The Master of Arts in Art: Painting and Drawing concentration

In this program, you will build on what you mastered in your undergraduate degree program, refining your technical and aesthetic abilities through guided independent study. The Master’s in Painting and Drawing is geared toward students looking to expand their portfolio at the graduate level, and to further their studio practice in an academic environment. Small class sizes provide for one-on-one relationships with faculty and cohort members.

You can tap into Pittsburgh’s thriving arts scene to facilitate your professional growth and enjoy course visits with industry professionals such as curators, art dealers and artists. 

A Carlow student listens on his headphones as he works on his laptop.
In Grace Library, spanning the third and fourth floor of the University Commons, there are numerous quiet spaces and study rooms for individuals and groups to use.
Credits required:

30 credits

Cost per credit:


Time to degree:

As few as 4 semesters


On campus, some online

Master’s in Painting and Drawing curriculum 

The curriculum includes six consecutive studio-based seminar courses, an elective in a different medium such as clay or digital art, an art history or contemporary art research study tailored to your studio art practice, and a thesis and graduate exhibition. In optional 1-credit courses, you can learn about professional practice for creative freelancers and develop a project around a field trip to New York City. Full-semester and accelerated options are available. 

The graduate program focuses heavily on concept, and you will be encouraged to experiment with multimedia processes and collaborate with peers.

Quick facts

  • Tailor your learning experience to your academic and professional interests with one-on-one guidance
  • Take evening classes for schedule flexibility
  • Connect with faculty and cohort members with small class sizes
  • Gain gallery experience in Carlow’s on-campus art gallery
Portrait of contemporary bearded artist working in art studio painting pictures looking focused and concentrated

Alternate degree completion options


Fast track your way into this master’s program by taking graduate courses as a Carlow undergraduate student. Course credits count toward both degrees. Apply for the accelerated option after your sophomore year.

Career opportunities for Painting and Drawing

With a master’s in Painting and Drawing, career options include instructor or professor, illustrator or animator, and arts administrator.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for multimedia artists and animators is slated to grow 4% over the next 10 years, largely driven by the demand from movies, video games and television.

Admission requirements and application process

You can apply for free online, and must submit the following materials:

  • Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions you have attended
  • Representative portfolio of your work
  • Personal essay that describes your academic objectives
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation that address your leadership potential and ability to succeed in graduate-level work


Start terms:

Fall, Spring & Summer

An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred; however, provisional admission is also possible if you do not meet all of the admission criteria but exhibit a strong possibility of academic success.

Painting & Drawing faculty

Contact Admissions

If you are interested in this graduate program, our Admissions team is available to help you with the next steps, including scheduling an on-campus visit or attending an upcoming event.

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