In Colorado, there are about 34 schools that offer art programs. Through an agreement with universities in the state, students might earn associate's degrees at 2-year community colleges and then transfer to the 4-year programs. Students earn a general Associate of Arts degree, while electives allow them to focus their studies in a particular field, such as art. Once enrolled, students might choose from several areas of concentration. An exhibition thesis project may be required during the final year of study. Some schools offer online classes. Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees are offered in the following areas:
- Fine Arts
- Studio Art
- Graphic Design
- Art History
- Visual Arts
- Art and Design
Colorado State University - Fort Collins
At this Fort Collins school, students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History or Studio Art, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or a Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Students pursuing a BA in Studio Art, a BFA or an MFA can concentrate their studies in areas such as drawing, fibers, graphic design, metalsmithing, painting, printmaking or sculpture. This school is home to an art museum and an art gallery that exhibits students' work.
Community College of Denver
Located in Denver, this college offers an Associate of Arts degree. Students complete 24-26 major credits. Art course offerings include drawing, painting, 2-D design and 3-D design. Students can select electives that range from watercolor to digital photography. Art history courses are also required.
Front Range Community College
This Westminster-based school offers an Associate of Arts degree at its Boulder, Larimer and Westminster campuses. Students wishing to focus their studies in art can complete courses in jewelry and metalwork, watercolor, drawing, printmaking, photography, clay, ceramics, sculpture and more. Art appreciation and art history classes may be taken online.
Metropolitan State University of Denver
At this Denver school, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Art or Art History, Theory and Criticism, or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art. All students are initially admitted into the BA program. After completing foundation courses and passing a portfolio review, students may be accepted into the BFA program. Within this program students may specialize in jewelry design and metalsmithing, ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking or spatial media. This school also offers minors in art history, theory and criticism; digital media; and studio art.
Pikes Peak Community College
Located in Colorado Springs, this school offers a 60-credit Associate of Arts program. Students complete liberal arts courses and fine art electives. Art history classes must also be taken. Classes could include 2-D and 3-D design, drawing and color theory. Students can exhibit their artwork at on- and off-campus venues, including the school's downtown studio art gallery.
Students can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts at this Denver-based school. To gain acceptance, applicants must pass a portfolio review. In addition, students are required to complete a portfolio review during their junior years. Core and elective courses include digital imaging, graphic design, sculpture, photography, printmaking, drawing and art history. A senior exhibition thesis is also required.
University of Colorado Boulder
At this Boulder school, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Master of Arts (MA) in Art History or a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts or Master of Fine Arts in Art Practices. They can also pursue dual-degree programs, including a combined BA and MA in Art History and a combined Master of Business Administration and MFA. Students in the BA in Art Practices program develop skills in ceramics, photography, digital media, video, integrated arts, printmaking, drawing, painting, art history and sculpture. The BFA program requires an application, portfolio and completion of foundation courses for entry. Students in the MFA in Art Practices program can select a focus in sculpture and post-studio practice, painting and drawing, ceramics, printmaking or film studies.
University of Colorado Denver
Located in Denver, this school provides Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in fine arts through the Visual Arts Department. Within the BA program, students can select an emphasis in art history or studio art. Emphasis options within the BFA program include 3-D graphics and animation, painting and drawing, digital design, photography, illustration, sculpture and transmedia. This school regularly brings guest artists to campus and is home to student art organizations, including the sculpture club, art history club and the painting and drawing guild. The university also provides sculpture and photography studios, computer labs, digital studios and 'smart classrooms,' featuring the latest media technology.
University of Denver
Students at this Denver school can earn a minor or Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art or Art History, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts or a Master of Arts in Art History. The Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art program requires a minor or double major. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Arts does not require a minor and allows students to concentrate in printmaking, ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture or photography. BFA students must exhibit their work during their senior year.
The university also offers a five-year accelerated BA/MA in Art History Program. The Master of Arts in Art History is offered with or without a concentration in museum studies. This school is home to sculpture and ceramics studios, printing facilities, galleries, a photography darkroom and a visual media center.
University of Northern Colorado
At this Greeley university's School of Art and Design, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Master of Arts in Art and Design. Undergraduates can concentrate their studies in art history, ceramics, computer graphics, drawing, graphic design, painting, photo imaging, printmaking or sculpture. To complete the BA program, students must pass a portfolio assessment and maintain a 3.0 GPA in all major courses.
The master's program can be completed on-campus or in a low-residency format. Both can be completed in two years. The on-campus program requires a written thesis, while students in the low-residency program complete a research project and report. Students in the master's program create an individualized plan of study that may prepare them for advancement in art education or for further studies.
There are many careers in the art and design field. Some positions, including craft and fine artist, do not require post-secondary education. Other careers, such as art director, require a bachelor's degree. While education requirements vary, aspiring artists can benefit from building a portfolio. Attending classes and earning a degree can provide portfolio material and help potential artists develop advanced skills. Below, programs from the ten largest Colorado schools with art education offerings are detailed.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Art Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Colorado State University - Fort Collins||Four-year, public; midsized city|| Bachelor of Arts in Art History,
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing, Pottery, Fibers, Painting, Metalsmithing, Graphic Design, Photo Image Making, Printmaking or Sculpture,
Master of Fine Arts in Drawing, Fibers, Painting, Metalsmithing, Graphic Design, Printmaking or Sculpture
| $11,707 in-state (undergraduate);
$29,608 out-of-state (undergraduate);
$12,495 in-state (graduate);
$27,321 out-of-state (graduate)*
|Community College of Denver||Four-year, public; large city||Associate of Arts in Art||$4,750 in-state; $15,830 out-of-state*|
|Front Range Community College||Two-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Arts - Studio Art||$3,986 in-state; $15,074 out-of-state*|
|Metropolitan State University of Denver||Four-year, public; large city|| Minor in art history, theory and criticism; digital media; or studio art,
Bachelor of Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Theory and Criticism,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art
|$7,666 in-state; $20,847 out-of-state*|
|Pikes Peak Community College||Four-year, public; large suburb||Associate of Arts in Studio Art||$3,840 in-state; $14,928 out-of-state*|
|Regis University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts||$36,810*|
|University of Colorado Boulder||Four-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Arts in Art History,
Bachelor of Arts in Art Practices,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Practices,
Combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Art History,
Master of Arts in Art History,
Combined Master of Business Administration/ Master of Fine Arts,
Master of Fine Arts in Art Practices
| $12,532 in-state (undergraduate);
$37,286 out-of-state (undergraduate);
$13,246 in-state (graduate);
$32,146 out-of-state (graduate)*
|University of Colorado Denver||Four-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Arts
|$9,283 in-state; $25,771 out-of state*|
|University of Denver||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Minor in studio art,
Minor in art history,
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Art History,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art,
Master of Arts in Art History,
Accelerated Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Art History
|$50,556 (undergraduate); $49,695 (graduate)*|
|University of Northern Colorado||Four-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design,
Master of Arts in Art and Design
| $9,918 in-state (undergraduate);
$21,786 out-of-state (undergraduate);
$12,444 in-state (graduate);
$21,519 out-of-state (graduate)*
Source: *NCES College Navigator.