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Sketching Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Individuals who want to get formal education in sketching or drawing can earn find relevant fine arts programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Amateur sketch artists can also take courses in the field.

Individuals who want to pursue a professional career in sketching or drawing can enroll in a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree program in art at a four-year university, while individuals who are just interested in improving their sketching skills can find relevant offerings at two-year community colleges and technical schools.

10 Schools with Sketching Training Programs

The following schools have strong art programs for aspiring sketch artists:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral (undergraduate) $47,750, (graduate) $40,984
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's (undergraduate) $13,856 in-state, $43,476 out-of-state; (graduate) $20,966 in-state, $42,016 out-of-state
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's (undergraduate) $12,763 in-state, $37,471 out-of-state; (graduate) $12,629 in-state, $27,731 out-of-state
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Bachelor's, Master's (undergraduate) $50,277, (graduate) $40,670
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's (undergraduate) $12,772 in-state, $31,464 out-of-state; (graduate) $12,779 in-state, $24,002 out-of-state
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's (undergraduate) $9,429 in-state, $19,603 out-of-state; (graduate) $11,725 in-state, $24,762 out-of-state
University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's (undergraduate) $10,170 in-state, $25,950 out-of-state; (graduate) $10,170 in-state, $25,950 out-of-state
University of Akron - Main Campus Akron, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's (undergraduate) $10,509 in-state, $19,040 out-of-state
Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's (undergraduate) $11,363 in-state, $16,044 out-of-state
Columbia University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's (graduate) $44,176

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

Here are some things to take into consideration when looking for a school:

  • Because many fine artists are self-employed, students might want to choose a school where they can take business courses or pursue a dual-degree in fine arts and business administration.
  • Students may want to look into internship opportunities offered through the school; for instance, students who would like to work in museums or art galleries can look for schools that offer programs in these settings.
  • Since art students can benefit from individualized attention from instructors, it can be helpful to consider the student-to-faculty ratio at the school.
  • Students may want to look into the school's facilities in order to ensure that they will be able to get adequate studio time and have access to high-quality drawing materials.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Undergraduate students can major in drawing and painting or choose a broader art major with these concentrations. These programs confer either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. In addition to technical drawing courses, students also take art history courses and introductory courses in other artistic techniques, such as sculpture or ceramics. Prior to graduation, they may be required to submit a capstone project.

Master's Degree Programs

At the master's degree level, students can earn a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Drawing and Painting. In these three-year programs, they hone their schools through extensive studio work, and they take advanced courses to complement their studies. In addition, students may gain pedagogical experience through teaching assistantships. MFA programs culminate in a final thesis.

Doctoral Programs

Doctoral programs in fine arts are rare, but there are a few schools with relevant offerings. For instance, it is possible to find PhD programs that combine theoretical and critical art studies with studio work and teaching experience. Students in these programs produce interdisciplinary dissertations under the supervision of university faculty members.

Standalone Drawing Classes

Amateur sketch artists who want to take basic courses for personal enrichment can find relevant offerings at community colleges. These single-term courses can help individuals improve their sketching skills without committing to full-degree programs. Depending on the schools, classes may be offered at the introductory, intermediate and/or advanced levels.

Aspiring sketch artists can get training at programs in fine arts and/or studio art through public and private schools. The school's facilities and curricular offerings are key considerations when choosing between programs.

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