Master's Degree Programs in Graphic Communication
While not very common, master's degree programs in graphic communications are available and can prepare you for a job in a communications organization, advertising department, and more. These programs combine elements of graphic design technology and business. Curricula usually include courses in theory, technology, and composition.
What Types of Master's Degrees in Graphic Communication Can I Earn?
Though graphic communications programs at the master's degree level are not common, several types of programs are available. A Master of Science or a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Communications will provide you with technical, career-focused training. However, MFA programs have a stronger emphasis on creative coursework. Graphic communications degrees are available in several areas of emphasis, such as management, education or design. Online master's degree programs are rare.
|Program Areas of Emphasis||Management, education, design|
|Common Courses||Composition, history, electronic publishing|
|Median Salary (2018)||$50,370 (for graphic designers)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||4% (for graphic designers)*|
|Admissions Requirements||Bachelor's degree; relevant prior coursework or work experience may be required|
- Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Courses Will I Take?
Your coursework will include theory-based courses, which explore fundamental concepts of graphic communications while developing critical thinking skills. You investigate emerging technology, composition, methodology, history and form. This will require you to complete work in graphic presentation and electronic publishing. This program includes laboratory coursework, independent research and a portfolio presentation.
What Can I Do With This Degree?
Upon completing your degree, you will be qualified for work in a variety of fields. These include Web-based, print and mixed media communications organizations. You may work in commercial printing, graphic design or advertising departments. A master's degree, which is the terminal degree in the field for all those except aspiring teachers, qualifies you for management and supervisory roles. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of graphic designers is expecting little change at a growth rate of 4% from 2016-2026 (www.bls.gov).
What Education Prerequisites Do I Need?
You will need to possess a bachelor's degree prior to applying to a graphic communications master's degree program. While an undergraduate degree in graphic communications is not required, it is looked upon favorably. If you do not have a history of coursework in the field, you may be required to complete foundational courses before beginning your master's-level study. Some programs will require you to have professional experience from a relevant field.