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Online Undergraduate Art Classes and Courses Overview

Online undergraduate art courses cover the theories and history of artistic expression, as well as the skills needed to create visual art. Some courses may have an in-person component due to the hands-on nature of the assignments.

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Online Courses in Undergraduate Art

The course overviews below describe some commonly offered online art courses.

  • Design Software Course: Many programs require students to learn about design software and technology early in the curricula so students are able to develop their artistic skills with the software in later courses. Much artistic work now, especially that taught online, is made with computers, so it's vital for artists to have a strong technology background. Design software is used to create illustrations, page layouts and typesets. Some courses cover specific brands of software, while others provide more general instruction.
  • Print and Digital Media Layout Course: Online print and digital media layout courses emphasize the visual and creative skills needed to organize images for physical media and the Internet. Students learn to use software to make pictures for magazines, brochures and websites and to design creative layouts. These courses often contain a substantial practical component, where students learn to use creative software firsthand.
  • Photography Course: Online courses in photography teach the skills required to use digital cameras to take artistic pictures. Students learn about framing, composition, color theory and other technical aspects of the discipline. Programs also discuss choosing photographic subjects and using pictures to deliver messages or evoke feelings.
  • Art History Course: Art history courses offered online either cover a particular era of art or provide a general overview of the subject. Students learn the characteristics and themes of paintings, architecture and sculptures from different areas of the world and time periods. Some programs compare the cultural settings of different artistic eras, helping students develop their historical knowledge and critical thinking skills.
  • Printmaking Course: In this course students will be introduced to various kinds of printmaking from etching to silk-screening. They will gain a foundational understanding of printed art mediums and learn techniques of traditional printmaking. As a culminating project, students will compile a portfolio of their print work.
  • Introduction to Drawing Course: This course will emphasize the basics of media with regard to drawing. Students will learn the basics of sketching and shading both human models and landscapes.
  • Digital Portfolio Course: Students in this course will learn about the tools which are necessary to create a portfolio. Special focus is placed on the concept of professionalism.

Program Information

Online art classes are available in various types of undergraduate programs, including certificates and degrees for graphic design, fine arts and art history. Because of the hands-on nature of art, many online art making courses may focus on digital art created with design software, and graphic design degrees that include such courses are available at the bachelor's and associate's degree levels. For many courses, students may need specialized professional software, such as the Adobe Creative Suite. They may also need equipment beyond a computer, such as a digital camera, printer or scanner. Before enrolling in a class, students should check on the technological and physical requirements to make sure they can access required course materials.

Online undergraduate art courses are available through certificate programs in addition to associate's and bachelor's degrees. Topics include printmaking, drawing, photography and design software.

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