Art Degree - Online and Campus Programs

Express Your Creativity with an Art Degree

Working artists explore different media, such as drawing, glass, painting, sculpture, and textiles. The best way to develop artistic talent is to take art classes. If you want to dabble as an artist, art courses can help you improve. If you want a career as an artist, pursue art classes structured toward obtaining an undergraduate or graduate art degree.

Art for Work's Sake: Preparing for a Career as an Artist

There are several types of art degrees for students who want to become working artists:
  • Associate of Art (AA) degrees require two years to complete.
  • Bachelor of Art (BA) and Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) degrees require four years of study.
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees take two to three years beyond the bachelor's degree.
Regardless of which art degree program a student enters, Grades are one thing, but it's your portfolio that really counts, says Ted Moore, professor of Foundation Studies at Rhode Island School of Design. Make your portfolio both professional and unforgettable. While you may pursue a concentration in anything from ceramics to textiles to photography to painting, art degree programs should provide foundational art courses in two-dimensional drawing, three-dimensional design, and art history. A career as an artist is not for the faint of heart. The Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests an average rate of job growth through 2018 with unusually fierce competition. While average earnings for animators and art directors range from $79,000 to $85,000, most fine and craft artists earn less than $25,000 per year from the sale of art.