Houston, TX Art Classes with School Overviews

Research art schools in Houston, which has at least seven schools offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three schools within 15 miles of the city's downtown and decide which program is right for you.

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Schools in Houston with Art Programs

Houston is home to several schools that offer art programs in many areas at several degree levels. This article looks at three schools, none more than 20 minutes from the heart of downtown, and at the art degree programs they offer. There is also a table of information about each school that prospective students should know, such as enrollment, tuition, campus setting and the graduation rate. At the end of the article is a little information about a couple of other nearby schools that offer art programs.

  • The University of Houston , just five miles from downtown, offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in fine arts.
  • Also five miles from downtown Houston, Texas Southern University offers a bachelor's degree and a minor program in art.
  • Houston Baptist University has bachelor's and master's degree programs in art as well as a minor option in studio art. This school is about 13 miles from the city center.

University of Houston

The School of Art at UH offers interdisciplinary programming for its students, allowing them to take classes in diverse areas such as computer science, anthropology or poetry. UH seeks to tailor its programming to the individual student's interests.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

BFA candidates begin by taking the university core curriculum, as well as art and studio courses. In sophomore year, they can apply to the BFA program by presenting a portfolio. Once admitted, students major in painting, photography/digital media, graphic communications or sculpture. Depending on the major and GPA, students may be allotted private studio space, mentors and internships. The BFA program requires completion of 42 hours of university core courses and 81 hours of major, studio and concentration courses, such as art history, drawing, sculpture, computer imaging and printmaking.

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art (MFA)

Applicants to the MFA program need to have a bachelor's degree and at least a 3.0 GPA, in addition to submitting a portfolio of artwork. The program is comprised of 60 hours of coursework, which has to be completed within five years of starting. MFA candidates major in one of five areas: painting, sculpture, photography/digital media, graphic communications or interdisciplinary practice and emerging forms. Regardless of major, all candidates take 12 hours of art history, 12 hours of related arts, 30 hours of major courses and six hours of graduate seminar classes. Completion of the degree requires a thesis exhibition, written thesis and passage of an oral exam.

Texas Southern University

The arts programming at TSU is housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences and offered through the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Bachelor's programming is flexible and can be designed with or without minors and/or specializations and taken over four to six years.

Bachelor of Arts in Art (BA)

The BA program is comprised of three groupings of courses: core curriculum (44 credits), major (55-58 credits) and minor or specialty (18-21 credits). Specialty options include art history, design, drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics and sculpture. Minors are chosen after a student has been admitted as an art major and in consultation with a counselor. Major and elective class options include drawing, ancient art, ceramics and pottery and digital imaging. Completion of a total of 120-126 credits and passage of an exit exam are required to graduate.

Minor in Art

The minor in art requires 21 credit hours of coursework, such as art history, drawing, design and painting or an art seminar, and nine hours of upper-level art electives. All courses must be completed with a C or better.

Houston Baptist University

HBU offers five majors in studio arts: drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics and sculpture. In both its undergraduate and graduate programs, HBU retains permanent or temporary rights to some of the artwork produced by its students.

Bachelor of Fine Arts

The BFA program is comprised of a 55-hour liberal arts core curriculum and a 72-hour academic and studio art core curriculum. The academic art core includes nine classes in areas such as art history, 2D and 3D design and art methods and materials. The studio art component requires courses in areas such as drawing, ceramics and/or printmaking. Students are required to participate in art shows in their junior and senior years and to pass an exit exam in art prior to graduation.

Bachelor of Arts, Studio Track Major

In the BA with a studio art major program, students complete 67 credit hours of liberal arts core curriculum, six hours of academic art and nine hours of studio art classes. The studio art elective options include color theory, experimental drawing and water-media painting, while academic art courses feature design, methods and art history courses from the prehistoric to modern art periods.

Minor in Studio Art

The minor program requires completion of 25-26 hours of art coursework. The academic art component involves one method, two art history and two design courses. The studio component involves 10-11 credit hours of studio electives in areas such as ceramics, drawing and printmaking.

Master of Fine Arts

Applicants to the MFA program at HBU are required to submit undergraduate transcripts and a digital portfolio with 20-30 high-resolution samples of work. MFA candidates much of the 60-hour program in studio art courses, developing graduate-level proficiency. Graduate seminars covering writing, gallery/museum practices and thesis portfolio preparation are also important. The remaining hours are spent either in graduate-level art history or other courses focused on the liberal arts. MFA candidates must pass three major faculty critiques, prepare a thesis for exhibition and lecture, and donate a significant piece of their work to the permanent collection at HBU.

Comparison of Schools

Students who are deciding which school to attend need access to a great deal of information. This table puts some important facts together in a way that allows for easy comparison.

The University of Houston Texas Southern University Houston Baptist University
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; public 4-year; private-not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2011) 39,820* 9,730* 2,432*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) Undergraduate:
$8,094 in-state,
$16,518 out-of-state;
Graduate:
$9,522 in-state,
$15,840 out-of-state*
Undergraduate:
$7,646 in-state,
$16,946 out-of-state; Graduate:
$8,104 in-state,
$13,396 out-of-state*
Undergraduate: $26,795;
Graduate: $12,636*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2010-2011) 80%* 96%* 99%*
Acceptance Rate (2012) 56%* 53%* 35%*
Retention Rate (2011) 81% full-time;
66% part-time*
61% full-time;
27% part-time*
67% full-time;
33% part-time*
Graduation Rate (2011) 46% (24% transfer out)* 12%* 45%*

Sources: *NCES College Navigator

Other School Options

There are several other options in Houston. Rice University, which has a heavily integrated theatrical and studio-based art program, offers a studio art track for single or double majors. The University of St. Thomas offers BA, BFA and minor programs in studio arts.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California campus Stanford
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
        • Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts campus Cambridge
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
        • Art
        • Art History
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island campus Providence
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
        • Art
        • Art History
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) campus Washington
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
        • Art
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee campus Nashville
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
        • Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Georgia campus Athens
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
        • Art
        • Art History
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Florida campus Coral Gables
    Areas of study you may find at University of Miami include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
        • Art
        • Art History
        • Ceramics
        • Painting
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Kentucky campus Louisville
    Areas of study you may find at University of Louisville include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
        • Art
        • Art History
      • Musical Arts

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