Buffalo On-Campus Fine Arts Design Master’s Degree Programs

On-Campus Fine Arts Design Master's Degrees

If art is your passion, pursuing an on-campus fine arts design master’s degree program could be the next step to elevate your art form and improve your technique. With the assistance of your professors, and the support of your peers, you could have the opportunity to engage with new methods, explore challenging forms, and have access to creative opportunities hereto unexplored. Your next great artistic creation could be at your fingertips – your fine arts education!

Define “Fine Art”

When you think “fine arts,” you may picture classical paintings hung throughout museums, or maybe even marble sculptors. The term covers so much more though! You might not know it, but “fine arts” acts as an umbrella term for a myriad of creative endeavors. Just imagine, “fine arts” could also mean things such video game design, film, fashion, interior design, music, and performing arts.

To put it concisely, a fine arts degree program is any degree concentration that aims to produce a medium to be enjoyed because of its aesthetic, beauty, or entertainment.

What Could I Learn in an On-Campus Fine Arts Design Master’s Degree Program?

Distinguishing common threads in on-campus fine arts design master’s degree program curriculum may be difficult because each concentration has such unique skill sets – a theatre performer won’t be studying the same techniques as a painter! While the coursework may differ, the intention behind these master’s degree programs is the same: each aims to help train students in the methods necessary to excel in their chosen medium through practical study and application.

Pursuing an On-Campus Fine Arts Design Master’s Degree Program: Post-Grad Basics

You’ve learned that the term “fine arts” covers many different concentrations, so it’s no wonder that there are many careers attached to it as well. Depending on your concentration, you could possibly pursue one of these future careers:

  • Museum Curator
  • Graphic Designer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Animator[i]
  • Professional Musician[ii]
  • Dancer[iii]
  • Actor[iv]
  • Fine Artist[v]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the following possible growth for the listed careers from 2014 to 2024:

  • Fine Artist – 2%[vi]
  • Actor – 10%[vii]
  • Dancer – 5%[viii]
  • Museum Curator – 7%[ix]

Artists’ incomes are often tied with the economy – when there is a surplus, people are more likely to make art purchases.[x] While pinning down exact numbers is difficult due to sheer amount of possible career options, when taking artists and related workers into consideration, they earned, on a median, $58,450, in May of 2016.[xi]

The Ins and Outs of an On-Campus Master’s in Fine Art Design Degree Program

What is your artistic passion? Chances are there is a corresponding fine arts design master’s degree program out there waiting to be found. Overwhelmed by the number of programs you’re finding? Keeping your educational goals in mind – and perhaps your future career ones as well – might help you refine your search as you browse some of the possible degree program offerings below. By being specific with your own requirements, you could find a perfect on-campus fine arts design master’s degree program.

MFA or MA?

As your search for an on-campus fine arts design master’s degree program, you may notice two common degree programs - the master of fine arts and the master of arts. Despite being similarly named, there’s a lot of differences.

The master of fine arts is more geared to the application of an art form. You may practice daily and refine your skills through analysis and critique. This could be a great choice for those looking to pursue their art post-graduation.  

A master of arts places its focus on the academic side of arts education, aiming to prepare students for a future career in arts administration and management. Coursework could deal with subjects such as curation, critique, or effective administration, depending on your intended concentration.

From Admissions to Graduation

There are tons of concentrations when it comes to on-campus fine arts master’s degree programs, which complicates things in terms of admissions! Generally, students may be required to supply a 2.5 to 3.0 undergraduate GPA with their application. Depending on the intended concentration, students may be requested to submit previous work such as portfolios, sketch books, auditions, or musical recordings. Be sure to check in with your intended department to ensure criteria are met.

The time it takes to graduate may also differ between concentrations and schools. On average, students may expect to complete a degree in 1 to 5 years. They may also be required to present or submit a graduation project – the artistic form of a dissertation. This could be, but is not limited to gallery showings, recitals, and fully-staged performances.

What Fine Arts Design Master’s Degree Program may be Perfect for You?

By now you might be getting the idea that there is a great deal of fine arts design master’s degree programs available. Here is just a brief list of degree programs you might stumble upon:

  • A Master of Arts in Museum Studies degree program is a great degree program if you’re interested in becoming a museum professional post-graduation. Coursework aims to help students develop skills that could be applied to a museum setting: often including technological exhibition advancements, business management, and the educational benefits of displays.
  •  A Master of Music degree program might go in two directions, focusing on either performance or education. Students in the performance concentration may expect to improve their performance capabilities. Education majors often place their attention on the academic portion of music, emphasizing teaching techniques as much as musical ability on several instruments. Both concentrations might focus on the musical key concepts of music theory and history.  
  • The Master of Science in Information Technology- Game Design and Development could be a great way to jump into the new and growing field of game design. In this degree program, you could handle coursework that may help you develop the necessary skills to function as a game designer. You could study general programming skills in addition to specific subjects such as on artificial intelligence, information networking, database creation, and application development.
  • A Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts degree program may fall in line with what you think of “fine arts.” This degree has the artist making art: students often engage with their chosen medium daily to incorporate new techniques and produce works for peer and professor critique. This degree program may require you to present a collection of works on a regular basis in order to progress. This could be a great way to motivate your growth and development as an artist.

Pursuing Your Education On Campus

On-campus fine arts design graduate degree programs may be a great fit for artists for a multitude of reasons. Namely, you could get to interact with your intended medium on a daily basis. Imagine working with your preferred medium during class periods – and possibly receiving beneficial critiques from your peers and professors. The traditional campus experience also offers structured course schedules that may be easily adopted into your weekly routine. Schools may  offer the added opportunity of student exhibition: many schools display student work either in sponsored galleries, performances, conferences, or via their website. What a great chance to network and get your art seen!

Find a Perfect On-Campus Fine Arts Design Master’s Degree Program Today!

You’ve read the above information, now it’s time to browse everything below! Once you’ve settled on a degree program, you could browse the list of links to see which one could be a perfect one for you. You could also select your preferred degree program from the menu to refine your search.  Like a piece of art, finding a perfect degree program takes time and dedication, but GradSchools.com hopes to help. Good luck!


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/entertainment-and-sports/mobile/actors.htm | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/entertainment-and-sports/dancers-and-choreographers.htm#tab-6 | [ix] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm#tab-6 | [x] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm#tab-6 | [xi] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/craft-and-fine-artists.htm#tab-5

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