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Field of Study: Graphic Design


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



This program includes topics such as:

  • Design and layout images and text
  • Basic art principles, including color theory, design, and drawing
  • Animation
  • Digital arts
  • Photo and film manipulation
  • Advertising and commercial art
  • Prepress and printing techniques
  • Technical drawing

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. 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.