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Computer Graphics Schools and Courses

Computer graphics training can prepare you for careers in fields including advertising, animation and website design. Learn about education programs, including online options, and see what you should look for when choosing a school.

What You Need to Know

Computer graphics training programs range from the certificate to the master's degree level. At each level, you'll receive hands-on experience with industry-standard software. You can find schools that offer a hybrid curriculum where you complete a portion of your studies online.

Degrees Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in computer graphics and game technology, along with similar fields
Certificates Computer graphics undergraduate certificates
Courses Computer illustration, multimedia production, digital photography, creative design, graphics animation, electronic imaging

What Computer Graphics Programs Are Available?

Programs at the certificate level last for a one year or less and focus narrowly on the skills needed to seek entry-level computer graphics jobs. You can choose a specialization as early as the associate's degree level. Options may include website design, print design, animation, multimedia art or graphic design. You may also complete an internship in areas such as commercial and advertising art, as well as complete a portfolio for use in your job search.

Concentrations at the bachelor's degree level may include production, technical animation and interactive multimedia. You might need previous computer graphics experience for admission. An internship and at least one portfolio development course are commonly required. At the master's degree level, you can tailor your degree to suit your interests by choosing a specialization in areas such as creative design, simulation technology and animation. You would typically need to complete a practicum and write a thesis to graduate.

What Courses Are Offered?

In a certificate program, you may study basic commercial design and visual communication techniques. At the associate's level, your courses might include 2D and 3D design and typography. These courses might also be explored:

  • Color theory
  • Graphic design
  • Computer graphics intro
  • Web page design
  • Art appreciation

Your bachelor's-level courses can include computer-aided art and perception. You may be covering these areas of interest:

  • Creative design
  • Digital video and audio
  • Programming
  • Vector imaging
  • Technical animation
  • Geometric modeling

Course topics at the graduate level include computer science and advanced animation. With each ascending level, you are given further ability to concentrate on your own work and areas of interest.

What Should I Look for in a School?

Look for schools with programs that give you the chance to create a portfolio for use in your job search. You may also want to seek a concentration in your area of interest, such as broadcasting or web design. Finally, take a look at the types of programs offered by the school. For example, some might offer a certificate but not a degree program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's degree in computer design or graphic design is usually required to be competitive in the job field. Those that include professional internships can help you train for the workforce. The following schools offer computer graphics courses/programs:

  • Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ)
  • University of Maryland University College (Adelphi)
  • Carroll Community College (Westminster, MD)
  • Indiana University (Indianapolis)
  • Five Towns College (Dix Hills, NY)