What Types Of Art Degrees Are There?

"I have always wanted to be an artist, ever since I was a little kid, and I love all different kinds of art. I am really good at painting, and lately I’ve been getting into digital painting too. I also like doing mixed media stuff, and I’m interested in working with textiles. I basically love anything and everything artistic, and I have a hard time focusing. I was wondering, what are the different types of art degrees? Do I just major in “Art” or are there specific majors for things like Textile Art or Pottery or Painting? Thanks! I want to make sure I pick the right degree field as an undergraduate."

asked by Jean from Omaha, NE

In general, most undergraduate degrees in Art are going to just be labeled as “BA in Art” or “BA in Arts.” You will not see “BA in Pottery” or “undergraduate degree in painting” necessarily. That would be pretty unlikely. What you may find however are concentrations in your degree field. So you might for example get a BA in Arts with a concentration in pottery, or a concentration in textile art, or a concentration in digital art.

You’ll take most of the same courses as others majoring in the arts, but you will take a few extra courses which specifically focus on a particular art form. You may even take enough classes by the time you graduate to count for multiple concentrations.

You can generally only declare a single concentration, but you can still learn everything associated with others if you plan your schedule the right way.

Once you have your undergrad degree, you might consider going on to get a graduate degree. By that time you may have actually figured out what you’d like to focus on, and at that point it can really pay off to pursue a higher degree in your field. So let’s say you were an undergraduate, and you concentrated on pottery and textiles while you were in school, and then you got your BA in the Arts with a concentration in textiles.

By that time you might be certain that textiles are what you’re really into. You can then actually major in Textile Art by finding a graduate degree program which will award you with a Master’s in that field. Graduate programs are usually far more specific in nature than undergraduate programs.

Some students wonder whether there is actually a good reason to get a degree in the arts. I’m assuming that you’ve decided to go ahead with it given that you are trying to figure out a specific focus, but it is worth iterating there are a lot of benefits.

It will not necessarily guarantee you will find work in your field, since it is very difficult to make a living doing art, but it does help you form professional connections and gain access to materials and equipment you might not be able to work with on your own. Good luck and enjoy majoring in the arts!

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