Art Certificate Programs at Sessions College

Instructor-Led Art Certificate Programs

Fine Arts Certificate

Expand your drawing, painting, and photography skills

ENROLL NOW for our next start:

August 1, 2024

Program Overview

In the Sessions College Certificate in Fine Arts program, students gain a foundation in art theory and artistic technique. Students enjoy a wide-ranging training in drawing and painting that instils a rigorous, traditional approach to representing still life and human figure subjects with attention to critical concepts of line, mass, form, perspective, value, and composition.

  • Learn painting, drawing, and photography studying entirely online.
  • Follow a rigorous, traditional approach to representing still life and human subjects.
  • Explore critical concepts of line, mass, form, perspective, value, color, and composition.
  • Enrich your vocabulary in the visual arts.
  • Gain feedback on your work from trained artists.

Instructor-Led Program

  • Project-based courses from industry-leading design and digital media professionals.
  • Learn at your own pace—no mandatory logins or preset meeting times.
  • Build skills through mentoring and critique from expert instructors.

A Better Way to Learn

Study at your own pace


Study 100% online from anywhere with 24/7 access to classes.

Learn by doing


Complete your program on your own time in 9 months or less.

Connect with pros

Industry Relevant

Develop in-demand skills for your creative field.

grow your portfolio


Customize your program with added courses and concentrations.

Fine Arts Courses

Program Curriculum

Designed for the busy adult learner, the Certificate in Fine Arts is a 360 clock hour program completed in nine months or less studying part time.

Level 1

Level 2

Course Descriptions

4803 Intro to Visual Arts

Develop an understanding of the visual arts by exploring your own artistic creativity. You'll explore paintings, sculptures, experimental pieces, and more, learning to critique their composition and decode their social or political purpose. You'll be introduced to the elements that make up a visual message and build a vocabulary of fundamental terms and compositional techniques. Learn more

4018 Intro To Drawing

Learn how to draw with proper techniques, learning how to represent what they see through studies in contour drawing, perspective, positive/negative space, and value. As you progress through this class, you will develop a better understanding of the forms you are observing and become more skillful in representing those forms. Learn more

4800 History of Art

Build a foundation in art history and gain a deep understanding of art and the artists who create it. Explore profound themes that have concerned artists for centuries: nature, the human body, society, religion, and politics. Through engaging lectures and projects, you’ll learn how to identify the mediums, materials, and techniques artists use and discuss the styles of important artists, art movements, and historical periods from antiquity through the mid-20th century. Learn more

4501 Drawing I

Learn how to analyze what you see in the world around you and communicate it on paper. Through hands-on projects, and guided by a professional artist, you will explore the critical concepts of line, mass, form, perspective, value, and composition, building a solid foundation for all your art and design work. Learn more

7002 Digital Photography I

Explore the interaction of photography techniques and environmental factors to create powerful digital images. Students learn the fundamentals of lighting, perspective, and set up and explore techniques for classic assignments: portraits, product shots, indoor and outdoor location shoots, and fast-action sports. Whether you’re a fine artist, graphic designer, or Web developer, a mastery of digital photography gives you creative control of the medium. Learn more

4502 Figure Drawing

Follow traditional methods to learn the standard measures and proportions artists use to achieve naturalistic and expressive figure drawings. Illustrations and activities guide students through the structure of the human skeleton and help them understand how the body’s anatomy shapes its external form. The course builds progressively from the fundamentals to the challenges of portraiture, three-dimensional form, composition, and expression. Learn more

4700 Painting I

After a thorough orientation to the painter’s materials (paint, canvas, brushes, and solvents), students study a systematic and time-honored approach to painting that enables them to capture proportion, perspective, and lighting. Students learn how to build a foundation with preparatory sketches and underpainting, then gain control over value through monochromatic painting and color studies. Learn more

Build Your Own Learning Path

This program is adaptable to a wide range of experience levels. Choose the option(s) below that best meet your learning goals.

Option 1


New to the field? Simply complete all required courses in the certificate program.

Option 2


Already have some industry and/or software experience? Customize up to 50% of your programChoose from courses in Graphic Design, Software, Motion & Video, and more by choosing alternate courses.

Option 3


Need more training? After you've completed your program, add concentrations at reduced tuitionChoose from concentrations in Graphic Design, Digital Photography, Illustration, and more to enhance your creative skills.

Program Outcomes

By completing the program, Certificate in Fine Arts students develop the following competencies:

1. Drawing

Draw utilizing traditional media and classic techniques, demonstrating a command of proportion, perspective, value contrast, and the human figure.

2. Painting

Paint utilizing traditional media and classic techniques, demonstrating a command of proportion, perspective, value contrast, and the human figure.

3. Photography

Demonstrate effective and efficient use of a digital camera to create photographs applying well considered framing, exposure, composition, perspective, distance, and lighting.

4. Art/Design Principles

Demonstrate the ability to produce visually compelling artwork by applying knowledge of color and composition.

Sessions Student Work

Career Outlook for Fine Artists

Fine artists create art for sale and exhibition using a variety of concepts, techniques, and materials. Artists need to demonstrate artistic ability, business skills, creativity, customer-service skills, dexterity, and interpersonal skills.

Job Titles

Graduates could be employed as Cartoonists, Fine-Art Painters, Illustrators, Public Artists, or Sketch Artists.

Median Annual Wage

The median annual wage for craft and fine artists was $52,910 in May 2023.

In 2023, median annual wages for craft and fine artists were as follows:

Artists and related workers, all other$74,750
Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators$59,300
Craft artists$36,600

Job Projections

Overall employment of craft and fine artists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2022 to 2032.

About 5,500 openings for craft and fine artists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

What Students Say

Sessions College provided exactly what I was looking for. They were willing to help me even though I wasn’t an “artist” with a portfolio. I wanted to better educate myself in the fine arts and learn the basics of drawing and painting. Sessions College is doing that for me. I have also been able to travel and take my studies with me. I really like that I can go online anytime and work on one of my courses!

Joell Restad

Certificate in Fine Arts, Class of 2023

Getting Started

Our Fine Arts Certificate online application process makes getting started easy, fast, and convenient.

What's the Admissions Process?
Open Admissions.

The Professional Certificate is open admissions, with classes starting each month. To apply for the program, simply complete our free, no-obligation application and select your program options. Applicants are expected to have graduated high school.

How Long is the Program?
Nine Month Program.

The program can be completed in nine months studying on a part time schedule. Since you study at your pace, you may complete it sooner! If you need more time to complete, there is a painless extension policy for an additional 6 months of access for students who qualify based on academic progress.

Will the Program Fit My Schedule?

There are no set login times, so you can complete your program at your own pace in our most flexible program. A designated Student Advisor will track your progress from class to class, providing you support and motivation.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?

To take this program, you’ll need the following:

  • Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
  • Basic drawing and painting supplies including pencils, paper, oil paints. Full supplies list provided in class.
  • A digital camera, adjustable ISO and adjustable white balance features recommended
  • A digital imaging application such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom recommended.
  • Your computer must meet any software manufacturer requirements.

There are no textbook or course material costs to participate in this online program. Student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud software is available to enrolled students.

What are the Program Costs?

Sessions College programs are flexible and affordable. There are no textbooks required; tuition costs include all digital materials.

Tuition and FeesProfessional CertificateProfessional Certificate PLUS
Registration Fee$200$200
Total Cost$2,750$3,750

Paid in Full Discount: Total cost is $2,700 (regularly $2,750) for Professional Certificate students who pay in full. Total cost for Professional Certificate PLUS students who pay in full is $3,700 (regularly $3,750).

Enrollment in any certificate program requires a $200 registration fee (non-refundable after 5 days of enrollment in the program). All tuition and fees must be paid on time, including those paid by third parties.

Can I Use a Payment Plan?

Most definitely. Affording your education is easier with our Payment Plan.

  1. Pay for your Professional Certificate with 11 monthly payments of $250, or pay for your Professional Certificate PLUS with 13 monthly payments of $288.
  2. Once you’ve set up your plan, your payments are automatic.
  3. Your first payment which includes a $200 Registration Fee.