Top 8 Affordable Online Graphic Design Master’s Degrees 2019

GDDH-Most AffordableIf you are among the luckier ones and have technical and graphics skills, and you are ready for an intense graduate program, online graphic design master’s degrees could be just the right choice. Certainly, the field of graphic design has been drastically altered, making job growth appear negative. However, the bulk of the decline has been for traditional print media. While this is undoubtedly a sad turn of events, positive growth in computer-based design seems on par with parallel technical careers.

What are those careers? Demand for video and instructional design appears to be doing well. In particular, mobile programming has had a recent surge. You may note the fairly high “affordable” tuition rates–this is a trend for online graduate programs; however, much can be offset with a range of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid.

To get into programs, you may need to have some 2-D or other similar backgrounds. Also, you will need to be able to demonstrate your skills in writing and/or design. To stay, you will likely be expected to do some level of residency, though limited. Expect a thesis or applied projects as well.

This list of the top 8 affordable online master’s programs in graphic design has been ranked based on the two particular criteria: cost per credit hour and the Payscale.com salary report ranking for that institution. Other factors taken into account were regional accreditation and special program accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Cost per Credit Hour:

  • $700 and under – 5 points
  • $800 and under – 4 points
  • $900 and under – 3 points
  • $1,000 and under – 2 points
  • $1,400 and under – 1 point

Payscale.com Salary Report Ranking

  • Top 100 – 5 points
  • Top 400 – 4 points
  • Top 800 – 3 points
  • Top 1,100 – 2 points
  • Top 1,500 – 1 point

Regional Accreditation: 5 points

NASAD Accreditation: 5 points
(NASAD is the National Association for Schools of Art and Design).

#8 – Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah, Georgia

MA in Graphic Design Online

Savannah College of Art and Design is also known as “SCAD.”

Hourly Tuition Rate: $855
Payscale Ranking: 1,213th
Regional Accreditation: Yes
Points: 9
Website

Savannah College of Art and Design features a Master of Arts in Graphic Design online that is 45 quarter hours long, though additional graduate-level intensive courses may be assigned at the time of admission. A GRE score is not required for admission consideration in this program, but it is recommended for students with less compelling academic histories. The Savannah College of Art and Design MA in Graphic Design online calls for an application fee of $40. Courses in the program include visual analysis of static content, typographic voice and visual narrative, and professional practices for visual design.

#7 – Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac, Connecticut

MS in Interactive Media and Communication Online

Quinnipiac University has the school mascot of Boomer the Bobcat.

 

Hourly Tuition Rate: $940
Payscale Ranking: 372nd
Regional Accreditation: Yes
Points: 11
Website

Quinnipiac University’s Master of Science in Interactive Media and Communication online contains 30 credits and requires a capstone experience. On average, completing the degree takes about 21 months. The school also developed a combined five-year bachelor’s/master’s program. The Quinnipiac University MS in Interactive Media and Communication Online proffers two admit dates per year, and applicants must provide two letters of recommendation, a 500-word personal statement, a current resume, a professional writing sample, and a $45 fee. An online portfolio must be submitted, providing a web address, showing your abilities as a writer, artist, journalist, etc, in the field.

#6 – Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

MFA in Graphic Design Online

liberty-university
Liberty University’s school mascot is the Flame.

Hourly Tuition Rate: $615
Payscale Ranking: 1,010th
Regional Accreditation: Yes
Points: 12
School Profile

The 60 credit hour Liberty University Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design is offered 100% online and can be completed in just thirty months, in the form of 8-week courses. There is no on-campus component to this program. To be considered for acceptance, submit an artistic portfolio and artist’s statement and application fee of $50. A maximum of 30 credit hours may be transferred into Liberty. Coursework includes History of Graphic Design, Publication Design, and Interactive Design. Graduation from Liberty University’s MFA in Graphic Design online requires a thesis or portfolio project, an internship or practicum experience, and an oral examination.

#5 – Harvard University Extension School

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Master of Liberal Arts in Digital Media Design Online

Harvard Extension School has a unique admissions process.

Hourly Tuition Rate: $710
Payscale Ranking: 5th
Regional Accreditation: Yes
Points: 14
Website

Harvard University’s Extension School offers a 48 credit hour, online Master of Liberal Arts in Digital Media Design degree that requires twelve courses and at least one on-campus course. Before applying, you must take two stipulated degree courses, earning a minimum grade of B in each one. The curriculum includes the following course: Introduction to the Challenges and Opportunities of Big Data, the Internet of Things, and Cybersecurity. Your capstone will be the production of an innovative, digital media prototype and presentation to a faculty committee. To apply to the Extension School of Harvard University’s online MLA in Digital Media Design program, submit transcripts showing a minimum 3.0 GPA, a resume, and the $100 fee.

#4 – Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Online MS in Technology in Graphic Information Technology

arizona-state-university
Arizona State University’s mascot is Sparky the Sun Devil.

Hourly Tuition Rate: $1,397
Payscale Ranking: 285th
Regional Accreditation: Yes
Points: 15
School Profile

The online Master of Science in Technology in Graphic Information Technology degree offered by Arizona State University is a 33 credit hour program that expects you to complete an applied project instead of a thesis. The curriculum of ten courses is taught in 15-week formats and is apportioned in this way: Technical Area of Interest (18 hours); Supporting Area (9); Research Methods (3); and Applied Project (3). When applying to Arizona State University for their MS in Technology in Graphic Information Technology online degree, submit transcripts, GRE scores, statement of purpose, two letters of recommendation, and a $50 fee.

#3 – Kent State University

Kent, Ohio

MS in User Experience Design Online

The school mascot of Kent State University is Flash the Golden Eagle.

Hourly Tuition Rate: $655
Payscale Ranking: 919th
Regional Accreditation: Yes
Points: 17
Website

Kent State University’s Master of Science in User Experience Design (UXD) online degree is a 36 credit hour program, consisting of twelve 3-hour courses, of which seven are required, four are electives, and one is the culminating requirement. In addition, a Professional Portfolio course is offered to help you obtain employment in the field of UXD. Candidates in the MS in User Experience Design online degree program at Kent State University may expect to graduate in as little as two years. Applicants will need a minimum 3.0 GPA, three letters of recommendation, statement of goals, resume, and $45 fee.

#2 – Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Online Master’s in Emerging Media Design & Development

Ball State University just celebrated its first century of operation.

Hourly Tuition Rate: $616
Payscale Ranking: 883rd
Regional Accreditation: Yes
Points: 17
Website

The Ball State University online Master’s in Emerging Media Design & Development is a low-residency program that involves online coursework and a five-day residency in Indianapolis at the start of each term. There is no GRE requirement for admission. This program is fall start only and a creative portfolio is among the required submission materials for application. Ball State University’s online Master’s in Emerging Media Design & Development focuses on developing skills in three high-demand areas: design thinking; human-computer interaction; and cross-platform storytelling. The 36 credit hour program devotes 18 hours to lab experiences and 18 to foundational coursework.

#1 – Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Kutztown, Pennsylvania

Online MFA in Communication Design

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania’s school mascot is the Golden Bear.

Hourly Tuition Rate: $609.77
Payscale Ranking: 1,003rd
Regional Accreditation: Yes
Points: 17
Website

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania has a 60 credit hour, online Master of Fine Arts in Communication Design degree that boasts a low-residency, on-campus requirement of three weeks a year, in fall, spring, and summer. Three courses in the curriculum include Design Pioneers, Emerging Media, and Creative Studies. Admission to Kutztown University of Pennsylvania’s online MFA in Communication Design calls for a minimum 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, artist’s statement, portfolio, three references, and $35 fee. Your capstone graduate research project will explore “your creative path to professional or academic aspirations.”

By GDDH Staff
July 2019

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