Where should I start my college search if I want to major in the arts?

College Search

Our counselors answered:

Where should I start my college search if I want to major in the arts?

Kirk McNabb
Owner Headstart College Consulting

If you want to major in the arts you should start your college search at

I recommend every student athlete go directly to either the NCAA website or the NAIA website and go through these sites thoroughly. Each site is set up to guide a prospective student athlete and their family through the college recruiting process as well as they have pages set up that help find all schools at all levels that offer both the sport they are interested in and also their area of academic interest (in this case it will be the arts). From their you will start your decision process of finding out what geographical area of the country you would feel most comfortable attending a college. There is more decisions to make after this but knowing where to start your search is definitely step one. The above options will give you great detail on collegiate athletics but here at Unigo we also provide immediate information on how to begin your college search. If you go directly to the bottom of any page on our website you will find information about all schools that offer any major you may be interested in. All you have to do is click on yoru major and a list of schools will come up for you to start reviewing. Thanks and good luck with your search.

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

Book Recommendation

If you are serious about pursuing the arts, I would recommend that you pick up Elaina Loveland's book: Creative Colleges: A Guide for Student Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers. While a bit older, it offers advice coupled with real examples to help students understand the admissions process for prospective artists.

Pamela Hampton-Garland
Owner Scholar Bound

Majoring in the "Arts"

Your college search should start with you pondering your iikes and dislikes about a variety of fields under the College of Arts and Sciences. Arts include such majors as psychology, sociology, human services, social work, and a host of others. To get off to a great start decide what you know you are not interested in and eliminate untecessary searching and wasting time on fields that you have no interest in. If you are a creative or visual artists just hone in on institutions that bring out the best of what you are skilled at. A final alternative is to enter college as an undecided student (which is perfectly fine and common) and take a variety of classes to decided what peeks my interests and go from there.

kathy hicks-freeman
Guidance Counselor Greensboro High School

College Search

The first step would be to find out which universities offer the program of study you are interested in. If may want to narrow your selection if there is a particular region of the country you wish to reside. There are numerous of free college search websites that can help with this. You can narrow your selection even more if you know the exact area of art you want to concentrate on.

Ryan John
School Counselor Bethlehem High School

Where should I start my college search if I want to major in the arts?

You should definitely consult your current and past art teachers at your high school as a reference on colleges and types of art programs available to you. Art teachers can also be a a great resource on the different portfolio requirements of various college/universities. Use Naviance and the collegeboard.com search engines to begin brainstorming lists of schools that offer art programs. Consult your high school counselor and continue thinking about which branch of the arts you plan to pursue (i.e. visual arts, design, fashion, performing arts).

็Ž‹ๆ–‡ๅ› June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

visit the colleges first

in order to have reasonable perspective about the art program, you should visit a few schools first to find out more about the program details. search can only get you so far without really meet faculties and students face to face to shape your views about your choice.

Judy Zodda
Founder and President Zodda College Services

Where should I start my college search if I want to major in the arts?

The first thing you need to decide is: Do you want to study strictly at a school that only offers majors in the arts such at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, for example, or do you want to have a full college experience where they have an art school within a larger university or an art department at a small liberal arts college? Once you decide that, you have narrowed your search. If you eliminate studying at a school that is specifically for the arts, you can still look at universities and liberal arts colleges and decide if you like a larger or smaller type of school. Second, you need to check and see if the school offers what you want to study in the arts! That will also narrow your search!

Nina Berler
Founder unCommon Apps

Starting Your Search

Are you interested in majoring in the arts? Fortunately, there are abundant resources to help you. Start with people you know, such as a theater teacher, drama coach and guidance counselor. They know you and might already have ideas regarding a college of best fit. There are wonderful online and book resources. Use collegeboard.com, and follow the instructions: http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/search/index.jsp. You can search this database in a number of different ways. My favorite search tool is Fiske's Guide to Colleges, which is updated regularly and widely available. You can use the front matter to find recommendations of colleges of different sizes and locations; then read up and see what you think! I really like the overlap section in Fiske's; this enables you to find schools that are similar to those you already prefer.

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

Decide the Type of School and Degree First

If you want to major in the arts your first decision should be the type of school or program. Do you want a school exclusively devoted to performance and art education such as Juilliard or the Berklee School of Music? Would you prefer to study in the art, music, theater, or dance department in a more traditional university setting? Once you know the type of school you prefer, narrow down programs by degrees offered. Look at the requirements for a generalized liberal arts education with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree versus the more specialized and intensive Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) degrees. Of course, you should follow up this initial research by talking with students, professors, and professionals and making visits to the top colleges on your list.

Joseph Freeman
Dean and College Counselor Randolph School

Where should I start my college search if I want to major in the arts?

Begin with your teachers/mentors/instructors to identify strong programs at both the college and conservatory level. You first need to determine how good you are and whether or not you want to pursue a career in the arts beyond college. Using instructors or outside ajudicators to help you gauge your talent can help you to make the decision whether or not to pursue a conservatory education. Even if you opt for a more traditional college expereince (which will not preclude you from pursuing a career in the arts), you will need to learn about what that program expects in terms of an audition as part of the admissions process. Again, using adults in your local arts community to gain familiarity with the program and to help you prepare for the admissions process is key. It is also most important for you to identify programs where you will be a good "fit," particularly with the instructors at the college level.