What is graphic design?

Graphic design is the process of creating visual communication in which a designer combines words, images, graphic symbols, and layouts to communicate information to viewers.

What should I look for in an online graphic design school?

The best online graphic design schools should possess either regional or national accreditation from an accrediting body that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

In addition, you can often recognize top online graphic design schools based on:

  • The school’s name and status
  • The school’s history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online graphic design school for you, you should consider the following factors:
  • Admission requirements
  • Residency requirements
  • Class and teaching style
  • Testing methods used
  • Course content and presentation
  • Program length
  • Class size
  • Student-teacher interaction
  • Technology use
  • Tuition and financial aid
  • Transferability of credits
  • Availability of a dedicated administration team and resources

What levels of online graphic design programs are available?

The following levels of graphic design degree online programs are available:

  • Online Graphic Design Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Graphic Design
  • Online Bachelor in Graphic Design
  • Online Masters in Graphic Design

How long does it take to get an online graphic design degree?

The amount of time it takes a student to earn an accredited online graphic design degree depends on the level of graphic design degree being pursued and the pace of the student.

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Online Graphic Design Certification Programs – 6 months to 1 year
  • Online Graphic Design Associates Degree – 2 years
  • Online Graphic Design Bachelor Degree – 4 years
  • Online Graphic Design Masters – 2 years

What are some examples of online graphic design courses?

Popular online graphic design programs combine the practical skills of how to create a message with the process of utilizing multimedia formats to showcase that message. Typical coursework in the best graphic design schools online includes classes such as:

  • Fundamentals of Design
    One of the foundational graphic design courses teaches the principles of design from idea staging to production to delivery, focusing on themes and skills necessary for success within the graphic design field.
  • Fundamentals of Digital Illustration
    One of several digital media design classes that teach students how to use the current industry software for computer graphic design to create digital graphics, animation, and multimedia graphics for websites, movies, and digital media communications.
  • Print Production Graphics
    This course focuses on the methods of design for print production such as logos, advertising, and print media, one aspect of graphic design frequently used in corporate communications.
  • Web Design
    Introductory and advanced web design courses prepare students for applying their visual communication skills in website design, basic web coding, layouts, and multimedia web site features.
  • Sketching
    Though much graphic design work is now done digitally, great designers continue to hone their hands-on drawing, sketching, and visual art skills through basic and advanced sketching classes that teach techniques for sketching and use of various sketching media for print design projects.

What areas of graphic design specialization are available?

Top online graphic design degrees allow students to specialize in various multimedia aspects of graphic design such as:

  • Visual Communication
  • Digital and Web Design
  • Computer Graphics/Animation
  • Video Game Design
  • Electronic Media/Multimedia Design
  • Web Development

What can I do with a graphic design degree?

Positions in graphic design range from freelance to corporate to entertainment industry jobs. The top graphic designer jobs for accredited online graphic design school graduates include:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Animator
  • Video Game Artist
  • Movie Artist
  • Set Designer
  • Corporate Communications Specialist
  • Web Designer
  • Aerospace Artist
  • Freelance Designer
  • Comic Book Artist
  • Tattoo Artist
  • Advertising Designer

What is a graphic designer?

A graphic designer is an artist who utilizes multimedia tools, visual art, symbols, and words to create and communicate a message through visual media. Graphic designers may be working in print, web-based, computer, or audio-visual media to complete their designs.

What does a graphic designer do?

A career as a graphic designer will be shaped by the field in which one works. As a corporate communications graphic designer, jobs may include sketching and presenting marketing campaign logos or graphics and then overseeing the production of graphics on certain products. Graphic designers working in animation may be responsible for background landscape designs or character costume design, and use digital graphics software to create each layer of the animation.

How much does a graphic designer earn?

Graphic designers earn between $47,820 and $55,600 per year, depending on the focus of their work. In digital media, web design and animation for example, the average annual salary is $62,810. Job growth is expected to continue at an average pace of 13% until 2018. More openings in digital communications, web design, and multimedia graphic design will be off-set by fewer openings in print media graphic design careers.

How do I become a graphic designer?

The steps of how to become a graphic designer begin with completing a program at a top graphic design online school. While generally graphic design positions have no requirements but relevant training and experience, some official certifications may be available which can improve candidates’ employment prospects.

Graphic Design Schools (Campus)

School Certificate Associates Bachelors Masters PhD
Arizona State University
1151 S Forest Ave
Tempe, AZ, 85287
http://www.asu.edu/
X
Ohio State University-Main Campus
190 N. Oval Mall
Columbus, OH, 43210
http://www.osu.edu
X
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
100 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN, 55455
http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/index.php
X
The University of Texas at Austin
2608 Whitis Ave
Austin, TX, 78712
http://www.utexas.edu
X X
University of Florida
355 Tigert Hall
Gainesville, FL, 32611
http://www.ufl.edu/
X
Texas A & M University
112 M T Harrington Ctr
College Station, TX, 77843
http://www.tamu.edu
X
Ashford University
400 N Bluff Blvd
Clinton, IA, 52733
http://www.ashford.edu
X
Northern Virginia Community College
4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd
Annandale, VA, 22003
http://www.nvcc.edu
X X
Liberty University
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA, 24502
http://www.liberty.edu
X
University of Washington-Seattle Campus
1400 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA, 98195
http://www.washington.edu
X
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
201 Old Main
State College, PA, 16802
http://www.psu.edu/
X
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
601 E John Street
Champaign, IL, 61820
http://www.illinois.edu/
X
College of Southern Nevada
6375 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV, 89146
http://www.csn.edu
X
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
440 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI, 48109
http://www.umich.edu
X
Purdue University-Main Campus
Hovde Hall of Administration
West Lafayette, IN, 47907
http://www.purdue.edu
X
Florida State University
211 Westcott Bldg
Tallahassee, FL, 32306
http://www.fsu.edu
X
University of California-Los Angeles
405 Hilgard Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 90095
http://www.ucla.edu/
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University of Houston
212 E. Cullen Building
Houston, TX, 77204
http://www.uh.edu
X X
Riverside Community College
4800 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA, 92506
http://www.rcc.edu/
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Temple University
1801 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19122
http://WWW.TEMPLE.EDU
X X
Pima Community College
401 North Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85709
http://www.pima.edu
X X
East Los Angeles College
1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez
Monterey Park, CA, 91754
http://www.elac.edu/index.htm
X X
American River College
4700 College Oak Dr
Sacramento, CA, 95841
http://www.arc.losrios.edu/
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University of North Texas
Chestnut Ave.
Denton, TX, 76203
http://www.unt.edu
X
Salt Lake Community College
4600 S Redwood Rd
Salt Lake City, UT, 84123
http://www.slcc.edu
X
Brigham Young University
Main Campus
Provo, UT, 84602
http://www.byu.edu
X
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
2101 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC, 27695
http://www.ncsu.edu
X X
City College of San Francisco
50 Phelan Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94112
http://www.ccsf.edu
X X
Santa Monica College
1900 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica, CA, 90405
http://www.smc.edu
X X
Virginia Commonwealth University
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA, 23284
http://www.vcu.edu/
X X
Capella University
225 South 6th Street 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN, 55402
http://www.capella.edu
X
Boston University
One Silber Way
Boston, MA, 2215
http://www.bu.edu
X X
San Jose State University
1 Washington Sq
San Jose, CA, 95192
http://www.sjsu.edu
X
University of California-Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA, 95616
http://www.ucdavis.edu
X
Santa Ana College
1530 W. 17th Street
Santa Ana, CA, 92706
http://www.sac.edu
X X
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Dr
San Marcos, TX, 78666
http://www.txstate.edu
X X
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Ave
San Francisco, CA, 94132
http://www.sfsu.edu
X
Tidewater Community College
121 College Place
Norfolk, VA, 23510
http://www.tcc.edu
X
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
425 University Blvd
Indianapolis, IN, 46202
http://www.iupui.edu
X
Portland Community College
12000 SW 49th Avenue
Portland, OR, 97219
http://www.pcc.edu
X X
Texas Tech University
Broadway and University Avenue
Lubbock, TX, 79409
http://www.ttu.edu
X
Mt San Antonio College
1100 N Grand Ave
Walnut, CA, 91789
http://www.mtsac.edu
X X
Cuyahoga Community College District
700 Carnegie Ave
Cleveland, OH, 44115
http://www.tri-c.edu
X
University of Utah
201 Presidents Circle
Salt Lake City, UT, 84112
http://www.utah.edu
X
University of Kansas
Jayhawk Dr
Lawrence, KS, 66045
http://www.ku.edu
X
California State University-Sacramento
6000 J St
Sacramento, CA, 95819
http://www.csus.edu
X
University of Nevada-Las Vegas
4505 S Maryland Pky
Las Vegas, NV, 89154
http://www.unlv.edu
X
Utah Valley University
800 W University Parkway
Orem, UT, 84058
http://www.uvu.edu
X X
Oakland Community College
2480 Opdyke Rd
Bloomfield Hills, MI, 48304
http://www.oaklandcc.edu
X
Iowa State University
137 Lynn Ave
Ames, IA, 50011
http://www.iastate.edu
X X
Portland State University
724 SW Harrison
Portland, OR, 97201
http://www.pdx.edu
X
Long Beach City College
4901 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA, 90808
http://www.lbcc.edu
X
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA, 2115
http://www.northeastern.edu
X X
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA, 92069
http://WWW.PALOMAR.EDU
X X
Central Michigan University
1200 S Franklin St # 121
Mount Pleasant, MI, 48859
http://www.cmich.edu
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El Camino Community College District
16007 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA, 90506
http://www.elcamino.edu
X
Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA, 95822
http://www.scc.losrios.edu/
X
University of California-Irvine
204 Administration
Irvine, CA, 92697
http://www.uci.edu/
X X
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL, 60137
http://www.cod.edu
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University of Illinois at Chicago
601 S Morgan
Chicago, IL, 60607
http://www.uic.edu/index.html/
X X
American InterContinental University-Online
5550 Prairie Stone Pky-Ste 400
Hoffman Estates, IL, 60192
http://www.aiuonline.edu
X
Pasadena City College
1570 E Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA, 91106
http://www.pasadena.edu
X X
Mesa Community College
1833 W Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ, 85202
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu
X X
University of Akron Main Campus
302 Buchtel Common
Akron, OH, 44325
http://www.uakron.edu
X
Santa Rosa Junior College
1501 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA, 95401
http://www.santarosa.edu
X X
Fresno City College
1101 E. University Ave
Fresno, CA, 93741
http://www.fresnocitycollege.edu
X X
Orange Coast College
2701 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA, 92626
http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/
X X
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, CA, 95014
http://www.deanza.edu/
X X
DePaul University
55 E Jackson
Chicago, IL, 60604
http://www.depaul.edu
X X
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
http://www.gwu.edu
X
Auburn University Main Campus
Auburn Alabama
Auburn, AL, 36849
http://www.auburn.edu
X
University of Pennsylvania
1 College Hall 34th and Spruce Sts
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
http://www.upenn.edu
X X X
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI, 49008
http://www.wmich.edu
X
San Antonio College
1300 San Pedro Ave
San Antonio, TX, 78212
http://www.alamo.edu/sac/sacmain/sac.htm
X X
Northern Arizona University
Knoles Drive Babbitt Administrative Center
Flagstaff, AZ, 86011
http://home.nau.edu/
X
The Community College of Baltimore County
7201 Rossville Blvd.
Baltimore, MD, 21237
http://www.ccbcmd.edu
X
Saddleback College
28000 Marguerite Pky
Mission Viejo, CA, 92692
http://www.saddleback.edu
X X
San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Dr
San Diego, CA, 92111
http://www.sdmesa.edu/
X
Weber State University
3848 Harrison Blvd
Ogden, UT, 84408
http://www.weber.edu
X
Ohio University-Main Campus
E Mulberry
Athens, OH, 45701
http://www.ohio.edu
X
Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
One HACC Dr
Harrisburg, PA, 17110
http://www.hacc.edu
X X
Drexel University
3141 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
http://www.drexel.edu
X
Fullerton College
321 E Chapman Avenue
Fullerton, CA, 92832
http://www.fullcoll.edu
X X
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
3801 W Temple Ave
Pomona, CA, 91768
http://www.csupomona.edu
X
Los Angeles Pierce College
6201 Winnetka Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 91371
http://www.piercecollege.edu
X X
Cerritos College
11110 Alondra Blvd
Norwalk, CA, 90650
http://WWW.CERRITOS.EDU
X
Southwestern College
900 Otay Lakes Rd
Chula Vista, CA, 91910
http://www.swccd.edu
X X
College of the Canyons
26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd
Santa Clarita, CA, 91355
http://www.canyons.edu
X X
Chaffey College
5885 Haven Ave
Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91737
http://www.chaffey.edu
X X
Lansing Community College
419 N Capitol Ave
Lansing, MI, 48901
http://www.lansing.cc.mi.us
X X
The University of Texas at El Paso
500 W. University Ave
El Paso, TX, 79968
http://www.utep.edu
X X
Rio Salado College
2323 W 14th St
Tempe, AZ, 85281
http://www.rio.maricopa.edu
X
CUNY Queens College
65-30 Kissena Blvd
New York, NY, 11367
http://www.qc.cuny.edu
X
Sierra College
5000 Rocklin Road
Rocklin, CA, 95677
http://www.sierracollege.edu
X X
Community College of Allegheny County
800 Allegheny Ave
Pittsburgh, PA, 15233
http://www.ccac.edu
X X
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd
Overland Park, KS, 66210
http://www.jccc.edu
X
Missouri State University
901 S National
Springfield, MO, 65897
http://www.missouristate.edu
X
St. John's University-New York
8000 Utopia Pky
New York, NY, 11439
http://www.stjohns.edu
X
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
900 S Illinois Ave
Carbondale, IL, 62901
http://www.siuc.edu
X
San Joaquin Delta College
5151 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA, 95207
http://www.deltacollege.edu
X

Schools by State

Best Cities for Graphic Design Schools