Graphic arts is a broad term that covers various 2-dimensional art forms, such as graphic design. These types of programs teach students how to enhance their artistic skills with digital technology to convey visual messages. These programs are available at the undergraduate level at 2- and 4-year schools. Credits from these programs can usually be transferred to a higher degree level.
Graphic design programs often have tracks or emphases within them. Students may get the opportunity to complete an internship, and often are required to put together a portfolio throughout their program. Some programs may be available online. The schools listed below are the ten largest graphic arts-related schools in the state.
Brookdale Community College
Located in Lincroft, Brookdale Community College offers one program geared for those interested in taking graphic arts courses in New Jersey. The Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in graphic design is intended for people interested in getting a foot in the door in the graphic arts profession. Some of the areas of study include digital design and pre-press techniques, typography and industry software programs. Desktop publishing, advertising, illustration and drawing are also part of the curriculum.
County College of Morris
Randolph's County College of Morris administers an A.A.S. degree in graphic design. This program prepares students for entry-level employment in the profession or for transfer into a 4-year degree program. The school has top-notch graphic design labs. Some course topics include graphic design history, typography, magazine design and brochure design. Students develop a portfolio that is reviewed at least twice throughout the program.
Middlesex County College
Students at Middlesex County College in Edison can consider an A.A.S. degree program in media arts and design with an emphasis on advertising graphic design. Lab and studio work provide a hands-on approach to learning Adobe Creative Suite and experimenting with graphic design techniques and creativity. Courses cover freehand and computer-based design, photography and business principles. In their last semester, students put together a portfolio showcasing their work.
Montclair State University
Montclair State University has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree in graphic design at its Montclair location. Students learn visual communication skills in multimedia, print and Web graphic design and develop a portfolio throughout this program. The program includes visual communication, design history and graphic design studio course requirements. Students learn to operate Adobe Creative Suite software.
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Students can achieve a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in digital design at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. The first year introduces students to traditional art forms and digital media design as well as global perspectives on society and technology. Then, students must choose between the interactive media/production and the entertainment tracks. Both tracks involve courses in animation, information design and digital design studio. Graduates may seek employment in the graphic design field.
Raritan Valley Community College
An Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree program in visual arts with a specialization in graphic design is available at this Branchburg-based college. This program is designed for students who wish to transfer to a 4-year degree program. Students learn visual concepts and strategies used in solving design problems. Historical, social and cultural perspectives of design are also covered, and students create a design portfolio throughout this program.
Rider University in Lawrenceville hosts a graphic design major and minor through its Department of Communication and Journalism. Students in the bachelor's degree program complete 24 semester hours of coursework in topics like design fundamentals, design history, graphic imaging, project management and portfolio development. Other courses offered cover topics like writing, drawing, multimedia production, interactive design and printmaking.
Rowan College at Burlington County
Rowan College at Burlington County in Pemberton has an associate's degree program in graphic design and digital media. Classes include art history, design, drawing, typography, computer graphics and illustration, among others. Students must also complete general education requirements and develop a portfolio.
Sussex County Community College
Sussex County Community College in Newton offers two A.A.S. degree programs in graphic design: One teaches traditional design and another is focused on 3D computer arts. Both programs require courses in graphic design fundamentals, design drawing and computer graphics as well as an internship. The general graphic design program also includes training in typography, color, advertising, interactive design and print production, while the computer gaming program covers character and environment design, 3-D modeling, animation and video graphics.
Union County College
Union County College in Cranford has a graphic design associate's degree program designed for transfer to a 4-year educational program. Students work with graphic design software on Macintosh computers, incorporating images and typography into design layouts. By the end of the program, they compile a portfolio to display their work. To round out their graphic design and imaging training, students take public communication, personality psychology and art appreciation courses.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Graphic Arts Programs Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Brookdale Community College||2-year, public; rural fringe||Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design||$3,653 in-district; $6,599 in-state; $7,199 out-of-state*|
|County College of Morris||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Design||$4,570 in-district; $8,200 in-state; $11,290 out-of-state*|
|Middlesex County College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Applied Science in Media Arts and Design - Advertising Graphic Design||$3,372 in-district; $6,744 in-state and out-of-state*|
|Montclair State University||4-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design||$11,773 in-state; $20,320 out-of-state*|
|New Jersey Institute of Technology||4-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Digital Design||$16,108 in-state; $30,326 out-of-state*|
|Raritan Valley Community College||2-year, public; fringe rural||Associate of Fine Arts in Visual Arts - Graphic Design Transfer Program||$4,048 in-district; $4,768 in-state and out-of-state*|
|Rider University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design,
Minor in Graphic Design
|Rowan College at Burlington County||2-year, public; rural fringe||Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design and Digital Media||$4,065 in-district; $4,545 in-state; $6,495 out-of-state*|
|Sussex County Community College||2-year, public; fringe town|| Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design,
Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design - 3D Computer Arts Option
|$6,000 in-district; $7,950 in-state; $9,900 per year out-of-state*|
|Union County College||2-year, public; large suburb||Associate in Arts in Graphic Design/Fine Arts||$4,450 in-district; $8,900 in-state and out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator