As a continuation of our series of cheap online degrees, we present our findings of the most affordable online graphic design degree programs.
Graphic Design is a great major to consider pursuing at an online school because most of your classes will involve using computers and the internet. Distance education allows you to become more familiar with computers and to heighten your technical skills as you apply your creativity to projects in print, multimedia, web, and other design projects. The trouble with so many schools today, however, is that their tuition costs are increasingly unaffordable. Distance education options are often better, but even then a degree is sometimes out of reach for students.
To help you make the best choice for you, a list has been compiled of the ten most affordable online Graphic Design degree programs offered at accredited institutions. To identify these, we consulted the U.S. Department of Education’s College Navigator database. The process included first researching all of the accredited Graphic Design programs in the country that 1) offer bachelor’s degrees and 2) can be taken entirely online. This foundation was then used as a basis for establishing the schools with the ten lowest tuition rates. But fear not – these schools are of great quality, too. Read on to discover which one will help you kick start your career in Graphic Design. Schools are ordered from least expensive to most expensive.
Note: This article contains sponsored links. These are designed to help you connect with programs easily.
Cheap Online Graphic Design Degree Programs Ranked
1. Bellevue University
Online Graphic Design Degree – Bachelor of Arts
Bellevue University, ranked 18th in the 2014 US News and World Report list of online Bachelor’s degrees, offers an education that is nationally recognized, flexible, very affordable and considered Veteran/military-friendly. The Bachelor of Arts in graphic design degree challenges students to explore the global, ethical and social issues related to design, as well as teach the fundamentals necessary to be successful in the field. Students develop their critical thinking and problem solving abilities, learn the art of creative visualization, and develop a portfolio of print and web projects that demonstrate their mastery of visual design from concept to production.
2. Herzing University
Online Graphic Design Degree
Herzing University’s Graphic Design program provides students with the knowledge and skills to succeed with the latest professional software in use today. The online programs in some states allow for students to complete their Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design with no particular concentration. However, most students elect to specialize in either Print or Web design. The curriculum focuses on designing and producing work for the Web, multimedia, print, digital publication, television and cinema. Herzing provides a cost effect education that can be completed in 36 months, and students matriculate with a design portfolio to show prospective employers. The school has also been recognized as one of the best Online Bachelor’s programs by U.S. News.
3. Sanford-Brown/International Academy of Art and Design
Online Graphic Design Program
As of Spring 2014 Sanford-Brown has merged with the International Academy of Design and Technology and now offers online Associate of Science (AS) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees through their Tampa, Florida location. Sanford-Brown’s IADT School of Design celebrates students’ creativity and believes that with the right education it and help you become a well-rounded professional. The curriculum combines traditional design theory and training with the latest technology so that each student graduates with all the skill and business savvy that he or she needs to succeed in graphic design, whether in the print market or web design field.
4. Westwood College
Online Bachelor’s Degree Graphic Design: Major in Visual Communications
Tuition: $15,000/yr (on average)
Westwood College offers a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design with a major in visual communications. Students are prepared for print and media fields and given the skills they need to compete in the exciting world of design. Through small class sizes and close interaction with professors, online graphic design bachelor’s degree students utilize the most relevant industry-related software. The courses prepare you to test for your Adobe certificates, which will show evidence that you have the tools needed to be competitive in graphic communications. Westwood seeks to make education affordable and advertises on its home page that every student is eligible for at least one financial scholarship or award.
5. Independence University
Online Graphic Arts with an Information Design Emphasis, Bachelor of Science
For 30+ years Independence University has offered working adults the chance to enhance their education with an online degree. The school offers a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic Arts, a B.S. in Graphic Arts with an emphasis in Information Design, and a B.S. in Web Design and Development. Tuition costs are competitive considering the quality education that you receive. The program teaches you to solve communication issues through a variety of visual applications, and gives you the tools and techniques used by industry professionals today so that you can enter the work force confident you have what it takes to succeed. Independence has received great reviews from students on College Prowler regarding academic flexibility, tuition and financial aid, and overall academic experience.
6. Stevens-Henager College
Online Graphic Arts Degree – Graphic Arts with an Information Design Emphasis
Tuition: $17,000/yr (on average)
Stevens-Henager offers Associate’s Degrees in Graphic Design and Bachelor of Sciences Degrees in Graphic Arts with Information Design emphasis, as well as Web Design and Development. Through an accelerated study option you may be able to finish in 15-30 months – several months shorter than the traditional timeframe. This affordable education will give you the skills and qualifications needed to begin a career and prepare you to handle the challenges involved in working with others on projects and meeting tough deadlines. Possible employment includes entry and mid-level positions in the ever-expanding world of print, multimedia, social media, and web design formats. Stevens-Henager has been recognized as a school with extreme transparency when it comes to tuition costs, and will help students calculate the total cost over all four years of attendance so that they don’t graduate with higher-than-expected debt.
7. Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online
Online Graphic and Web Design
The Art Institute offers a unique approach to its graphic design program by allowing every student to learn the fundamentals of both graphic and web design. After the first year, students choose an area of concentration. The more traditional graphic design concentration focuses on advertising, business packaging, publication design and art direction, while the web design concentration covers information architecture, mobile devices and emerging technologies design work, and audio/video and experience design. Graduates of The Art Institute go on to work as production artists and designers in agencies, media companies, and TV and film settings, to name a few. This is a low-cost education with high yield possibilities. The school has a number of notable alumni, from famous cartoonists to award-winning producers.
8. Academy of Art University
Online Graphic Design Program
The school of Graphic Design through The Academy of Art University Online offers accredited online degrees in Graphic Design at the Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts levels. The Bachelor’s degree develops skills that apply to print, marketing, branding and presentation formats. The school upholds a unique emphasis on green practices and sustainability as a part of its program. Academy students have received numerous awards and are considered among the finest prepared in the industry. Student work projects that are displayed in an online gallery and made available to prospective employers and the public through the program website. It is the largest privately-owned art and design school in the U.S. and boasts many notable alumni, including a Pulitzer Prize winner. While it’s not offering the cheapest online graphic design degree, it’s nonetheless an institution worth considering.
The Best Colleges
Military Friendly Schools
Niche – Independence University
Wikipedia – Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Wikipedia – Academy of Art University
This concludes our ranking of the top cheap accredited online graphic design degree programs.
- Top Cheap Accredited Online Web Design Degree Programs (Bachelor’s)
- Top Cheap Online Game Design Degree Programs (Bachelor’s) 2014
- Graphic Design Scholarships
About the Author:
Iris Stone got her start in writing when she began working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Check out her Google+ profile.