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Studio Arts

Associate of Applied Arts

student using a pottery wheel at TCC's Visual Arts Center

Bring art to life

TCC’s Visual Arts Center houses 15 studios, a rooftop glassblowing lab and a gallery that showcases student and professional artwork

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Tidewater Community College’s Associate of Applied Arts in Studio Arts allows you to explore your interests in art history, drawing, glassblowing, cold glass, photography, videography, painting and drawing, sculpture and printmaking. Graduates leave the program with skills in creative problem solving, critical analysis and research.

At TCC's Visual Arts Center, you'll hone your artistic ability by working directly with faculty who support independent and creative expression. This program focuses on conceptual, historical, theoretical and technical skill development. Through study and studio work, students produce a comprehensive body of work that demonstrates principles and elements of design and development of technical proficiency. Students also benefit from a variety of enrichment activities, including the development of a student magazine, field trips to Washington, D.C, Richmond, and New York City, internships, student art contests and exhibition opportunities.

The associate degree in studio arts is awarded to students in three areas of specialization: glass, photographic media arts and pre-art therapy. Graduates are prepared for a career in the art field as a photographer, videographer, gallery owner or museum curator.

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What does this program cost?

You can complete a 2-year associate degree for less than the cost of 1 year at a 4-year college or university. 

TCC's associate degree in studio arts consists of 4 semesters of full-time study, with classes held mainly at the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth. 

If your schedule doesn't permit full-time attendance, you may also take classes part-time. 

Estimated Program Cost*:
64 credits x $185.35 per credit = $11,862.40 (not including textbooks and supplies)
*Based on Fall 2018 in-state tuition. Your actual cost may differ.

Students are responsible for providing additional materials, such as cameras, memory devices, print materials and safety glasses. The total cost of the program largely depends on the quality and amount of equipment purchased by the student.

Where can you go?

Want to continue your studies towards a bachelor’s degree? If you graduate from TCC’s studio art program you can transfer directly into any one of James Madison University's studio art programs or art history programs or Virginia Wesleyan University studio arts program. Students have also gone on to study in art programs at Chowan University, Belleview University and Norfolk State University.

Is this program for you?

Yes, if you: 

  • are creative
  • have a desire to learn
  • demonstrate patience
  • think independently 
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Veterans, transitioning military, spouses and dependents: TCC’s Center for Military and Veterans Education provides academic guidance and help in maximizing your GI Bill® and other educational benefits.

Learn more about the CMVE

Fanned-out money

Tuition assistance such as financial aid, scholarships, work-study, grants and loans can help you save money and reduce college debt.

Learn more about paying for college

State-of-the-art graphic design Mac labs, including a new multimedia lab with a video studio and 2 sound editing rooms 

You will have the opportunity to contribute to 340 High Street, an annual publication that showcases the best in student artwork

The Visual Arts Center boasts over 2,000 square feet of professional exhibition space

Arts @ TCC

Learn more about the fine and performing arts at TCC


WHRO's "The Scene" explores the Visual Art Center, a hidden gem in Portsmouth


"Generations" exhibit at VAC showcases eclectic collection from prof and his family