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Media Arts Degree Programs

Find information on media arts programs, including those that can lead to a bachelor's or master's degree. For more details about course topics, career opportunities and online study options, read on!

What Will I Study in Media Arts Bachelor's Degree Programs?

Some media arts programs focus on animation, while others focus on the tools used in graphic design or journalism. In some instances you can choose a specialization, while in others you receive an overview of all related information. Animation is the most common option. Through it you can use computers to create storyboards, make models of characters and design special effects for film or video games. Other topics of study may include:

  • Film conception to completion
  • Creating media stories
  • Persuasive writing
  • Computer programming
  • Video-game development
  • Film history

Undergraduate Courses Writing, film history, computer programming, story creation, film conception to completion
Graduate Degree Specializations Brand development, design strategy, filmmaking
Learning Environments Traditional classroom and online degree programs are available
Possible Careers Book designer, storyboard artist, illustrator, media coordinator, creative director
Median Annual Salary (May 2020)* $97,270 (for all Art Directors)
$141,490 (for all Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers)
Job Growth (2019-2029)* -2% (for all Art Directors)
6% (for all Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Do I Need to Know About Master's Degree Programs?

Media design at the graduate level covers similar topics to those at the undergraduate level, but you may have different specialization options--such as design strategy, brand development or filmmaking. In many programs, you could both study and create media. Your studies could include different media types and using media to present ideas through words and images. Media arts master's degree programs include completing research projects and writing a thesis relevant to media in modern society. Other topics you may study include:

  • Brand strategy
  • Assessing client's needs
  • Incorporating design in marketing
  • Advertising design principles
  • Social media
  • Film production

How Do Online Programs Work?

You can earn a bachelor's or a master's degree in media arts online. In some cases, you may take courses that can be completed over the length of a semester, while others take a period of about six weeks. Although you can usually take the classes and complete assignments at any time, they incorporate a lot of information, so you need to visit the website several times per week to stay on task and participate in class discussions. Since the programs include many art concepts, they often use videos to illustrate techniques and lecture notes to further explain the process. At some schools, the entire program isn't available online, but certain courses are accessible.

How Can I Use My Degree?

Earning your bachelor's degree could lead to a career as a storyboard artist or character modeler. You could become a book designer, digital artist or illustrator, which might involve creating digital or print images for books, magazines or individual images for sale. You could also become a journalist. Your master's degree could lead to a career as a media coordinator, multimedia designer or creative director, which could involve organizing ads and images to create promotional material. You could also become a film director, screenwriter or graphic designer.