Art Classes in Raleigh, NC with School Overviews

There are roughly nine schools within 50 miles of Raleigh, NC, that have art degree programs. Three of those colleges are within 30 miles of the city center and offer multiple academic options. Learn about their admission and program requirements to discover which school is the right one for you.

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Raleigh Art Schools

Those looking to formally build or expand their artistic talents can find several educational options within a 40-minute drive of downtown Raleigh. The three universities featured here offer undergraduate and/or graduate degree programs in art. This article focuses on providing a general overview of these institutions' program and coursework requirements. Also included is a table featuring school facts about tuition, graduation rates and other stats as well as some details on other schools relatively close to Raleigh.

  • The largest of the schools profiled here, Raleigh's North Carolina State University (NCSU) offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in art through its College of Design. Each of the more than 700 students taking studio programs at NCSU has 24-hour, dedicated studio space. The campus is just under three miles from the city center.
  • Supported by the state, North Carolina Central University, (NCCU) is a liberal arts college in Durham. Located about 29 miles from downtown Raleigh, it's the first such institution designed for African Americans. The school focuses on non-Western art and offers a bachelor's degree in the field.
  • Founded in 1887, Buies Creek's Campbell University (CU) is a Baptist university focused on providing a traditional liberal arts education. CU offers small classes -- usually with only 10-20 students -- in it's art bachelor's degree programs. Students coming from central Raleigh can expect about a 29-mile drive.

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

Public vs. private school, small vs. large student body, rural vs. urban environment -- any of these factors, along with program offerings and costs, could play a part in deciding where to attend college. This table displays some important stats for the three profiled schools.

North Carolina State University North Carolina Central University Campbell University
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public 4-year, private-not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2014) 33,989* 7,687* 6,101*
Campus Setting Large city Midsized city Distant rural
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $8,581 in-state; $24,932 out-of-state* $5,755 in-state; $17,793 out-of-state* $28,820*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2013-2014) 69%* 98%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 52%* 43%* 68%*
Retention Rate (2014) 93% full-time* 77% full-time* 72% full-time*
Graduation Rate (Students Beginning in 2008) 75%* 47%* 51%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

North Carolina State University

All undergraduate students must complete general education courses, such as math, science, writing and foreign language, in addition to major coursework. An international experience is suggested for students enrolled in the bachelor's program.

Bachelor of Art and Design

The bachelor's program has a studio-based interdisciplinary focus with two concentration options. Both concentrations require coursework covering the history of art or design, drawing and digital media. Additionally, a studio art course is required each semester. In the fashion and fibers concentration, students may choose to focus on hand and digital weaving, printing or embellishment; surface design; fabric design and/or sculpture and installation. The animation and new media and interactive media concentration synthesizes digital and traditional art, and students work in areas related to digital modeling, sequential art, motion graphics and digital illustration.

Minor in Art and Design

To apply to the minor in art and design, students must complete two design courses covering 2-D and 3-D design and have a 2.75 or higher GPA. These design courses provide six of the 15 hours required to earn the minor. Students select the remaining courses from electives, such as photography, synthetic drawing and advanced surface design.

Master of Art and Design

Applicants to the master's program must have earned a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, as well as possess abilities in either textile design or the visual arts. Depending upon previous coursework, candidates may be required to take up to 24 undergraduate credit hours prior to beginning the master's degree. The program itself requires completion of 48 credit hours. After the first 24 credits are completed, students undergo a review to determine whether they can continue in the program. Prior to graduating, students are required to design, produce and exhibit a final project with documentation and to sit for an oral exam on the project.

North Carolina Central University

The focus of the Department of Art at NCCU is to foster visual arts study and provide opportunities to study non-Western, culturally diverse artwork. Students at NCCU take liberal arts courses in addition to major coursework.

Bachelor of Arts in Art

The art program offers three specializations, including art studio, visual communication and general art studies. In all concentrations, students begin with courses in drawing, design and art survey. In the studio program, students may choose to focus on an area such as ceramics or printmaking. Along with studio classes in sculpture and painting, students can take classes in ancient through modern art history. The visual communications concentration focuses on areas such as graphic design and typography. The art studies program is a generalist program, allowing for a self-directed curriculum.

Campbell University

CU emphasizes the functional aspects of art. All students take CU's core curriculum, which includes classes in math, foreign languages, value development and history. To graduate with a bachelor's degree in studio art or graphic design, students need to earn 130 credit hours with a 2.0 GPA or better.

Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art

The studio arts program provides foundational art courses at the introductory level in areas such as design, drawing and painting. Students take two art history courses before progressing to advanced courses in sculpture, painting and drawing. During junior and senior years, students take electives and independent studio courses. A senior exhibit, produced and presented by the student, and a 120-hour internship are also incorporated into the curriculum.

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design

During the first year of the graphic design program, students take introductory courses in art, design and graphic design. Further graphic design courses include typographic design, advertising, photography and advanced graphic design. To supplement the major, students take art classes covering color, art history and drawing. Students are also required to complete a major-related internship at an ad agency or other relevant site.

Minor in Studio Art or Graphic Design

Students wishing to minor in one of these areas need to complete six classes. In either minor, students take introductory design, art and drawing courses. Studio art minors also take painting, 3-D design and either ceramics or sculpture. Graphic design minors study graphic design, typographic design and photography.

Other Schools

Duke University, in Durham, offers undergraduate through doctoral-level art degree programs. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill houses bachelor's and master's programs in studio art and art history. Both schools are located just over 30 miles from downtown Raleigh.

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