Top Academic Painting Courses in the USA

For some people, it takes many years to find their true passion in life while others they find it when they were just kids. One such passion is painting which is a skill that some people develop while they are still young or later on in life. It’s fun for children as they dive those finger paints and create beautiful pictures to hang in their home.

The big challenge comes in when you have to find the schools which have the right academic painting courses where you can perfect your painting skills. Secret Teacher reported that over the years, most of the schools have either cut off the arts education or given less importance from their curriculum, leaving many people in a predicament.

So, which painting courses can you do in the USA? Don’t worry, this article will reveal the best art schools in the US that provide painting courses.

  1. Yale University

Yale University provides painting courses for aspiring artists. The program which promotes practice, innovation, and conducting experiments is focused on the investigation of painting.

Students work in spacious 300-square foot studios and they participate in various seminars to learn more about painting. The study plan involves completing a two-year program. Here is what they offer:

  • In the first year, you do five courses which are offered on credit and include Individual Criticism, Prit Crit, Round Trip, Critical Practice, and Academic or Studio Electives.
  • The courses in the second year are Individual Criticism, Prit Crit, and Academic Electives.
  1. Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) takes in students who are passionate about turning their painting skills into a rewarding career.

Most of their students and alumni have exhibited their paintings in some of the most famous museums such as the Museum of Modern Art. SCAD offer painting degrees in Atlanta, Hong Kong, Savannah, and through online eLearning. When you consider that 66% of students report that digital learning improves studying efficiency it is incredible to think this is available.

The B.F.A. in painting has foundation courses which include Drawing I: Form and Space, Design I: Elements and Organization, Color: Theory and Application, and Life Drawing I.

The general education has several courses such as oil-based techniques and exploration and water-based techniques and exploration. The college also offers an M.A. and M.F.A. in painting.

  1. Columbia University

The university provides the Advanced Painting Intensive instructions to a group of students of twelve. This is a six-week and six-credit workshop, program which is designed as a Columbia’s MFA degree program. Expect to get the following when you enroll for the course:

  • The students are exposed to various environments including the New York gallery and visiting artists give critiques. The workshop focuses on the students who want to hone their visual and written skills required for MFA programs.
  • The Advanced Painting Intensive includes individual studios, individual critiques, group critiques, lectures, tutorials, and visits to galleries and museums in New York City.
  • At the end of the seminar, students exhibit their work at the LeRoy Neiman Gallery which is at the Columbia University School of the Arts.
  1. University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California has the Painting and Drawing facility which features nice facilities to promote artistic production.

The area features five studio classrooms, painting library, and a printmaking studio. The university is one of the top art schools that have an undergraduate program (BA, Art) for students interested in developing and refining their approach to painting.

The program has the right framework through coursework and independent studies. It’s not hard to get accepted into the college as you need to submit an application and follow a simple selection process.

The students doing majors are required to take foundation painting courses before doing advanced courses. The university has well-known professional artists and students have an opportunity to participate in various exhibitions throughout the year.

The Master of Fine Arts has six areas of specialization including Painting and Drawing. It requires a student to do a minimum of 72 quarter units of coursework.

  1. Hunter College, City University of New York

Hunter College has a three-year MFA program suitable for artists who want to develop their practice. The program has a studio space and they provide workshops.

The degree is designed for students who desire to complete work in a studio after the 42-credit major. It’s also particularly perfect for students who want to become professional artists and want to attend graduate school.

Some of the courses the college offers include Introduction to Study of Visual Experience, Drawing, painting, and advanced painting. The students can graduate with honors or they may attend the graduate school upon completing their degree program.

It is one of the colleges where getting admission is very difficult. Prepare yourself in the best manner to make an entry here. Whether it’s your artistic side or your skills in writing an essay on black lives matter topic, you need to be at your best.

  1. Cranbrook Academy of Art

Cranbrook Academy of Art offers different design of academic painting as they provide only graduate education in art. The academy accepts over 100 students each year, who spend most of their time in the studio. There are 11 exclusive programs of study and students can attain an MFA or MArch degree.

This is one of the best art schools in the U.S.A, and the academy focuses on providing more practical lessons than classwork. The painting course at Cranbrook Academy is ranked 13 in the United States and the students have a chance to learn from resident artists.

By taking such great academic courses, students have launched their own professional careers by spreading their work online, joining famous art galleries and starting a graphic design business. In this way, they can display their paintings to the public who are interested in purchasing them.

  1. Maryland Institute College of Art

The course at Maryland Institute College of Art consists of basic principles and techniques of painting. Students learn about painting tools, color mixing, composition, form, and spatial relationship.

The college ensures that students are taught different subjects including interiors, abstraction, and self-portraits. Painting and Drawing is a course which encourages students to explore and help them begin a relation between contemporary drawing and painting.

Students are taught how to develop their skills in painting the portrait, and they paint over the lines. Other courses provided include Automatic Triggers, keystroke/brushstroke, and D-Painting.


Painting is a major source of creativity that allows people to express themselves. In an arts program, your child will be asked to create a painting that represents a memory. This helps students to think creatively, and it comes instantly as they practice. So, finding the best art schools is necessary for people to improve their painting performance.

The top art schools listed above provide either short-term courses or degree programs. It will depend on you to choose which courses suit your desires and goals. One thing for sure, they are all top-notch courses that can make a huge difference in your life.

Author Bio:

With over 100 exhibitions under his belt, Robert Everett is a renowned professional artist. He focuses on depicting the beauty of life through a combination of color, various textures, and symbolism. As a motivational speaker at various universities worldwide, he speaks about the impact of art in human life. In addition, he teaches a six-week short course of Life Drawing. He enjoys mentoring kids and doing charity work in his free time.



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