Online Art Schools in Tennessee

If you are an artist looking for like minded people and a inspired place to hone your craft, you could do a lot worse than Tennessee. The state is home to two of the more populous cities – Nashville and Memphis — in the entire Southeast and both cities have vibrant and diverse art scenes. Known for its music scene, Nashville is one of the largest cities in the country when it comes to art businesses and artists per capita.

They support the arts in Tennessee and thus also support art education, even online. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design has accredited an astounding 13 schools in Tennessee and those aren’t the only options for a sound arts education.

The University of Tennessee System online offers a myriad of online degrees and certificates, unfortunately none are directly art or design related. The University of Tennessee at Martin does offer online classes in visual art and art history and Austin Peay University offers online bachelor’s degrees in communication arts and computer science and offers an online master’s degree in communication arts as well. Many of the cities niche art schools still require students to attend in-class workshops and classes in order to earn a degree.

The major online art education providers serve Tennessee students as well. The Art Institutes offers online degrees and a campus location called the Nashville Culinary Arts and Design School. Other major providers like Full Sail Online and Ashworth College also offer Tennessee students online degrees in design and others forms of art.

Featured Schools:

Online Schools

Programs available:
  • See Areas of study Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • See Areas of study Computer Animation, Bachelor of Science (Online)

Programs available:
  • See Areas of study Video Game Design
  • See Areas of study Photography

Why take online art classes in Tennessee?

While metropolitan areas like Memphis and Nashville and Knoxville are densely populated, Tennessee is still a rather rural state with nearly 33 percent of the population living in what the U.S. Census Bureau classifies as rural areas. Aspiring art students from these areas want to be the afforded the same options that students in urban areas get, and online art classes level the playing field, making distance a non-issue.

The state also is come to thriving art communities across the state. Nashville’s artistic credentials speak for themselves and cities like Memphis and Huntsville and Knoxville all offer a diverse array of art opportunities. And overall, according to Americans for the Arts, Tennessee is home to 16,197 arts-related businesses that employ nearly 60,000 people across the state. So students looking to stay in-state once they graduate will already be familiar with the arts landscape and should have options to choose from.

Online Education in Tennessee Overview

Despite its expansive listings of higher education courses and degrees through the University System, Tennessee policymakers still haven’t fully committed to online education in the state. The state does offer full-time virtual school statewide, but not individual online classes, or part-time enrollment. They also were forced to drop their statewide online high school program when line-item funding was eliminated.

These issues obviously forced the national digital learning campaign, Digital Learning Now, to give the Volunteer State less than ideal scores on its digital report card. They note the state’s efforts to knock down barriers to access, but they also do not give the state high scores when it comes to funding or infrastructure.

If Tennessee really wants to commit to online education, it will need to keep a more open mind about the benefits and accountability successes of online learning.