Colleges and universities that have degree programs in the fine and studio arts typically offer formal courses in painting. Interested students can find stand-alone classes focusing on paint mediums such as acrylic, watercolor or oil, or they can learn about a particular style of painting, such as abstract, portrait or landscape. Fine arts degrees are offered at the bachelor's and master's levels, and degree program minors are also available.
Among the 10 institutions profiled below, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredits five: Georgia Southern University, Kennesaw State University, the University of Georgia, the University of West Georgia and Valdosta State University. In addition to offering degree programs, six of the schools have continuing education programs that sometimes offer painting courses for personal enrichment.
Armstrong Atlantic State University
Armstrong Atlantic State University is located in historic Savannah, and the school's painting courses are offered through the Department of Art, Music and Theater (College of Liberal Arts). The 16-member faculty consists of full- and part-time personnel, and the department's 5 studio disciplines include a combined study of drawing and painting.
Undergraduates in both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Fine Arts programs can take 2 sequential courses in acrylics. Students enrolled in the latter program may also pursue electives in oil and watercolor painting. In addition to the degree programs, aspiring professionals can display their work at juried student and senior showcases, the Children's Art Festival and the annual Outdoor Art Show.
At Emory University in Atlanta, undergraduates can pursue a combined major in visual arts and art history. The major requires three courses in studio art, and these may include sequential courses in drawing and painting or an upper-level study of advanced techniques.
Georgia College & State University
The smallest school on the list is a liberal arts college located in Milledgeville. Georgia College offers a Bachelor of Arts with concentrations in fine arts or general studio work, as well as a 21-credit minor in painting. In addition to participating in senior capstone shows at the Wooten-Garner House, students can submit their work to the college's art and literary journal, join the art club and visit the college's Museum of Fine Arts.
The curricula for both the fine arts and general studio concentrations include a lower-level study of water-based materials and a substantial number of electives. Undergraduates who minor in painting take courses in figure drawing, mural making and non-traditional media.
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University is based in Statesboro, and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences includes the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art. Through the department, students have access to various academics and artists, including a painting professor. There's also a high-tech Visual Arts Building with studio spaces.
The Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art program offers 1 lower-level painting course that emphasizes color mixing techniques, composition and the use of direct observation. Students who pursue the Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2D take 3 courses in painting and receive training in both oil- and water-based media.
The department also offers a 3-year Master of Fine Arts in 2D Studio that allows for advanced-level research and studio work in painting. Painting is also addressed in a standalone creative art techniques class offered through Georgia Southern's continuing education program.
Kennesaw State University
At this Kennesaw university, students in the School of Art and Design (College of the Arts) can enjoy a 32,000 square-foot, multi-level facility with studio and patio areas for both indoor and outdoor painting. Through the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, undergraduates can concentrate in painting and drawing, which offers 3 painting courses and various drawing classes. The university's College of Continuing and Professional Education offers classes in oil and portrait painting.
The College of Liberal Arts at this Macon university is the oldest of the school's academic divisions, and the Art Department offers both a major and a minor in the fine arts. Departmental highlights include small class sizes and individualized attention from the 5-member faculty.
Undergraduates pursuing the Bachelor of Arts in Art have the opportunity to focus on studio work and participate in a senior exhibition in painting. In addition to a study of art materials and methods, course offerings include those in beginning, advanced and watercolor painting. Painting courses may also be used to fulfill the elective requirements for the 15-credit minor.
Savannah College of Art and Design
This college has 2 stateside locations in Savannah and Atlanta, and painting is one of 4 programs offered through the School of Fine Arts. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program requires major coursework in oil- and water-based paints, life painting and a senior painting seminar. To fulfill the requirements for the 8-course minor, students must also take a course in basic painting. Both the Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs allow for studio work in formal painting, as well as a graduate-level study of painting methods.
University of Georgia
The largest school on the list is located in Athens, and the Lamar Dodd School of Art includes renowned academics and artists. Students have access to a $40 million facility with galleries, modern studios and a visual resource center, as well as year-round study abroad options in Australia, England, Ghana and Italy, among other countries.
Both the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Fine Arts programs offer courses in introductory, intermediate, figure and watercolor painting. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program allows for a major in either drawing or painting, and undergraduates who specialize in the latter learn how to work with aqueous media and understand figure painting. Both programs also include a study of painting materials and methods, and there's a painting studio that covers topics in representational and non-representational techniques. The school also offers a 60-credit Master of Fine Arts program in drawing or painting with 36 hours of specialized studio work and electives.
University of West Georgia
Through the Department of Art (College of Arts and Humanities) at this Carrollton university, students can receive training in contemporary and traditional art forms, participate in a number of student organizations or take summer studio courses in Paris and northern France. Additional resources include the Bobick Gallery and the Visual Resources Center, a comprehensive collection of 90,000 digital images and slides of painting, sculpture and other related works.
The Bachelor of Arts in Art program requires 1 upper-level study of painting, with 2 courses allowed for the 18-credit minor in studio art. The Bachelor of Fine Arts program includes a concentration in painting, and under the direction of a 3-member faculty, undergraduates complete 4 sequential painting courses. In addition to learning how to work with acrylics and watercolors, aspiring artists also have the chance to experiment with combined media and study abstract and non-Western techniques.
Valdosta State University
The Department of Art at this Valdosta-based school offers 3 undergraduate programs with courses in painting. Instructional facilities consist of a Fine Arts Gallery and 7 studio areas where artists-in-training learn how to work with mixed media, acrylics, encaustic oils and watercolors.
Bachelor of Arts in Art and Bachelor of Fine Arts students complete introductory and advanced courses in painting, as well as a course in aqueous media. Students considering a minor in art may choose painting classes as electives.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Painting Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Armstrong Atlantic State University||4-year, public; midsize city||Bachelor of Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts
|Emory University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Visual Arts||Degree programs: $46,314*|
|Georgia College & State University||4-year, public; distant town||Painting Minor,
Bachelor of Arts in Art - General Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Art - Fine Art Studio
| Painting class: $129**
Degree programs: $9,170 in-state*
|Georgia Southern University||4-year, public; remote town||Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2D,
Master of Fine Arts in 2D Studio: Drawing, Painting, Print, Paper and Book Arts
| $6,273 in-state*
|Kennesaw State University||4-year, public; large suburb||Oil Painting Beginning,
Oil Painting Intermediate,
Portrait Drawing and Painting: Beginning,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art - Drawing and Painting
| Painting classes: $149-$179 each**
Degree program: $6,060 in-state*
|Mercer University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Minor in Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Art - Studio
|Savannah College of Art and Design||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city|| Minor in Painting,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting,
Master of Arts in Painting,
Master of Fine Arts in Painting
|$34,970* ($35,825 graduate tuition)*|
|University of Georgia||4-year, public; midsize city||Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting,
Master of Fine Arts in Drawing or Painting
|University of West Georgia||4-year, public; fringe town|| Minor in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art - Concentration in Painting
|Valdosta State University||4-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art
| Degree programs: $6,297 in-state*
Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Schools' websites