Art Classes in Chicago with School and Program Information

Research art classes in Chicago, which currently has several universities offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three Chicago schools within 10 miles of downtown to decide if one of these program is right for you.

Art Programs in Chicago

Chicago students interested in taking art classes or enrolling in art degree programs have several options. This article talks about three schools, all of which are less than 20 minutes from downtown Chicago, and includes a table that compares important school information. A paragraph discussing three additional school choices is also included at the end of the article.

  • DePaul University's Lincoln Park Campus, which is conveniently located 5.4 miles from downtown Chicago, offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art, Media and Design with a Studio Art Concentration, a BA in Art, Media and Design with a Media Arts Concentration and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design.
  • Located 9.4 miles from downtown Chicago, North Park University offers students a BA in Art with a Concentration in Fine Arts, a BA in Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design and a BA in Art with a Concentration in Curatorial Studies.
  • Northeastern Illinois University is located 10.7 miles from downtown Chicago and offers a BA in Art with a Studio Art Emphasis and BA in Art with an Art History Emphasis.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Art
  • Art History
  • Arts Management
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Metal and Jewelry Art
  • Multimedia Arts
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Weaving and Textile Arts

Comparison of Schools

The following table makes it easy to choose the right school by comparing valuable information.

DePaul University North Park University Northeastern Illinois University
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 23,799* 3,185* 10,275*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $36,361* $25,860* $9,351 in-state; $17,079 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2014) 96%* 98%* 79%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 70%* 55%* 58%*
Full-time Student Retention Rate (2014) 87%* 79%* 60%*
Graduation Rate (completed program within 150% of 'normal' time) 71%* 53%* 22%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

DePaul University

DePaul University was founded in 1898 and maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1. DePaul's largest academic division, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, offers aspiring students several degree programs in the arts.

Bachelor of Arts in Art, Media and Design with a Studio Art Concentration

This degree program allows students to choose one of three specialties, including painting and drawing, sculpture and digital imaging in studio art. Students take such core classes as theory and application, art history, mixed media painting and figure drawing. The program combines studio and lecture courses to provide a comprehensive art education.

Bachelor of Arts in Art, Media and Design with a Photography and Media Arts Concentration

Students opt between specialties in photography, digital photography and video-web-based arts. Classes could include intermediate and advanced photography, documentary photography, digital photography, the history of photography, video art, the history of design and animation.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

This undergraduate program consists of completing 208 credit hours of coursework that includes 140 required credit courses as well as 52 hours in the area of liberal studies with 16 hours in chosen electives. This program is considered more rigorous than other art programs at the undergraduate level because of the credit load; it's recommended that students take 18 credits per semester. Students study visual design, illustration, web design and typography, motion graphics, production design and more. Capstone projects in graphic design are also required for a student to complete the program.

North Park University

North Park University is a private, 4-year college with an average annual enrollment of 3,200 students. Aspiring students seeking a career in the field of art have several majors to select from within the school's art department, which confers the Bachelor of Arts in Art upon successful completion of one their concentrations.

Bachelor of Arts in Art with a Concentration in Fine Arts

The undergraduate fine arts concentration consists of 120 semester hours taken over the course of four years. Students take such courses as drawing, painting, photography, two- and three-dimensional design, spatial arts and printmaking. Some requirements for general education coursework include classes in math, science, foreign language and culture and society.

Bachelor of Arts in Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design

The graphic design concentration includes coursework in digital imaging and illustration as well as classes in introductory and advanced graphic design, drawing and painting. Additional program requirements include 12 semester hours selected from the communication arts and/or business courses such as marketing and public relations.

Bachelor of Arts in Art with a Concentration in Curatorial Studies

A major component of the curatorial studies concentration is the focus on art history. Students can select from history courses such as early modern art, contemporary art and classical Western art. Students work on a curatorial student project or attend a show their fourth year.

Northeastern Illinois University

Located in Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University has an enrollment of about 12,000 students. This public, 4-year school offers art classes and degree programs through its College of Arts and Sciences.

Bachelor of Arts with a Studio Art Emphasis

To complete this degree program, students take courses in art history, drawing, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, contemporary art and color. Students can also take introductory courses in painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, ceramics, studio in metals and jewelry, commercial art or computer graphics.

Bachelor of Arts with an Art History Emphasis

Students in this program take several upper division courses in art history and methods of research in art history, but they must also take the same drawing and dimensional design courses as all other art students at the school. Six foreign language credit hours are also required.

Other School Options

Aspiring art students may also want to consider art programs available at several nearby schools. These include Concordia University, which is less than 10 miles from the center of Chicago, Chicago State University, which is a little over 13 miles from the city, and Trinity Christian College, which is a little over 17 miles from downtown Chicago.

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