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Drawing Schools in Baltimore, Maryland with Course Summaries

Jan 24, 2019

The Baltimore, Maryland, area has several schools within 30 miles of downtown that offer drawing 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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Baltimore, MD, Drawing Schools

Drawing students in Baltimore, MD, can find programs at a private art institute and two public universities, which are summarized below. This resource also includes a comparison table with at-a-glance facts about the three featured schools and a paragraph about four other colleges and universities in the extended Baltimore area that offer programs in drawing.

  • Located right in Baltimore, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is a private, non-profit school that features one faculty member for every eight students. MICA offers students both an undergraduate and graduate degree in drawing or illustration practice.
  • Towson University is located about 6 miles from Baltimore and offers concentrations in illustration at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, this school also makes drawing courses available to students not majoring in the field.
  • The largest of the three colleges, the University of Maryland - College Park is located about 28 miles from Baltimore. In addition to a bachelor's program, student can pursue a Master of Fine Arts program, which allows them to present their work in an exhibition.

Comparison of Schools

Baltimore drawing students can use the following table to compare the cost of an undergraduate education and the likelihood of receiving some form of financial aid. Key school statistics also include acceptance, retention and graduation percentages.

Maryland Institute College of Art Towson University University of Maryland - College Park
School Type Four-year, private not-for-profit Four-year, public Four-year, public
Total Enrollment (2017) 2,128* 22,705* 40,521*
Campus Setting Large city Small city Large suburb
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018) $46,990* $9,694 in-state; $22,140 out-of-state* $10,399 in-state; $33,606 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Undergraduates Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 95%* 77%* 68%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 62%* 77%* 45%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 87% for full-time students* 85% for full-time students, 80% for part-time students* 96% for full-time students, 88% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (first-time students beginning in 2011) 72%* 72%* 85%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

The drawing programs at MICA are offered through the Drawing Department. The drawing faculty at this school is comprised of 15 members, many of whom exhibit their own work.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Drawing

Students wishing to enter this program will submit 1-3 letters of recommendation, a personal essay, a list of activities/interests and a portfolio of recent artwork. The 120 credits required in this program include art foundations, humanistic studies, art history and major requirements.

Drawing courses incorporate life, studio and independent drawing and the professional practices used by visual artists. Other courses may cover topics in composition, imagery, illusionism or light and shadow; students also learn about color, nature, time and space, watercolor drawing and abstractions.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Illustration Practice

While work experience isn't required, applicants must submit a resume, a written statement and three letters of recommendation; transcripts from a previous degree program and an online portfolio are also required. Courses in this 60-credit program include required and elective studios, critical seminars, humanities electives and thesis development.

Visiting artists take part in thesis development through critiques and mentoring. In the seminars, students prepare critical essays, perform research and make classroom presentations. Thesis projects include a case study presented through both images and words.

Towson University

The College of Fine Arts and Communication's offers an undergraduate concentration in illustration taught by one full-time and two part-time faculty members as well as an emeritus faculty member. An additional 12 members are affiliated with the master's degree program in studio arts.

BFA in Art and Design - Illustration

Candidates for this screened program must earn at least 27 specific units in the major and have a minimum 2.67 grade point average before applying. Applicants also submit a portfolio of works completed through those prerequisite courses.

The program includes the study of illustration principles for designers and illustrators and teaches technical skills in various media. Students can choose between the digital or traditional media options. Required courses include the observation and invention of drawing, the human figure, life drawing and advanced illustration, in addition to a variety of electives. Students also complete a BFA project.

MFA in Studio Art - Illustration

This school prefers applicants with bachelor's degrees in art for its master's degree program. Candidates submit a portfolio on CD, along with a letter of intent, current resume and two letters of recommendation. Students in this 60-unit program complete 24 units in their area of concentration, in addition to a master's seminar, art history courses, art electives and a master's degree project.

University of Maryland - College Park

The full-time faculty in the Department of Art is comprised of 15 well-known artists and scholars. In addition, adjunct faculty members and visiting artists provide instruction to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Studio Arts - Painting/Drawing

This four-year degree program includes core art courses and electives, in addition to the general education requirements. Aspiring artists focus on two- and three-dimensional composition, in addition to gaining experience in various types of media. Hands-on experience can be gained through internships.

Master of Fine Arts

Candidates for this competitive program will submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of experiences and research interests and a portfolio of their work. Students complete 60 credit hours, which include studio work, thesis development and art theory courses, as well as teaching internships. For degree completion, students exhibit their work in the gallery and orally defend their theses.

Other School Options

Coppin State University, Goucher College and Loyola University Maryland are all situated in Baltimore and offer art programs that include courses in drawing and illustrating.

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