How to take up a career in creative art through Fine Arts courses at Chennai colleges

Looking for a list of the best colleges in Chennai, Tamilnadu that offer courses in Fine Arts? This article provides details of the best of the best academies, colleges, and universities based in Chennai where you can take up a Degree, Diploma, certificate, or online course in Fine Arts. Information on the courses offered at each institute and their contact details have also been provided for quick reference.


There are many students who don't wish to get into the rigorous academic streams of engineering, science, or even hospitality. Instead, they would like to pursue their interest in some form of creativity. That creativity may not necessarily be something like music or dance. They may have a desire to learn something like the ceramic design or visual communication design. These can be learned independently, too, perhaps as a short-term certificate course. However, if one is keen on in-depth learning with, perhaps, an allied form of creative art, then one should take up a professional course in Fine Arts.

Whether it is an aesthetic design in the form of sculpture or pottery, creating a visually appealing painting, capturing the nuances of a subject in photography, or making an intellectual piece of animation - there is a lot more to Fine Arts than a music genre or a dance form.

So let's head down South to Chennai and check out the Fine Arts courses at the best of the best academic institutions. Many of those mentioned here are focusing on music and dance, but keep in mind that if you check out the syllabus, they do offer allied subjects as part of the curriculum which will thus provide you will multiple opportunities in varied forms of creative art. Get an insight into the basic road map to start a career in Fine Arts,

Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts

Not just in India, but on foreign shores, too, the name of Kalakshetra Foundation, an Academy of Arts and Culture, is well-known. It is here that rigorous training is given to students from India and abroad in Bharatanatyam, Carnatic music (both vocal and instrumental), and Visual arts at the Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts. Students stay in hostel dormitories or in shared rooms on the verdant green campus. Foreign students need to apply with a separate application form meant for them and submit details of their Passport and Visa at the time of application. Scholarships may be available for students of low-income families, provided they display talent and aptitude in the course-field for which they are applying. Scholarships are also available for students from the North-Eastern States of India.

For Bharatnatyam and Carnatic Music, there are two courses, one a Diploma in the field which is for four years, and the other a Post-Diploma in that field which is for two years. In the case of Visual Arts, it is a four-year Diploma course that includes drawing, painting, Indian Art, and sculpture with allied subjects of ceramics, print-making, photography, etc. Children between ages seven and 18 years can also enroll for part-time evening classes in these fields.

Contact details:
Address: Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai-600041.
Ph: +91-44-2452-1169 (call between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday).
Email: /

University of Madras

The reputation of the Department of Indian Music at the Chepauk campus of the University of Madras is such that it is not surprising that international institutes have entered into collaborations with it. The courses offered hone the skills of students in vocal and instrumental music, and dance. An annual international music festival is the highlight of the Department. The university campus here has accommodation for female students in the Mother Teresa Hostel for women.

Postgraduate courses are offered in music, Bharatanatyam, Rhythmology, and folk music. There is an M.Phil. course in Indian music, certificate courses in music and voice training, and Ph.D. programs. Students can also pursue short-term courses of six months in Carnatic music, Hindustani music, Western music, Harikatha, and Bhajan under the aegis of the University Industry Community Interaction Centre (UICIC).

Contact details:
Address: Chepauk, Chennai-600005.
Ph: 2539 9422 / 2539 9746 (General Enquiry).

Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music

Imagine having not just an individual practice room or a large recital hall, but also a rooftop performance space! That's what you will get when you pursue a course in music at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (SAM), Chennai. They have the entire gamut of contemporary equipment as well, including mixing consoles, amplifiers, drum kits, and what-not as well as high-quality books, DVDs, and instruction material.

The registration fee for a course for students from India is Rs.5000/-, and for international students, it is US$100. Students can apply for a scholarship at least 15 days prior to the new batch of students starting the course.

As a residential school, it is mandatory to stay in the apartment complex. It has comfortably furnished spacious rooms with a kitchen, refrigerator, free Wi-Fi, etc. Housekeeping services along with breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided. Other facilities include an ATM and a clinic.

The courses offered are Diploma in Audio Engineering and Music Production Technology (two trimesters), Diploma in Music Performance (one-year Diploma or two-year Advanced Diploma), and a program that combines Music Performance and Music Production (three trimesters). Learn how to become an ace television and film Sound Engineer.

Contact details:
Address: NCTPL, Multi Services SEZ, Seekinankuppam Village, Koovathur Way, Cheyyur Taluk, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu – 603 305, India.
Ph: +91 – 73580 00770 / 73580 00759.
Head office address: No.2, 1st Floor, Plot No. 64, 4th East Street, Kamaraj Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, opp. Thiruvanmiyur Bus Depot, Chennai – 600 041 (contact numbers and email are the same as above).

Vels University

The School of Music and Fine Arts at Vels University offers UG, PG, M.Phil., and Ph.D. programs. The academic set up is such that students get wonderful opportunities to take up an internship, go on a field trip to a recording studio, attend a master class by a renowned artist and showcase what they learned in a stage performance. Other than state-of-the-art equipment in the studios and classrooms, there are computer labs as well and updated software is uploaded to be on par with current trends of the music industry. The university campus has separate hostels for boys and girls, mess and canteen facilities.

The graduate courses at Vels University are Bharatanatyam, Music (Veena, Violin, Miruthangam, Thavil), Western Music (Keyboard, Guitar, Drums) and Vocal music. The postgraduate courses are Bharatanatyam, Indian music, and Indian dance. There are also regular certificate and diploma programs for different age groups at primary, junior, and senior levels.

Contact details:
Address: Velan Nagar, P.V. Vaithiyalingam Road, Pallavaram, Chennai - 600 117, Tamil Nadu.
For General Enquiry Ph: Phone: + 91-44-2266 2500/2501/2502/2503.
Admission Helpline: 0-7305-111-222.

Stella Maris College

Stella Maris College is an autonomous college that has received an 'A' grade by NAAC in 2000. Students can join clubs like music, classical dance and folk dance, photography, dramatics, etc. In addition to academic blocks, there are three to four hostels, a library, an open-air theatre, canteen, an infirmary, etc. Students can avail of merit-cum-need-based scholarships and borrow textbooks from the book bank if they are unable to purchase them due to the high cost.

The Department of Fine Arts at Stella Maris College offers a Master of History of Fine Arts (M.A.), a two-year postgraduate program. The unique aspect of the curriculum of this course is that the core courses that include Arts and Ideas, and Design History also have practical modules in such diverse fields as textile printing, communication design, mobile application and Web Page design, etc. Then there are interesting elective courses, namely, digital and creative photography, research methodology, critical writing, visual culture, and crafts in India. A summer internship is part of the curriculum as well, and a student can take up an independent study course in Indian Aesthetics and Philosophy, and in Indian Iconography. Another unique feature is that the college permits Post Graduate Elective courses in textile dyeing and printing, and creative design, to students of other departments.

Contact details:
Address: 17, Cathedral Road, Chennai - 600086.
Ph: 044 - 28111951 / 941 / 987 (Admn. office).

Tamil Nadu Dr J Jayalalithaa Music and Fine Arts University

The campus of this university is coming up at Sozhinganallur, Kanchipuram District and is presently located in the campus of the Tamil Nadu Government Music College, at Dr.DGS Dinakaran Salai, Chennai (details of this college are up next).

The courses offered by the university are M.A. Music in Veena, Violin, Mrdangam, Bharathanatyam, Nagaswaram; and M.F.A. in Painting, and Visual Communication.

Contact details:
Address: Dr.D.G.S. Dinakaran Salai, Chennai - 600 028.
Ph: 044 - 2462 9035 / 044 - 2462 9036. Fax: 044 - 2462 9035.

Tamil Nadu Government Music College, Chennai

Students pursuing a course at the Tamil Nadu Government Music College, Chennai can avail of a unique attendance-based scholarship of Rs 500/- per month for 10 months in an academic year. All those who enroll for a Degree course are provided with a free laptop and all eligible students can get a free Bus pass.

There are three B.A. undergraduate courses, each of three years, in music, Veena, and Violin. Those keen on teaching music can pursue a one-year Diploma course in music teaching. There is a two-year Post-Diploma course in Nattuvangam Kalaimani. Three-year Diploma courses are offered in these fields: music, Veena, Violin, Flute, Nathaswaram, Thavil, Mridangam, Gadam, Kanchira, Mugarsing, Bharathanatyam, and Folk Arts. The certificate courses in the evening college schedule are in music, Veena, Violin, and Mridangam.

Contact details:
Address: Dr. D. G. S. Dinakaran Salai, R.A. Puram, Chennai-600028.
Ph: 044 – 24937217.

The below-mentioned colleges are affiliated to the above-mentioned Tamil Nadu Dr.J Jayalalithaa Music and Fine Arts University.

Government College of Fine Arts

The campus of the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai has an excellent library with both Indian and international publications in Fine Arts and Design. It also houses thousands of rare books, unique research material, and e-books. The computer lab is well-equipped with LED projectors and electronic gadgets for students pursuing courses in the field of animation. There is an annual art exhibition with prizes and merit certificates to motivate students to showcase their best works. Educational excursions with government sanction have been organized for BFA students, to various parts of the country.

The four-year full-time Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) Degree courses are Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking, Visual Communication Design, industrial design in textile, industrial design in Ceramic. The two-year fulltime Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) postgraduate courses are in the fields of includes Painting, Visual Communication Design, Ceramic Design and Textile Design. You can pursue the M.F.A. only in the same field as the B.F.A.

Contact details:
Address: No.31, EVR Periyar Salai, Periyamet, Chennai.
Ph: 044-25610878 / 9444191767.

Tamil Isai Kalloori

This is a self-financed affiliated college (Kalloori means college) under the management of Tamil Isai Sangam and, for the last four years, doubles up as a study centre for distance education programs of Tamil University.

The regular full-time courses offered at this college are B.A Music – vocal (three years), M.A.Music – vocal (two years), three-year Diploma courses in music, Veena, Violin, flute, and folk music, as well as in Nadaswaram and Thavil, Mridangam, and Bhrathanatyam (this last is only for female students), a two-year Diploma in Nattuvangam and a one-year Diploma in Teaching of Music called Isai Asiriyar Payirchi.

The college has two schedules, with the day classes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the evening college classes from 5 p.m. to 7.15 p.m. during which certificate courses are conducted. The latter includes a three-year certificate course in vocal music, Violin and Bharatnatyam; a one-year certificate course in vocal music, and Bharatnatyam; and a two-year certificate course in vocal music and Bharatnatyam.

The online UGC-approved music course is a one-year certificate course of 40 classes in music, Veena, and Violin. You have the option of taking one or more classes a week and, on successfully completing the course, you will get the 'Isai Kalai Certificate'. For these classes, students have to pay the fee in advance. The fee is Rs.5000/- for 10 classes for an Indian student and US$250 for 10 classes for a foreign national.

Contact details:
Address: Rajah Annamalai Mandram, No. 5, Esplanade Road, Chennai-600 108, Tamilnadu.
Ph: +91 94449-25880/94430 60416 /+91 44 2534 1425/2533 0350.
Management's website:


So what are you waiting for? Learn the fine art of a Fine Arts field by enrolling in one of the finest Chennai colleges and sing, dance, paint, sculpt…make your way to establishing a well-entrenched career. Need guidance for admissions to any of the institutes mentioned in this article? Get professional assistance in securing admissions in Colleges and Universities in India.

Know any more colleges in Chennai offering courses in Fine Arts? Let us know in the comment box below.

Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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