Computer Arts Majors

Find out what you can expect as a computer arts major. Read about concentrations, courses and distance learning options, as well as what types of careers you can pursue. Explore the salary potential for jobs in computer arts. Schools offering 3D Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Concentrations are Available in Computer Arts?

The exact degrees available in computer arts vary by school. Some schools offer a generalized bachelor's degree in computer arts and design, while others provide specialized programs focusing on particular areas of the field. These specialized degrees can be in subjects such as animation, video game art or graphic design. Programs typically have a range of electives across these fields so that you can pick and choose the classes that suit your interests.

DegreesBachelor's degree in computer arts and design, focus in specialized subjects such as animation, range of electives
Common CoursesBasic art, drawing and color theory; 2D and 3D animation; modeling and image editing
Program FormatsOn-campus and online programs available
Career OptionsGraphic designer, multimedia artist, animator

What Classes are Included?

As a computer arts major, your curriculum will start with basic art courses in drawing and color theory. These classes provide a fundamental understanding of design and visual communication that you'll need when applying art skills to computer work. Later classes explore the use of 2-D and 3-D animation, modeling and image editing computer software. Most programs conclude with a senior art project. Examples of classes in this field include:

  • Figure drawing
  • 3-D modeling
  • Visual thinking
  • Digital lighting
  • Art history

Your chosen focus area also affects what courses you'll take. For instance, if you opt to follow an animation track in computer arts, you might take more classes in storyboarding and narrative. By contrast, if you choose to study graphic design, you'll likely take classes in typography and package design.

Can I Attend Classes Online?

Several schools offer distance learning options for computer art bachelor's degrees. These programs allow you to complete some or all of your courses from home using a computer with a broadband Internet connection. Through online classes, you can watch prerecorded lectures, view interactive demonstrations and read course texts on a school's website. Class work is not substantially different from what you would take in an on-campus course.

Depending on the class, you might need specialized software to take part in activities and complete assignments. A word processing program often is needed to write and submit documents in the proper format. Computer art courses also might require image editing and modeling software, such as Photoshop, After Effects, Dreamweaver or Maya 3D.

What Can I Do with the Degree?

Earning a bachelor's degree in computer arts can lead to a variety of jobs with film, television or print studios, as well as graphic design firms. A bachelor's degree is often sufficient to qualify for entry-level jobs in these industries. Depending on how you chose to focus your studies, you might find work in the following positions:

  • Graphic designer
  • Web designer
  • Animator
  • Character modeler
  • Art director

Graphic designers use computer art skills to design advertising, product packaging and layouts for magazines. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graphic designers earned an average salary of $50,370 in 2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that multimedia artists and animators made an average of $72,520 a year in the same time period. In both cases, jobs in the motion picture industry, television and video games were among the highest paying.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Southern New Hampshire University

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Strayer University

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  • Ashford University

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  • Full Sail University

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      • Bachelor in Computer Animation

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  • Purdue University Global

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  • Regent University

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  • Florida Tech

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  • Colorado State University Global

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  • Trident University

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  • Grand Canyon University

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