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Visual Communication Degree Programs in Nashville with School Info

Nashville has several schools within five miles of its downtown that offer visual communication programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools to make an informed education decision.

Nashville Schools with Visual Communication Programs

Degree programs in visual communication focus on the practical application of the arts and often emphasize topics in graphic or Web design. In Nashville, students can find programs at a college of art and design and two Christian universities, which are highlighted in the paragraphs below. Institutional information can be found in the comparison table; the resource ends with a section about other school options.

  • At Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, 2.3 miles from downtown Nashville, students can earn a bachelor's degree in graphic design.
  • Students who are interested in how visual communication relates to business or information technology can pursue one of two bachelor's degree programs at Trevecca Nazarene University, which is 2.7 miles from Nashville's downtown.
  • Belmont University, 2.5 miles from downtown Nashville, offers a bachelor's degree in design communications with a variety of concentrations.

Comparison of Schools

This table has been designed to provide aspiring visual communicators with at-a-glance information about the three featured schools. Use this to compare the schools' affordability, selectivity, retention rates, and more.

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film Trevecca Nazarene University Belmont University
School Type Four-year; private, not-for-profit Four-year; private, not-for-profit Four-year; private, not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 210* 3,620* 8,012*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $23,700* $25,100* $32,820*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 100%* 100%* 93%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 42%* 70%* 81% *
Retention Rate (Fall 2016-Fall 2017) 65% of full-time students* 76% of full-time students and 50% of part-time students* 85% of full-time students*
Graduation Rate (Students who began in Fall 2011) 38%* 54%* 70% (16% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics - College Navigator.

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film

Students interested in visual communication can earn a degree in graphic design at Watkins College. The college enrolls only about 200 students each semester and offers specialized degree programs and curricula.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design at Watkins College prepares students to enter the workforce with skills in print, Web and interactive media design. The program includes a foundation in design and typography and coursework that covers the technology, history and practice of art and design. Students have the opportunity to complete an internship in a local design or advertising agency. The program culminates in the preparation of a professional portfolio, which graduating seniors present in a public exhibition.

Trevecca Nazarene University

Trevecca Nazarene University is affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. Through the university's information technology department, students can pursue programs in business and information technology that emphasize visual communication and design.

Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Technology (concentrations in rich media design, social media and digital marketing, UX design and web design and development)

This program prepares students for graduate study or entry-level work in various areas of visual design and communications. The core of the program consists of 18 credit hours of information technology courses. Students learn about software design, database management, cybersecurity and website design. They also take 12 credit hours of concentrated coursework in each concentration, which include topics in visual design principles, user experience design, advanced web design, motion graphics and digital multimedia.

Bachelor of Science in Media Arts and Studies

The bachelor's degree program in media arts and studies prepares students for jobs in various fields, including graphic design, multimedia arts, e-commerce marketing and content development. Throughout the program, students take 51 credit hours of general education courses.

The concentration requires an additional 28 credit hours in mass media, communication theories, film/video production and a career internship in communication studies. Areas of concentration in film and TV production offer coursework in digital cinema, special effects and animation, and advanced film and TV production.

Belmont University

Belmont University is a Christian institution that offers a bachelor's degree program in design communications that allows students to concentrate in their area of interest.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design Communications

Obtaining a degree in design communications from Belmont University may open the door to a career in design or a graduate program in the same field of study. In addition to core courses in design, this major offers a variety of interest areas, including design administration, illustration, studio and Web development. The program is designed to help graduates leave the university with a portfolio of work to present to potential employers or a graduate school admissions board.

Other School Options

Students seeking education in visual communications in the city of Nashville can earn a degree in graphic design or marketing and graphic arts from Lipscomb University. Within 50 miles of Nashville, students can earn a bachelor's degree in graphic design at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro and a bachelor's degree in communications: media technology at Austin Peay State University.


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