Can I Get an Art Degree Online?

If you are ready for college and contemplating earning a degree in art, you may be wondering if it is possible to earn that degree from the comfort of your own home. You will be happy to know that it is entirely possible to earn an art degree online. In fact, students can earn an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree in art through distance education programs.

How it Works

Students of online art programs typically access a learning platform or course management system to read lectures, access learning materials and correspond with instructors and classmates. The platform or course management system is used to post class news, update information, and post grades. Most online instructors post weekly discussion topics that students answer and debate with each other. These learning platforms allow students to download and upload their assignments. For example, they may upload their written assignment, scanned work or digital images to an online drop box. Instructors provide individual feedback through email and online messages. Online art courses usually focus on the practice of visual arts, so lectures cover history, theories and techniques. At the same time, students simultaneously engage in hands-on exercises by themselves. These platforms give students access to exclusive learning resources, such as internal libraries of images or clip art.

Advantages to an Online Art Degree

There are many benefits to completing an online degree program. First, online schools are accessible to all students in all locations. Online programs offer a wider selection of art programs to choose from, so many students can access programs that aren’t locally available. This is especially important for adults who are raising a family or already working. Online degree programs offer flexibility, so students decide their own schedule and personalize the program to meet their specific needs.

The admissions process for most online schools are less elitist and exclusionary, so most students will be able to meet the basic formal requirements. There are technical requirements for distance education. Online art programs in the digital arts will probably require students to either purchase or download standard software, such as Adobe Flash, Reader or Photoshop. Students may also need to purchase or gain access to a scanner, digital camera and other technical art equipment.

Related Resources:
Cheapest Online Associate’s Degrees
Cheapest Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Cheapest Online Master’s Degrees

Hybrid Programs

Some colleges offer hybrid art programs that include both online learning and on-campus classes with instructors. These programs are ideal for students who are free to periodically attend school but need to learn hands-on art skills. These programs offer the same flexibility as online programs, but they allow students to spend valuable face-to-face time with instructors in order to receive feedback and seek advice.

Some courses may require the student to attend a regular on-campus class session, such as ceramics and sculpting. Hybrid online programs are usually available from two-year community colleges and four-year universities. Many offer certificate programs and popular art degrees, such as the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Prospective students will need previous academic coursework and will probably be required to submit a portfolio of their work.

While there are no official standards for accreditation, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design is the most important accrediting body for an online art degree program. Depending on their target field, students should select a program that is approved by a recognized accrediting body.