Tap into your creative side and learn how to produce designs that inspire and influence with the online BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts from SNHU. Whether you dream of the fast pace of an agency, the rigors of a design firm or the independence of running your own shop, our online graphic design degree program will teach you how to translate your ideas through concept, design and digital media. Choose the general design and media arts track or focus your degree with our web design concentration.
Coursework in SNHU's online graphic design degree program is built around training you in aesthetics and creative problem solving using the latest technology, while also providing cultural and social context for the work you do. Have the creative vision but not yet familiar with today's design technology tools? Ramp up or refresh your graphic design software skills with the elective GRA 100: Introduction to Graphic Design Technology.
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission – to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your bachelor’s in graphic design and media arts at SNHU include:
Armed with a bachelor's in graphic design, you can work in a variety of corporate, government and nonprofit organizations or for yourself. Positions include:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects graphic design career opportunities will increase by 7 percent through 2022.
A fictional magazine I created called ORGANIC, including the cover, contents and feature spread.
The online graphic design degree curriculum is taught by award-winning creative faculty while using the most advanced technology available. Enjoy small classes where feedback comes directly from instructors who understand the creative process. Learn more and view the work of our current students.
This course is designed to help students develop abilities, including organization and delivery skills, for all speaking situations. The evaluation and improvement of voice, diction, articulation and posture also are studied. May not be used as literature elective.
HIS - one (1) History course at the 300 level or higher
FAS - one (1) Humanities course at the 300 level or higher
This is an introduction to the practice of media production and the study of visual media literacy. The course examines the fundamental components and structure of moving image texts, explores how dynamic relationships between those elements convey meaning, and then exercise that knowledge through media production. Production design, language, technology, and methods will be discussed enabling all students in the class to have a common language of image analysis and creation. Readings and discussions on topics such as cinematography, narrative meaning, image and sound design, editing, genres, and culture will be included. Creative interpretative and expression of ideas will be exercised in the production of media.
This course is an introduction to the principles and practices of graphic design. Students are introduced through lecture, demonstration and hands-on computer work to the basic elements of graphic visual communication. Adobe Illustrator is used as a primary tool in exploring visual perception through a variety of creative exercises that familiarize the student with basic visual principles such as figure/ground manipulation, shape grouping, letterform shape creation, and grid and system creation. Formal elements of graphic design such as line, shape, color, texture, pattern, balance, symmetry, rhythm, space and unity are thoroughly explored by example and hands-on computer exercises; special topics included are: designing with type, layout strategies, logo design, symbol and pictogram development and stationery systems.
This course is an introduction to the software application Adobe InDesign designed for the novice user. The Macintosh platform is used in the classroom studio lab, and the student is introduced to the creative and practical aspects of the desktop publishing program that is considered indispensable in the contemporary communications and design industries. This course is based on a series of introductory exercises and a regimen of hands-on practice that teaches software and design skills; students learn how to combine the use of InDesign with other professional graphics and work-processing software such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Word.
This course examines the basic elements and principles of design, including balance, emphasis, proportion and rhythm. Students are introduced to visual designing systems that guide the student through the application of computer graphics tools. The basic visual design elements of line, space, texture and color are creatively explored as students complete a series of projects that relate to advertising layout and design and visual merchandising.
Using Photoshop and Illustrator software, this course is a Mac-based introduction to professional computer graphics creation and to the software and hardware typically used in the graphic design, video, photography and interactive Web/multimedia industries. Emphasis will be placed on the professional use of image- capturing devices, such as scanners, digital still cameras and video cameras. Image editing and color management systems will be discussed and demonstrated. The important differences between vector and bitmap graphics will be defined, as will the significant differences in preparing images for print, broadcast and Web distribution. Students will be encouraged to experiment with their own and preexisting images using sophisticated digital editing techniques such as layering, channel masking, filtering, cloning and montaging. Students will output their work from inkjet printers and record it on CD, video and film. Special attention will be paid to copyright awareness in the age of digital image.
This course presents digital graphic theory and develops skills that meet the design and technical requirements of professionally created digital images for commercial applications on the World Wide Web on a variety of platforms and Internet appliances. Each student will develop a professional portfolio consisting of printed and CD-ROM material. Students also develop working Web sites to display their graphic design projects. Topics include design strategies, Web authoring environments, color calibration and aesthetics, special HTML tags, image mapping, style sheets, digital cameras and scanners, GIF animation and an introduction to Dynamic HTML.
Typography deals with the language of type, the history of typography, typeface and character recognition, legibility, appropriate uses of measure, manuscript specifications and the individual visual dynamics of letterforms. In this class students will learn how to work with type as a stand-alone design element. Students will also learn how to incorporate type successfully with imagery. The assignments will cover a broad range of type applications. Students will primarily focus their efforts towards developing a greater understanding of typographic form through exercises based on the setting of words, phrases, sentences and short paragraphs. Students will first focus on the appropriate setting of spaces in-between the letters that make up words and projects will gradually increase in scope and complexity up to the setting of pages of text with multiple levels of hierarchical meaning.
This course engages upper-level design students in current industry standards used in designing content for multimedia and interactive communication. Emphasis is placed on designing for computers, tablets and phones. The course is divided into teaching modules emphasizing the integration of several software packages for design problem solving. Emphasis is placed on conceptualization and the mastery of professional site mapping and wire framing techniques. Exercises and projects provide challenging design problem-solving experience. Project themes involve self-promotion and client-based work. All projects rely on the student's ability to integrate previously mastered techniques in a broad range of software.
This hands-on computer graphics course combines skills from previous design courses to explore the history, process and essential skills required to develop successful brand identity systems. Topics such as logo design, selection of corporate fonts and colors, and the development of branded marketing materials are covered in depth. In addition, the important techniques of imaging software integration and file format compatibilities are discussed and applied while preparing images for print, video and Web. At the conclusion of this course, students will have developed a complete corporate identity system and assembled a portfolio presentation for public viewing.
The graphic design portfolio course will provide students with a comprehensive development opportunity to showcase their professional design work, establish a branded identity as a working professional, and engage in peer and professional critiques of design work in preparation for formal employment and contract interviews. Students will create both digital and print portfolios that demonstrate their competencies in the graphic design and media arts program outcomes.
Select one of the following:
Select one of the following:
This course introduces the major movements in the history of design since the Industrial Revolution, including the Arts & Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, the Bauhaus, constructivism, and contemporary trends in popular design. Student will be encouraged to apply their learning to practical design exercises.
This course will examine the history of photography from its invention in 1839 to the present time. The course will endeavor to address the technical artistic and social underpinnings of this most modern of art forms.
Free Elective Credits: 33
Total Credits: 120
Students enrolled in the Graphic Design and Media Arts programs (and associated concentrations) are responsible for ensuring they have the minimum system hardware, software, and photography equipment required in the courses in the program. System requirements often change, so it is important that students maintain awareness of the various minimum hardware requirements for the required software listed below.
The below computer specifications are recommended for students to meet the minimum system requirements of the software programs required for download in the program. Student discounts are available, your academic advisor will provide details.
Digital Camera (required in FAS-226, recommended for students to use throughout the program):
Please note that for students pursuing the BA in Digital Photography or the 3D Modeling and Animation concentration will need to be responsible for additional requirements.
Adobe Creative Cloud is required by all students in the Graphic Design and Media Arts program. Creative Cloud licenses are available at an educational discount directly through Adobe
Please note that Adobe’s terms and conditions require a full year contract for Creative Cloud.
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30 percent tuition discount for active-duty service members and their spouses.
*Tuition rates are subject to change. Changes are generally implemented in June each year.
Additional Costs Books (course by course).
Students are responsible for providing their own internet access.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...