Best Online Art Degrees 2022

Earning an art degree can lead to an exciting career. Here, we outline the best online art programs.

February 14, 2022 , Modified on March 24, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Best Online Art Degrees 2022

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Online art degrees help creative students learn new skills and advance their careers. Many online enrollees work part time while pursuing their degree. Working while earning a degree lets learners build their resumes and earn a paycheck.

Most online art schools offer fully online classes. However, some programs include studio components in person. Online learners can complete these requirements locally.

This page lists the best online ​art degrees. Read on for answers to typical questions and to learn about common classes and potential careers for graduates.

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Questions About Art Degrees

What kind of jobs can I get with an art degree?

Online art degrees prepare students to work as independent artists who take commissions. Graduates can also work in the business or education fields as creative directors or professors.

What kind of art majors are there?

Common art majors include art education, graphic design, photography, and illustration. Some art programs offer concentrations in pottery or graphic design.

What are some of the highest-paying jobs in art?

Art directors earn a median annual salary of $97,270, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Special effects artists earn $77,700. These figures surpass the $41,950 median annual salary for all occupations.

Why Get an Art Degree?

An art degree can help students turn their passion into a career. Many people find fulfillment in earning a living by using their creativity. The BLS projects jobs for art and design occupations to grow 4% from 2020-2030, which is slower than average. Graduates with the best art degrees may stand out in a competitive job market.

Many schools offer art degrees online. An online format can help learners further their education around work and family responsibilities.

How Much Does an Art Degree Cost?

Earning an online bachelor's degree costs an average of $51,091, according to EducationData.org. However, art degree costs vary by school, program length, and learners' residency status. Full-time students can earn a bachelor's degree in four years. A master's degree typically takes two years.

In-state learners pay an average of $38,496 for their degree. Out-of-state students pay $54,183. Online learners attending a private college spend $60,593. Degree-seekers exploring online art schools can research the most affordable programs without relocating.

Additional Online Student Fees

Students attending online art schools should plan for extra expenses, such as technology fees. These fees may cover online database subscriptions or tech support. Some schools also charge graduation fees.

Classes that require access to an art studio may cost more. Enrollees usually need to buy supplies like paintbrushes and high-quality paper. Online learners may need to pay fees to cover maintenance for things like photography darkrooms or soldering tools.

How Much Do Art Majors Make?

Salaries vary by graduates' role, employer, and geographic location. For example, interior designers earn a median annual salary of $57,060. Industrial designers earn $71,640.

Interior designers in Florida earn a mean annual income of $53,310. The same professionals in Arkansas earn $73,840. Interior designers who work for small businesses may earn less than their peers who work for large corporations.

Courses in an Art Program

Nearly every creative program requires art foundation classes and specialty classes. Most classes include a combination of hands-on work and standardized tests. Advanced art classes require art critiques and portfolio reviews rather than essays and tests.

Students pursuing online art degrees often take the classes below. Keep in mind that classes vary by program. Degree-seekers can contact their prospective schools to learn about specific offerings.

Career and Salary Outlook for Art Students

Online art schools prepare students for careers that align with their skills and passions. Graduates may pursue the jobs below after earning their online art degrees. Keep in mind that not every art program offers majors that correspond with these exact careers. Students can work with academic or career advisors to choose a professional path.

Salary Potential and Growth Rate
Career Median Annual Salary Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030)
Art Directors $97,270 11%
Fashion Designers $75,810 0%
Craft and Fine Artists $49,120 14%

Source: BLS

Best Online Art Degrees 2022

  1. Harvard University
    Location

    Cambridge, MA

    Tuition

    $41632

    At Harvard University, students can earn a bachelor's degree through the university's undergraduate program, Harvard College. Students have the opportunity to individualize their Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees, which consist of three parts - concentration, general education and elective. Designed to be flexible, students choose their own concentration, which will be their primary field of study and makes up about 40 percent of a student's overall program. Those who are interested in pursuing an art-related degree can choose a concentration in History of Art and Architecture; Theater, Dance & Media; Music or Visual and Environmental Studies. Those with a very specific goal in mind can choose to create their own art concentration. To graduate, students need to fulfill all requirements for each part of their program - usually a total of about 32 credits.

  2. Judson College
    Location

    Marion, AL

    Tuition

    $15774

    Founded in 1838, Judson College is a private, four-year, Christian college for women. Its Art Department offers concentrations in a variety of areas such as drawing, painting, color and design, and art history. Students have the opportunity to work with different tools, media and equipment, while also focusing on traditional technical skills. At the end of the program, all students showcase their artwork during a senior exhibition, which is held in a professional gallery setting. For those looking for online learning opportunities, Judson offers a hybrid Bachelor of Arts in Music. Some components are available online, but others - such as the 10 hours of applied lessons requirement - aren't. In these cases, the college outlines alternative options for completing the requirement. For instance, students can fulfill the applied lessons requirement by working with a private teacher who has a master's degree. Judson professors will maintain a relationship with the private instructor and at the end of every semester, the student must submit a recording of their lessons with comments from the teacher. The credits will then be transferred to Judson.

  3. Pennsylvania State University
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Tuition

    $16572

    Pennsylvania State University was founded as the commonwealth's only land-grant university in 1855 and today offers programs across 24 campuses and online. Creative and artistic students looking to earn an art degree can pursue a range of options though Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture, which houses the Department of Art History, the Integrative Arts program, the School of Music, the Stuckeman School, the School of Theatre and the School of Visual Arts. Over 1,400 students are enrolled across more than 30 undergraduate and graduate art programs. Examples of available undergraduate degrees are a BA in art history, a Bachelor of Design, a BFA in stage management, a BS in dance, a BFA in acting and an undergraduate degree in digital multimedia design, which is offered online.

  4. Valley City State University
    Location

    Valley City, ND

    Tuition

    $5153

    Founded in 1890, Valley City State University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Undergraduate VCSU art students can choose from a BA or BS in Studio Arts, a BS in Art Education (K-12 classroom) or a Digital Design certificate in areas such as graphic design or commercial art. The art major consists of six areas of studio emphasis, including Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Ceramics, Sculpture, and Photography. Students have the opportunity to earn three to 12 credit hours per semester through internships at art institutions such as studios, galleries and museums, including the school's own McCarthy Art Gallery. Students are encouraged to exhibit their work at spaces in Valley City, Fargo and Moorhead. Currently, the only art-related program that's available online is a bachelor's degree in music.

  5. University of Northern Colorado
    Location

    Greeley, CO

    Tuition

    $6372

    Originally named Colorado State Normal School, the University of Northern Colorado opened at Greely in October 1890 to train public school teachers. The school eventually changed its name when it began offering a broader range of degree programs, including art degrees. UNCO's School of Art and Design prepares artists and art educators by integrating in-depth studio time and classroom instruction. Small class sizes provide ample opportunities for personal attention. Art degrees are offered in 12 areas, from art education to sculpture. UNCO's extended campus also offers an online Arts Entrepreneurship Undergraduate Certificate, a 12-credit program featuring valuable studies in marketing, self-promotion and business-planning for working artists. Four online graduate degrees are also available, including a newly online music education master's degree.

  6. Northern Arizona University
    Location

    Flagstaff, AZ

    Tuition

    $8400

    Over the years, Flagstaff's Northern Arizona University has grown in size and stature, adding additional campus locations, an online division and more than 150 academic programs. The NAU School of Art offers three undergraduate degrees - studio art, interior design and art education. The studio art BFA program allows students to choose a concentration in ceramics, painting, printmaking and sculpture. NAU's unique Studio Foundations program allows students to study drawing, two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, and color theory to explore their talents and interests in order to make informed decisions about their major. While there are no art degrees available online, students can enroll in more than 50 individual classes in related topics such as art history, native art and arts & culture.

  7. National University
    Location

    La Jolla, CA

    Tuition

    $12744

    Founded in San Diego in 1971 as a private non-profit institution, National University offers more than 100 on-campus and online degree programs. Online courses are offered in a unique, accelerated four-week schedule. Within the School of Professional Studies, the Department of Journalism, Film and Entertainment Arts offers two unique online bachelor's programs that take advantage of the university's proximity to Southern California's entertainment, broadcast and communications industries. The Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media Design builds a solid foundation in design theory, media production and media project management. Online students must complete 180 quarter units of study, including 72 quarter units in the major. The Bachelor of Arts in Film Arts covers topics like film history, screenplay writing, sound and video editing, cinematography, directing and post-production. Faculty members include journalists, filmmakers, designers and authors.

  8. University of Montana
    Location

    Missoula, MT

    Tuition

    $4603

    More than 13,000 University of Montana students attend courses in Missoula and online. Its School of Art offers undergraduate degrees in six general areas, all of which have dedicated faculty who oversee curriculum. A new online BA art degree is now available. It consists of a total of 120 credits where students take general education and School of Art courses to explore various elements of visual and applied arts. In their final year, online students complete a capstone project that's tailored to their degree and personal interests. For instance, students can put together an art exhibit, books, videos or interactive visualizations. After graduation, students can apply their visual communication and creative problem solving skills to a range of art and non-art related careers.

  9. University of Nebraska at Kearney
    Location

    Kearney, NE

    Tuition

    $5325

    The University of Nebraska at Kearney offers 170 majors and 20 pre-professional programs. Its Department of Art and Design is home to various BA and BFA programs such as studio art, art history, visual communication and design, and art teaching. As an example, the BFA has two 120 credit-hour pathways - studio art comprehensive and visual communication and design comprehensive. Each degree option is designed to prepare students for a professional career in art. With that in mind, all students are required to take and pass the Sophomore Portfolio Review before advancing to junior-level courses. These portfolios must have examples of both artwork and written works. It will be reviewed online and once students pass, they'll be allowed to registered for their third year BFA classes. Currently there are no online undergraduate art degree programs offered through UNK's eCampus, but two online graduate degrees in art education are available.

  10. North Carolina Central University
    Location

    Durham, NC

    Tuition

    $3555

    For over 100 years, North Carolina Central University has served students from around the world through its Durham, NC campus and online. The NCCU Art Museum is home to one of North Carolina's leading collections of works by African-Americans and other artists of the Black experience, including Alex Rivera, Nelson Mandela and Felrath Hines. The Department of Art offers a BA in art, with three areas of concentration - visual communications, studio and art studies. The studio concentration consists of at least 124 credit hours and students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0. The first and second years focus on completing general education courses, but after that students take a mix of basic art coursework, art history classes and studio concentration requirements. While NCCU doesn't offer any online art degrees at this time, it does have a 100 percent online undergraduate teaching artist certificate program.

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