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Schools for Aspiring Multimedia Artists: How to Choose

Students in multimedia art school learn how to create images and animation both by hand and with computers for computer programs, commercials, television and movies. Certificate programs, associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs are available across the U.S. for aspiring multimedia artists.

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Students interested in studying multimedia art can choose from programs at nearly every level. Both community colleges and 4-year universities may offer these programs, and some online learning options are even available.

10 Schools with Multimedia Art Programs

Programs in multimedia, digital art or art design are available at these schools.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition* (2015-2016)
Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI 4-year, Private Master's $45,530 Graduate
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $43,960 Undergraduate; $45,810 Graduate
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $50,277 In-state Undergraduate; $39,984 In-state Graduate
Salem State University Salem, MA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $9,246 In-state Undergraduate; $15,508 Out-of-state Undergraduate
California State University - East Bay Hayward, CA 4-year, Public Master's $6,738 In-state Graduate; $15,666 Out-of-state Graduate
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $12,763 In-state Undergraduate; $11,220 In-state Graduate
Fullerton College Fullerton, CA 2-year, Public Certificate $1,138 In-state Undergraduate; $6,010 Out-of-state Undergraduate
Santa Barbara City College Santa Barbara, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,374 In-state Undergraduate; $8,086 Out-of-state Undergraduate
Berkeley City College Berkeley, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $1,156 In-state Undergraduate; $6,316 Out-of-state Undergraduate
Long Island University Brooklyn, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $35,546 Undergraduate; $27,720 Graduate

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

School Selection Criteria

Students interested in multimedia art schools may want to keep these considerations in mind when selecting their program:

  • Students should research the types of programs and curriculum available; focus areas are available throughout various educational levels in a variety of specialties.
  • Programs that focus on computer technology give students a strong technical understanding of the hardware in use.
  • Students who live too far from a prospective school or have scheduling conflicts may prefer the flexibility of online programs.
  • There are a number of programs that encompass multimedia courses, and it may be important to consider the course options when choosing a program to ensure it meets your career goals.

Certificate in Multimedia Art

Certificate programs in multimedia art may be completed in 2-3 semesters. Students may complete an internship, portfolio or both.

Associate's Degree in Multimedia Art

Associate's degree programs in multimedia art may be offered as concentration areas in broader programs or may be specific to one aspect of the field, such as design or writing. A portfolio and capstone project may be required.

Bachelor's Degree in Multimedia Art

Bachelor's programs commonly combine web design and graphic design with their multimedia programs or offer multimedia as a concentration in a broader program, such as digital art or art design. Coursework covers many nuanced aspects of multimedia art, such as image, text, sound, motion or computer technology. Students may have the opportunity to enroll in business courses as well, such as advertising, marketing and management.

Master's Degree in Multimedia Art

Master's programs multimedia art cover advanced concepts in design and may offer concentration areas, such as management and web design. These programs may be completed in 2-3 years. These programs may culminate with a larger thesis project. Curriculum may be largely project-based.

There are a number of programs that incorporate multimedia training, and students can pursue undergraduate and graduate studies in this field. Since the program lengths and costs vary widely, it's important to consider any long-term academic or career goals when choosing a program.

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