Students can earn a variety of degrees in the art and design technology field. Many programs are at the associate's and bachelor's degree levels, though master's degree programs can be found as well. Program areas include art, design, graphic arts, imaging technology, digital effects, and animation technology. Students spend time in computer and design labs in addition to the classroom, and most program offer experiential options, such as internships, work or graduate study opportunities, senior projects, a thesis, or the chance to study abroad.
Appalachian State University
The bachelor's degree program in graphic arts and imaging technology at Appalachian State University in Boone seeks to prepare students for entry-level employment in graphic communications. Students take multidisciplinary courses in art, communications, economics, finance, management and technology. They also take a core series of classes in subjects like electronic imaging, digital printing systems and flexographic printing, along with electives and a graphic communications internship. A general business minor is recommended to complement this degree. Students can also minor in graphic arts and imaging technology by just taking the core coursework.
Those interested in obtaining a professional degree might consider ASU's BFA program in graphic design. This 78-credit hour major contains coursework in studio art and graphic design and prepares individuals for careers as well as for graduate study. A portfolio is required for acceptance into the program.
The Art Department at Campbell University in Buies Creek offers just two majors: studio art and graphic design. Studio art majors can take advantage of sculpting, painting, drawing and ceramics studios. They take classes in design, painting, drawing, art history and sculpture. Graphic design students have access to top-of-the-line computers in the university's graphic design lab. The graphic design curriculum includes coursework in typography, photography, art history, drawing and advertising. Both majors allow students to choose a substantial number of electives. Graphic arts students can join the school's chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and are required to complete internships. Studio art majors exhibit their work during the senior year. The college has exhibiting artists on its faculty.
Forsyth Technical Community College
At Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston Salem, students interested in computer graphic arts can earn an associate's degree or diploma in graphic arts and imaging technology. The curriculum is currently one of four of its kind in the state. Students receive hands-on training in computer publishing, printing technologies, offset lithography and screen-printing.
There is also a program in digital effects and gaming design, which prepares students for careers as animators for films, television and the gaming industry. This program can be taken as a certificate or an AAS degree. Students draw by hand and use computers to create the finished product. The degree program features a portfolio review and a project.
High Point University
The School of Art and Design at High Point University in High Point offers several bachelor's degree programs for students interested in art and design technology. These include graphic design and digital imaging, studio art, visual merchandising and interior design. Minors are available in several areas as well.
Graphic design and digital imaging students are introduced to typography, graphic software and design fundamentals in their first year and advertising concepts their second year. This program also includes a portfolio development component. Studio art majors can concentrate in drawing, painting, digital art, photography, ceramics or art history. Students in either program can study abroad in Florence, Italy, for a semester or in another international location for a short-term course.
A visual merchandising design degree program is available for students who wish to combine their love of design with business. Coursework covers the history of interiors, merchandise planning, branding, marketing communications and digital art and design.
There is also an interior design program that prepares graduates to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam and become interior designers. Study abroad opportunities are available to students in these programs as well. Internships are available for all of the programs, and students can join the university's Visual Art and Design Guild.
At Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, students can earn a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Arts or a minor in communication arts and design. Students select an emphasis in communication arts, creative marketing or art and design and have access to industry-standard software, an art studio and a photo lab. Career opportunities for graduates include freelance art, photography, graphic design and communications management. The program allows students to build a portfolio, complete an internship and conduct senior research.
Lenoir Community College
Kinston is home to Lenoir Community College, where students can earn an associate's degree or a certificate in graphic arts and imaging technology. Through this program, students become prepared to work in packaging, publishing and printing and learn about imaging technology, computer publishing, screen-printing, offset lithography and other printing technologies. E-document publishing, typography, human relations, printing management and a co-op work experience are part of the associate's degree curriculum. Program facilities include computer graphics labs, a design studio and a screen-printing area.
In addition to job placement opportunities, the college also offers a number of workshops for graphic arts and imaging technology students, such as Web page design, multimedia marketing and Adobe Photoshop. Certificate programs are also available in computer graphics, printing sales and service, and vehicle and outdoor graphics skills.
Hickory's Lenoir-Rhyne University offers bachelor's degree programs in studio art and graphic design. Graphic design students take courses in design, sculpture, photography and drawing, along with graphic design and computer courses. Selected graphic design students have the chance to complete honors work in art. Studio art majors receive a foundation in art history, esthetic principles and studio work in sculpture, painting, photography, electronic media and printmaking. Students complete a portfolio or a thesis. Internships are available for both majors; past participants have worked at community theaters and with companies that offer graphic products.
North Carolina State University
The Department of Art and Design at Raleigh's North Carolina State University offers a fibers and surface design undergraduate degree program to students interested in learning about digital technologies, fabric manipulation, the design process and sculptural textiles. The master's degree program in this field of study provides professionals with a focus on producing textiles for a variety of fields, such as costumes, installations and accessories.
There is also a bachelor's degree program in new media and animation that features classes in digital tools, digital illustration and sequential art. A master's degree program in the same area is available for artists and designers who desire professional-level accomplishment. Individuals in this program learn about 3D animation, graphics and video.
The school features an opportunity for design students to work alongside computer science students to create visual and functional systems and computer applications.
Queens University of Charlotte
Queens University of Charlotte is located in Charlotte. The art department offers a Bachelor of Arts in New Media Design that seeks to prepare graduates for careers in museums, education, art conservation, academia and new media design. Students in the program learn about motion graphics, animation, digital video art, Renaissance art and game design. The curriculum also includes a senior critique. The university also offers art history, interior design and studio art programs.
William Peace University
Raleigh is home to William Peace University, where students can earn an undergraduate degree in communication and concentrate their studies on graphic design. Students take courses in writing, communication and culture along with 12 units of graphic design coursework. The program also includes service learning, community projects and documentary fieldwork. Past graduates have gone on to work in marketing, social media and technology.
Individuals can also earn a bachelor's degree in simulation and game design. Students in this program learn about digital media convergence, C++ programming, 3D modeling and animation. They take courses in art appreciation, imaging, motion for the screen, and design and typography, learning through a combination of classroom and lab work.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Art and Design Technology Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|Appalachian State University||4 year, public; distant town|| Bachelor of Science in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design,
Minor in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology
|$7,364 (in-state); $22,171 (out-of-state)*|
|Campbell University||4-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town|| Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design,
Minor in Graphic Design,
Minor in Studio Art
|Forsyth Technical Community College||2-year, public; midsize city|| Digital Effects and Animation Technology - Gaming Design Certificate,
Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology Diploma,
Associate of Applied Science in Digital Effects and Animation Technology,
Associate of 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|| Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Digital Imaging,
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Science in Visual Merchandising Design,
Bachelor of Science in Interior Design
|Lees-McRae College||4-year, private not-for-profit; rural|| Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts and Design,
Bachelor of Science in Communication Arts and Design
|Lenoir Community College||2-year, public; distant town|| Certificate in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology,
Certificate in Computer Graphics,
Certificate in Printing Sales and Service,
Certificate in Vehicle and Outdoor Graphics Skills,
Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Arts and Imaging Technology
|$2,558 (in-state); $8,702 (out-of-state)*|
|Lenoir-Rhyne University||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city|| Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Minor in Visual Arts
|North Carolina State University||4-year, public; large city|| Bachelor of Art and Design in Fibers and Surface Design,
Bachelor of Art and Design in New Media and Animation,
Bachelor of Arts in Design Studies,
Master of Art and Design in Fibers and Surface Design
Master of Art and Design in Animation
|$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,
Bachelor of Arts in Art History,
Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design,
Bachelor of Art in Studio Art,
Minor in New Media Design
|William Peace University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Bachelor of Arts in Communication,
Bachelor of Arts in Simulation and Game Design
Source: *NCES College Navigator