Houston, TX Art Classes with School Overviews

Sep 25, 2018

Research art schools in Houston, which has at least seven schools offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three schools within 15 miles of the city's downtown and decide which program is right for you.

Schools in Houston with Art Programs

Houston is home to several schools that offer art programs in many areas at several degree levels. This article looks at three schools, none more than 20 minutes from the heart of downtown, and at the art degree programs they offer. There is also a table of information about each school that prospective students should know, such as enrollment, tuition, campus setting and the graduation rate. At the end of the article is a little information about a couple of other nearby schools that offer art programs.

  • The University of Houston , just five miles from downtown, offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in fine arts.
  • Also five miles from downtown Houston, Texas Southern University offers a bachelor's degree and a minor program in art.
  • Houston Baptist University has bachelor's and master's degree programs in art as well as a minor option in studio art. This school is about 13 miles from the city center.

Comparison of Schools

Students who are deciding which school to attend need access to a great deal of information. This table puts some important facts together in a way that allows for easy comparison.

The University of Houston Texas Southern University Houston Baptist University
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; public 4-year; private-not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 45,364* 10,237* 3,325*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $9,706 in-state,
$22,066 out-of-state*
$9,173 in-state,
$21,623 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 85%* 94%* 99%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 61%* 67%* 69%*
Retention Rate (2017) 85% full-time;
61% part-time*
57% full-time;
29% part-time*
72% full-time*
Graduation Rate (for students who began their studies in 2011) 54% (14% transfer-out rate)* 23% (34% transfer-out rate)* 48% (42% transfer-out rate)*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

University of Houston

The School of Art at UH offers interdisciplinary programming for its students, allowing them to take classes in diverse areas such as computer science, anthropology or poetry. UH seeks to tailor its programming to the individual student's interests.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

BFA candidates begin by taking the university core curriculum, as well as art and studio courses. In sophomore year, they can apply to the BFA program by presenting a portfolio. Once admitted, students major in painting, photography/digital media, graphic design or sculpture. Depending on the major and GPA, students may be allotted private studio space, mentors and internships.

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art (MFA)

The program is comprised of 60 hours of coursework, which has to be completed within five years of starting. MFA candidates major in one of five areas: painting, sculpture, photography/digital media, graphic design or interdisciplinary practice and emerging forms. Regardless of major, all candidates take 12 hours of art history, 12 hours of related arts, 30 hours of major courses and six hours of graduate seminar classes. Completion of the degree requires a thesis exhibition, written thesis and passage of an oral exam.

Texas Southern University

The arts programming at TSU is housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences and offered through the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Bachelor's programming is flexible and can be designed with or without minors and/or specializations and taken over four to six years.

Bachelor of Arts in Art (BA)

The BA program is comprised of three groupings of courses: core curriculum (44 credits), major (55-58 credits) and minor or specialty (18-21 credits). Specialty options include art history, design, drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics and sculpture. Minors are chosen after a student has been admitted as an art major and in consultation with a counselor. Major and elective class options include drawing, ancient art, ceramics and pottery and digital imaging. Completion of a total of 123 credits and passage of an exit exam are required to graduate.

Minor in Art

The minor in art requires 19 credit hours of coursework, such as art history, drawing, design and painting or an art seminar, and nine hours of upper-level art electives. The minor can be taken with the bachelor's program.

Houston Baptist University

HBU offers five majors in studio arts: drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture. In both its undergraduate and graduate programs, HBU retains permanent or temporary rights to some of the artwork produced by its students.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art

The BFA program is comprised of a 43-hour liberal arts core curriculum and a 42- to 56-hour academic and studio art core curriculum. The academic art core includes nine classes in areas such as art history, 2D and 3D design and art methods and materials. The studio art component requires courses in areas such as drawing, ceramics and/or printmaking. Students are required to participate in art shows in their junior and senior years and to pass an exit exam in art prior to graduation.

Bachelor of Art in Studio Art

In the BA with a studio art major program, students complete 43 credit hours of liberal arts core curriculum, 27 hours of studio art classes and three hours of a senior seminar. The studio art elective options include color theory, experimental drawing and water-media painting, while academic art courses feature design, methods and art history courses from the prehistoric to modern art periods.

Minor in Studio Art

The minor program requires completion of 18 hours of art coursework. The academic art component involves one method, two art history and two design courses. The studio component involves nine credit hours of studio electives in areas such as ceramics, drawing and printmaking.

Master of Fine Arts

MFA candidates spend much of the 60-hour program in studio art courses, developing graduate-level proficiency. Graduate seminars covering writing, gallery/museum practices and thesis portfolio preparation are also important. The remaining hours are spent either in graduate-level art history or other courses focused on the liberal arts. MFA candidates must pass three major faculty critiques, prepare a thesis for exhibition and lecture and donate a significant piece of their work to the permanent collection at HBU.

Other School Options

There are several other options in Houston. Rice University, which has a heavily integrated theatrical and studio-based art program, offers a studio art track for single or double majors. The University of St. Thomas offers BA, BFA and minor programs in studio arts.

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