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San Antonio Art School Overviews with Program and Class Info

The San Antonio, TX, area has roughly nine schools that offer art programs, including three located within 20 miles from the downtown. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for these three schools to make an informed education decision.

Art Schools in San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas, offers several schooling options within a half-hour's drive for those who want to study art. Find details about three schools' programs below, and compare their acceptance and tuition rates with the accompanying table. Information about six other art schools in the San Antonio area follows the table.

  • Students who want to pursue undergraduate and graduate programs in art at a public school may want to apply to The University of Texas at San Antonio. The university is located 17 miles from the downtown.
  • If a 2-year, public college with lower tuition rates is more desirable, students can consider Northwest Vista College. Located 19 miles from downtown San Antonio, the school awards a transferable Associate of Arts.
  • For students who want to attend a private, Catholic-affiliated school, the University of the Incarnate Word offers bachelor's degree programs in art. At approximately five miles, the university is the closest to downtown San Antonio.

Comparison of Schools

Use this table to compare the undergraduate tuition figures at the public and private schools featured in this article, as well as some other key statistics. Check out the open admissions or high acceptance rates at all three institutions, which can take some of the anxiety out of the application process.

The University of Texas at San Antonio Northwest Vista College University of the Incarnate Word
School Type Public, 4-year university Public, 2-year college Private, non-profit, 4-year university
Total Enrollment (in 2014) 28,628* 15,797* 8,745*
Campus Setting Large city Large City Large city
Annual Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016) $7,447 in-state;
$17,169 out-of-state*
$2,088 in-district;
$5,500 in-state;
$10,740 out-of-state*
$27,798*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2013-2014) 78%* 57%* 99%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 76%* NA - Open admissions 93%*
Retention Rate (2013-2014) 64% full-time;
38% part-time*
63% full-time;
50% part-time*
76% full-time;
33% part-time*
Graduation Rate (Starting Classes in Fall 2008) 31% (35% transfer rate)* 21% (22% transfer rate) (Starting Fall 2011)* 43%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA)

Within the UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts, students can apply to five art-related bachelor's and master's degree programs in the Department of Art and Art History. The department hosts several hundred students annually and has close to 25 full-time and part-time faculty members.

Bachelor of Arts in Art

Students who want to receive a broad liberal arts education that focuses on critical thinking and art academics may want to choose this 120-credit program. Students explore a number of topics, such as art history, modern art, design and art criticism. Some studio work is required, with options like drawing, painting, sculpture or digital. Those who want to use this program as a springboard for a teaching career can take electives covering the necessary education concepts.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art

In addition to taking academic art courses such as contemporary art, modern art and art criticism, students spend considerable studio time working in their chosen art form. Specialty areas include ceramics, painting, photography, sculpture, new media and printmaking. During senior year, students may participate in a group exhibition.

Master of Fine Arts in Art

Students in this program earn the school's terminal degree in studio art. Concentration options include digital media/video, ceramics, painting/drawing, photography, printmaking and sculpture. Through the lens of their specialty, students discuss and critique art concepts and forms, as well as learn art research and documentation methods. The program culminates in an art exhibition, and students need at least 60 credits to graduate. Applicants must have a Bachelor of Fine Arts or an equivalent degree, as well as a portfolio of their most recent art.

Northwest Vista College (NVC)

Along with four other local colleges, NVC is part of the Alamo Colleges group that serves San Antonio and the surrounding counties. Within NVC, there are nine departments, including the Fine and Performing Arts and Kinesiology Department. In addition to art, this department offers programs in dance, drama, kinesiology and music.

Associate of Arts in Art

This 60-credit program is designed to transfer to a relevant bachelor's program. Students complete general education classes and 18 credits of art-related courses. Of these 18 credits, nine come from required courses in 2-D and 3-D design and drawing. Students must also complete an art history course, and choose two classes related to their preferred art specialties like painting, sculpture, ceramics and printmaking.

University of the Incarnate Word (UIW)

Students can study a broad variety of subjects within UIW's College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, such as sociology, music, Spanish, English and history. The Department of Art is also part of this college, offering bachelor's degree programs and a minor in art.

Minor in Art

The art minor requires students to earn 18 credits taking classes in drawing, painting and design, plus courses focusing on 2-D or 3-D art. They can also choose upper-level courses related to drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics or sculpture.

Bachelor of Arts in Art

In this program, students must complete 42 credits of art and art history coursework, including in an art-related minor. Required lower-level courses include drawing, 2-D and 3-D design classes and painting. At the upper-level, students focus on studio work and a capstone project. Additionally, students take art history classes that cover ancient, medieval, Renaissance and modern art.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art

Students must complete 87 credits of art/art history courses, which include 21 credits focusing on one specific art medium. All students enrolled in the program complete lower-level classes in drawing, design, painting, ceramics, as well as printmaking, photography and sculpture; upper-level courses focus on the student's chosen specialty. Art history courses that include contemporary art and aesthetics theory are required, as is a senior capstone project.

Other School Options

The Alamo Colleges group includes other schools in the San Antonio area that have associate's degree programs in art, including Palo Alto College and San Antonio College. St. Philip's College, also an Alamo College, has an associate's degree program in art that allows students to choose from various concentrations like ceramics and sculpture, comic book illustration and drawing or painting. The last Alamo College - Northeast Lakeview College - is located nearly 20 miles from San Antonio in Universal City, Texas, but does offer an associate's degree program in art.

San Antonio has two other private, religious-affiliated universities with art degree programs. Our Lady of the Lake University - San Antonio and Trinity University both offer bachelor's degrees and minors in art.

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