There are two types of bachelor’s degree programs in art and design and both prepare students for art-based careers. A Bachelor of Fine Arts program offers a liberal arts base, while a Bachelor of Science program focuses on architecture-related topics.
Both B.F.A. (Bachelor of Fine Arts) and B.S. (Bachelor of Science) programs in art and design offer additional areas of concentration for students to choose from. For example, many B.F.A. programs offer two or more areas of focus that can include studio art, jewelry and metalsmithing, printmaking, graphic design, and illustration. On the other hand, B.S. programs offer areas of focus in architectural theory, design computation, and more.
In order to apply to these programs, students are required only to have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent qualification. These programs generally take four years to complete. Students earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts can go into a number of different artistic fields or move into higher levels of education, while students earning a Bachelor of Science can pursue further education toward becoming an architect.
Students that are interested in a professional visual arts career may find that a Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Art and Design aligns with their goals. Programs are intended to cultivate a student’s creative abilities and are built on a foundation of liberal arts courses.
Although most programs encourage students to choose a minor, or emphasis, and some schools require it, there are common core courses required for every program. These often include:
Graduates of the B.S. program are not eligible to become licensed architects, but the program is intended as a foundation for further professional architectural studies or for other architecture-related job opportunities. Core courses required include:
Careers in art and design do not require licensure or certification, nor is continuing education a requirement. However, there are opportunities to take further classes or attend seminars relative to each career. Some students choose to earn a graduate degree in their specialty.
To actually become an architect in USA, graduates with a B.S. in Art and Design would need to continue their education in a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). This would make it possible to pursue a professional license, which is required in every state. Many states require students to have their degree from an NAAB-accredited program. Biennial license renewal requires 16 professional development units (PDU).
Career opportunities for those with a bachelor’s degree in art and design are varied. A student’s chosen specialization will determine many of the career options available. Some general careers in art and design include: