Top 20 Graphic Design Degree Online Programs 2018

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A degree in graphic design can be very rewarding and gives those with an artistic bent access to an in-demand, lucrative career field, and an online graphic design degree can help give you the edge over competition. Graphic design appeals to anyone with an interest in creative arts. It offers interesting advantages over traditional arts because technology allows images to be manipulated in ways impossible under any traditional method. Graphic design is truly the most modern of visual arts.

Most graphic design degrees can be completed entirely online. Online graphic design degree programs are either associates or bachelors degrees. When searching for a program, it is important to find programs that are properly accredited with high rankings to ensure they meet industry quality standards.

20 Top Schools for Graphic Design Degrees Online

The following list of schools all offer top ranking and accredited online graphic design degree programs.

#20 – Champlain College

Online Bachelor’s in Software Development

Burlington, Vermont

Website

Champlain College - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Champlain College’s online software development degree may appeal to those interested in a graphic design online degree program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $38,660

Champlain College is among our top picks for online graphic design degree programs. The school offers an online bachelor’s in software development with design, structure, and web page development courses tailored to prepare students for careers in design and software development. Some of the courses offered include information systems analysis and design, introduction to computer systems, usability in website and software design, and web page development. For those interested in the design and development of software, the online bachelor’s from Champlain provides a solid foundation that expands beyond a traditional graphic design degree. Champlain also offers accredited and solid reputation with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks Champlain as the 91st best regional university in the North and the 56th best value school in the country. The online bachelor’s programs rank #148 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#19 – Savannah College of Art and Design

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Savannah, Georgia

Website

Savannah College - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Savannah College’s online bachelor’s in graphic design prepares students for MFA programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $35,690

Savannah College of Art and Design offers an online bachelor’s in graphic design program designed to enhance abilities to communicate visually. This online program is accredited and designed to serve as preparation toward the pursuit of a master’s or MFA in graphic design, or closely related degree. The graphic design concentration consists of 45 hours of classes in subjects like applied principles – interactive web design, graphic design media management, introduction to graphic design, production for print and digital environments, and typography – information and media. Savannah College of Art and Design is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the online bachelor’s programs are ranked #15 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#18 – Southern New Hampshire University

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design and Media Arts

Manchester, New Hampshire

Website

Southern New Hampshire University - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
An online graphic design degree from Southern New Hampshire University is flexible and convenient.

Undergraduate Tuition: $31,136

Southern New Hampshire University offers two types of bachelor’s in graphic design and media arts. These degree programs have two concentrations designed to allow students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest. These concentrations include 3D modeling and animation and web design. Online courses and convenient scheduling allow busy and working students to earn a degree while balancing daytime obligations. Students gain 24/7 access to course content. Some of the courses offered include advanced digital graphic design for web, advanced digital imaging, digital graphic design for web, graphics and layout in print media, introduction to digital imaging, and language and practice of media arts. Southern New Hampshire is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 86th best regional university and 83rd best value school.

#17 – Southeastern University

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Lakeland, Florida

Website

Southeastern University - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Southeastern University’s online bachelor’s in graphic design is affordable and ranked.

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,160

Southeastern University’s online bachelor’s in graphic design consists of 126 credits that can be completed entirely online. Courses are taught by Southeastern’s experienced faculty who are equipped to deliver quality instruction to undergraduate students. These courses include advanced digital imaging, advanced illustration, digital layout and design, graphic design capstone, survey of western art, and typography. Students have the option of earning either a BS or BA degree in graphic design. Southeastern is accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the South. Affordable undergraduate programs earn the university a place on our list of top 20 online graphic degree schools.

#16 – Berkeley College

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

New York, New York

Website

Berkeley College - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Berkeley College’s online bachelor’s in graphic design yields a BFA degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,050

Berkeley College offers an online bachelor’s (BFA) in graphic design for students seeking an undergraduate degree that is both convenient and flexible. Designed for working students, courses are delivered online and taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. These courses include animation foundations, branding and information design, design and modeling, digital page layout, digital photography and creative media, graphic design principles, packaging design, and special topics in graphic design. Berkeley is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is authorized to issue online undergraduate degrees. Berkeley has also received recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#15 – Full Sail University

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Winter Park, Florida

Website

Full Sail - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Full Sail’s online bachelor’s in graphic design takes 29 months to complete.

Undergraduate Tuition: $23,116

Full Sail University offers an affordable online bachelor’s in graphic design for working students. This completely online degree can be completed in just 29 months and is designed for busy and working students with little time during traditional classroom hours. Students take a series of online courses with content that may be accessed at all hours of the day or night. Some of the courses offered include color theory, design and art theory, digital audio and video, graphic principles, graphic web design, interactive media design and usability, media integration, and popular culture in media. Full Sail has received accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and is licensed by the Commission for Independent Education (CIE) through the Florida Department of Education.

#14 – Liberty University

Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Liberty University’s BFA in graphic design offers an internship component.

Undergraduate Tuition: $21,292

Liberty University’s online BFA in graphic design provides an overview of a number of design topics while focusing on digital art. Students take a series of online classes while gaining hands-on learning. The program consists of 120 total credit hours and is 100% online. Courses include digital imaging, graphic design, history of art, and introduction to graphic design. A 180-hour internship and 30-hour practicum are also required to satisfy the program stipulations. Liberty offers its students accredited programs and national recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks Liberty as a top national university. The online bachelor’s programs are ranked #148 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#13 – Academy of Art University

Online BFA in Graphic Design

San Francisco, California

Website

Academy of Art University - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Academy of Art University offers an accredited online BFA in graphic design.

Undergraduate Tuition: $21,252

The School of Graphic Design at the Academy of Art University offers an online BFA in graphic design. This completely online program is designed for busy and working students who lack time during traditional classroom hours due to work or family obligations. The online BFA embraces a wide range of visual communications techniques designed to prepare students for careers as graphic designers. Courses emphasize critical thinking, marketing strategies, raising awareness of critical issues, and visual literacy and conceptual problem solving. The institution is accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Also, the online bachelor’s programs have earned recognition.

#12 – Art Institute of Pittsburgh

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Website

Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
The online bachelor’s in graphic design from Art Institute of Pittsburgh consists of 180 credits.

Undergraduate Tuition: $17,016

The 180-quarter credit hour online bachelor’s in graphic design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh is a comprehensive design and development program for working students. Students work at their own pace and follow a program designed to equip them with the necessary skills required to work as a graphic designer and artist. All classes are delivered online and include art direction, design and technology, graphic illustration, introduction to graphic design, packaging design, and web scripting. The school is accredited and has been recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top art school.

#11 – Independence University

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Arts

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

Independence University - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
36 months to complete – Independence University’s online graphic design degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,968

Independence University offers an online bachelor’s in graphic arts designed for working and busy students. This entirely online program may be completed in just 36 months, depending on course load and student pace. Depending on transfer credits and your choice of electives, you may earn the degree in as little as 20 months. Courses include computer fundamentals, digital animation, graphic design, information design, logo and identity design, professional development, psychology of motivation, and web design. The university is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The ACCSC is a recognized accrediting agency by the United States Department of Education.

#10 – Capella University

Online Bachelor’s in Information Technology – Software Development

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Website

Capella University - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
100% online – Capella’s graphic design online degree programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,998

Capella University offers an online bachelor’s in information technology with a software development specialization. The program is 100% online and offers various software development emphases, including cloud application, mobile, programming and application, and web. Some of the courses offered include advanced database development, intermediate java programming, software construction, software database development, and software design and modeling. Capella is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university, although remains unranked. However, the school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers one of the most affordable types of graphic design degree programs on our list.

#9 – Hodges University

Online Bachelor’s in Digital Design and Graphics

Naples, Florida

Website

Hodges University - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Hodges University offers an online bachelor’s in graphic design that is affordable and accredited.

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,700

Hodges University offers an online bachelor’s in digital design and graphics program through their Fisher School of Technology. This completely online degree program is ideal for creative or artistic students who enjoy problem solving, communicating, and working with technology. All classes are delivered online and include topics like advanced computer applications, advertising concepts, digital illustration, introduction to graphic communication, multimedia portfolio, and visual communication and design. Hodges has received recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the South. Also, the university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

#8 – Herzing University

Online Bachelor’s in Software Development

Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

Website

Herzing University - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Herzing University offers 100% online, two- and three-year bachelor’s in software development degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,390

Herzing University’s online bachelor’s in software development is a 100% online degree program designed with the working student in mind. Students may choose from 3-year bachelor’s or 2-year software developer programs. The 3-year bachelor’s moves at a quick pace and provides students with the necessary skills required for careers as software developers and designers. Some of the required courses include advanced web development, computer networks, object-oriented programming, and visual basic. Electives that focus on development and design may be selected and help tailor the degree toward graphic design and web development. Herzing is accredited and recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest. The online bachelor’s programs are ranked #142 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#7 – Franklin University

Online Bachelor’s in Computer Science

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Franklin University - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Franklin University’s online bachelor’s in computer science offers design classes.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,881

Franklin University’s online bachelor’s in computer science is a general computer degree that can be tailored in areas of web application, development, and design. The program may be completed entirely online and consists of a series of classes and capstone requirement. The program takes approximately four years to complete although may be earned sooner depending on student pace. Courses emphasize skills in computer architecture, coding and testing, database management, object-oriented design, and web application development. Franklin is an accredited university and has earned recognition from major publications like U.S. News and World Report, although recent rankings are not published.

#6 – Colorado Technical University

Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration – Digital Marketing

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Website

Colorado Tech - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Colorado Tech’s online BBA in digital marketing offers design and marketing classes applicable to graphic design.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,540

Colorado Technical University’s online bachelor’s in business administration is a unique degree program that offers enrolled students the option of earning a specialization in digital marketing. Students take a wide range of marketing and business classes and a series of digital marketing courses. These online digital marketing classes include consumer behavior fundamentals, data analytics for digital marketing, new media marketing analysis, and search engine optimization and web design. The program requires the completion of 180 total credit hours. Colorado Tech is an accredited university. Also, major publications like U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as a top regional university in the West. The online bachelor’s programs rank #81 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#5 – Arizona State University

Online Bachelor’s in Software Engineering

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
ASU offers a fully accredited online software engineering program with design and development courses.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,370

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University offers an online bachelor’s in software engineering that consists of 120 credits and is fully accredited. Courses run 7.5 weeks in length and can be tailored through electives. Graphic design and development courses, along with a series of software development and engineering classes, make up the program. Some of the courses include design and analysis of data structures and algorithms, introduction to programming languages, and object-oriented programming and data structures. ASU is an accredited university that is also ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks ASU as a top national institution and best value school. Also, the online bachelor’s programs are ranked #4 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#4 – Rasmussen College

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Bloomington, Minnesota

Website

Rasmussen College - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Rasmussen College’s online graphic design degree takes 18-36 months to complete.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,360

Rasmussen College’s online bachelor’s in graphic design is a completely online program designed to be completed in either 18 or 36 months. To complete the degree in 18 months, students must hold an associate’s degree with transferrable credits. All classes are delivered online and are taught by Rasmussen instructors. These classes include advanced color theory, advanced digital photography, advanced user experience design, digital short film project, and the business of digital media. The program also offers two specializations: animation and motion graphics and web and interactive design. Rasmussen is an accredited institution that earns a spot on our list for offering an affordable online graphic design degree program.

#3 – Bellevue University

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Bellevue, Nebraska

Website

Bellevue College - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Bellevue’s online graphic design degree emphasizes print and web design.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,365

Bellevue University offers an accredited online bachelor’s in graphic design degree that includes extensive preparation and hands-on practice in print and web design. Courses may be completed entirely online and are taught by university professors. Some of the courses offered include branding, design basics, fundamentals of print design, fundamentals of web design, identity design, problem solving and idea generation, and website development. Students must have access to specific technology requirements to complete the program. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Bellevue as a top regional university in the Midwest. Also, the online bachelor’s programs rank #92 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#2 – University of Maryland University College

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Communication

Adelphi, Maryland

Website

University of Maryland - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
University of Maryland offers an online bachelor’s in graphic communication.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,176

University of Maryland University College offers a uniquely designed online graphic design degree program. The online bachelor’s in graphic communication is a 120-credit hour program that emphasizes the importance of building a portfolio showcasing the skills of a graphic designer. Students master the skills and technology to compete in today’s job market. Courses are delivered conveniently online and explore topics like advanced graphic communication, digital media, graphic communication portfolio, introduction to graphic communication, motion graphics, and typography and layout. The university is accredited and recognized by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News lists the university as a top regional institution in the North.

#1 – Western Governors University

Online Bachelor’s in Software Development

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

Western Governors - Online Graphic Design Degree Programs
Western Governors University is the most affordable school on our list for online graphic design and related degree programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,070

The most affordable online graphic design degree program on our list is the online bachelor’s in software development program at Western Governors University. The program is ideal for working students who want to enhance their skillset in software development and web design. All classes are delivered online and include network security and foundations, organizational behavior and leadership, scripting programming, software development, user interface design, web development applications, and web development foundations. Several certification options are also available. Western Governors University is a private, accredited institution ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as a top regional university in the West.

Requirements of online graphic design degree programs

Online Graphic Design Degree ProgramsThese degrees have no formal prerequisites other than the admissions requirements of their prospective schools. These requirements vary by school, but they can include a number of completed college credits, passing scores on ACT or SAT tests and passing scores on an entrance exam. Graphic design is the blending of traditional art and technology, so experience in either field will compliment the graphic artist.

Online graphic design degree programs come with the same advantages of freedom and flexibility as other online degrees. Graphic design lends itself well to online education because most work is done on a computer anyway. Students preparing for an online program need to be aware of the limitations they face using their own computer. They will need to ensure they have a machine able to properly run the design software they will be using. Some software programs require moderate to advanced graphics capability. They should also have a scanner and printer. Some drafting may still be done by hand, and they may need to scan and upload these images.

Additional resource: Top 10 Online Web Design Degree Programs

GDH Staff
January 2018

This concludes our ranking of online graphic design degree programs.

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