What Are the Courses in an Online Undergraduate Art Degree Program?

Online undergraduate art degree programs usually include core courses in the fundamentals of design and color theory. Most programs offer an area of focus, such as fine arts or digital art, and require several core courses specific to that area. Read on to find out more about these courses for associate and bachelor's degree programs in art. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Online Undergraduate Art Degree Program Overview

Many schools offer online undergraduate degree programs in art, with specializations such as fine art, graphic arts and illustration. These programs allow students to view lectures and complete assignments on their own schedules. They can interact with teachers and classmates through chat functions, e-mail and message boards. General education courses in topics such as sociology, history and written communications are usually required. Core courses for art degree programs vary depending on the specialization, but generally include those listed below.

Important Facts about This Field of Study

Common Courses Art and design, art history, methodologies and theories, lithography, landscape painting
Programs Associate's and bachelor's programs
Online Availability Some select schools
Continuing Education Available for part- or full-time students, degree or non-degree programs, transferability into undergraduate programs


The fundamental core courses for all students might include philosophies of design and color theory. Courses examine the creative process as a whole and introduce basic design concepts. Color theory courses explore various theories on the use of color. Students learn the basics of aesthetics and critical analysis.

Fine Arts

For students concentrating in the fine arts, courses on drawing and perspective might be required. Drawing courses cover traditional drawing techniques and computer drawing. Students learn the basics of 3-dimensional drawing and proportions. They also learn to apply principles of perspective to their work. Craft and fine artists made a median annual salary of $48,960, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as of May 2018.

Graphic Arts

Many online programs focus on the digital media and graphic arts. Courses might cover general theories of page layout and web design along with digital imaging and photo enhancing techniques. Students might also take courses in animation. Graphic designers had a median annual salary of $50,370, as of May 2018, per the BLS.

Media Arts

Whether in fine art or graphic arts, many artists make a living creating art for the media. Online art degree programs often include courses discussing how design is used as a tool for communication. Courses may include a survey of advertising or a history of visual communication. The BLS reported that multimedia artists and animators earned a median annual salary of $72,520 as of May 2018.

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