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Career Exploration

Our BA and BFA degree programs serve as the basis for a career as a professional artist. The insights you acquire while making art combined with the analytical skills you develop in your liberal arts coursework prepare you for a world that requires both perspective and flexibility. Liberal arts training is a broad-based education that prepares you for a number of employment options or graduate study in a range of fields.

Career Paths in Art

After graduation, our students embark upon a wide variety of careers in studio practice, teaching, nonprofit arts organizations, and creative services. We are continually expanding collaborations with other academic departments, communities, and international partners to provide students with pathways to professional opportunities in the arts and beyond.

Many of our majors go on to successful careers as working artists or to related vocations in museums and galleries, art-related businesses, arts organizations, and video and television production. Others pursue advanced education to gain qualifications to teach in public schools or at the college level.

Below is just a sampling of the kinds of professional experiences artists can seek both during their education and beyond:

  • Studio Practice
    • Grants, Fellowships, Residencies
    • Gallery Representation
    • Commissioned Artwork and Public Art
  • Creative Practice
    • Advertising, Design, and Marketing
    • Production Studio
  • Education
    • Elementary and Secondary Teaching (MEd)
    • University Teaching (MFA)
    • Community Arts Programs
    • Museum Education
  • Non-Profit and Arts Administration
    • Volunteer Management, Project Management, and Administration
    • Public Relations and Marketing
  • Gallery and Museum Careers
    • Exhibit Installation, Production, and Design
    • Curator
    • Fundraising and External Relations
    • Registration and Conservation


One of the most significant advantages of studying art at the University of Minnesota is the opportunity to “hybridize” your education and skills. Many art majors, both BA and BFA students, complete an additional major or minor in a related career area.
Below is a list of some of the most common hybrids and some of the career fields associated with the combination of art and each discipline.

Art + Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Journalism & Mass Communication

Photojournalism, Arts Writing, Media Design, Advertising, Public Relations

Art + Psychology

Department of Psychology

Art Therapy, Product Development, Usability and Human Factors, Design Systems

Art + English

Department of English

Comic Art, Graphic Novel, Screenwriting, Arts Writing, Public Relations, Animation, Storyboarding, Grantwriter

Art + Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and Studies in Cinema and Media Culture

Department of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature

Arts Writing, Curating, Media Design and Production,

Art + Business

Carlson School of Management

Marketing, Arts Entrepreneur, Buyer, Consulting, Account Management

Art + Design

College of Design

Graphic Design, Retail Merchandising, Product Design

Art + Education

College of Education and Human Development

Museum Education, Art Education, Special Education