There’s been a lot of talk about earning an Associates degree in Graphic Design. I personally don’t recommend getting an associates degree to be a Graphic Designer. That being said, there has been an explosion of schools offering associates degrees in Graphic Design. Below you’ll find our list of Top Schools for an Associate Degree in Graphic Design online.
Take your career to the next level with an associate degree in graphic design online.
Are you looking to study graphic design online? There were many new and old designers always look for on-line graphic design degree program to improve their skill and advance their career. However it is not easy, as there were some tips and suggestions you need to know first before working on that program.
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Associate Degree In Graphic Design Online
LocationLos Altos Hills, CA
Foothill offers over 165 certificates and degrees, including an online associate of arts in graphic and interactive design that prepares graduates for entry-level positions in web development and digital publishing. Distance learners can complete the program entirely online or take some classes at Foothill’s campus in Los Altos Hills, California.
Requiring 90 quarter credits, this associate in graphic design program covers topics like 2D foundations, typography, and user experience design. Students use elective credits to pursue specialized topics, choosing from options like mobile application design and cartoon/comic illustration. They may also take an advanced game art and design course.
Foothill does not require applicants to have a minimum GPA or submit ACT or SAT scores. However, all prospective students need to meet prerequisite assessment requirements.
Surry Community College
Based in Dobson, North Carolina, SCC serves more than 3,000 students, many of whom enroll in online courses. SCC’s academic catalog includes an online associate degree in digital media technology/graphic design. After completing this 72-credit program, graduates are prepared to work as web developers, graphic artists, and animation specialists.
Program coursework covers graphic design tools and quantitative literacy. Students also delve into web programming and database administration. During their final semester, learners prepare for careers by exploring professional practice and emerging technologies in the design and IT fields. SCC powers distance education with the Moodle platform
To enroll in this online associate in graphic design program, applicants complete a residency determination form and an online application. The college offers a variety of financial aid opportunities, including Finish Line Grants for working professionals and returning students.
Hagerstown Community College
Founded in 1946 as Maryland’s first two-year school, HCC now serves over 4,000 students annually. Programs include an online associate of arts and science with a graphic design concentration. Using a hybrid delivery method, the program allows students to complete general education courses online before taking major courses on campus.
The curriculum consists of courses like technical writing, digital imaging, and computer illustration with Adobe. While earning their online associate degree in graphic design, students also develop skills in typography and digital layout. Learners work with an advisor to choose 2-3 electives, with options like figure drawing and 2D animation.
HCC maintains an open-door admission policy that does not require a minimum GPA or standardized test scores. Applicants submit an online application and official school transcripts before meeting with an enrollment counselor, who helps them access financial aid and sign up for classes.
Gateway Technical College
Located in Racine, Wisconsin, Gateway serves about 7,000 students through more than 70 career-training and academic programs each year. The college offers an online associate in graphic communications that requires 61 credits.
Program coursework includes advanced design concepts, digital photography, and technical reporting. Learners can gain hands-on experience by participating in a district-wide design show sponsored by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. They may also pursue internships with local tech companies and even study abroad. Students can complete the program entirely online or complete some on-campus coursework.
Applicants must submit an online application and high school transcripts. They must also sit for placement testing.
Columbus State Community College
CSCC offers an online associate of applied science in digital design and graphics that emphasizes technical competencies. Learners gain the skills needed to pursue entry-level careers or take advantage of one of the college’s many transfer opportunities.
CSCC’s associate in graphic design curriculum covers topics like digital photography, interactive media fundamentals, and website creation. Students also examine storyboarding techniques and branding strategies. They master a variety of Adobe programs, including InDesign, Muse, and Illustrator.
CSCC provides a free online application process. Prospective students can fulfill placement testing requirements by submitting ACT or SAT scores or taking an institutional entrance exam. The college powers distance education with the Blackboard platform.
cheapest online graphic design degree
|Students can earn the Bellevue University BA in Graphic Design – one of the most affordable graphic design programs in the nation – either on campus or online. Opting for this university allows students to embark upon studies including how to utilize critical thinking processes necessary in graphic design, effective communication, skillful use of software applications, proper production applications, and how to develop a portfolio. When students are researching the cheapest online graphic design degree, they won’t have to sacrifice high-quality education regarding the offerings at Bellevue University. Bellevue University receives its accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommision.org). The University has been offering online programs for nearly 25 years. The University has been offering online programs since 1999-2000 and, because all online classes are archived, students can conveniently access them anytime. The university’s motto is ”Real Learning for Real Life,” and one of the most affordable graphic design schools helps make that possible. DEGREE: BA in Graphic Design
|University of Maryland University College
|Students with interest in earning their BA in Graphic Communication at the University of Maryland University College can expect one of the most affordable graphic design degrees online. UMUC makes it possible for students to affordably earn their bachelor’s degree online with the flexibility they need. During their course of study, students will learn how to produce effective visual communications. They’ll achieve this goal by applying principles of color theory, composition, context, and layout. They’ll also learn about planning, designing, and creating interactive solutions including mobile applications, motion graphics, user interfaces, and web designs. Students will develop analytical, collaborative, and technical design skills necessary for supporting the roles, responsibilities, and goals of their team. Students will also learn how to define and direct a business environment’s creative strategy. Students who are looking for the cheapest online graphic design degree will find that, at UMUC, the BA in Graphic Communications degree is one that’s portfolio-intensive and will help them achieve their goals.UMUC receives its accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. UMUM is a public institution that was founded in 1947, specifically with the needs of working adult students in mind – originally, returning WWII veterans. Their core values include putting the students first, having accountability, practicing diversity, using integrity, embracing excellence, honoring innovation, and using respect. DEGREE: BA in Graphic Communication
|Arizona State University
|The Arizona State University Online BS in Graphic Information Technology is optimal for students who need the flexibility and convenience of an online degree program. As one of the most affordable graphic design degrees, it’s possible for students to achieve their educational goals affordably. Students will participate in forty total classes that are seven and a half weeks long per class and are a total of one hundred and twenty credit hours. During that time, students will develop a creative, managerial, and technological understanding of content creation and graphics information. That way, students will have preparation to create content across multiple channels including animation, photo, print, web, and video. Those who are researching the cheapest online graphic design degree will find that earning their BS in Graphic Information Technology through ASU Online will not only prepare them for the world of technology but also set them up for their careers as well. Programs provided through Arizona State University’s ASU Online receives accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Center Association of Schools and Colleges. According to U.S. News and World Reports, Arizona State University’s online programs are currently ranking #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, and the school has long been named the most innovative in America. The university has specific goals including demonstrating leadership, enhancing their local impact, and establishing a national standing regarding academic quality. DEGREE: BS in Graphic Information Technology
|Rasmussen College provides a BA in Graphic Design for students who wish to pursue their education online, with one of the most affordable graphic design programs online. Those participating in this degree program have many opportunities and options, including Flex Choice®, whereby students can blend self-directed assessments with online education. Students will also have exposure to portfolio development, cutting-edge curriculum, and the preparation to receive industry certification. Because more and more students need to attend affordable graphic design schools, Rasmussen College ensures their online courses and degree programs don’t sacrifice quality. Rasmussen College receives its accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. Students who embark upon their educational journey at Rasmussen College will find that they’re not only receiving an affordable education but one that’s career focused. The college’s mission is to provide students with an enriching experience using dynamic curriculum and innovative programs to help them achieve academic excellence. For more than one hundred years, Rasmussen college has made it their commitment to providing high-quality education and support to each of their students. DEGREE: BA in Graphic Design
|The BFA in Graphic Arts online at Regent University gives students less worry about earning a degree and experiencing high student debt with one of the nation’s most affordable graphic design schools. If you’re a student who loves design, this is the degree that will help you advance your education and career goals. Not only will you develop industry-leading skills but you’ll also learn technical foundations, as well as how to use design software necessary for a career in graphic arts. Other careers could include advertising, marketing, or media integration. Students will have the opportunity to study the fundamentals of corporate branding, design, digital photography, drawing, fundamentals of design, illustration, logo development, web design, and more. Each of the courses offered at Regent University is also from a Christian point of view.Regent University receives its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. They’re a private institution founded in 1978 with an undergraduate class of 4,660. With the motto, ”Christian Leadership to Change the World,” the university embraces values including excellence, integrity, and innovation. DEGREE: BFA in Graphic Arts
graphic design online degree
An online degree in graphic design can provide a broad range of design experiences to help you uncover your own personal style. You can learn a bit of everything that the graphic design field embodies, including software, design history, illustration, animation, and communication.
Along with graphic design theory, most programs aim to equip you with the skills and ability to effectively market yourself to employers. As such, you will most likely be required to take general education classes that lean heavily on creative communication and media strategies.
As you focus your studies, you will have a colorful variety of coursework to choose from, such as drawing, digital media, advertising, product packaging design, typography, copywriting, and UX (user experience).
Depending on the specific expertise you garner from your online graphic design degree, your career options range from graphic designer, photo editor, UX designer, and multimedia artist to creative director, product developer, animator, and more.
Are you fascinated by computer animations or visual effects? An online degree in animation can teach you how to bring your designs to life in 2D or 3D landscapes.
Among other skills, you can learn elements of storyboarding, sketching, stop motion, modeling, and character animation. In most programs, you’ll be expected to complete a final project or thesis and develop a comprehensive portfolio.
By obtaining a degree in animation, you can open yourself up to pursue a multitude of career options, such as art director, flash animator, video games designer, and visual development artist. You can choose to work for television, film, video games, or even for yourself as a freelancer.
Multimedia design involves the creation of integrated and interactive media. The central focus of this field of study is to combine two or more types of media for various applications on the web, in games, movies, digital video, and more.
This degree program is similar to the graphic design degree in that you should be exposed to color theory, concept development, and digital illustration, but you should also build skills in digital video production, motion graphics design, and HTML.
London School of Economics and Political Science
Designed by LSE, earn an online BSc Business and Management from the University of London, without relocating. Ranked #2 in the world for social sciences and management, analyse international and local managment issues through the lens of various social science disciplines.
Typical multimedia design coursework involves crafting interactive content with special effects and combining graphics, audio, and video in creative ways.
Becoming a Multimedia Artist and Animator can help you pursue careers that allow you to produce illustrations, movies, and video games. You may have the option of working for TV, film, websites, or other audio and video productions.
Web design requires a strong understanding of both aesthetics and programming. In this field, web designers create visually-appealing electronic and digital layouts that are user-friendly and optimized for web browsers.
In this degree program, you will likely study digital arts and design, multimedia production, web publishing, web-based interactivity, usability testing, and programming languages like HTML and CSS.
Potential career paths include becoming a website designer, media integration specialist, web publications specialist, or a web producer.
Graphic Design Careers & Salaries
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that job prospects will continue to “face strong competition for available positions.”
The median annual wage for a graphic designer is $53,380 with the highest 10 percent earning more than $93,440 per year. With this in mind, you are far more likely to stand out and make more money with a graphic design degree.
There are many high-paying careers that you can choose from as a professional graphic designer. An online graphic design degree can help you get recognized by top positions in the industry and gain credibility on your resume.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some careers in the graphic design field include:
|Annual Median Salary
|Special Effects Artist and Animator
|Web Developer or Digital Interface Designer
|Set and Exhibit Designer
|Craft and Fine Artist
BEST ONLINE GRAPHIC DESIGN DEGREES
These days, with a large part of our week spent on the internet or watching TV, the role of the graphic designer is more relevant than ever.
Visual concepts and messages influence us more than we maybe realize—whether it’s an advertisement on a city bus or a well-designed website or a infographic in a news story, graphic designers have the ability to inspire and inform, all with the simple tools of color, text, and image.
By harnessing just a few basic concepts and technical skills, graphic designers can communicate big ideas that effect hundreds, maybe thousands, of people every day. Their skill set can be utilized in just about any industry, too, from health care to entertainment to education.
What kind of Online Graphic Design degree should you earn?
By choosing to get earn your bachelor’s degree through an online program, you’re allowing yourself the time and flexibility to settle into the design area that best fits your needs and schedule. Each one of the programs on this list is unique, and the only thing you need to decide is which one best fits your personality and interests.
Looking for other online degree programs? To get a broader picture of just what online education entails, head on over to our ranking of the top online universities.
How much money can you earn with an Online Graphic Design degree?
Today’s job market reflects our society’s reliance on effective visual story tellers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers have a steady job outlook (with little to no change between 2014 and 2024) and a respectable median income of almost $48,000 per year (or $23/hour).
What can you do with an Online Graphic Design degree?
As you’ll see from the list below, earning your bachelor’s degree in graphic design opens you up to an eclectic range of job possibilities. You could end up as an artistic director at a magazine, or a web designer at a start-up company, or create your own business as a freelance artist.
The options truly are endless. One thing is for sure, though: by choosing one of the 25 online bachelor’s programs in graphic design from our list below, you’re guaranteed to be well on your way to landing a creatively fulfilling and financially sustainable career for yourself.
What are the Best Online Graphic Design Degrees?
Here at College Choice we’ve compared and contrasted the academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, and average annual salary of graduates from online graphic design programs across the country to create a definitive ranking of the top twenty-five programs.
We first chose programs with the most renowned academic reputation and from those pared the list down to those with high financial aid packages—a reflection of institutional stability—added those with the most economical accessibility, and finally we included the averages of early career salaries (care of PayScale) to arrive at a list marked by thorough research and extensive data aggregation. Our figures come from the university and colleges’ websites as well as nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 100
CREDIT HOUR COST: $415
Midway University kicks off our list as the number one ranking in Online Graphic Design Bachelor’s programs based on its overall affordability, high retention rate, and high salaries for recent graduates. Midway University is a small liberal arts school located in Midway, Kentucky. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
This online Marketing Communications in Graphic Design degree is a 120-credit-hour program. It covers core general education classes, marketing classes, and graphic design classes. This wide variety of coursework will give you a diverse skill set to jump into the working world. More specific examples of coursework includes:
- Principles of Marketing
- Global Brand Management
- Digital Animation
This degree prepares students for creating stand-out marketing material in not only a business environment but also across multiple platforms. Graphic design graduates from Midway University have gone on to find lucrative careers in brand management, PR firms, corporate communication, creative design management, and more.
CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 99.75
CREDIT HOUR COST: $547
As a private university that is affiliated with the Christian church, you should be aware that the curriculum at California Baptist University includes some general education classes that involve biblical and theological teachings. Whether that works for you or not, California Baptist University has an impressive offering of online degrees, one of which is the online BA in Graphic Design and Digital Media degree.
In addition to the 43 general education credits—which covers classes in Humanities, Fine Arts, Biblical Theology, and Behavioral Science and others—this program includes 48 credits directly related to the major. All of the major-related classes revolve around four categories: design, typography, image, and web. But within those categories, students learn about core major concepts such as:
- Design History
The capstone project for this degree culminates in Graphic Design Senior Show, which consists of ten of the best pieces from your entire portfolio. California Baptist University is located in Riverside, California, and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission.
COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 99.5
CREDIT HOUR COST: $410
The graphic design degree at Bellevue University takes a multidisciplinary approach by weaving together problem solving, critical thinking, and the fundamentals of design and creative visualization in its curriculum. This 48-credit-hour program takes you from the very building blocks of design—which includes topics such as grids, hierarchy, contrast, balance, and color—all the way to a final capstone project in which students prepare a portfolio for potential employment or graduate study.
The classes in between cover a range of topics, from fundamentals of print and web design to website development; from typography to branding. In addition to these classes, all students are required to complete the Kirkpatrick Signature Series, which is the “intellectual linchpin” of the Bellevue curriculum. This includes courses called American Vision and Values, Tradition and Change, and Freedom and Responsibility. Core graphic design classes include:
- Publication Design
- Interactivity Basics
You’ll leave Bellevue with not only a great understanding of graphic design principles, but also with the sense of how your work fits into larger society. Located in Bellevue, Nebraska, Bellevue University is a private university that focuses primarily on adult education, with nearly 80 percent of their undergraduates aged 25 and over. It is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 99.5
CREDIT HOUR COST: $475
The online BS in Graphic Design at Full Sail University is uniquely set up into 32 different month-long classes, making it possible for you to graduate in just over two years. The program is designed to address both focused knowledge of graphic arts and the big picture ideas of branding, advertising, and media integration.
In order to help you smoothly transition into the workforce post-graduation, this program includes seven 1-credit Career Modules, including Personal Branding, Resume Fundamentals, Career Strategy and Planning, Networking, Job Interviews, and more. Some of the classes that you’ll take include:
- Logos and Symbols
- Design and Art Theory
- Popular Culture in Media
- Digital Studio
If cost is a concern for you, take a look at the Momentum Scholarship, which offers qualified online students up to $20,000 in tuition. Full Sail University, based in Winter Park, Florida, focuses its degrees primarily on entertainment and media-related areas of study. Full Sail holds its accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL
COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 99
CREDIT HOUR COST: $375
Paired as a companion degree to the online BS in Information Technology, the online Graphic Design and Digital Imaging program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell offers IT students a creative addition to their studies. If you’re looking for a high-quality classroom experience taught by full-time professors, UMass Lowell might be the spot for you.
In the 18 required credits, students are introduced to the basics of design. Students also have the chance to integrate three different elective courses (for another 9 credits) to help hone their interests. These include Website Design, Design for Advertising, Desktop Video Production, and more. The Portfolio Production Seminar is designed for students to organize their work into a professional portfolio. Some of the core classes include:
- Fundamentals of Typography
- Photographic Imaging
- Desktop Publishing: Print Production
The University of Massachusetts Lowell is an public research university with a strong reputation. Forbes recently named it as the 10th best value among all U.S. universities and colleges. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 99
CREDIT HOUR COST: $499
The Graphic Communication Bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) guides students through a 120-credit-hour program entirely online. As a “portfolio-intensive program,” students at UMUC are constantly applying their learnings to how it might contribute to a final, marketable portfolio aimed toward your future clients.
The graphic communication curriculum trains students in skills beyond just graphic art and design; you’ll get a taste of computer graphics, business-oriented writing and communication, and print publication. By the end of your time at UMUC, you’ll have not only created an impressive portfolio of your work, but also a well-developed business plan for a communication arts business. You’ll be ready to hit the ground running in the working world. Students will use the following design tools:
- Adobe Suite
- After Effects
University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is a public university located in Adelphi, Maryland, though with all of its affiliate campuses, it is considered one of the largest distance learning institutions in the world. UMUC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 98.25
CREDIT HOUR COST: $390
Liberty University is the largest evangelical Christian university in the world, with over 100,000 online students. Its BFA in Graphic Design is a 120-credit-hour degree that is only offered online. About 45 of those credits are allocated to the general education requirements, which includes classes in communication, math, science, and biblical theology.
The program at Liberty University is determined to give you all the tools you need to make a smooth transition to a professional career. Unique to some other programs, this degree emphasizes art history as a foundational subject, with three classes covering the topic. Other courses follow the typical outline of topics, including:
- Publication Design
- Vector Illustration
In addition to the required credit hours, all students must complete both a 180-hour internship and a 30-hour practicum. Liberty University is private, Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 98
CREDIT HOUR COST: $390
The Bachelor of Science in Digital Media & Design at Southeastern University takes a unique approach to graphic design by broadening the scope of the field. In addition to graphic design, students will draw from the study of marketing, writing, analytics, and digital software to complete a well-rounded degree.
This 120-credit-hour program gets broken down into three parts: 55 credit hours of general education classes, 40 credit hours of the required major classes, and 25 credit hours of electives. Since this program is 100 percent online, students can finish their degree in as short as 2 years. Within the Digital Media core classes, students can choose from the following:
- Digital Marketing and Analytics
- Writing for Digital Media
- 2-D Design
- Magazine Design and Production
Based in Lakeland, Florida, Southeastern University is a private, Christian school that was originally established as a Bible college and holds the distinction of being the largest Assemblies of God higher education institution in the country. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 98
CREDIT HOUR COST: $320
Students enrolled in the online BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts degree at Southern New Hampshire University have the option of specializing in one of two concentrations: 3D Modeling and Animation or Web Design. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.
Though the courses for each concentration differ in certain ways, both tracks require the standard general education classes as well as their major-specific courses, totaling 120 credits. If you choose the 3D Modeling and Animation track, you’ll get to try your hand at game models, conceptual drawing, and the 12 principles of animation. If you go down the route of Web Design, though, you can try out your graphic imaging across platforms, from video to mobile phones, tablets to desktop computers. Students will use tools such as:
- Adobe Creative Suit
- Maya 3D
Southern New Hampshire University is a small, private university located in Manchester, New Hampshire. Despite it’s small size, its online division enrolls over 60,000 students.
COLLEGE CHOICE SCORE: 97.75
CREDIT HOUR COST: $460
The program at Lesley University takes a slightly different approach with their online BS in Design for User Experience. While it incorporates the foundational principles of graphic design, the degree at Lesley takes you a step further into the web design process to really understand how a client is interacting with your product.
Within this 120-credit-hour program, you’ll allocate 42 credits to general education, 30 credits to free electives, and the rest to the major-specific courses.This program encapsulates the entire scope of the design experience, from mock-up models to user testing. Along with a heavy emphasis on User Experience classes, some other classes include:
- Information Architecture
- Language of Design
- Media Analysis, Marketing
- Organization Behavior and Ethics
Lesley University is a private, coeducational institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts that focuses on artistic and collaborative learning. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.