What is visual communications?

Visual communications is the art and science of conveying a message through images, graphics, text and symbols that allows viewers to see and understand information based solely on the visible design.

What should I look for in an online visual communications school?

The best online visual communications 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 visual communications schools based on:

  • The school’s name and status
  • The school’s history
  • Teacher credentials
  • Alumni network
In choosing the best online visual communications 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 visual communications programs are available?

The following levels of visual communications degree online programs are available:

  • Online Visual Communications Certificate Programs
  • Online Associates in Visual Communications
  • Online Bachelor in Visual Communications
  • Online Masters in Visual Communications

How long does it take to get an online visual communications degree?

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

Typically, the breakdown is as follows:

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

What are some examples of online visual communications courses?

The best visual communications online degree programs incorporate courses that focus on how to design visual communications as well as what makes visual media effective as a communication tool. Accredited online visual communications schools offer courses including:

  • Principles of Design
    One of the foundational courses, Principles of Design helps online visual communications majors understand the process of design through the phases of brainstorming, selecting, drafting, revising and producing any form of visual media design.
  • The Physics of Light
    Light plays a significant role in the power of visual communication, thus this class gives students a look a light from a physics perspective to understand its properties, uses and forms in order to apply this to design principles.
  • Gestalt Psychology
    This course on Gestalt Psychology focuses on the theories and discoveries of Max Wertheimer, who learned to test perception based on simple groupings of visual images, proximity, color and continuity of shapes.
  • The Mind’s Eye: Studies in Perception and the Physiology of the Human Eye
    Students will focus on the anatomy and the psychology of perception, with studies in the form and function of the human eye as well as the way biological visual perception can be affected or manipulated by the mind.
  • Digital Design Software
    This course teaches visual communications students how to navigate various types of illustration and design software for computer, digital and animation design projects.

What areas of visual communications specialization are available?

A good visual communications online degree allows students to focus their training in one of several visual media areas like the following specializations:

  • Multimedia Communications
  • Web Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Digital Design
  • Animation

What can I do with a visual communications degree?

Since visual communications is a broad category of communication media, visual communications jobs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. visual communications specialists career choices include two and three-dimensional media work as:

  • Visual Communications Specialist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Animator
  • Marketing Specialist
  • Advertising Executive
  • Fashion Designer
  • Art Director
  • Web Designer
  • Photographer
  • Set Designer or Stage Designer
  • Lighting Designers (Movie/Theater)

What is a visual communications specialist?

A visual communications specialist is a type of artist-communicator who utilizes visual media as the primary mode of presenting information to viewers. visual communications specialists work with entertainment, news, businesses, fashion, theater, advertising and web design to find or create the most relevant and compelling visual image to convey the message at hand.

What does a visual communications specialist do?

A visual communications specialist is responsible for problem-solving a communication issue by creating effective visual designs that convey a message. In an advertising firm for example, a visual communications Specialist may draw a mock-up product logo and advertisement page, present the image to a client or design team and then adapt the logo or image so it may be clearly recognized when produced on several kinds of products that company makes.

How much does a visual communications specialist earn?

The average annual salaries career visual communications specialists vary based on what type of specialization the visual communicator uses. Typical visual communications jobs in advertising visual communications jobs in advertising earn $80,220 on average; animators and illustrators earn $79,000, video game designers earn $77,000 and web designers earn $72,410 per year. In the variety of industries, the average job growth rate is expected to be between 7% and 13% over the next eight to ten years, particularly as companies develop more digital media communications and website design needs increase.

How do I become a visual communications specialist?

To become a visual communications specialist, one needs to enroll in an accredited online visual communications degree program and choose a specialization. Upon completing the degree, individuals should organize a visual communications resume and portfolio of their work or sample designs, highlighting software, digital media and tools that they are skilled in using. Individuals should also include any certifications they have for design or illustration software.

Visual Communications Schools (Campus)

SchoolCertificateAssociatesBachelorsMastersPhD
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
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
New York University
70 Washington Sq South
New York, NY, 10012
http://www.nyu.edu
X
Purdue University-Main Campus
Hovde Hall of Administration
West Lafayette, IN, 47907
http://www.purdue.edu
X
University of Arizona
1401 E University
Tucson, AZ, 85721
http://www.arizona.edu
X
University of California-Los Angeles
405 Hilgard Ave
Los Angeles, CA, 90095
http://www.ucla.edu/
X
Pima Community College
401 North Bonita Avenue
Tucson, AZ, 85709
http://www.pima.edu
X
American River College
4700 College Oak Dr
Sacramento, CA, 95841
http://www.arc.losrios.edu/
X
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
Virginia Commonwealth University
910 W Franklin St
Richmond, VA, 23284
http://www.vcu.edu/
X
George Mason University
4400 University Dr
Fairfax, VA, 22030
http://www.gmu.edu
X X
Boston University
One Silber Way
Boston, MA, 2215
http://www.bu.edu
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
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Dr
San Marcos, TX, 78666
http://www.txstate.edu
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
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2200 E Kenwood Blvd
Milwaukee, WI, 53201
http://www.uwm.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
West Virginia University
Stewart Hall University Avenue
Morgantown, WV, 26506
http://www.wvu.edu/
X
Utah Valley University
800 W University Parkway
Orem, UT, 84058
http://www.uvu.edu
X X
University of California-San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr
San Diego, CA, 92093
http://www.ucsd.edu
X X
Iowa State University
137 Lynn Ave
Ames, IA, 50011
http://www.iastate.edu
X X
Long Beach City College
4901 E. Carson St.
Long Beach, CA, 90808
http://www.lbcc.edu
X
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA, 2138
http://www.harvard.edu/
X X
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave
Boston, MA, 2115
http://www.northeastern.edu
X
Palomar College
1140 W. Mission
San Marcos, CA, 92069
http://WWW.PALOMAR.EDU
X
Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Blvd
Sacramento, CA, 95822
http://www.scc.losrios.edu/
X
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL, 60137
http://www.cod.edu
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
Montgomery College
40 W. Gude Drive Suite 220
Rockville, MD, 20850
http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu
X
Mesa Community College
1833 W Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ, 85202
http://www.mc.maricopa.edu
X X
University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
660 Parrington Oval
Norman, OK, 73019
http://www.ou.edu
X
Santa Rosa Junior College
1501 Mendocino Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA, 95401
http://www.santarosa.edu
X
De Anza College
21250 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, CA, 95014
http://www.deanza.edu/
X X
Kent State University Kent Campus
Campus Center Dr
Kent, OH, 44242
http://www.kent.edu
X
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
http://www.gwu.edu
X 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
San Antonio College
1300 San Pedro Ave
San Antonio, TX, 78212
http://www.alamo.edu/sac/sacmain/sac.htm
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
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
Oregon State University
1500 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR, 97331
http://oregonstate.edu
X
Cerritos College
11110 Alondra Blvd
Norwalk, CA, 90650
http://WWW.CERRITOS.EDU
X
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College
199 Chambers St
New York, NY, 10007
http://www.bmcc.cuny.edu/
X
Chaffey College
5885 Haven Ave
Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91737
http://www.chaffey.edu
X
Lansing Community College
419 N Capitol Ave
Lansing, MI, 48901
http://www.lansing.cc.mi.us
X
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY, 42101
http://www.wku.edu
X
Sierra College
5000 Rocklin Road
Rocklin, CA, 95677
http://www.sierracollege.edu
X
Missouri State University
901 S National
Springfield, MO, 65897
http://www.missouristate.edu
X
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
900 S Illinois Ave
Carbondale, IL, 62901
http://www.siuc.edu
X
Glendale Community College
6000 W Olive Ave
Glendale, AZ, 85302
http://www.gc.maricopa.edu
X
Northwestern University
633 Clark St
Evanston, IL, 60208
http://www.northwestern.edu
X
Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana
50 W. Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive
Indianapolis, IN, 46208
http://www.ivytech.edu/indianapolis/
X
University of California-Riverside
900 University Ave
Riverside, CA, 92521
http://WWW.UCR.EDU
X
Webster University
470 E Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO, 63119
http://www.webster.edu
X
Boise State University
1910 University Dr
Boise City, ID, 83725
http://www.boisestate.edu
X X
Oakland University
2200 N. Squirrel Road
Rochester Hills, MI, 48309
http://www.oakland.edu
X
Mississippi State University
100 President Cir
Starkville, MS, 39762
http://www.msstate.edu/
X
New Mexico State University-Main Campus
2850 Weddell Street
Las Cruces, NM, 88003
http://www.nmsu.edu/
X X
Modesto Junior College
435 College Ave
Modesto, CA, 95350
http://mjc.edu
X
CUNY Kingsborough Community College
2001 Oriental Blvd
New York, NY, 11235
http://www.kbcc.cuny.edu
X
Moraine Valley Community College
9000 W. College Parkway
Palos Hills, IL, 60465
http://www.morainevalley.edu
X
Mt. San Jacinto Community College District
1499 N State St
San Jacinto, CA, 92583
http://www.msjc.edu
X X
Bowling Green State University-Main Campus
220 McFall Ctr
Bowling Green, OH, 43403
http://www.bgsu.edu
X
CUNY Brooklyn College
2900 Bedford Ave
New York, NY, 11210
http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu
X
California State University-Chico
First and Normal Sts
Chico, CA, 95929
http://www.csuchico.edu
X
Madison Area Technical College
3550 Anderson St
Madison, WI, 53704
http://matcmadison.edu
X
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
104 University Circle
Lafayette, LA, 70503
http://www.louisiana.edu
X
University of Central Oklahoma
100 N University Dr
Edmond, OK, 73034
http://www.uco.edu
X X
University of Mississippi Main Campus
Oxford Mississippi
Oxford, MS, 38677
http://www.olemiss.edu
X X
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL, 60660
http://www.luc.edu
X
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX, 75080
http://www.utdallas.edu
X
Triton College
2000 5th Ave
River Grove, IL, 60171
http://www.triton.edu
X X
University of Miami
University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL, 33124
http://www.miami.edu/
X
CUNY Queensborough Community College
222-05 56th Ave
New York, NY, 11364
http://www.qcc.cuny.edu
X
Rochester Institute of Technology
1 Lomb Memorial Dr
Rochester, NY, 14623
http://www.rit.edu/
X X X
Cypress College
9200 Valley View
Cypress, CA, 90630
http://www.cypresscollege.edu
X

Schools by State

Best Cities for Visual Communications Schools