How Online Courses Work at the Academy

Engage your peers

You may work and study independently, but that doesn't mean you can’t tap the support of your online classmates.

Each course offers a class discussion area where students and instructors can freely exchange thoughts, post work, and provide or receive creative feedback. The discussion area's sole purpose is to give you and your peers the opportunity to support each other's mutual development as artists.

Submit your work and get feedback

We've developed our own custom Learning Management System (LMS) - a centralized web tool that lets students and faculty easily interact and exchange digital assets.

The LMS whiteboard feature allows instructors to mark up your work and provide detailed feedback, even audio commentary.

The LMS also serves as your central hub for class news and updates, grade information, ESL support, scheduling one-on-one tutoring sessions, and a host of other features tailored to make your online education as rich as possible.

Create your own class schedule

When you take online courses at the Academy, you're free to manage your own time; there are no set class schedules that require you to be online at specific points in the day.

Course content is divided evenly across 15 modules spread out over a semester. Each module's coursework - instructional videos, audio-enhanced slideshows, digital documentation, interviews, and more - are made available at the start of each module period.

Online Pre-College

Our pre-college classes give high school students from around the world the opportunity to explore their creative interests in a fun and focused online environment.

Online Continuing Education

A flexible admissions process allows students to craft their own online education program. Dive deeper into fields you're already familiar with, or branch out into new creative disciplines.

Degrees Offered Online

The following degrees can be completed entirely online:
Major AA BA B.Arch BFA BS MA M.Arch MFA
Animation & Visual Effects        
Architectural Design              
Art Education            
Art History            
Communications & Media Technologies            
Costume Design          
Fashion Journalism          
Fashion Marketing            
Fashion Marketing & Brand Management              
Fashion Merchandising          
Fashion Merchandising & Management              
Fashion Product Development          
Fashion Styling            
Fashion Visual Merchandising            
Fine Art        
Game Development        
Game Programming              
Graphic Design        
Industrial Design        
Interior Architecture & Design        
Jewelry & Metal Arts        
Landscape Architecture        
Motion Pictures & Television          
Music Production            
Music Scoring & Composition          
Sound Design        
Studio Production for Advertising & Design              
Visual Development        
Web Design & New Media        
Writing for Film, Television & Digital Media            

Course Catalog

We encourage you to explore the limits of your creativity and create your own path to creative fulfillment. Many of our classes can be taken without any prior experience or knowledge; all that's required is a desire to learn and explore. If you'd like to take a class that has a prerequisite, please contact an admissions representative. Once you've demonstrated equivalent knowledge or completion of a similar course a representative will assist you with registration.

Explore the Course Catalog


Supported Internet Browsers

Your computer must have one of the following Internet browsers to successfully participate in our online classes. Make sure you have one of the following installed on your computer:

Browser* Versions Mac PC
Mozilla Firefox Get Firefox for Mac or PC x x
Google Chrome Get Chrome for Mac or PC x x
Safari Get Safari for Mac x  


JavaScript must be enabled.

The makers of the Safari and Firefox browsers recently changed their default security settings to not allow Flash. If you use Safari or Firefox, you will need to adjust your settings or click "Allow Flash" when prompted in order to view some videos and slideshows in your courses. You may also use an alternate, recommended browser (such as Chrome). Please contact the Online Help Desk with any questions about changing these settings.


Minimum System Requirements

Your computer system must meet these minimum requirements:

Platform Requirements
Mac Operating System: Mac OS X 10.9 or higher
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i7, or Xeon processor or faster
Computer Memory: 4 GB of RAM minimum, 8 GB or more recommended
PC Operating System: Windows 8 or later
Processor: 1.33 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 64-bit processor
Computer Memory: 4 GB of RAM minimum, 8 GB or more recommended
Mobile Device (iOS, Android) Most course content is accessible via mobile device.
We recommend installing the Academy of Art Classes app, available for both iOS (apple) and Android.
Chromebooks are not recommended.
  • Video Card: Super VGA (1024 x 768 with 64k color or with 64mb VRAM) or higher resolution video adapter and monitor


Other System Requirements

In addition to one or more of the recommended browsers, you must also have the following:

  • Access to the Internet: Your Internet service provider should provide a download speed of at least 1.5 MBps (megabytes per second). DSL or cable Internet is highly recommended. (Your academic department may have its own minimum recommended upload and download speeds.)
  • Email Account: All Academy students receive a free email account after registering for a class. Some vendors may require a .edu address in order to receive discounted student pricing on software and hardware.
  • Camera and microphone: Some classes may require the ability to create a recorded or real-time video of yourself. External webcams or cameras built into mobile devices, laptops, and monitors are all acceptable options. You may find a hands-free microphone headset useful.

Adobe Creative Cloud: All enrolled students receive FREE access to Adobe Creative Cloud, a suite of design software that includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and other programs. See the Software Keys link on the Portal page for more information.

Anti-Virus Software: When downloading files from the Internet and exchanging files with others, an anti-virus program will help to protect you and your computer. Effective software is available from a variety of providers, often for free or for a small fee. Providers of popular programs include:

Word Processor, Spreadsheet, and Presentation Software: Some classes may require you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. All enrolled students receive FREE access to Microsoft Office 365, which includes online versions of popular programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.


Featured Class Demo

Animation Studio Overview

Watch More Class Demos

Online Career Chats

Join us to learn about job search strategies, digital portfolios, and more. Interact with us live and ask questions and take part in discussions to get the answers you need.


Online Career Chats

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

What kind of computer should I have?