Art Classes in Knoxville, TN with Degree Program Summaries

Oct 05, 2020

Art Schools in Knoxville, TN

Students seeking an art degree in Knoxville have limited options. These include the university, 4-year school and community college described below. In addition to the program summaries, you'll also find a comparison table with essential school information and a paragraph about other colleges and universities inside a 50-mile radius that offer art classes.

  • The University of Tennessee (UT), founded in 1794, offers bachelor's and master's degrees in art. Despite an enrollment of over 25,000, the university maintains a low student-faculty ratio of 17 to 1. The school is located roughly two miles from downtown Knoxville.
  • Maryville College, located about 20 miles from Knoxville's downtown, offers a bachelor's degree program in art.
  • Pellissippi State Community College offers an affordable associate's degree program in art that is designed for transfer to a 4-year school. The college is located a little over 16 miles from downtown Knoxville.

Comparison of Schools

Use this table to compare the undergraduate tuition and acceptance rates at the three featured public and private schools. Additional statistics include admission and graduation rates, campus settings and student enrollments.

University of Tennessee Maryville College Pellissippi State Community College
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private, not-for-profit 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2019) 29,460* 1,143* 10,694*
Campus Setting Mid-sized city Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2019-2020) Undergraduate:
$13,264 in-state,
$31,664 out-of-state
$13,380 in-state,
$31,568 out-of-state*
Undergraduate: $35,578* Undergraduate:
$4,378 in-state,
$16,608 out-of-state*
% of Incoming, Full-Time Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2018-2019) 91%* 100%* 94%*
Acceptance Rate (2019) 79%* 56%* N/A - Open Admissions*
Retention Rate (2018-2019) 87% full-time;
60% part-time*
77% full-time* 53% full-time;
51% part-time*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates within six years 72% (for those who began their studies in 2013)* 51% (for those who began their studies in 2013)* 26% (for those who began their studies in 2016)*
Distance from Downtown (Driving Time) 1.9 miles (7 min) 19.7 miles (27 min) 16.4 miles (19 min)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator

University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in visual art through the School of Art, which is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). It's housed in the Art and Architecture Building and features 21 full-time faculty members and small class sizes.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art

The BA in Art is a liberal arts program that includes coursework in a variety of visual mediums. Students begin by taking core visual arts coursework in art history and studio art. They must then take 30 credit hours across the mediums of 2-D, 3-D and 4-D arts, in addition to graphic design. Students specialize in two of these areas, earning an additional 15 credit hours between them. A grade of C or better in all major classes is required.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Art

UT's BFA program is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate studies or professional careers in the visual arts. Applicants are accepted into the program on a merit basis. Participants take basic courses in a variety of mediums and fulfill core courses in art history or studio art. They can then choose to concentrate in the 2-D, 3-D or 4-D arts; a minor in art history is encouraged.

Students in the 2-D arts program may take such coursework as watercolor, intaglio, screen printing, relief, paper making and digital photography. The 3-D arts program offers courses in pottery, mold-making and casting, metal work and mixed media. The 4-D arts program is focused on time-based art forms, such as performance and video. Courses available to 4-D arts students cover topics in systems, space, sequencing and sound art.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

The MFA program at UT is a 3-year, 60-credit program that includes coursework in the practice, theory and history of art. Students select from among five studio art concentrations, including painting and drawing, ceramics, printmaking, time-based art and sculpture, which can provide them with the chance to work with a variety of materials and mediums during their two years of residency. Sculpture students must fulfill a quarter-time assistantship that includes teaching classes; students in other concentrations may also choose to apply for an assistantship. Required graduate-level studies include seminars and studio courses in the concentration area, as well as academic art, art history and elective courses. During the final year of the program, 20 credit hours are dedicated to preparing a final exhibition of original work with help from a faculty committee.

Maryville College

Founded in 1819, Maryville College is a small, liberal arts college with a Presbyterian Church (USA) affiliation. The Fine Arts Division offers an undergraduate degree program in studio art. Once enrolled, all students must meet the college's general education requirements, which include classes in the natural and social sciences, Bible studies, world culture, math and the humanities.

Bachelor of Arts in Art

Students seeking a BA in Art from Maryville College take 48 credits in art and art history, with 12 credits dedicated to a concentration in drawing, painting, photography or ceramics. Specific courses may include 2-D design, printmaking, typography, drawing and the history of art spanning from the ancient through 20th-century eras. Students may also pursue internships and/or practicums for credit. At the end of the program, students prepare a portfolio of their original work for public exhibition.

Pellissippi State Community College

Pellissippi State Community College is a 2-year public school. Through the Liberal Arts Department, students can earn an associate's degree in art.

Associate of Science (AS) in Art Studio

The AS in Art Studio program is designed for students who plan to transfer to 4-year institutions to pursue a BA or BFA in Fine Arts. The curriculum includes general education courses that fulfill the freshman and sophomore requirements of most 4-year colleges and universities, including the University of Tennessee. Classes in visual arts include drawing, painting, art history, design, ceramics and sculpture. Students can exhibit their work at school and community art exhibitions. They may also have opportunities to travel in the United States or abroad for academic credit; previous trips have been to locations such as Chattanooga and Nashville, TN, and New York City, as well as Rome and Florence in Italy.

Other School Options

There are no other art schools within the city of Knoxville. However, within 50 miles, students can earn art degrees from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City and Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate.

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