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Program Description

Just the Facts

Sculpture. A program that prepares individuals creatively and technically to express emotions, ideas, or inner visions by creating three-dimensional art works. Includes instruction in the analysis of form in space; round and relief concepts; sculptural composition; modern and experimental methods; different media such as clay, plaster, wood, stone, and metal; techniques such as carving, molding, welding, casting, and modeling; and personal style development.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Related Careers

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Additional Information

Leave the textbooks at home. Sculpture programs rely more on demonstrations and presentations.

In university and college arts programs, students can enroll in a few sculpture classes. However, institutions that specialize solely in arts, such as the Chicago Institute of Art, may offer more detailed programs and training.

At San Jose State University in California, students can choose either a bachelor's degree in art (BA) or in fine arts (BFA). The BFA degree is a longer program. It also concentrates more heavily on studio work.

Richard Prince is an associate professor of fine arts. If you were to sit in on the art history component of his sculpture class, you would be looking at the techniques of many 20th-century sculptors.

"These classes are not only about learning [the] technology of basic sculpture, but about expressing ideas," says Prince.

Often, professors will put reading material on reserve at the library, but most of the work is either practical or listening and learning. After studying the work of others and learning studio techniques, you can start your own project.

"In the third and fourth years, we push an interdisciplinary approach," says Prince. Students may decide to combine sculpture with photography, for example.

Neil Fiertel is a professor of sculpture. He says there are critiques and discussions, as well as demonstrations, in order to teach students about the art form.

"There is extensive use of the life model, and the preferred material is ceramic clays, which are either cast or fired directly by kiln," Fiertel says. Another professor in the program teaches modernist sculpture. In this more advanced class, welded steel is the preferred medium.

Many schools and art institutes require portfolios.

"Artists should be curious about the world and intellectually prepared," says Prince.

In high school, he suggests an academic program that includes literature, foreign languages, math and science. Concentrate on academic training rather than practical training. Physics, for example, is important to a sculptor.

You'll have to pay for studio supplies, materials and safety equipment.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information on this field of study, see: Craft and Fine Artists

A Comprehensive Resource for Sculptors
Useful links, including sculpture schools and associations

International Sculpture Center
Seek some inspiration


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