Graphic design programs can focus on a wide array of mediums, all of which allow students to pursue creative interests while furthering their education. Students who are unsure about which aspect of art directing to pursue would do well to consider liberal arts colleges, which require students to take a combination of fine arts classes and general education courses.
Schools for Aspiring Art Directors:
This list of colleges and universities identifies some schools offering graphic design programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition* (2018-2019)|
|Allan Hancock College||Santa Maria, CA||2-year, Public||Associate's||In-state $1,352; Out-of-state $6,784|
|Bakersfield College||Bakersfield, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $1,325; Out-of-state $7,261|
|Hudson Valley Community College||Troy, NY||2-year, Public||Associate's (Fine and Studio Arts Management)||In-state $5,812; Out-of-state $13,087|
|Iowa State University||Ames, IA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||In-state $8,988; Out-of-state $23,392|
|Liberty University||Lynchburg, VA||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$22,584|
|Temple University||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||In-state $16,970; Out-of-state $29,066|
|University of Akron Main Campus||Akron, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state $11,463; Out-of-state $15,500|
|University of Kentucky||Lexington, KY||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's (Fine/Studio Arts)||In-state $12,245; Out-of-state $29,099|
|Central Community College||Grand Island, NE||2-year, Public||Associate's (art degree transfer program)||In-state $3,000; Out-of-state $4,320|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
Students who want to pursue a degree in graphic design have many things to consider when selecting a program.
- There are various types of art programs and concentrations as well as schools devoted solely to art; students may want to consider if they would prefer a school strictly dedicated to art or one with more flexibility.
- Students may want to take what an art program offers for career preparation and portfolio assistance into account when choosing a school.
- Some programs offer increased flexibility for students juggling full time work as well as school.
- There are some community colleges that offer the option of transferring to a university to complete a bachelor's degree.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
Bachelor's degree students are trained in core design principles, which are refined and specialized by the student's elective choices.
Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
Graphic design master's programs usually involve a deeper study of the principles governing the graphic design field. The practical coursework allows them to work on specific projects under a faculty member's supervision. The program may require a thesis paper or project before the degree is conferred.
Those interested in pursuing studies in graphic design will find many institutions that offer this program. It's possible to begin studies at a community college and transfer to a university to complete a degree or to pursue a bachelor's or master's at a reputable college.