Bellevue Art Schools
Those searching for instruction to hone their artistic abilities can find options that are less than 15 miles away from central Bellevue, Washington. This article centers on the coursework and learning experiences available to art students at three schools. A table of stats on each college is included, as is information on a couple of other program options in the area.
- Located roughly five miles from downtown Bellevue, the University of Washington Seattle has several art bachelor's and master's degrees in specialty areas like painting and photomedia.
- Seattle Pacific University, situated about eight miles from central Bellevue, offers a bachelor's degree in studio arts, as well as two minor options.
- Students can take continuing education art classes or pursue an associate's degree in the field at Bellevue College, an institution that's only around three miles from the city's center.
Comparison of Schools
Private institutions typically charge higher tuition rates than public schools, and two-year colleges are typically more affordable than four-year schools. This is evident in the table below, which allows for easy comparing of not only costs but also enrollment figures, graduation rates and campus settings, among other areas, for the profiled colleges.
|University of Washington Seattle||Seattle Pacific University||Bellevue College|
|School Type||4-year, public||4-year, private not-for-profit||4-year, public (primarily associate's)|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||46,166*||3,783*||13,322*|
|Campus Setting||Large city||Large city||Midsize city|
|Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$10,974 in-state; $35,538 out-of-state*||$40,893*||$3,699 in-state; $9,052 out-of-state*|
|% of Beginning Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||57%*||98%*||49%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2016-2017)||46%*||91%*||N/A - Open admissions*|
|Retention Rate (2017)||94% full-time*||79% full-time*||N/A*|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Starting classes in 2011)||84%*||69%*||24%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
University of Washington Seattle
Students can find art classes at the university's School of Art. The school offers programs in design, art history and art. Students have the opportunity to participate in internships as well as study abroad programs in the Netherlands, England, Japan, Spain and Italy. Only matriculating students can take studio courses during the fall, winter and spring quarters, and the university doesn't allow students to audit studio courses.
Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts
Students take courses in the studio arts, such as photography, sculpture, painting or ceramics. They also complete art history classes and experiential learning opportunities. They can concentrate on one studio area or take a broad array of courses. Students can take courses in narratives that include design and art, issues in contemporary art, topics in studio art, drawing for motion and senior studio.
Bachelor of Arts in Painting and Drawing
Students in this Bachelor of Arts program take an introductory art course to get a solid background in drawing fundamentals before declaring a major. They then complete drawing, painting and art history courses. A set of capstone courses taken during senior year leads to exhibits of students' work in the Jacob Lawrence Gallery; presentations, portfolios and written artist statements are also done to fulfill degree requirements.
Bachelor of Arts in Photomedia
This degree program has a competitive admission process. Initially, students work on their portfolios while taking an introductory course. They must then submit a portfolio to gain admission to the next part of the process. Admitted students take two second-year courses and continue to work on their portfolios. At the end of the autumn quarter, there is another portfolio review, and then a limited number of students are accepted into the program. Students take art, art history and general education courses. They also complete a senior thesis course, produce a portfolio of work and participate in an exhibition of works by students.
Bachelor of Arts in 3D4M (3-Dimensional Forum)
Students must complete two art courses before declaring this major, referred to as '3D4M'. Students take courses in art and art history, along with courses from one of three tracks: ceramics, glass or sculpture. The program ends with an exhibition of class works at the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, and a few students can exhibit their work in the 3D4M galleries.
Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing
This 2-year degree program is composed of research and studio work classes. The university only admits 4-6 students each year; those students work with six faculty members. Students take studio courses in drawing and painting, art history electives and other related electives, along with a graduate seminar and a master's thesis course.
Master of Fine Arts in Photomedia
This master's program is also a 2-year program where students consult with faculty, take classes, attend seminars and participate in research. Generally, six students are admitted to the program each year, and the program has four faculty members. Students take courses in photography studio, visual/art history and related electives, along with a graduate seminar and a master's thesis course.
Master of Fine Arts in 3D4M
This 2-year degree program can accommodate ten graduate students and is given by three instructional technicians and four faculty members. The university's studios feature facilities for students who want to work in metal, wood, glass and ceramics, as well as two galleries, a digital imaging center and a foundry.
Seattle Pacific University
The Department of Visual Arts is within the Division of Fine and Performing Arts and is part of the College of Arts and Sciences. Seattle Pacific is a liberal arts university where students learn about technical artistry in addition to the arts, sciences, philosophy, religion and literature. Drawing classes taken freshman year are a prerequisite for the formal application into an art major or art minor program. In addition to the studio art options described below, this school also offers bachelor's degrees in general art, illustration/new pictures, and photography/digital media.
Bachelor of Arts in Art - Studio Arts
Students in this program work to hone their skills in sculpture, metallurgy, printmaking, painting and drawing. They take courses in drawing studio, design studio, computer art, painting studio, sculpture studio, modern art, art history, figure drawing and contemporary art issues.
Art Minor in Studio: 2D
Students take studio courses in realism and observation, composition and concepts, and perspective and beginning figure drawing. Other courses include painting studio (still life - oil, acrylic and oil, new pictures and figure), water-based media and portraiture.
Art Minor in Studio: 3D
Students take drawing studio courses as well as classes in sculpture, metals and design in this 38-credit minor. Required upper-division courses include two advanced metal studio courses, where students learn to forge, solder and raise metals to make jewelry and utensils. One course concentrates on forming and the other concentrates on casting.
Many of Bellevue College's associate degree programs, including the art degree, are designed to satisfy general education requirements at the lower level, enabling graduates to enroll as juniors at 4-year schools that participate in Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA). According to the school's website in 2018, the art department at Bellevue has roughly a dozen faculty members who teach more than 40 courses ranging from architecture to design to photography. Art courses also can fulfill one of the three humanities requirements for students pursuing any major.
Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS-DTA) in Art
The first year of Bellevue College's art curriculum includes foundational courses in architecture, tools, 2-dimensional design, 3-dimensional design, color and drawing. Second-year art students take several art history courses and a studio arts course. A total of 90 quarter-length credit hours in writing, reasoning, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and electives are needed to complete the degree.
Continuing Education Art Courses
Adult education courses in art topics are offered through the Continuing Education department at Bellevue College. Classes and fees vary; topics include crafts, design, literary arts, visual arts and professional development.
Students also can find art classes at the University of Puget Sound, about 28 miles from Bellevue, and Pacific Lutheran University, which is approximately 35 miles from downtown.