Fine Arts Design Graduate Programs
Has artistry been a huge part of your life? Do you practice your medium daily – perhaps as a career or as a hobby? If you’re looking at taking your knowledge and skills to the next level, you may want to consider a graduate degree program in fine arts design. Whether your calling is on the stage, behind a canvas, or among an orchestra, fine arts degree programs may offer practical training to hone your craft to a professional level. They say a work of art is never truly finished, so why should your education be any different?
What is “Fine Art?”
When you think “fine arts,” you might have an image of a studio artist: a painter, sculptor, illustrator, or something of that ilk. You wouldn’t be wrong! While those concentrations do fall under the umbrella term of “fine arts,” it also neglects a world of other concentrations. Fine arts design graduate degree programs might also encompass concentrations such as video game design, film, fashion, interior design, music, and performing arts, among other things.
Unsure if you’re looking into a fine arts design graduate degree program? A good rule of thumb is any degree concentration that aims to produce a medium to be enjoyed because its aesthetic, beauty, or entertainment value.
What Might I Learn in a Fine Arts Design Graduate Degree Program?
Due to the different focuses of the various concentrations, it is hard to nail down a general curriculum that the majority of students participate in. What might be generally stated is that fine arts graduate degree programs help refine students’ education and training in the area of study: this could mean new techniques, elevating previous methods, or encountering and incorporating more difficult forms.
Pursuing a Fine Arts Design Graduate Degree Program: Post-Grad Basics
With a variety of Fine Arts Design Graduate Programs offerings, it only makes sense that post-graduation careers come in as many options. Depending on the focus of your degree program, you could pursue one of these future careers:
- Museum Curator
- Graphic Designer
- Fashion Designer
- Professional Musician[ii]
- Fine Artist[v]
If you’ve been considering pursuing a fine arts design graduate degree program, or pursued a fine arts design undergraduate degree, you may have been warned by your family, friends, or acquaintances that these degree programs have an uncertain post-graduation career outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, artists’ incomes are often tied with the economy – when there is a surplus, people are more likely to make art purchases.[vi]
The Bureau of Labor Statistics project the following possible growth for the listed careers from 2014 to 2024:
- Fine Artist – 2%[vii]
- Actor – 10%[viii]
- Dancer – 5%[ix[
- Museum Curator – 7%[x]
Equally important to those considering these careers is the possible post-graduation salary. Again, due to the varying nature of these degrees, it’s hard to pinpoint an exact number that comprehensively reflects the industries of these careers. However, craft and fine artists earned earn median salary of $58,450 in 2015.[xi]
Which Fine Arts Design Graduate Degree Program may be a Perfect Fit for You?
Fine arts design graduate degree programs cover a wide range of subjects and focus areas. Depending on your goals for a future career and artistic concentration, you may find one of the below degree programs to be a perfect option! Looking for a quick taste of graduate coursework? You might want to consider a graduate certificate degree program. If you’re looking for an in-depth form of study, you may want to browse the doctoral degree program offerings. Of course, a master’s degree program might be the happy middle-ground between the other two programs. Read on to learn more about each and see which fine arts design graduate degree programs could be a great fit for you!
Fine Arts Design Master’s Degree Programs
MFA or MA?
You may encounter two major forms of programs in your hunt for a perfect fine arts design master’s degree: the master of fine arts and the master of arts.
A master of fine arts focuses more on the training and technique development. The intention is to prepare students for an artistic career post-graduation. These programs focus on a particular medium as opposed to a broader approach. What does this mean? Think of painters painting or dancers dancing: it’s the artist doing the art.
A master of arts may have a more liberal arts approach to their education style. These degree programs often focus on the academic aspect of the arts and emphasize scholastic analysis and research. This could be a great route of study for those looking to enter arts administration roles or become artistic critics and curators.
From Admissions to Graduation
It’s hard to gauge generalities between degree programs due to the varying training that each concentration receives. That being said, some admissions guidelines are often similar. For example, students may be required to supply a 2.5 to 3.0 undergraduate GPA along with the application. Where the variation occurs is in the additional application materials. Depending on your concentration, you may be asked to supply a portfolio of your work or audition for the department.
Completion time also varies dramatically between degree programs. Students may expect to complete a degree in anywhere from 1 to 5 years. Similar to a dissertation, students may be asked to present a culminating experience as a graduation requirement. This could be anything from a gallery showing, to a recital, to a fully-staged performance.
What Fine Arts Design Master’s Degree Program is Great for You?
There are many concentrations when it comes to master’s degree programs in fine arts design. You could tackle anything from performing arts to sculpture to video game design. Here is just a brief sampling of degree programs you might stumble upon:
- Master of arts in museum studies degree programs are geared at training students to become museum professionals. Programs emphasize new technological advances that go into creating engaging museum exhibits, business models for a changing economic climate, and the educational moments inherent in the museum model.
- A master of music degree program often branches into two factions: education and performance. A performance concentration promotes advancement of a student’s primary instrument. Education concentrations, on the other hand, take a more general course of study by focusing on teaching techniques in addition to music curriculum. Both branches usually cover core concepts such as music theory and history.
- The master of science in information technology – game design and development is a newer offering in the exciting field of game design. Students may study general programming skills as well as those unique to the gaming industry: they could get the chance to work with developing artificial intelligence, information networking, database creation, and application development.
- A master of fine arts in studio art is probably the degree program you think about when you hear the word “fine arts degree.” This degree program focuses on improving your techniques in your intended medium: painting, drawing, sculpture, etc. Students are often pushed to conceive their own set of works to present for critique each semester and as a capstone presentation.
- The master of fine arts in media design aims to teach students the skills necessary to launch a successful design campaign for a company or small business. Coursework may focus on media research, client communications, artistic design solutions, and motivational theory.
Fine Arts Design Doctoral Degree Programs
From Admissions to Graduation:
Fine arts design doctoral degree programs may help students further develop their skills in their chosen area of study. Once again, the variation between degree programs makes it tricky to narrow down generalities. However, there are some overarching admission requirements: students may expect schools generally to require a 3.0 or higher undergraduate or master’s GPA ,as well as GRE test scores. In addition to an application, students may be required to supply supplements such as portfolios or auditions. Some programs may also require previous experience in your desired field – whether through a bachelor’s or master’s degree program. Check your intended program to see if they have these prerequisite criteria.
Depending on which concentration you select, the intensity of the program, and your attending status, you might expect to graduate within 1 to 7 years. Program lengths vary by school.
What Fine Arts Design Doctoral Degree Program is Perfect for You?
There are as many concentrations in fine arts design doctorate degree programs as there are artistic interests. Below are a few common programs you may find.
- The doctorate of musical arts degree program – much like its master’s counterpart – is usually compromised of several sub-concentrations. These programs are highly specialized and may focus on subjects such as choral and instrumental conducting, music education, and instrumental and vocal performance. Students should expect to take a more in-depth look into topics such as music history, theory, and technique.
- A doctorate in art history degree program could prepare you to pursue a curatorial role post-graduation. Many departments aim to increase your knowledge in a style or region of art so that you could confidently speak on this subject in a future career.
- A doctorate of fine arts is a general degree program that allows you practice and perfect your intended art. This includes a multitude of concentrations falling under the term “fine arts,” such as: painting, performing, and film.
- The doctorate in theatre studies emphasizes on completing an actor’s tool box: giving them an opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills they may need to work in and develop their art in the theatre world. Programs could cover the history of theatre (Greek, early American, opera, etc.), gender theory, theatre law, and adaption studies.
Fine Arts Design Graduate Certificate Degree Programs
Fine arts design graduate certificate programs may be great for people looking to make a jump into an artistic field or simply brush up on certain skills. In terms of admissions, graduate certificate degree programs may be more accessible than their graduate counterparts: they usually require the submission of undergraduate transcripts. Additional application criteria – like GRE scores – are usually not required.
These courses are also often quicker due to the abbreviated coursework. Students may expect to complete a graduate certificate degree program in around 1 year, although program lengths vary by school Some fine arts design graduate certificate programs you may find include:
- The advanced certificate in museum studies is designed to teach students how to integrate with the field of museum professionals. Courses could give you hands-on experience to contemporary museum practices.
- A graduate certificate in 3-D animation gives students the opportunity to learn the techniques and methods that may be necessary to pursue a career an animator. Emphasis is placed on 3-d modeling – particularly for the gaming industry. Topics could include lighting, animation surfacing, and special effects compositing.
These are just a few of the many fine arts design graduate programs available. Browse program listings to learn more about your potential options.
Program Formats & You
Now that you’ve read through the degree programs – and that’s a lot of information – it’s time for an equally important decision. Which program format allows you to incorporate your education into your current lifestyle. Take into account your career, intended student attendance status, course load, and any other pressing matters. With those in mind, browse the below degree program formats to find a perfect one for you!
- On-campus fine arts design graduate degree programs are great programs for students looking to jumpstart a career as a professional artist. Studios, rehearsal halls, and extracurriculars provide unique opportunities to hone your craft and receive constructive criticism from peers. Additionally, you may have access to direct input from your professors during class time, studio courses, and office hours. Schools may also provide scheduled exhibitions and performances to further develop your skills.
- Online fine arts design graduate degree programs may be better suited for students looking to go into art history, curatorial, and programming-based concentrations. The online degree program format provides flexible and convenient course schedules that could be accessed at any time in almost any location. Schools may provide streamed lectures or online course chatrooms so that students have access to a taste of the on-campus experience. Additionally, you may have access to any libraries or databases your school offers from your living room!
- Hybrid fine arts design graduate degree programs combines the above two programs – potentially making it an ideal program for students who seek the convenience of online courses but want the hands-on experience necessary to hone their craft. Students could possibly take text based courses online in their own time, then step on campus in order to practice the artistic techniques under the watchful eyes of professors.
Find a Perfect Fine Arts Design Graduate Degree Program Today!
Art is an extension of the self, so choosing a perfect fine arts design graduate degree program should be no different! With so many degree program options, it’s time to narrow down the playing field. Use the above information to help refine your search: you could choose your preferred degree program, format, and location. Then browse the supplied links to see what piques your interest. See a program that aligns with your passion? Click the link for more Fine Arts Design Graduate Programs information. Good luck at finding a perfect fine arts design graduate degree program today!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm#tab-8 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/musicians-and-singers.htm | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/dancers-and-choreographers.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/mobile/actors.htm | [v] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm#tab-6 | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm#tab-6 | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/mobile/actors.htm | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/dancers-and-choreographers.htm#tab-6 | [x] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm#tab-6 | [xi] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm#tab-5