Visual Arts, Digital Media and Film Studies Minors

Across Grand Canyon University’s (GCU’s) College of Arts and Media, students train collaboratively with other students under the close guidance of seasoned instructors while enhancing creativity, confidence and performance abilities. Discover how to apply your talents professionally, as well as through servant leadership and community outreach. Explore your options below for the minor that best suits your ambitions.

Delve into the captivating world of arts and media by exploring our integrated approach and range of minors tailored to your unique interests. Whether you have a passion for visual arts, music, film, theatre or digital media, our diverse selection of fine arts and digital media minors offers you the chance to cultivate your creative talents and enhance your skills. Discover new avenues of expression, collaborate with like-minded individuals and expand your artistic horizons by pursuing a fine arts and digital media minor from GCU.

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Digital Media and Visual Arts Minors for Marketing Majors

Digital media and visual arts minors may be beneficial for marketing majors. Digital media and visual arts minors can offer valuable advantages for marketing majors. These minors can provide marketing students with additional skills and knowledge in areas such as graphic design, video production, photography, web design and multimedia storytelling.

By incorporating digital media and visual arts into your marketing education, you can focus on creative and artistic perspectives to use within various digital media platforms. This combination of marketing expertise and artistic capabilities can equip marketing professionals to create visually compelling and engaging content and effectively communicate brand messages to reach and connect with target audiences.

According to Forbes.com, individuals are exposed to around 4,000 and 10,000 advertising messages each day.1 The advertising and graphic design minor teaches non-majors a foundational understanding of how to craft and produce effective advertising messages that connect businesses and consumers. You will be taught how to build an understanding of brands, campaigns, the company-customer relationships and the basics of the Adobe Creative Suite.

The Advertising and Graphic Design minor at GCU is 16 credits and include these courses:

  • Design Thinking (DDN-101)
  • Design Fundamentals (DDN-110)
  • Production Methods (DDN-120)
  • Fundamentals of Advertising (ADV-110)

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The minor in animation design imparts non-major students with the foundational theories used to design and produce 2D motion graphics. Concepts will focus on technology and processes for developing ideas, storyboarding, creating assets and building the structure for motion graphics.

The Animation Design minor at GCU is 16 credits and include these courses:

  • Design Thinking (DDN-101)
  • Raster and Vector Technologies (DDN-115)
  • 2D Motion Design I (DDN-160)
  • 2D Motion Design II (DDN-260)

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Design principles can be used in a variety of disciplines. The minor in digital design instructs non-major students with the basic comprehension of design thinking, design principles and the basic technical tools and processes used in the creation of designed content. This lays a foundation for grasping design concepts that may be applied in many settings, from simple presentations to complex proposals.

The Digital Design minor at GCU is 16 credits and include these courses:

  • Design Thinking (DDN-101)
  • Layout and Composition (DDN-125)
  • Raster and Vector Technologies (DDN-115)
  • Creative Process (DDN-200)

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Digital marketing and social media are fundamental skills important to nearly every business marketing strategy, regardless of industry.2 This program can help provide foundations for understanding social media marketing channels, content creation and brand and campaign management. You will be responsible for completing social media coursework, which can make this a valuable minor for marketing majors as they plan for their career.

The minor in Social Media at GCU is 16 credits and include these courses:

  • Introduction to Social Media (DSM-101)
  • Photo and Video for Social Media (DSM-215)
  • Personal Brand Management (DSM-350)
  • Social Media Campaigns (DSM-420)

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The web design minor instills non-major students with core foundational concepts of user experience design for web-based products. You will be taught the technology and processes for launching and supporting basic websites.

The Web Design minor at GCU is 16 credits and include these courses:

  • Raster and Vector Technologies (DDN-115)
  • Interface Design 1: User Experience (DDN-250)
  • Interface Design 2: Web Design (DDN-255)
  • Front End Development for Web Design (DDN-336)

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Minors in Theatre and Dance

Minors in theatre and dance offer you the opportunity to explore and deepen your passion for the performing arts. These minors can impart comprehensive principles, techniques, practical experience and artistic elements for those involved in theatre and dance. By pursuing a minor in theatre or dance, you have the opportunity to enhance your creativity, develop your performance skills and gain a deeper appreciation for the art forms.

A dance minor is designed to develop your physical and cognitive skills and knowledge in the art of dance. Dance studies enhance any other area of study by providing opportunities to develop character, leadership skills, cooperation and respect for others. Reflecting cultural influences throughout the world and transcending religious barriers, dance can communicate universal truths, leading to a shared understanding and expression of the human experience.

The Dance minor at GCU is 19 credits and include these courses:

  • Dance History I (DAN-315)
  • Dance Kinesiology (DAN-355)
  • Ballet I (DAN-100)
  • Jazz I (DAN-101)
  • Modern I (DAN-120)
  • Improvisation (DAN-210)
  • Choreography I (DAN-385)
  • Ballet II (DAN-250)
  • Jazz II (DAN-260)
  • Vernacular Dance: Tap1 (DAN-312)
  • Vernacular Dance: Urban & HipHop I (DAN-313)
  • Modern II (DAN-270)

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The minor in musical theatre at Grand Canyon University introduces you to the foundations of musical theater styles and history and advances principles applied to the form through courses in acting, movement and voice production. This minor provides students from all majors the opportunity to focus on effective communication using the body and the voice, and to develop critical thinking skills by analyzing music, text and movement from a wide variety of styles and cultures. This minor specifically complements theatre, music or dance majors in their major program of study with an artistic form that can broaden marketability within the industry and can promote self-development, artistic exploration and creative innovation.

The minor in Musical Theatre at GCU is 24 credits and include these courses:

  • Acting I (TRE-145)
  • Voice and Movement for the Stage (TRE-155)
  • Introduction to Jazz Technique (DAN-101)
  • Jazz Technique II (DAN-260)
  • Vernacular Dance: Tap I (DAN-312)
  • Vernacular Dance: Tap II (DAN-412)
  • Musical Theater Workshop (MEN-305)
  • Musical Theater Literature (TRE-380)
  • Private Voice Study I (MVA-119)
  • Private Voice Study II (MVA-129)
  • Private Voice Study III (MVA-219)
  • Private Voice Study IV (MVA-229)
  • Private Voice Study V (MVA-319)
  • Private Voice Study VI (MVA-329)
  • Private Voice Study VII (MVA-419)
  • Private Voice Study VIII (MVA-429)

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A minor in theatre and drama at Grand Canyon University can enhance any area of study, from accounting to worship, and everything in between. In a theatre minor you have the opportunity to develop individual strengths and interpersonal skills such as speaking techniques, practical methods of creating trust and attaining goals, creative problem-solving, higher-level thinking, teamwork and a greater understanding of an individual’s place within the Christian worldview.

The minor in Theatre at GCU is 24 credits and include these courses:

  • Stagecraft (TRE-130)
  • Acting I (TRE-145)
  • Fundamentals of Theatrical Design (TRE-245)
  • Stage Direction (TRE-439)

One of the following two courses:

  • Theatre History I: Greek to Restoration (TRE-325)
  • Theatre History II: 18th Century to Present (TRE-330)

One of the following two courses:

  • Dramatic Literature I (TRE-335)
  • Dramatic Literature II (TRE-339)

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Photography and Film Studies Minors

Photography and film studies minors can offer you a captivating exploration into the world of visual storytelling and cinematic arts. These minors can provide a comprehensive understanding of the technical aspects, artistic principles and cultural significance of photography and film. By pursuing a minor in photography or film studies, you have the opportunity to develop a creative vision, refine your technical skills and gain a deeper appreciation for the power of visual communication.

The Digital Film minor introduces students from various programs to the foundation of strong filmmaking. You will have the opportunity to study and analyze film history before engaging in production and screenwriting courses. As a digital film studies minor, you are also encouraged to participate in digital film events such as the 48 Hour Film Challenge, the GCU Film Festival, Pitchfest and many more.

The digital film studies minor at GCU is 16 credits and include these courses:

  • Introduction to Cinema: History and Aesthetics (DFP-101)
  • Digital Video Production I (DFP-111)
  • Screenwriting I (DFP-221)
  • Nonlinear Editing (DFP-225)
  • Cinema Directing (DFP-311)

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A minor in photography at Grand Canyon University can provide you with the ability to create images that can expand and improve your ability to communicate. You will be taught basic and studio photography, basic video creation and photo and video for social media. A photography minor can be a great way to improve your ability to make images in a still, moving or social media context.

The Photography minor at GCU is 16 credits and include these courses:

  • Digital Photography 1 (DDN-215)
  • Digital Photography 2 (DDN-315)
  • Photo and Video for Social Media (DSM-215)
  • Digital Film Production 1 (DFP-111)

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Types of Music Performance Minors

A minor in music at Grand Canyon University can enhance any area of study, from accounting to worship and everything in between. This is done by providing opportunities to develop character, creative problem-solving, higher-level thinking, leadership skills, cooperation and respect for others, and a greater understanding of an individual’s place within the Christian worldview.

You can choose between three music performance minors: instrumental, piano or vocal, according to their instrument. As an instrumental minor, you must provide your own instrument for private instruction lessons and ensemble participation. No audition is required for these minors, although some ensembles require an audition. All music minors are requested, but not required, to take the Music Theory Placement Assessment to determine your level of knowledge in music theory.

The instrumental music performance minor offers you a rich and immersive experience in the world of instrumental music. This minor may be right for you if you have a passion for playing musical instruments and want to deepen your knowledge, skills and appreciation for instrumental performance.

The instrumental music performance minor at GCU is 24 credits and include these courses:

  • Music Theory I (MUS-130)
  • Music Theory I (MUS-130L)
  • Music Theory II (MUS-160)
  • Music Theory II (MUS-160L)
  • Applied Instruction (MBE, MIE, MSE or MWE)
  • Four Semesters of Music Ensemble
  • Music Appreciation (MUS-210)
  • Symphonic Literature (MUS-379)
  • Conducting (MUS-223)

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The piano minor at GCU is focused on teaching a comprehensive exploration of the world of piano performance and music theory. Designed for individuals with a passion for the piano, this minor can give you the opportunity to deepen your understanding, technical skills and artistic expression in playing this versatile instrument. Through a combination of practical lessons, ensemble participation and theoretical coursework, you can work toward developing your proficiency and musicianship in piano playing.

The piano music performance minor at GCU is 24 credits and include these courses:

  • Music Theory I (MUS-130)
  • Music Theory I (MUS-130L)
  • Music Theory II (MUS-160)
  • Music Theory II (MUS-160L)
  • Applied Instruction/Private Piano Study (MAP)
  • Four Semesters of Music Ensemble
  • Music Appreciation (MUS-210)
  • Piano Literature I (MUS-370)
  • Conducting (MUS-223)

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This vocal music performance minor at GCU offers you an enriching and immersive experience in the realm of vocal performance and music. This minor may be right for you if you have a passion for singing and a desire to enhance your vocal skills, musicality and stage presence. Through a combination of vocal training, repertoire exploration and performance opportunities, you have the opportunity to develop your vocal technique and cultivate your expressive and interpretive abilities.

The vocal music performance minor at GCU is 24 credits and include these courses:

  • Music Theory I (MUS-130)
  • Music Theory I (MUS-130L)
  • Music Theory II (MUS-160)
  • Music Theory II (MUS-160L)
  • Applied Instruction/Private Voice Study (MVA)
  • Four Semesters of Music Ensemble
  • Italian Diction (MUS-111)
  • German Diction (MUS-211)
  • Conducting (MUS-223)

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FAQs for Aspiring Arts and Media Minors

We’ve gathered answers to your most frequently asked questions about the requirements, courses and opportunities available for those interested in pursuing a variety of media minors. We hope this helps you make an informed decision about pursuing your education.

According to Indeed, a complementary minor for marketing majors is business analytics.3 A business analytics minor may complement a marketing major by evaluating business data computationally, quantitatively and statistically. This allows professionals to better understand the current performance of their businesses and predict their futures. Earning this minor may provide you with the skills to make better business decisions.

A film studies minor has the opportunity to provide you with an understanding of film as an art, which may be important to gain insight into film and expand your interests. If you choose to pursue a film studies minor, you may explore, analyze and appreciate films as powerful and creative cultural artifacts. This minor can serve as a complement to various areas of study, particularly majors that emphasize critical thinking and delve into the realms of media and cultural studies.

Yes, it is possible to major in computer science and minor in graphic design. This combination may provide you with a solid foundation in both technical computer science concepts and the creative aspects of GCU’s minor in advertising and graphic design. You will have the opportunity to explore visual communication, typography, layout design, digital imaging and other design principles that can help develop a diverse skill set that combines technical expertise with creative design abilities. This combination can prepare you to position yourself for possible opportunities in fields such as web development, user interface design, game development and digital media production.

According to Graphic Design Degree Hub, a minor in graphic design may complement a business major who wishes to become an independent, self-employed professionals.2 While many graphic designers aspire to secure positions at advertising agencies or established corporations, others might dream of starting their own businesses. A graphic design minor is a versatile credential that can help you in many careers, including business.3

While requirements may vary depending on the visual art’s minor institution or program, having a portfolio is often beneficial for digital media and visual arts minors. A portfolio showcases your artistic abilities, creativity and technical skills to potential employers or graduate programs. Demonstrating your proficiency in various aspects of digital media and visual arts can potentially help you in pursuing a career. It serves as a tangible representation of your talent and potentially a valuable tool for self-promotion.

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1 Simpson, Jon. (2017, Aug. 25). Finding Brand Success In The Digital World. Forbes. Retrieved April 10, 2023.

2 Graphic Design Degree Hub (n.d.). Can I Get a Minor in Graphic Design? Retrieved on June 22, 2023.

3 Indeed (2022, June 24). 23 of the Best Minors for Marketing Majors To Consider. Retrieved on June 22, 2023.

Find an art or media minor that meets your personal or professional goals. Contact us today to enroll or get answers to remaining questions about choosing your minor.

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