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Jesus Suarez, 2021 graduate of the online bachelor's in graphic design and media arts program, wearing a backpack and walking at SNHU's campus.

Online Graphic Design Degree

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Register By: January 01 Classes Start: January 03

Pursue your passion for graphic design

  • $320/credit (120 total)
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • Master advanced design software, such as Adobe Creative Suite
  • No application fee or SAT/ACT scores
  • Accredited by NECHE
  • Learn from accomplished instructors with real-world experience

Online Graphic Design Program Overview

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:

  • Design, develop, adapt and present professional quality work
  • Analyze and recommend media messaging strategies
  • Use the latest design tools and technologies
  • Work with an interdisciplinary team to solve design challenges
  • Apply ethical and culturally sensitive practices to visual media

Pursue Your Passion at SNHU

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.

Concentration Options

Graphic Design Career Outlook

With many employers continuing to grow their digital presence and the increasingly global marketplace for design talent, having a degree in design is now more important than ever.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic design jobs in web development and digital design are projected to grow 8% through 20291, much faster than the average. In addition, job growth for special effects artists and animators is on pace with the national average, with a reported median annual wage of $77,700 in 2020.1

An online degree in graphic design is not only helpful for potential salary growth, but it's also a useful opportunity to build your portfolio, which is an essential component to professional success in the field.

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.

Web designer. Today's consumers live online. They're savvy enough to spot a bad website a mile away, which is why more and more organizations will devote marketing dollars to help build out their digital presence. Web designers play a major role in this, as they help develop the pages, layouts, navigational design and graphics for company websites. To succeed in web design, you'll need a solid understanding of design software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch, along with coding languages like HTML, CSS and Javascript.

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.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Graphic Design Degree

Courses & Curriculum

The online graphic design degree curriculum is taught by award-winning creative faculty using the most advanced technology available.

Ben Van Beusekom with the text Ben Van Beusekom“[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:

  • Design thinking
  • Digital media
  • Brand identity
  • Professional practice

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

  • General education courses: All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively, giving you the edge employers are looking for.
  • Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
  • Earn credits for what you already know: Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment.

Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation—and haven't raised our costs in a decade.

We also 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.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits 
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)* $675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

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.