Individuals interested in graphic design careers can find a high degree of choice among Graphic Design Degrees in Idaho. Degree program choices in Idaho include both two- and four-year programs. Most schools are regionally accredited academically but some programs are accredited only for business application rather than in academics. The bottom line is that a student in Idaho has many choices available locally. At least one of the programs listed below is available fully online so students even can live elsewhere. All of the following programs focus on serving students in specific ways and meeting the needs of several types of students of any age or background.
Boise State University
College of Arts and Sciences
Boise State University is a public research university located in Idaho’s capital city. Its total student population of 22,000 makes Boise State University the largest university in the state based on student enrollment. Boise State University became an independent institution in 1934, two years after its founding by the Episcopal church. It has been a full university conferring degrees at all levels since 1965. U.S. News and World Report ranks Boise State University at number 21 among best public schools, number 65 in regional (west) universities, number 18 among best schools for veterans and number 153 in fine arts across the entire country.
B.F.A. in Graphic Design
The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design offered at Boise State University is a residential program that consists of 120 credit hours, most of which focus on some aspect of the art, technology and photography that are so necessary for building a strong foundation in graphic design. Marketers and other large scale communicators always have had to use attractive materials but graphic design carries greater responsibility now than in the past as society in general continues to shift to increasing visual orientation. Boise State’s BFA in Graphic Design teaches students that design must be related to meaning and that effective design strives to both convey and create meaning. Graduates are prepared to enter the graphic design field or continue to higher level degrees.
1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83725
North Idaho College
North Idaho College was founded during the Great Depression as Coeur d’Alene Junior College, taking its name from the city in which it is located. It soon changed its name to North Idaho Junior College and became North Idaho College in 1971. It is a community college that confers associate degrees and offers two-year programs. The school regards many of its programs as transfer programs and designs them to be transferrable to other institutions offering four-year degrees. North Idaho College is regionally accredited as a community college through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Graphic Design – Associate
North Idaho College describes this program as both a transfer program and an occupational program. The transfer designation means that students can transfer credits to a four year program if they choose. The occupational description means that graduates are ready for entry level jobs in graphic design. Students become acquainted with packaging and print advertising as well as with a variety of electronic applications. The program includes training in web design as well but primarily from the perspective of appearance and electronic tools such as computer animation, digital video and various Adobe programs that are standard industry tools. The program also introduces students to Internet fundamentals, typography, digital illustration and the Apple operating system. A separate web design program goes further into the technology of Internet languages and machine capabilities.
1000 W Garden Avenue
Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814
Northwest Nazarene University
College of Arts and Sciences
Founded in 1913, Northwest Nazarene University is a private, Christian university affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. It gained accreditation as a four year institution in 1937 to become the first regionally accredited school of the eight higher learning institutions throughout the country overseen by the Church of the Nazarene. With fewer than 2,000 students, Northwest Nazarene University is a small school that maintains small classes. It has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) since 1930. U.S. News and World Report ranks Northwest Nazarene University at number 39 among its best regional universities in the West.
Bachelor of Arts, Computer Graphic Design
Northwest Nazarene University strives to maintain a balance between art and practicality in its graphic design program. Many other schools focus nearly exclusively on the technological, Internet-enabled aspect of graphic design. Northwest Nazarene University also gives much attention to that aspect of graphic design because of its importance in today’s environment. The university still requires that students be knowledgeable in print-based design, art history and the theoretical basis of visual design, however. The university’s aim is to produce graduates prepared to enter the field of graphic design as professionals who have broad understanding of how graphic design has evolved over time. Students study historical, cultural and socio-political forces that color the work they will do in the future. Many graduates have found employment with top design firms or in industry. Others have chosen to remain independent and to work as illustrators, designers, web application developers and in similar capacities.
623 S University Blvd.
Nampa, ID 83686
Stevens-Henager College – Boise
School of Graphic Arts
Headquartered in Ogden, Utah, Stevens–Henager College is a seven-campus private, nonprofit school founded in 1891. It was founded by an educator as a vocational business school with the goal of placing graduates in various types of business positions. The primary goal of the college still maintains that tradition, which can be seen in the accreditation it maintains. It is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) but is not regionally accredited. The institution changed its name from Ogden Business College to Stevens–Henager College in 1959. It opened its newest campus in Boise in 2004. One feature about Stevens–Henager College that is uncommon is how students pay for programs. Tuition costs appear to be quite high – $42,430 for an associate’s degree or $74,790 for a bachelor’s degree – but it is all inclusive. The price represents the full cost of the school’s programs, including tuition, books and even a computer. The purpose is to avoid any of the unpleasant financial surprises that so many students find when buying books or paying fees that are not included in tuition.
Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Arts (AAS)
Stevens–Henager College’s Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Arts if for students seeking a shortened program that will prepare them well for an entry level position as a desktop publisher, graphic designer or web designer. The program offers much practical teaching and learning. It strives to assign students tasks that they are likely to be assigned as employed graphic designers and students leave the program with a healthy portfolio to use in seeking employment in graphic design. The program also teaches the foundational relationship between visual design and the goals of business in marketing, advertising, web design, multimedia and other graphic design activities that have become part of standard business operation in today’s business environment. Instructors are experienced both in graphics design and in business so that Stevens–Henager College’s students gain expert training and knowledge. The program is delivered fully online. Stevens–Henager College expects students to finish the program in 20 months but it is possible to finish in only 15 months.
Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Arts
Stevens–Henager College’s bachelor degree students gain all of the technical training that is part of the associate’s degree program but also learn at a richer, fuller level. Rather than focusing primarily on appearance, students in this program also learn underlying theory and how to define and present the message that any specific project is supposed to convey. Students learn how to enhance richness and reach using manipulation of design tools including images, type, colors and clips. Students work in both print and electronic media and explore design components such as illustration, type, photography, animation and other tools available to graphic designers. Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program are well equipped to work as freelance designers or as graphic designers employed by advertising agencies or in industry.
Graphic Arts Information Design Emphasis
Stevens–Henager’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Graphic Arts focuses on preparing students to analyze, plan and create visual solutions for communication purposes. Graduates must be able to communicate effectively with future employers so students gain practice through the Stevens–Henager College three bachelor degrees in graphic design. The Graphic Arts Information Design Emphasis bachelor degree program focuses on developing students’ skills and qualifications for working on project teams and under the requirements of deadlines. This program also teaches students about color, photography, illustration, layout and other tools of graphic design but focuses more on using those tools to convey specific information and then manage that information. Graduates are well qualified for entry level positions but also for several types of mid-level positions in technical and professional graphic design. The program generally can be completed in 36 months but it is possible for students to finish the full program in 30 months.
Web Design and Development (BS)
This program teaches students the basics of graphic design relative to color, photography, illustration, layout and other tools of graphic design but in terms of the electronic environment. This program focuses on web applications, mobile applications, interactive applications and similar applications that arise and evolve as the sophistication of electronic communication continues to expand. Students gain experience in conceptualizing and then producing content within the requirements of various formats and electronic languages and platforms. Students completing this 36-month program can work for others or for themselves.
1444 S. Entertainment Avenue
Boise, ID 83709
(208) 336-7671 or (800) 622-2640
No email address provided
Graphic Design Assoicate
Graphic Design Bachelor
Graphic Arts Bachelor
Graphic Arts/Web Design Bachelor
The schools and programs listed here reveal the great diversity of graphic design training and education available in Idaho. As demand for competent graphic designers continues to grow along with the kinds of applications available, students have broad choices among Graphic Design Degrees in Idaho.
For information on earning your graphic design degree online, please see Top 10 Online Graphic Design Degree Programs.