Online ArtSchools & Degrees

Pursuing an Artistic Vision Through Online Programs
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Online art programs are available in dozens of disciplines, from art history and curation to the digital arts. Whether your interest lies in design, technology or fine art, your passion for art can be pursued online. Learn more about online art schools and degrees, including programs available, financial aid and more.

Online Art Degree Program Map

The four major online art degree pathways, from undergraduate certificates and degrees to graduate school programs are conventionally defined as:

Four Art Degree Pathways

  • 01

    The National Endowment for the Arts was founded in 1965 with the signing of the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

  • 02

    Hypertext Markup Language (also known as HTML), the language used to create web pages, was invented in 1989.

  • 03

    Designers Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs and Isaac Mizrahi attended the fashion design program at Parsons.

  • 04

    Art critics have probably been around since the earliest cave paintings, but an early influential art critic was Félix Fénéon (1861-1944), who coined the term of art “neo-impressionism.”

Technology Online
Arts Degrees

Tech-specific online arts degrees are offered beginning at the undergraduate certificate and associate degrees in fields such as graphic design, web design, multimedia and flash animation, print and digital illustrator, and typology. At the bachelor’s degree level, students expand technical art skills in 3D design and modeling, film/video production and editing, photojournalism or advertising graphics. Master’s and doctoral online arts degree programs are designed for advanced students undertaking technical creative projects, advancing their careers into management, or preparing to work at the highest levels of scholarly research and education. Below are some examples.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Web Graphic Design

This accelerated online associate’s degree begins with foundation courses in web design, digital imaging, instructional (multimedia) and informational design, and web animation. Web design courses cover the system for designing, creating and editing websites using tools such as style sheets, html, image formatting and optimizing. Full-time students may complete the 57-hour online degree in five semesters. Graduates may find web design or web support employment in business, healthcare, education, retail and non-profit organizations.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Graphic Design, 3D Modeling & Animation

This 120-unit online bachelor’s degree focuses on design history, digital imaging, desktop publishing, 3D modeling and character animation, advanced graphic design for the web, and typography. In addition to completing the arts major requirements and the core undergraduate courses, students can choose up to 21 elective units in their specialties. Students build digital portfolios or reels showcasing their work, which is an essential requirement in career development and advancement. Jobs are in marketing, entertainment, advertising, gaming, corporate communications, education and social media.

Design Online
Arts Degrees

The design segment of the arts community has a universe unto itself with specializations in fashion, interior design, jewelry/metal arts and accessories, studio and set design. From the undergraduate certificate and degree programs to the masters and doctoral degrees for management and teaching occupations, design degrees build on a historical foundation of theory and practice, aiming toward an understanding of design schools, trends and technologies (CAD). The following degrees are examples.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Fashion

This four-year, 180-hour online arts degree in fashion design arms new students with a foundation of core courses in drawing, illustration, form and modeling, followed by major curriculum (85 hours) in topics including textiles, draping, sketching, computer-aided design (CAD), fashion business and marketing, and the development of a professional portfolio. Fashion grads may work as designers, pattern makers, buyers, and consumer forecasters.

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Production Design

Online graduate students pursuing careers in live performance, video and film production can hone advanced skills in creating settings that enhance storytelling in any medium. This 45-hour master’s program is framed with studies in script analysis, lighting, scenery, and costume repertoire. The program culminates in the presentation of a senior project representing the integration of production design theory and practice.

Fine Art Online
Arts Degrees

Art historians and curators, scholarly researchers, archivists and critics – all hail from the fine art branch of online arts degrees. Specialists in the field typically begin by earning an undergraduate degree and progressing through the masters and doctoral levels to practice in the field. The best candidates for university teaching and research roles are experienced, well-prepared scholars seeking the online Doctor of Fine Arts (PhD) degree, taking up to eight years to complete 48 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate. Below, you’ll find a few examples of fine art online degrees.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Art History

Online students complete this extensive foundation degree in art history through courses lasting seven-and-a-half weeks. Art eras include pre-history, Middle Agers, Renaissance and Modern, with studies in Asia, Egyptian, classical, Native American, Oceana, the Americas and African art, photography, statuary and film. Graduates may take positions with public and private institutions, libraries and galleries.

Master of Arts (M.A.): Museum Studies

The 33-hour, year-long M.A. in museum studies can be completed entirely online in fall, spring and summer semesters. Students explore advanced topics in museum management, budget administration, community programming, museum architecture and world history. Additional requirements include studies in cultural distictions, museum leadership and a practical internship. Graduates can apply their skills in private and public galleries and museums.

Performing Online
Arts Degrees

Practitioners of the performing arts – music, stage, voice, dance and film – can earn both studio and theoretical-based degrees online. These highly interdisciplinary degrees may combine studies in theory and history of the art form with real-world practice in live stage productions, videos, or film. Depending on the level of the online arts degree, students and graduates may already have pratical experience as songwriters, choreographers, actors, screenplay authors and playwrites. These degrees include the following.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Professional Studies – Songwriting

Comprised of 12-week online courses, this 120-credit bachelor degree program focuses on the theoretical, creative and business aspects of the songwriting career. Coursework in the major includes studies in melody and lyric writing, arrangements, ear-training, collaborations, and the preparation of a portfolio of songs produced on a digital audio recording system. Graduates may work on their own, with other musicians or with a team in a production facility.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Film and Media Studies

The broad and multidisciplinary aim of this 120-credit online program is to prepare students as professionals in entertainment, film and broadcast media. Students receive career training as writers, broadcast talent, film and video game voicework. Featured topics include intermediate screenwriting, new media, television, race and gender, the creative process, contemporary film and popular culture.

Best Online Art Schools and Degrees: 2017

Finding the best online art program is vital, especially when there are so many options available. Quality online art degrees introduce students to artistic principles while utilizing relevant technology that allows for valuable instruction and critique. Quality online art programs should also be affordable and prove a high graduation rate, which demonstrates a desire for student success. Using our comprehensive methodology, we have scoured schools across the nation to compile this list of the best online art schools and degrees for the 2017 school year. Check out who made the list below.

Rank School Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratio Grad Rate Ranking Score School Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1 St Philip's College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
15%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 98.41
Read more

At St. Philip’s College, students will be able to complete an associate degree in fine arts in one of the following areas of emphasis: art, digital arts and media, drama, kinesiology, and music. Sections of this program, as well as with many other programs offered at St. Philip’s, may be completed in an online format, providing employed students and students with familial obligations the chance to earn their degree without disrupting their schedules. Like traditional students, these online learners will be provided with numerous student resources to guarantee their success, including online technical support, academic advisement, and tutoring.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
2 Foothill College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
6%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.73
Read more

Earning an associate of arts degree in art at Foothill College is a useful step in preparing any student interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in art at a four-year institution; Foothill College guarantees that all courses taken in their associate of arts program are fully transferrable. If a student has completed college credit at a different institution of higher education, they may be eligible to satisfy some of their Foothill College degree requirements without retaking these classes. Online learning options are available, as well, providing the students with the benefit of flexibility in their school schedule.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
3 Palo Alto College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
20%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 97.04
Read more

Earning an associate of arts degree with an emphasis in art is made easy by studying at Palo Alto College. Because this degree includes 18 credit hours of art-based electives, students will be able to explore their artistic interests while also completing a college degree. Earning an associate of art with Palo Alto is a key step to preparing for entry into a four-year school. Many Palo Alto courses are offered in virtual formats, as well; this is an excellent learning opportunity for out-of-state students and students who have busy work schedules.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
4 Northwest Vista College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
9%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
6
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 96.77
Read more

Northwest Vista College provides a several unique associate of arts degrees with different emphases, including art, music technology, and drama. These courses are comprised of entirely transferrable classes, guaranteeing students will be able to easily transition into the four-year institution of their choosing after they have completed their associate program. NVC strives to accommodate its students in any way it can, and is willing to lighten the financial burden of earning a college degree through numerous financial aid opportunities. By utilizing online learning opportunities, students may also work around any scheduling issues that may arise in planning their academics.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
5 Holmes Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
37%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 93.54
Read more

Students who earn an associate of arts degree in art at Holmes Community College will be prepared to enter a four-year school and complete a bachelor’s degree in their field of interest. While earning a college degree can be expensive at other institutions, Holmes makes its students’ aspirations a more approachable goal with low tuition rates and several financial aid opportunities. Many of Holmes’s degrees can be completed by taking online courses in place of traditional in-class courses. Online students will be afforded all necessary resources for success, just as traditional students would, including tutoring opportunities, video lectures, and academic advisement.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
6 Herkimer County Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
6%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 93.15
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
7 Guilford Technical Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
5%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 91.54
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
8 Diablo Valley College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
N/A
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 91.47
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
9 Mohave Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
9%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 90.89
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
10 Modesto Junior College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
8%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 90.14
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
11 Northern Virginia Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
10%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 88.57
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
12 Community College of Vermont Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
22%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 87.80
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
Rank School Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratio Grad Rate Ranking Score School Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1 Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
37%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
86%
Ranking SCORE 99.76
Read more

As is the case with several degrees offered at Pennsylvania State University’s main campus location, the undergraduate certificate in digital arts can be completed in an entirely online format. While distance learning is a recent development for many institutions of higher education, Pennsylvania State University has been providing out-of-state students with the opportunity to earn a Penn State degree since 1892. In that time, it has honed its ability to deliver quality education to its students in a virtual format, providing all distance learners with necessary learning materials and student services to ensure their success.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
2 Savannah College of Art and Design Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
14
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
65%
Ranking SCORE 98.41
Read more

Savannah College of Art and Design gives its students a wide variety of arts programs to select from, including undergraduate certificates, bachelor’s degrees, and graduate master’s programs. These programs are made more approachable through SCAD’s online classes, which allow students with previous engagements to find the time to pursue a program they're passionate in. Online students will still be able to engage in several of the more social aspects to earning a college degree, as they will be in constant contact with their peers and professors through online discussions and video chat sessions.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
3 University of Florida Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
29%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
85%
Ranking SCORE 97.71
Read more

Students who exhibit a passion in art-based fields may be interested in pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree at the University of Florida. Students will be able to surround themselves with likeminded peers and faculty members who help to develop a constructive environment of artistic creativity. UF offers several of its courses in a virtual format, as well, helping busy students to earn their degree without scheduling conflicts. Students will be instructed by faculty members who have already achieved several years of success in their respective field and are eager to pass along their knowledge.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
4 The University of Montana Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
67%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 97.65
Read more

At the University of Montana, from coming from a wide variety of artistic backgrounds may pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree congruent with their interests. Students enrolling in one of these arts programs will join a productive community with the common desire to hone each student’s individual craft. Students who feel that earning a college degree might interfere with their daily schedules may be interested in considering one of UMT’s online programs. These programs are largely similar to traditional learning opportunities, including the same course material, student services, and eligibility to receive financial aid packages.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
5 Liberty University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
46%
Ranking SCORE 96.99
Read more

At Liberty University, students will have the chance to pursue a bachelor’s degree in graphic design in an entirely online format. Liberty University’s online programs offer the same opportunities for career placement as do traditional programs, but also incorporate the added benefit of greater control over developing an academic schedule. Online students will also be able to make use of any student services that would be afforded to a traditional student. Academic advisors are ready to help students stay on the most productive and quickest route to graduation, ensuring that they will be ready to enter the workforce as soon as possible.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
6 Northern Arizona University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
66%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 96.73
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
7 Bellevue University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
51%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
31%
Ranking SCORE 96.32
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
8 Prescott College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
90%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
45%
Ranking SCORE 94.87
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
9 Southern New Hampshire University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
71%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 93.75
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
10 Bay Path University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
50%
Ranking SCORE 93.75
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
11 North Carolina Central University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
81%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 93.06
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
12 Valley City State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
96%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 92.96
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
13 Dickinson State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
63%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
35%
Ranking SCORE 92.80
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
14 Lenoir-Rhyne University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
49%
Ranking SCORE 90.65
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
15 SUNY Empire State College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
75%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
17%
Ranking SCORE 89.86
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
16 Stevens-Henager College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
48%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
58%
Ranking SCORE 89.49
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
17 Nova Southeastern University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
94%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
42%
Ranking SCORE 89.47
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
18 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
30%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
48%
Ranking SCORE 89.31
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
19 Roger Williams University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
89%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
61%
Ranking SCORE 89.27
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
20 Mercy College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
88%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
34%
Ranking SCORE 87.59
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
21 Regis University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
95%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 87.42
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
22 Independence University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
28%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
N/A
Ranking SCORE 86.03
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
23 Franklin University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
N/A
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
13%
Ranking SCORE 86.00
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes

Art Schools Online Degree Search Tool

The growth on online art schools offering the range of post-secondary and graduate degrees can make it challenging to sift through and compare college options. The online school search tool below can cut through hours of work by delivering results based on key factors including institutional type (private/not-for profit) and level of online art degree (theoretical and/or studio). To help students beginning their search, the following section details the types of online art degrees by related skills and potential careers.

results
Search school name
Degree level
Tuition
Student Population
School Type
School Tuition Acceptance Rate Student Population School Type see Programs

Online Certificates & Diplomas in Art

Online diploma and certificate art programs provide focused, undergraduate instruction in a half-year or full-year sequence. Students can strategically use a diploma program to begin their introduction to formal art education, to bolster existing credentials or to see whether they wish to go on to a two or four-year college degree program. Online art certificate and diploma programs are self-paced, fitting the busy lifestyles of working adults.

Online Certificate Spotlight: Undergraduate Certificate in Digital Design

Courses

A total of 36 credits, including classes in design fundamentals, image manipulation, web design priciples, illustration software, media technology, and typography.

Skills

Digital and print layout, application of design elements, contemporary graphic design and advertising concepts and development. Students create a professional portfolio from their project assignments.

Future opportunities

Certificate program graduates can seek entry level positions with digital design firms, advertising agencies, corporate communications, digital media companies and pulic relations organizations.

Online Associate Degrees in Art

The online associate degree in art is a 60-unit educational program combining a two-year focus on art major courses coupled with required general education studies in the arts, sciences and humanities. The associate degree is the gateway education in art, preparing students to enter the professions, build the skills and knowledge to succeed in fine arts, design, multimedia, fashion, interior design, painting, film, and related fields. Students may also be allowed to transfer their general education credits to a four-year degree completion or bachelor of arts degree program.

Online Associate Spotlight: Associate of Arts in Fashion Design

Courses

Students are required to complete 65 credits of coursework in topics including fashion drawing, color theory, textiles, sewing, pattern making, fashion history, draping, technical illustration, and fashion trends.

Skills

Online students learn and develop skills in constructing designs for apparel and accessories, beginning with the creation process, the selection of materials, and pattern rendering. Coursework also prepares students for working in the business-side of the fashion industry, including marketing and trends.

Future opportunities

Grads may launch directly into fashion careers or transfer to a four-year fashion degree program to deepen their learning and credentials. Employers include fashion merchandisers, manufacurers, advertising and public relations firms, magazines and blogs.

Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Art

Four-year, online bachelors degrees in art requiring 120 credits are comprised of courses in the major, art electives, and general education in the humanities, sciences, and arts. The first two years, or 60 credits, are balanced between introductory arts courses, English, math, history, and social science requirements. The junior and senior years pack in another 60 credits, mainly focused on the major field of study and including internships or portfolio projects. Students can also enroll in online bachelor of fine arts degrees (B.F.A.) which are organized around hands-on studio work in the field.

Online Bachelor’s Spotlight: Bachelor’s of Science degree in Game Design

Courses

Students learn the art of character sketching, storytelling, asnd game level design using industry-standard production tools. Classes include game mechanics, historical myth and archetypes, descrete mathematics, game technology, world building and foundations of programming.

Skills

Graduates have a solid foundation and technical aptitude in creating narratives and games for use across all platforms, including gaming consoles, computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. They understand the cultural and social implications of gaming as well as the process of designing, prototyping and testing new games.

Future opportunities

The gaming industry has created opportunities for designers to focus on a type of game, game platform, and narrative. Potential employers include gaming corporations, educational and business organizations, digital device manufacturers and entertainment companies.

Online Master’s Degree in Art

Depending on the school and type of program, it may take from two to four years to complete an online master’s degree in art. Degree requirements vary but can include 45-50 hours of class credits along with a major project, internship and portfolio. Typically, master’s degrees in art are either studio-focused M.F.A.s (master’s of fine arts) or academic/research oriented (M.A.) programs. This advanced degree embraces the arts professions including performance, design, fine art and technology.

Spotlight: Online Master of Arts in Film and Television

Courses

Online students study the conceptual and technical elements of film production, the history of the cinema, digital and film production technology, postproduction skills and processes, sound design, screenwriting, and directing.

Skills

Students learn the major entities and professionals that go into professional film and digital production, including lighting and cinematography, video editing, art direction, and digital image editing.

Future opportunities

Graduates apply their skills across a wide range of industries including entertainment, education, non-profit and corporate communications, film and television production studios, advertising, and live broadcast organizations.

Online Doctorate Degrees in Art

Online doctorate of fine arts degrees may take up to eight years of post-secondary education to complete. Many programs are continuations of online master’s degree studies. They are primarily designed for professionals seeking post-secondary research or teaching positions, or for specialists, arts consultants, lecturers, arts historians and others for whom earning a doctorate degree is required for employment and advancement. The online doctoral degree requires 48 credit hours of classwork and independent research leading to a faculty-approved formal dissertation.

Online Doctorate Spotlight: Online Ph.D. in Fine Arts

Courses

This interdisciplinary degree program features advanced scholarship and studies in visual arts, music, and theater. Up to 15 hours of classes focus on the history of the selected art forms, arts philosophy, asthetics, and contemporary issues. Following a core examination on materials and concepts, students move on to independent research for the doctorate.

Skills

Graduates are well-versed in conducting advanced scholarly research and producing high-quality academic writing for publication.

Future opportunities

Colleges and universities are the main employers of doctors in fine arts as researchers and lecturers. The doctoral degree may be required for leadership roles in arts organizations, institutes, theaters, museums and galleries.

Financial Aid for Online Education FAQs

Do online colleges offer traditional financial aid programs?

In short, it depends on the institution’s accreditation. Accredited online degree programs are qualified to offer students the full range of Federal aid, including federal direct (Stafford) loans, Perkins loans, Pell Grants, teacher grants, scholarships and work-study.

What is a Federal Pell Grant?

Pell Grants are available for undergraduate art students up to $5,775 a year (up to 12-consecutive semesters), based on financial need, cost of tuition, and enrollment status (full or part-time).

How do I apply for financial aid through an online degree program?

The first step for online students is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) at the Department of Education website. The application is the common document that can be sent to prospective online colleges and universities offering arts degrees providing information on the kind of aid available to each applicant.

Which kinds of scholarships are available to online arts students?

Organizations such as the National Art Education Association have listings and descriptions of national, state, and local organizations that offer scholarships, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the U.S. Department of Education. There are also scholarships offered by public and private schools as well as by professional arts organizations.

High Tech, Cutting Edge Tools for Online Art Students

Online arts degree programs often combine studio practice with theoretical leartning. To facilitate the process, online schools employ a range of strategic tools to foster communication among peers and faculty. These include multimedia, streaming lectures, voice and video chat programs that link students with ongoing classes. But there are also industry hardware/software requirements for arts students that put the best contemporary tools in their hands. These may be included in tuition or available for purchase at discounted student rates. Examples include:

How to Evaluate Online Art Programs

How do you know if you’re choosing the right online arts degree program? Here are key things to look for in evaluating potential schools and online degree programs:

Accreditation

Colleges seek voluntary accreditation to benchmark the effectiveness of their academic and student support programs based on independent analysis. The entire school may be accredited, or the school and degree program itself hold accreditations from one of the six regional major accreditation bureaus approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation vouches for the quality and lasting value of the online arts degree, facilitating transfers to other institutions as well as elegility for Federal financial aid programs. For example, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design offers impartial assessments for accreditation for design and fine arts programs.

Program Availability

Online schools may only offer arts degree programs beginning at the fall semester of any calendar year. Or, they may offer course sequences that begin throughout the fall, winter, spring and summer sessions. Students attracted to one or more of the faculty members should be certain they will be teaching or mentoring in the program before enrolling.

Student Resources

It may be the school or department’s reputation that lures prospective students, but it requires some diligence in examining the extent of faculty, library, mentoring, career counseling and laboratory resources available to the online arts student. Which kinds of tools, software and methodologies are supported by the program? Is there career placement assistance? Inquire about the school’s graduation rates, the careers pursued by graduates, the faculty biographies and publications, arts industry alliances and partnerships, and financial aid available to support students.

Online Course Delivery and Management System

It takes a combination of registration and class delivery systems to make online degree programs run efficiently and effectively. Standardized and customizable programs such as Blackboard provide the interface for virtually attending lectures and discussions, taking exams, and delivering assignments on deadline. The school may use its proprietary software setup. Many arts schools have online demos of the course delivery system and prospective students should take a test drive to see if they’re comfortable with the technology. Some programs require online students to take an on-boarding class in using the system before academic work gets underway.

Technical Support

Sometimes things break down. Whether the student is having difficulty accessing or using the class management system or if the system isn’t working, having 24/7 technical support available by telephone can be a lifesaver. While some schools even provide laptop computers for enrolled students, do they have a maintenance and repair program in place?

Internships and Residency Requirements

For students living anywhere in the world, meeting an internship or arts laboratory requirement as part of an online degree program can pose a serious challenge. Students need to know ahead of time where they’ll have to show up in person and if the internship is arranged with business or arts organizations within their own communities or within an easy commuting distance. If the program requires limited on-campus meetings for orientation, workshops or student presentations, when are they scheduled and for how long?

Art Degree & Career Resources

The following organizations can provide vital support and research opportunities for online arts degree students and faculty:

American Alliance of Museums

Representing more than 30,000 museums, the alliance presents online webinars and a library of recordings. Key topics include museum governance, human resources, marketing, education, financial stability and institutional planning.

Fashion Industry Association

Designed to assist networking among fashion professionals, the FIA maintains an industry directory, blog and member profiles. FIA meetings and conferences are held throughout the United States.

International Interior Design Association

The IIDA represents 10,000 members (design professionals, students, educators and design firms) across the globe. Practice fields include sustainability, corporate, healthcare, residential, retail and hospitality.

International Society for the Performing Arts

The ISPA has sustained the work of thousands of arts leaders in more than 50 countries. Online resources include career links, a news center, and art advocacy programs.

Music Business Association

Colloquially referred to as Music Biz, the MBA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the music business. Since 1966, the MBA Scholarship Foundation has provided more than $7 million in financial assistance to members and families.

National Art Education Association

The NAEA is the nation’s largest organization representing visual arts educators from the elementary school levels through post-graduate degree programs. Its online resources provide information on arts grants and scholarships from the National Art Education Foundation (NAEF).

National Endowment for the Arts

The NEA was established in 1965 by Congress to support or fund American artists through ambitious grants. Visitors to the site can apply for grants or view announcements and application deadlines.

The National Society of Artists

Founded in 1985, the NSA serves the needs of professional artists regardless of “media, styles, techniques, and outlooks.” All visual artists can explore online information on meetings, events and workshops,

OPERA America

In the past 20 years, the National Opera Center of America in New York City has presented $13 million in grants supporting artists, composers, repertoire expansion and audience development. The site hosts curriculum tools for music educators, along with a forum.

Western Arts Alliance

Since 1967, the WAA has produced career programs for artists, artist managers, presenters, arts organizations, and performing arts professionals. Its website provides arts links and job listings.

World Digital Library

Online visitors to the WDL have access to a dizzying wealth of books, photographs, paintings, and historical sound recordings, free of charge. The Unesco-funded site supports seven languages.

Writers Guild of America, West

Home to an extensive array of online writer’s tools, legal and publishing resources, contracts, and information of screenplay rights, the WGA is the go-to organization supporting film insiders and independent writers in film, TV, and radio.