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Online Masters in Graphic Design: Admissions and Salary

Online Masters in Graphic Design


An online Master of Graphic Design degree focuses on the artistry, technology, and skill involved in digitally designing graphics. Because the primary goal of this curriculum is to improve students’ abilities to design graphics, the courses are frequently quite practical. Introduction to Photoshop, Introduction to Illustrator, Color Theory, Graphic Design Compositions, and Commercial Design Techniques are just a few of the classes available. 

The program may strengthen students’ artistic ability in general, in addition to the obvious instruction that will build graphic design capabilities. This can assist pupils by allowing them to pursue a variety of other artistic pursuits. 

The admissions office at the institution you intend to attend is the finest source of information about tuition and fees. If you want a complete breakdown of the program’s costs, you should request a written statement of expenses. 

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A graphic designer is, of course, the most obvious job choice to take after getting an online Master in Graphic Design. However, there are a variety of situations in which you could do this task. For example, you could work for a marketing business and create ad campaigns for huge corporations. Alternatively, you might use your expertise to work in the public sector and produce awareness campaigns. Your talents may qualify you to work as an artist or illustrator if you are interested in other artistic occupations. 

Admissions Criteria 

Typically, a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a closely related discipline is necessary. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline, on the other hand, may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet the majority of hiring requirements. 

About 350 postsecondary schools, universities, and independent institutes providing art and design programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Studio art, design principles, digital design, commercial graphics production, printing processes, and website design are all covered in most curricula. Students could also consider taking classes in writing, marketing, and business, which are all beneficial in assisting designers in working efficiently in project teams. 

If fundamental art and design courses are available in high school, students interested in graphic design should take them. Before being admitted to a formal degree program, many bachelor’s degree programs require students to finish a year of fundamental art and design courses. Applicants to some colleges are required to present sketches and other demonstrations of their artistic abilities. 

Many programs give students the chance to create a professional portfolio of their work. Employers heavily rely on a designer’s portfolio when considering whether or not to hire them. For many artists, including graphic designers, establishing a portfolio—a collection of finished works that showcases their styles and abilities—is vital. 

Graphic designers must maintain their knowledge of new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. Professional graphic design organisations, such as AIGA, offer continuing education courses to keep its members’ abilities up to date.

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List of Universities offering Masters in Online Graphic Design 

Liberty University is a private university in the United States 

The top-ranked graphic design graduate school at Liberty University, according to Grad School Hub. The Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design program at the university is meant to be done fully online. Digital illustration, digital imagery, and typography are among the methods covered in the 60-credit program. History of Graphic Design, Interactive Design, and Publication Design are all examples of courses. Under the direction of a graphic design professional, all students must complete a 180-hour internship. Students can also anticipate to complete a 90-hour practicum as part of their professional portfolio. There will also be an oral examination. Access to Adobe products, including the Creative Cloud Suite, is included in the package. The degree is usually completed in two years. Liberty University is a private evangelical Christian university that is non-profit. It was founded in 1971 by two Baptist pastors and has since evolved to become one of the world’s largest Christian institutions. It is also the country’s largest private non-profit institution. The Liberty University campus is in suburban Lynchburg, Virginia, although the majority of students are enrolled totally online. 

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Quinnipiac University is a private university in Connecticut. 

Quinnipiac University provides a Master of Science in Interactive Media and Communications that can be completed entirely online. The 30-credit program covers topics like audio, video, and graphics, as well as social media analytics and user interface design. Foundations in Graduate Studies and Writing for Interactive Media are two compulsory courses. Electives such as Content Creation, Data Visualization, Motion Across Media, and Visual Storytelling allow students to personalize the rest of their program. Students can also earn optional credit by completing an independent study or internship. The program culminates with the construction of a capstone portfolio based on a project. Quinnipiac Institution is a private university in Hamden with two campuses and one in North Haven. The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute is located on the Mount Carmel campus, as is Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum, which houses one of the world’s greatest art collections honoring the Great Irish Famine. The Ed McMahon Mass Communications Center is also located there, and it offers cutting-edge equipment as well as hands-on instruction in all elements of multimedia creation. Quinnipiac is ranked No. 13 overall in the northern United States, and third in innovation, according to U.S. News & World Report. 

Syracuse University is a public university in Syracuse

Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts offers a Master of Fine Arts in Illustration. Unlike technologically focused design degrees, the degree program emphasizes a more traditional approach to art. Students can take online courses as well as in-person summer travel courses. Syracuse, New York City, Los Angeles, and Italy are among the university’s sites where students can study. Professional artists, recent college graduates, and those with little or no art background are all welcome to apply for the MFA program. The flexible curriculum comprises art history classes, studio courses, free electives, and graduate seminars, and totals 60 credits. Drawing on Location, Licensing from Studio to Market, and Printmaking for Illustration are all examples of courses. The curriculum concludes with an unified sequence of thematic artworks, a written thesis, and a final presentation. The degree takes three years to complete. Syracuse Institution is a private research university based in Syracuse, New York. The university’s roots can be traced back to a Methodist Episcopal seminary founded in 1831, but it was not established independently until 1870. Syracuse is a nonsectarian institution that maintains a partnership with the United Methodist Church. The SU Art Galleries are located there, and they contain modern and traditional art venues and galleries, as well as a design research center. 

Ball State University is a public university in the state of Indiana 

A master’s degree in Emerging Media Design & Development is available at Ball State University. It’s a low-residency program, which means it’s mostly online with one five-day on-campus session per semester. Working professionals who want to lead visual storytelling teams should enroll in the degree program. The 36-credit program emphasizes cross-platform storytelling, design thinking, and human-computer interface abilities. There are 18 credits of classroom and 18 credits of applied research and creative projects in this program. Nonlinear and Interactive Storytelling, as well as Transmedia Storytelling and Publishing, are two examples of such courses. Students can participate in lab activities with real-world corporate partners that they can complete in the comfort of their own workplace. A creative project or a research thesis might be used to finish a student’s program. Muncie, Indiana’s Ball State Institution is a public research university. It also has satellite offices in Fishers, Indiana, and Indianapolis, Indiana. It was formed in 1918 by the Ball brothers, a group of five local industrialists and benefactors. Originally, it was a teacher-training school. There are now eight academic colleges within the university. It is classified as a doctorate university with a high degree of research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. Brutalist and Collegiate Gothic architecture, as well as Indiana limestone, may be seen on the Muncie campus. 

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Samford University is a private university in Birmingham, Alabama. 

A Master of Science in Design Studies is offered by Samford University. The degree program is delivered fully online and is offered by the university’s School of the Arts’ Department of Interior Architecture. Critical analysis and design study are emphasized throughout the program. It is appropriate for design professionals interested in conducting specialized research in their fields, as well as individuals interested in pursuing academic careers in design education. The program begins with a full weekend on-campus orientation where students are assigned to cohort groups. Architecture, design theory, interior design, design education, and research techniques are among the 33-credit courses offered. The program concludes with a master’s research thesis. The program is designed to take 24 months to complete. Samford University is a private Christian university in Birmingham, Alabama. It is one among the top 100 oldest higher education institutions in the United States, having been founded in 1841 as Howard College. The Alabama Baptist State Convention is affiliated with it. Over the years, the university’s campus has moved to many Alabama communities, but it is now in Homewood. 

Radford University is a public university in Radford, Virginia 

A Master of Fine Arts in Design Thinking is available at Radford University. The terminal degree program is designed to be totally completed online. Students can learn on their own time because the courses are delivered asynchronously. A variety of studio and research-based courses are included in the 60-credit program. Collaboration Studio, Environment Behavior, and International Art History are just a few examples of courses. Students can expect to participate in initiatives involving interdisciplinary design teams. The program concludes with a research project or thesis. The degree can be earned in two years of full-time study or four years of part-time study. Radford Institution is a public university in Radford, Virginia. It was established in 1910 as a women’s industrial school. Later, the school became a teacher’s college, then amalgamated with Virginia Polytechnic Institute before becoming an independent university. The university is located in Radford, Virginia, which is nestled between the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountains in the Virginia Highlands. 

Kent State University is a public university in Kent, Ohio. 

A Master of Science in User Experience Design is offered at Kent State University. Kent State’s MSUED was created to be completed fully online. There are 12 courses totaling 36 credits in the curriculum. Each semester, students study two courses in a row, each lasting seven weeks. Content Strategy, Information Architecture, Principles of Interaction, and Usability are all required courses. Human Factors and Usability in Health Informatics and Knowledge Organization Structures, Systems, and Services are two elective options. Students can complete an internship, professional portfolio, project, research paper, or thesis to finish their program. Kent State University is a public research university in Ohio’s University System. It was founded in 1910 as a teacher-training institution. The university now maintains a primary campus in Kent, Ohio, a suburban college town. It also has campuses in New York City, China, India, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as regional schools throughout Northeast Ohio. During the Vietnam War, the university was known around the world for its liberal advocacy. 

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is located in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. 

A Master of Fine Arts in Communication Design is available at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Each academic year, students in the low-residency degree program must spend three weeks on campus. Students are encouraged to work one-on-one with faculty members and to personalize their curriculum to their own design interests. Advertising design, education, graphic design, illustration, and interactive design are all options for students. Graduate seminars in Contemporary Topics in Design, Design Pioneers, Emerging Media, and Unconventional Type are part of the core studio curriculum. The program concludes with a capstone research project. A total of 60 credits are required for the degree. It’s planned to take three years to finish, including summer semesters. Kutztown Institution is a public university that is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which has 14 members. It was founded in 1866 as a teacher-training institution. It’s in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, a small rural municipality about half an hour from Philadelphia and two hours from New York City. 

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Savannah College of Art & Design is a private art and design school in Savannah, Georgia. 

A Master of Arts in Graphic Design and Visual Experience is offered by Savannah College of Art and Design. It is possible to complete the MA degree totally online. Students can access course content on their own time because courses are offered asynchronously. Students, on the other hand, are given deadlines and are required to participate in online conversations and criticisms of their work. Students in graphic design can also study abroad at one of the college’s international locations, such as in Provence, France, for a quarter. Design Research, Analysis, and Discourse; Ideation Models and Process; and Typographic Voice and Visual Narrative are among the courses offered. A total of 45 credit hours are required for the degree. SCAD is a private art school in Savannah, Georgia, with its primary location in the city. It was formed in 1978 to provide artistic programs not previously available in the Southeast. The main Savannah campus of the university is known for its architectural preservation through building restoration. SCAD also has campuses in Atlanta, France, Hong Kong, and on the internet.

Career Options

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree and some experience in graphic design can advance in the sector with a master’s degree. Senior designer, owner of a graphic design agency, or college instructor are all possibilities. 

Senior Designer 

Within their companies, graphic designers who work as senior designers, creative directors, or chief designers frequently have managerial duties and authority. According to PayScale, most senior graphic designers with MFA in Graphic Design degrees made between $45,000 and $87,000 per year in April 2021. These specialists occasionally supervise junior-level employees inside their companies, though this is not always the case. They may also be given some level of decision-making responsibility on behalf of their companies. 

Instructor at a Community College 

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in graphic design is a terminal degree that allows graduates to teach graphic design and art at community colleges. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median compensation for postsecondary art, theater, and music instructors, including graphic design lecturers, was $69,690 in 2020. 

If you pursue a graphic design career, you can move to the position of senior designer or teach at the community college level with a master’s degree in graphic design. Although the BLS predicts a 4% job reduction for graphic designers from 2019 to 2029, a 6% growth in positions for postsecondary teachers of art, theatre, and music shows that graduates with a master’s in graphic design will have solid chances in that profession. 

Packaging Designer

Packaging designers—also known as production designers—create a product’s box, container, and labels to secure it during transportation and communicate key qualities to the buyer. They utilize CAD software to write product details in a legible typeface, add pictures to describe functionalities, and demonstrate how to use the device. They frequently design the package as a marketing tool, therefore they collaborate with marketing and product design experts to convey key product information to the customer. 

Designer of multimedia 

Multimedia designers use art and electronic animation technologies to produce intricate animated visuals and videos. To create the story, they sketch, make scale models, and develop computerized visuals. They are in charge of creating graphics for the characters, background scenes, and props in the tale. 

Multimedia designers work in a wide range of industries, including television and film production, set design, and video game development. They may also be in charge of directing set assistants and lighting crew in the implementation of their creative intent if they work in film or set design. 

Salaries for Graphic Designers 

Graphic designers earn a median yearly salary of $53,380. Half of the workers in a given occupation earned more than that amount, while the other half earned less. The bottom 10% of earners made less than $31,720, while the top 10% earned more than $93,440.


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