Visual communications programs often cover subjects like graphic design, illustration and photography, and are available at various levels at many colleges and universities.
10 Schools with Visual Communications Programs
Here's a list of schools with relevant programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees (In-State, 2015-2016)*|
|Auburn University||Auburn, Alabama||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate:
|Belmont University||Nashville, Tennessee||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate:
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate||Undergraduate:
|Duke University||Durham, North Carolina||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$49,241|
|Iowa State University||Ames, Iowa||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate:
|New York University||New York, New York||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate:
|Purdue University||West Lafayette, Indiana||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate:
|San Francisco State University||San Francisco, California||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$6,476|
|Texas State University||San Marcos, Texas||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate:
|University of Chicago||Chicago, Illinois||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate:
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when choosing a visual communications program:
- Students looking into visual communications programs should see what equipment and facilities each school provides. Programs that offer fully equipped computer labs with state of the art equipment and software might give students more opportunities to work with the technology they will come across in the workforce.
- It's important to note that applicants to graduate programs will traditionally need to submit a portfolio of their work that includes items such as photos, graphic design projects, animated spots or online multimedia projects. Prospective students may want to look for undergraduate programs that include internship opportunities.
- Most levels of study concentrate on the same topics; however, the amount of focus and depth will increase in higher-level degree programs. Some programs require students to pass a qualifying exam to proceed to upper-level courses.
Associate's Degree in Visual Communications
Associate's degree programs typically take two years to complete. Some schools allow students to choose a specialization such as animation, 3-D modeling, game art, interactive media or motion graphics. Coursework includes general education subjects such as math, science and history, in addition to visual communications courses.
Bachelor's Degree in Visual Communications
These 4-year programs may offer areas of concentration in 3D animation, photography or publishing. Some schools also include internships as part of their required curriculum. Depending on the area of emphasis, courses may include the study of illustration, graphic design and art history.
Master's Degree in Visual Communications
Students with a bachelor's degree can earn a master's degree in visual communications. Some schools may require a degree in a related subject; others may accept any bachelor's degree that is accompanied by a portfolio demonstrating familiarity and experience. Graduate students may work as teaching assistants for undergraduate courses in the department such as introductory design courses.
Typically offered at the bachelor's and master's degree levels, visual communications programs may be presented as communication design, digital communications, graphic design or visual arts majors. Before selecting a program, students should find out what kinds of facilities are available and familiarize themselves with the coursework and prerequisites.