What Are Some Common Degree Programs for Becoming a Graphic Artist?

The most common degree programs to become a graphic artist are an Associate or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. There are many degree programs out there, but it's important to find one at a school with qualified design faculty, resources and a comprehensive curriculum that coincide with your career objectives. More information about common degree programs to prepare for a career as a graphic artist can be found in this article. Schools offering Graphic Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Degree Programs for Becoming a Graphic Artist

Graphic artists have typically earned a degree in graphic design, where you learn to produce effective visual communication depending on the audience and context of the intended message. Graphic design students must prove their ability to apply physical, social, cognitive and cultural factors into visual communication by utilizing specially designed software.

According to the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, if you're interested in becoming a graphic artist, you should enroll in a 2- or 4-year professional fine arts program. NASAD said that effective 2-year programs prepare students for supporting jobs in graphic design and entrance into 4-year programs, and effective 4-year graphic design programs prepare students for careers as graphic designers (nasad.arts-accredit.org).

Important Information About Graphic Design

Common Courses Art history, design history, 2-D design, 3-D design, drawing
Online Availability Programs fully and partially available online
Continuing Education Bachelor's degree for associate's degree holders; classes in new design software for all
Possible Careers Graphic designer, art director, multimedia artist and animator, web developer
Median Salary (May 2018) $50,370 (for graphic designers); $72,520 (for multimedia artists and animators); $69,430 (for web developers)*
Job Growth (2016-2026) 4% (for graphic designers); 8% (for multimedia artists and animators); 15% (for web developers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Bachelor of Fine Arts

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree programs in graphic design are designed for students who have a particular desired career path in mind. Some specific examples of specializations that you could work toward in a BFA program are as follows:

  • Graphic design
  • Advertising design
  • Communication design

Associate of Fine Arts

Community colleges and technical schools offer associate's degree programs in fine arts, which concentrate on specific areas of design. Earning an associate's degree from an accredited program can prepare you to perform technical support tasks, such as printing or web preparation, in the graphic design field. You can also earn credits to transfer to a 4-year BFA program. The associate's degree programs offered in the graphic arts area include the following:

  • Graphic design
  • Commercial art
  • Visual communications

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

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    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Independence University

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  • Full Sail University

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  • Universal Technical Institute

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    Popular programs at Universal Technical Institute:

    • Certificates

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    • California: Long Beach, Sacramento
    • Texas: Long Beach, Sacramento, Houston
  • Penn Foster High School

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  • University of Florida

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Gainesville
  • Boston University

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    • Massachusetts: Boston
  • Iowa State University

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Ames
  • University of Pennsylvania

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    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Temple University

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    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia