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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.
Have you ever found a magazine ad that jumps off the page? A digital banner that cuts through the noise? How about a broadcast spot that's moved you to tears? A degree in graphic design can help develop the skills you need to inspire your audiences into action. You'll build a portfolio that demonstrates visual storytelling through various print, digital and video media platforms.
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.
Learn how to:
Graphic design is where art, storytelling and commerce converge. SNHU’s online BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts offers the tools, feedback and support you need to master your craft — as well as one of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation.
Breathe new life into graphic design by earning an online BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts with a concentration in 3D Modeling and Animation. As the field of graphic arts leaps beyond traditional design, artists with cutting-edge skills are in high demand to create visual content for video games, animated web content, movies and other media.
In this program, you'll focus on 3D sculpting workflow, including:
In a blend of form and function, you'll be taught by award-winning creative faculty using industry-standard software, including the Adobe Creative Suite and Autodesk's Maya and Mudbox. You'll graduate with leading skills that extend your proficiency – and marketability – in industries such as game arts, digital animation, interior design and web development.
SNHU’s 3D modeling and animation degree gives you the skill set to be a player in the multidimensional design world. You’ll explore the stages of game models, including observational and conceptual drawing. You’ll master the basics of modeling using a wide range of techniques. You’ll also study the 12 principles of animation and learn to skin and rig a character. Better yet, you’ll create hands-on projects using emerging technology and be well prepared to take on jobs in game development, advertising, marketing, virtual education and other fields that use graphics to provide spectacular interactive experiences.
A 3D modeling concentration can also help prepare you for roles in experiential graphic design. Experiential graphic designers collaborate with architects, interior and industrial designers and landscape architects to create interactive design environments in retail spaces, museums, public art exhibits and more.
Learn more about what you can do with a 3D animation degree.
Courses may include:
If you're looking for a career that combines graphic design and digital media, the Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Media Arts with a concentration in Web Design at Southern New Hampshire University could be the right fit for you. The web design degree online program supplements the traditional graphic arts foundation with digital-oriented core courses, striking the balance of artistic interests and practical web design.
Equal parts theory and practice, this specialized graphic design program stresses the critical thinking skills and hands-on technical proficiency to complement your designs, along with the know-how to promote yourself and keep your skills sharp in an ever-changing, competitive marketplace.
As the use of mobile devices grows and e-commerce continues to expand, job prospects appear promising for graphic designers with web design skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of designers with experience in computer systems design and related services is projected to grow 24% through 2028.1
Those with knowledge of multiple programming languages and digital multimedia tools will have the best opportunities. Our web design degree online concentration program gives you the advantage you need to succeed in a number of industries, including:
The online graphic design degree curriculum includes the full graphic design course of study, plus four web design-specific courses to expand your skillset. Courses are taught by award-winning creative faculty using the most advanced technology available.
As a graduate of this online web online design degree program, you'll build the skills to concept and develop your work using the Adobe Creative Cloud. You'll learn how to conduct usability testing on multiple platforms and interfaces, from mobile phones to tablets to desktop computers. Using these skills, you’ll be prepared to execute various media projects, including interactive animation, digital publications, video and other rich media.
Learn more about web design degree concentration offerings including:
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment for graphic designers is projected to grow 3% through 2028.1 However – with many employers continuing to grow their digital presence – graphic design jobs in computer systems design and related services are projected to grow 24%.1
In addition, job growth for multimedia artists and animators is on pace with the national average, with a reported median annual wage of $75,270 in 2019.1
Here are a few roles you can pursue as a graphic design major:
Creative director. If your ultimate goal is to lead creative teams and develop big-picture brand strategies, this job is for you. Creative directors are the brand visionaries – the captains of the ship who manage teams of designers, copywriters, photographers and production staff to sell products and build brands. As a creative director, you'll pitch concepts for national ad campaigns, build relationships with executive leadership and help a team of creatives grow through direct feedback and support. Above all, you'll be the person people turn to when they're looking for creative solutions to their organization's biggest marketing challenges.
Multimedia designer. As a multimedia designer, you'll integrate multiple forms of media – such as art, sound and design – in a number of creative contexts. For example, you may work in the film industry as a prop or set designer. You may have a hand in designing a 3D environment for a video game, or work with an ad agency to create a compelling animated video that grabs the attention of consumers. By pairing technical expertise and boundless creativity, you'll explore interactive and immersive visual storytelling techniques that engage audiences in new ways.
UX designer. Perhaps more than any other role on this list, a UX designer (or user experience designer) dives deep into the ways a consumer interacts with a product. As a UX designer, you'll blend elements of psychology, computer science and creative storytelling to help create user-friendly experiences across various media. You'll use wireframing tools like Axure RP and Balsamiq, as well as design software like the aforementioned Photoshop and Illustrator. Additionally, you'll interpret research that can help you predict future consumer behaviors, identify pain points and develop relevant persona profiles.
Production artist. The production artist is responsible for day-to-day, hands-on production tasks. This is a perfect starting point for someone looking to grow their career in the field, as it gives you an opportunity to apply your skills in the final stages of creative development. You'll need a strong eye for detail, as you'll help crop, retouch, scale and finalize files before they go out into the world. Not only will you develop your technical abilities, you'll also have a chance to collaborate with teams of creative directors, web developers, copywriters and videographers who can help you fine tune your craft.
Product developer. If your game plan is to use graphic design as just one skill in your toolkit, you may consider a career as a product developer. Combining engineering and industrial design with 3D modeling and graphic design skills, product developers must demonstrate an ability to excel from both a technical and creative perspective. You'll be highly strategic – helping to ideate, lead and manage the creation of products from home appliances to sports cars. A background in industrial design, architecture or engineering is usually required for entry-level product developers, but proficiency in graphic design will help you develop some of the critical skills you need to flourish in this role.
Logo designer. Ask some of the biggest marketers in the world, and they can attest to the power of a great logo. As a logo designer, you'll be responsible for creating smart, simple, memorable visual representations of your brand. You'll work for a design firm, publishing house or ad agency to create graphics or typographical treatments audiences remember.
Marketing specialist. A marketing specialist is a Jack (or Jill) of all trades – someone who can collect and analyze consumer data, initiate marketing campaigns and create branded digital or print pieces for an organization. You may have a hand in building a brand's social media presence, or managing a company website. In essence, you'll be a brand ambassador – combining storytelling with tech expertise to "sell" audiences on your company or product. Beyond design, marketing specialists usually require skills in data analytics, coding and written and verbal communication.
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of SNHU's mission statement is to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get an acceptance decision within days of submitting all of your required materials.
Decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
Test scores are not required as part of your application.
The online graphic design degree curriculum is taught by award-winning creative faculty using the most advanced technology available. Enjoy small classes where feedback comes directly from instructors who understand the creative process.
“[With the online graphic design program at Southern New Hampshire University,] you can be flying across the world and carry your computer with you,” said SNHU student and Disney imagineer Ben Van Beusekom. “SNHU gives you this ability to carve out the best education, pull in all of your experiences, apply it to your homework and do it on your own time. For me, that was a big deal.”
SNHU's bachelor's in graphic design will help you build a number of key skills, including:
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
Gallery of Student Work
A poster design created for a mock lecture series to show balance of design principles and topical information.
Student Art Exhibition: 1st Place in Print
This poster is one of a series that was created for a friend of mine who teaches economics at another university. The purpose of this poster series was to draw attention to and promote classes offered through the university's economics department.
Student Art Exhibition: 2nd Place in Print
The goal of this piece was to create an invitation for a fundraiser which should include an infographic with some statistics that would spark interest in the inside.
Student Art Exhibition: 2nd Place in Photography
I wanted to experiment and see if I could pull off some similar shots to what the professionals for publications like National Geographic can do. Jeremy received second place in the photography section of the SNHU Student Art Exhibition.
Student Art Exhibition: 1st Place in Photography
The goal was to visually show the impact of what Martin Luther King Jr. did in his time and how it is still impacting us in 2015. Johnathon received first place in the photography section of the SNHU Student Art Exhibition.
Student Art Exhibition: 2nd Place in Web Design
The website I created is used to inform the customer what we do and sell our service. Danielle received second place in the web design section of the SNHU Student Art Exhibition.
A fictional magazine cover for DYNAMIC magazine featuring Rammstein.
An example of a magazine cover created for a women's surfing magazine.
Informative poster for the Tahoe National Forest Conservation Organization to educate the public on the forests' vital role in drinking water availability.
Label and packaging design for Twist Sparkling Water.
Excerpts of a game day program made for semi-pro soccer team.
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% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Yes. Along with SNHU's other 200+ degree programs, you can earn your bachelor's in graphic design online, on your time.
While we've developed a reputation as a leader of online education, we also offer campus and blended learning experiences. All of SNHU's programs are regionally-accredited, and some, such as our nursing and accounting programs, have additional industry-specific accreditation. That means, when you finish a program with us, you'll get a respected degree from a university you can trust.
Just ask one of our online students:
"Southern New Hampshire University, when it comes to online education, is top of the league," said SNHU grad Adam Schumacher. "I may be sitting here in Kingsland, GA, nowhere near New Hampshire, but I still feel like I'm part of SNHU. I still feel like I'm part of the university."
Graphic designers play a major role in any creative team. Here are a few key skills you'll need to succeed in the field:
Creativity. An appreciation for art and creativity is probably what brought you here in the first place – and it's a highly valuable skill in the field. By using your knowledge of color, composition and typography, you'll find new ways to push designs in unexpected directions. As a contractor, you may help a small business redesign their company website. In an ad agency setting, you may spearhead an interactive out of home (OOH) experience. As long as you know how to apply the skills in your personal toolkit, you'll have the power to influence and innovate through your work.
Collaboration. The ability to work with a team is another crucial skill, as you'll need to collaborate closely with writers, web developers and videographers to make your vision come to life. In addition, clients, stakeholders and creative directors will provide feedback to help fine tune your work. This means finding a happy middle ground between owning your ideas and redirecting creative executions as needed. It's a delicate balancing act, but when done right, it can help you create some of your best designs.
Tech savvy. Marketers are always looking for new cutting-edge ways to appeal to consumers. To keep up, you'll need to have a solid understanding of today's technologies. This means knowing how to use the latest design software tools, and keeping an eye on current trends in marketing, UX, web design and more.
Problem solving. There are many moving parts from the ideation to implementation stage of every creative project, and that can make for a whole host of challenges. For example, a client may have strict budgetary restrictions that limit the scope of your design. Time can also be a major factor – if you're producing work for a specific event, like a national conference or job fair, you'll be expected to complete it with very little lead time. In these situations, you'll have to find out-of-the-box ways to deliver great designs that satisfy client requests (and, ideally, exceed their expectations).
Attention to detail. In many situations, yours will be the last set of eyes to view your design before it gets printed or published. That means you'll need to have a sharp eye for details, spotting errors like typos as well as inconsistencies in line spacing and alignment. You'll also need to make sure that file types and sizes match the request of the stakeholder, giving them everything they need to put your work out into the world.
While not required, typical entry-level education for graphic designers is a bachelor's degree.2
For those who have yet to break into the field, a bachelor's program can offer a safe space to grow, test and develop compelling work in various media. You'll learn about industry-leading graphic design software, and challenge your limitations as an artist by creating fully-formed, marketable ideas and creative executions.
Plus, a grounding in a liberal education and the humanities will give you a cultural frame of reference that can help enrich you both professionally and personally. You'll be prepared to take on "real-world" visual communication projects that demand an understanding of a broad range of content.
Programs like SNHU's BA in Graphic Design also offer internships where you can gain critical workplace experience. In addition to putting your technical skills to the test, you'll learn firsthand how to collaborate, solve problems and implement creative design solutions for real stakeholders working in the industry today. These experiences, and the resulting portfolio work, can help you stand out in a highly competitive market.
Graphic design often combines images and words to tell compelling stories – making it a critical skill in "selling" products, ideas and brand identities. As a graphic designer, you'll be a key player in:
See the Career Outlook section above for a more detailed look at potential career paths with a graphic design degree.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment for graphic designers is projected to grow 3% through 2028.1 However, graphic design jobs in computer systems design and related services are projected to grow at a much faster rate – 24% through 2028.1
When it comes to computer systems design, graphic designers play a major role in creating compelling, user-friendly experiences on both web and mobile environments. They must blend form and function to create layouts that are at once visually striking and easy to use.
With website development driving much of this job growth, graphic designers with a background in web design may possess a more marketable skillset for today's employers.
Graphic designers will have the option to work in a number of different professional settings, such as studios, ad agencies and design firms.
You may also have the option of working as a contractor, giving you more flexibility with both remote and onsite work. Collaboration, however, is crucial in this professional, so you'll need to facilitate consistent communication with clients, stakeholders and fellow creatives throughout every project – whether in-person or through remote channels.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the Internet at:
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2 According to a survey responses from over 9,200 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2019.