Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

What are art majors like?

DangerDaysDangerDays Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
So, I'm planning on applying to a program called Studio (which is a major), which would give me a BA. Despite the fact that it's not a BFA, most of the classes from the course list are practical/hands on (painting, sculpting, etc.) and you do build a portfolio. The only difference I think is that you also do a lot of theoretical classes, and you don't need to submit a portfolio to get into the program.

Whenever I ask people what university classes are like they usually respond in terms of classes like english/science/etc, so I was wondering. How would a course in practical art (like sculpting) run? How would that work? Would it be in a studio? Would the class sizes be smaller? How would exams work?

I'm not really sure how to word this, sorry. ^~^' But does anyone have experience with similar programs? What are they like? Also, are they really hard?

Replies to: What are art majors like?

  • elliebhamelliebham Registered User Posts: 876 Member
    Hey! So I have a lot of friends who are art majors. The biggest difference in the department is the BFA vs the BA. The BFA is more rigorous and requires you to decide on a concentration in about your sophomore year. The BA is good if you plan on taking on an additional major or minor.

    In my school, you take an intro class to each major style of art - painting, drawing, 3D design, etc. You also take intro courses to art history. The intro studio courses are generally small, no more than 20 students. You work in a studio space classroom and have assignments you complete in class and occasionally out of class. Generally, there are no exams or mid terms or finals, but bigger assignments with more complexity that would account for more points. The intro classes start from square one, looking at line, texture, perspective and color. Nothing really amazing will likely come out of these.

    Then you get into the higher level courses which are generally smaller and much more intensive. The assignments become more conceptual and grading more subjective, and you're expected to have developed as an artist and take initiative with your work by this point.

    There's no real answer to the level of difficulty. Of course, some people are more talented, others are more intensive, and will find it easier. It helps to begin looking at the course curriculums for schools you've applied to, and see if you can sit in on a class once you are accepted.
  • musicfamilymusicfamily Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    I was an art major and this is based on my experience.

    Studio Art classes are generally a lot smaller than other classes and you typically only have art majors in them. You meet in studio class rooms designed for the particular class - painting, drawing, ceramics, etc. Lower level courses in each medium start each class with instruction about the medium, techniques and style - whatever the topic of that day happens to be. You are then given the remainder of the class to practice what you have learned. As you progress into upper level courses in the medium, instruction time decreases and more time is spend on the art itself. Studio Art classes are also considered labs and are twice as long as academic classes. There will also be a lot of time required outside of class to finish projects. There a usually no exams for studio classes, but you would likely have a major project for each class due at the end of the semester that would show what you have learned throughout the course and your growth as an artist.

    How difficult it is will depend a lot on you. Do you like spending lots of time studying and practicing your art? Are you good at receiving constructive criticism about your art? If not, you need to work on that, because you will get a lot of criticism from your professors as well as other students. We often had to critique each others work in class. You should listen thoughtfully and not take it personally because is to help you become a better artist. I had one professor that no one liked because of how hard he was on everyone, but he also gave praise when deserved.. He was also the best at helping you become better if you listened to what he had to say and took his advice.

    You can check course requirements for the schools you are interested in, but a BA would likely have you studying various media and a BFA has you specializing in one area with introductions in others. Art history would be required for both degrees. You would need to decide if you want to focus on one area of art, such as sculpture or painting, and do a BFA with that emphasis, or study a wider range of art for a BA. Portfolio submissions vary by school, so check their websites for requirements. Also, not all schools offer both a BA and BFA.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,939 Forum Champion
    Seems like you should think about what you want to do after college and see if a BA or a BFA would be needed.
This discussion has been closed.