Individuals interested in taking courses in woodworking have a number of schools from which to choose. Programs in the field lead to the award of certificates, bachelor's and master's degrees; at least one school allows students to take woodworking classes without a declared major. Classes in woodworking can include training in the use of woodworking tools, furniture construction, and the design of functional and fine art pieces. Final projects, senior exhibition, gallery workshops, and/or practicum elements may be required.
Arizona State University-Tempe
Arizona State University (ASU) is located in Tempe, about 13 miles from Phoenix. ASU offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in woodworking through its Herberger Institute School of Art. Students have access to a 3,700-square-foot woodworking studio that contains numerous tools used for carving, turning, fabricating and bending wood, such as table saws, band saws, sanders, drill presses, lathes and a large planer.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program is connected with the sculpture department and includes several courses in woodworking. Students explore 3-D design, basic woodworking, wood sculpture, foundry molds and functional art. Participants in this BFA program are required to complete a portfolio before taking upper-division coursework, and they must take part in a senior exhibition of student works.
Additionally, ASU offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in art with an emphasis in wood arts. During the 60-credit MFA program, students select classroom and studio courses and are required to complete up to 15 credits in a woodworking practicum. The MFA program culminates in an oral defense of the exhibition of the student's work.
Northern Arizona University
Located in the central Arizona city of Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University offers a BFA program in studio art with a concentration in sculpture. This program teaches woodworking and carving skills in addition to other sculpture techniques, such as casting and metal fabrication. Students take classes in sculpture and art history and participate in gallery workshops and a student exhibition. In addition, program participants are required to choose 24 units of coursework in 2 elective areas from painting, printmaking and ceramics.
Pima Community College
Pima Community College in Tucson has certificate and associate's degree programs that highlight cabinetmaking, a specialty of woodworking. The 28-credit certificate program in cabinetmaking trains students to create cabinetry and other wood furnishings through several required classes in hand and power tools, woodworking, furniture design and finishing techniques. Students learn to cut and measure wood, make dovetail joints and apply finishes. The courses in this certificate program can be used toward the PCC associate's degree program.
The Associate of Applied Science program in building and construction technologies has a number of concentrations, including cabinetmaking and carpentry, which may be of interest to those planning careers in woodworking trades. Required courses include basic safety, construction math, blueprint reading and rigging. Those who choose the woodworking concentration take many of the same classes offered in the certificate program with the addition of computer-aided drafting and general education courses. Students in the carpentry concentration take courses in woodworking, carpentry, construction and residential codes.
Prescott's Yavapai College offers an Associate of Arts in Fine Arts program that includes some courses in woodworking. Along with completing a general education curriculum, participants take classes in drawing, 2-D design, 3-D design and color theory. Students interested in woodworking can concentrate in 3-D design and take classes in furniture and woodworking, woodturning and sculpture. All students in this fine arts program develop a portfolio.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Woodworking Courses Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*|
|Arizona State University-Tempe||4-year, public; midsize city|| Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art,
Master of Fine Arts in Art (Wood Arts)
|Northern Arizona University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art (Sculpture)|| $11,564 in-state
|Pima Community College||2-year, public; large city|| Certificate in Cabinetmaking,
Associate of Applied Science in Building and Construction Technologies (Cabinetmaking, Carpentry)
| $2,142 in-state
|Yavapai College||2-year, public; small city||Associate of Arts in Fine Arts|| $2,360 in-state
Sources: *NCES College Navigator