Media arts programs include a variety of available concentrations, such as music and audio, graphic design, film, television, photography, publishing, studio arts, Web design and journalism, among others. Studies in this field often integrate diverse technologies and approaches within the curriculum.
Top 10 Media Arts Schools
Both undergraduate and graduate programs in media and arts are available and are typically found at 4-year schools. According to US News, these are the top ten media and arts schools in the country:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Yale University||New Haven, CT||4-year, private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$47,600 (undergrad); $38,700 (graduate)|
|University of California - Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$12,763 in-state; $12,629 in-state|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, VA||4-year, public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$12,772 in-state; $12,779 in-state|
|Rhode Island School of Design||Providence, RI||4-year, private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||$45,840 (undergrad); $45,840 (graduate)|
|School of the Art Institute of Chicago||Chicago, IL||4-year, private||Bachelor's, Master's, Postgraduate Certificate||$43,960 (undergrad); $46,630 (graduate)|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Postgraduate Certificate||$50,665 (undergrad); $41,371 (graduate)|
|Columbia University||New York, NY||4-year, private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Postgraduate Certificate||$53,000 (undergrad); $44,176 (graduate)|
|Cranbrook Academy of Art||Bloomfield Hills, MI||4-year, private||Master's||$35,886 (graduate)|
|Alfred University - New York State College of Ceramics||Alfred, NY||4-year, private||Bachelor's, Master's||$26,261 (undergrad); $31,490 (graduate)|
|California Institute of the Arts||Valencia, CA||4-year, private||Bachelor's, Master's, Postgraduate Certificate||$43,986 (undergrad); $43,986 (graduate)|
Source: *National Center of Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
When choosing an arts and media program, consider the following:
- In some cases, such as music concentrations, auditions may be required for acceptance into a program.
- Prospective students may want to check that a school offers arts and media labs with up-to-date equipment so they can gain ample hands-on practice.
- Some degree programs in this field offer internships in the student's chosen concentration.
- Certain schools may have affiliations with arts and media organizations that offer further opportunities for students to build a portfolio and make career connections.
Bachelor of Science in Media Arts
This degree may also be offered as a Bachelor of Arts program. Required coursework typically covers state-of-the-art technological tools commonly used in the field. Additionally, theoretical and practical artistic concepts relevant to the particular field of study may be offered.
Master of Science in Media Arts
Graduate programs in this field allow students to narrow the focus of their studies. Some offer studies in areas such as experiential media, computer science, project development, system modeling and media synthesis. Some programs require submission of a student portfolio demonstrating competence with related media applications. This degree can be found as a Master of Arts program.
Arts and media degree programs give students a broad education into the concepts, techniques and technologies that are used in the field. Students need to specialize in the area of arts and media that they are most interested in and should choose a school accordingly.