Bachelor of Digital Arts: Degree Overview

Find out about the technical classes typically required in bachelor's degree programs in digital arts, which can lead to careers in animation, film, computer and video game development. Learn what prerequisites are required, and get information on employment prospects.

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Essential Information

While a Bachelor of Digital Arts isn't typically available, students can complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts. In addition to a high school diploma, applicants may be required to submit a portfolio of work that highlights their artistic talent and style.

Many bachelor's programs in digital arts combine traditional studio art instruction, computer technology and design principles to provide students with interdisciplinary curricula. Students may have the option of pursuing a track or emphasis area, such as sound, computer science, visual effects, animation or art direction.

Most programs offer students the opportunity to work with current software technology, such a ProTools, Final Cut Studio or Adobe Creative Suite. Programs may require individuals to design and produce programs, short film reels or a portfolio.

Course Topics

Digital arts programs commonly offer coursework that addresses design principles, such as motion, composition, story structure, sound design and color theory. Throughout their program, students may learn about image manipulation, 3-dimensional animation, software development, digital video and special effects, and they develop skills in storytelling, visualization, creativity and conceptualization. Students may study topics such as:

  • Audio production
  • Modeling
  • Computer graphics
  • Visual design
  • Digital illustration
  • Interactivity
  • Drawing

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Bachelor's degree holders have the technological skill set and foundational art knowledge to qualify for careers in a variety of industries, such as advertising, film and game development. Individuals may pursue positions as:

  • Special effects developers
  • Storyboard artists
  • Character animators
  • Production designers
  • Motion capture artists

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for multimedia artists and animators are projected to grow by six percent during the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). In May of 2012, the BLS stated that the median yearly salary of these creative professionals was $61,370.

Continuing Education

Individuals may opt to continue their studies in digital arts or a related field by pursuing a master's degree. A Master of Fine Arts in Digital Arts program provides students with advanced studies in areas of animation, digital imaging and multimedia for careers in postsecondary education or the professional art industry.

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