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Painting and Drawing


Painting and drawing programs teach people to express ideas and feelings using paint and drawing tools.

This program includes topics such as:


After these foundation courses, typically students focus on a specific medium, including:


Students begin to develop their professional portfolio during college. This includes samples of work from team projects and independent projects. Projects completed during their senior year and internship are important to their portfolio.


A few community colleges and independent arts schools offer associate degree programs in painting and drawing. An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete.

Many independent art schools, colleges, and universities offer Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in painting and drawing. A BFA usually takes about four to five years of full-time study.

Many universities offer Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in painting and drawing. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Many programs require you to submit separate application materials in addition to your general college application. Usually you have to complete preliminary art courses, write a personal statement, and submit a portfolio of your work.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate programs in painting and drawing typically require:

Things to Know

Students who major in painting and drawing are responsible for purchasing some of their own tools and supplies. These include brushes, pens, pencils, canvases, and specialty papers.

Many programs offer personal studio space to BFA art students.

In some programs, painting and drawing are offered as separate specializations.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Cornish College of the Arts

Everett Community College

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Gonzaga University

Spokane Falls Community College

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom

University of Puget Sound

Vancouver Area

Clark College

West Side Area

Grays Harbor College

Western Washington University