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Digital Media Arts Bachelors Degree Online

Online bachelors in media arts programs teach how to use emerging media and technologies to develop lifelong learning skills in the rapidly evolving communication and media industries. These aspects combine with the creative approach to storytelling and critical analysis to effectively communicate with a target market through new platforms.

Did You Know?

Between the years 1966 and 2016, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has funded the advancement of media arts with $343.2 million dollars.

Online Bachelors in Media Arts: The Basics

Online media arts bachelors degrees focus on teaching current theories in communication and the technical aspects of media production. Some of the specific topics include learning how to analyze film, hone writing skills, and learn the functions of different editing software.

Many courses while earning your bachelors degree analyze the effects of media, entertainment, and the arts. In addition, programs look to develop your skills in criticism and evaluation of different art forms and mediums. This may allow you to foster an understanding of the effectiveness of future technologies, and the best methods to reach your market.

As many digital platforms now track user activity, some media arts programs also teach data analytics. By understanding the analysis of successful and unsuccessful campaigns, you may know how to adapt your content strategy to provide your audience more of the content that they are looking for to more effectively grow your market.

Admissions Requirements for Media Arts Bachelors Degrees

Each bachelors degree in media arts program has unique admissions requirements. However, most ask that you have earned a high school or equivalent diploma. Some additional requirements may include those listed below.

  • Transcripts
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • SAT or ACT Scores

Some schools have stricter requirements than others. For instance, there are some schools that may ask that you have earned your high school or equivalent diploma with a 3.0 GPA or higher, while other schools may not have any GPA requirements. Check with a few schools to find one that is a perfect match for you.

Online Bachelors in Media Arts Degrees Awarded

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online Bachelors Degree in Media Arts?

Most full-time students can earn their online bachelors degree in media arts in four years. This includes all required courses in media arts and any additional general education requirements. Normally, it takes longer for part-time students to earn their degree.

Is Media Arts a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts?

Most schools that offer a bachelors degree in media arts list it as a Bachelor of Arts (BA). However, there are some programs that offer a Bachelor of Science (BS). Typically, these are more technical programs in digital media and web design.

Both types of bachelor degrees are academically equivalent and usually take the same amount of time to complete. Normally, a BA allows more opportunity for students to take free or liberal arts electives. On the other hand, a BS degree usually requires electives that are related or support media arts.

However, each school has a unique design. Therefore, check out a few schools to find one that matches your goals.

What Is Media Arts?

Media arts typically refers to any type of art that uses a technological component to function and the communication device used to transmit the information. As a result, many new art forms have fallen under the umbrella of media art. Check out the list below for some examples.

  • Digital Art
  • Electronic Art
  • Multimedia Art

Besides those listed, there may be many other types of art that are considered media art. In fact, the National Endowment of the Arts considers media arts to consist of all art forms that use any of the methods listed below.

  • Film
  • Television
  • Radio
  • Internet
  • Interactive
  • Mobile
  • Video Games
  • Books
  • Journals

By encompassing so many forms, while earning an online bachelors in media arts, you may have the chance to take courses in a number of different aspects of communication. This may include combining hand drawing and sketching skills, as well as an understanding of print media, with digital technologies such as 3D modeling, video, web design, and others.

Difference Between Media Arts and Graphic Design

While there are some similarities, media arts and graphic design have two different functions. For instance, media arts typically deal with motion graphics, screenwriting, video editing, and other topics. Normally, media arts are presented in either a digital or electronic format.

On the other hand, graphic design typically includes the fundamentals of basic drawing, as well as digital imaging. Usually, one of the functions that graphic designers perform is designing logos for businesses or organizations. Therefore, having an understanding of printmaking and textures to print marketing materials may be beneficial. Graphic design uses both digital and tangible platforms.

Media Arts Bachelors Degree: What You’ll Learn

While pursuing an online bachelors in media arts, programs teach how to create, develop, and produce a message in a variety of media formats, which is why media arts is such a broad degree. Some of these formats include 3D animation, television news, and video production.

Therefore, you may take a number of courses that teach other ways of distributing media art to the public and your target audience. One of these is through website design, which means you may take a number of digital-oriented core courses with the goal of striking a balance between artistic interests and practical web design.

Another component of digital media arts is understanding new technology and how to communicate through new and emerging platforms. This includes using professional networking skills through various forms of media.

Important Topics in Media Arts

The key topics of media arts include the fundamentals, concepts, and techniques of the many parts of the field. As a result, you may cover the basics of some of these areas. Some of the overall techniques and topics of media arts include those listed below.

  • Use current and emerging technologies to design, develop, and manage digital media
  • Develop interactive, digital, and web-based media
  • Effectively apply relevant theories, practices, and principals of digital media arts
  • Critique media messages and their context using theoretical frameworks
  • Research upcoming projects to help create realistic designsi

Keep in mind that each school has a unique design. Therefore, the specific topics covered while earning your online bachelors degree in media arts may vary on the program. The topics may vary if you choose a concentration as well.

Concentrations for Your Online Bachelors in Media Arts

Because media arts covers so many different aspects, while pursuing your online bachelors in media arts, there may be a number of different concentrations that you can choose from. By choosing a concentration, you may tailor your course of study to one particular field of media arts to learn all of the different parts of that field.

Some of the common concentrations for your media arts bachelors degree includes those listed here.

  • Film, Television, and Media
  • Journalism
  • Performing Arts
  • Public Relations
  • Animation
  • Broadcasting
  • Web Design
  • Game Design

Each school has a unique design to their bachelors of media arts program. Therefore, some schools may offer more concentrations and others may not offer any. Look at a few different schools to find one that matches your goals.

Common Courses in Media Arts

While earning your online media arts bachelors degree, many courses focus on the concepts and principles of the multi-dimensional landscape of both traditional and emerging media. As a result, many schools and courses explore communication in all facets and through a number of mediums.

Some of the courses you may take while earning your media arts bachelors degree include those listed here.

  • Basic Design and Color Theory
  • Language and Practice of Media Arts
  • Graphics and Layout in Print Media
  • History and Principles of Animation
  • Introduction to 3D Computer Graphics
  • Topics in Electronic Media Production
  • Digital Media Production
  • Media Business Practices
  • Studies in Media Theory
  • Visual Communication

Many bachelors degree programs also have a number of general education course requirements. This typically includes courses in history, math, business, and other subjects. This may have the added goal of providing you context to cover news stories in many different subjects.ii

Remember, no two schools offer the exact same course of study while pursuing an online bachelors in media arts. Therefore, the specific curriculum and names of courses normally vary from school to school. Check out a few programs to find a perfect school for you.

What Are Some of the Different Media Arts Bachelors Degrees?

Because media arts encompasses so many different fields and types of design, many schools have chosen different names for their online bachelors in media arts degree. As a result, it may be tough to tell which is included under the umbrella of media arts.

Check out the list below for a list of some of the different names of online bachelors in media arts programs.

  • Digital Media and Web Technology
  • Communication and Media Arts
  • Digital Media Arts
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment
  • Graphic Design and Media Arts

Keep these titles and those similar in mind while researching different media arts bachelor degrees. Also, remember that while each of these titles may fall under media arts, they may have a different focus or approach. Take the time to find the perfect school for you by looking at a number of schools.

Bachelors Degree in Digital Media

One of the types of online bachelors in media arts degrees is digital media. As producing content for new media platforms, such as social media, blogs, and online articles, become more influential, many online digital media bachelor degree programs teach how to effectively reach a target audience through these platforms.

Some of the common topics studied in digital media may include those listed below.

  • New Media Technology
  • Social Media Research and Marketing
  • Content Production in New Media Platforms
  • Data Analytics

Remember that digital media is one component of media arts. Therefore, these programs may have a unique focus and curriculum compared to other media arts bachelors programs.

Online Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and Animation

Another type of media arts bachelors degree is animation. Over the last number of years, graphic art has changed. Now, many animation and 3D graphic programs teach how to use 3D sculpting workflow. This may include the aspects listed here.

  • Wireframe 3D Models
  • Rendering Photorealistic Effects
  • Animating Character Functions

Many online bachelor of arts in media arts and animation programs teach these methods through industry-standard software. Therefore, you may look at how to use these techniques to create visual content in video games, animated web content, movies, and other media.

Bachelors of Web Design Online

While pursuing a bachelors of web design online, many courses analyze the technical aspects of how to leverage applications and data to create a compelling online user experience. This may also include courses on data analytics to track the activity of website visitors.

Some of the topics that web design programs look at include the issues and challenges listed here.

  • Creating and Maintaining Websites
  • User Experience (UX) Design
  • Interface Usability

You may also study how to find and recommend technologies and systems that support organizational decision-making strategies. As web design is becoming more important, this aspect of media arts may look at more of the technical components and behind-the-scenes technologies, rather than the audience-facing content of other degrees and concentrations in the field.

Common Careers in Media Arts

Upon earning your online bachelors in media arts, there are a number of careers that you may pursue. Typically, each of these positions ask that you have earned a bachelors degree and that you can show your creativity and originality through a professional portfolio.iii

Check out the list below for some of the careers in media arts and their 2016 median annual salary.

  • Multimedia Artists and Animators: $65,300iv
  • Graphic Designers: $47,640v
  • Art Directors: $89,820vi
  • Web Developers: $66,130vii
  • Public Relations Specialist: $58,020viii

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of multimedia artists and animators to increase 6% during the 10 years from 2014 to 2024.ix

Take the Next Step

Are you artistic and love you using emerging technology to create your art? Do you enjoy the challenge of creating user friendly and practical designs? Then take the next step to earn you online bachelors in media arts.

Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to read program descriptions and specific courses. You can even reach out directly to your favorite schools to request more information and apply today.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm#tab-2 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/reporters-correspondents-and-broadcast-news-analysts.htm#tab-4 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm#tab-4 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm#tab-5 [v] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm#tab-5 [vi] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/art-directors.htm#tab-5 [vii] bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm#tab-5 [viii] bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/public-relations-specialists.htm#tab-5 [ix] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm#tab-6

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