Each school year ends with an exhibition showcasing senior studio work.

When making a decision, admission officers consider an applicant's portfolio, transcripts, and test scores holistically. Portfolios must include 12-20 pieces with artist statements. Faculty recommend including work done outside of assignments to represent independent ability.

Duke University View School Profile Durham, NC

A private research university in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University features 11 art and design programs through the Trinity College of Art and Sciences. Undergraduate students can pursue one of three BA tracks: art history, visual arts, and visual and media studies. Art history specializations include architecture and museum studies. The program also offers a combined art history and visual arts major.

Visual arts majors choose courses from six subdisciplines for introductory and intermediate studios. The program culminates in a required theory course and a studio capstone. Visual and media studies majors must take two gateway courses within their first year. Students choose from a list of preapproved courses to serve as their capstone.

Art program applicants only need to complete the general Duke application, but students may submit a portfolio and statement as a supplement.

New York University View School Profile New York, NY

The private research university hosts two schools catering to visual arts. The Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development offers art degrees in studio art, visual arts administration, art therapy, and art education. Tisch School of the Arts provides undergraduate and graduate level tracks in art and design for film.

The BFA in studio art program begins with a year-long foundation program and ends with a senior studio capstone course. In this course, students develop a portfolio and plan their gallery showcase in small groups. The Tisch film program covers four primary stages: introductory, fundamental, intermediate, and advanced. After completing a bachelor's program, students interested in production design can apply to the MFA program.

Applicants to the Steinhardt School must submit a 12-15 piece portfolio with a statement of purpose. Tisch portfolio requirements include a one-page resume and the choice of 10-15 images or a five-minute short film. Students must also answer three creative prompts in visual and script format.

Tufts University View School Profile Medford, MA

Located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Tufts University offers 32 degree and certificate programs in art and design through the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The first year for BFA students consists of a heavy studio course load and an introductory theory course in visual and material studies. Over four years, students participate in eight review boards, presenting their semester work to a team of faculty and students. The review process helps students recognize the connection between their research projects and studio work while developing their own artistic direction.

Applicants can choose either a BFA or a combined degree program on the Tufts application. Both programs require a portfolio submission of either 15-20 images or up to 10 minutes of timed material.

Lehigh University View School Profile Bethlehem, PA

A private research university in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Lehigh University offers 13 major and minor programs in art, design, and architecture. The four main BA programs provide students with a foundation for a career in art or a smooth transition to graduate studies.

The art major centers on the principle disciplines of drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography. Art majors can combine studies with a theatre major to specialize in costume design or pursue a minor in education to receive a teaching certificate. The design major includes studios combining communication through digital media with traditional artmaking. Both majors include five foundation courses in art history, two and three dimensional design, and drawing.

Applicants need to complete the Common Application or Coalition Application for Lehigh and a writing sample. Students earning a five on the AP Studio Art exam apply eight credits toward the first year foundation courses.

Drexel University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University, a private research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, awards degrees from 22 art and design programs. These programs include bachelor's and master's level instruction in design, production, and media management.

All BS majors begin with a foundation in studio art which aims to foster student creativity and solidify design fundamentals. As students continue within their chosen discipline, they will gain professional experience through the university's cooperative education program. Students can choose a four-year study track with one co-op, usually during the third year, or a five-year track, with three co-op placements.

The Westphal College of Media Arts & Design application includes an essay expressing the student's interest in their intended program. Some majors, such as animation, fashion design, and photography, require an 8-12 piece portfolio.

Georgetown University View School Profile Washington, DC

Georgetown University's Department of Art and Art History offers BA options in art and art history and an MA in art and museum studies. Students can choose one of eight media specializations in a combined studio and liberal arts curriculum.

After completing two introductory courses, students take three intermediate studios within a concentration. The four concentration options include drawing and printmaking; painting; sculpture; and photography, graphic design, and new media. Students must complete a senior art seminar to fulfill the university integrated writing requirement. The department hosts a senior art major exhibition in the spring.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions bases decisions on a student's general application. Applicants can submit a supplemental portfolio of up to 20 images to convey substantial artistic talent not demonstrated on the general application.

Purdue University-Main Campus View School Profile West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University houses the Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Design, Art, and Performance, a top-ranked design and applied arts school. The Department of Art and Design offers a selection of 12 BFA, MA, MFA, and Ph.D. programs

The BFA in integrated studio arts offers a hybrid approach to studio and media studies. Concentrations explore interdisciplinary artmaking using traditional methods and new technologies. Design-based programs, such as the BFA in visual communication design, feature in-depth, conceptual study of medium and message.

All BFA programs require a portfolio review before the end of sophomore year to progress in the program. Degrees culminate with a senior studio and a student-led gallery exhibition. Students applying to the integrated studio arts program must submit a portfolio. All majors within the Department of Art and Design receive programmatic accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Providence College View School Profile Providence, RI

Providence College in Rhode Island offers 10 art and design specializations through the Department of Art and Art History. The studio art major centers on developing two- and three- dimensional design and drawing fundamentals through advanced concentration studies. Concentrations include drawing, painting, printmaking, and ceramics. Other areas of study consist of sculpture, photography, and digital imaging.

Art majors complete a degree program consisting of liberal arts electives; art history lectures; and gateway, concentration, and elective studio courses. Students choose their concentration by the end of sophomore year. In their senior year, students complete a capstone studio seminar and a senior thesis exhibition. Work presented in the thesis exhibition appears in the department's Providence College Art Journal.

Students with a substantial art background may submit a supplementary portfolio with their application. Portfolios should include 10-20 images of a student's best thematic work.

University of Miami View School Profile Coral Gables, FL

A private research university in Coral Gables, Florida, University of Miami hosts 13 art and design programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can pursue an MFA in studio art, a BA in studio art or art history, or a BFA with studio courses in five subject areas.

The BA and BFA programs require introductory courses in electronic media, three-dimensional design, and drawing. Students on the BA track must complete six upper-level studio courses and three art history classes. The BFA track requires students to select a primary and secondary studio concentration, complete elective credits, and take five art history classes. The BFA requires less general education classes and confers an automatic minor in art history upon completion.

The College of Arts and Sciences uses a holistic admissions approach based on transcripts, recommendations, and essays.

George Washington University View School Profile Washington, DC

The Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at George Washington University offers 22 programs in visual arts and design. Curriculum in the art programs incorporates the neighboring galleries and museums to provide students with professional opportunities after graduation.

BFA students spend their first year in close-knit cohorts within a four-course foundation program. Subsequent semesters feature content-driven studio and theory courses within the student's choice of media. Students complete a six-credit thesis seminar in their final year. The thesis project combines research, group discussions, and critiques with a thematic body of work.

Applicants to the BFA program need to submit a portfolio of 12-20 completed works. The portfolio should include a student's best and most recent work, relevant to their intended concentration if possible.

University of Wisconsin-Madison View School Profile Madison, WI

University of Wisconsin-Madison boasts a top-ranked art department that centers creative processes in critical thinking and collaboration. The department offers BS, BFA, MA, and MFA degree tracks in studio art.

First year students enter the art program as either BS-Art or art education. Students first complete the foundations year, covering courses in art history, drawing concepts, and design fundamentals. If students continue in the BS program, they will take 45 total studio credits. This offers greater flexibility to pursue other majors, minors, or certificates at the university.

Students wishing to transition to the BFA program can apply during sophomore or junior year. Applicants must maintain a 3.0 GPA in all studio courses, including introductory level studios in all four design areas.

Completion of the BFA degree requires 72 studio credit hours and a successful portfolio review before their final semester. Successful BFA candidates participate in a capstone exhibition during the spring of their senior year.

University of Denver View School Profile Denver, CO

The School of Art & Art History at University of Denver offers 11 art and design programs connected to the university's museum and gallery network. Degrees include a BA or BFA in art, a BA in art history, and a BFA in pre-art conservation.

First year applicants can apply directly to the BA program. Degree requirements include 16 credits in art fundamental courses, 12 credits in art history, and 32 credits in studio art. Students will choose a primary area of interest within their studio courses. To encourage interdisciplinary collaboration, art majors pursuing a BA must also choose either a minor or second major.

Once enrolled in the School of Art & Art History, students can apply for the BFA program. Applicants receive a faculty advisor to guide them through the application process, including a portfolio review. BFA students must complete at least 70 studio art credits, including introductory courses in each discipline. Students participate in a senior year capstone project culminating in an exhibition.

Bradley University View School Profile Peoria, IL

A private university in Peoria, Illinois, Bradley University provides students with 11 art program options. Bradley's Department of Art and Design encourages students to pursue leadership in visual culture and contribute to the contemporary creative experience.

The studio art major offers BS, BA, and BFA degrees in seven concentration options. Each concentration requires courses in studio fundamentals, required concentration studios, and studio electives. The BFA track requires more studio credit hours and a capstone course, providing students with professional development and career preparation opportunities. BFA students end their degree with a gallery showcase.

Bradley's art program connects current students with area professionals and alumni to help students find work in creative fields. Students must also attend at least two presentations from the Visual Voices Lecture Series as a fundamental requirement.

University of Florida View School Profile Gainesville, FL

University of Florida awards degrees in 11 art and design programs through the School of Art and Art History. In the studio art major, students can expect a contemporary, interdisciplinary approach to developing their artistic identity.

Degree options include a BA track in art and BFA programs in art or graphic design. BFA students complete a foundation curriculum during their first two years then develop conceptual skills and explore contemporary design theory. The BA track follows a similar curriculum with fewer required studio courses. BA students enjoy the flexibility to pursue double majors, minors, and certificate programs outside of the arts.

Students can enroll directly in the art program after acceptance to the university. At the end of their sophomore year, students undergo a portfolio review in order to progress in the major.

University of California-Los Angeles View School Profile Los Angeles, CA

The School of the Arts and Architecture at University of California-Los Angeles offers ten specialized program paths in art and design. The top-ranked studio art program provides students with professional artistic training within the context of a liberal arts degree.

The BA in art requires foundation courses in six subdisciplines, including one course in either video, installation, or performance art. Each class maintains a 17-student limit to ensure personalized guidance from instructors. The program ends with a senior studio capstone course emphasizing group analysis and critiques. Throughout the program, instructors encourage students to engage with UCLA affiliate museums and interdisciplinary projects.

For consideration, applicants must indicate art as their first choice major on the UCLA application. The art department also requires a portfolio of 8-10 images, an artist statement, and a short essay outlining the student's career goals.

Northeastern University View School Profile Boston, MA

Northeastern University's College of Arts, Media, and Design combines academic inquiry of design theory with experiential learning. As a result, students leave with a professional art or design degree and a personalized liberal arts education.

Students design their own program path through a combination of courses, co-ops, and independent research opportunities. The studio art BFA program spans multiple Boston area institutions. Northeastern administers the art history and theory courses, but students take their studio courses in the nearby School of the Museum of Fine Arts through Tufts University. The BFA program also offers study abroad options through the university partnership with University of the Arts London.

Applicants to the studio art BFA must submit a portfolio of 10-15 images with an artist statement. Students without a portfolio can apply to the BA program through Northeastern's general application.

University of Delaware View School Profile Newark, DE

The Department of Art & Design at University of Delaware offers 12 undergraduate and graduate programs in art and design. Art degrees from UD equip students with goal-oriented professional experience necessary to pursue careers after graduation.

The BA and BFA programs feature a two-year core credit curriculum. Students pursuing a BFA in studio art spend their final two years exploring subdisciplines in upper-level studio electives. Studio art seniors use the techniques developed in their junior year to complete a portfolio in a capstone course. The studio capstone continues in an exhibition the following semester.

Visual communications BFA students follow a regimented curriculum in their final two years to master design industry standards. Coursework includes a mandatory internship and participation in the BFA senior exhibition.

Students can apply to the BFA track after completing the core curriculum experience. The application process involves a portfolio review and an advising session.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus View School Profile Seattle, WA

The School of Art, Art History, and Design fosters interdisciplinary collaboration for art and design majors within 13 specialized programs. Undergraduates develop technical mastery in visual communication while receiving a rigorous liberal arts education in four BA tracks.

Students take 20 credit hours in introductory studio courses before enrolling in advanced studios within their concentration. The major's art history curriculum can easily transition to a minor and fulfill the UW writing proficiency requirement. Each concentration ends with a senior capstone to develop oral presentation skills and present work in the BA thesis exhibition.

Students can declare an art major after completing an intermediate level studio course with at least a 2.5 GPA. To progress in the program, students must maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA.

University of Georgia View School Profile Athens, GA

Lamarr Dodd School of Art offers 30 fine arts programs including BFA, BA, and MFA tracks. Students can choose from 11 studio concentrations for a comprehensive, studio-intensive curriculum.

All BFA concentrations include the studio core curriculum spread across four years. In the first year, students take two art history surveys and three introductory studio courses. At the intermediate level, students start to focus on their studio concentration.

The upper-level studio core courses serve as a thematic and practical capstone. In the exit studio course, students develop work for a thesis exhibition. At the same time, students take a professional development course to practice interview skills, personal branding, and networking in the creative field.

First-year students interested in the art program should speak to a Dodd School advisor at orientation.

University at Buffalo View School Profile Buffalo, NY

The Department of Art at the University at Buffalo provides a broad survey of art fundamentals through a studio art BA program or a specialized BFA program.

In both degree programs, students pursue a media concentration. The BA program offers concentrations in graphic design, photography, or interdisciplinary studio. The BFA program includes the same concentrations with additional options in painting, sculpture, print media, and emerging practices.

All art students benefit from the university's involvement in the art community through the fall visiting artist lecture series. Students must attend two semesters of the lecture series to complete either program. BFA students complete an additional senior studio capstone requirement and gallery exhibition.

Prospective BFA students can indicate their intended major on the general application. Students that pass the first year fundamental courses with a 2.5 GPA or above automatically enter the art department. Students with a GPA below 2.5 can still enter the department by passing a portfolio review.

Rutgers University-New Brunswick View School Profile New Brunswick, NJ

The BFA art and design programs at the Mason Gross School of the Arts prepares students for careers as professional artists and designers.

All BFA students complete introductory studio courses in each concentration. Students declare a concentration at the end of their sophomore year after passing the department portfolio review. Faculty review portfolios again at the end of junior year before students begin a year-long senior thesis project.

The BFA in visual arts offers six media concentrations or a thematic focus on design. In addition to a thesis project, students on the design track complete a design practicum or internship as part of their capstone.

After indicating their interest in the BFA program on the general application, students will receive the supplemental Mason Gross application. Students must submit a 15-20 piece portfolio and a personal statement.

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