School and Ranking Information
Students in Bakersfield, California, seeking careers in the multimedia and graphic design field can choose from roughly 23 schools within a 100-mile radius of the downtown area; however, only one school is located within 50 miles. Based on location, rankings, graduation rates and available programs, the top three schools are the Art Center College of Design, College of the Canyons, and Bakersfield College.
- Winner: The Art Center College of Design is the only school on the list that is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report. It offers bachelor's and master's degrees. The Art Center also awarded the most degrees in 2012 and holds the highest graduation rate, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
- Runner-Up #1: The College of the Canyons had the second highest graduation rate of the three schools. It offers associate's degrees and certificates related to multimedia and graphic design.
- Runner-Up #2: Bakersfield College offers associate's degrees and certificates. It had the lowest graduation rate, though it's also the only school located directly in Bakersfield.
School Comparison Chart
|Category||Art Center College of Design||College of the Canyons||Bakersfield College|
|Rankings (2012)|| 18th among graduate fine arts programs, nationwide,
7th among graphic design graduate programs, nationwide*
|Location||Pasadena, CA (96.9 miles from Bakersfield)||Santa Clarita, CA (72.7 miles from Bakersfield)||Bakersfield, CA|
|School Type||4-year, private not-for-profit||2-year, public||2-year, public|
|Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)||$35,552 (undergraduate); $37,544 (graduate)**||$1,154 (undergraduate, in-state); $5,234 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**||$1,324 (undergraduate, in-state); $7,484 (undergraduate, out-of-state)**|
|Multimedia and Graphic Design Degree Levels Offered||Bachelor's and master's degrees||1 to <2 year certificates; associate's degrees||<1 year certificates, 1 to <2 year certificates; associate's degrees|
|Multimedia and Graphic Design Degrees Awarded (All Levels) in 2011-2012||90**||23**||11**|
|Most Popular Multimedia and Graphic Design Degree Level in 2011-2012||Bachelor's in Graphic Design (75 awarded)**||Associate's in Graphic Design (11 awarded)**||Associate's in Graphic Design (7 awarded)**|
|Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal program time)||70% (for 2006 Entering Class)**||27% (for 2009 Entering Class)**||20% (for 2009 Entering Class)**|
|Noteworthy||Access to cutting edge facilities||Six faculty members dedicated to the fields of graphic design and multimedia||N/A|
Sources: *U.S. News & World Report, **NCES College Navigator
Winner: Art Center College of Design
- Has a student-faculty ratio of 9:1, according to NCES
- The job placement rate for one-year-out students was 91% in 2011, according to the school
All students enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program will complete courses in typography and motion design, as well as other required coursework in humanities and design science. In addition to collaborating with students of other majors, students work with nonprofits and commercial businesses to practice their skills. Prior to graduation, students complete a portfolio and career prep course. At the graduate level, those seeking a degree in media design practices have the choice of a two- or three-year program. Students may choose from a lab track, which focuses on studio work, or a field option, which places students in a real-world context.
Runner-Up #1: College of the Canyons
- About 69% of students who participated in internships through the Cooperative Work Experience Education program were offered permanent positions by the same company
- The school had a 79% retention rate among first-time, full-time students in 2012, according to NCES
COFC offers a multimedia and graphic design program with four concentration options through the graphic and multimedia design department. At the associate's level, students may choose a 63-unit Associate in Arts program with an emphasis on either graphic design or multimedia. For those interested in a shorter Certificate of Achievement program, a 22-unit course sequence is available in both concentrations. All students take core classes in digital media, graphic design history, typography and digital imaging. The certificate programs also include a cooperative work experience requirement.
Runner-Up #2: Bakersfield College
- The school had a 73% retention rate for first-time, full-time students in 2012, according to NCES
- Students learn to analyze work and create a portfolio
Bakersfield College has degree programs in graphic design through the Art Department's digital arts program. Graphic design students can choose a Certificate of Achievement or Associate in Arts in Digital Arts. Core courses examine digital art, typography, graphic design, digital illustration and advertising design. Associate's-seeking students must also complete general education coursework.