Would it benefit me to get a BA degree, even if it's not in art?


Okay so I’ve kind of told my story here once before, but I’ve got some different questions regarding my current situation.

I got an athletic scholarship to a school that said I would be able to complete a degree in Graphic Design. However after spending a semester at the school, and therefore a year of athletic eligibility, I was told that the school I’m attending dropped their graphic design program.

So now I’m faced with the decision of changing my major or changing schools. You would think that changing schools would be the best option, but there are several factors to consider…

I only have a year left of athletic eligibility. The school I am at will give me 2 more years worth of athletic scholarship, however, because after my last eligible year I can help the team as an assistant coach. I don’t know if any other school’s athletic program will want me considering I only have a year left, and I would need several more years worth of scholarship in order to get my degree.

If it’s not obvious, money is a big factor. My family makes just enough money to survive each year, and I have no interest in getting over $20,000 deep in debt. That might not sound like a ton of money in terms of what other students are paying, but it’s a lot to me.

So my other option is to change my major. People have suggested that I get a degree in Business (practical reasons), General Studies (I could take the few art courses that my school does offer), or English (I’m a decent writer).

Now, I have read the forums and I understand that a degree isn’t everything when it comes to art-related fields, but certainly it helps, doesn’t it?
If I get a degree, even if it’s not in art, would that benefit me?

I feel like this will be my only opportunity to get a BA. Once I do I could go back to my Junior College and take the art and animation courses that will actually get me on track with what I want to do. (And there’s always Animation Mentor, right?)

Let me know what you guys think. Any help is appreciated.


It would be a lot easier if you mentioned the school that you are attending for us to check out alternative choices for your major. I don’t recommend business, other than accounting.

I guess getting a cheap degree is a good thing,but you will probably need to go to grad school.Also, programs like Animaiton Mentor don’t teach graphic design. It is solely for character animation and doesn’t teach any other aspect of the animation pipeline.

Are you interested in graphic design or animation?> They are two very different disciplines.

Is there a state school that has the majors that you want? Paying instate tuition isn’t usually too bad. Have you considered this option. Frankly, I have more questions for you than answers, which is why no one here can give you a solid recommendation.


I apologize for being unclear. My mind has been a bit jumbled with everything that I need to figure out (and finals. ah).

I am attending York College. It is a small school in York, Nebraska. I was going to attend York and drive to Concordia in order to take the art classes that I needed.

I am not from Nebraska, however. My home is in California.

3D animation seemed to fall under the classes that the school considered to be graphic design, but I will clarify. I am interested in the artistic side of, well, anything. I’ve considered storyboarding, 3d modeling, illustration, animation, web design… The fact is that in my college career I’ve taken one basic 3D modeling/animation class and one photoshop class. Aside from that the only other art-related courses have been art history and art appreciation.

So basically I’m still trying to find my niche. I know that art is what I want to do. And I really loved and excelled at both the photoshop and 3D class. I can’t say that Animation is something that I for sure want to do, because I feel like one introductory class isn’t enough to determine that. My hope was that I would be able to jump into a number of different courses and finally be able to pinpoint what I knew I would love to do for the rest of my life, but I just haven’t had the chance to do that.

I’ve looked into the Academy of Art University, and have heard both good and bad reviews… The Art Institute contacted me but I couldn’t justify dropping $80,000 on a school that is not accredited. Aside from that I don’t really know what other colleges there are, or what they offer.

Perhaps I’m not helping any… I’m a bit overwhelmed.


I might be late to this discussion but I’ll throw in my 2 cents.

A BA has value. In the art/design world it’s really the portfolio the counts, but that’s not all that counts. I mentioned in another thread “The last 4 companies I’ve worked for as well as the one I work for now all require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to be hired on staff or as a freelancer.”

So, I would say that if your athletic scholarship would cover most or all of the cost of what it would take to finish your degree it would be worth it. If it would require that you take on a lot of debt then transfer to a local state school to finish at a much lower cost.

As far as major, Business would be my recommendation. What you learn will always be useful. Everyone I know that has a business degree uses that knowledge even if they go on to specialize in other areas. Although transferring might open up other options on your major that’s more focused on the art field.

Design is everything. It’s amazing how much knowing the foundations will influence your specialization. You can take tons of drawing, sculpture, animation, 3D modeling, motion media, graphic design, etc. classes online or at a local community college for very low cost.


Not too late Carson, I appreciate your response!
Your post actually affirms the decision that I had made.
I decided to go into general studies so I can take the art courses that are available, and then I’ll take whatever English or Business classes that might benefit me. A general Studies BA might not look the best on paper, but for my situation I think it will give me the best chance to learn something that I will actually be able to apply to my future career (thats what I’m hoping for, anyway).

I’m not entirely certain I will be coming back to my current school. I’m going to try and keep an open mind and keep searching for opportunities and schools that might offer what I’m looking for at an affordable rate.


I recommend finishing your degree. Especially since it is paid for. You just never know what the future holds. While finishing, spend your free time learning 3D and art skills. T’here is a ton of training options availble now to learn by yourself.

In the end, all the BA has cost you is a couple of years. The 3D industry will still be there, when you get done.


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