How Long Does Graphic Design School Take?

Graphic design is a competitive field. There are many opportunities available for designers with a solid education. A degree from a graphic design school can greatly improve your chances of being hired by an major employer. Graphic design schools offer associate degree, bachelor's degree, and graduate degree programs in graphic design with a bachelor's degree being the most common choice.

An associate degree in graphic design will normally require two years of study. The courses build upon each other and must be taken sequentially so it would not be possible to shorten the time required by taking heavy class loads. An associate degree will encompass classes such as English composition I and II, beginning drawing, principals of design I and II, digital photography, typography, print production, design marketing, and portfolio development. Upon completion of the two year program, students are awarded an AA degree in graphic design.

The BA degree in graphic design builds upon those classes and includes others such as creative writing, copywriting, drawing and perspective, image manipulation, concept design, media business law, internship, and portfolio development. The bachelor's degree requires four years of study to complete and makes one much more competitive in the workplace.

Designers may also choose to further their education with a master's degree in graphic design. This will take from one to two years depending upon the institution and involves further developing concept and design skills and working on a thesis.

Graphic design school can take from two years up to six years depending on the degree that is being sought. Normally, a higher level degree will equal a higher salary as well. It is not necessary to complete a full six years before seeking employment. In fact, many designers choose to join the workforce for a few years before beginning work on a master's degree. They may elect to take a single class each semester since they are also working full time and for them, it might take four or five years to complete a master's degree.

For designers who wish to secure jobs with large advertising agencies or media companies, it is advisable to seek a bachelor's degree to be looked upon as a serious candidate for a graphic designer's position. For those who need to begin a career as soon as possible or for those who plan to work for themselves, a two year associate degree may be sufficient. A two year degree from a graphic design school will give one the skills required for common graphic design jobs like desktop publishing and web design.

The entry level jobs may be different for BA and AA holders, but designers can always resume graphic design school part time or full time to further their education and climb the career ladder over time. Attending graphic design school should be viewed as an investment for the future since a good education with the proper credentials will open the door to a well paying and satisfying career in graphic design.

Schools Offering Training Programs in Graphic Design

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            Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Campus-based and online degrees include Computer Animation (BS), Digital Arts and Design (BS), Graphic Design (BS), and more
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            Master of Fine Arts: Graphic Design
            • Liberty University's online programs ranked in the top 5 of more than 2,100 online colleges and universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility*
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            Graphic Arts (AAS)

            The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started


            Congratulations! Your interest in California College San Diego is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a new career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

            Graphic Design (BS)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
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            Audio Technology Program - Diploma
            SAE Institute , Los Angeles
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