Advanced Graphic Design Career Training in North Carolina

There are nearly 20 schools within North Carolina that have graphic design programs. Read an overview of ten of the largest schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

Many schools that provide the necessary training offer programs specifically in graphic design, though some offer programs in related areas, such as graphic arts or new media. The ten largest private non-profit and public colleges in North Carolina that have graphic design and graphic design-related programs are profiled below. Graphic design programs are typically offered at the undergraduate level, though some graduate programs are available.

Graphic design is a hands-on discipline. Students may need to present a portfolio of work when applying. In addition, students participate in projects, critiques and portfolio building throughout the duration of their program. Opportunities to complete an internship or show may also be available.


Appalachian State University

Located in Boone, Appalachian State University provides a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design program. Students need to pass a portfolio review for program acceptance. Some of the areas courses cover include desktop publishing, computer design and environmental design. Additionally, students must purchase a laptop that can run Adobe Creative Suite 6.

Campbell University

Found in Buies Creek, Campbell University offers a minor and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program in graphic design. Minors take basic coursework in art, graphic design and photography, while BA students take courses like design, art history, photography, advertising and graphic design. An internship is also required for bachelor's program students.

Central Piedmont Community College

Central Piedmont Community College is in Charlotte. This school allows students to pursue an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Advertising/Graphic Design, through which they have the opportunity to learn how to design for print or packaging. Courses include illustration, typography, photography, computer design and more. Students also produce a professional portfolio.

Elizabeth City State University

Located in Elizabeth City, this university provides a minor and a BS in Graphic Design program. BS students take courses in art foundations, drawing, graphic design, typography and photography. They're also required to complete an internship and a senior portfolio/show.

Forsyth Technical Community College

Found in Winston Salem, this college offers diploma and associate's programs in graphic arts and imaging technology. Diploma students take 38 credit hours of courses like graphic arts, graphic design and image manipulation. AAS students complete 68 credit hours. Along with taking general education courses, they study topics like graphic arts, graphic design, digital print production and screen-printing.

High Point University

This university is in High Point, and it has a minor and BA program in graphic design. Minors take 20 credits of courses in digital art, typography and graphic design. BA students take courses in typography, advertising and graphic design software. They also complete hands-on projects and develop a portfolio.

Lenoir Community College

Located in Kinston, Lenoir Community College gives students the opportunity to pursue a career and college promise certificate, certificate or AAS in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology. The carrer and college promise certificate and certificate programs require 12 credit hours and 18 credit hours, respectively. Certificate program courses include computer graphics, graphic arts and image manipulation. AAS students take the same classes as students in the certificate programs, but they also have other requirements, including courses in portfolio design, screen-printing and e-printing.

Methodist University

Found in Fayetteville, Methodist University offers a BFA in Graphic Design. Students can learn to design for websites, print media and advertisements. Courses include illustration, photography and typography, to name a few. Students also create design projects and build a portfolio.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Situated in Raleigh, this university has Bachelor and Master of Graphic Design programs. Some of the topics covered in the bachelor's program include computer software, graphic design and typography. Students also complete projects, prepare portfolios and develop senior projects. The graduate program takes two years to complete, and students must enroll on a full-time basis. The focus of the program is on graphic design research and academic criticism, though students also have the opportunity complete design projects.

Queens University of Charlotte

This university is in Charlotte, and it provides a bachelor's program in new media design. Students take courses like drawing, design, typography, digital illustration and Web design. They're also required to complete a senior critique.

Career Requirements

Although a bachelor's degree in graphic design is typically needed to become a graphic designer, individuals who hold a 4-year degree in another field can usually pursue the career after completing additional design training, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Graphic Design Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2018-2019)
Appalachian State University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design $7,364 in-state; $22,171 out-of-state*
Campbell University 4-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town Minor in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design
$32,500*
Central Piedmont Community College 2-year, public; large city Associate in Applied Science in Advertising and Graphic Design $2,792 in-district; $2,795 in-state; $8,936 out-of-state*
Elizabeth City State University 4-year, public; distant town Minor in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design
$3,194 in-state; $7,194 out-of-state*
Forsyth Technical Community College 2-year, public; midsized city Diploma in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology,
Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology
$2,199 in-state; $7,215 out-of-state*
High Point University 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Minor in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design
$35,118*
Lenoir Community College 2-year, public; distant town Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology Career and College Promise Certificate,
Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology Certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology
$2,558 in-state; $8,702 out-of-state*
Methodist University 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsized city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design $33,852*
North Carolina State University at Raleigh 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Graphic Design,
Master of Graphic Design
$9,101 in-state; $28,444 out-of-state*
Queens University of Charlotte 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in New Media Design $34,684*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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