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Top 25 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design 2021

affordable online graphic design degree

If you want to pursue a career in the field of design and graphic arts, then opting for a graphic design bachelor’s degree online is a good idea. Students earning an online graphic design degree hone their communication, leadership, and artistic skills. Typically lasting for three to four years, the degree includes subjects like typography, color theory, and layout theory. Students learn about conceptualization, design, and execution of a creative idea. These programs provide them with the skills and training needed to design and create graphic and text images. Students also learn about color design and content creation for various digital platforms and different types of media.

Graphic designers often work as part of a communications team. Online graphic design degrees train students to create digital designs to help in marketing campaigns, communicate messages and brands. Many jobs await them in the corporate and non-corporate worlds. They are also in high demand in the gaming industries to make video and computer games’ visual elements. These programs cover all aspects of design, including knowledge related to marketing, multimedia design, and product development.

A graphic design online degree could be offered as a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science in Graphic, or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Typical admission requirements for online graphic design bachelor degree programs include a high school diploma or equivalent along with transcripts. Graphic design degree programs prepare graduates for entry-level positions like website designers, graphic designers, multimedia artists, and animators.

In this article, we have researched and reviewed the schools that offer graphic design degrees online, accredited, and recognized. We then zeroed down to the top 25 schools that provide a comprehensive bachelor’s degree in the field. We have considered the program offerings, school, and program accreditation, affordability, faculty profiles, student support system, flexibility, internships, and networking opportunities for students. Finally, the programs are ranked based on cost. 

Ranking Methodology

Tuition

  • Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
  • Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
  • Net Price Below $18,000: 2 points
  • Net Price Below $20,000: 1 point

Student to Faculty Ratio

• Less than 20:1: 1 point
• Less than 15: 1: 2 points
• Less than 10: 1: 3 points

Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com

• Top 500: 1 point
• Top 300: 2 points
• Top 150: 3 points

  • Flexibility of the Program (asynchronous course delivery, hybrid options, part-time/full-time schedule, etc. ) – 1 point per item
  • Online Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, etc.)— 1 point per item
  • Concentrations/Specializations – 1 point per item (5-pt cap)
  • Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item
  • “Wow” Factor – 1 point

#25 Academy of Art University

San Francisco, CA

Online BFA-Graphic Design

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Academy of Art University

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Points: 5

The Academy of Art University offers an online Graphic Design Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Students learn to excel in typography, print, packaging, branding, user experience, and motion graphics through a nuanced skill-development process.

 Coursework includes: 

  • Design Technology: Digital Publishing Tools
  • Visual Communication; History of Graphic Design
  • Digital Photography; Introduction to Interaction Design
  • Typography; Composition for the Artist
  • Graphic Design; Motion Graphics
  • Package Design; Branding Principles

They are taught by a faculty comprised of nationally recognized professionals who challenge their students to reach their creative potential. They develop a portfolio and learn to solve creative problems within their field of art and design.

Fast facts:

  • 120-132 units
  • Offered through: School of Graphic Design
  • Accreditation: CIDA, CTC, NAAB, NASAD; WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Tuition per unit:1,011 

#24 Berkeley College

New York, NY

Online BFA-Graphic Design

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Points: 6

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Berkeley College

Berkeley College offers an online Graphic Design Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Students will learn to visualize original design concepts through research, analysis, and the interpretation of project-specific criteria. Coursework includes:

  • Painting; Drawing
  • Design and Modeling; Typography
  • Graphic Design in Visual Culture
  • Digital Photography and Creative Media
  • Web Design; Digital Publishing
  • Graphic Design Principles and Game Development
  • Digital Filmmaking; Animation Foundations
  • Packaging Design; Publication Design
  • Branding and Information Design
  • UI/UX Design; Game Design

Students learn to apply and synthesize practical graphic design skills from inception to completion via leading computer graphic software, design tools, and related technology. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition per credit: $870

#23 The Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah, GA

Online BFA-Graphic Design 

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Points: 6

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Savannah College of Art and Design

The Savannah College of Art and Design offers an online Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Digital Media. It helps students develop key critical thinking and communication skills. SCAD graphic design students learn about creating visual identities, weaving modern technology with the product, and user-centered design. Coursework includes: 

  • Drawing I: Form and Space
  • Design I: Elements and Organization
  • Drawing II: Composition and Media
  • Color: Theory and Application
  • Design II: 3D Form in Space
  •  Visual Design Systems
  • Studio elective

Students learn from experts and the titans of the industry. They gain an all-access pass to leading-edge resources and signature events in global art, fashion, and modern design.

Fast facts:

  • 180 credits
  • Offered through: School of Communications Arts
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $835

#22 Full Sail University 

Winter Park, FL

Online BS-Graphic Design

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Points: 7

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Full Sail University

Full Sail University offers an online Graphic Design bachelor of science degree program. It provides students with an in-depth understanding of the field of design – from print publishing to digital design. They learn to translate abstract concepts into tangible visuals for various projects. Through the study of popular culture, projects, and critiques, they sharpen their eye for aesthetics. Coursework includes: 

  • Creative Presentation
  • Design and Art Theory
  • Graphic Principles
  • Color Theory
  • Concepts in Photography
  • Art History

The online program takes 29 months to complete. Students develop technical proficiency and creative development and real-world skills like media integration, advertising, and branding.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Tuition per credit: $733

#21 Simmons University 

Boston, MA

Online Communications (BA)-Graphic Design 

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Points: 8

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Simmons University

Simmons University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a concentration in Graphic Design. It is an interactive, student-centered program that uses a creative approach to communication education. Students learn to balance between an in-depth understanding of concepts and theory. They may pursue a graphic design concentration focusing on: 

  • Print
  • Web
  • Multimedia design

Students develop the skills to be innovative, progressive media makers creating content and strategies that impact. They explore visual, written, and verbal communication across multiple platforms. Graduates work in various professional settings, including business, education, social justice, journalism, broadcasting. 

Fast facts:

  • 128 semester hours
  • Offered through: Department of Communications 
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition per credit: $658

#20 California Baptist University

Riverside, CA

Online BA-Graphic Design & Digital Media 

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Points: 9

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + California Baptist University

California Baptist University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Digital Media degree program. It is designed for individuals who desire a career in graphic design. They learn to integrate graphic design and visual marketing to improve their skill-set. The coursework includes: 

  • Photoshop; Illustrator
  • InDesign; Dreamweaver
  • Compositing and drawing
  • Presentation; Photography
  • Lighting; workflow, 
  • Idea conception; portfolio building
  • Design history
  • Color theory and typography

Students learn to embrace personal, professional, and spiritual transformation. They are equipped to address issues in a global context as they learn to self-reflect, think critically, lead and engage others, and make effective decisions.

Fast facts:

  • 48 credits
  • Offered through: The Rosa Deal School of Arts i
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Tuition per credit: $613

#19 Arizona State University 

Tempe, AZ

Online BS-Graphic Design  

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Points: 9

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Design in Graphic Design. Students explore ways to solve problems and tell stories through visual communication. They learn about essential design principles and how to apply them to professional print and web design projects. Coursework includes:

  • Design Experience; Designing Life
  • Graphic Design History; Principles for Graphic Design 
  • Design Drawing; Letterform
  • Visual Communication 
  • Communication/Interaction Design Theory

Students become adept at visually designing information for various communication projects. ASU Online students learn the same curriculum, are taught by the same faculty, and earn the same degree as on-campus students.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $608

#18 Penn State World Campus

University Park, PA

Online BD-Digital Multimedia Design 

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Points: 9

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Penn State World Campus

Penn State World Campus offers an online Bachelor of Design in Digital Multimedia Design. Students learn to develop and deliver compelling designs using information technology and communication skills and build a strong portfolio in the process. Coursework includes: 

  • Digital Arts: Computer Graphics        
  • Introduction to Digital Art and Design Criticism
  • Basic Photography for Communications
  • Digital Multimedia Design Foundations
  • Introduction to Drawing
  • 3D Digital Art & Design Fundamentals

Students are introduced to 2D digital imaging techniques and concepts to produce original art and design using graphics software. They prepare for a rewarding career in various creative industries, including technology, product design, media, and marketing.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Arts and Architecture 
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition per credit: $576

#17 Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design 

Denver, CO

Online BFA-Graphic Design 

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Points: 10

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design

Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design offers an online Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. The multi-faceted program provides students with an in-depth understanding of the design methodologies, research, and visual graphic theories that support impactful design. Coursework includes: 

  • Typography; Real-World Clients
  • UI/UX
  • Written + Verbal Presentations
  • Visual Storytelling; Design Software

Students learn about all the technical courses on graphic design techniques and design methodologies. But they also explore history, literature, humanities, and social and physical sciences during their online education. This comprehensive approach gives them the training to excel in various professional settings. 

Fast facts:

  • 123 credits
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $544

#16 Maryville University

St. Louis, MO

Online BFA-Graphic Design 

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Points: 10

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Maryville University

Maryville University offers an online Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Digital Media. It trains students to become visual communications professionals and hones their creative skills to grow in this evolving field. They develop aesthetic sensibilities and learn about the new technological developments to understand how design and digital media impacts us. Coursework includes: 

  • Foundation Design; Drawing for Design
  • Design Research, Theory, and Process
  • Typography, Grid, and Hierarchy
  • Icon and Identity; Digital Illustration
  • Motion Graphics

The program provides the knowledge and skills one needs to become highly valued visual communicators who understand technology and design.

Fast facts:

  • 128 credits
  • Offered through: Design & Visual Art Dept.
  • Accreditation: NASAD; Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $500

#15 Upper Iowa University 

Fayette, IA

Online BA-Graphic Design 

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Points: 11

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University offers an online Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. Students learn to use the latest digital technologies along with technical and creative problem-solving skills. They become adept at producing advertisements, social media, videos, and web designs. Coursework includes: 

  • Introduction to Graphic Design; Digital Photography and Editing 
  • Advertising Design; Web Publishing and Social Media
  • Digital Video and Editing; Digital Imaging
  • Graphic Design History; Publication Design
  • Typography; Digital Illustration

The graphic design major is a portfolio-driven program. Students learn to address challenges to design problems and create original work in every course. 

Fast facts:

  • 42 credits
  • Offered through: School of Business and Professional Studies
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $488

#14 Grand Canyon University 

Phoenix, AZ 

Online B.A.-Advertising and Graphic Design

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Points: 11

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Graphic Design. It guides students through the progressive development of knowledge and skills needed in the field. The program emphasizes hands-on learning through studio classes and active client projects. Students learn to execute their ideas and examine inventive advertising to develop campaigns. Courses include:

  • Design Thinking; Design Fundamentals 
  • Digital Photography; Production Methods 
  • Image Creation; Digital Advertising Communication
  • Design Studio 

The program equips graduates with a versatile skillset. They engage in the creative process of conceptualization then learn to design with images, typography, textures, color, and shape. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Fine Arts and Production
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $470

#13 Kentucky Wesleyan College 

Owensboro, KY

Online B.A.-Graphic Design 

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Points: 12

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Kentucky Wesleyan College

Kentucky Wesleyan College offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. It creates qualified and highly skilled professionals in the field of graphic design and other related fields. Coursework includes:

  • Art Survey
  • Beginning Drawing
  • 2D Design
  • Graphic Design 
  • Digital Photographic Techniques
  • Digital Painting
  • Art History: Prehistoric and Neoclassic
  • Art History: American Art
  • Art History: Modern Arts 

Students complete a required core of art courses where they study the foundation principles of art and Design. Then they begin graphic design coursework that focuses on typography,  publication, branding design, web design, and animation.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Tuition per credit: $455

#12 Lesley University 

Cambridge, MA

Online BS-Design for User Experience 

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Points: 12

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Lesley University

Lesley University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Design for User Experience. Students get hands-on experience and learn to create integrated design solutions. Students can choose Graphic Design as a minor, which exposes them to design techniques and theory across multiple media formats. They learn to expand their creative talents the opportunity to build proficiency in technical methods, design tools, and theory. Coursework includes: 

  • Language of Design
  • Typography 
  • Visual Communication 
  • History of Modern Design

The program equips students with real-world skills. They develop a comprehensive portfolio of work displaying their visual and interactive design know-how. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Art and Design
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition per credit: $445

#11 Sessions College for Professional Design

Tempe, AZ

Online BFA-Graphic Design 

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Points: 12

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Sessions College for Professional Design

Sessions College for Professional Design offers an online BFA in Graphic Design. It helps students build the skills and portfolio to launch a creative career and excel in a professional environment. The program is suitable for aspiring high school graduates and adult learners looking to advance their skills or earn a degree. Key features of the program:

  • It prepares creative individuals for careers in communication design
  • It prepares resourceful, adaptive critical thinkers who can excel in a professional environment
  • They are trained to base their work on effective research, creative problem-solving, and design methodology

Graduates emerge with the skills and attributes for a global audience and tomorrow’s challenges. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
  • Tuition per credit: $435

#10 Bellevue University 

Bellevue, NE

Online BA-Graphic Design 

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Points: 12

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Bellevue University

Bellevue University offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. Students learn about design elements, both print and web design, via thorough preparation and hands-on practice. They also learn to use problem-solving and critical thinking skills to form a visual representation of a communication idea. The coursework includes:

  • Problem-solving and Idea Generation
  • Design Basics
  • History of Contemporary Graphic Design
  • Fundamentals of Print Design
  • Fundamentals of Web Design 
  • Typography
  • Single Page Design 
  • Interactivity Basics

Graduates integrate hands-on, applied learning with theory in their professional work. They develop a professional portfolio to represent their creative design work on a wide range of print and digital projects.

Fast facts:

  • 127 credits
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition per credit: $425

#9 Midway University

Midway, KY

Online BFA-Graphic Design 

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Points: 13

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Midway University

Midway University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Marketing Communications with a Concentration in Graphic Design. It provides rigorous study and extensive training in communication, business, branding, and graphic design. Coursework in this program includes:

  • Digital storytelling
  • Brand management
  • Photoshop
  • Animation
  • Social media management

Students have the option to earn their marketing and graphic design degree online in an accelerated 8-week module course format. While some graduates pursue advanced studies, others join the professional workforce in a variety of fields like advertising agencies, design firms, various organizations, commercial printing firms, etc. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: School of Arts & Sciences
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per semester: $12,250

#8 Liberty University 

Lynchburg, VA

Online BFA-Graphic Design 

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Points: 13

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Liberty University

Liberty University offers an Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Students learn how to communicate visually and connect with people in digital environments. They hone their skills and innate talent in art with a refined use of color, font, and images. They have access to the entire Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop and InDesign. The courses focus on developing their ability to create artwork digitally. Featured courses include:

  • History of Art 
  • Introduction to Graphic Design
  • Digital Imaging
  • Graphic Design 

Students also explore the history of art and the evolution of artwork. By looking at artistic developments, they can build their skill set for the graphic design field.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: School of Communication and the Arts 
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition per credit: $390

#7 University of Massachusetts 

Lowell, MA

Online BFA-Graphic Design 

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Points: 13

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + University of Massachusetts, Lowell

University of Massachusetts, Lowell offers an online Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration option on Graphic Design.  The program enables students to develop a set of creative and technical skills that are in demand in the industry. It introduces them to the fundamentals of graphic design. They study a variety of subjects, including:

  • Typography
  • Branding
  • Design
  • Social media
  • Advertising 

Students to develop skillsets that are useful in multiple employment settings. It helps to broaden their knowledge and gain valuable communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills.

Fast facts:

  • 120-122 credits
  • Offered through: Art & Design Department
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition per credit: $380

#6 National University

La Jolla, CA

Online BA-Digital Media Design 

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Points: 13

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + National University

National University offers an online Bachelor of Arts Digital Media program. It provides students with hands-on experience in digital graphic design using the latest tools and technologies used in the current media arts workspace. The knowledge and experience gained in the program prepare students for a transmedia, visually literate future. Coursework includes:

  • Convergence Media; Media Storytelling 
  • Graphic Design and Artistry 
  • Camera and Image; Digital Video Editing 
  • Motion Graphics; Applied Web Design 
  • Digital Interactivity; 3-D Modeling for Game Art

Students become adept at all the latest visual communication methodologies in marketing, education, business, and entertainment.

Fast facts:

  • 180 quarter units 
  • Offered through: College of Professional Studies
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges, (WASC)
  • Tuition per quarter unit: $370

#5 University of West Alabama

Livingston, AL

Online B.A./B.S. Integrated Marketing Communications 

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Points: 14

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + University of West Alabama

The University of West Alabama offers an online bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications. Students gain hands-on multimedia experience in several areas within the integrated marketing communications space. They can choose from optional tracks in graphic design and sports communication. The graphic design track helps them develop skills and knowledge in multiple fields, focusing on graphic design. Topics include:

  • Introduction to Mass Communication          
  • Creative Photography; Graphic Design 
  • Commercial Photography; Mass Media Design
  • Television Production; Media Campaigns
  • Methods of Integrated Marketing Communications

Graduates build successful graphic design careers with advanced studies in fields like photography, graphic design,  and media campaigns. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Offered through: College of Liberal Arts
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 
  • Tuition per credit: $325

#4 Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, NH

Online BA-Graphic Design and Media Arts 

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Points: 14

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers an online BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts. It helps students develop the skills to inspire their audiences into action. They build a portfolio of visual storytelling through various print, digital, social, and video platforms. The curriculum shows them how to:

  • Design and present professional quality work
  • Explore various media messaging strategies
  • Use the latest design tools and technologies
  • Translate ideas through concept, design, and digital media

Students learn to tap into their creative side and learn how to produce designs that inspire and influence people via this online graphic design degree.

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition per credit: $320

#3 Independence University

Salt Lake City, UT 

Online BS-Graphic Design 

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Points: 14

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Independence University

Independence University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Graphic Arts. It guides students through the use of type, photography, animation, illustration, and other techniques to master graphic design concepts. As part of the program, students learn fundamental design skills and tools like:

  • InDesign; Photoshop
  • Illustrator; Flash
  • Typography; Information design
  • Page layout design; Web design
  • Logo and identity design
  • Package design; Internet commerce

Graduates go on to work in exciting and creative careers in print and electronic media. Some even work as freelance designers or find entry-level employment in advertising agencies, in-house production departments, and other businesses.

Fast facts:

  • 183 credits
  • Offered through: School of Graphic Arts
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Tuition per year: $14,585

#2 University of Maryland Global Campus

Adelphi, MD

Online BA-Graphic Communication 

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Points: 15

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + University of Maryland Global Campus

The University of Maryland Global Campus offers an online Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Communication. The portfolio-intensive program helps students master the skills and technology to compete in visual arts and communication environments. Coursework includes: 

  • Introduction to Graphic Communication; Introduction to Drawing
  • Design I: Arrangement and Color; Intermediate Drawing
  • Typography and Layout; Digital Media
  • Advanced Graphic Communication: Professional Branding
  • Motion Graphics; Graphics Communication Portfolio 

Along with a graphic design degree, students also develop an updated portfolio of their work. It prepares them for successful careers as graphic designers, communications specialists, or digital media experts. 

Fast facts:

  • 120 credits
  • Academic Area: Liberal Arts & Communication
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition per credit: $300

#1 Portland State University

Portland, OR

Online BFA-Graphic Design 

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Points: 16

Top 25 Online Bachelor's in Graphic Design + Portland State University

Portland State University offers an online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Students learn the art of creating visual content to communicate messages using images and typography. The dynamic program prepares students to take on design challenges with various technical and creative skills. The program offers students:

  • Opportunities for professional internships
  • A strong sense of community through student groups
  • Professional portfolio development
  • Summer study abroad experiences
  • An active peer mentorship program

Graduates excel in designing printed materials as well as in digital content, design user experience (known as UX), and environmental design.

Fast facts:

  • 180 credits
  • Offered through: School of Art & Design
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Tuition per credit: $188.25

More about online graphic design bachelor degree programs

What does an online graphic design degree mean?

Students who opt for a graphic design bachelor’s degree online qualify for entry-level positions in the field. But there is a huge demand for graphic designers, and even entry-level roles pay well. Most students, however, go on to pursue masters or advanced certifications in design. Most designers work in an office setting as part of a larger creative department or as part of a communications team though many become successful freelancers. They work in various fields like communications, marketing, web design, and video game design. 

Students become proficient in digital designs, gaming designs to make video and computer games’ visual elements. These programs cover all aspects of design, including knowledge related to marketing, multimedia design, and product development. Their digital designs help in marketing campaigns, communicate messages and brands. 

More and more students opt for online graphic design degrees due to their versatility, flexibility, and creativity. Students can now choose a program in any college they wish to attend without worrying about state tuition or the cost of attendance, commute, or lodging expenses.

Students interested in all aspects of the design can benefit from these programs. They can choose the cheapest graphic design bachelor’s degree online and prepare for a successful career in the field. They learn how to design and work with different kinds of media, including print and digital graphics. They gain competencies in color and image selection. They develop skills in photo editing, design layout, and digital illustration. Some designers focus on video game design, creating environments, game settings, and characters. Others may focus on web and print design and eventually pursue managerial positions as art directors.

Online graphic design degree programs can be offered either as a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science in Graphic, or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. The degrees are very similar though they may differ by the specializations and options. 

What will you learn in a graphic design program?

A graphic design online degree teaches students various multimedia applications and covers every aspect of design graphics. They learn the basics of typography, color theory, and digital imaging. The multiple courses prepare graduates for advanced studies and entry-level positions like designer and production artist. The courses offer art and design foundational skills in a comprehensive curriculum of a graphic design online degree. These include: 

  • Computer-assisted art and design
  • Printmaking
  • Concepts sketching
  • Technical drawing, Color theory
  • Imaging; Studio technique
  • Still and life modeling
  • Multimedia applications; Communication skills 
  • Commercial art business operations
  • Introduction to Visual
  • Culture; Foundation Studio
  • Drawing; Ideation Sketching
  • Silk-screening, Stamps, and Stencils
  • Papermaking
  • Plastics; Mold Making
  • Wood; 3D Printing
  • Digital Camera; Web Design
  •  InDesign; Photoshop
  • Illustrator; Digital Video Editing
  • History of Communication Design
  • Design Thinking; Design Lab

How to get into online graphic design bachelor degree programs?

Applicants for online graphic design bachelor degree programs must meet each college’s general admission requirements. Admission requirements differ depending on the college. Typically. These include a high school diploma or equivalent and transcripts, with some minimum GPA and standardized test scores criteria. Many graphic design programs ask for an additional portfolio of art or completed projects along with letters of recommendation. High school students typically submit self-directed work rather than samples from an internship or job. Aspiring graphic designers should always check each program’s requirements before applying. The right graphic design degree online will prepare graduates for successful web and graphic design, multimedia, gaming, and animation.

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

In most cases, a full-time graphic design bachelor’s degree online can be completed in four years. However, there are exceptions; part-time students take longer to graduate. Some schools offer a lot of flexibility for working students or those taking other professional courses. Students who have completed an associate degree or have transferred in with some college credits can readily move up their graduation timeline. 

Students can choose a pace of study that best matches their busy schedules. Those who need more time can work with their advisors to stretch their schedule and complete them in five to six years. Some colleges also offer accelerated learning formats that allow students to take more credits in a shorter period of time. By choosing this version, they can get their degree in perhaps three years instead of four. 

While graphic designers do not need licensure to practice, most opt for independent certification covering design applications, such as Adobe or Adobe Illustrator and others. These credentials can help boost their job prospects and earning potential. Others pursue master’s degrees in the field. Students should work with an enrollment advisor before deciding on a particular option. They should consider things like:

  • How long is the enrollment process?
  • What documents are needed for the application?
  • Are there any prerequisite foundation courses?
  • How long is the program for, is it flexible?
  • Is there an accelerated format available?
  • Which route should you take, full-time or part-time?
  • How can you juggle your busy schedule with your studies?
  • How many credit hours are required to complete online graphic design bachelor degree programs?
  • Can credits from associate’s degrees or other bachelor’s be rolled over?
  • Would the internships lead to entry-level careers?

How much does it cost to get a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design?

The total cost of a bachelor’s degree in graphic design can range from $50,000-$150,000, depending on the school and its ranking. Location of the school, the student’s residency status, and the type of college (public vs. private) affect the overall cost of attendance. Some schools offer lower tuition prices for online programs while others charge their online learners the same tuition as on-campus students.

What are the typical specializations or concentrations offered in a graphic design bachelor degree online? 

  • Graphic Design: General
  • Publication Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Website Design 
  •  Packaging Design
  • Experimental Typography
  • Book Design

A specialization or concentration allows students to tailor their degrees to meet their career goals and interests. They can focus on a particular area and build skills focused on that. Some undergrad students also choose a concentration that they can pursue as a master’s. Specializations also benefit working professionals who wish to grow in their careers.

Benefits of an online graphic design degree

There are many benefits of earning a graphic design online degree, personal, career, and academic. A graphic design degree will increase one’s chances of getting a design job and, with it, increases one’s income potential. Students who get advanced graphic design degrees online and accredited will be more successful in getting jobs in larger and more reputable companies. They also earn more money and enjoy career stability. 

 These degree programs generally require capstone projects or internships at the end of the final year. These provide students with hands-on learning along with the traditional academic theses. They get the chance to present creative projects that will help them demonstrate their creative, technical skills, and core competencies, all of which go into their portfolio.

What are the career prospects with a graphic design bachelor’s degree online? 

There is a great demand for graphic designers. Earning a graphic design bachelor’s degree online prepares graduates for entry-level positions in marketing, communications, instructional design, and game design. Employers generally hire those who have earned a graphic design degree and training. Some of the jobs one can get with an online graphic design degree are: 

  • Graphic designer 
  • Art Director
  • Instructional Designer 
  • Creative Director
  • Web Designer Drafter (Architecture and Engineering)
  • Film and Video Editor.
  • Industrial/Product Designer
  • User experience (UX) designer
  • Production artist
  • Product developer
  • Marketing Manager
  • Multimedia Artist
  • Artist
  • Animator
  • Technical Writer
  • Web Designer
  • User interface (UI) designer
  • Freelancer

 How to choose the right online graphic design bachelor degree programs?

There are many degree options and schools out there, so choosing the right graphic design bachelor’s degree online can be challenging. Students need to do thorough research and consider alternatives before investing time and money into a particular program. For starters, applicants should always look for institutional and programmatic accreditation. They should also consider the kind of degree offered, the format and flexibility, the type of student support provided, and the program’s cost. Many graphic design programs hold recognition from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. These schools can add more value to one’s resume and career prospects. Applicants should also check the school’s choice of specializations to ensure the program offers courses that can help them meet their academic and career goals.

Prospective students can make a checklist and choose the right online graphic design bachelor degree programs:

Program features – One thing to check out is how the program’s format works, whether the school is offering a synchronous or an asynchronous format. In the first format, all students need to log in and attend class online at the same time. In the other option, they choose to log in and study at their own time and pace. It works great for working professionals for they can study and work at the same time.

They can gain the skills and knowledge they need to become successful graphic designers and study whenever they choose.  Depending on the school and the format they choose, they can complete the online graphic design degree between two and four years. Students should also ask about the flexibility of the program during the enrollment process. The option to stretch the schedule will determine the time to complete the degree.

With an online format, they can select a school without worrying about the locations or commute. While most of these online graphic design bachelor degree programs are online, some schools may have in-person requirements or internships. Students may have to visit the campus once or twice during the course of the program. It is important to find these criteria and see if one has to visit the campus. If that’s not possible, then students can opt for a program that comes in a 100% online format where no campus visits are needed.

A student’s research should also include looking into the school recognition and rankings, the school’s accreditation, and the program-specific accreditations. This may also include the school’s regional reputation and standing among national rankings.

Coursework –  It is important to review the coursework carefully before enrolling in a graphic design bachelor degree online program. Students should look at the list of core topics, specializations, or concentrations, internships, and capstone requirements. Choosing the right specialization or concentration is important since they need to align with one’s interests and career goals. The topics will lead to the knowledge of various aspects of design, skills, and applications that can go into various aspects of a design job. One of the most important things about an online graphic design degree is a healthy proportion of hands-on and applied learning in the courseware. The field is more practical than an academic one, so these will prepare graduates for successful careers.

Career outlook – Students have to find out the growth potential and job prospects during their research. The choice of the right program will ensure that students become subject matter experts to stand out among the competition and advance their careers. We live in a digital age where design is a part of digital lives. So there is a great demand for graphic designers, and job prospects for those who hold an online graphic design degree are high. Students need to determine the salary potential and the value of the degree.

Cost – Finally, we come to one of the most important criteria that most students worry about – the program’s cost. It differs from one school to the other and depends on a lot of parameters. Students can choose from the cheapest graphic design online degree to one that costs more. There are many graphic design degree online accredited degrees that offer quality instruction at an affordable rate. These are important things to keep in mind, especially for busy professionals.

Sources

U.S. News & World Report
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
PayScale.com

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