List of Fine Arts Colleges and Schools in the U.S.

The fine arts include fields related to the performing, creative or visual arts. Colleges and universities across the U.S. offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in the fine arts, as well as doctoral programs, in rare cases.

How to Select a Fine Arts School

Under the fine arts umbrella fall many fields of study, including graphic design, drawing, film, theater, photography, music, creative writing and sculpture, among others. In general, undergraduate fine arts programs leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Master of Fine Arts allow students to select an area of concentration, so prospective students should locate those schools offering programs in their specific field of interest.

Consider the following when seeking a Fine Arts program

  • Although the Master of Fine Arts is often the terminal degree, some schools do offer Doctor of Philosophy programs in specific fine arts fields.
  • If a student plans on undertaking a studio-intensive program, he or she should make sure the school's facilities offer frequent access.
  • It's also useful to keep in mind that many schools are known for specific fine arts programs and may attract professional artists and writers to lecture.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Programs in the fine arts include, but are not limited to, painting, drawing, graphic design, sculpting and art history. Some of the foundation courses a student can expect are:

  • color theory
  • 3D form
  • survey of computer art
  • professional practices

Graduate Degrees

A program that leads to master's degree or a master of fine arts degree is designed to hone specialized skills and may prepare a student for a PhD. Besides intensive studio instruction, a student should count on courses in the following:

  • graduate art and technology seminars
  • materials investigation
  • guided studies
  • thesis work

Top Ten Schools with Fine Arts Programs

College/University Institution Type
California Institute of the Arts private, not-for-profit, 4 year
Carnegie Mellon University private, not-for-profit, 4 year
Columbia University-New York private, not-for-profit, 4 year
Cranbrook Academy of Art private, not-for-profit, 4 year
Maryland Institute College of Art private, not-for-profit, 4 year
Rhode Island School of Design private, not-for-profit, 4 year
School of the Art Institute of Chicago private, not-for-profit, 4 year
University of California-Los Angeles public, 4 year
Virginia Commonwealth University public, 4 year
Yale University private, not-for-profit, 4 year

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