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.

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Flexible Learning

Explore over 100 degree programs available 100% online and virtually

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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 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


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

Online Student Academic Support

The Academy’s Online Student Academic Support is here to provide you with all the help you might need to succeed in your academics. The Academy provides an academy library, online music library, class discussion tutorials, how-to library tutorials, online academic resources, communities, career and connections, and our guest speaker archive.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are your admissions requirements?

For a full list of admissions requirements, visit the admissions page.

How much are tuition and fees?

For the latest information regarding tuition fees, please visit the Finances page

Can I get a visa as an online student?

International students attending online classes are not eligible for a visa.

Can I earn a degree and/or certificate online?

Academy of Art University offers degrees and individual classes online for art and design students. Courses are highly focused, flexible and interactive. New online degrees and classes are added on a continuing basis, so please check the website each semester.

Will I be able to interact with my classmates?

Students are able to interact with their classmates and instructors. Online classes encourage communication through discussion, video conferencing, multimedia feedback, and small class sizes. Students participate in flexible discussions allowing them to ask questions and receive constructive feedback.

Can I contact an instructor if I need help?

Instructors are accessible via email, phone, or through the online discussion forum.

Can I get academic or language help in my online classes?

Academy of Art University’s Online Academic Support team provides personalized assistance, guiding you to:

  • Manage your time effectively
  • Communicate with your instructors and classmates
  • Participate in discussions successfully

Students can email the Online Writing Lab (OWL) to receive feedback on their writing. The Online Writing Lab is available for all students enrolled in classes at Academy of Art University. Students can also use the Writing Lab on campus to work with a tutor in-person.

English Language Support

English language support is available to all online students and provides individual tutoring to international students at all levels and in all majors. English instructors are available in some online courses to answer questions.

What are the online classes like, and how do I participate?

Similar to on-campus classes, your online classes have students, instructors, and advisors. Students communicate and ask questions using interactive online discussion forums, email and phone, enabling them to upload images and work, as well as provide and receive feedback. Online classes are flexible and work with your schedule. Discussions, lectures, and assignments can all be reviewed online at any time. However, assignments do have specific deadlines.

What class materials will I need and where will I purchase them?

Many classes require books and other materials. These should be ordered before your first day of class. Each class provides clear instructions listing any books and materials you will need to order, as well as how to order them.

What are the prerequisites for each class? How do I know if I qualify?

Prerequisites are listed in the Academy of Art University catalog and class bulletins. For online programs, this information is also provided in the Class Search & Registration. For more information regarding prerequisites, please speak with your advisor.

What is Online Student Academic Support?

Online Student Academic Support (OSAS) is the branch of the Academy Resource Center (ARC) devoted specifically to online students. We support all online students, both undergraduate and graduate, by either providing resources to the student directly or by helping the student connect with the appropriate department based on the student’s need. Our Online Academic Coaches are trained to specifically address the needs of online students.

How do I contact Online Student Academic Support?

The best way to contact OSAS is to login to the online learning system. From there click on the “Free Academic Help” button and quickly fill out the form noting what you specifically need help with. Once your form is submitted an online academic coach will be in touch with you to discuss your concerns. An alternate method is to directly email us at; you will have to note all relevant information yourself.

What can Online Student Academic Support help me with directly?

OSAS coaches can help you directly with time management, instructor communication, study skills, class navigation, and class acclimation. If you have needs other than those listed we may be able to help you directly but if we can’t we will be sure to get your needs addressed by the appropriate department.

I know I’m going to need support even before the semester starts. Can Online Student Academic Support help me?

Yes–if you are a first-time online student you will be enrolled in the Interactive Online Orientation (classes have an Academy designation) that usually runs a week before the start of the semester. Online academic coaches proactively help students before classes start to get acclimated and to answer questions. If you are not a first-time online student but know that you need help please contact us.

What are the minimum system requirements for online classes?

Here is a good reference sheet of all system requirements for online classes.

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