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2021 Fine & Studio Arts Degree Guide

If you enjoy creating masterpieces and believe it is the best way to express yourself, you may be a Fine and Studio Arts major.

Majoring in Fine and Studio Arts allows students to take classes in the many disciplines within the field including painting, sculpting, art history, drawing, photography, painting, illustration, graphic design, and digital media. The variety of classes allows you to try different art mediums in order to find what you are most interested in. These classes will also improve your technique and teach you express yourself.

Fine and Studio Arts is a field with many areas of specialization. You may choose to concentrate in more specific areas such as Art History, Drawing, Multimedia, Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Ceramic Arts and Ceramics, Fiber, Textile and Weaving Arts, and Metal and Jewelry.

#29 Most Popular Major
40.8k Degrees Awarded
-1.7% Increase in Graduates

Fine & Studio Arts was the 29th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 40,751 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 1.7% reduction in Fine Arts degrees awarded over the prior year's total of -41,431.

Approximately 1,368 colleges in the U.S. offer a fine and studio arts degree of some kind. This year's Best Colleges for Fine & Studio Arts ranking compares 332 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of Fine Arts programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Fine & Studio Arts

Students in the fine arts field usually have some amount of natural talent and experience working in one or more artistic mediums. They have passion for art and enjoy working with their hands to create things. Their creativity and imagination allows them to form unique pieces of art that express the emotion of the artist. Students in this field have good interpersonal and communication skills because they will be required to speak with gallery owners and the general public to sell their artwork.

This field can lead to either a part or full time job. Those who work full time are typically employed in commercial art studios or with performing arts centers, while other artists are self-employed or are commissioned by clients to create pieces.

Depending on the area of study to wish to follow, a college degree may not be necessary. Some artists only take a few classes to improve skills and techniques, while others need a degree to be hired. By working in and internship or summer job, you will learn what type of education you need for a successful career.

Getting Accepted Into a Fine & Studio Arts Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most Fine Arts degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. In addition to these basic fine and studio arts program qualifications, to serve in some Fine Arts careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Fine & Studio Arts Degree Types

There are various different levels of Fine Arts degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in fine and studio arts to something that takes less time like a associate's. Fine & Studio Arts programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to Fine Arts, with approximately 25.7% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for Fine Arts workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Master’s Degree 25.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 23.7%
High School Diploma 13.1%
Some College Courses 8.6%
Doctoral Degree 8.2%

About 54.7% of workers in careers related to Fine Arts obtain at least bachelor's degree. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in fine and studio arts careers have.


This of course varies depending on which Fine Arts career you choose.

Fine Arts Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
$23.8k Average Starting Salary
6% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Fine and Studio Arts graduates work for a number of different companies including commercial art studios, manufacturing companies, performing arts companies, and art galleries. Some graduates have decided to be self-employed and are commissioned to create pieces. Artists who rely on selling art to make a living may have a difficult time and need to work an extra job.

Growth Projected for Fine Arts Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your Fine Arts degree? Fine & Studio Arts careers are expected to grow 6.3% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to fine and studio arts.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
High School Teachers 1,095,500 7.5%
Photographers 139,000 -5.6%
Art, Drama, and Music Professors 137,200 12.0%
Art Directors 95,200 5.4%
Multimedia Artists and Animators 79,900 8.4%

How Much Money Do People With a Fine Arts Degree Make?

Fine & Studio Arts graduates between 2015-2017 reported earning an average of $23,847 in the 2017-2018 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $13,200 to as high as $59,500. As you might expect, salaries for Fine Arts graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Fine Arts Careers

Salaries for fine and studio arts graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers Fine Arts grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Art Directors $104,590
Art, Drama, and Music Professors $82,560
Multimedia Artists and Animators $78,230
Artists $67,700
High School Teachers $64,340

Getting Your Fine & Studio Arts Degree

With over 3,835 different Fine Arts degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased Fine Arts school rankings to help you with this.

One of 9 majors within the Visual & Performing Arts area of study, Fine & Studio Arts has other similar majors worth exploring.

Majors Similar to Fine Arts

Related Major Annual Graduates
Design & Applied Arts 36,179
Music 26,968
Drama & Theater Arts 17,726
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 16,756
General Visual & Performing Arts 5,720

View All Fine Arts Related Majors >


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