Stanford university art program

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Art Practice

The Art Practice program offers production-based courses founded on the concepts, skills and cultural viewpoints that characterize contemporary art practice. Our goal is to educate students, both majors and minors, in the craft, culture, and theory of current fine art practices to prepare them for successful careers as artists. The studio program is designed to develop in-depth skills in more than one area of the visual arts. It emphasizes the expressive potential of an integration of media, often via a cross-disciplinary, interactive path. Through collaboration and connections with scientists, engineers, and humanities scholars, the program addresses a breadth of topical and artistic concerns central to a vital undergraduate education. Students are exposed to a range of practices early in their development in order to have a good basis of comparison if they choose to focus on a particular medium. This sequence of courses also broadens the students’ skills and enables them to combine materials and methods. In all courses students are expected to pass mid term and final reviews and critiques of their work.


Getting into Stanford as an Artist

Martha Collins
Martha Collins

Our collaborative team of content writers and researchers stay up-to-date on the latest news to help you ace your applications. We hope you enjoy the blog.

Meet the team

 Stanford Universityoften earns association with Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, or Engineering. Although Stanford has one of the top STEM programs in the world, the competitive university has expanded in another area: the arts. It may seem counterintuitive to apply to such a STEM based school if you are passionate about the arts. In the past few years, however, we’ve seen something new. Stanford has made a conscious effort to improve its programs and facilities in dance, music, art practice, and art history. This article discusses my journey of getting into Stanford as an artist.

In 2013, the university finished the construction of Stanford Bing Concert Hall. Additionally, Stanford built the McMurtry Building, which is home to the school’s art and art history department. These state-of-the-art facilities indicate Stanford’s growing interest in the arts, and that the school is looking for students to take advantage of these new buildings and programs. 

My journey began…

I personally applied to Stanford as a classically trained ballet dancer who was interested in studying art history. I attended a performing arts high school and had a strong passion for all things artistic. After submitting the common app along with an arts supplement, I was beyond thrilled to find out that I was accepted into Stanford.

Here are some ways you can use your artistic talents and aspirations to get into Stanford University and other top colleges:

Excel in your art form

Colleges like Stanford are looking for students who are incredibly skilled in their craft. In other words, they are looking for artists who are training at a pre-professional level. If you are a musician, start taking classes outside of your high school and join the county orchestra. If you are a dancer, try to take dance classes outside of your local studio and audition for nationally ranked programs.  

Attend summer intensives

 The summer is a wonderful time to enroll in advance programs for your prospective art. Empowerly has created a list of top art summer intensives here. Not only will summer art programs take your artistic talent to the next level, but they will also look great on college applications. 

Combine art and charitable work

Use your artistic talent to raise awareness and/or money for a cause you care about. For example, I put together a dance show and donated the money to a shelter for battered women.

Take an art class at the college

When visiting a college such as Stanford, see if you can drop in and take a dance, music, or art class. 

Submit an arts supplement

Sending in an arts supplement can show colleges that you are serious about your art form. Empowerly can help you decide how to craft your arts supplement here.

Recap: Getting into Stanford as an Artist

Although Stanford is one of the most competitive schools in the nation, having an impressive background in the arts can be a leg-up during the application process. Stanford’s beautiful, new, art-focused buildings demonstrate the university’s interest in attracting artists. 

As for myself, I am starting Stanford’s brand new Master’s program in Art History. I believe that artists have a special place at Stanford; and that if you are interested in the arts, Stanford may be the perfect fit for you. 

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Fine & Studio Arts at Stanford University

The Fine & Studio Arts major is part of the visual & performing artsprogram at Stanford University.

We've pulled together some essential information you should know about the program, including how many students graduate each year, the ethnic diversity of these students, and more. We've also included details on how Stanford ranks compared to other colleges offering a major in Fine Arts.

Jump to any of the following sections:

Fine & Studio Arts Degrees Available at Stanford

Stanford Fine Arts Rankings

The bachelor's program at Stanford was ranked #1 on College Factual's Best Schools for Fine Arts list. It is also ranked #1 in California.

Popularity of Fine Arts at Stanford

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Stanford University handed out 25 bachelor's degrees in fine and studio arts. Due to this, the school was ranked #254 in popularity out of all colleges and universities that offer this degree. This is an increase of 14% over the previous year when 22 degrees were handed out.

In 2020, 6 students received their master’s degree in Fine Arts from Stanford. This makes it the #147 most popular school for Fine Arts master’s degree candidates in the country.

In addition, 12 students received their doctoral degrees in Fine Arts in 2020, making the school the #3 most popular school in the United States for this category of students.

Stanford Fine Arts Students

Take a look at the following statistics related to the make-up of the Fine Arts majors at Stanford University.

Stanford Fine & Studio Arts Bachelor’s Program

For the most recent academic year available, 36% of Fine Arts bachelor's degrees went to men and 64% went to women.


The majority of the students with this major are white. About 56% of 2020 graduates were in this category.

The following table and chart show the ethnic background for students who recently graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's in Fine Arts.

Ethnic BackgroundNumber of Students
Black or African American1
Hispanic or Latino3
Non-Resident Aliens2
Other Races1

Stanford Fine & Studio Arts Master’s Program

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 9 students earned a master's degree in Fine Arts from Stanford. About 33% of these graduates were women and the other 67% were men.


The majority of master's degree recipients in this major at Stanford are white. In the most recent graduating class for which data is available, 56% of students fell into this category.

The following table and chart show the ethnic background for students who recently graduated from Stanford University with a master's in Fine Arts.

Ethnic BackgroundNumber of Students
Black or African American0
Hispanic or Latino0
Non-Resident Aliens2
Other Races1

Majors Similar to Fine Arts

View All Fine & Studio Arts Related Majors >


More about our data sources and methodologies.

My Art Portfolio // RISD, Yale, Stanford, MIT Accepted


University program stanford art


Stanford Arts Welcome Video


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