5 Types of Fine Arts Bachelor's Degrees to Study in the U.S. in 2020

If you dream of becoming an artist or music composer, it may be time to hone your skills at a Fine Arts Bachelor’s programme in the U.S.

You can join a dance troop or work on 3D animation with experts in the field - creating, performing, and rehearsing alongside like-minded artists and innovators. Searching for these Bachelor’s programmes can be difficult, and deciding on the one that is going to make you the next Picasso, the next Disney, or the next Jay Z, can be exhausting.

Discover Arts Bachelors in the US

Fine Arts Bachelor’s degrees are not the same as Liberal Arts Bachelor’s degrees

An important thing to understand about U.S. colleges and universities is that many of them make overzealous use of the word ‘art’. There’s even a category of ‘liberal arts’ colleges which actually has little to do with fine arts or artistic training.

But, to be sure, the different subjects that generally fall under the heading ‘fine arts’ are as follows:

1. Bachelor’s degrees in Visual Arts in the U.S.

In Visual Art Bachelor’s programmes, students are able to pursue any specific form they choose, from printmaking, digital art, drawing, painting, and many others.

As you search through the universities, you will find that several either have one broad category of Visual Arts (or Graphic Design); or, that they will have a specific Bachelor’s degree designed for your unique medium (drawing, sculpture, printmaking, etc.).

Some universities and schools that have a wide variety of Bachelor’s for visual arts students are:

2. Bachelor’s degrees in Theatre & Dance in the U.S.

So You think You can (Study a Bachelor’s in) Dance? Well, if you’re interested in going into a Dance Bachelor’s programme, you will find that several degrees can give broad or specific training in the Dance Arts.

They are often general courses, where you will learn and practice all forms of dance. In other cases, however, you will see that some programmes give concentrations as their whole curriculum: you’ll find Modern Dance degrees or Ballet degrees, for example.

To get the best training in Dance, you should consider Bachelor’s degrees at:

Finding suitable Theatre Bachelor’s programmes is not so tricky, as any programme with the title 'Theatre' or 'Theatre Arts' likely refers to the Fine Arts subject of Theatrical Acting or Stage Management.

Theatre Bachelor’s programmes are all over the country; but, of course, many of the best are in regions where the theatre community is more robust (New York City and Los Angeles). Yet, these days, with travelling theatre groups and improv shows, it is quite easy to gain relative success no matter where you decide to get started.

Some well-established Bachelor’s programmes of Theatre and Drama that can bring you into the spotlight are:

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3. Bachelor’s degrees in Music in the U.S.

Music Bachelor’s programmes in the U.S. can be especially difficult to find. If you’re deciding on a specialisation within a Music programme, it can be even more difficult. Students can apply for a very general Music BFA, but these degrees are not always structured with the specific applicant’s interests or ambitions in mind.

You will want to look into their specific curriculum, to see what they emphasise in their music training. Is a strictly music education programme, designed to train music teachers? Are they a performance-based programme for an aspiring singer or instrumentalist? Is the programme for music composers rather than performance?

You will want to search around and figure out the right Bachelor’s programme for you. You should be motivated by the fact that music, and especially playing an instrument, is great for your brain. Some degrees that should set you in the right direction are:

4. Bachelor’s degrees in Film and Photography in the U.S.

Film and Photography Bachelor’s programmes can also present a few issues for aspiring film-makers or photographers. Often (especially in the realm of film), the subject or degree does not make it clear whether the course offers a study in the history of Film, or whether it is a course designed to teach you the rudiments of film-making.

For Photography, these programmes are sometimes grouped in the category of ‘Visual Arts’ or ‘Digital Arts’, and it would be worthwhile to check whether they offer a course or specialisation in Photography.

You can discover some programmes that can prepare you with everything you need to know before you decide to start focusing your camera on universities like:

5. Bachelor’s degrees in Creative Writing in the U.S.

Bachelors in Creative Writing can be a frustrating search.

This partly comes from the fact that universities and colleges do not agree among themselves whether Creative Writing falls under the category of ‘Fine Arts’ or whether it constitutes part of the ‘Humanities’.

However, despite where it rests within university colleges and departments, Creative Writing Bachelor’s programmes will generally (though, not always) offer the degree as a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA).

Some of the most popular universities in the US, that offer Bachelor’s degrees in Creative Writing are:

Finding the right Bachelor’s of Fine Arts programme

As you search for a Fine Arts Bachelor’s degree, you will discover that many American universities encourage creativity and artists, being one of the best countries to follow your dream.

So, we can only encourage you to follow your dream and wish you the best of luck!

Discover Arts Bachelors in the US

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