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Graphic Design


Graphic design programs prepare people to convey ideas and feelings using images and words.

This program includes topics such as:


Internships allow students to develop skills at companies or organizations. Some graphic design programs require students to develop a portfolio or complete an internship.


Students begin to develop their professional portfolio during college. This includes samples of work from team projects and independent projects. Projects completed during their senior year and internship are important to their portfolio.


Most community colleges and independent art schools offer an Associate of Arts (AA) degree program in graphic design. An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete.

Many independent art schools, colleges, and universities offer Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree programs in graphic design. A BFA usually takes about four to five years of full-time study.

Several universities offer Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees in graphic design. A MFA typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree.

A few schools offer a doctoral (PhD) program in graphic design. Doctoral degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

Other Careers Related to this Program of Study

Program Admission

Proprietary schools, colleges, and universities all offer this program. If you want to study at a proprietary school, you can prepare for this program of study by completing your high school diploma or getting a GED. If you want to study at a college or university, you can prepare for this program by taking the following courses: four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

For this program, schools recommend that you know how to use a computer and the Internet. In addition, many programs require you to submit separate application materials in addition to your general college application. Usually you have to complete preliminary art and design courses, write a personal statement, and submit a portfolio of drawings.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses such as:

Most programs require you to submit a portfolio of design projects at the end of each course or academic year. Portfolios are reviewed by faculty to ensure that your skill level is increasing.

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate study in graphic design typically includes:

Things to Know

About one-third of all graphic designers are self-employed. In many cases, graphic designers work in-house for large companies and nonprofit groups. They help design newsletters, web pages, and new product logos.


East Side Area

Central Washington University

Walla Walla University

Wenatchee Valley College

King-Snohomish Area

Bellevue College

Cornish College of the Arts

Everett Community College

Highline College

Lake Washington Institute of Technology

Seattle Central College

Seattle University

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Gonzaga University

Spokane Falls Community College

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

Northwest College of Art & Design

Pierce College Puyallup

Vancouver Area

Clark College

West Side Area

Centralia College

Peninsula College

Skagit Valley College

Whatcom Community College