Graphic Design Degrees in Florida (S-Z)

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With the white sandy beaches, famous amusement parks and untamed wilderness, it is no wonder there are a multitude of graphic design degrees in Florida. The beautiful scenery in the state, from the sandy beaches of Miami and the Keys to the wildness of the Everglades, Florida is a prime location for artists of all types. In addition, Disneyworld and Universal Studios use graphic artists for many projects at their amusement parks. For this reason, there are many graphic design programs throughout Florida.

Santa Fe College

In 1965, the Florida legislature established Santa Fe College as a community college, offering continuing education for citizens of Alachua and Bradford Counties. It was on of 28 community colleges created in the state between 1957 and 1967, and all were located within commuting distance of 99 percent of the state’s citizens. Originally, the college was known as Santa Fe Junior College, but, in 2008, the college began offering bachelor’s degrees. At that time, the name was changed to Santa Fe College. Today, more than 18,000 students attend credit classes at Santa Fe, while 12,000 more participate in non-credit education.

Graphic Design

An Associate of Arts and Sciences degree in Graphic Design teaches students how to communicate using graphics for print, web and other applications. Courses include movies and narrative, drawing and design, as well as other classes related to graphic design. Students must also take general education courses such as English Composition and math. The degree is a two year program, resulting in an Associate of Arts degree. An Associate of Arts degree is the equivalent of the first two years of baccalaureate degrees in Florida. The degree is awarded once the student completes 60 credit hours of coursework and achieves a minimum 2.0 grade point average in all courses.

Accreditation
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact
Santa Fe College
3000 Northwest 83rd Street
Gainesville, FL 32606
Telephone: 352-395-5000
Email: admissions@sfcollege.edu
Website

Seminole State College

In 1966, Seminole State College began as a group of portable classrooms dropped into a former citrus grove. Today, it is one of America’s fastest growing colleges with six locations throughout Seminole County. The college grew dramatically as Seminole Junior College, until, in 1975, it became Seminole Community College. In 2009, the state granted the institution the right to issue four-year degrees. This caused the college to change names again to Seminole State College. Enrollment at the college today is over 32,000 students.

A.S. Degree in Media Design

Students who complete the Associate of Science degree in Graphic Arts at Seminole State college are prepared to create media, graphics, animation and applications created for the contemporary culture. Students receive a solid base in practice and skills in order to obtain positions in the digital media industry. Students create workflows from concept to production. Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to excel at professional careers in digital media production. Students may also obtain certificates in concentrations along with their degree, which include:

  • Digital Media/Multimedia Production
  • Graphic Design Production
  • Graphic Design Support
  • Digital and Interactive Media Design
  • Digital Media/Multimedia Web Production

Accreditation
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact 
Seminole State College
100 Weldon Boulevard
Sanford, FL 32773
Telephone: 407-708-4722
Email: admissions@seminolestate.edu
Website

Southwest Florida College

Southwest Florida College was founded in 1975 and has been committed to providing career-focused education to students since its inception. Their mission is to provide students of all ages, cultures, history and interests with a learning environment where they can succeed. The primary focus is to offer quality education and career training that allows students to achieve their professional goals. The faculty puts the students first, listening to their needs and focusing on getting the student to where they want to be in the future.

Digital Design

Students with an artistic flair and talents are well suited for the Associate of Arts Digital Design program at Southwest. The program focuses on critical thinking and artistic skills that include perception, interpretation and inventiveness. Students learn industry software such as Adobe Creative Suite and use those programs to solve design problems. Students develop skills necessary to use graphics to translate an intended message to a target audience.

Accreditation
Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Contact 
Southwest Florida College
1685 Medical Lane
Fort Myers, FL 33907
Telephone: 877-820-7306
Website

State College of Florida

In 1957, State College of Florida was established as Manatee Junior College in a former high school with the mission of training young people and adults. In 1973, the college expanded to Venice High School to serve more of the population of Sarasota County. In 1983, the college was given authority to build a full-service campus in Venice and, in 1985, the name was changed to Manatee Community College. In 2007,Schroeder-Manatee Ranch donated five acres which the college used to open the Medical Technology and Simulation Center in 2010. In 2009, the facility began offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and changed their name to State College of Florida in July 2009.

Graphic Design Technology

State College of Florida offers a Graphic Design Technology program that combines basic design principles with updated technology. Students are instructed in print and web design as well as how they are applied in the industry. Students are prepared for entry-level graphic design positions upon graduation. Students must have proficiency in mathematics as demonstrated by standard placement criteria established by the college and must complete GRA 1100C with a grade of “C” or better.

Accreditation
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact
State College of Florida
PO Box 1849
Bradenton, FL 34206
Telephone: (941) 752-5050
Email: admissions@scf.edu 
Website

Stetson University

DeLand Academy began in 1883, the dream of Henry A. DeLand and Dr. John H. Griffith. The first classes were held in a lecture room in the First Baptist Church. Deland Hall’s first building opened in 1884 at a cost of $4,000, and it now holds the record as the oldest building in Florida that has been used continuously for higher education. In 1885, the school was renamed DeLand College, and became DeLand University in 1886. John B. Stetson, the founder of the John B. Stetson Company, famous for the Stetson hat, donated heavily to DeLand University, and in 1889, the school was renamed in his honor. Today, the college serves 3,900 students, some of whom live in the 24 residence halls on campus.

Digital Arts

Stetson University offers a Digital Arts major that encourages students to explore image manipulation, music production, video, interactivity and 3D animation. Students investigate creative applications of digital technology, and learn to use artistic skills to interpret ideas, as well as explain concepts. This allows the digital arts major to be suitable for natural science, psychology, sociology, literature and other disciplines. Instruction includes visual art, music, composition and programming to promote artistic practice.

Accreditation
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact 
Stetson University
421 North Woodland Boulevard
DeLand, FL 32723
Telephone: 386-822-7100 or 800-688-0101
Website

The Art Institutes

The Art Institutes system of education began in 1969 when the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, founded in 1921, was taken over by Education Management Corporation. Throughout the 2000s, Education Management began acquiring art colleges in order to establish more art and design based campuses throughout the United States. In 2013, the college announced a tuition freeze for three years, pledging to maintain the cost of tuition through 2015. The Art Institute has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville and Tampa. As well as the Miami International University of Art and Design located in Miami.

Computer Animation

Students in the Computer Animation Program at the Art Institutes complete coursework in drawing, writing, color and character design, as well as computer applications. Once the foundation is developed, students move on to more advanced courses. Students complete a digital portfolio and their own website to demonstrate their abilities and talents to future employers. Graduates have found employment in advertising agencies, commercial post-production, interactive game design, as well as network and cable television.

Visual Effects and Motion Graphics Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics allows students to use creativity in order to create attention-grabbing communication used in television, film and on the internet. Visual effects create movie trailers, opening film credits and many other video-related projects. Graduates are qualified for entry-level placement as production assistants, assistant designers, visual special effect specialists or broadcast design assistants.

Visual Effects and Motion Graphics Bachelor of Fine Arts

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics learn different elements of visual effects and graphics. Students develop skills in:

  • Communication – understanding of the elements of effective story-telling using visual communication.
  • Graphic Design – applying the principles of graphic design to effectively create graphic and motion graphic projects.
  • Compositing – understanding the principles of pre-production, shooting, lighting and finishing to create visual projects.
  • Animation and Visual Effects – Knowledge of the concepts, techniques and terminology used in animation, both 2D and 3D.
  • Video and Photography – Ability to conceptualize, plan, execute and deliver elements of digital cinematography, audio, still digital photography, lighting and editing.
  • Audio – ability to produce and assemble audio elements such as voice, sound effects and music, applying them effectively.

Illustration

The Art Institute offers a bachelor’s program in Illustration designed to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and produce images used in visual communication. Instruction combines fine arts and communication design to develop creative vision. Students integrate communication into visual images using teamwork, preparing students with the necessary skills for entry-level positions as concept or storyboard artists, as well as graphic novelist, book illustrator or art director. The program consists of twelve eleven week quarters.

Graphic and Web Design

Students enrolled in the Art Institute Graphic and Web Design program begin with the basics of design, such as color, illustration and image manipulation in order to develop concept development and implementation skills for advanced courses. During the second year, students choose to focus in either graphics or web design with a more directed course of study. Graphic design concentration students study product packaging, art direction and design of publications. Web design concentration students learn interactive design and development using multiple media platforms that range from desktop computers to mobile applications. Successful completion of the program earns an Associate of Arts Degree.

Accreditation
Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Contact Information
Miami International University of Art and Design
1501 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 100
Miami, FL 33132-1418
Telephone: 305-428-5700
Email: admissions@coloradomesa.edu

Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
1799 Southeast 17th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316-3013
Telephone: 954-463-3000 or 800-275-7603

Art Institute of Jacksonville
8775 Baypine Road
Jacksonville, FL 32256-8528
Telephone: 904-486-3000 or 800-924-1589

Art Institute of Tampa
Parkside at Tampa Bay
4401 North Himes Avenue
Suite 150
Tampa, FL 33614-7086
Telephone: 813-873-2112 or 866-703-3277
Websites

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida was founded after President John F. Kennedy said in a 1962 speech that he had a goal of sending manned spacecraft to the moon by the end of the decade, creating a need for higher education to meet the demand for the growing space program in Florida. The Florida Technological University, known as Florida Tech, began as a non-segregated co-educational college with the goal of educating students for the growing space program. Over the years, UCF expanded curriculum, and by 1978, had come to be known for its diversified programs of study, which included liberal arts, education and business. This led the school to change its name that same year to the University of Central Florida. Today, more than 60,000 students attend UCF on its Orlando campus, and it has been named the top up-and-coming school by U.S. News and World Report.

School of Visual Arts and Design

Graphic design programs at UCF are taught through the School of Visual Arts and Design. The college emerged through partnership between former Art, Digital Media and Film departments. The college fosters the analysis, appreciation, manufacture and distribution of scholarly and creative works that uniquely inspire, inform, entertain and delight audiences.

Art – Emerging Media B.F.A. Character Animation

Students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Character Animation program develop knowledge and skills related to the integration of multiple domains of art, storytelling and technology. Students gain experience working in multidisciplinary teams on realistic problems. Students are encouraged to develop their own creative vision. The program culminates in the completion of a thesis project in order to prepare students for careers as animators, modelers, riggers or texture artists. An art background is desirable and the curriculum includes several art classes. Students must submit a Character Animation Portfolio to be considered for admission to the program. All classes are located at the Center for Emerging Media so students must have reliable transportation to that facility as there is no shuttle service to the location. No core classes are offered at the downtown location, only those directly related to Character Animation.

Art – Emerging Media B.F.A. Experimental Animation

Experimental Animation is an undergraduate studio art program allowing students to explore expression through innovation, hybrid analog and digital methodology. Animation is approached from an artistic point of view, so students are engaged in classic, current and widely varied techniques. By graduation, students have developed a unique vision demonstrated by a BFA thesis project and exhibition or screening. Select graduates may qualify to move into a variety of graduate level arts majors in which they develop an inventive and cross-disciplinary thesis. Students should have their own personal computers and software. Students may purchase MAC computers, but faculty at UCF prefer PCs. Current UCF students may change their major to Emerging Media Pending, and all students must complete the mandatory Sophomore Portfolio Review before beginning the program.

Art – Emerging Media B.F.A. Graphic Design

The Graphic Design specialization at UCF is a two year program that is part of the Emerging Media track. Students are educated in the art and science of visual communication with focus on the professional aspects of design. Students combine technology with aesthetics using typography, publication design, identity systems, packaging, film, broadcast graphics, posters, interactive and web design. Students must complete courses in Art Foundation and Digital Media before submitting a written application and portfolio. The program is competitive and acceptance is based on completion of prerequisite courses as well as quality of work.

Art – Visual Arts and Emerging Media Management, B.A.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Visual Arts and Emerging Media Management degree at UCF is an interdisciplinary degree. Students enter this field of study to learn about arts outside the studio discipline in order to study a variety of art-related topics.

Digital Media B.A. Game Design

The Bachelor of Arts Digital Media Game Design degree provides the knowledge and skills for students to integrate multiple art, storytelling and technology domains. It provides a solid foundation focused in one area of competence, while including a broad understanding of arts, humanities and technology. Students work on projects in teams using multiple disciplines, finding solutions to realistic problems. Students learn about the history, culture, design and implementation of video games and technologies used in the industry. Students build smaller games throughout the semester, while working on group projects for larger projects. There is restricted access to the program and students must complete DIG4713 Game Deign with a grade of “B” or better. UCF is considering requiring a portfolio for admission to the program. DIG4713 Game Design is offered every fall and, as a gateway course, it is designed to be difficult. The course requires two prerequisite courses as well.

Digital Media B.A. Web Design

The Digital Media B.A. in Web Design degree provides a solid foundation in techniques and theory, providing students with the knowledge and skills to integrate multiple fields, which include art, storytelling and the technology necessary to create web designs. Students are also provided a humanities education in addition to learning the skills necessary to gain employment in the field of web design.

Accreditation
Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact
School of Visual Arts and Design
University of Central Florida
College of Arts and Humanities
PO Box 163241
Orlando, FL 32816
Email: svadadvising@ucf.edu
Website

University of Florida

The University of Florida began as the East Florida Seminary was founded in 1853 in Ocala, Florida. The seminary operated until the outbreak of the Civil War. James Henry Roper opened the Gainesville Academy in 1858, and in 1866, he offered the land and school to the state if East Florida Seminary relocated to Gainesville. A third school, the Florida Agricultural College, which opened in Lake City in 1903 under the Morill Act, also had a hand in the beginnings of the University of Florida. In 1903, in order to expand the school’s curriculum beyond agriculture and engineering, the state legislature renamed the school the University of Florida, but the school only kept the name for two years. In 1905, the Buckman Act essentially abolished the six state-supported schools of higher learning in Florida, consolidated their assets and formed four of them into the new University of the State of Florida. In addition to the Florida Agriculture College, which was then known as the University of Florida at Lake City, and East Florida Seminary, St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial School along with the South Florida Military College were also merged into one institution. The Buckman Act also consolidated two segregated schools – Florida Female College, State Normal School for Colored Students. This consolidation meant that the University of the State of Florida would no longer only accept white men.

Graphic Design

The Graphic Design program at the University of Florida is highly selective, with a program that emphasizes concept development and collaborative studio work. Students work together in a studio rather than alone at home, creating a vibrant community of pre-professional designers. Students must install their own computer system in the design studio, and are provided a superior level of technology access. The undergraduate program prepares students for work as a professional in the graphic arts world. Graduates have obtained employment in print, advertising, interactive design, web design and multimedia.

Master of Arts in Digital Arts and Sciences

Students in the Master of Arts Digital Arts and Sciences program develop fluency in technologies, design practices and teamwork necessary to succeed in the media, communication and entertainment industries. Graduates often seed positions in the creative services sector, where they apply digital techniques in a variety of professions. Successful graduates of the program have found success in cinema, interactive games, broadcast media, online international networks and emergent industries.

MFA in Studio Art

The School of Art and Art History offers the Master of Fine Arts Degree that allows students to choose concentrations in Art and Technology studies. Students may choose from Art+Technology and Graphic Design. The program requires 60 credit hours that includes Teaching Art in Higher Education, Studio Major Specialization, Studio Electives Outside Specialization, Art History, and Theory. Students must also complete a thesis. There is a minimum three years residency to complete the requirements which culminates with an exhibition or other public presentation, which may be used in place of the thesis.

Accreditation
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges 

Contact
University of Florida
PO Box 115800
Fine Arts Building A Suite 102
Gainesville, FL 32611-5800
Telephone: 352-294-2020
Email: advising@digitalworlds.ufl.edu 
Websites

University of North Florida

In 1969, the Skinner family donated land midway between Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beaches for the purpose of constructing an institute of higher education in the area. It was originally designated a senior college when it opened in 1972, enrolling only upperclassmen and graduate students. Freshmen and sophomores were not admitted until 1984. In 1980, there was legislation passed to merge the college with the University of Florida, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Bob Graham. Today, the college has more than 16,000 students enrolled. The university has been named as the Best Regional College for three consecutive years by the U.S. News and World Report, and was named on the magazine’s 2013 list for Best Graduate Schools. The Princeton Review named the university as the best value college for 2013, the third time the school has appeared on that list. UNF is also considered a Military Friendly School, according to GI Jobs, and has made that list for five consecutive years.

Graphic Design and Digital Media

The Graphic Design and Digital Media program prepares students for professions in the dynamic and exciting field of graphic design. Students design visual identity, advertising design, packaging, posters, web sites and other projects to enhance their education in graphic design and digital media. The program is demanding, and students considering the course of study should be able to think conceptually, have an interest in problem solving, and be visually curious. Focus is on contemporary style, but with a connection to the past. The program has limited access, and students must complete a review process before taking restricted classes. Students must pass the Limited Access review to be admitted to the program, and have completed ART2605C BCI. In addition, the student must be enrolled in or have completed GRA2190C Introduction to Graphic Design. Students must also provide a portfolio of eight visual pieces, which must include at least four works in graphic design based imagery. There may be no more than two from each of:

  • Photography
  • Digital Illustration
  • Hand-rendered works such as painting or drawing

Portfolios may not contain sculpture, ceramics or other 3D art. The portfolio must be submitted using Blackboard as a multi-page PDF with files that are no larger than 50 MB.

Accreditation
Southern Association of Schools and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact
University of North Florida
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224
Phone: 904-620-1000
Website

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida was founded in 1956, and was the first independent state university conceived, planned and built in the 20th century, becoming one of the leading research institutions in the country. The location chosen for the school on Fowler Avenue was occupied by the World War II Henderson Airfield. The campus was built on the practice bombing range to the north of the former airfield. The name, University of South Florida, was chosen as it was the southernmost university in the state at the time it was built. In 1958, the college acquired the Chinsegut Hill property. Chinsegut Hill was built by Colonel Byrd Pearson who cultivated sugar cane on the plantation, which he called Tiger Tail Hill. The oldest section of the plantation house was completed in 1847, just two years after Florida became a state. In 1857, the property was purchased by Francis Higgins Ederington, who added to the home, creating what is now the main section. In 1866, Colonel Russel Snow married Ederington’s daughter, Charlotte, and gained control of the plantation. He renamed the property Snow Hill, and aftee property was purchased by Raymond and Margaret Robins, it was renamed Chinsegut Hill. USF used the property for retreats and conferences. Today, there are almost 48,000 students attending USF, which ranks tenth worldwide among universities granted patents and fifth among veteran friendly institutions.

BFA Degree in Studio Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design

The Studio Art degree with a concentration in Graphic Design is only offered at the St. Petersburg campus of USF. The program includes instruction in art history, design, theory of art, as well as technical approaches to creating visual art. The program challenges students through complex projects that require them to use their creativeness, structured processes and exploration in order to achieve success. The concentration in graphic design exposes students to the foundation, principles and techniques commonly used in visual communications. This is a limited access, upper-level program. Students must have a 3.25 major GPA and students are accepted into the program based on:

  • Concept, execution and presentation of studio work
  • Conceptual understanding of standards in art and design
  • Application of concepts
  • Examples of drawing methods and materials
  • Historical knowledge of art and design

Accreditation
Southern Association of Schools and Schools Commission on Colleges

Contact
University of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Avenue
Tampa, FL 33620
Telephone: 813-974-3350
Email: admission@usf.edu
Website

University of Tampa

The University of Tampa began in 1931 as Tampa Junior College, becoming the University of Tampa in 1933 when it moved from a local high school to what is now known as Plant Hall. The building had originally been the Tampa Bay Hotel, a historical symbol of the city. It was built by railroad and shipping magnate, Henry B. Plant, who changed the sleepy fishing village to a vibrant city. The building cost $3 million to build between 1888 and 1891, rising five stories above the city. Babe Ruth signed his first baseball contract in the dining room of the hotel, and historical figures such as Teddy Roosevelt and the Queen of England have been guests. Today, the building serves as the main academic and administrative building at the University of Tampa, which serves 7,200 students.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design at the University of Tampa combines elements of traditional studio instruction with the latest in computer technology. Students develop visualization skills, drawing potential and design ability with an emphasis on creative growth. Graduates have found success in designing for industries including pre-press and developing multi-media. Topics of study include:

  • Visual communication
  • Typography
  • History and theory of visual communications and graphic design
  • Color, paper and printing
  • Traditional print mediums
  • Sustainable design
  • Website and mobile application design

Accreditation
Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Contact
University of Tampa
401 West Kennedy Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33606-1490
Telephone: 813-253-3333
Website

With the beautiful beaches, areas of wilderness and endless possibilities available, it is no wonder that there are so many graphic design degrees in Florida.

For more Florida Graphic Degree Programs, please see:

Graphic Design Degrees in Florida (A-E)
Graphic Design Degrees in Florida (F)
Graphic Design Degrees in Florida (G-R)

For information on earning your graphic design degree online, take a look at “Top 10 Online Graphic Design Degree Programs“.

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