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New Orleans, LA Art Classes with Degree Program Summaries

Research art courses in New Orleans, LA, which has several schools within ten miles of its downtown offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three New Orleans schools and decide which program is right for you.

Art Schools in New Orleans, LA

Students looking for art programs in the New Orleans area have several choices within the city, including the three summarized in the paragraphs below. Along with the program descriptions, you'll also find a handy comparison table with important school information and a section about three other options for art students in New Orleans.

  • Tulane University is a private school located less than five miles from downtown New Orleans. The university awards undergraduate and graduate degrees in studio art, and graduate students receive their own studios for the duration of their studies.
  • Further from downtown, but still within the city limits, is the University of New Orleans (UNO), a public university that hosts the Visual Arts League, a campus organization dedicated to increasing appreciation of the arts. The university is about 11 miles from the downtown and awards bachelor's and master's degrees in the fine arts.
  • Loyola University New Orleans is a smaller private school that offers art students the opportunity to study internationally in places like England and New Zealand. Located 4.3 miles from downtown New Orleans, the university offers both an undergraduate liberal arts and a professional program in studio art.

Tulane University

Tulane offers a variety of art programs through its Newcomb Art Department. Program offerings include both broad and specialized art instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The studio art department comprises over 20 faculty members and offers concentrations in eight fields.

Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art

In the Bachelor of Arts (BA) program, students take required courses in art history, drawing and art forms, including three courses in the various studio specializations, such as painting, sculpture and digital art. These courses may be in either 2-D or 3-D media - students must take two of one type and one of the other. Other requirements include courses in a single art medium beyond the introductory level, in addition to one higher-level course in another medium. Students develop and exhibit original work, study art criticism and contemporary art and learn how to create a portfolio.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art

Tulane's Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Art program offers concentrations in glass, drawing, digital art, photography, painting, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics. The same art history and studio course requirements set forth for BA students (including the mandates about classes in both 2-D and 3-D art forms) apply to BFA students. In addition, BFA candidates complete substantially more coursework in one area of artistic concentration, as well as two courses in advanced drawing. In order to graduate, students complete a two-course capstone series that involves creating a body of work for faculty evaluation.

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art

Students in Tulane's Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program take courses in art history and attend mandatory seminars on a variety of topics. Beyond those, MFA candidates complete a number of courses in studio emphases tailored to their individual interests. A thesis project of original collection of work, an accompanying written composition and an oral defense are required to complete the program.

University of New Orleans

The Department of Fine Arts at UNO employs almost a dozen faculty and houses resources ranging from multiple painting studios to an art-oriented computer lab.

Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts - Studio Art

The studio art program at UNO offers three areas of emphasis: sculpture, imaging and painting. The imaging concentration includes specializations in photography, digital art and printmaking. Studio art majors study digital design, art history and drawing, as well as introductory classes in the department's three main areas of concentration. The curriculum includes advanced studio coursework in a specific area of emphasis and the development of a senior project in the same specialization area.

Master of Fine Arts in Fine Arts

UNO MFA candidates may focus their study on painting, graphics, sculpture or photography. In addition to a minimum number of studio courses in one of these disciplines, students complete classes in a secondary medium. Halfway through the program, MFA students undergo an oral exam and a faculty evaluation of their work in order to progress to graduation candidacy. The curriculum also includes art history, as well as a thesis that requires a body of artwork and a written report.

Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola offers undergraduate study in studio art with a range of specializations. The art and design department comprises eight full-time and four part-time faculty members.

Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art

In the BA in Studio Art program at Loyola, students choose a concentration in printmaking, drawing, ceramics, painting, sculpture or digital arts. In addition to elective courses in the emphasis area, students take a studio course in each of the other specializations. The curriculum incorporates classes in subjects like art history, color and spatial principles. Students complete an internship during their final two semesters.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art

Loyola's studio art BFA includes classes in aesthetic criticism, art history and modern art. Students complete extensive coursework in a variety of media, including photography, sculpture, ceramics, painting and digital arts, among other disciplines. During their junior year, BFA students undergo a faculty assessment of their work in order to formally declare a major in art. Senior BFA candidates create work to be exhibited in the school's on-campus gallery for a thesis show.

Comparison of Schools

The following table includes at-a-glance information about acceptance and undergraduate tuition rates for the three featured schools. Note that while all three universities are very to fairly selective, once accepted, more than 60% of first-time, full-time students return to their school of choice for their second year.

Tulane UniversityUniversity of New OrleansLoyola University New Orleans
School TypeUniversity; private not-for-profitUniversity; publicUniversity; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2011)12,845*10,903*5,008*
Campus SettingLarge cityLarge cityLarge city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2011-2012)$43,434*$5,214 in-state; $16,738 out-of-state*$33,552*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011)84%*89%*99%*
Acceptance Rate (2011)25%*56%*65%*
Retention Rate (2011)90% for full-time students*67% for full-time students*77% for full-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2011)N/A38%*N/A

Source: *NCES, College Navigator.

Other School Options

Additional New Orleans colleges that offer art programs include Dillard University and Xavier University of Louisiana, both private not-for-profit schools, and Delgado Community College, a two-year public institution. All three are less than five miles from downtown New Orleans.

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