Graphic Design Degree

If you have a creative flair and enjoy design work, then pursuing a Graphic Design degree would be a good idea. Today, universities are offering the Graphic Design major at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s level. Skim through this guide to learn more about these degrees and the admission and graduation requirements.

What Is Graphic Design?

The practice and art of planning and projecting experiences and ideas with textual and visual content is called Graphic Design. This craft uses visual elements to communicate ideas through form, color, imagery, and typography. Graphic Design is a technology-based field, thus graduates in this field are expected to have good computer skills.

What Do You Do with a Degree in Graphic Design?

Individuals with a Graphic Design degree can pursue a diverse palette of exciting careers. They can work as Art Directors, Graphic Designers, Animators/Multimedia Artists, Creative Directors, Web Designers, and Marketing Managers. The income and growth data for some of these positions are listed below.

Graphic Designers

These professionals visualize and create graphics such as layouts, logos, and illustrations. They are usually involved in shaping the visual aspects of product packaging, websites, and other promotional material.

Annual Median Salary, 2019 $52,110
Job Outlook, 2018-2028 3%
Annual Mean Salary, 2019 $56,510
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019 California 29,060
State with the Highest Salary, 2019 District of Columbia $79,450

Multimedia Artists and Animators

These professionals create visual images, animationa, or special effects, using computers, video, film, or other media for use in creations or products, such as commercials, music videos, movies, and computer games.

Annual Median Salary, 2019 $75,270
Job Outlook, 2018-2028 4%
Annual Mean Salary, 2019 $84,780
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019 California 11,910
State with the Highest Salary, 2019 Connecticut $105,770

Art Directors

These professionals create design concepts for visual communication media, such as advertising, broadcasting, and print media. Art Directors usually work for video and motion picture industries, magazine and newspaper publishers, and public relations firms.

Annual Median Salary, 2019 $94,220
Job Outlook, 2018-2028 1%
Annual Mean Salary, 2019 $109,600
State with the Highest Employment Level, 2019 New York 8,720
State with the Highest Salary, 2019 California $135,410

What to Expect from a Degree in Graphic Design?

The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Graphic Design is an 18 to 24 months long degree that equips program participants with both computer and manual skills to arrange visual elements, text, style, and graphics, for business organizations, advertising studios, and design studios.

A Bachelor’s (BA) in Graphic Design or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design introduces students to a variety of modules such as Typography, Visual Communication Design, Principles of Photography, Packaging Design, and Digital and Emerging Media Design. The degree allows students to specialize in several areas such as Print Media or Experience Design and Multimedia. In order to graduate from the program, individuals usually need completion of 120 credits. The Bachelor’s program typically takes 4 years to complete.

Students pursuing the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Design degree are required to study a range of topics such as Graphic Design Theory, Historical Survey of Graphic Design, History of Photography, and Visual Semiotics. The degree can be usually completed within 1 to 2 years.

How to Choose a Graphic Design Degree?

When choosing a Graphic Design degree, you should ensure that the course content has enough depth to facilitate your learning in graphic design. You should also consider those programs that have a curriculum that balances hands-on learning experiences with conceptual learning. Programs that offer internship opportunities are beneficial because they will allow you to learn design skills, expand your network, and improve your resume. Other factors that should be taken into account include the fee structure of the program, distance learning opportunities, accreditation status, and placement rates.

Graphic Design Degree Admission Requirements

In order to enroll in an Associate of Applied Arts in Graphic Design, applicants are expected to have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Those who want to get admitted to a BFA or MFA program in Graphic Design, are required to submit an online application, a statement of purpose, university/college/high school transcripts, a portfolio, a recommendation letter, and an application fee. Since the application process and criteria might vary from one school to another, therefore it is advised that you contact your selected college’s admission department for specific information.