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Painting: Studio Art, B.F.A.

College of Arts and Sciences

Develop your creative vision and technical painting skills in a supportive learning environment as you prepare to exhibit original art.

Our painting program offers intensive studio practice, providing a strong foundation in the skills and techniques necessary to become a professional visual artist. This degree is perfect for students interested in developing their fine art ability rather than a graphic design or commercial illustration approach.

Program Highlights

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    An Accomplished Faculty

    Receive a comprehensive education in both traditional and contemporary painting techniques from accomplished artists.

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    Emphasis on Creativity

    Explore your own artistic vision, and develop your own style, through coursework and studio time.

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    Pre-professional Training

    Develop and exhibit a portfolio of original artwork, and set yourself up to become an exhibiting artist.

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    Diverse Student Body

    Learn from and collaborate with students from different backgrounds and cultures to broaden your artistic horizons.

What You’ll Study

Build a portfolio that includes painting in various styles using a variety of techniques through our intermediate, advanced and capstone painting courses. Students work in a dedicated group studio where they form connections with other painters and have access to the arts community in Columbia, as well as a strong alumni network.

Building Skills

Gain the professional and personal intelligence it takes to have a successful career.

  • Artistic Skill

    Demonstrating proficiency and talent in creating, expressing and interpreting visual or performing arts


    Thinking imaginatively, generating original ideas and expressing unique perspectives through art and innovation


    Identifying opportunities and creating and launching new ventures

  • Attention to Detail

    Being meticulous and thorough in all aspects of a task or project


    Understanding and sharing the feelings of others, and demonstrating compassion and support


    Working with others to achieve a common goal or objective

Using your degree

Make your college experience the foundation for a successful future.

Learn how alumni use degrees with outcome data from Gamecock GradStats, a service of the University of South Carolina Career Center.

Potential Careers

  • Artist
  • Illustrator
  • Animator
  • Art Educator
  • Museum of Gallery Professional
  • Art Consultant

Job Titles of Alumni

  • Art Director
  • Creative Director
  • Fine Artist
  • Principal Creative
  • Shop Manager / Tattoo Apprentice
  • Teacher

Average Alumni Salary

Five to 10 years after graduation without additional education $66,398

Workplace Settings

  • Design Studio
  • Art Studio
  • Graduate School
  • Museums or Galleries
  • Other Creative Industries

Employers of Alumni

  • Google
  • Nike
  • Richland Library
  • Hubbell Incorporated
  • University of South Carolina
  • Gupta Media

Advanced Degrees

Advance your career or options with post-graduate education.

I enrolled in this program to learn versatility, networking and the administrative side of my craft. In working with new techniques, I learned that I also enjoy photography. This helped me find my personal voice within the artist community in Columbia.

Anthony Lewis
Portrait of Anthony Lewis

Is USC Right For You?

There are many reasons we could be your ideal university. There's the award-winning academics, the globally modeled student life, and abundance of study abroad and experiential learning options. Take a closer look at what USC could mean for you.

Degree content is provided for informational purposes only. The Academic Bulletin is the source of record for all degree information.