Columbus Institutes with Art Programs and Courses

The Columbus area has at least seven colleges that offer art programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, all within five miles of downtown, to make an informed education decision.

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Columbus Art Programs and Courses

Individuals who want to study art in the Columbus, Ohio, area have a variety of public and private schools from which to choose. This article explores three of these schools, none farther than 15 minutes from the city center. It also includes a table that looks at factors students consider when deciding on a school, such as size and tuition. There are also a few facts about two other nearby schools with art programs.

  • While the Ohio State University (OSU) is known for its athletics, it also has highly regarded undergraduate and graduate art programs. At the graduate level, OSU's master's programs in sculpture and ceramics are highly ranked. OSU is about three miles from downtown Columbus
  • The Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD), about a mile from downtown, is a much smaller liberal arts college focused on art and design programming. CCAD also offers a variety of classes that are open to both children and adults in the community.
  • Offering a Catholic education in the Dominican tradition, Ohio Dominican University (ODU) is a small, liberal arts school set on 75 acres on the northeast side of Columbus, approximately five miles from downtown. ODU's art programs focus on preparing students for graduate studies, as well as service to the larger community.

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

There are many factors to consider when choosing a school. The following table makes it easy to compare various institutions, with information on important aspects such as access to financial aid and acceptance rate.

Ohio State University Columbus College of Art and Design Ohio Dominican University
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private-not-for-profit 4-year; private-not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2014) 58,322* 1,288* 2,707*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $10,037 in-state students, $27,365 out-of-state students* $32,710* $30,270*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2013-2014) 86%* 100%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 53%* 89%* 47%*
Retention Rate (2014) 94% for full-time students, 44% for part-time students* 80% * 70% for full-time students, 50% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (for students who began in Fall 2008) 83%* 56%* 43%*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Ohio State University

Applicants to the arts program at OSU enter as pre-art students and then apply to the art program their second year. The MFA program generally has 50-60 students enrolled and OSU seeks to provide them with competitive financial support.

Bachelor of Arts in Art

The BA program is designed for students who wish to work in careers related to the arts. Program requirements include introductory art courses, studio practicum courses and art history and theory classes. Over a typical 4-year plan of study, students will complete general education requirements and take art courses such as beginning drawing, western art historical study, ceramics, photography and digital images.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

This program is for students who wish to work in studio arts. Students seeking to enter the BFA program take general education and core courses, such as art history, contemporary art, and math, over their first two years and then submit a portfolio to a faculty committee to review their eligibility for the major. There are seven concentration options for the BFA: painting and drawing, sculpture, glass, art and technology, ceramics, printmaking and photography. The BFA degree requires completion of a senior project and group exhibition.

Minor in Art

The art minor requires completion of 15 semester credit hours including two foundations courses, such as contemporary art and drawing, and three studio art courses. Students may choose to take classes in a single concentration or from across areas such as ceramics, art and technology or sculpture. The minor is not available to art majors and approval of the student's planned program of study is required.

Master of Fine Arts

Applicants to the MFA program at OSU must have a bachelor's degree earned with a 3.0/4.0 (or acceptable GRE scores) and submit a portfolio of 15-20 still images or 20 minutes of time-based or interactive work. Of the 72 credit hours required to complete the degree, 40-52 are required in studio studies, both within and outside of the candidate's major studio area. Seminars, teaching and research coursework comprises 17-24 credits of the program, and university studies, including art history, humanities and non-art coursework, cover the last 12-24 credit hours. All students must pass five formal reviews, a final master's exam and oral exam, an MFA group exhibition and a written thesis. The MFA must be completed within six years with a 3.0/4.0 GPA.

Columbus College of Art and Design

Undergraduates are admitted into programs at CCAD in both the fall and spring semesters, graduate students are only admitted for the fall term. All applicants are required to submit a portfolio; graduate students need to provide project proposals and other supplemental materials.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Arts

The BFA program at CCAD encompasses multiple forms of art, from the solely conceptual through to large-scale sculptural work. Students take foundational art classes, such as digital fundamentals, drawing, and color theory, and academic classes such as art history, philosophy, literature and science. In their major, students are required to complete 42 hours in an area such as painting, ceramics, media arts or printmaking. Graduation from the program requires the completion of 120 credit hours and production of a portfolio or thesis.

Master of Fine Arts in the Visual Arts

The 60-hour, 2-year MFA program at CCAD involves heavy collaboration with faculty to develop individual projects from proposal through execution phases. Each year 9-15 students are admitted to the program where they work with both faculty and outside mentors to create and critique art. Required coursework includes classes in professional practices, digital media for pedagogy and theory and criticism seminars. To graduate, students must complete a thesis project and written thesis and pass an oral defense.

Ohio Dominican University

All students at ODU take seminar courses each year covering topics such as human nature and justice. Students in the art program are encouraged to participate in internships both on and off campus, and work on exhibits at the Wehrle Art Gallery.

Bachelor of Arts in Art

In addition to general education courses, such as math, philosophy and writing, students in the art program are required to complete 43 credits in art classes. Required major coursework includes 25 credit hours of classes in drawing and design, art history and color theory. Elective options include photographic art, botanical illustration, book arts and historic painting techniques, and comprise the remaining 18 hours of art program courses. Students need to earn 120 credit hours and maintain a 2.0/4.0 cumulative GPA to graduate.

Minor in Art or Art History

Requiring 18 hours to complete, earning a minor in art requires taking a drawing class and then choosing five elective courses. The art history minor requires taking two art history classes and then picking four elective courses. Electives for both programs include choices such as introduction to book arts, botanical illustrations or the history of women in art.

Other School Options

Outside Columbus, both Otterbein University and Ohio Wesleyan University are liberal arts schools associated with the United Methodist Church. Both offer bachelor's programs in art with related minor options, such as art history. Wesleyan also offers a BFA option.

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