Design Courses in Idaho with School Options

Research design courses in Idaho, which currently has about 14 colleges offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for six of these schools, and decide which program is right for you.

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Essential Information

Students seeking design programs in Idaho can find them at about 14 of the state's more than 40 institutions of higher learning. Design is a broad field, and training is available in many disciplines, including visual art, graphic design, illustration, studio art, interior design, computer-aided design (CAD) and Web design. Programs lead to associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees as well as certificates. Specializations and concentrations in particular media are not uncommon. Many programs facilitate the development of a professional portfolio. Some schools offer internships, and graduate students usually need to complete a thesis, senior project and/or exhibition.

Six of the schools in Idaho currently offering design courses are summarized briefly below; a comparison table listing specific degree programs and tuition prices is also provided.

Boise State University

As the largest university in Idaho, Boise State University has more than 19,000 students at its Boise campus. Its undergraduate and graduate degree programs represent many styles of design, such as visual art and graphic design. The Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art program offers courses in printmaking, sculpture, drawing and ceramics, as well as art electives. Students receive training in traditional art techniques, such as drawing, painting and ceramics. The school also has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a visual arts emphasis that allows students to select from one of seven specializations, including photography, ceramics, sculpture and art metals, among others. Each concentration area has its own set of course requirements.

Classes in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design program examine the technological applications of design and utilize the digital tools used in the graphic design industry. Students can also expect extensive studio work, courses in creative photography instruction and numerous upper-level art electives. Finally, graduate students enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts program may concentrate in one of seven areas, some of which include alternative media, photography and printmaking. Students can receive a critique of their work through the Visiting Artist Program, which exposes students to industry professionals during workshops and lectures.

Idaho State University

Offering programs ranging from certificates to doctoral degrees, Idaho State University's Pocatello campus is attended by over 12,400 students. The school's associate's program in computer-aided design (or CAD) drafting technology is tailored towards students with an interest in engineering and manufacturing design. Coursework includes classes in mechanical drafting technology, applied mathematics and architectural design technology, in addition to general education courses in English, math and science. The school also offers a certificate program in design drafting.

Lewis-Clark State College

Lewis-Clark State College is located almost directly on the border of Washington in Lewiston and offers both an associate's and a bachelor's program in web design and development. The AAS degree is a 61-credit program, while the BAS program requires 120 credits for completion. Coursework will cover areas such as written and oral communication, in addition to humanistic and scientific ways of knowing.

North Idaho College

Found near the Washington border in Coeur d'Alene, North Idaho College offers both certificates and an associate's program in graphic design. These programs are designed to give students the knowledge and skills necessary to immediately enter the job market. The certificate programs are offered at the intermediate and advanced levels, with coursework including typography, history of graphic design and Adobe Photoshop, in addition to a few general education courses. At 64 to 66 credit hours, the associate's program is more intensive, with additional classes required in areas like computer animation, Web design concepts and portfolio development.

Northwest Nazarene University

Northwest Nazarene University is a 4-year, private-not-for-profit institution established in 1913 and located in Nampa. The college offers a bachelor's program in art with concentrations available in graphic design and studio art. Courses included across both concentrations are photography, 2-D and 3-D design, drawing and computer graphics fundamentals. From there, the graphic design program offers courses in Web design, advanced typography and integrated media campaigns, while the studio art track teaches individuals about studio practice, studio critique and art history. A minor in graphic design is also available.

University of Idaho

The University of Idaho (UI) was founded in 1889 in Moscow and has a student enrollment of over 11,500. The school's College of Art & Architecture allows students to customize their educations by selecting one of many emphasis areas resulting in a bachelor's or master's degree in art or studio art. For example, the Bachelor of Arts in Art program allows students to select from multiple concentrations, some of which include interactive design or graphic design. Those enrolled in the bachelor's program in virtual technology and design take introductory classes in 3-D modeling, visual communications, design processes and animation. In addition, a portfolio review is required at the end of each year of study. The school also has an Master of Science in Integrated Architecture and Design program.

The bachelor's program in studio art includes concentrations in graphic design and interaction design, among others. Students who complete this degree may be eligible for the 60-credit master's program in studio art, in which students can focus their studies on areas such as information and interface design or graphic design. The program has a teaching component and requires a thesis and an exhibition.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Design Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition Fees (2015-2016)
Boise State University 4-year, public; midsized city Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in visual art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts
$6,876 (in-state); $20,926 (out-of-state)*
Idaho State University 4-year, public; small city Advanced Technical Certificate in Design Drafting,
Associate of Applied Science in Design Drafting Technology
$6,784 (in-state); $20,182 (out-of-state)*
Lewis-Clark State College 4-year, public; small city Associate of Applied Science in Web Design and Development,
Bachelor of Applied Science in Web Design and Development
$7,224 (in-state); $18,224 (out-of-state)*
North Idaho College 2-year, public; small city Graphic Design Intermediate Technical Certificate,
Graphic Design Advanced Technical Certificate,
Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design
$3,214 (in-district); $4,430 (in-state); $8,852 (out-of-state)*
Northwest Nazarene University 4-year, private not-for-profit; small city Minor in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Arts in Art with a graphic design concentration
University of Idaho 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Science in Virtual Technology and Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Interior Design,
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art,
Master of Science in Integrated Architecture and Design
$7,020 (in-state); $21,024 (out-of-state)* ($8,222 in-state, $22,226 out-of-state, graduate tuition)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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