Fine arts: Above and beyond painting by number.


So, young Shmooper. You've chosen to read about the fine arts major on our glorious website. Accident, you say? Mind if we…take a look at the margins of your notebook? Ah-ha. Just as we suspected, your margins are filled with doodles—why, oodles of doodles…

Okay, okay…so we truly aren't as omniscient as we like to think we are. But if you were sweating beads just now, or if you immediately saw right through us but do like to draw, sketch, sculpt, carve, paint, etc., consider majoring in fine arts.

A lot of artists find their voice early on, but never thought about refining it or were forced to stop. There are even some coming-of-age movie or TV show storylines that revolve around a high schooler getting pressured by his/her parents to go to an Ivy League school, major in biology or law or physics, snag a snazzy job, and make six figures…much to the dismay of the super artsy and talented protagonist who cares not for material wealth.

Most people think that art can't be applied, but most people would be wrong. While there isn't much demand for art art (art for art's sake), there's quite a bit of demand for commercial art in this career field. If you got the skills, you can pay the bills. And if you've always thought art school is for suckers and that "art can't be taught," consider this: Art school or college exposes you to different techniques, ideas, points of view, and criticism. Being a knowledgeable and well-rounded person makes you a better artist.

Famous People who majored in Fine Arts

  • Adam Sandler
  • Debra Messing (Master's)
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Meryl Streep (Master's)
  • Paul Giamatti
  • Rachel McAdams

Percentage of US students who major in Fine Arts:


Stats obtained from this source.