Art Schools in Iowa

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For those people in Iowa, with a passion for art, there are many spectacular fields of art that they may choose to work within.

With today’s technology, the field of art has grown dramatically.

Not only can people choose to work within fields such as painting and sculpture; but, today, they can now work in such fields as web design, web animation, web advertising and game design, as well.

There are many sensational art schools in Iowa for people to choose among, and following are some of the top institutions in the state.

Schools of Art in Iowa

Below are some of the best Art Schools for Art Classes, Courses, Programs and Degrees for Artists.

Des Moines Art Center

Des Moines Art Center, approved by the Iowa Arts Council, offers many incredible art classes for people of all ages. If people would like to find out about all of the amazing classes that the center offers, they can call them at-515-277-4405, or they may write to them at-4700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, 50312. They can also request information by filling out a brief form online at-

The center offers many classes for both children and adults, alike. Some of the exceptional adult classes offered by the center are as follows-Lost Wax Casting, Pastel and Conte Drawing, Graffiti and Glass, Portrait Drawing, Stained Glass, Anatomy of Figure Drawing, Advanced Drawing and Painting, Beginning and Intermediate Watercolor, Building the Figure From Clay, Wheel Throwing/Beginning and Intermediate, Basic Jewelry Techniques/Open Studio, Fundamentals of SLR Digital Photography, Painting with Acrylics, Painting with Oils, Tatting, Beginning Chinese Calligraphy, Introduction to Ceramics, Bamboo Painting, Confident Painting, Figure Painting, Open Studio/Collagraphs and Monotypes, Drawing for Beginners, Jewelry Bites, Calaveras, The Art of Penmanship, Art for the Intimidated, Simple Leather Bindings, Wet Work/An Experimental Watercolor Workshop, Mosaics, and Post Impressionism.

Following are some of the remarkable classes that the center offers for youths-Manga and Manga Mini-Sculptures, My So-Called Drawing and Painting Class, Ceramics, Drawing and Watercolor, Creating With Clay, Painterly Portraits, Publish It, Art Adventures, Art 101, Creative Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, Artroom, Painting, Cartooning and Drawing, Magic Tree House, Big Nate, Manga, Drawing and Sculpture, Drawing on Imagination, In the Studio Together, Architectural Design, Digital Photography, Special Artists on the Spectrum, Sculpture, Papier Mache Masterpieces, Mosaics, Wire Animals/Abstract Action Art, Fun Fabric Designs/The Wonders of Watercolor, and Painterly Pastels/Bad Hair Day Prints.

School of Art and Art History

The School of Art and Art History, located in Iowa City, is an extension of The University of Iowa and holds accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission. The terrific programs that the school offers include art history, studio art and art education. Those individuals, who would like to attend the School of Art and Art History, can phone them at-319-335-3500 or write to them at-301 East Jefferson Street, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242. They can also find the application procedures online at-

Students, who wish to attend the school, should write and submit a brief statement explaining their educational goals and why they want to attend the school. They should also submit two letters of recommendation. In some cases, students may not need to fulfill these requirements if they score high on college exams such as the SAT and ACT exams.

Students, who choose to earn a bachelor of arts degree in art history, must take the following basic education classes-one Rhetoric elective, Interpretation of Literature, two Foreign Language courses, two Natural Science courses and one lab, Quantitative or Formal Reasoning elective, Social Science, Historical Perspectives elective, International and Global Issues elective, one Fine Arts elective, and one Diversity elective.

They must also take the following program-related classes-Western Art and Culture/Before 1400, Western Art and Culture/After 1400, Writing for the Visual Arts, Arts of Africa or Asian Art and Culture, Design Fundamentals, three Art-Related electives, Undergraduate Seminar in the History of Art, five Upper-Level Art History electives, Basic Drawing, at least one additional Studio Art elective, and at least three additional Free electives.

Colleges and Universities in Iowa

Below are some of the most popular Colleges that offer Art Courses for Art Students.

Briar Cliff University

Located in Sioux City and accredited with the Higher Learning Commission, Briar Cliff University has splendid programs in art, graphic design, music and theater. Those students, who would like to find out how to apply to the university, can call the admission’s office at-800-662-3303 or write to them at the following address-3303 Rebecca Street, Sioux City, Iowa, 51104. They can also find essential information online at-

For students to earn a bachelor of arts degree in art, they must complete the following liberal education courses-two Aesthetics electives, Physical or Life Science, Social and Behavioral Science, World Cultures/Diversity course, one History elective, Theology, Ethics and Morality, Global Society, Critical Thinking, Oral Communication, Written Communication, Quantitative Literacy, English, and Information Technology.

Following are the art-related courses that they will need to complete-Drawing I and II, Design, Art History/Prehistory to Gothic, Art History/Renaissance to Modern, Art History/Modern, Reading Seminar, Media and Techniques, Encounter with Art I and II, Studio I through VI, Senior Seminar, Thesis, and Web Publishing.

Central College

Central College in Pella has excellent programs in art, music, music education and theater, all accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. For students to learn about Central College and its programs, they can call the schools information line at-877-462-3687, or they can visit the campus online at- They can also request a program pamphlet by writing to-812 University, Pella, Iowa, 50219.

Students, who wish to major in art at Central College, will need to fulfill a variety of basic education requirements including the following classes-Intersections, Liberal Arts Seminar, Fine Arts elective, Historical Perspective, Literature and Philosophy, Mathematical Reasoning, Natural Science, Religion, Social and Behavioral Inquiry, Foreign Language, two International Studies electives, and four Writing electives.

They will also need to fulfill many different art-oriented classes including the following-Drawing I, Introduction to Visual Language, 3D Design, History of Art/Ancient through Medieval or History of Art/Renaissance through Modern, Art Theory and Criticism, at least three additional Studio Art electives, and at least three additional Art History electives.

Upper Iowa University

Located in Fayette and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Upper Iowa University offers outstanding programs in art, graphic design and art therapy. Those people, who would like to study within any of these areas, can phone the university at-800-553-4150 or write to them at the following mailing address-605 Washington Street, Post Office Box 1857, Fayette, Iowa, 52142. They can also read all about the school and its programs online at-

If students choose to major in art, they will need to take several general education and art-specific courses. The general educations courses are as follows-Basic Composition, Expository Writing, English Composition II, Writing for Business, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communications, Communications in the Workplace or Organizational Communication, Physical Science, Biological Science, Diversity elective, Mathematics, and Social Science.

The art-specific courses they will need to take are the following classes-2-D Foundations, Drawing, 3-D Foundations, Painting Printmaking, Sculpture, Graphic Design, two Art History electives, Ceramics/Hand Building or Ceramics/Wheel Throwing, at least two additional Art Studio electives, and Senior Thesis/Portfolio.

Clarke University

Clarke University in Dubuque has several fascinating art programs including studio art, art education, graphic design and music, accredited by the New England Association of Colleges and Schools. If people would like to attend Clarke University, they can find out about the application process by calling the main office at-888-825-2753 or by writing to the campus at their mailing address-1550 Clarke Drive, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001. They can also find out how to apply to the university by visiting their website at-

For students to earn a bachelor of fine arts degree in studio art, they must take the following basic skills classes-Cornerstone I and II, Foundations of the Spiritual Life, Fundamentals of Philosophy, Fine Arts elective, Humanities elective, Mathematics, Natural Science, Western Civilization I and II, and Social Science.

Students must also take the following art-oriented classes to earn their bachelors degrees-Drawing I, Life Drawing I, at least one additional Drawing elective, Design, Color Theory, Digital Imaging, Three-Dimensional Media/Ceramics, Three-Dimensional Media/Sculpture, Two-Dimensional Media/Drawing, Two-Dimensional Media/Painting, Two-Dimensional Media/Printmaking, at least three additional Studio electives, Art of the Western World I and II, at least four Art History electives, Sophomore Portfolio Review, Junior Portfolio Review, Senior Performance Seminar, and Philosophy and the Arts.

Northwestern College

Northwestern College in Orange City, accredited with the Higher Learning Commission, has fantastic programs in art, graphic design, music and theater. People can call the college for program details at-712-707-7000, or they may write to them at-101 7th Street Southwest, Orange City, Iowa, 51041. They can also find helpful information online at-

Students, who choose to major in art at Northwestern College, will need to complete the following liberal education classes-two Biblical and Theological Studies electives, Cross-Cultural Studies, Fine Arts elective, two History electives, Kinesiology, two Foreign Language courses, Literature, Mathematics, Natural Science, Philosophy, Social Science, Speech, and Writing.

They will also need to complete the following key requirements-Art History Survey/Prehistoric through Medieval, Art History Survey/Renaissance through Early 20th Century, Drawing, Ceramics, Sculpture, Printmaking, Painting, Art Since 1940, at least one advance Studio Art course, Junior Portfolio Review, and Senior Portfolio Review.

Coe College

Coe College in Cedar Rapids offers superior programs in art, music and theater, accredited with the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. If people would like to learn about any of these programs, they can read about them online at- They can also request a program brochure or college catalog by calling the school at-319-399-8500 or by writing to them at-1220 First Avenue Northeast, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52402.

Those people, who wish to major in art, will need to complete several general education requirements as set by the school. These requirements are as follows-First-Year Seminar, one Fine Arts elective, two Humanities electives, Natural Science, Mathematics, two Social Science courses, two Foreign Language courses, Practicum, Internship, and Diverse Western Perspectives.

They will also need to complete several art-related requirements as follows-Drawing I, Three-Dimensional Fundamentals or Ceramics I or Sculpture I, Digital Art I or Photography I or Printmaking I, Introduction to Art History, Early 20th Century Art or Late Modern and Contemporary Art, at least one additional Art History elective, at least four additional Art-Related electives, Junior Review, and Senior Exhibition.

Other Top Art Schools in the State of Iowa

  • Buena Vista University-Storm Lake
  • University of Northern Iowa-Cedar Falls
  • Cornell College-Mount Vernon
  • University of Dubuque-Dubuque
  • Drake University-Des Moines
  • Dordt College-Sioux Center
  • Saint Ambrose University-Davenport
  • Mount Mercy College-Cedar Rapids
  • Graceland University-Lamoni

Outline to a Successful Art Career in Iowa

Below are some of the basic Requirements and Supplies an aspiring Artist will need.

A. Common Art School Entrance Requirements

1. College/University Application and Applicable Fees
2. High-School and/or other Transcripts
3. ACT/SAT Scores
4. Placement Tests in Key Areas
5. Art Portfolios and/or Auditions
6. Letter/s of Recommendation
7. Essay/Personal Statement
8. Relevant Skills/Experience
9. Orientation/Tour and/or Interview

B. Common Art Program Completion Requirements

1. Art Capstone

  • Research Papers or Projects
  • Art Projects
  • Exhibitions or Presentations
  • Essays
  • Art Portfolios

2. Apprenticeship/Internship
3. Junior and/or Senior Project
4. Junior and/or Senior Thesis

C. Common Supplies Necessary for Many Art Programs

1. Digital Camera
2. Laptop
3. Basic Paint Supplies
4. Drawing Pads and Utensils
5. Erasers and Sharpener
6. Scissors and X-Acto Cutting Tool
7. Glue Sticks and Masking Tape
8. Measuring Tape, Steel Ruler and T-Square
9. Staple Gun

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