Online Education

For nearly two decades, Academy of Art University has been offering accredited online art and design degree programs. As an early pioneer in remote learning, our online programs are designed to provide the same quality education that our on-campus students receive, but with greater flexibility. You’ll learn from expert instructors who will equip you with work-ready skills and help you succeed in your future career. Choose from 120+ undergraduate and graduate degrees offered 100% online by one of the nation’s top art and design schools.

Earn your art and design degree from anywhere in the world

Academy of Art University is ranked as one of the top art and design online programs in the world. Our accredited online courses utilize custom-built content taught by instructors who are top industry professionals to give you the flexibility to earn your degree on your own terms.

Online courses
Instructional videos per semester
Countries that our students represent
Since 2002
Offering online education
Members of the student-run Facebook group

Online Learning Options

At Academy of Art University you can earn an accredited art and design degree in three ways: traditional online courses (asynchronous learning), virtual onsite courses (synchronous learning), and by attending classes on-campus in San Francisco. No matter what you choose to study, we offer the courses in a learning method that works best for you.

Why Choose the Academy’s Online Education?

Learn Work-Ready Skills from Industry Experts
The Academy's online courses are taught by the same faculty and instructors who teach on-campus students. All of our instructors bring foundational knowledge, as well as their personal experience and perspective, into their online courses.
Exclusive and Custom Content
Course content is proprietary, created in-house, and exclusive to the Academy. The classes are a mix of lecture and written content, recorded audio, interactive slideshows, and hands-on work. The curriculum is created by industry professionals to create the same quality of education as that of on-campus students.
Join the Artist Community
Each online course offers a discussion area where fellow classmates and instructors can freely share thoughts and revelations, post work, provide or receive helpful critique, and collaborate. Students support each other, which pushes artistic growth and forges long-lasting connections with peers and faculty.
Dedicated Support from Day One through Graduation
A dedicated team of Academy of Art support staff are on hand to help you receive the best learning experience. You have access to the same learning resources and support system as on-campus students, including on-demand demonstration videos, one-on-one sessions with your director, career & mentor chats, director Q&A, career services, and more.

Alumni Success

Meet our alumni who earned their degrees from Academy of Art University’s online education program and who are thriving in the art and design field today. Many who choose Academy of Art for their online education are working professionals. Explore how they were able to update their skills and advance their careers through the Academy’s online education program while balancing their jobs and other day-to-day responsibilities.

MFA Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media

Mark Cofer

Mark Cofer is a music composer who has created music for Broadway shows and TV spots for a number of films, including the 2015 Rocky Balboa spin-off, Creed, and, The Magnificent Seven. He took Academy of Art University’s online program from his home Nashville and was one of the first graduates of MFA Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media program. Studying online allowed him to balance spending time with his daughter while also cultivating his skills. Apart from composing music for TV, shows, and films, he is also teaching Music Editing for Visual Media courses at Academy of Art University.

MFA Fashion Design

Maria Aalto

Maria Aalto won the Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between Design Contest in the Graduate student category while she was taking the Online MFA Fashion Design program from her home town in Iowa. She showcased her work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and interned at the office of Comme des Garçons in New York. The capability of learning fashion from industry experts 100% online led her to the Academy’s MFA Fashion Design program.

MFA Photography

Greg Beams

Gregory Beams is a professional fine art photographer who creates staged large-scale photo-cinematic images of surreal urban scenes and isolated characters. He completed his MFA in Academy of Art University’s online program from his home in Seattle. His work was featured at the Sutter gallery in San Francisco. The Academy’s online program allowed him to find his voice, and with that, his photographs and his career changed for the better.

Tools and Resources

Online students can take advantage of Academy of Art’s rich resources and industry-standard tools to work on your projects. Here are some of the tools and resources that you can enjoy as an online student at the Academy:

  • Free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud 
  • Online library – Access e-books, full-text periodical articles, and images and more
  • Online Music library – Music resources for use in assignments and projects.
  • Tutorials & instructional videos
  • VIP guest speaker series and archives videos

Your Collaborative Space

Freely exchange thoughts, post work, and provide or receive constructive feedback—just like you would in a campus environment. You and your peers support and push each other, creating long-lasting connections that live beyond the course. You may not be on campus, but you’re not alone.

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