The Top 9 Online Colleges for Bachelor’s in Graphic Design 2021

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Artists not only express themselves in the creative ways; they also develop self-confidence and self-discipline in the process! If you are an artist yourself, a career in graphic design might be calling you. As a field of study, graphic design is versatile and valuable in all industries, combining a conventional approach to visual artistry and up-to-date tools. A blend of creativity, raw talent, and technical competence produce viable outputs that benefit a business or company.

The fundamental role of graphic designers is to create visuals for print and electronic materials. Their work includes designing brochures, leaflets, magazines, and ads using cutting-edge technology and conventional art supplies. Creating logos or establishing visual identity standards for brands and organizations may also be among their responsibilities. It is not uncommon for designers to create color schemes, typefaces, or other visual elements

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data in 2019, more than 200,000 jobs were available for individuals that sought a career in graphic design. Graduates of a graphic design bachelor’s program can become designers in many different settings. A professional in this field works with a developer, an art director, and a writer to determine the conceptual content, lay it out, and create it.

If you are inherently into the arts, you might want to add formal education and training in the bag! Why not earn an Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design?

Why Is Graphic Design Important to Businesses?

Graphic Designing may be just a job to some, but to businesses and organizations, it can mean the difference between thriving and failing in the industry! Here are the reasons why Graphic Design is here to stay:

It communicates your brand in a unique way.

When you create a graphic design, your ideas are expressed in an effective as well as aesthetically pleasing way. This has been an effective strategy for many businesses these days. Helping your business make an impact, graphic design conveys a brand, marketing, or sales message in ways that words do not.

It makes your business stand out.

Choices are available to everyone, and with a broad and saturated market these days, businesses need to compete more aggressively. To distinguish yourself from your competition, you need to know how the graphic design you choose represents your brand. Decision-makers of the household or a business are influenced by good design, both consciously and unconsciously. Humans prefer to associate with aesthetic objects and things that represent something positive. Therefore, a high-quality graphic design increases the likelihood that your brand will gain the attention of key decision-makers.

It builds your brand consistently with images and graphics.

Establishing your brand image is one of the critical factors, especially if you are a startup company. Visually pleasing graphics describe these branding concepts in an aesthetically pleasing manner. An image that aims to persuade people to purchase your product is likely to be more effective than a document that tries to convince them. Since people are naturally visual, an image or graphic usually catches their attention more than wordings. Consistency in graphic design is also essential. The graphical representation of your brand should be the same across all platforms to establish trust and ensure brand recognition. Having consistent graphics gives you that consistency you need.

It contributes to your company’s overall image.

You look good when you have a good design. And it’s an apparent reason why its graphic design is essential. Making a great first impression on others is facilitated through great graphic design. First impressions are developed right after someone looks at a logo or art design. After a first impression is made, it takes a lot more time to reverse that attitude. Your brand or product will receive positive feedback from others if the graphics are visually appealing and professionally designed.

It makes your brand more credible and professional.

The decision-making process is influenced significantly by graphic design. A company’s reputation is enhanced when it invests in quality graphic design. Many brands are aware of this, so they usually save up huge investments and budgets for advertising and marketing, of which graphic design takes part. Almost any business can be established or forgotten by the way it presents itself. People want to know you are professional before they can fully trust you. Presenting yourself in the right way is one such sign. By investing in quality graphic design, you can present yourself in the best possible light.

What is an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design?

An online Graphic Design Programs allow students to develop new graphic design and art skills and improve their existing ones. With all the digital tools and software available these days, online learning styles have become more apparent and efficient. Course requirements typically include design classes, photography, and typography. In addition, you can expect to tackle 2D and 3D design models.

Students of this program will learn artistic skills and receive a well-rounded college education that can help them land a job in the near future. A critical thinker and communicator are essential skills for graphic designers, as they are at the center of many careers. The faculty and students can also connect through the practicum, which will be beneficial for finding a job after graduation. Expanding your connection is made possible even through distance learning, and what’s even better is that you can create relationships with fellow artists all over the world.

For graduates of online graphic design programs, entering the workforce does not require higher education. But graphic designers can also earn a master’s or doctoral degree to pursue management careers or work in colleges. And if you wish to be a professor in this field of study, you can intend to do so through masters and Ph.D. programs.

What can graduates do with an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design?

Check out the following job positions you can apply for. And see which ones you would like to partake in the corporate world:

1. Advertising Art Director

Advertising art directors, also known as creatives, develop innovative ideas for all types of advertising campaigns. You can work in sectors like the internet, press, cinema, and radio. In most cases, you work as part of a creative team with a copywriter. In most cases, the copywriter provides the words to go along with the art director’s visuals. Today, however, the lines between the two roles are blurring, and both will likely influence the campaign’s visuals and written content.

2. Graphic Designer

As a graphic designer, its role is precisely how it is. You’ll be working on different platforms and materials to design, like tangible and intangible products, activities, websites, books, magazines, pamphlets, print ads, video ads, games, and many more. Basically, you’ll assist and support company brands with their image and branding.

You’ll develop creative ideas and concepts that address the client’s objectives in response to the requirements established by the client, creative director, or account manager. This kind of work requires an artistic flair, up-to-date industry knowledge, and a professional attitude toward deadlines, costs, and time.

3. Concept Artist

Creating images of people, creatures, places, and moods is your job as a concept artist. According to the brief, you will sketch out what the characters and setting may look like. In addition to working in animation, comic books, and films, a concept artist can work on any project with a visual narrative. This is an avenue for you to apply your creative skills without limits.

A project will start using tight deadlines, so you will need to produce work quickly. As a result, your concepts or ideas will be used as a reference source throughout the remainder of the project. As a concept artist, you can either work exclusively in that role or work in general positions involving concept art, e.g., character design or pre-production.

4. Animator

In animation, a sequence of images is called a frame, and when they are put together, they make it appear as if it is moving. As an animator, you’ll make these happen. A picture can be drawn digitally or hand-drawn, and you can refer to a model as the actual character or use other references. It is common for animators to work on 2D, 3D models, stop-frame animations, or computer-generated animations.

Animated films, television, the internet, and video games are all enhanced through computer-generated animation. There is still an emphasis on artistic ability in animation, but know-how about technical computer packages is becoming increasingly important. So with a degree in graphic design, you’ll be well-versed in those areas.

5. Illustrator

As a commercial illustrator, you adapt moods and styles of images to inform, persuade, or entertain clients’ intended audiences by commercial briefs. As a designer, you’ll usually specialize in a specific medium, like a digital illustration, a drawing, or a photo.

If you would rather be an illustrator, you can choose to specialize among the following:

  • Merchandising – You will design merch items like shirts, calendars, caps, pens, and many branding items.
  • Publishing – You will design book and title covers.
  • Advertising – You’ll be in charge of collaterals for marketing campaigns such as posters, press and media posts, storyboards, brochures, and so on.
  • Editorial – You can work in the editorial section that creates illustrations for magazines, newspapers, and comics.
  • Multimedia – This is when you’ll be dealing with illustrations that will be used in the major media outlets like TV, films, websites, apps, and so on.  

What are Some Professional Organizations for Graphic Design Students?

Professional organizations offer benefits to graphic designers and students. It is vital to participate in these communities to build connections as early as your day in college. Numerous organizations provide resources for professional development, networking opportunities, and scholarships. Many organizations also offer job boards. To get you started, take a look at some graphic design organizations for pros and see which one appeals to you:

Graphic Artists Guild

GAG members should be graphic design students who have taken 12 credit hours in one semester. Once you qualify, you can enlist in this organization and take advantage of some benefits. For example, besides receiving subscriptions to the GAG publications, members are invited to free webinars and enjoy discounts from car rentals and art supplies purchases.

Society of Illustrators

The Society of Illustrators gives their members a discount to visit the SOC Museum in New York City. Moreover, you can have other discounts on attending some events exclusively for SOC members only; you’ll also enjoy professional development opportunities. In addition, SOC offers members who need assistance in marketing their work a specialized membership tier.

American Institute of Graphic Arts

In the United States, AIGA represents over 18,000 members, including many full-time undergraduates. This institute goes way back to 1914, making it one of the pioneers for art institutes. Benefits of membership include access to a job board, discount design hardware, and assistance with health insurance.

International Council Design

The ICoD is an English association for schools and institutions that promote design or design education. The schools that are members can provide students with exclusive ICoD activities that will provide students with opportunities to network with other graphic designers and peers. Students can also attend free online and in-person seminars. Take advantage of these resources by becoming a member of the International Council Design.

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What can students expect in an online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design class? An excellent way to be sure you’re attending the best online college fit for you is to look at the salient characteristics and features of the online school and program! Our list of The 10 Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree Colleges of 2021 is a testament to the capability of today’s online colleges to meet superior academic standards.

In educating and shaping future Graphic Design professionals, these online schools and programs develop and enhance the competency of students so they become the best in their field and make significant contributions to the industry. A rigorous 100% online or hybrid coursework is offered by the 10 colleges on our list, emphasizing convenience for adult learners. The curricula focuses on the latest trends, principles and practices in the Graphic Design arena, readying students for the career path they have in mind. A top-quality online learning platform is utilized by all 10 online degree programs on this list, such that students are able to easily access their coursework, communicate with their professors, and readily obtain support and resources.

Some that made it to The 10 Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree Colleges of 2021 list offer financial aid opportunities for students and generous transfer credit options. All such programs are accredited by academic agencies and organizations promoting Graphic Design as a valuable degree and career option.

Please check our Methodology page for more information.

Here are the 10 Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree Colleges of 2021:

Full Sail University

1 - Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree Colleges

Full Sail University is based in Winter Park, Florida, and offers degrees related to entertainment, media, arts, and technology. When you enroll in this Bachelor’s degree, you’ll be able to learn this program entirely online. In this degree program, abstract concepts are translated into tangible visuals for the first time, mixing art and business. In addition, with the 29 months’ worth of courses, you’ll enjoy the lower average per semester tuition because the extra nine months will be unpaid.

By the end of the course, students will possess a comprehensive understanding of print publications and interface design. As part of this coursework, they are encouraged to enhance their media integration, advertising, and branding skills. Typesetting for pages, publishing online, and design and art theory are some of the courses students can take in Graphic Design. 

Location:

  • Winter Park, Florida

Accreditation:

  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

Program Features:

  • 29 months duration

Course Options:

  • Psychology of Play
  • Color Theory
  • Concepts in Photography
  • Art History

Admission:

  • Skill assessment test
  • Orientation module
  • Should possess artistic skills

Tuition:

  • $733 / credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Work-study

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • The program allows the student to have a smaller course load per month, enabling them to have a job outside their studies.
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Kentucky Wesleyan College

2 - Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree Colleges

Its facilities are located in Owensboro, Kentucky, and it offers a range of majors, pre-professional programs, and undergraduate programs, including a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design online. Upon completing the program, the student is prepared to enter the graphic design field and other related fields. 

The advanced design courses students enroll in include drawing and foundation design, typography, publications, web design, branding design, and animation. To graduate, students must earn 120 hours of credit. In addition, internships are crucial to strengthening the experience the students have outside of the classroom.

Location:

  • Owensboro, Kentucky

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Program Features:

  • 120 credit hours required for completion

Course Options:

  • Art Survey
  • Beginning Drawing
  • Graphic Design Topics
  • Digital Photographic Techniques

Admission:

  • High school transcripts
  • ACT or SAT scores
  • Residency information and health forms

Tuition:

  • $455 / credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • Scholarships
  • Federal and state grants
  • Federal student loan programs
  • Federal work-study

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • This online program is entirely personalized, affordable, with a rigorous academic setting. You’ll be able to enjoy a one-on-one session with your educators.
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Liberty University

3 - Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree Colleges

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design at Liberty University, you can learn about art history and gain exposure to hands-on training in digital art. You will also study current technology applications and courses in vector illustration, advanced typography, and 20th – 21st-century art. You will be exposed to different courses related to graphic design.

Don’t let your schedule get out of hand. Organize your time well with this 100% online program. Students can enroll in Liberty’s 8-week courses at their convenience, and there are no set log-in times, making it extra convenient for students. The online programs at Liberty University allow you to create a degree schedule and budget that works for you.

Location:

  • Lynchburg, Virginia

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Program Features:

  • 8-week courses; 100% online
  • Transfer in up to 75% of the degree
  • 120 credit hours required for completion
  • Takes 3.5 years to finish

Course Options:

  • History of Arts
  • Introduction to Graphic Design
  • Digital Imaging
  • Graphic Design I

Admission:

  • Official transcripts
  • Technical requirements

Tuition:

  • $390 / credit hour for full-time students; $455 / credit hour for part-time students

Financial Aid:

  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Scholarships

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • There is no need for standardized testing to get admitted, and you can transfer a maximum of 75% of your total Bachelor’s degree.
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Rasmussen College

5 - Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree Colleges

This first-of-its-kind online Bachelor’s degree program in Graphic Design from Rasmussen is a perfect combination for teaching students skills for graphic design and art. You can decide to specialize in either Web and Interactive Design or Motion Graphics. Students are guided by industry experts who help them build their proficiency with the newest tools and push the boundaries of creativity as they develop as professional designers.

You can choose either a final design project or an internship option to complete the curriculum. They both help students learn design theory and other skills in a way that helps them understand the impact design has on business. The school prepares students for careers in various fields, such as education, marketing, and architecture.

Location:

  • Bloomington, Minnesota

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Program Features:

  • 90 credits required for completion
  • 23 courses to complete

Course Options:

  • Design Thinking 
  • Interactive Publishing
  • Collateral Design

Admission:

  • Online application
  • Placement exam
  • Enrollment documents
  • Online orientation

Tuition:

  • $23,525 (total program cost)

Financial Aid:

  • Loans
  • Grants
  • Military benefit
  • Employer benefit

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • The transfer credit review process usually takes one business day, and you save time and money by transferring your credits.
  • You can amp up your skills in the marketplace with this undergraduate online program.
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California Baptist University

6 - Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree Colleges

A Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and Digital Media from California Baptist University has an amazing range of offerings. Graphic design and visual marketing students will benefit from this degree, emphasizing graphic design and marketing integration. Students in the degree program will be offered a wide range of courses to prepare them for successful careers. This program includes 43 credits of general education credits and 48 major credits. 

Design, web, typography, and image are the four main categories of the major-related classes. During this personal, professional, and spiritual transformation journey, students discover their voice and purpose. In addition to learning from accomplished faculty members and mentors, students connect with successful professionals. 

Location:

  • Riverside, California

Accreditation:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission

Program Features:

  • 16 months average completion
  • 48 major units required

Course Options:

  • Basic Drawing 
  • Composition
  • Fundamental Design
  • Fundamental Typography
  • Fundamental Web

Admission:

  • FAFSA
  • Official transcripts

Tuition:

  • $613 / credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • Grants
  • Loans

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • A full range of Design and Media topics are covered as well as hands-on projects and portfolio building.
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Midway University

7 - Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree Colleges

At Midway University in Midway, Kentucky, students can earn degrees both on-campus and online. For example, a Marketing Communications in Graphic Design degree is available online for students seeking a career in the art and design field. This prepares you for not only the design aspects but also the business side of the industry.

This degree program prepares students to design effective marketing materials across a wide variety of platforms through various business, marketing, and communication classes. Among the foundational courses in the program are digital storytelling, animation, Photoshop, social media management, and brand management. Under the full-time study, the program requires 120 credit hours to complete. However, credits transferred from other schools or earned through the school’s Credit for Prior Learning program can be used to reduce that requirement.

Location:

  • Midway, Kentucky

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Program Features:

  • 120 credits required for completion
  • Four years to complete for full-time students

Course Options:

  • Digital and Social Media
  • Media Sales and Analysis
  • Digital Animation
  • Capstone
  • Digital Storytelling

Admission:

  • Online application
  • High school transcripts
  • ACT or SAT scores

Tuition:

  • $910 / credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • Federal Loans
  • Federal and State Grants
  • Scholarships

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • This undergraduate doesn’t only focus on graphic design but also branding, communication, and business.
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Upper Iowa University

8 - Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree Colleges

In Fayette, Iowa, Upper Iowa University offers on-campus and online quality programs that are accredited. They equip students with the technical and creative skills to excel in various fields such as traditional print publications, advertising, and web design.

An Adobe Creative Cloud subscription is a requirement for online students. So be mindful of this technical requirement. Graphic Design students learn to solve creative problems and to create original work in this portfolio-driven program. This program has 120 required credits and includes digital imaging, typography, publication design, advertisement design, web publishing, social media, and digital photography. In addition to teaching students to master software, Upper Iowa University also allows students to build an original portfolio of work, which gives them an edge over other schools.

Location:

  • Fayette, Iowa

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission

Program Features:

  • 120 credits required for completion

Course Options:

  • Publication Design
  • Typography
  • Advertising Design
  • Digital Illustration

Admission:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts
  • College-level examination program
  • Official proof of English proficiency

Tuition:

  • $488 / credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • Scholarships
  • Loans
  • Grants

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • You can start building your portfolio for your future employers as early as your first day in college.
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Hodges University

9 - Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree Colleges

At the Hodges University, students can use these disciplines to gain an understanding of various disciplinary perspectives. Several disciplines are covered in the curriculum’s core courses, while students may opt for a concentration in digital graphics and design depending on their interests and skills. Their institution has highly qualified and experienced faculty teaching digital design and graphics courses at Hodges. 

Using the Blackboard platform, instructors and students can interact and receive instructional support. A learning management system at Hodges University includes instant messaging capabilities, lecture recordings, and live conferencing services. Graphic designers are needed to make visually appealing websites and sell products online as companies continue to expand online. Hodges University’s 120-credit program offers students a wide range of possibilities.

Location:

  • Naples, Florida

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Program Features:

  • 120 credit hours required for completion

Course Options:

  • Advertising Concepts
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design
  • Digital Illustration

Admission:

  • Online application
  • Transcripts
  • Financial aid documents
  • Identification documents
  • Admissions Essay

Tuition:

  • $550 / credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • Federal State Aid
  • Discount Programs
  • Corporate Rates
  • Scholarships

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • This undergraduate program encourages you to think outside of the box while working on developing your skills and start working in Graphic Design as early as day one.
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Independence University

10 - Best Online Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree Colleges

Students at Independence University can pursue an online bachelor’s degree in Graphic Arts while taking advantage of their talents and skills. One of the three-degree programs available to students is a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts, a bachelor’s degree in web design and development, or an associate’s degree in visual arts with a concentration in information design. 

Students will learn how professional graphic designers stay up-to-date with the latest digital tools and software useful in this program. The program ensures that students develop into marketable assets by choosing a specialty to focus all of their energies on honing their skills. 

Location:

  • Millcreek, Utah

Accreditation:

  •  Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges

Program Features:

  • 183 credits required for completion
  • 37 months to complete

Course Options:

  • Color Theory
  • Design Business Practices
  • Digital Imagery
  • History Of Communication Design

Admission:

  • Online application
  • Financial aid requirements
  • Interview

Tuition:

  • $408 / credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • Federal
  • Institutional
  • Private
  • State

What’s Unique About The Program:

  • As you learn about fundamental graphic design skills and tools, you’ll also be exposed to up-to-date design tools commonly used in many businesses these days.