2018 Best Online Colleges for Graphic Design Degrees

Some career-oriented programs may specialize in a particular design area, such as web design or interactive design. Big Sandy Community and Technical College has five certificate programs and a diploma in visual communication that students can earn entirely online. Graphic design classes often require a lot of expensive software and computer power. This is a continuing education program that is open to both beginning and advanced students. Below, we covered four of the most common career paths for graphic design graduates. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

Accredited Online Graphic Design Programs

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Also on this page: Students interested in graphic design can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design through an online program offered by Bellevue University. The college also has an online minor program that allows students to minor in either print or web graphic design. Students in the graphic design program use the same graphic design hardware and software that professionals in the industry use, so they gain hands-on experience along with theory.

As part of their coursework, students develop a professional portfolio they can show to potential employers. Students take 42 credits in the major and complete credits overall. Big Sandy Community and Technical College has five certificate programs and a diploma in visual communication that students can earn entirely online. Certificate options include digital photography, digital imaging, and web design. The college also has an online program leading to a diploma in digital production artist.

To earn the diploma, student complete between 48 and 51 credits, including more than 40 credits in visual communication classes. Diploma students also complete an internship or practicum to gain real-world experience.

The number of courses and credits required for the certificates varies by program. The program is intended for students who want to begin a career in commercial art or who want to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor's degree in graphic design. To earn the degree, students must complete at least 60 credits, including required general studies credits that will transfer to a college or university.

Graphic art students learn to use industry-standard software and take classes covering topics such as graphic design, drawing, typography, web design, and digital photography. As a capstone project, students will work on a real-world project and also develop a professional portfolio.

Foothills Community College offers an online program for students who want to earn an Associate of Arts in Graphic and Interactive Design. Students in the program must complete 90 units, including 54 units in the major. Required courses for the major include fundamentals of drawing, 2D design, several graphic art studio classes, website design, typography, and photography.

Classes within the major are typically offered online at least once every two years. Students must also meet general education requirements. This is a credit program that full-time students can complete in four semesters. The curriculum focuses on hands-on learning, and students will create designs they can display in their portfolio when job hunting. For additional experiential learning, students can complete an individual internship or take part in a team-based project called BizSquad, where students from different business disciplines join together to complete a project for a local business.

Students seeking a global perspective can study abroad through Gateway's International Education program. Graphic design students also complete in a district-wide design show each year. Lindsey Wilson College has undergraduate and graduate options for student who want to earn an online degree in interactive media design. The Bachelor of Arts in User Experience Design is an interdisciplinary program that combines classes in art and computer graphics with 16 credits in interactive design studio work, including a capstone project.

Program Overview Program name: Online courses with onsite internship Instruction style: California Baptist is a private, nonprofit Christian university that was founded in in Riverside, California. This small school offers a concentrated online graphic design degree in design and digital media that is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. CBU is one of the only graphic design schools online that offers a credit bachelor's degree. As a result, students commonly complete the program in just 16 months.

This program is perfect for those who want to advance their career in graphic design or those who want to integrate graphic design skills into their current position. CBU's graphic design curriculum helps students develop practical skills by training them on industry-standard software like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.

Courses also cover the underlying theories and methods in the field, such as design history and color theory. While the curriculum provides a broad overview of graphic design applicable to a variety of careers, many of the courses in this graphic design online degree focus heavily on web design.

In addition to classes like drawing, composition, and website production, students are required to take two additional courses mandated by the university: During admissions, all CBU students are paired with an academic advisor who supports them with all distance learning needs, including course registration and tutoring assistance. California Baptist University offers a variety of grants, scholarships, veteran's benefits, loans, and financing plans to lower the cost of college for their students.

Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent with a minimum GPA of 2. CBU notes that they prefer students who have completed previous college coursework up to 24 transferable credit on top of a high school diploma. Division of Online and Professional Studies Program name: Online, hybrid Instruction style: Program Length Program options: Full-time or part-time Program length: Over 16 months Program start dates: Fall, spring, summer terms.

Admission Requirements Application deadline: An early advocate for women, Dr. Students enrolled in this college develop global perspectives guided by integrity, respect, and a desire for lifelong learning. Today the university supports more than 1, learners and offers several fully online programs that feature asynchronous courses available in an accelerated format. Comprised of credits, students complete 39 major credits and 18 concentration credits in graphic design.

The remaining credits consist of general education and elective requirements. Major courses introduce students to principles of marketing, global brand management, and media sales. Concentration courses include a combination of studio and digital art courses, and students gain familiarity with digital animation and storytelling, photoshop, and graphic design concepts, such as typography and layout.

The interdisciplinary curriculum prepares students for careers in advertising, marketing management, and public relations. This graphic design degree online allows students to begin their studies throughout the year and offers five start dates.

Certain documentation is required for admission, including official transcripts and test scores. Southern New Hampshire University's online graphic design degree is a great option for both transfer students and recent high school graduates. As one of the more flexible graphic design schools online, SNHU allows students to transfer up to 90 credits into its undergraduate program.

The program emphasizes critical thinking skills and hands-on proficiency with industry-standard hardware and software. Graduates enter the workforce prepared to pursue careers as web designers, art directors, print designers, advertisers, and more.

This credit program covers the technical and theoretical aspects of graphic design, such as desktop publishing and digital imagery. The curriculum also includes courses on typography, basic design and color theory, digital graphic design, and more. Students must choose one of two concentrations: Web design students master Adobe Creative Cloud software and run usability tests on several different platforms and interfaces, while 3D modeling and animation students focus on 3D sculpting with the Adobe Creative Suite and Autodesk's Maya and Mudbox.

Online students at SNHU have access to several helpful resources, including alumni networking events, academic support, web-based tutoring, and remote career advising.

Online courses are offered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework whenever they can and at their own pace. At SNHU, the courses are offered in six, eight-week terms each year.

All online students at SNHU pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. These cheap tuition rates make the graphic design online degree at SNHU an affordable option for all students.

Web design, 3D Modeling and Animation Accrediting bodies: Fall, winter, spring, summer. Savannah College of Art and Design has offered several web-based degrees for the past 12 years. This includes a credit online degree in graphic design , which teaches students the fundamentals of creating interesting, attractive, and effective design work. The curriculum covers several topics, including user experience, mobile design, entrepreneurship, project packaging, and other related topics that students will leverage to succeed in the workplace.

Savannah offers two graphic design options: The bachelor's of fine arts includes a strong emphasis on studio work along with web design and typography courses, while the bachelor's of arts degree consists of more liberal arts courses and includes some graphic design classes like web production and typography.

Throughout the program, students will complete several projects that they can add to their professional portfolios. These portfolios help students prove to employers that they have experience creating high-quality graphics, which makes them more attractive job candidates. Graduates enter the workforce prepared to pursue careers as brand designers, typeface designers, user experience designers, mobile app designers, and more.

Online courses are offered in week sessions and are delivered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Savannah College of Art and Design charges all online students the same tuition rates, regardless of residency. This online graphic design degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. School of Communications Program name: Classes, credit requirements, accreditation, cost, and instruction method can all vary depending on the program.

With online graphic design degrees divided among bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of arts, and bachelor of science designations, there are inherent curricula differences. Despite these variances, many programs share these core classes:. Earning a graphic design degree online typically takes about four years.

Depending on whether the graphic design online degree is a BFA, BA, or BS, there may be various course and general education requirements that will impact completion time. Programs usually require between and credits to graduate. Completion time for graphic design schools online can also be impacted depending on if a student is enrolled full-time or part-time, if the program is offered in an accelerated format, and whether the school gives some form of transfer or experiential credit.

Most graphic design programs use an individual pacing model, where students decide their own speed, versus a cohort learning model where students follow a set group pace.

Online programs or schools are accredited when they meet a certain set of criteria set by the government, industry groups, and peer institutions that prove the value of the education and worth of the degree. There may be some small art institutes and schools that do not meet these criteria and therefore carry less weight with employers and peers.

Schools are either accredited nationally or regionally. Online and distance learning institutions are often accredited nationally by approved organizations. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation CHEA is a nongovernmental agency run by leaders of peer higher education institutions that analyzes and accredits colleges and universities.

Traditional brick and mortar schools and many of their online programs are accredited by regional agencies that are recognized by the Department of Education and the CHEA. The Department of Education does not accredit schools but acts in an oversight role and recognizes legitimate agencies.

This allows for agencies to act privately but with public approval and oversight. Some programs are accredited separately than the rest of the school. For example, law programs are accredited by the American Bar Association. Graphic design does not have a comparable accrediting group.

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