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Degree Overview: Associate’s Degree Programs in Fine Arts

Majors Overview April 9, 2015

Those interested in art should look into associate’s degree programs in fine arts. Students get a chance to use their imagination and creative talent to express their feelings and thoughts and expand their skills through the creation of both non-traditional and traditional works of art.

Information on Fine Arts Program

Students interested in enrolling in associate’s degree programs in fine arts may seek admittance to artistic studio ventures such as sculpture, illustration, and painting. Students may also study various subjects via Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) programs apart from photography, graphic design, and music.

Schools readily offer online fine art programs through many for-profit institutions, which typically require the purchase of supplies and performance of artistic projects by the students on their own. Application of credit earned in the program may also be applied to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.). Those who complete an associate’s degree program may seek an entry-level job as a musician, web designer, artist, or photographer.

Related Programs

Schools offer related associate’s degree programs in more specific fields of fine arts, such as digital media and photography. Career training is available in many of these programs, which include online options. Programs offered include the following:

•Associate’s program in ceramics and sculpture
•Associate’s program in music
•Associate’s program in digital media
•Associate’s program in illustration
•Associate’s program in photography
•Associate’s program in theatre
•Associate’s program in graphic design

Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) Degree Programs

Students interested in studio arts may enroll in associate’s degree programs in fine arts, wherein they can learn about creating both three- and two-dimensional art, including the production of sculptures, drawings, and ceramics. The program affords students the chance to showcase their artwork through exhibitions. Students enrolled in these programs can transfer directly into Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) programs, and admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.


Coursework in an Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) program is devised to teach students about the history of art around the world apart from creation of artwork. Students can determine their coursework according to their chosen area of specialization.

By completing assignments and coursework during these two-year programs, students can put together a portfolio that they can use when applying for jobs or continuing education programs. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•3-D design
•2-D design
•Music theory
•Web design
•Color theory
•Computer applications

Career Choices

Those who graduate from an Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) program can apply the knowledge and skills gained to work for numerous businesses, such as newspapers, publishing companies, and advertising agencies. Many artists prefer self-employment. After appropriate training, individuals can seek careers as many different types of artists:

•Contract artist
•Web designer

Continuing Education Choices

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) is available to associate’s degree program graduates who are interested in advancing their studio arts. Those interested in applying the knowledge gained from the associate program to a different art form can also choose to earn a bachelor’s degree in various art fields, including graphic design and theatre. After an undergraduate-level program, these individuals may pursue Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) programs in various fields, including theatre, creative writing, and studio art.

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