Art Classes in Virginia with College Course Descriptions

Research art courses in Virginia, which currently has about 30 colleges and universities offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for the 10 largest schools, and decide which program is right for you.

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  • Art
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  • Ceramics
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Essential Information

Art classes can typically be found at colleges and universities that offer liberal studies or professional degree programs in the fine and studio arts. These can include coursework in printmaking, painting, ceramics or jewelry design, as well as curating for galleries and museums. Degree titles include associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in addition to minors offered by some schools. Programs generally take two to four years to complete. Exhibitions, internships and workshops with professional artists are offered through some programs. Concentrations and student projects are also part of the curriculum at some schools.

The ten schools profiled below include nine public schools and one private university. Students should be aware in advance that some Bachelor of Fine Arts programs require submission of a portfolio.

College of William and Mary

At Williamsburg's College of William and Mary, the Department of Art and Art History offers a Bachelor of Arts with concentrations in art history and studio art. In the studio art program, undergraduates learn about 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional drawing and take courses in art history. In addition to studio work in color theory, life drawing and painting, students participate in a 2-semester student exhibition. Undergraduates may also pursue museum internships, join the student art association and attend lectures and workshops with professional artists.

George Mason University

In Fairfax, George Mason University students have a wide variety of art degree options, including a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts with such concentrations as painting and drawing, printmaking and sculpture. While each concentration has its own requirements, in general, students take courses in drawing and studio basics, complete a design project and participate in artist and faculty critiques.

At the graduate level, students can pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Visual and Performing Arts with concentrations in interdisciplinary art practices. Some areas of emphasis include new media, painting, sculpture, photography or printmaking. Each specialization comes with individual requirements, but all students take courses in research methodology, participate in graduate seminars and complete teaching practicums.

Hampton University

This Hampton-based university offers a Bachelor of Arts with concentrations in comprehensive art and graphic design. The requirements include courses in art analysis and color, and the program culminates in a senior art exhibition. In addition to studio work in drawing, painting and sculpture, undergraduates can pursue topics in African and African-American art history, curating and exhibition studies. Along with in-class work, they can also participate in competitions and exhibitions.

James Madison University

The College of Visual and Studio Arts at James Madison University in Harrisonburg offers a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art. Areas of concentration include, among other disciplines, ceramics, fiber arts, drawing and painting, photography or sculpture. All concentrations require courses in 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art, drawing and art history.

At the graduate level, students can pursue a 30-credit Master of Arts that includes 15 credits of studio work, courses in art history and a study of contemporary art principles. Students in the 60-credit Master of Fine Arts program complete 39 credits of specialized coursework in one of the following concentrations: drawing and painting, ceramics, intermedia, metal work, photography and sculpture.

Norfolk State University

This Norfolk-based university offers a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and Graphic Design. Required courses include drawing, computer-based art, sculpture and welding. Students can also take courses in ceramics and create a portfolio for the senior exhibition.

In conjunction with Old Dominion University, this institution offers a 60-credit Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies. Along with traditional studio work, graduate course offerings include topics in assemblage, fiber art and video art. Each course of study also culminates in a final exhibition.

Old Dominion University

Located in Norfolk, Old Dominion University offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. Students in the Bachelor of Arts program complete courses in 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional design, drawing, digital art and printmaking. Opportunities for additional studio work include sculpture, ceramics, metalsmithing and blacksmithing. In the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, students can choose from among six concentrations, including drawing and design, fiber art, graphic design or print and photographic media.

Radford University

At the university in Radford, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Bachelor of Science in different art disciplines. The BFA in Studio Art program requires 18 credit hours in either 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional studies. The 2-dimensional concentration includes specializations in photography, painting or watercolor. Students who specialize in 3-dimensional art can take courses in ceramics, jewelry and metalworking. Core coursework in 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional art can also be found in the BS in Studio Art program. Additional requirements include two courses in art history and 21 credit hours of studio work. A concentration in art history and museum studies within the Bachelor of Arts program also includes core courses in 2- and 3-dimensional art.

The university also offers a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art with concentrations in 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional studies. The degree requires 60 credit hours to complete and includes a thesis and a final exam.

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville's University of Virginia offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art that culminates in a senior-year exhibition. The studio arts curriculum includes courses in, among other topics, drawing, new media, painting, sculpture and printmaking. Students also have the opportunity to pursue a 2-course studio concentration.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond's Virginia Commonwealth University offers Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in painting and printmaking or sculpture. The painting and printmaking program has special facilities for intaglio, lithography, digital production and silk-screening. Sculpture students have the chance to work in metal and wood and acquire some computer-based modeling skills.

The university also offers a Master of Fine Arts program with concentrations in, among other studio disciplines, glass working, furniture design, kinetic imaging, photography and jewelry design.

Virginia Polytechnic University

At Blacksburg's Virginia Polytechnic University, students can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. The curriculum requirements include a study of art and design principles, practice in life drawing and senior studios. Students may choose from a wide variety of electives, including topics in computer animation, new media, photography and traditional fine arts.

School Comparison: At A Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Art Degree Programs and Courses Offered Undergraduate/Graduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
College of William and Mary 4-year, public; small suburb Bachelor of Arts in Art & Art History - Studio Art,
Minor in Art and Art History
$19,372 in-state; $41,072 out-of-state*
George Mason University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Art and Visual Technology,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Visual Technology,
Minor in Art and Visual Technology,
Master of Fine Arts in Visual and Performing Arts
$10,952 in-state; $31,598 out-of-state* ($13,304 in-state, $31,424 out-of-state, graduate tuition)*
Hampton University 4-year, private, not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Arts (comprehensive art or graphic design emphasis) $23,112*
James Madison University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Science in Studio Art,
Master of Arts in Studio Art,
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art
$10,018 in-state; $25,152 out-of-state* ($10,416 in-state, $26,736 out-of-state, graduate tuition)*
Norfolk State University 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and Graphic Design,,
Master of Fine Arts in Visual Studies
$8,366 in-state; $20,124 out-of-state undergraduate* ($9,506 in-state, $21,748 out-of-state)*
Old Dominion University 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art
$9,480 in-state; $26,220 out-of-state*
Radford University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Museum Studies,
Bachelor of Fine Arts (graphic design or studio art),
Bachelor of Science in Studio Art,
Minor in Art,
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art
$9,809 in-state; $22,093 out-of-state* ($10,661 in-state, $19,415 out-of-state, graduate tuition)*
University of Virginia - Main Campus 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Art $15,192 in-state; $44,365 out-of-state*
Virginia Commonwealth University 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Printmaking,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture,
Minors in Painting and Printmaking or Sculpture,
Master of Fine Arts in Fine Arts
$12,772 in-state; $31,913 out-of-state* ($12,779 in-state, $24,002 out-of-state, graduate tuition)*
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts $12,485 in-state; $29,129 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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