A Complete Guide For Students

Arts stream offers numerous career options and opportunities to students. It is a very traditional stream. This is one of the main reasons why this stream still has got takers in India! This stream is made up of parts like humanities, visual arts, performing arts, literary arts etc. In this article, you will be reading details about arts stream schooling (11th and 12th) such as- education boards available in India, important subjects to study, professional courses available after 12th, career paths and prospects.


As mentioned before, arts stream is very diverse. This fact is evident from the studies involved in this stream. It covers wide variety of studies such as- visual arts (painting, sculpting, drawing etc), performing arts (music, dance, drama etc), literary arts (languages, literature, philosophy etc), history, law, humanities subjects, geography, political science etc.

Thanks to the availability of such diverse areas of studies, career options associated with this field is equally impressive. After completing 12th Arts stream, students will have access to numerous professional courses focusing on areas like visual arts, law, performing arts, languages, management etc.

In short, it can be compared to a foundation course. On completion of this foundation (12th standard), one may choose a professional course and thus take first step towards building one’s career.

There’s a misconception regarding this stream among Indian students and parents. Many of them think that arts stream is only taken by students who are academically dull. Well, this fact is false! There exists many challenging subjects in this stream too, and it takes certain aptitude to perform well in its exams too! It is very much possible to build a rewarding career after pursuing science stream at PUC level! In fact, many subjects present in arts stream will help one prepare well for Civil Services examination.

Let us take a look at the important education boards available in India (11th and 12th Arts stream).

Arts stream boards available in India

There are four main education boards available in India. Students may choose a board that suits them best. The choice shall be made on the basis of difficulty level associated with the boards and aptitude of the student. The names of the education boards are-

  • CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education)
  • ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education)
  • IB (International Baccalaureate)
  • State Boards

IB is the toughest board among the above mentioned entries. It focuses on the concept of ‘how to learn’. Much emphasis is laid on ‘application of knowledge’ and ‘practical aspects’ of learning.

IB board is followed by ICSE board, when it comes to difficulty level. Then comes CBSE board. I think most of you are knowledgeable about this board. It functions under the Union Government of India. Difficulty level associated with this board is moderate.

Last comes State Boards. Each State in India has its own education board. It functions under the respective State Government of each state. Language of instruction (medium) in case of schools affiliated to such boards are- regional language and English.

Arts stream subjects

Some of the important subjects present in 11th and 12th Arts stream schooling are-

  • English
  • History
  • Geography
  • Political Science
  • Economics
  • Other literature subjects- Hindi, regional languages etc
  • Psychology
  • Music
  • Home Science
  • Physical Education
  • Public Administration
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Fine Arts
  • Sociology

Note: Not all the subjects have been mentioned above. Many of the above mentioned subjects fall under the ‘optional subject’ category. Students have to select optional courses and form a ‘course combination’ to pursue throughout 11th and 12th. Professional courses after 12th and career, to an extent, depends upon this course combination.

Academic program and evaluation

There are two academic years present- 11th and 12th standards. In case of some boards and state boards (like Gujarat and Haryana), each academic year has been divided into two semesters, each semester lasting a period of 6 months. Main evaluation exams are held at the end of each academic year (at the end of each semester, in case of semester learning system).

Professional courses after 12th

1 BA

  • BA in History and Archaeology
  • BA in Hindi
  • BA in Humanities
  • BA in Finance
  • BA in Foreign Languages (example- French)
  • BA in Regional Languages (example- Malayalam)
  • BA in Journalism and Mass Communication
  • BA in Literature
  • BA in Philosophy
  • BA in Music
  • BA in Theatre
  • BA in Yoga and Naturopathy
  • BA in Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • BA in Library Science
  • BA in Applied Science
  • BA in Advertising
  • BA in Fine Arts
  • BA in Mathematics
  • BA in Retail Management
  • BA in Fashion Merchandising
  • BA in Culinary Sciences
  • BA in Anthropology
  • BA in Home Science
  • BA in Hotel Management
  • BA in Computer Applications
  • BA in Finance and Insurance
  • BA in Interior Designing
  • BA in Psychology
  • BA in Economics
  • BA in Animation and Multimedia

2 Bachelors Degree in Economics

3 Technical Courses

Some Technical courses to do after 12th Arts stream are-

  • BCA (BA course also available!)
  • B Architecture

4 Law courses

After 12th Arts, students are eligible to go for Law Education in the Integrated course format. Integrated Law course lasts 5 years. Some popular Integrated Law courses for Arts stream student are-

  • BA + LL.B.
  • BBA + LL.B.

5 Management courses

Arts stream students who are not interested in traditional courses may go for Management courses. Some well known Management courses to do after 12th Arts stream are-

  • BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration)
  • BMS (Bachelor of Management Studies)
  • Integrated BBA + MBA program (5 years duration)
  • BHM (Bachelor of Hotel Management)
  • Retail Management (Diploma)

6 Designing courses

Diploma, Degree as well as Certificate courses related to the field of Designing can also be pursued by Arts stream students. Some such well known courses are-

  • Bachelor of Interior Designing
  • Bachelor of Design (Accessory)
  • Bachelor of Design (Leather)
  • Bachelor of Textile Design
  • Bachelor of Product Design
  • Furniture and Interior Design course

7 Physical Education courses

  • Bachelor of Physical Education
  • Diploma in Yoga Education

8 Fashion courses

  • Bachelor of Fashion Design and Technology
  • Bachelor of Fashion Communication

9 Bachelor of Performing Arts

10 Other Bachelor’s Degree and Diploma courses (even from other streams)

  • B Social Work
  • Diploma in Retail Management
  • Diploma in Education Technology
  • Diploma in Hotel Management
  • Air Hostess/Cabin Crew training course
  • Diploma in Event Management
  • Diploma in Film making and Video Editing

11 Education/Teaching courses

  • B.El.Ed. (Bachelor of Elementary Education, 4 years long course)
  • Diploma in Elementary Education
  • B.P.Ed. (Bachelor of Physical Education)
  • Primary Teachers Training course (can follow it up B.Ed.)

12 Vocational training courses

  • B.Voc.
  • D.Voc.
  • Skill Diploma programs
  • Domain Skilling programs

Note: Not all professional courses have been mentioned above. There exists other Diploma, Degree and Certificate courses too, which can be pursued after 12th arts stream.


Arts stream students may pursue UG as well as PG courses and have access to diverse job opportunities (depending upon the professional course). Some of the well known job profiles are- Management professional, Lawyer, Teacher, Musician, Dancer, Artist, Performer, Actor, Businessman, Economist, Architect (with mathematics subject), Politician, Bureaucrat, Diplomat, Government employee, Archaeologist, Civil Servant (IAS, IPS, IFS etc), Defence personnel etc.

Also read: Tips to prepare for 10th board exam

Tips to prepare for 12th board exam

Before selecting arts stream, do give a look at the career prospects available. Check whether you have the aptitude to pursue a career in this stream. This can be done through counselling sessions and field trips. Also check out list of courses after 12th Science and 12th Commerce.

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