Which Schools Offer Graphic Design Degrees in Los Angeles, CA?

Learn about graphic design programs in the Los Angeles area. Get information about degrees available and admission and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Graphic Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Looking for graphic design schools in the Los Angeles area? This article covers tuition costs, program availability, prerequisites and courses for several schools offering these programs in the greater LA area.

What You Need to Know

Several 4-year universities and art schools near Los Angeles have graphic design degree programs. Bachelor's degrees spanning about 4 years are offered in graphic design or graphic design & visual communication, with select programs including internships. If you already have a bachelor's degree and a portfolio, you might pursue a master's degree requiring approximately 2 years of study in design or graphic design. A public exhibition of your works may be required. Keep reading to further explore the featured programs.

Los Angeles Bachelor's Degree Programs in Graphic Design

California State University, Los Angeles

At California State University, Los Angeles, you can complete a National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) accredited degree program with a concentration in graphic design/visual communication. The program can provide a theoretical and practical foundation in graphic design to prepare you for a career or further training. The graphic design/visual communication option includes coursework in computer graphics, design history, concept development, color theory, typography and more. You'll also complete a design portfolio, as well as a culminating paper or research project in your senior year. While enrolled, you'll also have the opportunity to join the AIGA Student Group, which allows you and your fellow classmates to run art programs and events, such as exhibitions or lectures.

  • Program: Bachelor of Arts in Art with an option in graphic design/visual communication
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $6,886 per year for CA residents; $18,766 per year for nonresidents (for 2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent, ACT or SAT test scores (California residents with a GPA of at least 3.0 are exempt), high school coursework, including 4 years of English, 3 years of math, 2 years of history and social science, 2 years of lab science, 2 years of foreign language and 1 year of art
  • Requirements: Completion of 24-unit lower-division art core
  • School Type: 4-year, public; around 28,036 students (24,223 undergraduate)

Otis College of Art and Design

You'll get a chance to develop and hone your skills in a series of studio courses at the Otis College of Art and Design. Required studios cover visual communication, drawing and painting, but you'll also have the opportunity to choose from multiple elective studios. You'll participate in practicums during the final 3 years of this NASAD-accredited program, which can give you the opportunity to receive 1-on-1 critiques from faculty. A senior project is also required. If your computing skills need a boost, you can visit the school's Learning Lab for Technology, which offers workshops, in-class training and 1-on-1 tutorials.

  • Program: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $46,860 (for 2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent, SAT or ACT test scores
  • Requirements: Art portfolio, essay
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; around 1,144 students (about 1,086 undergraduate)

Art Center College of Design

At the Art Center College of Design, you'll begin with foundational coursework in design and craftsmanship. You'll then complete broad training in communication design or focus on a specific area of graphic design. In addition to developing your skills using multiple types of technology and media, you can engage in unique studios that let you collaborate with students from other majors. Courses in pop culture, design history and research are also part of this NASAD-accredited program.

  • Program: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $43,416 per year (for 2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent, SAT or ACT test scores, English language proficiency
  • Requirements: Portfolio of work
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; around 2,249 students (about 2,008 undergraduate)

California State University, Fullerton

The NASAD-accredited degree program at Cal State University, Fullerton, begins with a set of graphic design courses - covering subjects like typography and drawing - to prepare you for the graphic design concentration. Courses required in the concentration include photography, computer assisted graphics, illustration, interactive art, studio art and art history. Additionally, you'll be expected to complete an internship.

  • Program: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art with a concentration in graphic design
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $6,749 per year for California residents, $18,629 for out-of-state students (for 2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent, SAT or ACT test scores,
  • Requirements: 4 lower-division studio courses in art
  • School Type: 4-year, public; around 40,280 students (about 34,860 undergraduate)

Los Angeles Master's Degree Programs in Graphic Design

Otis College of Art and Design

The limited-residency, NASAD-accredited graduate program at Otis includes studio projects, readings, research and a final project. You'll get the chance to work with mentors and take part in workshops led by visiting artists. Much of your coursework will be determined by your selection from one of three available tracks, including advancing the discipline through theory and innovation; typography and type design; and social responsibility of the designer in society. In addition to completing coursework, weekly lectures and studio sessions, you'll assist with organizing two symposia.

  • Program: Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
  • Field of Study Options: Social responsibility of the designer in society; typography and type design; advancing the discipline through theory and innovation
  • Program Length: 2 years and 2 months, part-time, including summers
  • Tuition and Fees: $46,860 per year (for 2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Requirements: Resume, autobiographical statement, portfolio including 15-20 images, 3 recommendation letters (optional)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; around 1,144 students (about 1,086 undergraduate)

California State University, Fullerton

The 30-unit Master of Arts (M.A.) degree program in design at Fullerton includes coursework in graphic design, illustration, photography and exhibition design, while the 60-unit Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree program in design encompasses coursework in graphic design, exhibition design and illustration. Program requirements for both degree programs include seminars, concentration coursework and completion of a final studio art project. You must also exhibit your project at one of the galleries within the visual arts department.

  • Program: Master of Arts in Art with a concentration in design, Master of Fine Arts in Art, with a concentration in design
  • Program Length: 30 units for Master of Arts, 60 units for Master of Fine Arts
  • Tuition and Fees: $8,320 per year for in-state students, $17,824 for out-of-state students (for 2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in graphic design or 24 upper-division units in art with at least 12 units (18 for Master of Fine Arts students) in graphic design (completed with a 'B' average); minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher in the last 60 undergrad units; statement of purpose
  • Requirements: Comprehensive portfolio review by committee, creation of approved study plan
  • School Type: 4-year, public; around 40,280 students (about 34,860 undergraduate)

Several schools offer graphic design programs in the Los Angeles area, including four bachelor's degree programs that take an estimated four years to complete, and two master's degree programs that take around two years to finish.

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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