How do I Choose an Art School?

Erin Oxendine

Choosing the right art school is an important decision for anyone considering an art career. A reputable school also looks good on a resume and can increase a person’s chance of landing a job.

Students should decide what area of art they want to major in before choosing a school.
Students should decide what area of art they want to major in before choosing a school.

First, you need to narrow down what area of art to specialize in, for example, graphic art, drawing, or painting. Some students may wish to pursue an art history degree in order to get a job at a gallery or museum. Students who are interested in graphic arts would need to consider a curriculum with an emphasis on computer classes since computer skills are needed for graphic design.

The length of time it takes to complete the art program is another factor in deciding on an art school. It takes at least four years to graduate from a liberal arts college, but a technical school takes only one or two years. The major difference in a liberal arts program and a technical school is the type of curriculum that each school has. Liberal arts programs require other core classes not related to art where a technical school would just have classes in art.

Whether or not the art school is accredited is another consideration since some schools do not have educational accreditation. An accredited school means the school has met specific curriculum requirements in order to operate as an institute of higher learning. If a student studies at a school that is not accredited then later decides to transfer to an accredited school, the classes may not transfer. In most countries, an educational organization oversees the accreditation process to make sure schools meet the proper requirements.

One of the best ways to find out which art school is the right one for you is to visit the school. Upon visiting, explore the school and ask the admissions staff about the program. Alumni can be a good source of information as well, as they can tell you about their experience as well as a potential job outlook. It would also be a good idea to find out what kind of reputation the school has in the community, since you want to make sure that you choose the art school that best suits your needs.

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