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Drawing Classes in Michigan with School Overviews

Michigan has more than 40 colleges and universities that offer drawing courses. Learn about the degrees, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools to make an informed education decision.

Essential Information

Degree programs in the fine and studio arts typically include a course in basic drawing. Students can find community college and university art programs in Michigan that offer courses in introductory and figure drawing. Additionally, undergraduate and graduate concentrations in drawing are available at select schools. Art programs and the courses included therein usually include a lot of hands-on practice of skills, and many include some type of exhibition opportunity for students' work. At least one of the schools discussed below offers a drawing course based in Italy.

Read on for more detailed information about the types of programs that include drawing classes in Michigan, as well as a comparison table for schools' settings, tuition costs, and program titles.


Central Michigan University

The main campus of Central Michigan University is located in Mount Pleasant, and the school is among the 100 largest public institutions in the United States. The Department of Art and Design (in the College of Communication and Fine Arts) is composed of 25 professors and lecturers, and programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The department offers four undergraduate degree programs in art with concentrations in 2-D and 3-D art; the Bachelor of Fine Arts program also has a graphic design concentration.

Core studies for all four of the undergraduate programs include an introduction to observation-based drawing. Students who pursue the concentration in 2-D design can also take courses in intermediate and advanced drawing, figure drawing and illustration.

Eastern Michigan University

Eastern Michigan University was established in 1849, and students at the main campus attend class in historic Ypsilanti. The Art Department (in the College of Arts and Sciences) offers several undergraduate and graduate programs in art, and the faculty consists of 30 full-time academics and professional artists.

Undergraduates pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Bachelor of Science take two introductory courses in drawing, and both degree options include a drawing concentration. Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program can take 21 credits of intermediate, advanced and life drawing classes, and additional courses cover topics in color theory and contemporary drawing techniques.

The 30-credit Master of Arts program includes a 14-credit concentration in drawing, and graduate students in the 60-credit Master of Fine Arts program complete 36 credits of drawing-related studio work.

Grand Valley State University

This state university is based in Allendale, and the school has received high marks from Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Through the Department of Art and Design (in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), undergraduates can pursue one of three degrees in studio art, and the 30 faculty members include seven who teach classes in drawing and illustration. Students also have access to a 72,000-square-foot facility with designated space for the foundation program and special studios for upper-level fine arts work.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts foundation program requires two sequential courses in introductory drawing, and students who specialize in illustration, painting or printmaking take classes in intermediate and/or life drawing. Studio art majors in the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science programs also complete introductory courses in drawing, and electives include a class in life drawing. With prior permission from the instructor, non-majors can register for the courses in beginning drawing.

Lansing Community College

The main campus of this community college is located in Lansing, and the school offers programs in developmental and general education, career training and personal enrichment.

The Associate in Arts in Art Foundation is designed for undergraduates who would like to transfer to a 4-year school, and the 60-credit curriculum includes two courses in basic and figure drawing. Aspiring artists can also take 8-9 credits of electives from topics including humorous illustration and color illustration.

Students also can earn an Associate of Applied Arts in animation computer graphics, multimedia computer graphics or graphic communication. These programs include courses in basic drawing, figure drawing and vector drawing.

Michigan State University

Michigan State University in East Lansing was the first land-grant institution in the United States. The college is also the largest school on this list, and in 2016, it ranked 29th in U.S. News & World Report's list of best national public universities. Students in the Department of Art, Art History and Design (in the College of Arts and Letters) have access to a number of campus-based resources, including the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and the Michigan State University Museum.

The Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art requires one course in beginning drawing that emphasizes an analytical, descriptive and observational approach to the medium. Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program complete the basic drawing course as well as an intermediate drawing course.

Additional course offerings include a special study of content, style and techniques, as well as a basic drawing class associated with architectural and urban landscapes.

Oakland Community College

This is the largest community college with drawing classes in Michigan, and the school's five campuses and two business centers include a location at Farmington Hills. At this campus, students can pursue a 2-year degree in liberal studies with a concentration in the fine and visual arts.

The requirements for the concentration include training in basic drawing, advanced drawing and figure drawing. Although not required for the degree, the college also offers a course in advanced figure drawing and courses in introductory and advanced animation drawing.

Oakland University

Oakland University is situated on the site of a former farm in Rochester Hills, and the Department of Art and Art History is one of 16 departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. The faculty is composed of over two dozen lecturers and professors, and relevant facilities include a designated drawing studio.

Students who pursue the Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in drawing complete a core course in basic drawing and 28 credits of specialized coursework in intermediate and life drawing, as well as two courses in advanced drawing and painting. Students who are interested in teaching studio art can complete an additional sequence of education classes. Courses in drawing can also be used to fulfill the elective requirements for the 24-credit minor in studio art.

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Founded before Michigan was even a state, the University of Michigan has a main campus in Ann Arbor, as well as regional sites in Dearborn and Flint. The Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design is one of 19 divisions associated with this research-based university, and the 70,000-square-foot art building includes fully equipped drawing studios.

The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design programs include one course in drawing fundamentals, after which students can take studio electives in, among other techniques, design drawing, figure drawing and sketching. Students who pursue the 3-year graduate program in art and design can use the directed studio courses to acquire additional experience in the medium. Completing an international study or work experience is required of students in the School of Art and Design. A course devoted to drawing in Florence, Italy, is offered.

Wayne State University

A research-based school in an urban setting, Wayne State University is the only school on the list with a campus in Detroit. Currently, the Department of Art and Art History (in the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts) is composed of more than 30 members, including four professors of drawing.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program allows students to pursue one of a dozen concentrations, including a specialization in drawing. In addition to an introductory sequence, requirements include studies in beginning and intermediate life drawing, advanced drawing and landscape renderings.

The department also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Art and a 21-credit minor that includes two courses in drawing. At the graduate level, both the Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts studio art programs also offer concentrations in drawing.

Western Michigan University

According to U.S. News & World Report, Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo is one of the top 100 public institutions in the country. At the Gwen Frostic School of Art (in the College of Fine Arts), students have access to four galleries, including those devoted to professional and student exhibitions. The 43-member faculty includes seven instructors associated with the foundation art program, a course of study required of all students majoring in art education or studio art. The 4-course introduction provides training in object and artistic drawing and covers topics associated with form, space and surface. Relevant coursework also includes courses in intermediate and life drawing; graduate students in the art education program can take a drawing and painting studio.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Drawing Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Central Michigan University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Applied Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Science in Art
Minor in Art
$11,850 in-state; $23,670 out-of-state*
Eastern Michigan University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Fine Arts,
Bachelor of Science in Art,
Master of Arts in Studio Art,
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art
$10,417 in-state; $27,712 out-of-state*
Grand Valley State University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Science in Studio Art
$11,363 in-state; $16,044 out-of-state*
Lansing Community College 2-year, public; midsize city Associate in Arts in Fine Arts,
Associate of Applied Arts in Graphic Communication,
Associate of Applied Arts in Computer Graphics Animation,
Associate of Applied Arts in Computer Graphics Multimedia
$3,020 in-district; $5,660 in-state; $8,300 out-of-state*
Michigan State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art
$13,560 in-state; $36,360 out-of-state*
Oakland Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate in Liberal Arts $2,745 in-district; $5,235 in-state; $7,305 out-of-state*
Oakland University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Minor in Studio Art
$11,344 in-state; $23,522 out-of-state*
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Art and Design,
Minor in Art and Design
$13,856 in-state; $43,476 out-of-state*
Wayne State University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art,
Master of Arts in Art,
Master of Fine Arts in Art,
Minor in Art
$11,814 in-state; $25,254 out-of-state*
Western Michigan University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art,
Master of Arts in Art Education
$11,029 in-state; $25,713 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator


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