The Art Department of Santa Monica College offers an extensive and very well-received program in Studio Art, Art History and Design. The primary mission of our program is to prepare students for upper division study at a four-year, two-year, university or art school and/or to earn an Associate of Arts degree. Secondary objectives include portfolio preparation for students seeking admission to the Arts and Entertainment Academy and other two-year vocational training programs.

We are well known as one of the best foundation art programs in the state, and our students are regularly recruited and given scholarships by the most prominent art schools in the country. These include Cal Arts, Art Center College of Art and Design, San Francisco Art Institute, the Chicago Art Institute, Rhode Island College of Art and Design and the California College of Arts and Crafts.

Degrees and Certificates

Associate in Arts Degree Icon Associate in Arts More information on the Associate in Arts Degree

Get a foundation in general education, then gain the skills needed to excel in your desired field.

Completion of an Associate degree usually will not satisfy transfer major requirements. Meet with a counselor to develop an academic program best suited for you.

Estimated Timeline:
2+ years, 60 units

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Associate in Arts Degree for Transfer Icon Associate in Arts - Transfer More information on the Associate in Arts - Transfer

Prepare yourself to transfer into an upper-division baccalaureate program at a California State University (CSU).

If you are considering a transfer to a UC, private, or out-of-state university, please consult a counselor before applying to transfer, as that institution’s transfer requirements might be different from those required for the AS-T.

Estimated Timeline:
2+ years, 60 units

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Associate in Arts Degree - ArtAssociate in Art Degree Icon

24 units + General Education Requirements

Artists express their thoughts and feelings by creating fine artworks that are primarily intended for aesthetic enjoyment. Related career titles include advertising artist or designer, art administrator, furniture designer, illustrator, courtroom sketcher, medical illustrator, animator, and toy designer. Some organizations that typically employ art majors include studios, museums, auction houses, art councils, educational institutions, hospitals, interior design departments, advertising agencies, and film and media production companies.

PDF FileView Requirements Associate in Art Degree - Art

Associate in Arts for Transfer - Studio ArtsAssociate in Art for Transfer Icon

24 units + General Education Requirements

This AA-T degree is geared toward students who want to transfer into an upper-division baccalaureate program at a California State University (CSU). Artists express their thoughts and feelings by creating fine artworks that are primarily intended for aesthetic enjoyment. Related career titles include advertising artist or designer, art administrator, furniture designer, illustrator, courtroom sketcher, medical illustrator, animator, and toy designer. Some organizations that typically employ art majors include studios, museums, auction houses, art councils, educational institutions, hospitals, interior design departments, advertising agencies, and film and media production companies. Upon completion of the Associate in Arts in Studio Arts for Transfer (AA-T), students will have a strong academic foundation in the field and be prepared for upper division baccalaureate study. Completion of the degree indicates that the student will have satisfied the lower division requirements for transfer into Studio Arts or similar majors for many campuses in the California State University system.

PDF FileView Requirements Associate in Art for Transfer in Studio Arts

Associate in Arts for Transfer - Art HistoryAssociate in Art for Transfer Icon

18 units + General Education Requirements

This AA-T degree is geared toward students who want to transfer into an upper-division baccalaureate program at a California State University (CSU). Upon completion of the AA-T in Art History, students will have a strong academic foundation in the field and be prepared for upper division baccalaureate study. Completion of the degree indicates that the student will have satisfied the lower division requirements for transfer into art history or similar major for many campuses in the California State University system. This degree complies with The Student Transfer Achievement Reform Act (Senate Bill 1440). Students pursuing the AA-T in art history will demonstrate, through written and oral academic work, knowledge of art history, fine art, and visual culture and be prepared to pursue further study in art history or a similar major at the baccalaureate level at the California State University.

PDF FileView Requirements Associate in Art for Transfer in Art History

Potential Career Options

Click on any job title to learn more.

Job Title Typical Education Median Wage
Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary Bachelor's Degree $82,451
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education Bachelor's Degree $79,972
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education Bachelor's Degree $72,175
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education Bachelor's Degree $80,056
Self-Enrichment Education Teachers Bachelor's Degree $42,334
Archivists Master's or Professional Degree $43,347
Curators Bachelor's Degree $71,874
Museum Technicians and Conservators Master's or Professional Degree $47,634
Art Directors Bachelor's Degree $86,450
Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators Bachelor's Degree $33,011
Multimedia Artists and Animators Bachelor's Degree $70,103
Commercial and Industrial Designers Bachelor's Degree $58,780
Graphic Designers Bachelor's Degree $49,082
Set and Exhibit Designers Bachelor's Degree $53,615
Photographers Associate Degree $43,100
Art Therapists Master's or Professional Degree $68,619