Graphic designers shape the way we conceptualize and view the world. In everything from logos and advertisements to images in a magazine, the pictures we see impact our impressions and emotions.
If you have ever wanted to work as an art director, web designer, typeface designer or as an artist for advertisers or digital media, a degree in graphic design may suit your career ambitions. Quality graphic design programs teach students fundamental and advanced design and visual art concepts, preparing graduates for a variety of careers across industries. Increasingly, these schools have started offering their degrees online, in programs that allow students to prepare for their next career without disrupting their current obligations.
Below, we’ve ranked the top online bachelor’s in graphic design programs. These schools prepare graduates for professional work in the field and help students obtain the degree they need to jumpstart their career.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||Liberty University||Lynchburg||$$$$$||1971 University Blvd|
Lynchburg, VA 24515
A private, evangelical institution located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University emphasizes excellence in teaching and learning with a distinct focus on spiritual development within a Christian worldview. For learners seeking careers as multimedia artists and visual designers, Liberty offers a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design.
Liberty's fully online program features 120 credits delivered synchronously through 8-week sessions. Most degree seekers complete their studies in 3.5 years or less and enter the workforce fully prepared for creative work in graphic design. Enrolled learners hone their expertise in the discipline by taking courses that cover art history and digital imaging, color theory, typography, and image manipulation.
Liberty's online graphic design degree boasts a generous transfer policy. Degree seekers can transfer up to 75% of the required credits, easily accelerating their path to graduation. Eligible applicants must demonstrate evidence of completed secondary education with a 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA.
|2||Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester||$$$$$||2500 North River Road|
Manchester, NH 03106-1045
Initially founded in 1932 as a business school, SNHU provides quality, affordable, and innovative higher education programming. Located in Hooksett, New Hampshire, the school administers a bachelor of arts in graphic design and media arts, ideal for aspiring visual artists.
A 120-credit program with two concentrations — web design or 3D modeling and animation — SNHU's online graphic design degree equips learners for creative fulfillment and professional success. The program offers all course content online through convenient asynchronous learning technologies. Topics include desktop publishing, the history of design and photography, visual literacy, and graphics layout.
Graduates of SNHU's program stand fully qualified to work as graphic designers in a variety of corporate, nonprofit, and government organizations. Learners interested in applying to this accredited online graphic design degreemust verify completion of high school or a GED. Transfer applicants holding 12 or more credits must provide official academic transcripts indicating a 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA.
|3||California Baptist University||Riverside||$$$$$||8432 Magnolia Ave|
Riverside, CA 92504-3297
CBU integrates academics with spiritual and social development opportunities. Established in 1950 by the California Southern Baptist Convention, the private school extends a bachelor of arts in graphic design and digital media to degree seekers looking to advance their career prospects in the industry.
Most learners complete CBU's course of study — split between general education and major requirements — in roughly 16 months. A fully online program, CBU provides instruction and all course content through flexible distance learning formats designed to accommodate busy lives and schedules. Enrolled degree seekers explore the history of graphic design, advanced typography, and fundamental web design.
Prerequisites for this online graphic design degreeinclude basic drawing, composition, and intermediate composition. Learners eligible for the program must demonstrate evidence of a 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA and supply official academic transcript to an assigned admissions counselor.
|4||Savannah College of Art and Design||Savannah||$$$$$||342 Bull St|
Savannah, GA 31402-3146
SCAD has provided academic education and training in art, design, and other creative professions since its inception in 1978. Headquartered in Savannah, Georgia, the private school offers two programs in graphic design: a bachelor of arts in communication with a concentration in graphic design (BA) and a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design (BFA).
Both programs require 180 credits, which students generally earn in four years or less. The BA provides training in graphic design within a liberal arts focus, while the BFA emphasizes intensive art education and graphic design study. SCAD provides instruction for both programs entirely online through flexible, asynchronous learning modules. Each program also offers field-specific minors that complement the larger course of study like advertising, motion media design, and interactive design.
Applicants interested in pursuing this graphic design bachelor's degree online must provide evidence of secondary education and English language proficiency. They must also submit recent SAT or ACT test scores, a statement of purpose, a resume and portfolio, and letters of recommendation.
|5||Midway University||Midway||$$$$$||512 E. Stephens St|
Midway, KY 40347-1120
A private, Christian liberal arts school, Midway University offers career-focused educational experiences to learners across the globe. Located in Midway, Kentucky, and initially established in 1849 as a female orphan school, Midway grants a bachelor of science in marketing communications with a specialization in graphic design.
Students generally complete the 120 credits for this online graphic design degreein four years of full-time enrollment. Midway's course of study combines training in the visual arts and graphic design with marketing and communications acumen in order to position graduates as ideal job candidates in either industry. Enrolled learners receive high-level instruction in these areas completely online through accelerated, 8-week course modules.
Degree seekers interested in admission must submit official high school or GED transcripts along with recent ACT or SAT exam results. Transfer students must demonstrate a 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA for all applicable credits, and international applicants must provide evidence of English language proficiency.
Completing a graphic design degree online prepares graduates for the field. Whether you’d like to design logos, work in the film industry or build your own schedule as a freelancer, a quality graphic design program will provide you with the requisite training for a successful career.
The BLS projects that positions in graphic design will grow by about 7% throughout 2022. In 2012, the median salary for all graphic artists was a little under $45,000 per year. Experienced designers make more, however, as the top 10% of artists in the field take home an average salary north of $70,000 per year. Additionally, many graphic designers move on from the field after a number years, often using their skills in higher paying jobs as art directors or teachers.
Graphic design is a competitive field, and students should begin thinking about their career path as soon as they enter school. Most programs require students to build a portfolio, and this is your opportunity to plan for the career you want. Regardless of the kind of art you want to make, or the industry you want to work in, you can jumpstart your professional career by focusing on skills and projects that will help you earn the kind of job you’d like after you graduate. Be sure to talk with your professors as you take classes: top programs hire well-connected faculty who can help you make contact with companies you’d like to work for.
Newly minted graduates should keep in mind that many graphic artists begin their careers as freelancers. While that may not sound appealing at first, it’s not a bad way to begin your career. If you can’t find the right fit with a company after graduation, it may be best for you to freelance, tackling projects that you enjoy doing while developing your portfolio to highlight the skills and abilities that will eventually help you earn your dream job.
Ultimately, an online bachelor’s in graphic design degree provides students with a flexible opportunity to build their skills and prepare for a rewarding career. Students in a quality graphic design online degree program build a portfolio of work directly applicable to the industry, and they can rely on school resources to find a job after they graduate. For the artistic career you’ve always wanted, consider earning your bachelor’s in graphic design online.