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Non-Art Colleges for Art and Design Majors

Non-Art Colleges for Art and Design Majors


Choosing a college can be a daunting task. It gets even more tricky when you want to pursue your passion for art without committing to an art-specific degree or school.

Whether you're a high school student just starting to explore your post-secondary options or a transfer student considering a change, this article will help you think through some of your options.

The Pros and Cons of Art Colleges

Before deciding whether to attend an art school, it's essential to consider the pros and cons involved. 

Some of the pros of going to an art college include:

  1. Access to resources: Art colleges typically have an abundance of specialized equipment and resources, such as art studios, galleries, and libraries, that you might not find at other types of colleges. This can give you a more immersive and complete learning experience. 

  2. Networking opportunities: Art colleges often have strong connections with the art and design industries and can provide you with unique opportunities, like internships or jobs after graduation.

  3. Smaller class sizes: Many art colleges have smaller classes, which can lead to more personalized instruction and a closer relationship with your professors.

Some of the cons of going to an art college include:

  1. Possibly limited career options: Some students may feel that attending an art college limits their career options. 

  2. Narrow focus: Some students may want to explore many subjects and not be limited to just one field of study. A specialized art school may not provide the same variety of classes and opportunities to explore different subjects.

  3. It can be a different college experience: Some students may prefer a traditional college experience that includes a broader range of classes, extracurricular activities, large school-sanctioned sporting events, and social events.

4 Non-Art Colleges that Art and Design Majors Should Consider

For some of the reasons listed above, many potential artists pursue degrees in visual art or design at colleges or universities that offer non-related programs. Also, many schools allow students to pursue a double major or take studio art classes outside of their major. These options are perfect for prospective students who aren't sure if they want to attend an art school but are confident of their talent and passion for art.

Take a look at these four schools, all of which offer art and design majors and other academic opportunities. 

Yale University

For students to pursue art at Yale, they must apply to an Ivy League university with a portfolio in addition to their regular application. Once accepted, students undergo a review during their sophomore year based on work from two studio art classes taken the year before.

During their last two years, fine arts students study intensively, taking many art practice and history classes. The Yale School of Art has a number of famous graduates, including photorealist Chuck Close, sculptor Fred Sandback and painters Jennifer Bartlett and Kehinde Wiley. 

Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU has the top fine arts program in the country for public universities. It currently ranks second among all fine arts colleges. VCU's art program has about 3,000 students. The school takes pride in successfully integrating arts and other programs, projects, and extracurriculars.

VCU also is renowned for graphic design and advertising programs. In addition, it recently founded the Center for the Creative Economy, which combines courses on innovation and entrepreneurship in a new fusion of creativity, design, and business.

University of Wisconsin

At the University of Wisconsin–Madison, art students choose one of two paths offered by the nationally and internationally celebrated Art Department. They either pursue art education or studio art.

Art Education majors also can receive their license to teach primary or secondary art education. Applicants must first submit their portfolios for review. Once accepted, they'll have hundreds of fine arts classes to choose from.

Reed College

The dual program with the Pacific Northwest College of Art attracts many art students with other interests. For the first two years of study, students of this five-year program study full-time, switching to PNCA for the final two years until their fifth year, in which they are simultaneously enrolled at both institutions.

At the end of their five years, students receive a Bachelor of Arts from Reed and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from PNCA. Students also have a rigorous transcript that includes studio, art history, and other liberal arts classes.

Paying for Your Degree

When it comes to paying for your degree, scholarships and grants are the best sources of money because they don't need to be repaid. By leveraging as much free money as possible, you'll be able to graduate with less debt than you would if you took out student loans. 

For a complete list of scholarships that you can bookmark and return to later, create or log into your free Cappex account. You can click the button below to get started now. 

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