Programs of Study

Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts AFA

Program Description

The Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts (AFA) degree is designed to transfer into baccalaureate degree programs for students who wish to complete a Bachelor in Fines Arts (BFA) degree in Art or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree with a major in Art. The curriculum provides General Education courses required of liberal arts students and art specialization courses required by four-year institutions. The purpose of the AFA degree is to provide the first two years of preparation for those students interested in careers in applied art.  

The AFA degree is not part of the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement (CAA) and is not uniformly transferable to all 16 state universities and colleges in the North Carolina University System. The degree focuses on continued training in Art to enhance the portfolio of students seeking competitive admission to bachelor’s degree programs. 

Upon transfer, students will still be required to meet the General Education Core requirements of the receiving college or university as well as foreign language and/or health and physical education requirements of the receiving college or university.  The AFA is also appropriate for students who want additional training in art for their present career, without the need to pursue a bachelor’s degree. 

Admission Criteria

Admission to this program requires that students be high school graduates or have a recognized equivalency. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Articulate and critique different fine art theories.
  • Demonstrate the ability to collect, interpret, and formulate conclusions from data.
  • Write and/or speak with clarity, coherence, and persuasiveness.
  • Demonstrate how historical, philosophical, cultural, global, and/or socioeconomic factors affect human interactions and behaviors.

Career Opportunities

  • Graphic artist
  • Digital artist/Photographer
  • Sculptor (wood, metal, stone, etc.)
  • Art restoration
  • Fashion
  • Jewelry
  • Interior designer
  • Animator
  • Painter
  • Ceramics artist
  • Art historian/Curator
  • Cartoonist
  • Educator
  • Artistic director
  • Talent scout/Agent
  • Critic (newspaper, online blogging, etc.)
  • Commercial/newspaper photographer
  • Marketing
  • Product/industrial design
  • Illustrator

Transfer Opportunities

All courses within the AFA will transfer to UNC-system schools; however, universities without BFA degrees may transfer specialized art courses as electives.

Academic advisors are the best source of information in preparing specific portfolio requirements for university programs.

Contact Information

Program Coordinator of Visual Arts

Dean, Liberal Arts and University Transfer

Admissions Office

 Transfer Elective and UGETC Requirement Options

*The listing of Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) courses can be found under General Education Course Electives.

Select from Communication/Humanities, History, Literature, Natural Sciences, Social/Behavioral Sciences UGETC courses listed under the Transfer Electives section. Other Transfer Electives are listed in the same section. See an advisor to determine the best course for your program. 

ART 121 is a prerequisite for any studio art course in two-dimensional art with the exception of ART 131. ART 122 is a prerequisite of any studio art class in three-dimensional art. These prerequisites apply within the Fine Arts degree, not to the courses themselves.

Students planning to transfer to bachelor-level programs should select courses in their third and fourth semesters from AFA Level I courses and take their AFA Level II courses at their senior institution. Students not planning on transferring may opt to take AFA Level II courses in place of AFA Level I courses.

Degree Requirements


General Education Core (25-26 SHC)

Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC)

All Universal General Education Transfer Component (UGETC) courses will transfer to any one of the 16 UNC-System universities.

Courses in this program

English Composition

6 SHC required.

Communication/Humanities/Fine Arts

6 SHC required. Select two courses from at least two different disciplines (prefixes). One must be a literature course.

Social/Behavioral Sciences

6 SHC required. Select two courses from at least two different disciplines (prefixes). One must be a history course.


3-4 SHC required. Select one course.

Natural Sciences

4 SHC required. Select one course, including accompanying laboratory work.

Other Required Hours (35 SHC)

Courses in this program

Academic Transition

1 SHC required.

Art Required Hours

18 SHC. Additional Art required hours: 9. Take from courses with an ART prefix. One course is recommended to be a digital art course.

Additional Semester Hours

Select 7 additional semester hours from General Education, Universal General Education Transfer Component and Elective courses which been approved for transfer. See the complete Courses Approved for Transfer list.