What Are the Top Schools for an Associate's Degree in Computer Graphics & Design?
The field of graphic design has become computer-rich and more diverse than ever. Expertise in computer graphics and design is needed to design and create artistic advertising, striking Web pages, educational programs and CD-Roms, animations, illustrations, theme park displays, interactive and multimedia productions, broadcasts and games. Three of the top U.S. schools for an associate's degree in computer graphics and design are discussed below.
What Should I Look for in a Top Computer Graphics and Design School?
Top schools offering associate's degrees in computer graphics and design can prepare students for specialization in one area of the field, like graphic design or web development. Prospective students should ensure a school provides internship opportunities, as well as the resources with which to create an individual portfolio for future job search. Some schools will provide pathways to an undergraduate degree through credit transfer to a partner college or university. Read below to learn about three options for obtaining this degree.
Three Top Computer Graphics and Design Schools
Valencia Community College in Orlando, Florida
Valencia Community College (VCC) is our top pick for studying computer graphics and design because you can choose from three programs. With an Associate in Science (AS) in Graphic and Interactive Design or an AS in Digital Media Technology, you can choose to begin work immediately or enter the University of Central Florida or another public university as a junior pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer graphics and design.
The AS in Graphic and Interactive Design offers specializations in graphic design and interactive design. All students in this major take classes in graphic design fundamentals, drawing, typography, electronic imaging, web page design and interactive design. An internship is also required, as well as a portfolio review.
If you specialize in graphic design, you'll take a couple advanced graphic design courses, as well as classes in layout design and publication design. The interactive design specialization includes classes in computer animation, digital video and advanced web page design.
If you choose the AS in Digital Media Technology with a focus on video and motion graphics, you'll take required classes in web design, digital storytelling, digital imaging, digital sound, digital media, motion graphics and interactive design. As you progress through the curriculum, you'll assemble a portfolio, and you'll complete an internship near the end of the program.
- Associate in Science in Graphic and Interactive Design
- Associate in Science in Digital Media Technology
MiraCosta College in Oceanside, California
At MiraCosta College, you have two computer graphics and design degree options. The school's Department of Media Arts and Technologies offers an Associate in Arts (AA) in Graphic Design and an AA in Web Development and Design. Both programs require general education courses as well as 30 credits of core coursework; required courses common to both programs include graphic design, web design, media design production, Adobe Photoshop, and media arts business. A design studio and portfolio development course are also required.
In the graphic design program, you'll take additional classes like Flash animation, Adobe Illustration - digital imaging, Adobe InDesign - publishing, layout design and print publishing. If you decide to major in web development and design, you can expect to take classes in web design tools, Flash animation and ActionScript, designing mobile sites and applications, web architecture and e-commerce.
- Associate in Arts in Graphic Design
- Associate in Arts in Web Development and Design
Florida Gateway College in Lake City, Florida
At Florida Gateway College, you can earn an Associate in Science (AS) in Graphic Design Technology that can prepare you for employment in digital illustration, web publishing, advertising and other graphic design fields. This 64-credit program teaches you how to use industry software and includes courses in graphic design basics, desktop publishing with QuarkXPress, computer illustration with Adobe Illustrator, electronic imaging and advanced web design. Internships are available in the graphic design field.
- Associate in Science in Graphic Design Technology
Ten Computer Graphics and Design Schools
|College/University||Institution Type||Location||Estimated Undergrad In-State Tuition*|
|Broward College||4-year, Public||Fort Lauderdale, FL||$3,000|
|College of San Mateo||2-year, Public||San Mateo, CA||$1,000|
|Eastern Florida State College||4-year, Public||Cocoa, FL||$2,500|
|Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City||4-year, Public||Oklahoma City, OK||$4,500|
|Phoenix College||2-year, Public||Phoenix, AZ||$2,000|
|Quinsigamond Community College||2-year, Public||Worcester, MA||$5,500|
|Rowan College at Gloucester County||2-year, Public||Sewell, NJ||$5,000|
|Saint Paul College||2-year, Public||Saint Paul, MN||$5,500|
|Shawnee Community College||2-year, Public||Ullin, IL||$6,000|
|Stark State College||2-year, Public||North Canton, OH||$4,000|
*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education