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Bachelors In

Visual Arts Degrees

The complete guide on what you’ll learn, job prospects, university programs, and saving time and money.

Why We Love It

  • $35,710
    Potential Avg. Salary

With a bachelor of arts in visual arts, you’ll engage in an in-depth study of the visual art medium—both its history and techniques—while also gaining a strong liberal arts education. Graduates of liberal arts programs find work in a variety of careers. Some work as artists—animators, sculptors, graphic designers, or illustrators—while others find work in art galleries and museums as curators and administrators.

What is a Degree in Visual Arts?

In a visual arts program, students can focus broadly on the discipline or choose an area of focus. The concentrations differ by college, but most colleges allow students to focus on photography, drawing, graphic design, animation, videography, or art history. Regardless of the concentration, all students will take art history courses, will learn how to use computer art and design programs, and will take various liberal arts courses like composition, theater, social sciences, literature, history, and philosophy.

Graduates of visual arts programs may find work in many different careers. Some work as artists, painting, drawing, sculpting, and photographing and selling their works online or in art shops and galleries. Some pursue a double major in visual arts and education and teach art in elementary, middle, and high schools. Others use their talents to work in business, marketing, and web design roles as graphic designers, stock photographers, web designers, typographers, and brand managers.

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Visual Arts?

  • Visual Concepts
  • Drawing
  • Art and Media
  • Visual Culture
  • Public Art
  • Art History
  • Color Theory
  • Photography

What Jobs Can You Get with a Degree in Visual Arts?

It’s easier than ever for arts and crafts professionals to sell their works. Additionally, artists are needed to work as educators teaching the aspiring artists of the future in schools, colleges, and after-school art courses . There is also an increased demand for artists who can work in digital mediums. As having a website is a must-have for modern businesses, artists are required for helping build aesthetically pleasing digital artifacts.

How Long does it take?

A bachelors in Visual Arts will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at OnlineDegree.com that could transfer to universities in the US.

Online Visual Arts Degree

Studying visual arts is a popular choice that has gained much interest in the recent years. There are limited number of online programs in visual arts as students need to get intensive hands-on training to develop their skills. Online learning may be suitable for some specializations in visual arts as graphic design, animation, typography and multimedia. Most visual arts programs require completing graduation projects and internships.

*All salary and growth data is based on the recent Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at BLS.gov for a Arts and Crafts Maker


What Can You Do With a Visual Arts Degree?

Visual arts refer to different forms of arts that aim at making things look pleasant, appealing and deliver an intended message. Currently, visual arts include fine arts, applied arts and crafts. These include photography, painting, printing, video, filmmaking, design craft, architecture, ceramics and sculptures. It is certainly a rewarding field of work as some artistic works for living artists are sold for values reaching $90 million. However, achieving success as a visual artist does not depend only on earning the degree but it requires having the talent and passion towards the field. Visual art is a field that provides unlimited space for creativity and innovation. Learning the psychology of the audience, history of arts and other related topics helps in innovating in a guided way that produces appealing and successful results.

What does visual arts student learn?

Visual arts students learn about how people perceive visual objects or arts. They also learn about the relation between culture, psychology, sociology and arts. The major part of the study is practical offered in specialized training studios. The following list shows the courses commonly offered in visual arts degree programs:

  1. Modern art history: this course introduces the major artistic works and trends covering roughly the period between 1860s and 1970s which witnessed overcoming past traditions in favor of experimentation.
  2. Visual storytelling and reporting: this is a special type of art that aims at telling a story using visual objects as photos, illustrations or videos. It can also be assisted with music or other audio. There are four main elements of visual storytelling that are commonly known as 4 P’s: people, place, plot and purpose.
  3. Contemporary drawing: it refers to the artistic works made during the 20th and 21st centuries. Contemporary artists use drawing to produced finished artistic work instead of using it as a preparatory form for other work.
  4. Life drawing: it refers to the drawing of human form in any posture or shape which can be in the form of detailed anatomical rendering or loose expressive sketches.
  5. Multimedia Studio: this course introduces the use of computers to integrate texts, graphics, animations and audio to produce visual artistic works.
  6. Sculpture: this course trains students to use stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials to produce visual plastic three-dimensional artistic works.
  7. Other courses: special studies in ceramics, painting, photography, printmaking and screen printing.

Now I have the visual arts degree…where can I work after graduating?

Visual arts are unique field of study and work. Earning a degree in visual arts is not enough for success in the field as you must have the talent and passion to create masterpieces that gain popularity among the audience. It also requires much effort and dedication till you master the skills of the work. Visual arts are not limited to galleries or exhibitions, but it involves various aspects of life. The following list shows several careers available to visual arts graduates:

  1. Architect: you can work to make buildings as artistic works that last for decades as Sydney Opera House, Burj Al Arab of Dubai, Empire State building or Taj Mahal.
  2. Courtroom sketch artist: they provide sketches that depicts the proceedings in the court when photography is not allowed. This is important for reports on TV channels and newspapers.
  3. Critic: if you achieved popularity and have good profile of artistic work then you can work in evaluating artistic works and publishing your views in related magazines or other media. Critical evaluation of art is important for determining the value of works.
  4. Product designer: the role of this job is to design a product in way that improves how it looks and performs. Improving the design can result in a great improvement in sales and revenue.
  5. Other career options: art consultant, art editor, art gallery director, cartoonist, cinematographer, exhibit designer, fashion designer, furniture designer, graphic designer, jewelry designer, illustrator, interior decorator, landscape designer, museum director, painter and photographer.

Should I choose a visible arts degree?

Visible arts are unique in nature and provide an exciting field for work. If you have the passion and enthusiasm, then you should certainly consider studying this degree. Visible arts programs focus mainly on skills. Successful artists must have the following skills:

  1. Creativity and innovation: this is the core skill of this field. You need to make novel attractive work that has a value and deliver a message.
  2. Independence: artists should be independent in their decisions and designs and do not get influenced severely by other’s opinions. You should always keep in mind that your work represents your personality.
  3. Attention to details: successful artists cannot miss fine details in their work. If you work in this field, you will know that small things can make huge change.
  4. Patience: completing a masterpiece can take weeks or even months. You should have the persistence, dedication and patience to complete your work.

Best Jobs for Visual Arts Degrees

Talented artists and educated art historians can find work in a variety of industries. Many go on to work as artists, selling their artworks in shops and online. Others move into curation, working for art galleries and museums nationally and internationally. Others go into general business and lend their artistic talents to businesses who have digital art needs, working as graphic designers or animators for videos.


How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Visual Arts degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

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Get a Certificate in Graphic Design First

By earning a certificate in graphic design before enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program, you may be able to find work in the field as a freelance or part-time graphic designer. This will help you earn income and experience sooner, which could help you while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Best of all, your credits may transfer to reduce the number of credits required for a bachelor’s degree.


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