There are currently over ten colleges and universities in southern California that offer programs in Art. In this article, we will provide an overview of program requirements, admission information, and art programs for three southern California schools that will help students decide on which programs is right for them.
Southern California Schools Comparison
Students who are interested in attending an art school in southern California have many options to select from. Art Center College of Design offers both a bachelor and master degree program in art; the school is tailored to students who want to attend a compact college set in a mid-size city. Aspiring artists who prefer larger cities and schools might want to explore multiple degree options at University of Southern California and California State University – Long Beach.
|University of Southern California
|California State University – Long Beach
|Art Center College of Design
|Degree Programs in Art
|B.A. in Art, B.F.A. in Art, M.A. in Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere, M.F.A. in Art Production and Theory
|B.A. in Art, B.F.A., M.A. in Art, M.F.A. in Art
|B.F.A. in Fine Art, M.F.A. in Art
|Visiting Lecture Series and New York Design Study Tour course
|Visiting Artists Program
|Study Away Programs or Foreign and Domestic Exchange
|54% (5% transfer-out rate)
|76% (Part-time) and 89% (Full-time)
|Receiving Financial Aid
|Tuition & Fees
|$17,400 (out-of-state) and $6,240 (in-state)
|Type of School
Art Center College of Design Degree Programs
A majority of the Art Center College of Design’s four hundred instructors are alumni of this college. During the first year, students will start working in their chosen areas of interest instead of just fulfilling a foundation year. Along with working on their majors, students will work alongside individuals from other disciplines, in integrated studies courses.
Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Fine Art
Several genres of art are explored by students, in core coursework, including video, film, photography, sculpture and painting. Tracks in fine art photography and imaging, and fine art painting and illustration are offered in the program. Upper-term workshops are used by visiting artists, both via studio visits and on campus, to instruct students enrolled in the program.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Art
The school has twenty part-time faculty members, including art critics, and about twelve full-time faculty members including theorists and artists. Typically, instruction includes individual meetings with students. Areas of study include photography, sculpture, and painting. Once students complete six terms comprised of academic courses and studio practice, candidates who are successful in the program will take part in solo art exhibits of their most recent works. During the final public reviews, students will defend and deliver their written thesis.
California State University – Long Beach Degree Programs
California State University – Long Beach is the largest public school of art in the United States. There are ninety part-time instructors and more than forty full-time art faculty members. Admissions to the art program at this University are highly competitive. Several undergraduates gain admittance through alternative majors or pre-studio art majors. Graduate students must be recommended by faculty for admittance, and students with additional prerequisites to complete can be admitted as conditionally classified.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Art
Students have three options to select from: art education, art history, or studio art. Individuals who are majoring in studio art will have to complete foundational and introductory art courses, two studio areas and upper division courses in art history, as well as completing twelve-unit concentrations in fiber, graphic design, painting and drawing, illustration, ceramics, metal, photography, printmaking, art history, and art education. Students who major in art history are required to complete a foreign language. Students selecting the art education option complete a large variety of art courses and spend a fifth year earning forty-five additional units, including student teaching assignments towards professional credentials.
B.F.A. in Art
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art program is geared towards future professional artists and designers, students who plan to earn a M.F.A. degree, or future specialized studio art teachers. Students select from various options, including graphic design, printmaking, sculpture, illustration, 3D media, ceramics, painting and drawing, and photography.
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Art
Applicants are required to complete Advancement to Candidacy reviews, Writing Proficiency Examinations (WPE), and maintain a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA). Students select from concentrations of thirty-two to thirty-nine units in art education, with an emphasis in curatorial/museum studies as an option, along with art history and studio art.
M.F.A. in Art
Students in the Master of Fine Arts program are required to complete Advancement to Candidacy review, the WPE, and maintain a minimum undergraduate GPA. Various tracks are offered in the sixty units studio art option, including three types of printmaking track options, wood, 4D/Sculpture, metal, photography, illustration and animation, graphic design, painting and drawing figurative, fiber, contemporary practices in painting and drawing, and ceramics.
University of Southern California Degree Programs
This University is located in the middle of Los Angeles; University of Southern California’s Roski School of Fine Arts is the oldest in Southern California. There are approximately seventy faculty members at the fine arts school.
B.A. in Art
Students will have the flexibility to study art in the liberal arts program, as well as chosen subjects from other fields of study. Along with studio practice, students complete courses in a foreign language, writing, critical studies, and art history.
B.F.A. in Art
In addition to courses in criticism and theory and art history, students in this professional arts program select additional upper- and lower-division units in two to three studio areas of concentration, such as sculpture, photography, or painting. Students are not required to take a foreign language.
M.A. in Art and Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere
Students who want to apply to this program are required to have a bachelor degree in art, with a minimum GPA. Additionally, the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a writing sample, and three letters of recommendation are required. Students will need to complete a minimum of thirty-three units of courses, including a curatorial practicum and a master’s thesis, for degree completion.
M.F.A. in Art Production and Theory
Candidates must submit portfolios, have three letters of recommendation, and a bachelor degree in art to enter this program. Students are not required to submit GRE scores. Art courses include electives, interdisciplinary studies, seminars, individual studies, and forums with visiting artists. Students must complete a minimum of forty-eight units, in this full-time two-year program that includes a solo exhibition, oral defense, and a written thesis.
Additional Colleges and Universities Options
Students should look at programs that are offered at other colleges and universities around the southern California area, including San Diego State University, Loyola Marymount University, and California State University – San Bernardino. Each of these four-year schools offers both bachelor and master degree programs in art.