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11 Best Online Graphic Design Programs in 2021

March 15, 2021 | Staff Writers

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1. Rasmussen College, Aurora, IL

The Bachelors in Graphic Design program is ideal for students that have some graphic design education or experience. The online model allows for the flexibility that full-time working professionals need to further their education. Through this program, bachelor candidates can explore emerging industry trends and enhance their skills, attaining the necessary degree at an affordable price point.

  • Tuition: $209 per credit
  • Credits: 120

2. University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

Bachelors in Graphic Communication from U of M prepares students to enter a highly competitive field armed with skills that employers seek. The curriculum emphasizes the importance of maintaining adherence to the primary graphic design principles while simultaneously exploring individual creativity. An assortment of courses, such as Advanced Graphic Communication and Graphic Communication Portfolio, allows students to hone in on a specific career path before graduation.

  • Tuition: $300 per credit
  • Credits: 120

3. University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL

An online B.A./B.S. Integrated Marketing Communications with Graphic Design Track allows students to explore an interdisciplinary approach to graphic design. In addition to graphic design, candidates study photography, social media, news writing, marketing theory, and media law. This multi-faceted degree opens doors to the various areas of multimedia communications giving aspiring graphic designers the knowledge necessary to pursue positions in many industries. The graphic design track includes coursework in copywriting, commercial photography, television production, and integrated marketing communication.

  • Tuition: $325 per credit
  • Credits: 120

4. Sessions College, Tempe, AZ

Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design is offered online from Sessions College. Candidates can complete the degree in less than four years when attending full-time during ten 15-week semesters. Prospective students are attracted to the program due to its affordable per credit cost and flexible online scheduling. During the first two years of the program, students find further savings in the textbook free format.

Additionally, the program’s customization prepares those entering the workforce to advance their careers in their preferred direction. With experienced faculty assistance, students curate curriculums and portfolios to meet specific personal and professional goals.

  • Tuition: $435 per credit
  • Credits: 120 credits

5. Lindenwood University, St. Charles, MO

Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design program at Lindenwood University receive a well-rounded education with foundations in art theory and art history. Beyond the foundations, BFA candidates take courses that prepare them to enter the industry with hands-on experience with necessary design applications. Throughout the curriculum, students build digital and traditional portfolios. Despite a candidate’s online status, faculty are available to meet in person to critique portfolios and assist with internship opportunities.

  • Tuition: $450 per credit
  • Credits: 120

6. Upper Iowa University, Fayette, IA

Alumni of the Bachelors in Graphic Design program at Upper Iowa University appreciate that the program allows students to jump right into graphic design aspects in year one. Students are developing a solid foundation of design theory and skills from the 100 level Intro to Graphic Design through the 400 level Senior Portfolio/Graphic Design while sharpening their individuality and creativity. The graphic design faculty of UIU has a wide range of expertise. As such, the program can afford to offer a 200 level and 400 level Special Topics coursework. This coursework allows students to explore areas of interest not covered in the regular curriculum with an experienced faculty member.

  • Tuition: $488
  • Credits: 120

7. Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design prepares students to pursue a career in the ever-changing design industry. By focusing on curating a candidate’s ability to tell a story through visuals, this degree opens doors to graphic design opportunities across many sectors. In the final year of the program, students are engaged in a capstone project. This project requires students to choose a social issue, conduct research, and design a complete campaign to tell the issue’s visual story. Prior to graduation, students must present their completed project to select faculty.

  • Tuition: $586 per credit
  • Credits: 120

8. Penn State University, State College, PA

Unlike other more narrow design programs, a Bachelor of Design in Digital Multimedia Design from Penn State’s Global Campus is multi-disciplinary, allowing students to explore many mass communication areas. Through this program, candidates are required to integrate visual arts and design, IT, and verbal and written communications. Although this is an online program, students are encouraged to work as teams. Students work together in groups throughout the study, giving the online education an often missed benefit of traditional on-campus education. In the capstone semester, candidates participate in self-directed research, culminating in a final project and presentation.

  • Tuition: $597
  • Credits: 120

8. California Baptist University, Riverside, CA

The Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Digital Media program at CBU brings students beyond the usual graphic design curriculum. While it is open to students applying right out of high school, it is ideal for working professionals hoping to build upon their experience and bring their careers to the next level. “Discovery of the student’s own voice and purpose is the underlying goal of the program.” State of the art software allows students to learn with the same tools present throughout their careers. As with many graphic design programs, the curriculum and coursework are driven by a student’s ability to create a meaningful portfolio of work.

  • Tuition: $613
  • Credits: 91

10. Full Sail University, Winter Park, FL

A student can attain Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design degree from Full Sail University in as short as 29 months. The multi-faceted program allows for the exploration of design through many portals. Using a combination of hands-on projects, coursework, technical study, and pop culture examination opens up the creative approach for those pursuing a career in the field. Additionally, coursework devoted to other disciplines such as advertising and branding further broadens future graphic designers’ perspective.

  • Tuition: $733
  • Credits: 120

11. Berkeley College, Little Falls, NJ

Pursuing an online Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design allows students to engage with a world-class faculty, learning from those with a vast array of experience in the field of graphic design. Small classes and individualized attention give students an optimal look into their future of graphic design. Furthermore, internships and networking opportunities provided by faculty and alumni connections are sure-fire career boosters upon graduation.

  • Tuition: $870 per credit
  • Credits: 120

Our Ranking Methodology

There are a wide variety of graphic design programs varying in length of completion time and cost per credit. Interested parties can pursue anything from a non-degree certificate to a Masters degree. For this list, we included only Bachelor degree programs and attributed a point system, one through 15, based on tuition and credits required.

School representatives are encouraged to contact us to clarify any of the above information or to request reviews of other outstanding programs.

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