Design Schools in GA with Degree Program Summaries

Jul 31, 2019

Georgia has over 40 schools that offer design programs. Learn about the degree requirements, program options and tuition at ten of the largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

In Georgia, students can find undergraduate and/or graduate design programs in a variety of related areas, including graphic, interior, theatrical and Web page design. These programs are offered at 2 and 4-year schools, mostly at the undergraduate level. Some graduate programs are also available.

Practical experience is earned through internships and projects. In some cases, exhibitions, theses, reports or oral exams may be required. Students also gain the use of design studios, and may be able to put together a professional portfolio.

The ten schools highlighted below include four that have been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Students will also find a comparison table that summarizes the degree programs and provides information about schools and tuition.


Central Georgia Technical College

Central Georgia Technical College in Macon has a student body of just over 6,000 undergraduates and offers associate's programs in design and media production and website design. Both program include a 15-credit core curriculum in the natural and social sciences, the humanities and math.

The program in design and media production technology is a 70-credit course of study that allows for a specialization in motion graphics and requires courses in raster imaging and vector graphics. Additional topics may include those in video production and editing, animation and interface design. Students also complete a portfolio for their exit review and participate in an internship.

The 64-credit associate's program in website design provides training in Web animation and graphics, Java programming, structured query language (SQL) and scripting technologies. In addition to comprehensive courses in information security and technology, students also complete a 3-credit Web systems project.

Chattahoochee Technical College

Located in Marietta, Chattahoochee Technical College currently enrolls over 11,500 undergraduates, and associate's programs include those in design and media production and interior design. The design and media production curriculum is similar to the one offered by Central Georgia Technical College and requires a general education core and a 3-credit internship. In contrast, the degree plan allows students to pursue one of three specializations in graphic design and prepress, computer animation or motion graphics. In particular, students who focus on graphics and prepress work can take classes in advertising, identity and publication design.

The 69-credit program in interior design combines sequential coursework in architectural and interior design with a 3-part studio series. Aspiring professionals also learn about building codes and materials, computer-aided design, lighting and textiles. The program culminates in an interior design seminar and an internship.

University of North Georgia

Gainesville State College recently merged with North Georgia College to create the University of North Georgia and is based in Oakwood. It offers a 120-credit Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Design and Technology for the Theatre. The requirements include 60 credits in general education and 38 credits of major coursework in, among other areas, stagecraft and theatrical design concepts. The program also allows for a 17-credit concentration in one of five areas, such as costume, lighting, scenic or sound design. To earn their degrees, students also complete junior and senior seminars and two theatrical practicums.

Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus

The Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta has a student body of nearly 14,000 undergraduates and offers a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design. The 131-credit program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and includes a liberal studies core and electives in architecture and urban planning.

Students complete 18 credits of introductory courses in architecture and building, creative problem solving and visual communication. Through 41 credits of major coursework, they also learn how to use 2-D and 3-D, computer-based drawing and modeling systems and study both renewable and nonrenewable materials. The program culminates in an advanced design capstone and the development of a professional portfolio.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College

At the Walker County Campus in Rock Spring, aspiring Internet specialists can pursue an Associate of Applied Science program in website design. The program is nearly identical to the one offered at Central Georgia Technical College and requires 15 credits of general studies and 49 credits of major coursework in information technology and website development.

In contrast to the Central Georgia program, the curriculum allows for electives in, among other areas, advanced Web animation and graphics. Students can also take a course in C#, W3C open source, PHP or Visual Basic programming. Additional degree requirements include an internship or a Web systems project.

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro-based Georgia Southern University offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in both graphic and interior design. The 126-credit graphic design curriculum includes core topics in 2-D and 3-D design, art history and studio art. Undergraduates also complete 33 credits of concentrated coursework in desktop publishing, new media design, typography and visual thinking. To fulfill the elective requirements, students can participate in an internship or take a class in publication or Web page design.

The interior design program also requires 126 credits of coursework and covers topics in computer-aided design, lighting, sustainable materials and textiles. Additional degree requirements include five design studios and a 3-credit internship.

Gwinnett Technical College

Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville offers Associate of Applied Science programs in interior and website design. Students in the 69-credit interior design program complete three studios and take courses in building codes and systems, architectural history and technical drawing.

Requirements for the 65-credit website design program are nearly identical to those offered at the aforementioned technical colleges. The degree takes at least five semesters to complete and includes a course in PHP programming and a final project.

Savannah College of Art and Design

This renowned school of art and design offers over 40 different undergraduate and graduate programs at its Georgia-based campuses in Atlanta and/or Savannah, including approximately 15 that are specific to design. In particular, students can earn a bachelor's or a master's degree in fashion, graphic, interior or industrial design. Areas of study offered exclusively at the graduate level include themed-entertainment and urban design (Savannah).

Students can also pursue majors and/or graduate programs in non-traditional design areas, such as those associated with fashion accessories, interactive game development, motion media and sound. Unique to the school is an undergraduate and graduate program in service design that teaches students how to create model systems that enrich the connections between customers, environments and products.

University of Georgia

Located in Athens, the University of Georgia's Lamar Dodd School of Art is also accredited by NASAD and offers programs in graphic and interior design. All Bachelor of Fine Arts students complete first-year coursework in 3-D design, art history, color, composition and drawing. Coursework specific to graphic design includes 39-credits in digital media, environmental graphics and typography, as well as electives in calligraphy or cross-cultural design. Undergraduate interior design requirements are similar to those at Georgia Southern; both majors provide the opportunity for an internship.

At the graduate level, students may also be interested in the 57-credit Master of Fine Arts in Interior Design, a course of study that culminates in an oral exam, a student exhibition and a written report. Unique to the school is the 57-credit Master of Fine Arts in Fabric Design program, in which students can explore nonwoven, surface and woven design and present a studio-based and written thesis.

Valdosta State University

The state university in Valdosta is NASAD-accredited and offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. Requirements include an 18-credit foundation in 2-D and 3-D design, computer applications, drawing and visual arts concepts. Coursework specific to the major covers topics in building codes and standards, business and design history. Students also complete a mandatory, summer internship between their junior and senior years.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Design Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Central Georgia Technical College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Applied Science in Design and Media Production Technology,
Associate of Applied Science: Internet Specialist
$2,778 in-state;
$4,914 out-of-state*
Chattahoochee Technical College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Design and Media Production Technology,
Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design
$2,816 in-state;
$4,952 out-of-state*
University of North Georgia 4-year, public; midsize suburb Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Technology for the Theatre $4,692 in-state;
$13,514 out-of-state*
Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design $12,424 in-state;
$33,020 out-of-state*
Georgia Northwestern Technical College 2-year, public; small city Associate of Applied Science: Internet Specialist $2,798 in-state;
$4,934 out-of-state*
Georgia Southern University 4-year, public; remote town Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Science in Interior Design
$6,356 in-state;
$17,142 out-of-state*
Gwinnett Technical College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design,
Associate of Applied Science: Internet Specialist
$2,972 in-state;
$5,108 out of-state*
Savannah College of Art and Design 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Arts,
Bachelor of Fine Arts,
Master of Arts,
Master of Fine Arts
$37,130*
University of Georgia 4-year, public; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design,
Master of Fine Arts (fabric or interior design)
$11,830 in-state;
$30,404 out-of-state*
Valdosta State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design $6,410 in-state;
$17,196 out-of-state*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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