Art Degree


The Associate in Arts in Art Program provides the student with the foundations in history, theory, design, and studio of art. The studio art courses provide an integration of conceptual and practical artistic skills with personal and creative exploration. The core courses provide students with the preparation for university level courses in art and art history. Students must have a minimum grade of “C” in major courses. The Program offers Two-Dimensional Design; Three-Dimensional Design; Drawing and Composition; Figure Drawing; Painting; Introduction to Digital Art; Computer Imaging: Adobe Photoshop; and four art history courses.

Earnings Potential

An associate degree in art offers you the salary potential of $19,764 two years after graduation from Taft College, with expected increases to $29,974 at five years, based on five-year studies of graduates by California Community Colleges. These do not reflect salaries with a four-year degree. Several associate degree career options include production assistant, pastry chef, marketing assistant, painter, human resources assistant, esthetician, website designer, social media manager, and account executive, among others. Some may require additional skills or training. Many careers typically require a minimum of a four-year degree.

If you transfer to a university, you may consider a major in studio art for a professional career in the visual arts; a major in art history; or combining an art major with a minor from a wide range of options that will allow you to develop skills for jobs in many industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage is $52,030 for museum technicians or conservators; $58,500 for elementary and secondary teachers (including art teachers); $63,880 for curators; $78,790 for special effects artists and animators; $86,240 for postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers; and $144,000 for art directors.2

1 California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. Salary Surfer. 2021. Accessed 19 April 2023.

2 “Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 8 Sept. 2022. Accessed 19 April 2023.

Program Requirements

To earn an Associate in Arts in Art, students must complete: (1) all course requirements with a minimum grade of “C” in each course; and (2) complete General Education Graduation Requirements with an overall GPA of 2.0 or better. Select 18 units (credits) from the Program course list. Selections must be from three different disciplines. Generally, the courses are three units each.

For details, see the Degree Requirements. Please note: This link goes to the Taft College Catalog, an external website. Plan to return to the Taft College website.

Program Learning Outcomes

After completing the Art major, a student will be able to:

  1. Create art in various media using the resources of production.
  2. Understand, evaluate, and utilize the elements of art and principles of design.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the history of the development of styles and media.
  4. Demonstrate the practices of safety procedures.
  5. Critique and objectively evaluate their work and the work of their peers.

Tips for Art, Studio Arts, and Art History Students

Thinking about earning a degree in Art or Art History? Consider visiting a museum in person or online.  See our informative page on more than a dozen outstanding museums. Links included for additional information!  Museum list.

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