SEARCH THE DATABASE
Sponsored Schools

Art and Design Degree Programs

Facebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutube

Some artistic types feel like they have to choose between an academic career and the pursuit of creativity, but degrees in art and design enable them to have the best of both worlds. If this sounds like you, then read on to learn more about the types of degree programs available in the field, what you’ll study in each, and the career opportunities you’ll have upon graduation.

Associates Degrees in Art and Design

Overview

If you’ve decided on a creative career, then an associate’s degree in art and design may be the best place to start. These types of degree programs will help you get your feet wet in the discipline and earn some credentials without too heavy an investment of your time, energy, or finances. Associate of art and design degree programs are often available from community or junior colleges, and increasingly, you can find these programs online as well. There are numerous types of associates degrees available in the field. Some of the most common are listed below:

Types of Associates Degrees in Design and Art

  • Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Fashion Merchandising
  • AAB in Fashion Design
  • AAB in Graphic Design
  • AAB in Interior Design
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Graphic Design/Illustration
  • AAS in Recording Arts Technology
  • AAS in Painting/Drawing
  • AAS in Multimedia Technology
  • Associate in Fine Arts
  • Associate of Arts (AA) in Art History
  • AA in Theatre
  • AA Studio Arts
  • Associate of Science (AS) in Game Design and Interactive Media

Art and Design Associate’s Degrees: Curriculum

The courses you’ll take for your associate of art and design degree will vary and depend heavily on the specific type of design/art degree you’re pursuing. Still, it can be helpful to get a general idea of what an associates level course in this field looks like. For that reason, we’ve listed some sample course titles below. These are taken from actual associates degree programs.

Associates in Design/Art: Sample Course Titles

  • Basic Color Theory
  • Verbal Communication of Visual Concepts
  • Themes in Art and Culture
  • Figure Drawing
  • Music, Creativity, and Consumption
  • Game Analysis and Strategy
  • Art History: Renaissance to Modern
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Animation and Motion Graphics
  • History of Graphic Design
  • Digital Animatics
  • Theatre Script Analysis
  • Music Theory
  • Music History: Early Romantic to Present
  • Introduction to Art Therapy
  • Computer Music Applications
  • Intercultural Communications
  • Live Audio Engineering
  • Three-Dimensional Design
  • Introduction to Photography

 

Associate of Art and Design Degrees: Jobs and Salaries

Associates degrees in art and design enable students to pursue their creative passions while earning a decent living. Below, we’ve listed the average salaries associated with several different types of design and art associate’s programs, according to Payscale.com:

  • Associate of Arts (AA) in Graphic Design: $50,000
  • AA in Fashion Design: $57,000
  • AA in Studio Art: $49,000
  • AA in Interior Design: $51,000

Of course, your exact salary will depend largely on the specific role you take on in the industry. Below, you’ll find some specific job titles in design and art alongside their average salaries, according to Payscale:

  • Graphic Designer: $42,552
  • Creative Director: $72,844
  • Art Director: $61,646
  • Fashion Designer: $57,508
  • Technical Designer (Apparel): $65,716
  • Associate Fashion Designer: $46,823
  • Interior Designer: $46,652
  • Senior Interior Designer: $63,106
  • Project Manager (Interior Design): $54,833
  • Design Director (Interior Design): $83,420

This is far from a complete list of associates-level jobs and salaries in art and design, but it should give you a general idea of the occupational opportunities and wages in the field for this level of education.

Bachelor’s in Art and Design

Overview

For those serious about forging a path in the competitive art and design field, a bachelor’s degree may be the ideal option. Bachelor’s in design and art are typically four-year plans of study available from colleges and universities. As with associates degree offerings, there are many different types of bachelor’s art and design degrees available. Some of these are listed below.

Types of Design/Art Baccalaureate Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art Studio
  • BA Art History
  • BA Art (K-12 Teaching)
  • BA Graphic Design
  • BA Game Art and Development
  • BA in Digital Photography
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technologies: Web Design and Development
  • BS in Fashion Merchandising
  • BS in Fashion Marketing
  • BS Game Art
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interior Design
  • BA Interior Architecture and Design
  • BS in Art and Design Management

Art and Design Bachelor’s Curriculum

The classes comprising your bachelor’s in art and design curriculum will differ depending on the type of degree you pursue and the specific college or university you attend. Despite this, it’s often helpful to view sample course titles to get a general idea of what to expect in a program of this kind. The following classes were taken from actual art and design bachelor’s degree programs:

Sample Course Titles for Bachelor’s Degrees in Design and Art

  • Brand Identity Design
  • Ceramic Design
  • Art, Culture, and Technology
  • Introduction to Typography
  • Media Communication and Visual Literacy
  • Innovations in Digital Imaging
  • Introduction to Digital Sculpting
  • 3-D Character Animation
  • Graphics and Layout in Print Media
  • Advanced Digital Graphic Design for Web
  • Computer Platform Technologies
  • Web Site Design
  • Business and Creative Industries
  • Developing Entrepreneurial Opportunities
  • Drawing for Art Majors
  • Color and Media Dynamics
  • Technology in the Entertainment and Media Industries
  • Art Creation for Games
  • Digital Advertising Communications
  • Design Thinking

Bachelor of Art and Design Degrees: Jobs and Salaries

There are numerous job opportunities for graduates of bachelor’s in art and design degree programs, and each of these occupations is associated with unique salaries. Still, it’s possible to get an idea of what you’ll make as well as which job titles are available in the field. The following list of jobs and respective average salaries are taken from Payscale.com:

  • Graphic Designer: $41,449
  • Interior Designer: $47,021
  • Senior Graphic Designer: $59,921
  • Senior Interior Designer: $65,972
  • Art Director: $62,663
  • User Experience Designer: $71,672
  • Creative Director: $74,279
  • Marketing Manager: $56,528
  • Industrial Designer: $53,893
  • Web Designer: $48,720
  • Product Designer: $67,827
  • Fashion Designer: $61,419
  • Senior Art Director: $81,857

While these occupations and average annual wages can give you a rough estimate of what you may earn with a bachelor’s degree in design and art, keep in mind that there are a number of factors that will affect your specific salary. These factors include the particular type of degree you earn, your employer, your specific job duties, and the number of years of work experience you have in the field.

Master’s Degrees in Art and Design

Overview

Master’s degree programs in art and design are made for those individuals who want to take their careers in creativity to the next level.  These academically rigorous programs typically require two years of coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree and position graduates for greater opportunities in the art and design field as well as higher salaries. There are several different kinds of design and art master’s programs. Here are some examples:

Types of Master’s Degrees in Design and Art

  • Master of Arts (MA) in Art and Design
  • MA Design
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Design
  • MA in Design and Innovation
  • Master of Design in Integrative Design
  • MA in Art and Design Education
  • MA in Sustainable Design
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Master’s in Art and Design Degrees: Curriculum

Coursework for a master’s degree in art/design will be more advanced than classes comprising a bachelor’s degree program. They also tend to be more research-focused. Of course, the specific classes you’ll take towards your specific art and design master’s degree will depend on the type of degree you’re pursuing and the school you choose to attend. Keep this in mind as you review the sample course titles below:

Master of Art/Design: Sample Course Titles

  • Introduction to Arts-Based Inquiry in Graduate Studies
  • Research Methods in Art
  • Coding for Designers
  • Visual Communication Fundamentals
  • Prototyping for Interaction Design
  • Advanced Typography
  • Advanced Digital Photography
  • The Context and Impact of Design
  • Building Creative Confidence
  • Business Foundations for Design
  • Planning, Sustainability, and Ethics
  • Fundamentals of Sustainable Design
  • Collaborative Product Design
  • Special Topics in Art History
  • Critical Theory and Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Art Education
  • Visual Culture and Contemporary Aesthetics
  • Advanced Three-Dimensional Fibers, Forms, and Structures

Master’s in Design and Art Degrees: Jobs and Salaries

To give you a general idea of the wage you can expect to earn after graduating from a master’s in art and design degree program, we’ve listed some occupations commonly associated with this credential alongside their average salaries, according to Payscale.com:

  • Graphic Designer: $50,948
  • Creative Director: $88,845
  • User Experience Designer: $86,285
  • Industrial Designer: $53,295
  • Senior User Experience Designer: $91,333
  • Design Manager: $98,501
  • Art Director: $72,763
  • Web Experience Researcher: $86,874
  • Design Architect: $57,128
  • Design Engineer: $74,571
  • Brand Manager: $68,125

Keep in mind that your actual salary with a master’s in design and art will depend upon your specific job title, employer, and years of work experience.

Doctoral Degrees in Art and Design

Overview

For some creative types, the doctor of art and design represents the ultimate academic goal. This type of program requires a great deal of time and effort on the part of the student and can only be completed by the most committed individuals. There are many different types of doctoral programs in the field of art and design. Below, you will find some examples:

Types of Doctorate Degrees in Design and Art

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Transition Design
  • PhD in Design, Environment, and the Arts
  • PhD History of Art and Architecture
  • PhD Art Education
  • PhD in Art and Research
  • PhD in Architecture
  • PhD in Performance Studies
  • PhD in Art, Design, and Media
  • PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Doctor of Design in Cultural Preservation
  • PhD in Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum: Art Education

 

Art and Design Doctorates: Curriculum

Coursework for a doctorate in art and design entails a high level of critical thinking, analysis, and research skills. In most cases, a formal doctoral dissertation is required as a culminating element of the program. Specific classes will vary depending on the type of doctoral program you’re enrolled in as well as the school you attend. The course titles listed below are provided for reference only:

Doctor of Art and Design: Sample Course Titles

  • Methods in Visual Communication
  • Creative Environment and Collaborative Leadership
  • Survey of Art Education
  • Artistic Thinking: Multimedia Applications for Teaching Art
  • Historiography of the Visual Arts, 1750-1960
  • Issues in Architecture, Design, and Urbanism
  • Global History of Art and Architecture
  • Methods of Media History
  • Methods in Performance Studies
  • Criticality and Modern Art
  • Advanced Architectural Theory
  • Cultural Approaches to Architecture
  • Arts in a Contemporary Context
  • Topics in the Visual Performing Arts
  • Design Theory and Practice
  • Seminar in Design History
  • Dimensions in Material Culture
  • Readings in the History of Art
  • Art History and the Subject of Biography
  • Art Historiography: Theory and Methods
  • Behavioral Research in the Arts

Art and Design Doctorates: Jobs and Salaries

Graduates of art and design doctoral programs are poised to take on the most advanced and highest paid leadership positions in the field. Below are some of the career opportunities this credential will afford them as well as the average salaries associated with each, according to Payscale.com:

  • Academic Dean: $93,132
  • Assistant Professor: $50,816
  • Professor: $76,120
  • Program Manager (Non-Profit): $47,633
  • Museum Director: $84,621
  • Project Specialist: $72,133
  • Curator: $96,122
  • College/University Department Chair: $79,275

The specific wages you’ll receive with an art and design doctoral degree will depend on your particular occupation, your employer, and the years of experience you bring to the position.

 

Frequently-Asked Questions About Degrees in Art and Design

Q: Can I complete my art and design degree online?

A: Yes. Some art and design degree programs are available entirely online while others are offered via a hybrid or blended learning format.

Q: Can I work while earning my degree in art and design?

A: If you wish to work while earning your design and art degree, it is possible to do so. You may want to consider programs with flexible scheduling options such as part-time, evening, or hybrid/online options.

Q: What is the best degree program for art and design?

A: There is no single “best” art and design degree program, but with some research and reflection, you can find the optimal program for you. Consider factors such as cost, curriculum, accreditation, flexibility, and more.

Art and Design Degree Rankings: