What will I learn?

The associate in arts degree in fine arts offers students a curricular program for studying a variety of beginning courses within the field of art practice. The student with an associate in arts degree in fine arts is prepared for upper division work in the major at four-year institutions. The major is available at UC and CSU systems, the San Francisco Art Institute, the California College of Art, and at other colleges of art and schools of design. The fine arts curriculum develops a student’s critical thinking skills, hones problem-solving skills, and establishes visual literacy. Career opportunities in fine arts include: exhibiting artist, art critic, art dealer, educator, art historian, graphic designer, photographer, sculptor, ceramist, jeweler, printmaker, painter, art illustrator, art technician, museum curator, art journalist, arts administrator, product designer, advertising specialist and other professions in creative endeavor.

The fine arts major are a two-year degree program of transferable courses open to all students. The program requirements are designed for those interested in art as professional practice and as preparation for transfer. The major has three components. The first component is a core of two required foundations fine arts studio courses. The second component is two required art history courses. The third component offers students choices in 10 emphasis areas. Students may select an emphasis in drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, ceramics, art digital media, graphic design, art history, or metal smithing, but are encouraged to choose within a wide range of these beginning courses for transfer. Fine arts faculty and staff are dedicated to assisting students in exploring job opportunities, internships, and transferring to four-year institutions of higher learning.

The DVC fine arts major are intended for transfer. Students who intend to transfer must consult with a program advisor or counselor to ensure that the requirements for transfer to four-year institutions of their choice are met. Students who intend to transfer are advised to select General Education Option 2 (IGETC) or Option 3 (CSU GE). Option 1 (DVC General Education) is not generally advised.

To earn an associate in arts degree with a major in fine arts, students must complete each course used to meet a major requirement with a “C” grade or higher, maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher in the coursework required for the major and complete all general education requirements. Degree requirements may be completed by attending classes in the day, evening, or weekends.

Students completing the program will be able to...

A. demonstrate basic drawing skills, color manipulation, and design principles in selected areas of emphasis.

B. apply building techniques to create three dimensional forms in selected areas of emphasis.

C. demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles and concepts of analog and digital photography in selected areas of emphasis.

D. critically evaluate multimedia design techniques and their uses in selected areas of emphasis.

E. analyze works of art in terms of their historical circumstances and cultural values.

F. employ critical thinking skills regarding their artwork and the artwork of others.

Possible career opportunities

Career options include professions engaged in creating works of art as an artist, painter, sculptor, ceramist, engraver, printmaker, metal smith, illustrator, designer, muralist, and jeweler. Some careers requiring an education beyond the associate degree include: art critic, art dealer, educator, historian, arts administrator, advertising specialist, computer graphics illustrator, display designer, gallery director, and visual information specialist.

Which department am I in?

Diablo Valley College

Study options

Full Time (2 years)

Tuition fees
US$7,728.00 per year
Tuition and fees based on 12 units

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Application deadline

Expected July 2021

Start date

25 January 2021


Diablo Valley College

Pleasant Hill Campus,

321 Golf Club Road,



94523, United States

Entry requirements

For international students

A student is eligible for admission if he or she has graduated from a regionally accredited high school, or is 18 years of age or older and is no longer in high school, or has passed the State of California Certificate of Proficiency Test (CHSPE) or the General Educational Development Test (GED).

English proficiency

  • Internet based TOEFL (IBT) - 61
  • Paper based TOEFL (PBT)- 500
  • IELTS - Academic test - 5.5
  • ITEP - 3.5
  • IEC (International Education Center) - Completion of Adv. B level certificate
  • ELS Centers - Completion of EAP Level 109 certificate
Note from client: this is just for Fall 2020, but at least students will know they can still apply (in fact even a bit later probably).

About this uni

Academic programs lead to university transfers where students can earn a bachelor’s degree at a top U.S. university.

  • Three community colleges and an intensive English program
  • San Francisco Bay Area location
  • Tuition is approximately USD 20,000 for two years (60 units)
  • Top international student transfer college to UC Berkeley