Art Classes in NYC with School Information

Feb 26, 2019

New York City has more than 30 colleges within 30 miles of its downtown that offer art programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools to make an informed education decision.

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NYC Schools with Art Classes

Within the five boroughs that comprise New York City, students can find both public and private schools that offer courses and degree programs in art. Programs are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and can lead to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA), among other awards. Read about the course and degree options at three area colleges, and check out a comparison table with key information and a brief paragraph about other nearby institutions that may help you decide which art school is right for you.

  • Hunter College, which is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) system, is a large, public school located about two miles from downtown New York City that offers bachelor's and master's degrees in studio art.
  • Nassau Community College, which is affiliated with the State University of New York (SUNY), is about 19 miles from New York City's downtown and confers certificates and associate's degrees in art-related areas.
  • New York University's large campus is less than two miles away from downtown New York City and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees and minors in studio art through its Steinhardt School.

Comparison of NYC Art Schools

The following table is designed to provide you with an overview of three NYC-area schools that offer art classes. Find a snapshot of each school, including acceptance and graduation rates, enrollment numbers and tuition rates.

CUNY Hunter College Nassau Community College New York University
School Type* 4-year; public 2-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017)* 23,005 19,059 51,123
Campus Setting* Large city Large suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* $6,982 in-state;
$14,372 out-of-state
$5,632 in-state;
$10,734 out-of-state
$50,464
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017)* 81% 71% 54%
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2017)* 40% N/A - Open admissions 28%
Undergraduate Retention Rate (2016-2017)* 83% for full-time students;
80% for part-time students
70% for full-time students;
55% for part-time students
93% for full-time students;
71% for part-time students
Undergraduate Graduation Rate* 52%
(Fall 2011 start date)
24%
(Fall 2014 start date)
84%
(Fall 2011 start date)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Hunter College (CUNY)

Hunter College's undergraduate admissions process is competitive, and students who don't get into the college can only reapply once. Graduate applicants will need a bachelor's degree from an accredited school and credit hours in art history and studio art. Students in the BFA and MFA programs can choose from concentration areas that include combined media, clay/ceramics and casting, graphics, sculpture, photography and painting.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art

The bachelor's program at Hunter College begins with a foundation in art history and studio courses. Coursework in this 61-credit program includes introductory drawing, advanced painting, photography and sculpture. In the fourth year of the program, students complete a professional experience course.

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art

The MFA program at Hunter College is a 48-credit course of study that can be completed in six semesters. Students participate in seminars and attend monthly lecture series during their studies. Available courses cover topics in painting, theory and criticism, advanced drawing and modern art. MFA candidates prepare a thesis statement and project and present an exhibition.

Nassau Community College (SUNY)

At Nassau Community College, students can pursue foundational studies in art and commercial art. The college's art department provides access to four computer labs, a photography complex, more than five darkrooms, seven art studios and other facilities.

Associate in Science in Art

This art program is comprised of 63-65 credit hours. Relevant course topics include 2-D and 3-D design, art history and drawing. Students can also participate in an optional art internship.

Associate in Arts in Art Studies

Students in this 4-semester art program complete 64-65 credit hours. Requirements include courses in drawing and art analysis. Art history is also required, and students can select from one of several course topics, including the history of photography, an art history survey and contemporary art history.

Associate in Applied Science in Commercial Art: Digital Technologies

This 4-semester art program offers commercial art electives in 3-D animation, digital video, advertising art and package design, among other topics. Students complete 64-66 credit hours in general education and relevant art areas, such as drawing and digital imaging.

New York University

NYU requires the submission of a portfolio for the BFA and MFA programs. Applicants to the BFA program may make an appointment for an in-person portfolio review.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art

This 128-credit hour program includes courses in the liberal arts and sciences, as well as a specialization in studio art. The 42 credit hours of liberal arts and sciences cover topics in foreign language, contemporary art and art history; students also complete a restricted art history elective. Major coursework in studio art focuses on the fundamentals of 2-D and 3-D design and the visual arts. Through the studio concentration, students can pursue options in video, digital art, drawing, painting, sculpture or photography.

Studio Arts Minors

Minor programs are available in studio art and global visual art and require 16 credits to complete. Coursework includes drawing, sculpture, video art and other related topics. The minor in global visual art requires international study and studio practice.

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art

This is a small, 2-year MFA program. Students complete 60 credits of coursework, which includes studio critiques, reviews and a thesis exhibition. The program ends with a thesis exhibition held at the 80WSE Gallery.

Other School Options

The Ivy League Columbia University offers both undergraduate and masters' programs in the visual arts within ten miles of downtown New York. About ten miles away in the Bronx is Fordham University, a Jesuit university offering programs in the visual arts and art history. The New York Academy of Art is two miles from downtown New York and offers a master's degree program in fine arts.

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