What Is Fine Arts in College?

by Kristine Tucker Google

    Fine arts degree programs at colleges and universities focus on creative and artistic teachings and hands-on experiences that prepare students for jobs in the art industry. Most fine arts departments offer courses for students who need electives or plan to major in the arts. Depending on the size of the college and course offerings, students might find specialized fine arts degree programs to suit their educational pursuits and long-term career goals.

    Visual Arts

    Visual arts, sometimes referred to as studio arts, is an important subcategory of fine arts at many colleges. It often includes courses in drawing, painting, ceramics, art, architecture, photography and film. Students often showcase their classroom projects at college functions, libraries, hospitals, art galleries and other public events. Students who major in visual arts might use their talents and education to pursue careers in advertising, art instruction, film production, publishing, fashion, interior design, graphic design, studio art or illustration. Those who pursue architectural degrees usually take courses in civil engineering, math and science to supplement their artistic talents with highly technical academic content.

    Performing Arts

    Some fine arts students major in performing arts. Performing arts is the study, training, practice and performance of music, dance and theater. For example, the University of Texas at Austin offers performing arts courses and programs in classical music, jazz, opera, dance, drama, playwriting and musical composition. Even though many performing arts programs include academic textbooks, exams, classroom lectures and written homework, much of the course load revolves around practices, recitals, theater productions, performances and public appearances.

    Arts Technology

    Arts technology is a branch of fine arts that allows students to study computer-generated sound and graphics. Digital technology includes courses and majors in areas such as sound engineering, interactive media, animation, audio design, video gaming, animation, web design, social media and electronic advertising, according to Illinois State University's College of Fine Arts. Students might also take courses in computer programming, business and information technology to coordinate with their arts technology degree requirements.

    Study of the Arts

    Some fine arts students are interested in the arts in general. They might major in art history, art theory, music appreciation, literature, creative writing or theater studies. These students study the influence fine arts has played on society including politics, culture, consumerism, values, religious beliefs, customs, beauty, fashion, advertising, marketing, architecture and history. Graduates often pursue advanced degrees or careers as experts in their field. They might study fine arts to become college professors, professional writers, historians, publishers or museum curators.

    About the Author

    As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.

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