Explore a range of materials, methods, and theories in the Fine Arts programs at Columbia College Chicago, where we view the art world as interdisciplinary and flexible. You’ll find a place for your unique, creative vision with the support of instructors who are also professional artists. As a Fine Arts major, you’ll learn about the social function of art and begin to sharpen your voice as you study art history and theory.
In our supportive critique environment, you’ll get regular feedback on your work from professional artists and fellow students. As an art major, you’ll have opportunities to exhibit in campus spaces and venues throughout the city.
All students enter Columbia College Chicago as Bachelor of Arts (BA) students. You’ll spend your first year experimenting with processes and materials. As you narrow your focus, you can choose to apply to the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program.
Columbia’s small and selective Fine Arts BFA program will empower you to refine your creative vision through a studio-intensive and critique-based curriculum. The BFA focuses on studio practice, whereas the BA provides flexibility and time to explore your other passions through a minor or a second major.
View courses and requirements:
You’ll spend most of your studio time experimenting and bringing your vision to reality in creative spaces, like our 15,000-square-foot Fabrication Facility and dedicated letterpress and printmaking studios.
When you’re not in the studio, you’ll get involved in Chicago’s local art scene. Columbia College Chicago’s campus is home to the Wabash Arts Corridor, which draws innovative muralists to the city every year. Chicago has countless museums and galleries as well as co-op spaces and pop-up exhibits around the city. Your faculty mentors will help you make connections and explore all the Chicago art scene offers.
As a Columbia student, you’ll have free access to the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Internships are a great way to build a professional network and learn how to make a career in the arts. You’ll work with faculty mentors to identify an appropriate path, and our Career Center will help you find opportunities. Columbia students have interned at places like Chicago Artists Coalition, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and galleries of all sizes. Learn more about the Career Center.
Art and Art History faculty members are well-known artists and scholars committed to teaching, researching, and mentoring. In addition to working with Columbia students, they exhibit their work nationally and
“I like the eccentricity of our students. It makes me feel like people can be tolerant of and celebrate difference as opposed to sameness”
-Associate Professor Joan Giroux
Fine Arts students can apply for grants and awards to support their creative work.
“I’ve finally found my thing ... I don’t want to do anything else ever again.”
-E.J. Hill ’11
Our alumni are groundbreaking artists, gallerists, curators, and researchers. Their work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Many have recieved awards, fellowships, and residencies, reflecting the powerful contributions they make to the field.