Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree program in graphic design explores subjects such as design software, typography and illustration. Read on for other coursework, online learning options and employment projections. Schools offering Graphic Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Bachelor's Degree Program in Graphic Design?

Bachelor's degree programs are typically found at a 4-year school in an art or design college. You can enroll in traditional on-campus programs or in distance learning programs. Online courses of study typically use virtual classroom software to teach you about design, exchange work and communicate with professors. If you elect to pursue your degree online, expect to purchase industry-standard design software, which you will need to complete assignments.

Learning Environment Traditional classroom and fully online learning options available
Common Courses Illustration, typography, photography, printing, color theory
Median Salary (2014) $45,900
Career Fields Web design, advertising, publishing, public relations, video production

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Learn?

In a graphic design program, you delve into digital art technology, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. You are provided with a diverse education in typography, photography, print technologies and illustration. Communications courses are typically included. The program may include significant creative components, in addition to general education and computer science training.

Your education can cover various artistic disciplines, such as painting, drawing, sculpting, screen-printing or illustration. In addition to coursework, you may complete a portfolio and internship to gain practical experience working with clients and adhering to deadlines. Classes you could take include the following:

  • Art appreciation
  • Drawing
  • Color theory
  • Typographic design
  • Printing
  • 2-D design
  • 3-D design
  • Animation
  • Design systems
  • Storyboarding
  • Digital interactive methods

What Is the Career Like?

In this position, you might begin a project by consulting with a client and evaluating their communication needs. You could then prepare design proposals, see which the client likes, gather data and feedback, execute your design and revise it. Much of the work of a graphic designer is done on a computer using industry-standard design software.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that graphic designers earned a median annual salary of $45,900 as of May 2014 ( Additionally, graphic designers are expected to experience an employment growth rate of one percent between 2014 and 2024, according to the BLS. You could find work at organizations such as design studios, publishers, advertising and public relations firms, Web design agencies or video production companies.

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:

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