Graphic Design: Online Master's Degree

Learn about online master's degree programs in graphic design, including how to apply and what you can learn. Continue reading for additional information on job growth and salary potential. Schools offering Graphic Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Graphic Design?

Graphic designers express messages and ideas by using illustrations, animation, typography and other art forms. As a graphic designer, it could be your job to design corporate logos, determine the layout of print publications, create company brochures or manage the aesthetics of a website. A graphic designer often must work with clients to determine their communication needs, including their message and target audience. You might collaborate with other artists, Web developers, creative directors or copywriters.

Career Skills Creativity, clear communication, attention to detail, critical thinking, analytical ability
Learning Environment Traditional classroom and online degree options are available for enrollment
Common Courses Editorial design, design systems, illustration, business and art, computer graphics
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree with an GPA minimum met and a portfolio with previous graphic design work
Possible Median Salary (2014) $45,900

What Online Graduate Degree Programs Can I Find?

Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs are available in graphic design. While online degree programs in graphic design are very rarely offered, you could enroll in a low-residency MFA program. Low-residency MFA programs allow you to complete most of the coursework online, but require you to attend on-campus learning sessions a couple times each school year. These brief residencies usually last 1-2 weeks and give you the chance to receive support from faculty advisors and peers.

What Skills Will I Develop?

Master's degree classes in graphic design commonly combine training in art, graphic design software and digital communications. Some programs end in a final project that you must present in a public arena. You could take classes like:

  • Graphic design experimentation
  • Illustration for advertising
  • Editorial design
  • Computer graphics
  • Computer-aided design
  • Business and art
  • Design systems
  • Sequencing for design

How Do I Apply?

To apply to a master's degree program in graphic design, schools typically require you to hold a bachelor's degree and meet a minimum GPA requirement. The most important application component for most admissions committees is your portfolio of visual artwork, which may be submitted digitally or by mail. You can expect to submit 12-20 different samplings of your graphic design work, as well as brief descriptions explaining your artistic goals for the portfolio pieces.

What Is the Job Market Like?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median annual wage of $45,900 for graphic designers as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS projected a one percent job growth rate for this profession between 2014 and 2024, which was a below-average rate compared to other employment sectors. The BLS expected increased competition for graphic design openings and reported that opportunities will be better for applicants who can work across different medias.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Vermont College of Fine Arts

    Campus Locations:

    • Vermont: Montpelier
  • University of Illinois at Chicago

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Chicago
  • University of Denver

    Campus Locations:

    • Colorado: Denver
  • The University of Texas at El Paso

    Campus Locations:

    • Texas: El Paso
  • Suffolk University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Boston
  • Rochester Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Rochester
  • School of Visual Arts

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: New York