Degrees specifically in visual communications are rare, but students can still study visual communications through degree programs and concentrations in areas such as art, graphic design and digital media. Most programs are offered at the bachelor's degree level. Below are short overviews of 9 of the largest public and private schools in Connecticut offering degree programs in visual communications and related disciplines.
Central Connecticut State University
Central Connecticut State University in New Britain has a student population over 12,000. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program in graphic/information design includes topics of study in design history, 3-D animation, interactive multimedia, website design and more. Students also have access to a design studio and internship opportunities to gain hands-on design experience.
Connecticut College in New London has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. The major in studio art offers classes related to visual communications, including 2-D, 3-D and digital process concepts, to name a few. Students must choose one or two specializations and can select a concentration in graphic design. They also exhibit a senior thesis.
Eastern Connecticut State University
Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic has an art and art history degree program with a digital art and design concentration. The program prepares students for entry into the work force by offering a cutting-edge graphic design and new media curriculum. Students also take foundational courses in the visual arts, covering areas like printmaking, color theory and art history.
Norwalk Community College
Norwalk Community College has a student population over 6,300 and is located in Norwalk. This college has an associate's degree program in graphic design, as well as an advanced certificate program in the discipline. Students in the associate's program take courses in areas like digital illustration and imaging, page design, drawing and typography. They also complete a portfolio. To enroll in the 22-23-credit certificate program, students must hold an associate's or bachelor's degree. The curriculum includes many of the same courses as the associate's program, but without the general education requirements.
Quinnipiac University in Hamden offers a bachelor's program in interactive digital design. Students create designs for the Web, mobile devices and print media. Interactive design, motion graphics, technology and visual literacy are also a heavy focus of the studies, along with an internship and a portfolio.
Sacred Heart University
Located in Fairfield, Sacred Heart University houses state-of-the-art design facilities. The school also offers a laptop purchase program and a large Mac computer lab for students to practice using design software. Students can major in art and design, then select a concentration in graphic design. The curriculum covers design basics, multimedia, illustration, drawing and 3-D design, along with a portfolio development course. The school hosts a senior portfolio night where students complete a formal presentation to peers and industry professionals.
University of Bridgeport
This Bridgeport university has a 4-year degree program in graphic design. Students build a portfolio and take courses covering both digital and print design processes and techniques. A project is a part of senior year studies, and upon graduation students are awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
University of Hartford
The University of Hartford is located in West Hartford and houses a bachelor's program in visual communication design. Students develop conceptual and technical skills in the discipline and complete both a portfolio and a senior project. Reviews of student progress are performed at the end of both sophomore and junior years to ensure success. The fine arts are also a large portion of this design studies program, and upon graduation students are awarded a BFA degree.
Western Connecticut State University
Western Connecticut State University in Danbury has a Bachelor of Arts program in graphic design, with an emphasis in visual design for the communications media. Students study the visual arts through both lecture and studio coursework, and they have opportunities to display work in the art department's gallery. Students also attend bus trips to art galleries and museums in New York two times per year.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Field of Study Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016 academic year)|
|Central Connecticut State University||4-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Graphic/Information Design||$9,300 in-state; $21,570 out-of-state*|
|Connecticut College||4-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Bachelor of Art in Art with a concentration in graphic design||$49,350*|
|Eastern Connecticut State University||4-year, public; fringe town||Bachelor of Arts in Art and Art History with a concentration in digital art and design||$10,016 per year in-state; $22,286 per year out-of-state*|
|Norwalk Community College||2-year, public; small city||Associate in Science in Graphic Design||$4,052 in-state; $12,116 out-of-state*|
|Quinnipiac University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Digital Design||$42,270*|
|Sacred Heart University||4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Bachelor's in Art and Design with a concentration in graphic design||$37,170*|
|University of Bridgeport||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design||$30,850*|
|University of Hartford||4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design||$36,460*|
|Western Connecticut State University||4-year, public; small city||Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design (emphasizing visual design for communications media)||$9,516 in-state; $21,786 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.