Art & Design Degrees

Art & Design

Interested in a career in the arts? Many of the options for art careers require a degree. Online art degrees have become popular in recent years, but can students truly complete a full art degree online? Is hands-on work ever required? Can all types of art be taught online, or just a chosen few?

The fact is that many art degree programs can be administered entirely online. By working closely with teachers and peers, online students can get just as much of an in-depth and challenging education as those who sit in a classroom for each course. Though some degrees do require a hands-on element and therefore can be earned in a hybrid educational format, many art degree programs simply require an Internet connection, a talented hand and the drive to succeed.

How online art degree programs work

Whether an art degree can be earned online depends greatly on what type of art the student is pursuing. Degrees in interior design, graphic design, animation, fashion design and others have been available as fully online degrees for many years. The courses required for these particular degrees, including those that require sharing and collaboration with other students, translate easily into the online space.

There are some art degrees that might require a hands-on component. For instance, some schools might require courses in sculpture or culinary presentation to be completed in a classroom setting. However, other schools might allow students to simply perform their sculpture creation or culinary work through live video streaming or other means in order to obtain a grade. Degrees in drama or theater arts might require live performances or other appearances as part of the final grade. Therefore, even if most of the courses were taken online, some might have to be completed in an on-campus setting.

The requirements for programs such as these vary from one school to another, so it is important to make certain whether the art degree program is offered entirely online or requires a hands-on component before starting the application process.

What to expect from online art degree programs

Online art degree programs make use of various Internet technologies that allow students to share their ideas and work with classmates and professors. Lecture courses can be offered through streaming video, message boards can allow students to communicate openly with peers, and work can be scanned or photographed, then sent online to the appropriate person for collaboration and grading. Though online courses do offer constant access, the classwork is done on the student's own time. Thus, applicants should be very comfortable working in solitude.

In addition to courses that enhance technical skills, students can expect to take general education courses as well. These include math, history, science and English, among others. The general education courses required depend upon the degree level chosen -- for instance, a bachelor's degree might require more general education courses than an associate degree or a master's program.

Finally, keep in mind that online art degrees require a program just as rigorous as what would be expected from a traditional classroom setting. Though online degrees can make it easier to work full-time while juggling classes, they do still require dedication and perseverance to complete. Depending upon the program chosen, students can expect one to four years of study to earn their degree.

Online art school, Feb 26, 2013 Academy of Art University

What are online art degrees?, Feb 26, 2013 Arts Education.info

Art and Design, Feb 26, 2013 University-Bound.com

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  • Campus-based and online degrees include Computer Animation (BS), Digital Arts and Design (BS), Graphic Design (BS), and more
  • Students take ongoing portfolio courses that allow them to build and refine their design portfolio
  • Courses teach skills such as advertising, branding, visual messaging, and concept design
  • Curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement
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