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Art but not at an art school

Page history last edited by Shelley 1 year, 8 months ago

This question was posted to the NACAC listserv for college counselors:

“I am seeking suitable colleges for a senior who would like to study fine/ studio art at a liberal arts college or university with the goal ultimately of working in some type of art field (restoration? gallery management?)...prepared to provide a portfolio, but specifically is not seeking education at an art school.”

Here are the collected responses (by no stretch of the imagination comprehensive, but a start):


Barry Beach (http://www.artscounselor.com) offered these helpful overall tips:


Numerous colleges offer visual art as a major. Because of this, a primary question which will help students determine where to study art is:

how much of your studies do you want to be devoted to art? The answer to this question is determined by the type of degree you wish to pursue, not the college.


Types of Visual Art Degrees

There are two types of visual art degrees: BA (Bachelors of Art) and BFA (Bachelors of Fine Art). Students in BA programs spend on average 20-40% of their studies in art. Students in BFA programs may spend up to 65% of their studies in art. Of course, when 60+% of courses are art, liberal arts offerings are reduced.


BFA programs are typically offered at colleges of art, and BA programs are typically offered at universities and liberal arts colleges. However, several universities and liberal arts colleges offer the BFA as an option to students majoring in art, usually requiring a mid-program review for acceptance into the BFA program.  Colleges of art, on the other hand, admit directly into their BFA programs - using the portfolio as part of the admissions requirement. (More about portfolios is on the colleges of art page - http://collegelists.pbworks.com/w/page/16119410/Colleges%20of%20Art]

Recently, several colleges of art (particularly in Canada) offer a BS (Bachelors of Science) degree in newer science oriented majors involving computing such as animation, motion graphics, graphic design and digital arts.


Dual or Joint Degree Programs in Art

Some colleges of art have teamed up with universities to offer joint degree programs as well. Such joint degree, dual degree or exchange programs are listed here - http://collegelists.pbworks.com/w/page/16119381/BFA-BA%20Dual%20Degree%20Programs.


Two organizations can be checked to help determine the quality of an art program at a college:

The first is NASAD - National Assoc. of Schools of Art & Design,  a national accrediting agency for visual arts programs. While voluntary, it is one level of an institutions commitment to visual art as it takes time and effort to become accredited. Their website lists member institutions at the link below once you hit the "submit" button at the bottom of the page (don't enter anything to get the complete list of institutions)



The second organization to check is the National Portfolio Day Association. The Association consists of representatives from regionally accredited colleges and universities, which are also members of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The NPDA is the only organization of its kind, and its membership represents the highest standard of visual arts education available in the United States and Canada.

This organization exists to host National Portfolio Day events around the country. These events provide free artistic feedback to high school student artists. Students can bring their art portfolio (collection of artwork) to the event to receive free advice from college professionals/artists in the field from numerous institutions. I think that getting a portfolio review by a representative of a college is the next best thing to visiting the college to determine fit.

Current information about National Portfolio Day is available at the link below:




Alfred University (NY) - http://www.alfred.edu


American University (DC) - http://www.american.edu


Bard (NY) - www.bard.edu


Boston College (MA) - http://www.bc.edu/


Boston University (MA) - http://www.bu.edu


Brown (RI) - www.brown.edu [students can take courses at Rhode Island School of Design & has a joint degree program with RISD]


Cal State University Fullerton (CA) - http://www.fullerton.edu


Cal State University Long Beach (CA) - www.csulb.edu/


City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter (NY) - http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/art/welcome-page


Clark University (MA) - http://www.clark.edu


Colgate University (NY) - http://www.colgate.edu


College of Charleston (SC) - http://www.cofc.edu/


Columbia University (NY) - www.columbia.edu


Connecticut College (CT) - http://www.conncoll.edu


Drew University (NJ) - http://www.drew.edu (includes a "semester in NYC" option to study art)


Drexel University (PA) - http://www.drexel.edu


Furman University (SC) - http://www.furman.edu/


Goucher (MD) - http://www.goucher.edu


Hollins (VA) - http://www.hollins.edu 


Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY) - www.hunter.cuny.edu/


Lewis & Clark (OR) - http://www.lclark.edu


Lycoming College (PA) -  www.lycoming.edu (Added by a staff member at Lycoming College.)


Manhattanville (NY) - http://www.manhattanville.edu


Marist College (NY) - http://www.marist.edu


New College of Florida (FL) - http://www.ncf.edu


New York University (NY) - www.nyu.edu


Northeastern (MA) - www.northeastern.edu - [students can take courses at School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston & has a dual degree program with them]


Oberlin (OH) - http://new.oberlin.edu


Occidental College (CA) - art students can take courses at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena - http://www.oxy.edu/academics/programs-majors/exchange-cooperative-programs


Princeton University (NJ) - http://www.princeton.edu


Reed College (OR) - http://www.reed.edu/


Rochester Institute of Technology (NY) - http://www.rit.edu


Sarah Lawrence College (NY) - http://www.slc.edu


Shepherd University (WV) - http://www.shepherd.edu


Skidmore (NY) - http://www.skidmore.edu


Southern Oregon Universtiy (OR) - http://www.sou.edu/art


Southwestern University (TX) - http://www.southwestern.edu


State University of New York (SUNY) New Palz - http://www.newpaltz.edu


Susquehanna (PA)- http://www.susqu.edu/ 


Syracuse University (NY) - http://www.syracuse.edu


Tufts (MA) - www.tufts.edu - [students can take courses at School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston & has a dual degree program with them]


University of Arkansas Main Campus (AR) - http://www.uark.edu


University of California Davis (CA) - http://www.ucdavis.edu


University of California Los Angeles (CA) - http://www.arts.ucla.edu


University of Cincinnati (OH) - http://www.uc.edu


University of Delaware (DE) - also has major in Art Conservation - http://www.udel.edu/art 


University of Louisiana (LA) - http://www.louisiana.edu


University of Maine (ME) - http://www.umaine.edu


University of Michigan (MI) - http://www.umich.edu


University of North Carolina Greensboro (NC) - http://www.uncg.edu


University of South Florida (FL) - http://www.usf.edu


Vassar (NY) - http://www.vassar.edu


Virginia Commonwealth University (VA) - http://www.vcu.edu


Washington University (MO) - http://www.washu.edu


Wesleyan University (CT) - http://www.wesleyan.edu


Wheaton (MA) - http://www.wheatoncollege.edu


Williams (MA) - http://www.williams.edu


Yale (CT) - http://www.yale.edu/

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