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Study in USA for Indian Students after 12th Arts – Best Courses

Updated on 01 April, 2024

Neha Uppal

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

About one-fourth of the top universities for arts and humanities worldwide are in the USA. The country currently has over 900 accredited and renowned art colleges that accept international students, which makes studying in the USA for Indian students after 12th Arts convenient.

The average cost of studying humanities in the USA ranges between USD 8,000 (INR 6,02,436) to USD 55,000 (INR 41,41,748).

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Top Courses in the USA for Arts Students

Studying abroad after 12th in the Arts stream is now as promising as pursuing STEM and various other business management courses from foreign countries.

Here are some of the most popular courses in the USA for students in humanities:  

Bachelors in English:

A bachelor’s in the English language is an academic degree for candidates with an interest in English literature. Harvard University, Yale University, and Stanford Universities are the top educational institutions for BA in English after class 12.

The curriculum focuses on critical thinking, theories, literary analysis, and review along with developing good communication skills through a rigorous academic curriculum of literature, composition, language and linguistics, and communication studies. Career opportunities after the course include teaching, marketing, creative writing, advertising, journalism, and public relations among others.

Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication:

Indian students after completing their 12th can take up a UG course in journalism and mass communication. Upon course completion, the graduates can work with various media houses. They can also seek jobs in advertising, branding, social media, marketing, media research, broadcast news, publication design, public relations, photojournalism, radio journalism, and others. Yale and Harvard offer the best courses in journalism in the country.

Bachelor of Fashion Design:

It is a perfect study option in the USA for Indian students after 12th Arts. Bachelor of Fashion Design (BFD) is a three-year full-time undergraduate course taken up by students after high school. The BFD course involves studying patterns and trends in the fashion industry and how well the students can create unique designs for footwear, jewellery, and accessories. It is a high-paying industry, and the jobs available after completion of this course are retail buyer, personal shopper, merchandiser, fashion designer, and textile designer among others.

Bachelor of Hotel Management:

The hotel industry in the US hires Hotel Management graduates throughout the year. The program focuses on tourism, lodging management, event management, and the food and beverage industry. During the program, there are internships where the students need to work in the hotels to gain experience. The job roles that can be expected are catering officer, event planner, accommodation manager, hotel manager, stewards, bartenders, sales manager, service manager, and food manager among others. The salaries are high, and the graduates can explore a wide range of opportunities worldwide with a degree from the US.

Bachelor of Business Administration:

The demand for business graduates is high globally. It is a good career option, with an ample number of job prospects from various industry verticals. Industries like Sales, Marketing, Finance, Education, and Hospitality hire business graduates throughout the year. Some of the coursework includes business administration, entrepreneurship skills, and developing the right strategies for business growth.

Bachelor of Fine Arts:

Students with creative minds often opt for a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts after completion of grade 12. It is a full-time undergraduate study program for three years. The course includes Fine Arts, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts. Students can take up any specialization like music, filmmaking, painting, dance, textile design, architecture, pottery, sculpture, theatre, and creative writing as part of the course.

BA in Geography:

It is a three-year undergraduate course after class 12th that has six semesters. The course includes the study of the earth and its different phenomena, features, and inhabitants. It also involves the study of climate, soil, vegetation, and plantations on earth. Various specializations in the subject include Maps Projection, Economic Geography, Human Geography, Physical Geography, and others. For geography, the best destinations are Yale University, California University, and Harvard University. Some of the job opportunities are Coastal Zone Manager, Land Analyst, and Demographer with a good average in-hand pay.

BA in Sociology:

The course includes a study of human relationships, communication, kinship, community, socialization, culture, religion, and various aspects of interaction among human beings. After completion of the course, students can opt for further studies or can go for jobs in social work, teaching, and the human rights and development field.

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW):

In the US, the demand for social workers, and non-governmental agencies is high. So, if you have taken up BSW after high school, it will give you a quality career. The course is practical and has fewer academic modules. Students are trained in managing all aspects of social work, from carrying out processes to sensitizing the targeted audiences.

Top Universities in the US for Arts and Humanities

Several universities in the US offer bachelor’s and diploma courses in English, Political Science, Sociology, Economics, Psychology, and many other subjects. You can enrol either in a public or private university in the US to start a humanities course.

Here are the top colleges/universities in the US for students after 12th in Arts:

● Yale University

● Harvard University

● Stanford University

● Maryland Institution of Arts

● Hunter College

● California Institute of the Arts

● Massachusetts Institute of Technology

● School of the Art Institute of Chicago

● Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

● University of California-Los Angeles

● Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCU)

● Tyler School of Art, Temple University

● College of Fine Arts- Carnegie Mellon University

● University of Colorado

● Rice University

● Tufts University

● Brown University

● Dartmouth College

● University of Pennsylvania

● University of Michigan

● University of Washington

● Duke University

● Cornell University

● University of New York

● Bates College

Important Link to Study in USA
University of Chicago Acceptance RateJobs in USA for IndianHubert Humphrey Fellowship ProgramJohns Hopkins University
Columbia University Acceptance RateCaltech Acceptance RateMIT Acceptance RateUniversity of California Berkeley Acceptance Rate

Cost to Study Abroad in the USA after 12th Arts

Studying arts in the USA is relatively more affordable in comparison to pursuing science or commerce courses. Public universities are, in fact, pocket-friendly and almost free in some places.

Here are the average tuition fees for Arts courses in the top four US universities:

● Harvard University: USD 51,904 (INR 39,09,360)

● Stanford University: USD 35,310 (INR 8,14,880)

● Yale University: USD 59,950 (INR 45,11,537)

● New York University Tisch School of the Arts: USD 62,062 (INR 46,71,355)

For more information on how to study in the USA for Indian students after 12th Arts, connect with the academic counsellors of upGrad Abroad.

Admission Requirements for US Universities

In order to study at the top US universities, one needs to meet the following admission requirements:

  • You need to be an F or J student visa holder. 
  • English language requirements vary with the chosen course and university. 
  • Prospective students need to prove that they have enough money in their bank accounts to cover their expenses. The university will then issue a Form I-20, which is necessary to apply for a visa. 
  • Candidates need to pay $350 as an I-901 SEVIS fee. 

Students can work up to 20 hours a week during term time in an on-campus role. During holidays, students can work full-time. 

Course Structure for Studying in the USA after 12th

Before going into detail about the course structure, let us first discuss the course length in the USA. The duration of a bachelor’s degree in the US is four years regardless of the programs (STEM or Non STEM).

The complete course is based on the number of credits which takes four years to complete. It ensures that the student devotes the required number of hours to classroom coaching and practical training. The years are divided into freshman (first), sophomore (second), junior (third), and senior (fourth) year.

The education system in the US also provides students with the flexibility to choose from a wide range of subjects. They provide an opportunity for students to try out a variety of subjects before they narrow down on their chosen majors or area of specialization.

The course curriculum in America’s Education System is divided into the following:

Core Courses:

These courses are important for setting a standard for learning. These subjects make for the freshman year and comprise subjects like social sciences, English, physics, chemistry, mathematics, physical sciences, etc. depending on the chosen course.

Major Courses:

It comes under the chosen subject or specialization. A student usually can opt for one or more depending on their capacity. In the case of liberal arts/ humanities, the subject list is vast.

Minor Courses:

These subjects are half a number of the subjects chosen for your major concentration. These carry less number of credits.

Elective Courses:

The elective courses may or may not be related to your chosen field. These are subjects based on your interests. These are opted by the students to fill up for the credit hours required for graduation.

The US education system grades you on every activity or project on a scale of 4.

The academic cycle of the universities in the US commences in September. The study period is nine months which means an academic year in the US denotes the period from September to May. There are at least two-holiday breaks which would be a four-week break from December to January and a short one-week “Spring Break” at the beginning of March or April.

Scholarships to Study in the USA after 12th

There are scholarships available to study in the USA after the 12th for meritorious and deserving candidates. Some of them are listed below for your reference: 

IEFA (Non-Government Scholarship)

  • This is a summer program sponsored by Abbey Road Inc. 
  • It grants scholarships to high school students between the age groups of 14 and 18, who have stellar records in academics as well as in extracurricular activities. 
  • Under this scholarship, five USD1,000 student scholarships are provided in different areas of subjects each year. 
  • The award amount is USD 500. 

Tata Scholarships for Cornell University

The Tata Education and Development Trust has endowed USD 25 million to Cornell University to provide financial aid to underprivileged but meritorious students from India who wish to study undergraduate courses at Cornell University.

 The number of scholarships is 20 and the procedure to apply for it is online on Cornell’s official website. 


American University Emerging Global Leader Scholarship

The scholarship focuses on helping high-performing students who wish to pursue a bachelor’s in the US. 

To be eligible, students must participate in social activities. 

It is aimed at students who wish to improve the underserved communities lacking resources back in their home country. 

It is offered by the American University, Washington DC, and is offered to any field of undergraduate study at the University.

The number of scholarships available is one.

  • It covers all billable expenses like full tuition, and accommodation expenses. However, candidates will have to bear the expenses of books, airfare, and health insurance.
  • It renews for a total of four years of undergraduate study and is based on continued satisfactory academic performance.

Study in the USA with upGrad Abroad: 

With upGrad Abroad, pursue BBA in the USA at Cleveland University and save up to ₹25 lakh as compared to a regular degree course in the country. Bachelor of Business Administration is a four-year course where in the first year, you will be studying online with an Indian Partner University. For the second, third, and fourth years you will be going to the US and studying at Cleveland University. To know more, get in touch with our counsellors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can an Arts student study in the USA?

Yes, of course. Students from the arts stream can easily study in the USA as there are endless career options to look out for like architecture, fine arts, hospitality, tourism management, etc.

What are some of the most popular courses after 12th arts?

Here are some of the best courses to opt for after completing 12th from the arts stream:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Mass Communication and Journalism
  • Architecture
  • Fine arts
  • Liberal Arts
  • Bachelors in philosophy, sociology, economics, psychology etc
  • Hospitality and tourism management

What are the career options for arts students after studying abroad?

Some of the career options for arts stream students are listed below:

  • Architect
  • Artist
  • Manager in Hospitality and Tourism
  • Teacher
  • Lawyer
  • Legal Assistant
  • Journalist
  • Economist
  • Counselor
  • Content writer, etc

Students can choose the top courses after completing 12th from arts stream to gain skills for the above-mentioned job roles.

How can I get a scholarship in the USA after 12th?

There are numerous scholarships available to benefit from for studying in the US after the 12th. You can apply online to avail of these scholarships. Some of them are listed below:

  • American University Emerging Global Leader Scholarship
  • Tata Scholarships for Cornell University

Do 10th marks matter to studying abroad?

In most cases, your scores in class 10th matter. But if you have performed well in your 12th class and you have an impressive SOP, it will not matter much and will not be a hurdle in your dream of studying abroad.

How long is a US undergraduate degree?

The undergraduate degree in the US is completed in four years.

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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