Home > Top Online Graphic Design Degree Programs for 2017

Top Online Graphic Design Degree Programs for 2017

Graphic designers use art, language, and technology to speak to consumers. They create the designs and logos that deliver ideas to the people who see them. They also think of new ways to convey messages in advertising and help structure the layout of webpages, books, and marketing materials to increase and improve consumer consumption. While traditional graphic design positions in the print industry, such as those in newspaper, book, and periodical design, are projected to decline, employment in computer systems design and related services is projected to grow 21% between now and 2024. As the growth in mobile device usage continues, the demand for graphic design in this medium will increase as well.

Even though traditional training in art and design is still helpful, today’s graphic designers must be proficient in the latest computer graphics and design software. The best online graphic design degree programs encourage students to embrace their creativity and think of new and interactive solutions for attracting consumers. Graphic designers must also have the analytical skills necessary to view design objectively, perceiving how messages will be received by the intended audience. With the proliferation of online study and online graphic design courses, aspiring graphic designers not only study at some of the best schools in the country without moving or even commuting, but they also take graphic design online courses while maintaining employment and/or family responsibilities. Furthermore, a graphic design degree online provides the same education and degree as a traditional program.

What Are The Best Online Graphic Design Programs?

1

Southern New Hampshire UniversityManchester, NH

Tap into your creative side and learn how to produce designs that inspire and influence with the online BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts from SNHU. Whether you dream of the fast pace of an agency, the rigors of a design firm or the independence of running your own shop, our online graphic design degree program will teach you how to translate your ideas through concept, design and digital media. Choose the general design and media arts track or focus your degree with our web design concentration. Coursework in SNHU's online graphic design degree program is built around training you in aesthetics and creative problem solving using the latest technology, while also providing cultural and social context for the work you do. Have the creative vision but not yet familiar with today's design technology tools? Ramp up or refresh your graphic design software skills with the elective GRA 100: Introduction to Graphic Design Technology.

2

Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VA

Set in Central Virginia, Liberty University is an evangelical liberal arts institution that has been pioneering online and distance education since 1985. The online bachelor of fine arts in graphic design at Liberty University gives students exposure to a variety of artistic techniques and challenges them to develop their conceptual planning skills, aesthetic eye, and critical thinking abilities. The 120-credit-hour online graphic design degree program educates students in art history and the fundamentals of digital design to provide a foundation for the modern techniques of contemporary graphic design. In addition to preparing aspiring design professionals for the workforce, this graphic design degree online provides graduates with a solid platform from which to launch into a master of fine arts program. Students learn from the great artists of the past and present in these online graphic design courses at Liberty University, as they strive to become the great artists of the future.

3

Full Sail UniversityWinter Park, FL

From its high-tech campus just outside of Orlando, Florida, Full Sail University has been offering programs in entertainment and design for more than 35 years. The bachelor of science in graphic design online program emphasizes an understanding of the entire field of design, beginning with the study of aesthetics and moving through to developing each student's technical proficiency in the field. Full Sail University provides the students in its online graphic design courses with access to real-world experiences and opportunities to work on professional projects, allowing them to build an impressive portfolio prior to graduating. Perhaps even more impressive, the entire online graphic design degree program is completable within 32 months. Full Sail University has received acclaim for its graphic design courses online in publications such as Tips & Tricks, Rolling Stone, and Unleashed Magazine. The university also closely charts the success of its graduates and alumni, many of whom go on to work on major motion pictures, TV, video games, and advertising.

4

Rasmussen CollegeOcala, FL

With more than 20 campuses across six different states and over 70 degree programs available, Rasmussen College is an institution that provides students with choice and opportunity. Since 1900, Rasmussen College has been dedicated to offering career-focused education. Today, 117 years later, the institution is more focused on that mission than ever, making many of its programs more accessible with online degree options. The School of Design at Rasmussen College offers fully online associate and bachelor’s graphic design online degree programs with specializations in either animation and motion graphics or web and interactive design. Both programs feature online graphic design courses that develop mastery of current and relevant software and design concepts, while putting students in position to create comprehensive and impactful portfolios. Each of these online graphic design degree programs are eligible for fast-tracking as well, with the associate degree completable in just 18 months and the bachelor's degree completable in three years.

5

Penn Foster Career SchoolSummerdale, PA

From its founding in 1890 to today, Penn Foster Career School has been driven to make higher learning accessible for everyone. In 2003, when the institution started the transition from distance learning via correspondence to online programs, the career school took another step closer to fully realizing that mission. At Penn Foster Career School, students in the computer graphic artist career diploma program take their graphic design online courses when and where their life and work schedule allows. The program provides graduates with a thorough understanding of Adobe© Illustrator© and other commonly used industry software to create digital art. The online graphic design courses consist of comprehensive lessons in color theory, computer graphics, and the fundamentals of graphic design and production. Students set their own pace, meaning fast-tracked schedules are available that allow the program to be completed in as little as four months.


To determine the best online Graphic Design programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 4 best online Graphic Design programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.

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