Should I get an art degree?

Do you dream of gallery shows of your work? Do you envision inspiring future generations of artists or helping others find their creativity through art? Are you looking for a way to incorporate your visual creativity with another major? Then, you should choose to major in the art department! Art degrees prepare students for vocations such as educators, therapists, designers, freelance artists, business owners and scholars.

What type of skills do artists typically have?

Art is an extremely broad field, so necessary skills are also widespread. Traditional artistry skills in drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics and graphic design are generally present in those who major in the art department. Students who major in an art field will improve their technical and communication skillset. Independent artists generally have ideas and techniques that are unique to their style and have the ability to market it to a large clientele base. Artists working commercially can find themselves involved with all kinds of projects–– photography, illustration, publishing, marketing and communication. Having a presence on social media platforms and finding a way to promote a personal style will help generate marketability.

What kinds of art classes could I take?

Art departments have a full list of studio art courses. It is recommended that students start with introductory drawing and graphic design courses to figure out generally where their strengths lie, while also acquiring a skillset base that will benefit them in more advanced or additional course offerings. Examples of other courses in most art departments are Figure Drawing, Design, Sculpture, Ceramics, Printmaking, Digital and Film Photography, and a range of Graphic Design courses. Students who minor in or specialize in certain concentrations may take more specific courses. To find out what courses are required for completion of a degree, talk with an advisor from your school!

What majors are available in the art department?

Liberal arts schools offer many majors and minors within the art department. Majors may include Studio Art, Art & Writing, Pre-Art Therapy, Graphic Design, and Studio Art with Licensure (Art Education). Available minors range from Photography to Studio Art. All schools offer different majors and minors within this department. An art degree also pairs well with other majors or minors such as marketing, writing, communication or education.

Check out this related blog to learn about the benefits of pursuing a minor!

What careers could I have with an art degree?

Careers in the arts are very widespread. A Studio Art degree includes many of the traditional studio arts, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, image making, design and sculpture. Many students who major in Studio Art generally minor in an area that rounds out their skillset–– photography, psychology, English, communication and marketing are some examples. As for careers, students often follow their strongest skillset, whether that be freelance illustration, tattoo design, children’s book illustration, or in more commercial settings such as marketing, publishing, photo studios, silkscreen shops, or at business that does vehicle graphics wrapping or signage design. The workplace is quite diverse for a student with an art degree. Art departments are also often structured to prepare their majors for elementary, secondary and supervisory teaching positions or for graduate study leading to professional careers in art and design. 

At Bluffton University…

Bluffton University’s art program has state-of-the-art facilities, but what makes it standout are the professors (who are also professional artists) who encourage your personal style. We openly pursue a range of diversity as we understand this to be the best way to prepare our students for interaction in the workplace but also as a means for optimizing critique discussion and cultural understanding. Our strong program curriculum and faculty’s previous work experience enhance this experience for students. The art department’s program is structured to enable all students to gain a comprehensive knowledge in all aspects of visual art. Bluffton’s art program seeks to define individual aesthetic attitudes and to develop students’ goals with an emphasis in the studio disciplines set in a liberal arts tradition. Discover the creative beauty of diversity at Bluffton University by scheduling a visit today!

Written by Kaylee Rauch ’26, public relations student assistant, and Andi Baumgartner, associate professor of art