Design Courses in South Carolina with Degree Program Summaries

South Carolina has 11 schools that offer design programs. Learn about the degree programs and certificates, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

The field of design includes a variety of careers and specializations. Students may pursue fashion, graphic, industrial or interior design. These programs are offered at 2 and 4-year schools throughout the state. Undergraduate programs are the most common, though some graduate ones are also offered. Students may be able to choose a focus within their program.

Design programs often offer students the ability to gain practical experience. Students may need to complete a co-op or other work experience. In addition, they may need to put together a portfolio or complete research.

There are 11 schools that offer design programs in South Carolina. Descriptions of programs from the ten largest schools are provided below, along with a comparison table that lists degree options and tuition.


Anderson University

Located in Anderson, this university offers a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design and a Bachelor of Arts in Art with a concentration in graphic design. The interior design program includes courses in architectural drawing and interior design graphics; residential design; textiles, materials, finishes and details; history of interiors architecture and furniture; lighting design and professional business practices. Students in this program can participate in the school's chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. The graphic design concentration within the Bachelor of Arts program includes courses in the history of graphic design and special topics in this subject. Students in this program are also able to take courses in other artistic mediums.

Charleston Southern University

At this Charleston school, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. Major courses cover drawing, visual communications, digital illustration, typography, photography and Web design. Students in this program also earn credit for completing a portfolio and taking art or business electives. Depending on their professional interests, students may focus their studies in digital illustration, advertising design, Flash development, digital photography or another aspect of graphic design.

Clemson University

This school, located in Clemson, offers a Ph.D. in Planning, Design and the Built Environment. This program prepares students for work in academia or in a professional leadership position; most students who enroll in this program have already completed a master's degree. Students can concentrate in the built environment and health; restoration, sustainability and land ecology; regional/community design and development or technology, materials and construction processes. This degree may be completed in three years. Students must take at least 24 hours of dissertation research.

Coastal Carolina University

Located in Conway, this school offers a minor or Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. Students in the bachelor's degree program complete courses in graphic design techniques, Web design and art and ideas. Students also complete elective courses in design and a capstone portfolio class. This school is home to three graphic design labs, a digital imaging lab, fine art studios and an on-campus gallery.

Converse College

Located in Spartanburg, this school provides a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. Required art and design courses in this program cover two- and three-dimensional design, art history, basic drafting, space planning, residential design, history of decorative arts, color and textiles, interior construction and commercial design. Students must also complete a professional design work experience. This school is home to three CAD computer labs.

Horry - Georgetown Technical College

Horry - Georgetown Technical College, located in Conway, enrolls about 7,000 students each year. The school offers a certificate in Web page design. Students must complete 33 semester hours to earn the credential. The program can be completed in five semesters if 2-3 courses are taken each semester. Coursework covers programming logic and design, microcomputer operating systems, object oriented logic and design, Internet communications, Web page publishing and design.

Limestone College

Located in Gaffney, this school offers a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in graphic design. Students have access to computer labs, printers, industry standard software and scanners. Coursework covers fine art foundations, visual communications graphics software and computer imagery.

Piedmont Technical College

At Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, students can earn an advertising design certificate through the department of commercial art. Courses cover computer graphics, drawing, design, typography, graphic reproduction, advertising and keyboarding. This program also contains a cooperative work experience and a portfolio requirement.

Spartanburg Community College

Located in Spartanburg, this school offers a certificate in digital design or Web page design and an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Digital Design. Students intending to transfer to a four-year school can pursue an Associate in Arts with digital design electives. Courses for this program cover graphics techniques, electronic publishing, computer imagery, website design and advertising design. The transfer degree program requires 63 credits while the AAS requires 72 credits for graduation.

Winthrop University

This school, located in Rock Hill, offers a Bachelor of Science in Digital Information Design, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interior Design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design. Students in the digital information design program can focus their studies in digital commerce, interactive media, Web application design or digital mass media. Concentrations in illustration and graphic design are offered within the BFA in visual communication. A minor in visual design studies is also available.

Career Requirements

Most designers need a bachelor's degree. In some states, interior designers must be licensed in order to practice; however, the state of South Carolina does not require interior designers to be licensed.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Design Programs Offered Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Anderson University Four-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design, Bachelor of Arts in Art with a concentration in graphic design $28,000 (undergraduate)*
Charleston Southern University Four-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design $25,540 (undergraduate)*
Clemson University Four-year, public; large suburb Ph.D. in Planning, Design and the Built Environment $10,602 in-state, $20,992 out-of-state (graduate)*
Coastal Carolina University Four-year, public; small city Minor in graphic design,
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design
$11,716 in-state, $26,828 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Converse College Four-year, private not-for-profit; small city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design $18,340 (undergraduate)*
Horry - Georgetown Technical College Two-year, public; small city Certificate in Web page design $4,252 in-district, $5,212 in-state, $8,380 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Limestone College Four-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in graphic design $25,025 (undergraduate)*
Piedmont Technical College Two-year, public; distant town Advertising design certificate $4,421 in-district, $5,165 in-state, $6,413 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Spartanburg Community College Two-year, public; midsize suburb Digital design certificate,
Web page design certificate,
Associate in Applied Science in Digital Design,
Associate in Arts with digital design electives
$4,662 in-district, $5,742 in-state, $9,342 out-of-state (undergraduate)*
Winthrop University Four-year, public; small city Minor in visual design studies,
Bachelor of Science in Digital Information Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication: Graphic Design
$15,730 in-state, $29,986 out-of-state (undergraduate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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