School of Design & Electronic Arts

The School of Design and Electronic Arts at KCAI provides comprehensive instruction to animation, digital filmmaking, digital media, graphic design, illustration and photography majors. The focus of the school includes visual problem-solving and preparation for professional careers in emerging media and client-driven need.

Students work in interdisciplinary practice to tell stories or communicate ideas using photography, drawing, typography, three-dimensional form or writing. Students bring life to images and solve complex visual and textual design problems by telling stories, informing, educating, branding. Core competencies include visual problem-solving, critical thinking, experimentation, verbal communication, research, narrative, fluency with creative technology and image-making. Classes consist of lecture, critque, demonstration and screenings. Student work is shared each semester in public screenings or portfolio reviews.



The animation program embraces traditional, experimental and computer animation while developing strong visual acuity and conceptual skills in the areas of narrative, theme and composition. Personal development and creative exploration is the focus of the curriculum.

Digital Filmmaking

The digital filmmaking program focuses on the concepts, processes and techniques to develop film and video works in a variety of formats and applications including conventional narratives, experimental videos, documentaries, video art installations and expanded cinema applications.

Digital Media

KCAI's digital media program focuses on the use of new technology as exploratory mediums. Physical and virtual components are discussed as interactive means to connect with an artist's audience.  

The graphic design program is formulated to differentiate graphic design as a distinct discipline and to better reflect and anticipate the actual evolving conditions of high-level professional practice in this field worldwide.


The illustration program encompasses traditional and advanced digital processes to create work that effectively communicates substantive messages while allowing students to express themselvs.


The photography program provides students with critical guidance and exposure to a broad range of aesthetic and conceptual perspectives leading to an understanding of the principles of fine art photographic practice and the ability to communicate and express ideas in relation to contemporary photographic image-making.

Download the viewbook

Download the viewbook

 The Kansas City Art Institute's viewbook provides an overview of KCAI's academic programs,  students, faculty, alumni and campus.

Download the viewbook

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Continuing Education

Continuing Education

Interested in continuing education classes at KCAI? Visit the School for Continuing and Professional Studies.



Log into My KCAI to register for classes.