Visual Communications Graduate Schools

Get info on finding a school with a graduate program in visual communications, and compare on-campus and online programs. Explore the typical curriculum in a master's-level visual communications program. Schools offering Communication Design & Interactive Media degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Conveying ideas and information in compelling ways is a vital resource to many different industries. Learn more about the schools that offer graduate degrees in the area of visual communications and what you can expect in one of these in-depth training programs.

Where Can I Find a Visual Communications Graduate School?

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, there are 26 schools nationwide that offer advanced degrees in design and visual communications (www.nces.ed.gov). The U.S. News and World Report also ranks and offers descriptions of the top ten schools nationally in the areas of multimedia and visual communications (www.usnews.com).

What Are Some of the Schools Offering Visual Communications Graduate Programs?

Here are just a few of the nearly thirty schools that feature master's level programs in visual communications:

  • Arizona State University provides a Master of Visual Communication Design degree program.
  • Kent State University offers both a Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts program in Visual Communication Design.
  • Texas A&M University has a Master of Arts program with a Visual Communication emphasis.

Are Online Programs Available?

There are very few schools that offer online graduate degree programs in visual communications. However, there are some fully online graduate certificate programs available in visual communications, graphics and instructional design. There are also stand-alone courses available in visual thinking, website design, information graphics and foundations of graphics. These courses may be transferable and applied toward completion of an on-campus or hybrid graduate degree program.

What Are My Options for On-Campus Graduate Programs?

Students interested in graduate programs can pursue degrees leading to either a Master of Arts or a Master of Fine Arts. You may want to pursue a M.A. if your undergraduate degree is in a design field and you want to develop studio-based skills in visual communications. These concentration areas include web design, 3-D design, information architecture, information graphics, illustration, animation and print design.

In some M.A. programs you may also have a thesis option. If you choose not to write and present a thesis, your alternative will most likely be to complete a capstone research project and a comprehensive final examination.

The MFA is a terminal degree program, which means it's the highest degree awarded in the arts. Admission requirements usually include a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a number of letters of recommendation and a portfolio. Among the concentrations available include ceramics and painting, visual communication design, visual art emphasizing computer art and visual art emphasizing graphic design.

As a MFA candidate, you are required to complete a thesis in order to graduate. Depending on your concentration, your thesis may consist of a portfolio of your work. Once the thesis is complete, you'll present and defend it to a committee.

Whichever path you take, a graduate program in visual communications will equip you with in-depth training and skills to present concepts effectively through a variety of visual mediums.

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

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  • Regent University

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  • University of Chicago

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  • University at Buffalo

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  • The University of Texas at Austin

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  • The New School

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  • San Francisco Art Institute

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  • University of North Texas

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    • Texas: Denton
  • Philadelphia University

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    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia