Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Visual Arts
Online bachelor's degree programs in the visual arts are available in both the creative and technical disciplines. Continue reading for an overview of these programs, common course topics and the online study process.
What Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Visual Arts are Available?
Visual arts is a broad discipline that encompasses numerous sub-fields both educationally and professionally. These can be classified into two groups - creative arts and technical arts. Technical arts, such as graphic design and animation, often involve the use of digital products or programs to create visual or multimedia images. Creative arts, also often known as fine arts, generally refer to the manual creation of two or three-dimensional visual images. Examples of fine arts include painting, drawing, photography and sculpture.
You can earn a bachelor's degree in almost any of these areas through an accredited online program, although programs in the technical arts are more prevalent. In some cases, the above-mentioned fine arts may be offered as areas of concentration within broader fine arts degree programs. Many of the online degrees described below are available primarily or exclusively through for-profit institutions.
|Field Focus||Technical arts and creative or fine arts|
|Online Options||Available, though technical arts programs are more common|
|Online Study Process||Lectures, assignments, exams, discussions|
|Program Requirements||Computer with internet connection, specific software, scanner, digital camera|
|Common Courses||Color theory, printmaking, portfolio development|
|Median Salary (2018)||$72,520 (Multimedia Artists and Animators)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||8% growth (Multimedia Artists and Animators)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
How Do Online Programs Work?
Online programs in the visual arts allow you to complete your course requirements and earn your bachelor's degree without having to visit your school's campus even once. Courses are delivered through online teaching and learning platforms that allow you to access written, video or multimedia course lectures and submit your completed assignments and exams. You can also use these systems to send e-mail, chat with classmates or professors and participate in message board-based class discussions, which is often mandatory.
Completion of all online degree programs requires an Internet-connected computer with word processing software. Because of the hands-on nature of visual arts, you may be subject to some additional supply or software requirements, which are generally explained in more detail during the application or admission process. In fine arts programs, you may need a scanner, a digital camera or both to submit your completed art projects to course instructors. In technical arts programs, you'll need additional computer software programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, to complete your assignments. You'll also need various painting, drawing and other art supplies as required by individual courses.
What Will I Learn in an Online Creative Visual Arts Program?
If you'd like to become educated in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking or illustration, you can enroll in an online Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program in fine art or visual communications. Then you can declare a concentration in one of these areas. Bachelor's degrees in photography are also available.
Exact course requirements and content may differ somewhat from one school and program type to the next. In most programs, you'll learn creative theories and execution techniques for all fine art areas named above. This is also the case in illustration bachelor's degree programs, which teach you how to create illustrations through numerous different fine arts mediums. In a photography bachelor's degree program, you'll learn about various techniques of capturing moving or still images and developing photos. The following is a sample of topics covered in fine arts-related courses and degree programs:
- Color theory
- Creative principles of design
- Figure drawing and sculpture
- Acrylic, oil and watercolor painting
- Welded, fabricated and ceramic sculpture
- Still life and abstract painting
- Jewelry design
- Visual arts business practices
- Portfolio development