Graphic Arts Schools in Ohio with Degree Program Overviews

Jul 25, 2019

Research graphic arts schools in Ohio, which currently has 27 schools offering related programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for ten of the largest of these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

Ohio doesn't have any schools offering degree programs specifically in the graphic arts. However, there are many schools in the state offering graphic design programs at the associate and bachelor's degree levels.

Like graphic arts, graphic design focuses on visual communication, but the designer's primary role is to convey a message that results in the viewer taking action, with artistic qualities being a secondary concern. This slightly differs from graphic art, where artistic merit is the primary focus.

Profiled below are the ten largest public and private colleges and universities in the state offering graphic design degree programs, as well as a table that shows specific program options and tuition info.


Ashland University

This private, non-profit school is situated in Ashland, which is close to Columbus and Cleveland. The school offers a computer arts and graphic programming major. This bachelor's program is a combined major offered by both the Art Department and the Mathematics/Computer Science Department. The curriculum includes training in industry-standard software programs, such as Adobe Flash, Photoshop and Dreamweaver. The university offers small class sizes, providing the opportunity for students to receive more personalized attention from professors.

Cedarville University

Cedarville University is a Baptist school located in Cedarville that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The bachelor's program in graphic design can prepare students for careers as graphic designers through courses covering topics like 2-D and 3-D design, drawing, visual problem-solving and computer skills. Students also can pursue a minor in a related area, like Web design or photography.

Mount Saint Joseph University

Mount Saint Joseph University in Cincinnati is a Catholic institution that serves more than 2,000 students each year. The school offers three degree programs in graphic design. The associate degree curriculum includes courses in foundations of drawing, digital photography, typography and design narrative. The college also offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the discipline. The programs both require courses in digital, Web and advanced graphic design. However, the fine arts program has a greater focus on art history.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is situated in rural Mount Vernon. This 4-year, Christian school enrolls more than 2,000 students each year. The Art and Design Department offers three types of graphic design programs, including a double major in visual art and graphic design and a bachelor's in graphic design with a track in visual art or communication.

In the dual-degree program, the first two years are dedicated to foundational classes, while the final two years combine coursework from multiple fine arts disciplines with graphic design studies. The visual art track is designed for students seeking to focus their careers solely on graphic design, while the communication track allows students to also explore graphic design-related areas, like marketing and writing.

Notre Dame College

Cleveland's Notre Dame College is a Catholic institution offering liberal arts degree programs. The Bachelor of Arts in Art program with a graphic design major requires 48 credit hours of major coursework, providing instruction on computer software, visual communication principles and portfolio preparation. Required courses include drawing, 3-D design and four levels of graphic design. Some of the other classes students can take include multimedia development, advertising and website design. Graphic design majors can also pursue optional concentrations in public relations, studio art and marketing.

Ohio Dominican University

Ohio Dominican University is a Catholic, liberal arts school in Columbus. The Graphic Design Department offers a bachelor's degree program in the discipline, which is designed to foster students' technical, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. Some of the required courses include drawing, typography and four levels of graphic design. Students are also required to pass a portfolio review at the conclusion of their second year in the program and to participate in a senior exhibition before graduating.

Ohio Northern University

Ada's Ohio Northern University (ONU) was ranked the second-best regional college in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report in 2013. The 4-year school offers a liberal arts-based bachelor's program in graphic design that introduces students to 2-D and 3-D design and provides them with opportunities to design student publications, participate in externships and travel abroad. The school has resources such as computer labs, an in-house design studio where students can hone their skills and a variety of design-related student organizations.

Ohio University

Ohio University in Athens is a public university that enrolls over 35,000 students across its multiple campuses each year. The School of Art requires that students who pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design first complete a foundational program. They're also required to take four studio courses and submit a portfolio for program consideration. One accepted into the major, students take advanced graphic design studios and practicums.

The University of Akron

This Akron-based 4-year school offers 300 degree programs, including those in art and design. The Myers School of Art offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. The first year provides basic courses in 2-D and 3-D design, drawing and art history. Other required courses include typography, Web design, photography and digital imaging. Students also complete two reviews and a senior exhibition.

University of Rio Grande

As its name indicates, this university can be found in Rio Grande. Its 190-acre campus supports a student population of over 2,000. The school offers an associate and a bachelor's program in graphic design. The 2-year associate degree program allows students to enter the workforce after a briefer period of studies or to transfer to a 4-year program. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art program with a concentration in graphic design requires 15 hours of foundational studio courses and 14 hours of art history classes. Core studio coursework covers fine arts topics like ceramics, sculpture and painting, while graphic design classes train students on vector and Web graphics.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Graphic Arts Degree Programs Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)*
Ashland University 4-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town Bachelor of Science in Computer Arts and Graphic Programming $21,342
Cedarville University 4-year, private not-for-profit; fringe town Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design $30,270
Mount Saint Joseph University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Associate of Arts in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$30,100
Mount Vernon Nazarene University 4-year, private not-for-profit; rural fringe Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design - visual art track,
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design - communication track,
Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art and Graphic Design
$29,244
Notre Dame College 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Art with a graphic design major $30,160
Ohio Dominican University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design $31,080
Ohio Northern University 4-year, private not-for-profit; distant town Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design $32,260
Ohio University 4-year, public; rural fringe Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design $12,192 in-state; $21,656 out-of-state
University of Akron 4-year, public; midsized city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design $11,463 in-state; $15,500 out-of-state
University of Rio Grande 4-year, private not-for-profit; distant rural Associate of Art in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art with a graphic design concentration
$27,481

Source: NCES College Navigator.

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