Complete List of High School Art Classes

Welcome to the world of Art, where you will be able to unleash your creative potential through your passionate art form! Entering the art world, we'll be here to help you navigate through high school art classes and art class selection. Keep reading!
high school art classes
Choose classes from high school and college's perspective

When choosing classes in high school, students are required to take only one full year of Art class. This requirement varies from high school to high school, depending on the educational focus and the school’s curricula. Common Core standards don’t include Art; therefore, students have more flexibility in choosing high school art classes based on their interests. 

High School Art Classes

The arts program in high school encourages students to be involved from foundational level to advanced level as a performer and/or artist. Schools typically have art rooms or art studios available for students to learn and practice. The list of courses offered are below: 

Performing Arts

You will be able to explore all performing-related arts courses tailored to your interest. Before choosing a performing art class, you should check with your school advisor to see which classes are available and their prerequisites.  

Choir

Choir classes are designed for students to improve their vocal independence, confidence, inner hearing, and quality tonal production. Students will study a variety of musical styles and work as an ensemble to perform. 

(Jazz/Concert/Marching) Band / Orchestra

This class is focused on Performing Art at a group level, because students will participate in a band and learn how to perform and harmonize as a group.  

Dance

High schools across America offer a variety of dance classes that provide students with the opportunity to experience dance as physical activity, art form, language, or an academic discipline. We’ve seen many dance offerings in ballet, tap dancing, hip hop, choreography, etc. 

Music / Music Theory   

Similar to dance, music classes can range from beginner level to advanced level, with the possibility of enrollment in auditioned music groups, performing groups, or simply learning about basic music theory if you don’t have prior knowledge/experience in this area.

Theater

In Theater classes, students will learn about aspects of a theater production, from lighting design, set construction, directing, playwriting, and acting. 

Visual Arts

Visual arts classes are crucial for students who’re interested in pursuing Art in college, because the content you will learn from teachers in these classes will provide support through the art portfolio preparation process. You will also be able to experiment with different media within visual arts to find your specialization and passion.  

Visual art classes generally available are: Drawing, Painting, Digital media, Film production, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Ceramics.    

Art History   

A foundational art class outside of actually making art in high school is typically Art History. In this class, you will learn and explore the overview of Art throughout history. You will learn how Art has evolved throughout different periods and in various parts of the world.    

AP Classes

AP classes you can take for college credit are:  

  • AP Art and Design Program – This includes three different classes: AP 2-D Art and Design, AP 3-D Art and Design, and AP Drawing. In each class, you’ll investigate materials, processes, and ideas, and finally produce a portfolio for evaluation. 
  • AP Art History – Explore the history of Art across the globe from prehistory to the present. 
  • AP Music Theory – Learn to recognize, understand, and describe the basic materials and processes of music, finally perform a wide variety of music. 

Take your interest in Art further

If you’re interested in Art and want to discover ways to advance your knowledge, consider four ways to be involved and improve your creative self

Design your own class

If your school has a strong art curriculum, you will be more likely to have an independent study opportunity available. Independent study is where you take your topic of interest in a subject and conduct art research/study 1-on-1 with a teacher. If you are interested in one specific medium or art history in general, you can reach out to an Art teacher at school to express your interest and ask for mentorship in the independent study of your choosing. The initiative to advance your study will help you in college and in your career and create a great impression with the college admission board when you submit your application.   

Join an art club, or even start one of your own

Among all the students in your high school, you won’t be the only one with an interest in Art. Therefore, joining an art club will be the most straightforward first way for you to be involved and immerse yourself in the art scene. Here, you will have the chance to create arts with your peers who share the same interest, take field trips to museums, and create meaningful connections with local artists through attending art events & exhibits.   

Pre-College Art Program

Another way to be involved in Art is to participate in a Pre-College Art Program during the summer. These programs allow students to explore their creativity and express their idea using a variety of mediums. By allowing yourself to be immersed in Art for the summer, you can decide what aspect of Art you want to pursue during college or reconsider your option of going to an art school. We have an article about the top 10 art schools in America, and we also discuss whether art school is right for you. We also provide information about the top-ranking pre-college art program in America.   

Take an online class

Online classes are available anywhere and anytime on different platforms. At Aralia, we offer a signature art portfolio program for students who want to have a portfolio ready for college. Aralia’s Art tutors are inspired teachers and professors who are committed to student success. They are recognized in their field or are currently teaching at top high schools and colleges/universities in the US. More information is provided below:  

ART PORTFOLIO PREPAPATION PROGRAM

Description: For this course, students will conduct a series of painting, design, and three-dimensional design projects. Students have a chance to improve their creative research and material experiment abilities, and finally create an electronic art portfolio.

In the first few lessons, students will focus on observational painting training. They will discuss and study the works of famous artists to increase their knowledge of art and visual culture; students will also examine and do mask-making exercises. The focus of this course is on expressing movements, lines, contours, patterns, and the composition of negative and positive spaces to create patterns and shapes. In the final project, students will explore “Mask and Identity”. During the course, the works created by the students will be photographed and recorded, which will be used in the production of their electronic portfolio.

Project time: Rolling enrollment throughout the year, one class every weekend, 1.5 hours per class 

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

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