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Educational Programs

Visual Arts


Program description

The A.F.A. in Visual Arts is a program where can explore artistic works and creative thinking, and offers you an opportunity to think seriously about a career in visual art making. The degree will give you a diverse visual art background culminating in a final art exhibit highlighting each student’s achievement.

Program start and location

Core courses are offered each semester on MCTC’s downtown Minneapolis campus.

Degree options and requirements

Please select the award below to view the degree options and requirements in the college catalog.

What you will learn

  • Courses taught in the Arts Department at MCTC will include the formal, technical and expressive qualities of fine art.
  • Design elements and principles form the language of art and make up the comprehensive structural facets of its composition. You will learn to identify that language to better understand the surrounding culture and art while practicing the use of formal communication to clarify the content of your art.
  • In each course, you are taught the safe and practical use of technical skills and through critiques learn to analyze the art.
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  • The A.F.A. degree increases your success in transferring to four-year institutions. If your primary interest is in visual art, you will have the incentive to take a balanced selection of coursework.
  • The Visual Arts Department uses many areas of the building to develop new offerings such as intaglio printing, gas reduction ceramics firing, acrylic and oil painting, wood sculpture, and a full complement of art history course work. It is not a stretch to say the department is the one of the most comprehensive art programs in the two-year MnSCU college system.
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Points of pride

  • MCTC offers top-notch facilities.
  • The college’s Minneapolis location provides access to the downtown cultural community, along with major museums and organizations such as the Walker Art center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Northern Clay Center, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Intermedia Arts and more.
  • The program’s faculty members are all practicing artists and experienced instructors.
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  • Numerous courses are transferable to four-year college and university programs.
  • You will leave the program with a portfolio of your work that you can use for the next stage of your career.
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Where you could work

  • Advertising agencies
  • Corporations
  • Nonprofit organizations
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  • Education institutions
  • Galleries and museums
  • Self employed
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Potential job titles

  • Graphic designer
  • Advertising art director
  • Illustrator
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  • Photographer
  • Educator
  • Technical illustrator
  • Handcrafter
  • Stylist
  • Web designer
  • Art historian
  • Commercial or residential interior designer
  • Fashion designer
  • Practicing studio artist
  • Art critic
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Occupational outlook

Employment of artists and related workers is expected to grow 12 percent through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though competition is intense, there are studios, galleries and clients always looking for artists, as well as commercial work for multimedia artists and animators. A degree in Visual Arts gives you an edge up in this exciting and creative field.

Beyond-the-classroom opportunities

You will have the opportunity to join MCTC’s Art Club, which allows you to express, experience, interpret and understand the world of art through the examples of media, local artists and the downtown Minneapolis community.


This program is part of the School of Design and the Arts.

Additional resources

Manuel Castellanos Raboso, Adobe Scientist

Manuel, MCTC alum

Globetrotting MCTC Graphic Design alum makes the most of his time, energy and aspirations.

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Darius Davis, Professional Photographer

Darius Davis, MCTC alum

Darius Davis owns his own photography business after taking a non-traditional path through his educational career.

Read More