Best Graphic Design Degree: Students Before Profits 2020

An online bachelor’s degree in graphic design offers students the ability to learn the skills and techniques needed to become an effective graphics artist or graphic designer. Through this type of degree, students will become better equipped to become visual storytellers. By completing this degree program, students can move on to work as careers in marketing, advertising, or creative endeavors. Many find roles as art directors, multimedia designers, 2D animators, and much more.

Best Graphic Design Degree Programs Methodology

For students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, we have compiled a list of the top programs available. These programs have been selected for this ranking based upon a scoring system that takes into account the cost of tuition and the length of the program. All of these programs have been accredited by nationally recognized accreditation boards and have had their nonprofit status verified. The programs are ordered from highest to lowest score. Programs that are offered online are denoted as such.

Note that tuition rates listed below are based on cost per credit, and individual programs may have additional fees.

Ranking the Top Bachelors in Graphic Design Degrees

#1. Lesley University

Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Students at Lesley University can enroll in the school’s online graphic design degree. This program of study requires a total of 120 credits to complete. The New England Commission on Higher Education has provided accreditation for this program of study. Those who have gone on to complete this program have found positions working for companies like New Balance, Hasbro, Rue La La, and much more. Students in this program will work through a curriculum where they learn the fundamentals of graphic design by taking classes such as the Language of Design, Typography, Visual Communication, and much more.

Tuition: $28,500

Score: 100

#2. California Baptist University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Digital Media

Riverside, California

California Baptist University currently offers there graphic design degree online to its students. Through this Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Digital Media curriculum, students will learn about the fundamental tenets of graphic design while learning how to apply those understandings to the digital space. Some of what can you do with a graphic design degree of this kind includes roles as art directors, graphic designers, desktop publishers, and much more. Students in this program will work with programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and more to be prepared for a role within this industry. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study.

Tuition: $29,000

Score: 99.75

#3. Pittsburg State University

Online Bachelor of Science and Technology in Graphic Communications

Pittsburg, Kansas

This Online Bachelor of Science and Technology in Graphics & Imaging Technologies – Graphic Design emphasis is a great option for students who want to break into the graphic design industry. Courses in this online graphic design degree include Web Graphics Software, Photography, Web and Motion Graphics, Printing Technologies, and much more. As students work their way through this program, they will become experts in the various competencies needed to be an effective graphic designer. Pittsburg State University has received accreditation for this program of study from the Higher Learning Commission.

Tuition:$36,240

Score: 99.5

#4. Louisiana State University

Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Louisiana State University offers this graphic design online degree to its students. Through this program of study, students will study a variety of different topics to gain all the skills and insight to work in the field of graphic design. They will become familiar with tools of the trade including the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of software. Louisiana State University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Some of the courses in this program of study include Drawing and Composition, Digital Art, and Interactive Multimedia Design.

Tuition: $36,360

Score: 99.25

#5. Champlain College

Online Bachelor of Visual Communication Design

Burlington, Vermont

Students can choose to enroll in Champlain College’s graphic design online degree program. This Online Bachelor of Visual Communication Design degree teaches students how to specialize in their understanding of graphic design techniques towards different areas of visual communication. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. Students will be able to focus on topics including identity design, book and publication design, motion graphics design, website design, and much more. Champlain College has received accreditation for this program from the New England Commission on Higher Education.

Tuition: $38,160

Score: 99

#6. Southern New Hampshire University

Online Bachelor of Arts Graphic Design

Manchester, New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University is currently offering students an online graphic design degree. This Online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design degree was designed to help students further their understanding of core graphic design competencies. Through this graphic design degree online program, students will learn how to use their graphic design skills to design, develop, and adapt professional work. They will also become experts in the latest software tools employed in the industry, including Adobe Creative Cloud. This program has been accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education. A total of 120 credits are needed to earn this degree.

Tuition:$38,400

Score: 98.75

#7. California University of Pennsylvania

Online Bachelor of Science in Graphics Design

California, Pennsylvania

Offered entirely online, this Online Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design degree provides students with the fundamentals needed for a career as a graphic designer. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to earn this degree. The California University of Pennsylvania has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. A total of 120 credits are needed to earn this degree. Courses in this program include Typography, Art History, Design 2-D, and much more. Those who complete this online graphic design degree will also have become familiar with the latest software standards.

Tuition: $38,640

Score: 98.5

#8. Indiana University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

Bloomington, Indiana

Made available through Indiana University, this Online Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies is offered entirely online. This online graphic design degree program provides students with the opportunity to work through a curriculum that is designed to help students understand methods of graphic design and how it can be employed for effective communication. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this degree program. Indiana University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Communication.

Tuition: $39,600

Score: 98.25

#9. University of Houston

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Houston, Texas

Students at the University of Houston can enroll in the school’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree. This program of study is offered at the University of Houston campus. Students pursuing this graphic design degree online program will work through a curriculum that is designed to help them become more familiar with the core concepts of graphic design. The University of Houston has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges for this degree. A total of 120 credits are needed to complete this program. After completing this program, students will be familiar with graphic design software including the Adobe Creative Suite.

Tuition: $43,800

Score: 98

#10. Columbia College

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design

Chicago, Illinois

This Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design degree is made available to students at Columbia College. This program of study is offered at the Columbia, Missouri campus of Columbia College. Students in this program of study will not only learn the skills of graphic design but also the history and criticism of graphic design. Students in this degree program will be prepared with the skills needed for a career in graphic design after finishing this degree program. This graphic design degree program requires a total of 120 credits to complete. Columbia College has received accreditation for this degree program from the Higher Learning Commission.

Tuition: $45,000

Score: 97.5

#11. University of California Los Angeles

Online Bachelor of Arts in Design Media Arts

Los Angeles, California

Students at the Univesity of California Los Angeles can enroll in the school’s Online Bachelor of Arts in Design Media Arts degree. This program of study encompasses a wide swath of different digital design disciplines including graphic design. By working through this graphic design online degree, students will learn their way around the Adobe Creative Suite as well as other related software needed for effective graphic design. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this graphic design degree online. This program has received accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Tuition: $45,786

Score: 97.25

#12. Liberty University

Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Lynchburg, Virginia

Liberty University offers its students the opportunity to enroll in an Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree. This online graphic design degree was created to help students to learn the fundamentals of graphic design. This program of study requires a total of 120 credits to complete. Classes in this program include Digital Imaging, Graphic Design, and History of Art. This program of study has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Those who have completed this degree have gone on to have successful careers as graphic designers.

Liberty University

Tuition: $46,800

Score: 97

#13. Southeastern University

Online Bachelor of Science in Digital Media & Design

Lakeland, Florida

This Online Bachelor of Science in Digital Media & Design degree is offered to students by Southeastern University. Courses covered in this program of study include photography, digital layout and design, advertising design, digital marketing and analytics, and much more. By working this graphic design online degree, students will develop the litany of skills required to work as a successful graphic designer. A total of 120 credits are needed to complete this program of study. Southeastern University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition: $46,800

Score: 96.75

#14. Rutgers University

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design

Piscataway, New Jersey

Rutgers University offers students a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. This graphic design degree is offered on the Rutgers University campus. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. Rutgers University has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education for this program of study. Students will be tasked with learning the fundamentals of graphic design. They will become familiar with the important concepts of graphic design, as well as learn how to use the latest graphic design software, including the Adobe Creative Suite.

Tuition: $47,280

Score: 96.5

#15. Midway University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Communications – Graphic Design

Midway, Kentucky

Students at Midway University can enroll in the school’s Online Bachelor of Arts in Marketing Communications – Graphic Design degree. This particular graphic design online degree program is designed to teach graphic design principles as they pertain to marketing and marketing communications. This program of study requires a total of 120 credits to complete. Midway University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Courses in this program include Digital Storytelling, Photoshop, and much more.

Tuition: $47,400

Score: 96.25

#16. California State University

Online Bachelor of Arts – Design Concentration

San Bernardino, California

Offered entirely online, this Online Bachelor of Arts – Design Concentration degree can be earned at California State University. This graphic design online degree is a great option for students who wish to gain the skills and knowledge needed for a career as a graphic designer. Students in this program of study can choose to specialize in the Digital Graphics concentration of this program. This degree program requires a total of 120 credit hours to complete. California State University has received accreditation for this program from the WASC Senior College and University Commission.

Tuition: $47,520

Score: 96

#17. Franklin University

Online Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media Design

Columbus, Ohio

Franklin University offers this Online Bachelor of Science in Interactive Media Design to its students. This online graphic design degree is made for students who want to gain the latest information and insight into the field of graphic design. Franklin University has received accreditation for this program of study from the Higher Learning Commission. Courses in this program include Advanced Graphic Design, Digital Media Design, Interactive Media for Entertainment, and much more. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study.

Tuition: $47,760

Score: 95.75

#18. Herzing University

Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design

Madison, Wisconsin

Students at Herzing University can select this Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design degree. This graphic design degree program is offered to students at the Herzing University campus. Herzing University has received accreditation for this program from the Higher Learning Commission. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. Courses in this program of study include Graphic Design Fundamentals, Web in Motion, Diagrammatic Design, and much more. After completing this program, students will have gained the skills and insight needed to succeed in the field of graphic design.

Tuition: $50,400

Score: 95.5

#19. Bellevue University

Online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design

Bellevue, Nebraska

The Online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design degree is offered entirely online by Bellevue University. A total of 127 credits are needed to complete this graphic design online degree. This program of study will have students focus their efforts on graphic design for print and web design. Students will learn the various fundamentals of graphic design including color theory, layout, typography, and much more. This program of study has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. By completing this degree online, students will have gained experience with the industry-leading software needed for graphic design.

Tuition: $53,975

Score: 95.25

#20. Kentucky Wesleyan College

Online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design

Owensboro, Kentucky

Kentucky Wesleyan College offers students an Online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design degree. Students in this program of study will learn the foundational principles of art and design as they pertain to graphic design. By completing this degree program, students will learn typography, publication, web design, branding design, and much more. Kentucky Wesleyan College has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.  A total of 120 credits are needed to complete this degree program.

Tuition: $54,600

Score: 95

#21. Upper Iowa University

Online Bachelor of Graphic Design

Fayette, Iowa

Students at Upper Iowa University can enroll in the school’s Online Bachelor of Graphic Design degree. What can you do with a graphic design degree of this nature? Options include working in a career as an art director, creative director, graphic designer, and much more. Through this program of study, students will gain a deeper understanding of how to use texts and images to create effective graphics. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. The Higher Learning Commission has provided accreditation for this program.

Tuition: $56,520

Score: 94.75

#22. Texas Tech University

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech University offers students a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree. This bachelor graphic design degree is offered to students on the Texas Tech University campus. A total of 123 credit hours are needed to complete this program. Texas Tech University has received accreditation for this program of study from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Courses in this program of study include 2D Design, 3D Design, Typography, Computer Design Methods, and much more. By completing this program, students will have gained a better understanding of the skills needed to work as a graphic designer.

Tuition: $58,056

Score: 94.5

#23. University of Maryland Global Campus

Online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Communications

Adelphi, Maryland

This Online Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Communication degree is offered to students by the University of Maryland Global Campus. Students in this program of study will work through a curriculum designed to teach them how to produce effective visual communications. They will learn how to make graphic designs that can be implemented into interactive solutions, as well as other traditional implementations. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. The University of Maryland Global Campus has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Tuition: $59,880

Score: 94.25

#24. Maryville University

Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media

St. Louis, Missouri

Students enrolled at Maryville University can enroll in the school’s Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media degree. This online graphic design degree is designed to teach students all the skills they need for a career as a graphic designer. Students will learn how to apply their skills to digital media as well as print media. They will also work to gain important training in Adobe Creative Suite. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this degree program. Maryville University has received accreditation for this degree program from the Higher Learning Commission.

Tuition: $60,000

Score: 94

#25. Arizona State University

Online Bachelor of Art in Art (Digital Photography)

Tempe, Arizona

Arizona State University currently offers an Online Bachelor of Art in Art (Digital Photography) degree. Students in this online graphic design degree program will learn image manipulation and other relevant skills needed for a career in graphic design. A total of 40 classes are needed to complete this 120 credit hour program. Courses in this program include Advanced Digital Photography and more. Arizona State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. With a graphic design degree of this nature, you can work as a multimedia artist, art director, graphic designer, and more.

Tuition: $63,480

Score: 93.75

#26. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Lakewood, Colorado

Offered by Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, this Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree was designed to be completed in around three to four years. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has provided accreditation for this degree program. Those who have completed this degree program have gone on to have careers as creative directors, web designers, digital project managers, and more. Students will develop skills in typography, user interface design, storytelling, and more throughout this program.

Tuition:$63,714

Score: 93.5

#27. University of Florida

Online Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts and Sciences

Gainesville, Florida

The University of Florida offers students an Online Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts and Sciences degree. The University of Florida requires a total of 120 credits to complete this degree program. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has provided accreditation for this graphic design online degree. Those who have completed this program have gone on to have careers as character artists, digital storytellers, interaction designers, and much more. By completing this degree, students will have covered topics including typography, 2D design, 3D design, and much more.

Tuition: $66,240

Score: 93.25

#28. Pennsylvania State University

Online Bachelor of Design in Multimedia Design

University Park, Pennsylvania

This Online Bachelor of Design in Multimedia Design degree is offered by Pennsylvania State University. Offered entirely online, students in this online graphic design degree will take courses such as Digital Arts, Introduction to Visual Studies, Animation Fundamentals, and much more. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has provided accreditation for this degree program. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this degree program. After completing this degree, students will have the skills needed for a graphic design career or other similar careers.

Tuition: $74,040

Score: 93

#29. Temple University

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic & Interactive Design

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic & Interactive Design is offered at Temple University. This degree program is offered to students on campus. By enrolling in this degree program, students will work through a curriculum designed to teach them the most important aspects of graphic design. They will also learn how to use the industry’s leading software, such as the Adobe Creative Suite. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program. Temple University has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Courses in this program include Foundation Drawing, 2D Foundation Principles, and more.

Tuition: $80,400

Score: 92.75

#30. Syracuse University

Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design

Syracuse, New York

Students at Syracuse University can enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design degree. This degree is offered on-campus. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. Syracuse University has received accreditation for this program from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Some of what can you do with a graphic design degree of this type is to go on to have careers as art directors, graphic designers, motion graphics artists, and more. By working through this graphic design online degree students will learn the key elements of visual communication. They will learn about image design, motion graphics, and much more.

Tuition: $83,400

Score: 92.5

#31. Ohio University

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Athens, Ohio

Offered through Ohio University, this Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. To complete this program of study, a total of 120 credit hours are needed. Students in this program of study will learn the fundamentals of graphic design. Topics covered in this program of study include typography, color theory, and much more. Those who have completed this degree have gone on to have careers as art directors, multimedia designers, graphic designers, and much more.

Tuition: $89,624

Score: 92.25

#32. Carnegie Mellon University

Online Bachelor of Design – Communications

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Students at Carnegie Mellon University can enroll in the school’s Online Bachelor of Design – Communications degree. Through this online graphic design degree program, students will learn the core concepts of graphic design as they pertain to effective visual communications. They will learn how to use typography, color, and composition to create messaging and branding as well as identity systems. A total of 120 credits are needed to complete this program of study. Carnegie Mellon University has received accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Tuition: $93,120

Score: 92

#33. Virginia Commonwealth University

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Richmond, Virginia

This Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree is made available to students at Virginia Commonwealth University. Students in this program of study will work through a curriculum that is designed to teach the fundamentals of graphic design. They will work through a variety of different design situations and scenarios to ensure that they have the skills needed for a career as graphic designers. Courses in this program of study include Typeface Design, Web Design, and much more. A total of 122 credit hours are needed to complete this program. of study. Virginia Commonwealth University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition: $111,000

Score: 91.75

#34. University of Georgia

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Athens, Georgia

The University of Georgia is currently offering students a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has provided accreditation for this program of study. Through this program of study, students will learn how to use graphic design to solve a variety of communication problems. They will also train in using the latest in graphic design software. Topics covered in this program include electronic design, typography, color techniques, and more.

Tuition: $115,320

Score: 91.5

#35. Savannah College of Art and Design

Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Savannah, Georgia

Students at Savannah College of Art and design can enroll in the school’s Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. This program of study requires a total of 180 credit hours to complete. Students in this program of study are required to take courses covering topics including Color Theory, Visual Culture, Typography, and much more. Students who complete this program of study will have a high-level understanding of graphic design principles and software. This program of study has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Tuition: $150,300

Score: 91.25

#36. University of Wisconsin

Bachelor of Fine Arts: Graphic Design

Menomonie, Wisconsin

Offered on-campus, this Bachelor of Fine Arts: Graphic Design degree is made available by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Students in this program of study will work through a curriculum designed to teach the fundamentals of graphic design. Students will learn about color theory, typography, design layout, and much more. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study.  Typically, this program of study takes four years to complete. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Tuition: $154,536

Score: 91

#37. Cleveland Institute of Art

Bachelor of Art in Graphic Design

Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Institute of Art offers a Bachelor of Art in Graphic Design degree to its students. Courses in this program include Design for Communication, Contemporary Marketing, and much more. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. The Cleveland Institute of Art has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This graphic design degree online is designed to be completed in four years. With a graphic design degree, you can work as an art director, a graphic designer, a multimedia artist, and much more.

Tuition:$161,920

Score: 90.75

#38. George Mason University

Bachelor of Art in Art and Visual Technology

Fairfax, Virginia

This Bachelor of Art in Art and Visual Technology degree can be found at George Mason University. This graphic design degree program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study. Courses in this program of study include Aesthetics, Three-Dimensional Design and Beyond, History of Graphic Design, and much more. Students in this program will also gain a better understanding of the various software tools used in the trade of graphic design.

Tuition: $162,200

Score: 90.5

#39. Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Students at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design can choose to enroll in this Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design degree. In this program of study, students will learn the skills of graphic design to more effectively communicate ideas visually. They will also work to develop their unique voice as artists. To complete this program, students must earn a total of 120 credit hours. The Minneapolis College of Art and Design has received regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Tuition: $37,404

Score: 90.25

#40. Otis College of Art and Design

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design

Los Angeles, California

This Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design degree is made available by the Otis College of Art and Design. This particular program is solely available on-campus. Students in this degree program will develop a better understanding of the principles and fundamentals of graphic design. Courses in this program of study include Drawing and Building Form, Principles of Design, Connections through Color and Design, and much more. A total of 120 credit hours are needed to complete this program of study.

Tuition: $180,800

Score: 90

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This concludes our ranking of the top graphic design degree programs for 2020.

NPCO Staff
January 2020