Colleges, universities and art schools around the world offer various types of art degree programs. Students can enroll in undergraduate courses or postgraduate doctorate or master's degree programs. Additionally, some classes are designed to prepare people to work as artists while others are aimed at those who wish to teach art or other individuals who have an interest in studying art rather than a desire to improve artistic abilities.
Students can enroll in general undergraduate art courses at many different universities. Enrollees normally learn about different styles of art such as impressionism, renaissance art and surrealism. Typically, some of the classes are focused on art history in which case students learn about the pioneers who developed different styles and techniques. In many instances, general art degree programs include a practical element and students are scored on their ability to create different kinds of art making use of painting, sketching or sculpting skills.
Rather than offering general art degree programs, some colleges offer more specialized courses that cover topics such as graphic design, creative arts or art history. Those attending graphic design courses learn how to use computer software and modern design techniques to create advertising slogans, logos and pictures that are used by marketing companies or retailers. During a creative arts course, students are often encouraged to think "outside the box" and use unconventional tools and equipment to create sculptures and other pieces of modern or post-modern art. Art history courses may involve nothing but classroom study with a focus on prominent artists and styles of artwork as students in these sessions do not typically have to demonstrate their artistic talents.
To work as an art teacher in a school, an individual may be required to complete a teacher-training course. Some of these courses are full degree programs that combine elements of other art degree programs with general teacher training. Other people take art degree courses and then enroll in short-term teacher training classes that often last for a year or less.
While teachers working with schoolchildren typically only need to complete undergraduate degrees, people involved in post-secondary education normally have completed master's degree programs. These courses normally last for a minimum of one year and typically focus on a specific artist, style of art or period of history. Beyond master's programs, some people also study for Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees which often involve several years of in-depth study on a particular theme. An individual with a PhD in art may be able to work as a department head at a university, while others with these qualifications end up working for museums.