Top Online Schools for Graphic Design. An online school is one of your finest options if you want to further your education as a graphics designer or improve your graphics design talents. This is because, if you already have a job and are unable to quit it to further your education, it will allow you the convenience of studying.
Hence, if you’re selecting an online school for graphic design, we’ve listed the top schools that you should look into in 2023.
A bachelor’s degree in design or a closely related subject is typically required for graphic designers. But talented graphic designers also have a creative edge and a firm command of computer applications. The demand for graphic designers’ services has been stable for a while. For the next seven years, a 1% gain is anticipated, according to the job outlook provided by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The job market for graphic designers could be quite competitive without a predicted growth rate. This implies that admission into the field may not be possible without a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Also, obtaining a master’s degree in graphic design could help you stand out from the crowd. Several of the best universities offer online graphic design programs to assist you in achieving your objectives.
This list was developed to identify the best colleges and universities that provide online undergraduate graphic design degrees. Based on a specific approach, the following information was gathered from the College Navigator of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES):
The ratio of students to teachers, the acceptance rate (selectivity rate), the graduation rate, and the total cost of in-state undergraduate tuition and fees.
We looked at institutions that provided online bachelor’s degrees in graphic design or similarly related fields. We used our rating criteria to narrow down the original 49 colleges in our pool to the top 10 online graphic design programs. In the event of a tie, greater ranking on our list was given to the school with the lowest undergraduate tuition cost. The following outlines our process.
The student to Faculty Ratio
15:1 and under- 3 Points
16:1 to 20:1- 2 Points
More than 20:1- 1 Point
Less than $10,000/year- 3 Points
$10,001-$20,000/year- 2 Points
More than $20,000/year- 1 Point
Less than 25%- 3 Points
25% to 50% – 2 Points
More than 50%- 1 Point
50% or Greater- 3 Points
25%-49%- 2 Points
Less than 25%- 1 Point
What Is Graphic Design?
To convey concepts visually, graphic designers build picture and text layouts. To depict information, they create advertising, book jacket designs, and graphs and charts. It takes high visual intelligence to create graphics. Graphic designers must be adept at selecting images, figuring out how to combine text and images, and picking suitable fonts and styles. Graphic designers collaborate with art directors to refine their designs in advertising agency and publishing companies.
Graphic designers need to have strong technical abilities in addition to creativity and artistic aptitude. Software like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop is used by the majority of graphic designers. Communication abilities are crucial for graphic designers when dealing with clients and art directors. Strong analytical abilities also aid graphic designers in conveying information to a variety of audiences.
What Is a Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree Online?
Students who pursue a graphic design bachelor’s degree online study layout, typography, and visual communication. Digital advertising, image development, and design foundations are all covered in the courses. Several programs also include courses in digital media design and web design. To create a portfolio, graphic design majors frequently finish a practicum or capstone course.
Students who want to achieve bachelor’s degrees must finish general education requirements in addition to online graphic design courses. Courses in the arts, social sciences, and natural sciences may be included in these requirements. A bachelor’s degree in fine arts may include classes in sculpting, drawing, and photography.
How long does it take to finish an online bachelor’s program in graphic design?
The duration of an online graphic design bachelor’s degree varies by program. But the majority of design bachelor’s students complete their degrees after four years of full-time study.
Graphic Design Careers
Their skills are applicable to many fields and industries, graphic designers enjoy a variety of professional opportunities. Some examples of graphic design careers include:
- Art director
- Advertising designer
- Branding designer
- Creative director
- Desktop publisher
- Direct mail designer
- Digital media specialist
- Digital project manager
- Graphic designer
- Industrial/product designer
- Layout artist
- Logo designer
- Medical graphics specialist
- Motion graphics designer
- Multimedia artist/animator
- Multimedia specialist
- Packaging designer
- Photo software editor
- Print design specialist
- Production art manager
- Publication designer
- Social media graphics specialists
- User experience designers
- Video editor
- Web designer
Areas for Graphic Design Jobs
- Advertising, public relations, and related services
- Architectural fields
- Commercial printing
- Computer systems design
- Design studio
- Mobile app development
- Motion graphics
- Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishing
- Product packaging design
- Specialized design services
- Video game design
- Video production
- Web design
- Wholesale trade
Top Online Schools for Graphic Design
Southern New Hampshire University Online
A 120-credit-hour Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Media Arts is offered online by Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). This full-time curriculum can be finished in three to four years fully online. Pick between a web design or a 3-D modeling and animation focus. Students gain knowledge of critical design technology, media messaging analysis, portfolio creation, and visual media ethics and cultural challenges. Advanced Digital Imaging, Typography, and Graphics and Layout in Print Media are required courses.
SNHU is a sizable nonprofit organization with resources like an online bookstore, library, and wellness center. Students may choose to pursue jobs as production artists, creative directors, multimedia designers, or web designers.
University of Maryland Global Campus
For students interested in professions in this creative sector, the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) is a public university that offers an online Bachelor of Arts in graphic communication. Normally, it takes four years for full-time students to finish this 120-credit degree; however, if credits are transferred, it may take less time. 100% of applicants are accepted by UMGC, while 28% of students receive their degrees.
Brightspace is used to deliver the online course material at UMGC. Introduction to Drawing, Typography and Layout, Introduction to Graphic Communication, and Arrangement and Color are among the courses offered in the online graphic communication curriculum. Graduates must also finish a graphic communication portfolio. Students can get ready for careers as graphic designers, art directors, independent designers, and communication designers with the help of the program.
The nonprofit Liberty University (LU) offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. 120 credit hours are needed to complete this degree, which can be finished in three to four years if you work full-time. With courses like Digital Imaging, Digital Imaging, and Art, Culture, and Technology, the degree examines digital design using cutting-edge technologies. Before graduating, undergraduates must do an internship. Moreover, LU offers a Bachelor of Science in Digital Design with a graphic design specialization option. This program places a greater emphasis on visual communication via computers, tablets, and other electronic devices.
For its online courses in graphic design and digital design, LU uses Canvas. Resources including research seminars and an academic achievement center are available to students. One can pursue a career as an animator, web developer, multimedia artist, or art director.
Arizona State University
Large public university Arizona State University (ASU) offers a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Information Technology. With a full-time schedule, this 120-credit program can be finished entirely online in three to four years. A thorough overview of media disciplines, including web design, advertising, and visual media, is explored by the students. ASU students have access to career counseling, time management coaching, health support, and success coaching prior to graduation. Photographer, graphic designer, animator, and other career options are available.
The coursework for this degree at ASU Online, which comprises Graphic Communications, Digital Publishing, and Digital Video Techniques, is delivered through LearnX.
Rasmussen University Online
An online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design is offered by Rasmussen University Online, a private, for-profit university, to assist students in acquiring the necessary skills to enter this expanding field. Students who have already earned credits toward a degree are most suited for Rasmussen’s online bachelor’s program in graphic design. Ultimately, 90 credit hours must be earned, which could take a full-time student about 18 months. Also, students can demonstrate previously acquired abilities and possibly drop some classes by taking self-directed examinations.
The Blackboard learning management system is used by Rasmussen to deliver its online coursework and training. Online graphic design bachelor’s degree programs from Rasmussen allow distance learners to enroll in courses including Digital Video Production, Collateral Design, and 3D Design and Animation. Before graduating, students must finish a senior capstone project and a capstone portfolio.
Full Sail University
Projects and critiques are used in the Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design program at Full Sail University (FS) to give students a comprehensive understanding of the field. With a full-time, 29-month bachelor’s curriculum that includes fundamental courses like Digital Publishing and Typography as well as Page Layout, Full Sail University is a sizable private college. A job preparedness course and two professional development seminars are among the 116 credits needed for the degree.
FS’s curriculum is entirely online and is administered through a unique learning management system. Advisors provide career guidance to students. Following graduation, employment options could include those for production artists, graphic designers, and art directors, to mention a few.
BU employs Canvas for its online learning programs. Moreover, support resources like digital libraries and tech support are available to online students. Alumni of this school may seek employment as graphic designers, art directors, or UX or UI designers.
Academy of Art University
AAU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design program strives to improve students’ proficiency with typography, branding, user experience, and motion graphics. On a full-time basis, all 132 credits can be attained in three to four years. The histories of graphic design, visual communication, and design technology: visual design tools are all required courses.
AAU is a medium-sized, for-profit university that offers totally online graphic design courses via a customized learning management system. Asynchronous learning may be an option for students in both live and virtual classes. Libraries, professional development, and tutorials are some examples of online resources. Graduates will have a portfolio to use when looking for professional graphic design jobs.
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media program at Maryville University seeks to give students the technical and creative abilities they need to work as professionals in the field of digital experiences. You will complete core curriculum totaling 128 credits in digital photography, sequential art, and UX/UI design, icon, and identity. Before graduating, an internship is also necessary. With a full-time schedule, this degree can be finished entirely online in three to four years.
A medium-sized nonprofit organization called Maryville uses Canvas for its online courses. Students have access to technical assistance and online libraries. Graduates of this degree can pursue careers in digital art, animation, film editing, and graphic design.
Arkansas State University
A focus in graphic communication is available in the Bachelor of Science in Digital Technology and Design program at Arkansas State University (AState). Learn how to produce digital goods and interactive media as part of this program. Key courses include Media Aesthetics, Design Build, Desktop Publishing and Publication Design, and Design Literacy. A graphic design internship, along with 120 credits, are necessary to finish this degree. The average student completes this entirely online degree in three to four years, however this is at a full-time rate. Art director, web developer, interaction designer, and graphic designer are among the top occupations for graduates.
Blackboard is the learning management system that AState, a medium-sized public university, utilizes for its online degree programs. Students have access to resources like online job centers, virtual research assistance, and tech support.
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
There are two graphic design programs offered by Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD). The 123 credit hour Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design program contains technical courses in graphic design that focus methods and processes. This online course examines topics like UI/UX, design software, typography, and visual storytelling. A graphic design concentration is offered in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education program. In this course, teaching theories and artistic leadership techniques are examined. On a full-time basis, each program can be finished in three to four years.
A small nonprofit organization called RMCAD makes use of a proprietary learning management system that is designed for visual media. The Adobe Creative Cloud, Behance, and LinkedIn Learning are all free online resources. Alumni have gone on to work as digital project managers, web designers, and communications managers.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Two bachelor’s degree programs in graphic design are available online from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). A full-time student can finish the 180 credits needed for the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design in three to four years. Students explore design theory and ideas of digital art while taking fundamental courses including Graphic Design Media Management and Typography 1: Anatomy, Form, and Space in addition to an undergraduate internship. Many of the same basic courses in digital art are taught in SCAD’s Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication with an emphasis in graphic design.
SCAD is a medium-sized, private institution that offers all of its education online using SCADnow, its own learning management system. Career counselors, resources, and job fairs are examples of student resources. The majority of job opportunities are in marketing and advertising.
With the help of an online degree in graphic design, graduates can start a career in the field by learning the fundamentals of successful design as well as innovative, analytical, and problem-solving techniques. The top online graphic design schools teach their students representational symbolism, composition, typography, aesthetics, and how to apply design principles to the creation of both print and digital products. Also, they will become proficient in the usage of associated technologies and industry-standard design software.
While programs leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Science are often more focused on developing creative and design skills, programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts typically incorporate more liberal arts courses.
Every day, graphic designers get to exercise their own creativity. They are frequently required to use a number of sophisticated digital art technologies to produce projects that satisfy the requirements of their clientele. Their workspace can range from a more laid-back home office to a buzzing city office. Overall, graphic design is a desirable career for many due to the independence at work, livable pay, and creative expression.