How do I Choose the Best Postgraduate Art Program?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

To choose the best postgraduate art program, you should look for a school that offers a program in your field of interest or expertise. You should not only look for a program with courses in your particular subject, but also for a program with a terminal degree that meets your needs. If you are looking to receive a doctorate of philosophy (PhD), for example, then you should look for a program that culminates in a PhD, rather than a master’s degree. It may also be easier to find the best postgraduate art program if you research individual programs and consider the professors involved in the programs.

A postgraduate art program is a curriculum, usually offered at a college or university, intended for students who have received an undergraduate degree and who wish to continue their education. After receiving a four-year degree, such as a bachelor’s degree, you can typically continue working toward a postgraduate degree. One of the first things you should consider as you look for a postgraduate art program is the point at which the program terminates.

A terminal degree is a degree that acts as the highest level degree for a particular program. Creative writing, for example, typically results in a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) as a terminal degree, and it is fairly unusual for a creative writing program to lead to a PhD. As you look for a postgraduate art program, you should consider the level of degree you ultimately want to receive, so you can find a program with an appropriate terminal degree. Someone interested in writing, but who wants to receive a PhD rather than ending with a master’s degree, would likely want to pursue a Master of Arts (MA) that can lead to a PhD.

You should also consider the area of the arts in which you want to receive your postgraduate art degree. If you are interested in performing arts, music, visual arts, or writing from a performance or creation perspective, then you may want to pursue an MFA. An MA, which may lead to a PhD, is often far more centered on research and theory, which might not match your interests.

While your decision should not entirely be based upon who is teaching a program, you should consider the professors at various postgraduate art programs. Depending on the nature of the program you wish to enter, you should look for teachers with experience in their particular fields. Some schools and programs are also more likely than others to feature guest speakers and workshops, and you should look for a program that provides as many beneficial opportunities as possible.

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