What Is the Curriculum of an Online Visual Communication Degree?

The curriculum for an online visual communication degree is fairly broad, covering both the visual, artistic side of the discipline and the more business-oriented, communications side. Generally, this includes courses in typography, illustration, web design, multimedia, digital graphics and corporate identity development. Schools offering Communication Design & Interactive Media degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Visual Communication Degree Curriculum

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs in visual communication should provide students with basic visual design skills before teaching them how to use those skills to develop digital projects. The main courses covered relate to typography, illustration, web design, multimedia, digital graphics and corporate identity development. These programs can prepare students for careers as digital illustrators, interactive media designers, web designers and electronic production artists.

While the curriculum for online and in-person visual communication degree programs are similar, the online courses usually put a stronger emphasis on the digital component. This includes focusing on website design, multimedia approaches to enhance those websites and proficiency in computer graphics.

Important Information About a Degree in Visual Communication

Degree Levels Certificate, associate, bachelor's
Prerequisites Depending on admission level and status, prospective students may need a portfolio and letters of recommendation
Degree Fields Most visual communication programs are provided under art or design programs
Common Courses Illustration, multimedia, digital graphics, typography
Median Salary (2018)$50,370 (graphic designers)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026)4% (graphic designers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


The typography course will generally cover type design, form line, paragraph formats and page spreads. Overall, it teaches you how the page layout impacts how a document is perceived.


An illustration course covers the different media and concepts used in contemporary illustration. Students learn how different types of illustration convey different messages to the viewer.

Web Design

Web designer is a common job title for individuals with a visual communication background. A web design course generally focuses on improving navigation and site performance, maximizing browser effectiveness, integrating databases and digital media and developing web applications specific for the type of website.


Multimedia courses integrate various visual methods, usually for a website. This includes adding animated web graphics, creating interactive software and learning digital production techniques.

Digital Graphics

A course in digital graphics is essential for this technology-oriented field. Students learn to use graphics programs to create images that further the communication message of the product.

Corporate Identity Development

Corporate identity development is one of the more business-oriented courses. It teaches students how to effectively establish and promote a corporation's image through visual communication. This covers corporate logos, letterheads, annual reports, websites, marketing materials, signage and advertising techniques.

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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