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Most Affordable Online Colleges for Art Degrees

For individuals with a creative mind that love to design, try new things, and be challenged daily you’ll most likely be drawn into a career in art and design. A successful career in art involves critical thinking and a lot of collaboration. Earning an art degree can take you into a profession as a graphic designer, animator, photographer, illustrator, professional artist, and so much more. The first step to becoming a great creator is earning a degree from a prestigious institution.

We’ve compiled a list of the top ten most affordable colleges that offer online art degrees. Not only will you be learning the most up-to-date information but you can learn at your own pace in the comfort of your home. As a student in one of these programs, you’ll be trained by artists across all different concentrations so you can be sure you’re becoming a well-rounded creator. You’ll be taught graphic design, game design, interior design, fashion, digital animation, and much more. A profession in art is whatever you want it to be which is what makes art such an intriguing profession.

most_affordable_online_art_degreesMethodology

All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online art degrees (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in 2020

2021 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Art Degrees

Rank School Average Net Price
#1 University of Florida $8,057
#2 Bellevue University $12,055
#3 The University of Montana $15,353
#4 Central Michigan University $15,677
#5 Lindenwood University $18,264
#6 Upper Iowa University $21,526
#7 Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design $21,571
#8 Liberty University $27,883
#9 Cogswell College $31,537
#10 Academy of Art University $32,131

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Art Degrees

1. University of Florida

Average Net Price: $8,057
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 42%

University of Florida (UF) is located in Gainesville, Florida. And, according to Niche.com, it is the best school in the state. Both traditional and online courses are available at this university. UF offers two online degree options for students who would like to pursue a career in the field of art.

The first online art degree offered by UF is a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts and Sciences (BADAS). To earn this degree, students will need to successfully complete a variety of online art classes, such as digital animation and art appreciation. UF’s BADAS degree is designed to prepare students for a career in fields like game design and computer animation.

The second art degree that UF students can complete online is a Master of Art in Art Education (MAAE). This degree program requires students to complete 36 credit hours of courses and is tailored towards working adults. Upon graduation, students will be qualified to teach art in a variety of educational settings.

2. Bellevue University

Average Net Price: $12,055
School Type: Private, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 100%

Bellevue University (BU) is located in Bellevue, Nebraska. This small, private university offers a range of in-person and online courses, including three art programs that can be completed entirely over the internet. Two of these programs are art minors that are designed to be completed alongside a related undergraduate degree, and the third leads to a bachelor’s degree.

Both of BU’s online art minors are in the field of graphic design. One focuses on the print applications of graphic design, and the other is tailored towards future web designers. They both require students to complete 21 credit hours in addition to their regular program’s coursework.

BU’s Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design (BAGD) course consists of 37 general education credits, 49 specialized credits, and 41 elective credits. Students should expect to spend four years completing this online art degree, although they have the option of transferring previously earned credits to make the process faster.

3. The University of Montana

Average Net Price: $15,353
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Acceptance Rate: 93%

The University of Montana (UM) is located in Missoula, Montana. To help a variety of students reach their academic goals, the university has a department dedicated to online learning: UMOnline. Programs at UMOnline are offered in three formats: entirely online, blended in-person and digital learning, and web-enhanced courses.

UM’s School of Visual & Media Arts offers three art courses through UMOnline. The first is a non-degree program that involved 12 credit hours in digital imaging, Photoshop, illustration, and graphic design applications. Students who successfully complete these online art classes will earn Digital Design Certificates.

Students who are interested in earning a bachelor’s degree from UM’s online art school have two options. The first, a Bachelor of Arts in Art, focuses on studio art. Students in this program are encouraged to work with an advisor to create an individualized course of study to help them meet their career goals, whether they want to work in film or become a painter. The second, a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts, is designed for students who want to work in the field of digital arts. Both programs take an average of four years to complete.

4. Central Michigan University

Average Net Price: $15,677
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 68%

Central Michigan University (CMU) is located in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Recognized as one of the 10 best public universities in the state by Niche.com, CMU offers in-person classes at its main campus and 21 satellite locations. It also boasts a range of degrees that can be earned either entirely online or in a blended-learning environment.

Students who would like to pursue an undergraduate degree in art at CMU can focus on one of three options: animation, graphic design, and studio arts. CMU also offers a variety of closely related degrees, such as art history, fashion merchandising and design, interior design, and multimedia design.

The only art programs that can be completed entirely online at CMU are their fashion-related degrees. Depending on their course of study, students who graduate from these programs will earn either a Bachelor of Applied Arts or a Bachelor of Science, both of which are in Fashion Merchandising and Design. Students will also work with an advisor to decide whether to focus their degree on product development or visual merchandising.

5. Lindenwood University

Average Net Price: $18,264
School Type: Private, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 74%

Lindenwood University (LU) is located in St. Charles, Missouri. Founded in 1827, this university has kept up with the times and now offers dozens of degrees that can be completed entirely online. LU has several undergraduate and graduate-level degrees that are designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in attending an online art school.

Undergraduate art degrees available to LU’s online students include a Bachelor of Arts in Art in Design, a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture, a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design, a Bachelor of Arts in Pre-Art Therapy, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art and Design. Online students can also earn one of the following art-related graduate degrees at LU: Master of Arts in Art & Design, Master of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture, Master of Arts in Game Design, and a Master of Arts in Studio Art.

6. Upper Iowa University

Average Net Price: $21,526
School Type: Private, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 56%

Upper Iowa University’s (UIU) main campus is located in Fayette, Iowa. The school also boasts nearly two dozen satellite education centers throughout the country, and an international learning facility in Hong Kong. In addition to in-person classes, UIU offers flexible online degree programs, self-paced classes, and correspondence courses that can be completed through the mail.

Students can earn the Bachelor of Arts in Art at UIU in one of four focuses. The first, in art education, prepares students to teach art to students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The other three are pre-professional degrees, designed to give students the skills they will need to pursue graduate degrees in architecture, art therapy, or studio arts.

UIU also offers programs that lead to a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and minors in art or graphic design. Depending on their individualized degree plan, students can expect to spend between two and four years completing their art degree at UIU.

7. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Average Net Price: $21,571
School Type: Private, For-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 100%

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) is located in Lakewood, Colorado. Established in 1963, this private school offers both in-person and online art courses. Because it is a specialized college, students have a large variety of art degrees to choose from at RMCAD.

Students who want to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation can take RMCAD’s art classes online, and choose between a focus in two- or three-dimensional work. On the other hand, the school’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education program is tailored towards students who are interested in a teaching career. Additional undergraduate art degrees offered by RMCAD include Bachelors of Fine Arts in Fashion Design, Game Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Illustrative Design, Interior Design, and Photography.

Prospective graduate students have a single online degree option at RMCAD. The school’s Master of Arts in Education Media Design and Technology is intended to give licensed teachers a career boost by equipping them with the skills they need to incorporate technology into their lesson plans.

8. Liberty University

Average Net Price: $27,883
School Type: Private, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 51%

Liberty University (LU) is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, and is considered one of the country’s best online schools by Niche.com. This Christian university does offer some on-campus learning experiences, but most of its students earn their degrees online.

Students who want to take online art courses may be interested in LU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree. This program requires students to complete 120 credit hours, three-quarters of which can be transferred in from another school. Most students are able to graduate with this degree in fewer than four years.

LU also offers two graduate-level art degree programs to their online students. The first is a Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design, requires students to earn 30 credits and takes an average of one year to complete. The second, a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design, features 60 credits of classes and will take students approximately two years to earn.

9. Cogswell College

Average Net Price: $31,537
School Type: Private, For-Profit
School Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission
Acceptance Rate: 64%

Cogswell Polytechnical College (CC) is located in San Jose, California. More commonly referred to as the University of Silicon Valley (USV), this school prides itself on being able to meet the needs of 21st-century students. The school offers two distinct art degrees, each of which have various concentrations available so that students can earn a degree that is tailored to their future career goals.

USV’s Bachelor of Arts in Digital Art and Animation degree program has been created with the help of industry professionals to equip students with the skills that their future employers want them to have. Students pursuing this degree can choose to focus on three-dimensional modeling, three-dimensional animation, entertainment design, or technical art.

The second art degree offered by USV is a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design Art. While earning this degree, students will need to choose whether to focus on the writing or visual art aspects of game design.

10. Academy of Art University

Average Net Price: $32,131
School Type: Private, For-Profit
School Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission
Acceptance Rate: 100%

Academy of Art University (AAU) is located in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1929, AAU has a generous admissions policy because they believe that a student’s potential has nothing to do with their academic past. Students who want to take art classes online can work at their own pace at AAU, whether they want to attend school full-time or only take a class or two at a time. This makes the school a good option for working adults.

AAU offers a variety of associates degrees to students who want to earn their art degrees quickly. These programs can be completed in fewer than two years, and are available in fields like animation & visual effects, fine art, game development, graphic design, illustration, photography, visual development, and web design & new media. Bachelors’ and masters’ level courses are also available in those fields and others, such as architecture, and art history.

Resources:
https://www.niche.com/colleges/university-of-florida/
https://ufonline.ufl.edu/degrees/undergraduate/digital-arts-and-sciences/
https://arteducationmasters.arts.ufl.edu/curriculum/
https://www.niche.com/colleges/bellevue-university/
https://www.bellevue.edu/degrees/
https://www.bellevue.edu/degrees/minor/graphic-design-print/
https://www.bellevue.edu/degrees/minor/graphic-design-web/
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https://www.umt.edu/umonline/
https://svma.umt.edu/
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https://www.niche.com/colleges/central-michigan-university/
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https://go.cmich.edu/academics/Undergraduate/Find_Program/Pages/default.aspx
https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/lindenwood-2480
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https://www.rmcad.edu/get-to-know-us/about-us/
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https://www.niche.com/colleges/liberty-university/
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https://www.liberty.edu/online-at-liberty/bachelor-of-fine-arts-in-graphic-design/
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https://www.academyart.edu/about-us/
https://www.academyart.edu/online-education/online-degrees/