Schools that Offer Certificate Programs in Fine Arts and Design

Graduate Schools for Fine Arts and Design Certificate Programs may meld coursework with peer reviews, independent studio time, research and hands-on practice. Available across classic and multi-media inspired disciplines, a graduate certificate could enable participants to develop both artistically and professionally.

Schools for Fine Arts and Design Certificate Programs: Basics

Study at the graduate level with less commitment than for a full degree through graduate schools for Fine Arts and Design Certificate Programs. Requiring just a few courses on average, a fulltime student might complete a certificate program in about one year. Some universities offer courses in the evenings or on weekends and may have part-time formats for the busier adult.

Earn a Stand Alone Credential or Prepare for a Masters

Frequently, graduate schools for fine arts and design certificate programs also have ongoing Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree programs. Many schools allow some, if not all, earned credits to be transferred should the student want to continue their graduate education. So, while in and of itself a non-degree award, a certificate could keep the doors of academia open.

Enhance a Portfolio or Performance

As a stand-alone credential, many certificate programs in fine arts and design are built around a single topic, and from 12 to 18 credits. As a result, they could indicate a student’s expertise – especially useful on a resume. There are also more comprehensive programs that could require extra coursework, final projects and/or an internship.

No two certificate programs are the same, but many schools offer both structure and flexibility. The structure could come from pre-determined and compulsory courses taken by all students. Elective credits lend flexibility in that each student might customize their selection to personal interests,

talents and professional goals.

Per the BLS, more workers in arts and design occupations will be needed to meet the growing demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, television, and on smartphones.”i

Admission Information

Some graduate schools that offer certificate programs in fine arts and design require students to apply directly to the university, rather than the program. Applicants might therefore need to submit some information along with their completed form. The details vary though could include the following.

  • Bachelors Degree (for post-baccalaureate certificates)
  • Masters Degree (for advanced certificates)
  • Minimum GPA
  • Portfolio of Artwork
  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • An Essay

Types of Fine Arts and Design Graduate Certificate Programs

Some graduate schools for Fine Arts and Design Certificate Programs may be known for a specific genre of art. Fine arts disciplines typically span painting, sculpture, architecture, music and performance arts. Applied arts in today’s tech-driven art world could include areas such as digital photography, film, video animation, graphic design and beyond.

Fine Arts Certificate

A graduate certificate in fine arts could provide a creative journey for artists who work independently and want to experiment with new methods or prepare for a future MFA degree.

Schools that offer certificate programs in fine arts may focus on the traditional disciplines such as painting, sculpture and printmaking. Often, there is leeway for students to push boundaries or explore other facets of the genre to define or redefine particular skills.

Some programs do this through regular studio visits and group critiques with faculty in addition to studio courses and discussion seminars. Program participants may have access to their campus’ private art studio, galleries and art collections.

Graphic Design and Multimedia Certificate

Graduate schools with graphic design certificate programs may prepare students with traditional and/or multimedia design skills. Coursework could include an immersion in design principles, typography, ideation, web design, workflow management, and more.

Industrial Design Certificate

An industrial design certificate could blend art and technology course and may be offered through a grad school’s department of engineering. Participants might develop Masters degree-level expertise in areas such as lean manufacturing and product design.

Interior Design Certificate

A graduate certificate in interior design might help students learn how to make décor-related decisions. Coursework could be planned-out to cover basics such as color theory, lighting, fabrics, material and furniture.

Media Arts Certificate

A graduate certificate in media arts could provide an introduction to the study and production of film, , audio and image creation. Coursework could cover areas such as aesthetics, genres, writing, and project design. Students may be assessed based on creative audio, video and media arts projects; written scripts; written papers, blogs, and examinations.

Museum Studies Certificate

As today’s museums rely on digital curation, a museum studies certificate could be infused with contemporary practices. In some schools, a certificate may be offered as a post-masters certificate or as an add on to a Master of Science or Master of Arts program. Students might gain key knowledge and professional skills through courses in museology, conservation, and preservation.

Music and Audio Certificate

A graduate certificate in music and audio could help students develop professional technical skills in audio recording, sound editing, mixing, critical listening, and sound design. In addition, participants might fine tune musical skills such as arranging, composing, harmony, sight-singing, and performance.

There are also music certificate programs that are devoted to areas such as conducting, orchestral studies, jazz studies and performance of a specific instrument (E.g. piano, guitar, flute).

Performing Arts Certificate

Graduate schools with certificate programs in performing arts could enable students to refine creative talents in drama, dance or music as well as learn to perform in front of an audience. Performer’s certificate programs typically bring students together with the goal to explore their art through theory and practice (performance labs).

In addition to scheduled classes, some grad schools might arrange periodic trips to performances at local cultural institutions. Participants might also get hands-on practice whether through internship(s), private instruction and/or university performances.

Photography Certificate

A graduate certificate in digital photography might help students learn new ways to apply their creativity to how they record, interpret and process visual images. Coursework could expose participants to professional computer software that edits, manipulates and manages high quality still imagery.

Web Development and Design Certificate

A graduate web design certificate could explore current interactive multimedia design practices. Coursework could take a deeper look at some of the theory behind interactive computing as well as fundamentals of web design, web and multimedia programming.

Students might also explore the impact of networked technologies in web communications through various projects. Projects might include the development of websites and interactive multimedia applications. On-campus students may have access to a variety of computer, video, and digitizing equipment through their university’s interactive media laboratories.

Apply to Graduate Schools for Fine Arts and Design Certificate Programs

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