Imagine and Create a Better World Through the Arts

Majoring in the arts is a fantastic path for the creatively-inclined. An education in the arts promises a rigorous exploration of the various forms of human expression. Majoring in the arts ensures you’ll learn the techniques and histories of your chosen mediums. Whether you want to pursue a professional career in the arts or build the foundation of a life-long hobby, majoring in fine arts is a satisfying experience. Students of color have long offered something unique to this career path because of their shared history and have provided many great and respected landmarks, monuments, paintings, recordings, movies, fashions and architecture to the African American diaspora, American culture and landscape because of their talents.

The arts is a large field of study with many sub-disciplines and mediums. Some of the more popular branches include:

  • Fine Arts: Fine arts refer to the art created for aesthetic purposes. Whether your preferred medium is painting, drawing, or sculpture, fine arts will teach you the history and techniques of museum-worthy art.
  • Performing Arts: Performing arts refer to art created for a live audience. These mediums include dance, music, drama, and performance art.
  • Design: This field of art is inherently practical, merging the aesthetics of traditional art with the necessary functions of an object. Designers aim to create objects that are beautiful, intuitive, and useful.


Claflin dance students rehearsing

Claflin College

Careers in the Arts

Naturally, many who major in the arts will pursue a career as an artist. However, a degree in art will prepare you for other professions such as:

  • Art Teacher: When paired with courses in education, a degree in the arts will prepare you to be an art teacher. As an educator, you’ll give students some of their first experiences with the arts and develop their creative talents.
  • Video Editor: If you enjoy working with film, consider becoming a professional video editor. As digital content creation continues to grow, institutional and freelance editorial work for this career field continues to expand rapidly.
  • Interior Designer: These professionals work with individuals and businesses to raise the aesthetic appeal of their homes or businesses. Use your eye for detail to create beautiful spaces and create memorable experiences. With a median annual income of $57,060, this field can provide you with a solid foundation towards a healthy career.
  • Art Therapist: Art therapists are professionals who use the arts as a way to help patients with a variety of mental and physical challenges. As highly-skilled professionals, art therapists are well compensated with an estimated median annual income of $62,090.

Want to learn more about this possible career path and college major?
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How to Prepare for Success

Aspiring artists should routinely practice their techniques within their chosen medium.

Xavier Carroll, Tougaloo student and art project

Xavier Carroll, Tougaloo student

UNCF Schools to Consider

Eleven UNCF-member schools offer programs for students wishing to work in the arts, including:

Professional Organizations

There are numerous organizations in various arts that offer more insight into working in those fields. A sample list includes:

2 male actors at Wiley College

Wiley College


Several scholarships are available through UNCF. The Target Scholars Program assists incoming freshmen seeking a degree in design and attending select HBCUs. The UNCF General Scholarship Awards are an excellent opportunity for any student going to a UNCF-member college, regardless of their major. The UNCF/Koch Scholars Program offers scholarships, mentorship, academic support and networking opportunities to undergraduate African American students. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program awards a $10,000 scholarship to one exceptional HBCU senior each year who has demonstrated high academic achievement, strong leadership skills, commitment to community service and unmet financial need. 

Regional scholarships are also available via UNCF, such as the Gerald Wilkins Memorial Scholarship, available to Georgia residents.

Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are scholarships available to study the arts.

Reach out for guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in the arts. Submit the form on our website to get started. And follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!