What Are Fine Art Courses in College?


Fine art describes various creative art forms including visual arts, film and music. Fine arts courses are available at a wide range of colleges including community colleges, liberal arts colleges and art schools. Increasingly, as of 2011, more online and distance-education fine arts courses are being offered. At each college these courses are part of the art department or fine art department. Each college offers different major and minor specialties for art students.

Studio Art

  • Studio art courses are courses in which students produce works of their own whether it is in an art studio, a classroom or in their own personal space. These courses include different forms of art including painting, drawing and sculpture. Usually several levels of each type of course are offered, with students first taking the beginner levels then progressing to the higher levels. In many cases students will be required to pay a fee for supplies or provide supplies of their own in addition to the regular course fees.

Art History

  • In art history classes, students study existing works of art and learn about different artistic styles and trends throughout history. Art history classes may be general and cover a wide range of time periods or may be more focused on a specific style of art or time period. A key component of many art history courses is learning to identify important works of art by sight. In addition to textbook and studies of images of art, many art history courses include a field trip to an art museum to see works of art in person.


  • In film studies courses, students learn both about the history of film and create their own films. Separate courses are offered on film history and appreciation that can cover a broad range of films or focus on a specific style or in some cases a specific filmmaker. Filmmaking courses prepare students for making films of their own. These courses may be supplemented by other courses that teach editing skills.


  • Fine arts courses in music include instructional courses, band programs, music theory and history and appreciation courses. Instructional courses usually focus on a particular instrument such as vocal lessons, piano or guitar. Chorus, orchestra and specialty bands are often offered as a college course where practice sessions serve as classes and performers receive college credits. Students learn about writing music in music-theory classes. Music history and appreciation courses can be general in nature, but often focus on a particular style or time period of music.

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