Graphic Design Schools in Orlando, FL
Several schools offer graphic design programs in Orlando and its surrounding cities. This article will discuss programs at three schools located within a 30-minute drive of downtown Orlando. The table offers additional details about the schools. Also included is information about several other area schools with graphic design programs.
- The largest postsecondary institution of these three, the University of Central Florida, is situated about 15 miles from downtown Orlando and offers a bachelor's degree in the field.
- Individuals who are more interested in earning associate's degrees or certificates while paying lower tuition rates may prefer to attend Valencia College's east campus, which is located about seven miles from Orlando's downtown.
- Another option for associate's degrees or certificates is Seminole State College, which is set about 17 miles outside of Orlando in Sanford, FL.
Comparison of Schools
The cost of attendance is often an overriding issue for many students. The following table provides tuition information, along with data about enrollment and graduation rates to assist in the decision-making process.
|University of Central Florida||Valencia College||Seminole State College of Florida|
|School Type||Public, 4-year university||Public, 4-year college (primarily associate's)||Public, 4-year college (primarily associate's)|
|Total Enrollment (2019)||59,402*||47,940*||17,754*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large city||Small city|
|Annual Tuition and Fees (2019-2020)||$6,368 in-state, $22,467 out-of-state*||$2,474 in-state, $9,383 out-of-state*||$3,131 in-state, $11,456 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Aid (2018-2019)||92%*||75%*||66%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2019)||44%*||N/A - Open admissions||N/A - Open admissions|
|Retention Rate (2018-2019)||91% full-time, 84% part-time*||N/A||N/A|
|Graduation Rate (students who began in Fall 2013)||72% (14% transfer-out rate)*||42% (12% transfer-out rate)*||41% (12% transfer-out rate)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida offers more than 200 degree programs on its nearly 1,400-acre campus. It also has 10 regional campuses located throughout Central Florida. The School of Visual Arts and Design is part of the College of Arts and Humanities; the school was created when the art and digital media departments merged.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Emerging Media - Graphic Design Track
Students in the graphic design track of this BFA program learn various techniques to convey visual stories and messages. To be admitted into this program, students must submit a graphic design portfolio for review. Basic and advanced coursework in this curriculum includes drawing fundamentals, intermediate and advanced graphic design, computer graphic design and 2- and 3-D design fundamentals.
Valencia College is one of the largest community colleges in the U.S. In 2011, the college was presented with the first annual Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence by the Aspen Institute. The school has 8 campuses and centers spread throughout greater Orlando, though some of them only contain certain programs. The east campus houses the Arts and Entertainment Division where the graphic design programs are offered.
Technical Certificate in Graphic Design Production
This program comprises 24 credits and teaches students about design fundamentals, graphic design software and layout. Classes include design, drawing, typography and graphic design basics.
Technical Certificate in Graphic Design Support
Students in this program learn to solve problems associated with graphic design. This program requires students to earn 15 credits through classes like typography, layout preparation, design and graphic design basics.
Technical Certificate in Graphics - Interactive Design Production
Individuals looking to learn about the graphic design process as it associates to the Internet may find this program beneficial. This 24-credit program includes coursework in digital video and sound, drawing and industry-specific software.
Technical Certificate in Graphics - Interactive Design Support
This program is similar to the previous one; however, it requires 15 credits instead of 24. The five required classes cover topics including electronic imaging, information architecture, web essentials, graphic design essentials and user interface design.
Associate of Science in Graphic and Interactive Design
Students can choose from two concentrations within this degree program: graphic design or interactive design. Those aspiring to become graphic artists or layout designers may find the graphic design option more appropriate, while the interactive design option is geared toward individuals who want to work in web design and interactive graphics. Graphic design students learn about graphic reproduction processes, layout and copy preparation, publication design and advanced graphic design techniques. Interactive design students learn about web page design and coding languages. Students in both options can choose from electives like illustration, digital photography, typography, image editing and web development.
Seminole State College of Florida
Seminole State College of Florida is located in Seminole County, part of the greater Orlando region. It has four campuses spread throughout Seminole County: the Sanford/Lake Mary campus, the Oviedo campus, the Center for Economic Development at Heathrow and the Altamonte Springs campus. In addition to associate's degree and certificate programs, Seminole State also offers seven bachelor's degree programs.
Certificate in Digital Media - Graphic Design Production
Individuals who want to design various types of marketing materials, such as brochures, advertisements and packaging, can learn relevant desktop publishing techniques in this program. The coursework introduces students to digital media and digital imaging while also teaching them about digital publishing and design fundamentals.
Certificate in Digital Media - Graphic Design Support
This 15-credit program briefly delves into the fundamental concepts associated with digital visual design. Students work with software programs like Adobe's Photoshop and Illustrator while learning about vector and bitmap graphics.
Associate of Arts in Digital Media
This program has a graphic design concentration so students learn to create visual communication messages using text and graphics. Fundamental to the program is the use of industry software programs to create illustrations and design page layouts. Students also learn about interactive media, drawing, digital video and digital imaging.
Associate of Science in Media Design
Digital and interactive media design is the focus of this program, which prepares students for digital media careers. Students learn the fundamental principles of digital video, audio production, electronic imaging, interactive media and electronic media. They create graphics by learning to master Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Additionally, 3-D animation and web page design are covered.
Rollins College, which is located about three miles from Orlando in Winter Park, FL, gives students the chance to study graphic design in its studio arts bachelor's program. Eastern Florida State College in Cocoa, FL, is about 40 miles from Orlando and offers an Associate of Science in Graphics Technology as well as certificate programs in graphic design production and graphic design support.
In Winter Haven, FL, which is a little over 40 miles from Orlando, Polk State College has an Associate of Science in Digital Media Technology with a graphic design concentration. Students can also complete a certificate program in graphic design at Polk State College. About 50 miles from Orlando in Lakeland, FL, is Florida Southern College, which is a private institution where students can earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design.