Washington, DC Art Classes with Degree Program Summaries

Oct 11, 2020

Washington, DC, Art Schools

The three schools profiled below offer undergraduate and/or graduate programs in art. Read about the program options at each of the three universities, and find a comparison table with school statistics. For information about other area colleges and universities with art programs, see the paragraph about other school options beneath the table. Applicants to these programs must submit an art portfolio as part of the admission process.

  • The University of Maryland in College Park is located almost 11 miles from downtown Washington, DC, and offers bachelor's and master's degrees in art.
  • The George Washington University, located less than two miles from the city's downtown, also offers bachelor's and master's degrees in art.
  • Georgetown University is located just under four miles from downtown Washington, DC, and offers an undergraduate major and a minor in art.

Comparison of Schools

Use this table to find out how much it may cost to earn an undergraduate degree in art. Additional figures can also provide you with information about financial aid, school selectivity and retention rates.

University of Maryland - College Park George Washington University Georgetown University
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2019) 40,743* 27,814* 19,593*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2019-2020) $10,779 in-state; $36,891 out-of-state* $56,935* $56,058*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2018-2019) 66%* 77%* 55%*
Acceptance Rate (2019) 44%* 41%* 14%*
Retention Rate (2018-2019) 95% for full-time students; 78% for part-time students* 92% for full-time students; 71% for part-time students* 97% for full-time students; 67% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (Students who started classes in Fall 2013) 87% (8% transfer-out rate)* 82%* 95%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

University of Maryland - College Park

The Department of Art faculty at this school consists of 17 full-time members who are scholars and artists. The department also has a visiting artist program and a number of adjunct faculty members, which facilitate students' exposure to a large number of artistic viewpoints and visions.

Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art

Students in this degree program can choose from three tracks. Track one has open admission, and no portfolio is required. All students enrolling in a bachelor's degree program in art start in track one and take six foundation courses. They then have the option of staying in track one and completing their degrees without submitting a portfolio.

Alternatively, students may enter track two (Bachelor of Art in Studio Art with advanced specialization) or track three (Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in graphic design), but they must submit a portfolio to be considered for one of these competitive programs. Students in track two may concentrate in painting, intermedia, printmaking, sculpture or digital media. Undergraduates in any track also have the opportunity to complete an internship or apply for work as a gallery attendant in the student-run Herman Maril Gallery.

Master of Fine Arts

Candidates must submit a portfolio when applying for admission to this 3-year program. Accepted students may choose to focus on new media, sculpture, printmaking, painting or drawing. Every spring, the Art Gallery has a 'Thesis Exhibition' of artwork created by final semester students. Students must also write a thesis and pass an oral defense.

The George Washington University

Art classes at The George Washington University are administered through the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Fine Arts and Art History. The department has three student organizations: the Visiting Artists and Scholars Committee, Association of Graduate Art Students and Gallery 102 Committee. These organizations plan events outside of the regular degree curricula, which are open to alumni, staff, faculty and students.

Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts

Students can specialize in drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, new media or photography. Depending on the concentration, some of the courses offered include design, hand-built ceramics, sculpture and drawing. Aspiring artists may also study advanced techniques in drawing, problems in color, digital illustration and mixed media.

Master of Fine Arts in Fine Arts

Admission requirements for this 2-year program include a bachelor's degree with a major in the field of intended study, such as video, sculpture, photography, painting or new media. Majors in film, drawing, digital arts, design or ceramics are also acceptable. Applicants must also submit a portfolio for review.

Once enrolled, each student works in his or her own studio space. They must also complete a thesis, which includes creative work and a statement describing the work. Students have the option to show their finished thesis project in the student gallery - Gallery 102.

Georgetown University

The Department of Art and Art History, which is part of Georgetown College, offers art classes and programs. The college was established in 1789. Rooted in the Jesuit tradition, the school offers programs in the social sciences, sciences, language, humanities and fine arts.

Bachelor of Arts in Art

The Bachelor of Arts in Art is offered with four concentrations, including graphic arts, printmaking/drawing, sculpture or painting. Students takes courses in his or her chosen studio discipline and art history. Senior year students complete a seminar, during which they assemble a portfolio of completed works.

Minor in Art

Students wishing to minor in art history or art must complete six courses. Students have the option to major in art history and minor in art.

Other School Options

Students can also take art classes at Howard University, about 3.3 mi. (14 min.) from downtown Washington, DC, and Montgomery College, a 2-year college in Rockville, Maryland, which is about 23.2 mi. (33 min.) from the downtown. Another option is George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, about 19.2 mi. (29 min.) from downtown DC.

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