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Advanced Graphic Design Certificate and Degree Programs in Atlanta

The Atlanta, GA, area has several schools that offer advanced graphic design classes and programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three schools, all within 50 miles of downtown Atlanta, to make an informed education decision.

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Atlanta, GA, Graphic Design Schools

Individuals seeking programs with advanced graphic design classes can find a few options with a 55-minute drive of downtown Atlanta. This article gives an overview of three private and public schools; it also includes a table that showcases pertinent facts such as tuition costs and enrollment.

  • Located in the heart of downtown, Georgia State University is one of Atlanta's largest public universities, and it offers advanced graphic design classes in its Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs.
  • Savannah College of Art and Design - Atlanta, just four miles from downtown, is a private school where students can learn advanced graphic design in two bachelor's programs and two master's programs.
  • Almost 50 miles from Atlanta in Waleska, GA, Reinhardt University is a private, religious university that includes advanced graphic design classes in two bachelor's programs.

Comparison of Schools

Prospective students need to consider several factors when choosing a school. The following table allows for an easy comparison of information, enabling individuals to make informed decisions about their education.

Georgia State University Savannah College of Art and Design - Atlanta Campus Reinhardt University
School Type Public; 4-year Private, non-profit; 4-year Private, non-profit; 4-year
Total Enrollment (2017)* 32,816 13,163 1,508
Campus Setting Large city Midsize city Rural fringe
Annual Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)* $9,112 in-state; $23,971 out-of-state $36,410 $22,422
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2016-2017)* 94% 98% 96%
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (Fall 2017)* 70% 93% 89%
Retention Rate (2016-2017)* 83% of full-time students, 53% of part-time students 83% of full-time students, 69% of part-time students 59% of full-time students, 67% of part-time students
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (students who began in fall 2011)* 53% (15% transfer-out rate) 65% (22% transfer-out rate) 37% (41% transfer-out rate)

Source: *National Center for Educational Statistics

Georgia State University

The College of Arts and Sciences houses a variety of schools, departments and institutes, including the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design. There are three faculty members that teach graphic design courses in addition to two part-time instructors.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio - Graphic Design

When first starting the program, students take introductory courses like drawing, 2D design, 3D design, graphic design basics and typography basics. However, students who pass an entrance review at the end of their sophomore year can advance to the upper-level coursework. These classes cover more complex topics in typography, multimedia and specialized graphic design uses. Additionally, these classes cover graphic design techniques for specific business genres like film and television, print, corporate and advertising.

Master of Fine Arts in Studio - Graphic Design

Gaining admission into this program requires a portfolio review. Students entering the program should be prepared to conduct research and study advanced graphic design concepts. The curriculum is divided into 30 credits of graphic design studio coursework, 12 credits of art history classes, 12 credits of professional development, 6 credits of non-graphic design electives and 12 credits of thesis research. The program concludes with a written thesis and exhibition.

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) - Atlanta

SCAD - Atlanta is a satellite campus; the main SCAD campus is located in Savannah, GA. The graphic design programs are found in the School of Communication Arts, which offers a range of visual communications programs.

Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication

The graphic design concentration in this program introduces students to graphic design techniques through classes like basic typography, introductory graphic design and graphic design survey. Classes covering computer graphics and web page design are also required. Students must choose 20 credits of electives; class options can cover advanced typography and an advanced studio course where students are expected to complete an original project using complex design decisions and solutions.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

One of the main ways this program differs from the BA program is that it requires an extra 30 credits of graphic design classes. Students are required to take basic and advanced typography classes and basic and advanced graphic design studio classes. Students must also choose 3 graphic design elective classes.

Master of Arts in Graphic Design and Visual Experience

This program requires 45 credits to complete. Some of the classes delve deeper into the theoretical and aesthetic concepts of graphic design. Studio classes are required.

Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Visual Experience

Twice the number of credits are required in this master's program, and students take several more seminar and studio classes than MA students. Some of the topics may cover theoretical and applied concepts for typography and visual communication. MFA students also conduct research relevant to graphic design and prepare a written thesis.

Reinhardt University

Reinhardt University is associated with the United Methodist Church. Graphic design programs are offered in the School of Arts and Humanities.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media Arts

This degree program is designed to prepare students for careers in areas like digital gaming, digital filmmaking, social media, and web design. Students will gain skills by studying topics like photography, visual culture, communication, and art history. Internship experience will also be required.

Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies

Individuals in this program learn to create visual communication using graphic design techniques while also learning to communicate effectively. Classes include introductory and advanced digital art classes as well as classes in public relations, advertising and mass media.

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