There are many colleges offering graphic design degrees in Arkansas, and for good reason. Arkansas offers a unique geography with mountainous areas in the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains to forests known as the Arkansas Timberlands to lowlands along the Mississippi River known as the Arkansas Delta. The nickname of the state is the “Natural State,” as tourists and residents enjoy many opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Ouachita Baptist University
Located in Arkadelphia, Ouachita Baptist University offers students an education in an institution with rich history and traditions. In 1885, the school began when the Arkansas Baptist State Convention voted to establish an institute of higher education. Classes began on September 6, 1886 and has continued to operate in the same location since its inception. The name of the college comes from the nearby Ouachita Mountains.
At Ouachita, the focus is on a love of God and a love of learning. It is affiliated with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. There are over 1,500 students enrolled at the university and 96 percent of the students live on campus. The school is a leading liberal arts college and it has developed a strong academic reputation. It is often ranked highly by U.S. News and World Report as one of the nation’s top colleges.
Students have the ability to join many clubs and organizations, as well as participate in NCAA Division II athletics. In 1997, the university instituted “Tiger Serve Day,” held in the spring and fall each year. Students, faculty and staff work together to give back to the local community, providing such services as leaf raking, bush trimming, car washing, painting and other community service activities. The community service days is part of the Christian atmosphere that is displayed throughout the campus.
Offered through the Rosemary Adams Department of Visual Arts, the Graphic Design major provides students with foundations in design principles that include a variety of studio and commercial art disciplines. Students have many advantages, including the ability to display works in regular exhibits in the Hammons Gallery, studio space and a digital media lab that permits students to pursue their own creative endeavors. Students also participate in a Senior Exhibit at the Hammons Gallery prior to graduation.
In order to be admitted to the program, students must complete an application and submit either SAT or ACT scores as well as a high school transcript. Scholarships and financial aid are available as well.
Ferris Williams, MFA
410 Ouachita Street
Arkadelphia, AR 71998
When two junior colleges, Arkansas Christian College and Harper College merged facilities and assets in 1924, they renamed the facility Harding College. Arkansas Christian, which was founded in 1919, was chosen as the location for the campus. Harper College, founded in 1915, relocated from Harper, Kansas. The college is named in memory of James A. Harding, the co-founder of the Nashville Bible School, which is now known as David Lipscomb University. The name was chosen as Mr. Harding displayed the qualities that Harding stands for today as their goal is to inspire others with an enthusiasm for a Christian education. In 1934, Harding moved to the site of a former women’s institution in Searcy, Galloway College, where it stands today.
Searcy, where the main campus is located, is the county seat for White County. It is approximately 50 miles northeast of Little Rock and 105 miles west of Memphis, Tennessee. Because the town is located close to two metropolitan areas, students are provided with ample opportunities without sacrificing small town life.
Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design
Through challenging class projects, internships and organizations, students build a strong foundation in the visual arts. Students attend core classes in drawing, design, art history, and other art classes. Seniors must attend a Captsone seminar where they prepare their portfolio and choose their entries into the Senior Show. In addition to the core art classes, students may take 16 hours of art electives, which allows them to concentrate on a specific area or expand their knowledge among several areas.
915 East Market Street
Searcy, AR 72149
John Brown University
In 1905, John Brown became the youngest college president in the country when, at the age of 22, he was appointed to lead Scarritt Collegiate Institute in Neosho, Missouri. Brown had little formal education, but was already recognized as a brilliant scholar and administrator. Brown returned to his previous careers as an evangelist and publisher, but never forgot his dream of starting an institute of higher education of his own. In 1919, Brown, his family and a few friends gathered in a cornfield on his family farm to dedicate the location as a school for the disadvantaged. The Brown family deeded their farm, land and printing company for use as a school. Southwestern Collegiate Institute opened as a high school and junior college after the completion of Southwestern Hall in September 1919.
In 1920, the school was renamed the John E. Brown College in order to connect the school to Brown’s evangelical work. The Siloam School of the Bible is added to provide future ministers, missionaries and church staff. Students were required to wear uniforms, which were produced in vocational dress-making classes. Other vocational classes offered support to the college, including broom and furniture factories, dairy cows, the farm and various trade shops, such as plumbing, carpentry and blacksmith.
In 1924, the founder of the college purchased almost the entire town of Sulphur Springs to establish John Brown University, a four-year vocational college with a $450 tuition rate, while the John E. Brown College remained tuition free. In 1926, the name of the college changed to the John Brown College and Academy. In 1934, the school was given university status.
Today, John Brown University offers students more than just classes and books. There are many extra-curricular activities, and students are encouraged to become involved in ministries as well. All curriculum has a strong Christian base with a focus on unity and family.
Graphic Design 4-Year Plan
A Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Graphic Design is one of the largest majors on campus. The degree program began in 1990. The program combines traditional print graphic design with modern technology to provide students a well-rounded design education. Design concepts and techniques are emphasized equally, and students expand their knowledge in computer graphics and design, while continuing to gain information through their core liberal arts courses.
The Visual Arts Department at John Brown offers two 24-station Macintosh labs loaded with up-to-date graphic design software. Students are also able to gain knowledge in photography, video production, 3D modeling and animation. Some projects students have worked on include company logos, posters, flash animation, and websites. Each student builds a professional portfolio to provide potential employers with examples of their work.
John Brown University
2000 West University Street
Siloam Springs, AR 72761
University of Arkansas – Fort Smith
The University of Arkansas Fort Smith began in 1928 as the Fort Smith Junior College, originally holding classes in the Fort Smith High School. In 1936, Fort Smith High School moved to a new location and college classes were held under the stadium. In 1952, the college moved to its own campus on Grand Avenue. The name of the college changed to Westark College, and became the University of Arkansas Fort Smith in 2002.
Today, more than 7,100 students attend UAFS each semester, gaining a wealth of opportunities in academic, cultural and social knowledge. UAFS specializes in equipping students with the skills and training that will help them succeed after graduation.
AAS-CGT Digital Design
Students have the option of working toward an Associate in Arts and Sciences degree in digital design at UAFS. Students take courses in such subjects as Photoshop, drawing, digital layout, engineering graphics and many more digital design courses. Courses are offered under the College of Applied Science and Technology.
Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science Graphic Design take courses that include the history of graphic design, typography, art history, and advertising design. In addition, there are general studies classes required, such as English Composition, history and science. In order to be admitted to sophomore level classes, students must submit an admissions portfolio. In order to graduate students must earn a grade of “C” or better in the following classes:
• Studio Art
• GRDS courses
A GPA of 2.75 is required in all courses related to the graphic arts major.
University of Arkansas Fort Smith
5210 Grand Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72904
ITT Technical Institute – Little Rock
ITT Technical Institute is one of the leading private college systems in the country that focuses on technology related programs. Curriculum is career-focused and has been that way since the schools inception in 1969. ITT Tech blends traditional academic learning combined with practical study in the lab environment. Unlike other higher education institutions, ITT Tech students attend year-round with breaks provided throughout the year. Classes are available days, nights and weekends for added student convenience.
ITT Tech was originally founded in Indianapolis, Indiana, with a mission to establish higher education for working professionals. The goal of the school is to provide quality education with convenience and flexibility for all students. All campuses are divided into six schools including:
• School of Information Technology
• School of Electronics
• School of Drafting and Design
• School of Criminal Justice
• Breckinridge School of Nursing
The school also understands that career planning begins long before graduation, offering assistance to students in job-seeking and keeping skills throughout their education.
Drafting and Design Technology
The Drafting and Design Technology Associate’s program at ITT Tech Little Rock exposes students to entry-level skills necessary for a career in drafting and design. Students develop knowledge with CAD technology as well as a variety of drafting methods necessary to produce designs through both classroom theory and lab projects. Students who are unable to distinguish various colors may not be candidates for the drafting and design program. Students use drafting equipment, such as drawing tables, parallel edges and print machines as part of their studies. The program requires 94.5 credits for completion
ITT Technical Institute
12200 Westhaven Drive
Little Rock, AR 72211
NorthWest Arkansas Community College
NorthWest Arkansas Community College began when voters in the Bentonville and Rogers Public School District passed a property tax to support a new community college for the area in 1989. In August, 1990, NWACC opened its doors to 1,200 students who attended classes in high schools, chambers of commerce offices, municipal buildings and other leased facilities throughout the districts. In August 1995, Burns Hall opened its doors to more than 2,400 students on the Rogers and Bentonville city limit line. In 2003, the college opened the Shewmaker Center for Workforce Technologies and the Becky Paneltz Student Center opened in the spring of 2007, named for the president of the college at the time. Expansion continued with the opening of the Shewmaker Global Business Development Center in 2010 and the Health Profession Building in 2013.
Today, NWACC is a comprehensive two-year college that is dedicated to serving the needs of the local community. Between July 2012 and July 2013, the college served more than 20,000 students, and 15 percent of the student body is Hispanic. NWACC is accredited by the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission.
Associate of Applied Science Degree in Graphic Design
NWACC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Graphic Design, with a program that was established in 1994. The program has developed an excellent reputation in the area for training those interested in a graphic arts career. Students must complete 63 credit hours in order to graduate, and are given instruction in a mixture of creative and technical aspects of the design industry. Although the college understands that artistic creativity is critical to success in the graphic design profession, it is far from the only requirement necessary to succeed. Designers must have a critical eye for detail and be proficient with the most up-to-date equipment and techniques to create designs in today’s world. Students must take classes such as art history, painting, watercolor, color studies and others related to the design industry, but must also successfully complete core classes, including English, public speaking, communication and math.
NorthWest Arkansas Community College
One College Drive
Bentonville, AR 72712-5091
Arkansas State – Mountain Home
Arkansas State University – Mountain Home was established on July 1, 1995, In 1996, the TrailBlazers mascot and school colors were chosen. TrailBlazers was selected in order to show growth, while the colors blue and green were chosen to represent the lakes and mountains that surrounded the campus. On July 10, 1996, 78 acres were purchased to construct the new campus, and on August 22, Christine Roller, along with her family and business, Roller Funeral Homes, pledged $500,000 to fund the first campus building. Additional endowments from First National Bank and Trust Company of Mountain Home, the J.D. Dryer family as well as Hugh and Kirk McClain of McClain Farms, each for $500,000 allowed the college to build three more buildings in 1997.
Groundbreaking took place for the college on April 8, 1998, attended by then Governor Mike Huckabee. First National Hall was dedicated on February 25, 1999, while Dryer Hall was dedicated on March 24 of that year. Dedications for Roller and McClain Hall followed that year on April 2 and June 17, respectively. The school gained initial accreditation in 2003 from the Higher Learning Commission of Colleges and Schools.
Today, the school serves approximately 1,500 students per year, and its location near two beautiful fresh water lakes and rivers provides excellent recreational activities. In fact, the surrounding area is so important to the university, a Trout Nature Center is planned for the future.
Certificate of Proficiency in Graphic Design
The Graphic Design Certificate offers students entry-level skills in graphic design and is often the first step for students wishing to complete an Associate of Applied Science degree in the field. Students are provided coursework in digital photography, desktop publishing, computer illustration and graphic design/layout. The certificate requires 12 credit hours.
Associate of Applied Science in Information Systems (AAS) – Graphic Design
The Associate of Applied Science in Information Systems with a graphic design focus is designed for students seeking education in specific skill areas of computer technology related to the graphic design field. All courses taken as part of the Certificate Program in Graphic Design can be used toward credit for an Associate of Applied Science degree. Students must take classes such as drawing, design, digital media, digital photography and computer illustration as part of the graphic design focus, but must also successfully complete core classes such as math, composition, business and social sciences.
Students must complete and submit an application for admission, ACT or SAT scores, an official high school transcript, and documentation of immunizations in order to apply for admittance to the Graphic Design program.
University of Arkansas Mountain Home
1600 South College Street
Mountain Home, AR 72653
National Park Community College
National Park Community College, located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, is the fourth largest community college in the state. The college began when Garland County Community College and Quapaw Technical Institute merged into a comprehensive two-year institution in 2003. The college is situated in the Quachita Mountains near Mid-America Park, which is the nation’s oldest national park service site.
Today, the college sits in a beautiful resort community with a local economy that focuses on tourism, manufacturing and medical sciences. The large retirement community also brings economy for retirement living needs. The thermal waters of the park, as well as hiking trails at the five lakes that surround the campus provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. There is also horse racing at Oaklawn Park, golf courses and a thriving art community.
Visual and Media Arts in Graphic Design (A.A.S.)
Using the most modern graphic design techniques that includes training on photo-typesetting equipment, the Visual and Media Arts in Graphic Design program at National Park prepares students to enter the graphic design profession with the widest range of techniques possible. Students are required to take courses in everything from design and advertising to photography, as well as an Introduction to Business to prepare students for operating their own graphic design studio. Students obtain skills in many areas, including 35mm photography, illustration, and advertising, while gaining experience on Macintosh computers, the preferred graphic arts computer. The curriculum is designed to meet the growing need for graphic designers as predictions indicate that the profession will grow dramatically over the next ten years.
National Park Community College
101 College Drive
Hot Springs, AR 71913
These graphic design degrees in Arkansas offer a variety of options for students who are interested in enter the graphic design profession. Each college and university offers a unique blend of activities and education to meet the needs of students.