Upper Iowa University


Upper Iowa University Graphic Design Degrees

Upper Iowa University appears in our ranking of the Top 13 Best Affordable Graphic Design Degree Programs.

Students interested in graphic design can select a bachelor’s program, a Graphic Design minor, or a couple of certificates when they attend Upper Iowa University. All of the graphic-design programs are available online, too, so students have great flexibility when it comes to how they attend classes.

The Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design prepares students for jobs in film editing, animation, and art direction. While studying, students are expected to purchase subscriptions to Adobe Creative Cloud as part of their “books.”

Classes include Typography, Digital Illustration, Marketing Principles, and developing a senior portfolio. These are in addition to the standard slate of core courses and electives. Other than Marketing Principles, electives include Advertising, Branding, and Social Media Marketing. Students are encouraged to develop computer skills along the way, but the chief focus of the curriculum is critical thinking. Rather than having answers to “plug into” various problems, students must create their own solutions, ascertain the effectiveness of those solutions, and either change or implement them as necessary.

The graphic design minor is a 15-credit block of subject classes as part of a 120-credit curriculum elsewhere. Many Communications majors minor in graphic design because of the emphasis on art direction and different media. Because it is possible to create one’s own curriculum as a teacher, some education majors take the graphic design minor so that they can create eye-catching classroom materials once they find a teaching job.

The certificate that is applicable to graphic design is the undergraduate Certificate in Communication Studies. Quite a few graphic-design students earn the certificate to bolster their qualifications in the same way as many communications majors minor in graphic design.

About Upper Iowa University

In 1855, Alexander-Dickman Hall arose through donations the year before from the Alexander family, which also donated the land. Two years later, classes began at what was called the Fayette Seminary of the Upper Iowa Conference. That didn’t prove to be popular, so a year later, the board of trustees renamed the school Upper Iowa University. It was a co-educational university at the time, which was unusual. The women kept up their studies even as the men went off to fight in the Civil War.

Despite the war, the first class graduated in 1862. Over the years thereafter, dormitories were added, and the school’s departments expanded. The board even built an observatory with a powerful telescope for the study of the heavens. Since that time, the school has continued to expand, and now nearly 7,000 students attend classes either at the campus or online.

The school ranks No. 128 in the Midwest Region, according to U.S. News and World Report. The school’s online programs are ranked No. 85 on the list of “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans.”

Upper Iowa University Accreditation Details

Upper Iowa University has regional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, the programs at the school hold academic accreditation from a variety of organizations, which include the:

  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Iowa Board of Nursing
  • Iowa State Board of Education
  • Military Installation Voluntary Education Review, Fort Riley
  • Military Installation Voluntary Education Review, Fort Leavenworth

Upper Iowa University Application Requirements

Freshmen must submit official transcripts from all high schools attended and all colleges attended as part of college preparatory work. They must also submit scores from the SAT, ACT, or both, and if the student completed the GED instead of having a high-school diploma, then the student must submit the GED scores in its stead. Students for whom English is not the first language must submit proof of English proficiency.

Upper Iowa University considers whether or not a student graduates high school or completes the GED as one of its primary criteria. Others include the student’s GPA in high school, the student’s rank in the graduating class, the student’s test scores, and the student’s extracurricular activities and participation in leadership development.

Military students may be allowed to receive college credit for military training. The Marine Corps has a special agreement with Upper Iowa University that allows Marines and their families to take classes from anywhere in the world.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition costs $30,810 annually. Each student pays a nonrefundable student fee of $875. Rooms cost from $3,399 to $6,694, depending on the building where the student lives and whether or not the student chooses single accommodations. There are three meal plans available for on-campus students: Peacock Basic, Blue, and Premium. They cost $3,677, $4,695, and $4,845, respectively. Commuting students can pay $721 for 40 meals a semester or $1,287 for 80 meals a semester. The university is proud to provide many ethnic food choices, and it is the first to have a Mongolian Grill in its dining hall.

Students wishing to apply for financial aid should acquire a blank copy of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The students complete the FAFSA, which includes income and assets questions for both the students and their parents. The financial aid usually takes three forms: work-study and other grants, subsidized loans, and scholarships. These forms of financial aid are need-based, and in the case of scholarships and grants, do not require repayment.

Students may also choose to apply for private aid from foundations, charities, and other private entities. Any private aid so acquired will count as an asset on the FAFSA, which will likely reduce the amount of need-based aid the student receives. Private sources of financial aid usually have strong academic and other requirements that must be met, or the aid may be taken away. In some cases, students will have to repay any awards already made as unsubsidized loans. Those are loans that accumulate interest throughout a student’s enrollment.

Upper Iowa University provides both traditional and nontraditional students with ample opportunities to pursue their degrees in Graphic Design either online or on-campus for a reasonable price.

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