Graphic Communications Majors

Bachelor's degree programs in graphic communications often include courses like color theory, 3-D design, layout design and desktop publishing. These programs help prepare you for a career in Web design or graphic design, and online learning options are available. Schools offering Communication Design & Interactive Media degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Learn in a Graphic Communications Program?

As you complete a bachelor's degree in graphic communications or design, you will take general education courses in addition to the major and core courses. In the first couple years of the program, you will take introductory art and design courses. Some topics could include:

  • Painting
  • Color theory
  • 2-D design
  • 3-D design
  • Theory of art and design
  • Visual communications history
  • How society perceives media

In the last two years of your program, you will start putting together your portfolio. You might also select a specialization. The practical aspect of the program often increases, and you might gain experience using graphics in communication, on posters, on websites, in ads and on clothing. Some topics you might study include:

  • Typography
  • Creating computer and digital audio designs
  • Print production techniques
  • Print and digital layouts
  • Desktop publishing

Common Courses Color theory, typography, print production techniques, 3-D design
Admissions Requirements High school diploma or equivalent; previous art courses are helpful
Online Availability Some programs are fully online
Possible Careers Web designer, graphic designer, desktop publisher
Median Salary (2018)$50,370 (Graphic Designers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)4% growth (Graphic Designers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Are There Any Prerequisites for a Graphic Communications Major?

To be eligible for a graphic communications bachelor's degree program, you typically need only a high school diploma or the GED equivalent. However, an eye for art and the ability to create attractive designs are also important. Throughout the program, you will have the opportunity to put together a portfolio that demonstrates your design ability, which you can show to prospective employers. To get a head start, if you're still in high school, consider taking some art courses.

Are There Online Degree Options?

Some graphic communications and related programs are available entirely online. For these, you will log onto the school's web application (like the Blackboard course management system) and complete your courses by watching video lectures and turning in assignments and design projects electronically. Your professors will grade and return your work. The course components are typically available to you around the clock, so whenever you have time around your work and family schedule, you can complete the requirements.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

You can use a graphic communications degree for web design or graphic design. Graphic designers use pictures, illustration and text to communicate an idea. Web designers are responsible for creating websites that embody the business, company or individual they represent by presenting factual information and displaying it in an interesting way, with graphics, audio clips, pictures and videos. You could also enter desktop publishing, putting together promotional materials or laying out magazines for print and digital publication.

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

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • 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
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Northern Iowa

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Cedar Falls
  • Eastern Kentucky University

    Campus Locations:

    • Kentucky: Richmond
  • Southwestern College

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Chula Vista
  • University of North Dakota

    Campus Locations:

    • North Dakota: Grand Forks
  • University of Wisconsin

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Menomonie