Kent State University


Graphic Design Programs Available at Kent State University

Kent State University appears in our ranking of the Top 8 Affordable Online Graphic Design Master’s Degrees.

Students can study graphic design and similar subjects through the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University. This school offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Photography and two visual communication programs. The first is a BFA in Visual Communication Design. Students take two years of courses and the pass a sophomore review. As long as they maintain a grade point average of 2.75 or higher, they can take advanced graphic design courses. Those classes include Introduction to Visual Communication Design Studio, Graphic Design I and II, Exhibition Design, Advanced Responsive Web Design and Introduction to Typeface Design. The program includes a portfolio requirement and asks that students present their work at least once too.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Visual Communication Design is a similar program that includes an internship. During their internships, students must spend 300 hours working in the field. Kent State University also requires that they pick a minor and recommend fields such as advertising, digital sciences, video journalism or communication studies. Some of the major courses include Design: Principles, Processes and Practice, Motion Design, Graphic Design Study, and Design and Illustration Techniques.

Graduate students can earn a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Communication Design too. In the MA program, students will work on their portfolios with guidance from their advisors and learn how they can use that work as they apply for jobs. The MA program includes 32 credits and three semesters of work, while the MFA program is more detailed and includes five semesters and 60 credits. In the MFA program, students also learn how to lead others in design firms. They take courses on working with teams, using graphic design tools and software and research in visual communication design.

About Kent State University

Kent State University is a public university in Ohio also known as Kent State and KSU. Established in 1910, the KSU system consists of the main campus in Kent and seven satellite campuses located in other parts of northeastern Ohio. Known as the Kent State Normal School when it opened, it served as the sister school of the college that would later become Bowling Green State University. The main campus would use the name Kent State Normal College and then Kent State College before becoming KSU. To separate the main campus from the other schools in the system, it uses the name Kent Campus. Regional campuses are in Trumball, Salem, East Liverpool, Ashtabula, and other cities. The introduction of those campuses helped enrollment at Kent State climb to more than 33,000 students, including more than 28,000 on the main campus.

Kent State University Accreditation Details

Kent State launched a review committee that is responsible for making sure that it meets and maintains all accreditation standards. That committee helped the university get regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and retain that accreditation over the years. HLC accreditation is why KSU students of all types can use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) when applying for aid and why they can transfer credits to and from the program. The graphic design programs also have accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Kent State University Application Requirements

The middle range of students accepted by KSU have a grade point average of 3.1 or higher and a minimum ACT/SAT score of 21/1040. The university looks at the history of the student’s grades, his or her test scores and how well the applicant prepared for college. A good transcript will show that the student took two years of foreign language classes and at least three years of social studies, science and math classes as well as four years of English courses. The university gives more weight to students who took four years of math classes, including Algebra I and II and Geometry. Students will submit their high school transcripts and a test score as well as apply via the Kent State application and pay a $50 application fee. The final deadline for undergraduate applications is April first.

Students applying to a graduate graphic design program have until March first to submit applications for the fall and October first for the spring semester. They must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a bachelor’s degree to enroll, though KSU will accept applications from those still in college. Kent State also requires two letters of recommendation and official transcripts. Students must meet the requirements of the program too, which includes a goal statement that lists all the goals the applicant has and an autobiography of 250 words. This autobiography should also explain how the student thinks and feels about art. They will also need to create a file that includes a link to their online portfolios. KSU uses those portfolios to find the students with the strongest skills and talents who will do the best in the program.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Kent State undergrads pay $506.11 per credit hour as Ohio residents and $876.11 per credit hour as nonresidents. This comes out to $11,131 per year for residents and $20,007 each year for nonresidents. Students can also choose one of the room and board packages offered by the university to live on the Kent campus for an extra $11,706 per year. Kent State graduate students pay $11,766 each year as an Ohio resident and $21,952 annually as a nonresident. The regional centers owned by the university charge slightly lower tuition rates but generally do not offer on-campus housing.

Work-study is available for any student who demonstrates need on the FAFSA, but graduate students can qualify for assistantships too. Kent State pays assistants twice a month and provides them with money that they can use to pay their living expenses. Students also receive help towards paying their tuition and health insurance. More than $400 million in scholarships give students even more money for school. These scholarships are available for new undergrads from Ohio and transfer students and nonresidents. The Pell Grant and Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) give students up to $8,195 each year too. Kent State University offers financial aid packages for undergraduate and graduate students in all of its graphic design programs.

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