Earn your bachelor’s degree in Art (BA) at the University of Montana

Join a comprehensive and challenging program that explores a wide range of media. We offer a variety of classes from ceramics to animation; painting to game design; sculpture to digital filmmaking.

At UM, you’ll learn from nationally known artists who exhibit in more than 17 countries, in venues including the National Portrait Gallery, Harvard University, Smithsonian Institute, New York Public Library, and Fule International Ceramic Art Museums. You’ll also get plenty of individual attention and personal support working in small classes with faculty and your fellow art majors.

In addition to being offered at our main campus in Missoula, Montana, the bachelor’s degree in art is also available fully online.


different creative processes taught in the UM art program


online classes offered


of alumni report art skills essential for their current job

Other degree options for art at UM

Master of Fine Arts in Art

Master of Fine Arts in Media Arts

Bachelor of Arts in Online Media Arts

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Arts and Technology

What can you do with an art degree?

Art is a powerful medium in today's visual culture. From the world of fine arts to media and advertising, a degree in art can open the door to a broad spectrum of careers. As an art major, you’ll also gain creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills that employers value most.

Nearly every cultural organization in our region is staffed with our graduates, and many have received prestigious awards, including Fulbright Fellowships and international residencies. In a recent survey of UM School of Visual and Media Arts alumni, nearly 90% said their current job was creative, fit their values and interests, and contributed to the greater good.

Art degree jobs

What can you do with an art degree? Here are just a few of your potential career options:

• Artist

• Illustrator

• Graphic designer

• Web designer

• Curator

• Gallery director

• Printmaker

• Advertising art director

• Art teacher

• Exhibition designer

• Art therapist

• Community arts worker

Art degree salary

Art is an expression of creativity and human imagination. But it’s also a practical course of study that will prepare you for potentially well-paying careers, depending on your field of interest. Here are average salaries for some of the jobs you might pursue with an art degree:*

• Craft and fine artists: $48,760

• Graphic designer: $52,110

• Special effects artists and animators: $75,270

• Digital designer: $77,200

• Art director: $100,890

*Based on recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Alumni Success Story

“It amazes me how oddly but perfectly my background as a student in studio art has helped me become a more effective communicator of science. I love that I get to be creative in my current job even if it does’t involve mixing paint!”

- Emily Graslie, graduate of the UM art program, former Chief Curiosity Correspondent for the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and host of “The Brain Scoop,” a natural history themed YouTube channel. Emily also produces and hosts the television show “Prehistoric Road Trip,” which airs nationally on PBS.

Experiential learning in the art program at UM

Challenge yourself, enrich your creativity, get hands-on experience, and build your portfolio. Experiential learning opportunities in and around the vibrant art community of Missoula help make UM one of the best colleges for creative majors in the region.

Nearly every cultural institution in our area — from museums to design firms to art galleries — are staffed with interns from UM’s art programs. Learn more about internship opportunities for art majors.  

Our art students regularly mount exhibitions on-campus and downtown, and graduate students run a gallery in Missoula and host a monthly art symposium. Other exciting opportunities include:

  • Creating sculptures and murals in downtown Missoula as part of a public art course.
  • Traveling across Montana taking field-based drawing courses.
  • Taking a ceramics course that culminates in the weeklong firing of our 40-foot-long Anagama kiln.

Career development in the art bachelor’s degree program

Get the support you need to take your art to the next level and prepare for the career you want. Although we are the largest creative school in a five-state region, our program has a strong sense of community. Count on small, personalized classes, plenty of one-on-one mentorship, and faculty and staff members who care about your success.

Art students at the University of Montana regularly accompany faculty to national conferences and participate in field trips to diverse art exhibitions and events. Our visiting artist program also brings nationally known artists and scholars to meet with students.

Art scholarships

Get extra help paying for your bachelor’s degree in art. We offer a number of scholarships specifically designed for art majors, ranging from $500 to $4,000. Learn more about art scholarship opportunities at the University of Montana.

Explore classes in the art major

Required courses for the bachelor’s degree in art cover topics including art history, drawing, media arts, film editing, and more. We also offer a wide range of courses that you can combine in different ways based on your interests and career goals.

View all classes for the bachelor’s degree in art.