Art and Design Technology Career Training in Virginia

Virginia has roughly 42 schools that offer art and design technology programs. Get some information about the programs and some quick facts for two of these schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Career training in art and design technology can be found at 2-year and 4-year institutions. Common programs in the field are found at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels in fields that include graphic design, art education, new media and visual technology. Some programs in broader fields of study include concentrations in specific art and design disciplines. While undergraduate programs are typically designed to prepare students to be professional artists, master's degree programs can also lead to university-level art teaching opportunities. Students usually have access to design studios where they can use equipment and supplies for projects that are part of their hands-on courses.


Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University, located in the capital city of Richmond, is home to one of the country's most award-winning art departments. In 2009, the School of Arts and Design was named the top public arts program by U.S. News and World Report. Students can choose between Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs in art education and graphic design.

The art education program prepares students to become artists and art instructors and combines art courses with curriculum design strategies. Students take courses in visual studies, art and design technology, critical thinking, art exhibition, critical theory and emerging digital technologies. The graphic design program focuses on combining art concepts and modern technology to create successful art and design products. Students in the graphic design department have access to an in-house technology lab and printing press. Courses include design technology, visual communication, imaging and studio graphics.

George Mason University

Located in Fairfax, George Mason University's College of Visual and Performing Arts offers an array of artistic and creative programs, including art and visual design, theater performance, dance and music. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in art and visual technology are available.

Students can choose between BFA and Bachelor of Arts (BA) programs in art and visual technology. The BFA program combines traditional art classes with innovative visual and graphic design courses, providing students with an education in new media, photo processes, digital art, animation, printmaking and experimental painting. Students also work in a highly specialized design studio that offers state-of-the-art equipment and supplies. The BA program includes several liberal arts classes with electives in an area of study, such as graphic design, sculpture, new media or printmaking.

The 60-credit MFA program combines class and studio work to give students comprehensive experience in their discipline. Students can concentrate in several areas, including photography, painting and new media, or focus on interarts, which combines media to create unique art forms.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School School Type & Setting Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Virginia Commonwealth University 4-year, public; midsize city BFA in Art Education
BFA in Graphic Design
$14,493 (in-state), $35,834 (out-of-state)*
George Mason University 4-year, public; large suburb BFA in Art and Visual Technology
BA in Art and Visual Technology
MFA in Art and Visual Technology
$12,462 (in-state), $35,922 (out-of-state)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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