What Is the Curriculum of an Online Associate's Degree in Design?

Online associate's degree programs can prepare graduates for careers in the field of graphic design. The typical curriculum for an associate's degree program in graphic design includes general education courses and design classes such as typography, color theory and animation. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Online Associate's Degree in Graphic Design

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that graphic designers typically need a bachelor's degree to find work in the field, many schools offer associate's degree programs in graphic design. These can prepare graduates to transfer to 4-year programs or to obtain some entry-level graphic design positions.

Some schools offer fully online associate's degree programs in graphic design for students who can't attend class in person. Individuals pursuing these 2-year programs must often complete courses that focus on technical aspects and practical knowledge, rather than on the history and theory of graphic design.

Important Facts About Graphic Design

Mean Salary (May 2018) $54,680
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 4%
Work Environment Studio with drafting tables, computers and design software
Similar Occupations Drafters, web developers, fine artists

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


The curriculum in an online associate's degree program in graphic design typically is made up of two parts: core and concentration courses. Core courses cover broad study areas, like English, mathematics, natural science, and the social sciences. Most schools allow students to choose which courses they will take.

Concentration courses focus specifically on the chosen area of study. Through an associate's degree program in graphic design, students should develop valuable design skills in areas like digital illustration and video and sound editing. Typical subjects covered include color theory, animation, and typography. However, the exact curriculum will vary by institution. Online associate's degree programs in graphic design may include classes such as:

  • Web page design
  • Design with type
  • 3D modeling and animation
  • Electronic publishing
  • Page layout

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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