Bachelor of Graphic Arts: Degree Overview

Many colleges, universities, private schools and technical institutes offer bachelor's degree programs in graphic arts. These programs teach students principles of digital art with software and other technologies.

Essential Information

Graphic arts can be studied through a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program. Regardless of degree type, these programs teach students how to combine the latest design technologies with art and design principles to create visual communication. They also have the opportunity to develop problem-solving and analytical capabilities, while discovering how to differentiate between graphic styles, materials and ideas.

Students typically need a high school diploma and a portfolio of design work in order to gain admission to graphic arts bachelor's programs.

Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Arts

These curricula emphasize computer and art classes mixed with liberal arts and cultural awareness studies. Students create various design projects for their professional portfolios. They may need to participate in practical education, like internships, so that they can acquire hands-on training in professional environments. Students may also choose a concentration, such as multimedia design, so they can refine their education to meet their career goals. Typical graphic arts courses include:

  • Drawing
  • Art history
  • Typography
  • Computer graphics
  • Illustration
  • Photography

Employment Outlook and Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expect graphic designer job opportunities to grow 1%, which reflects essentially no change, between 2014 and 2024. Graphic designers earned a median annual salary of $46,900 as of a BLS report in May 2015.

Graphic arts bachelor's programs emphasize both creative and analytical abilities. Traditional lecture-based courses, internships and design projects are typically included in the curriculum, often culminating in a final portfolio. Graduates may be qualified for work as graphic designers or work in similar roles.

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