best graphic design schools midwest

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

1Bellevue UniversityStudents can earn the Bellevue University BA in Graphic Design – one of the most affordable graphic design programs in the nation – either on campus or online. Opting for this university allows students to embark upon studies including how to utilize critical thinking processes necessary in graphic design, effective communication, skillful use of software applications, proper production applications, and how to develop a portfolio. When students are researching the cheapest online graphic design degree, they won’t have to sacrifice high-quality education regarding the offerings at Bellevue University.Bellevue University receives its accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommision.org). The University has been offering online programs for nearly 25 years. The University has been offering online programs since 1999-2000 and, because all online classes are archived, students can conveniently access them anytime. The university’s motto is ”Real Learning for Real Life,” and one of the most affordable graphic design schools helps make that possible.ANNUAL TUITION: $$$$$DEGREE: BA in Graphic Design
2University of Maryland University CollegeStudents with interest in earning their BA in Graphic Communication at the University of Maryland University College can expect one of the most affordable graphic design degrees online. UMUC makes it possible for students to affordably earn their bachelor’s degree online with the flexibility they need. During their course of study, students will learn how to produce effective visual communications. They’ll achieve this goal by applying principles of color theory, composition, context, and layout. They’ll also learn about planning, designing, and creating interactive solutions including mobile applications, motion graphics, user interfaces, and web designs. Students will develop analytical, collaborative, and technical design skills necessary for supporting the roles, responsibilities, and goals of their team. Students will also learn how to define and direct a business environment’s creative strategy. Students who are looking for the cheapest online graphic design degree will find that, at UMUC, the BA in Graphic Communications degree is one that’s portfolio-intensive and will help them achieve their goals.UMUC receives its accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. UMUM is a public institution that was founded in 1947, specifically with the needs of working adult students in mind – originally, returning WWII veterans. Their core values include putting the students first, having accountability, practicing diversity, using integrity, embracing excellence, honoring innovation, and using respect.ANNUAL TUITION: $$$$$DEGREE: BA in Graphic Communication
3Arizona State UniversityThe Arizona State University Online BS in Graphic Information Technology is optimal for students who need the flexibility and convenience of an online degree program. As one of the most affordable graphic design degrees, it’s possible for students to achieve their educational goals affordably. Students will participate in forty total classes that are seven and a half weeks long per class and are a total of one hundred and twenty credit hours. During that time, students will develop a creative, managerial, and technological understanding of content creation and graphics information. That way, students will have preparation to create content across multiple channels including animation, photo, print, web, and video. Those who are researching the cheapest online graphic design degree will find that earning their BS in Graphic Information Technology through ASU Online will not only prepare them for the world of technology but also set them up for their careers as well.Programs provided through Arizona State University’s ASU Online receives accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Center Association of Schools and Colleges. According to U.S. News and World Reports, Arizona State University’s online programs are currently ranking #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, and the school has long been named the most innovative in America. The university has specific goals including demonstrating leadership, enhancing their local impact, and establishing a national standing regarding academic quality.ANNUAL TUITION: $$$$$DEGREE: BS in Graphic Information Technology
4Rasmussen CollegeRasmussen College provides a BA in Graphic Design for students who wish to pursue their education online, with one of the most affordable graphic design programs online. Those participating in this degree program have many opportunities and options, including Flex Choice®, whereby students can blend self-directed assessments with online education. Students will also have exposure to portfolio development, cutting-edge curriculum, and the preparation to receive industry certification. Because more and more students need to attend affordable graphic design schools, Rasmussen College ensures their online courses and degree programs don’t sacrifice quality.Rasmussen College receives its accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. Students who embark upon their educational journey at Rasmussen College will find that they’re not only receiving an affordable education but one that’s career focused. The college’s mission is to provide students with an enriching experience using dynamic curriculum and innovative programs to help them achieve academic excellence. For more than one hundred years, Rasmussen college has made it their commitment to providing high-quality education and support to each of their students.ANNUAL TUITION: $$$$$DEGREE: BA in Graphic Design
5Regent UniversityThe BFA in Graphic Arts online at Regent University gives students less worry about earning a degree and experiencing high student debt with one of the nation’s most affordable graphic design schools. If you’re a student who loves design, this is the degree that will help you advance your education and career goals. Not only will you develop industry-leading skills but you’ll also learn technical foundations, as well as how to use design software necessary for a career in graphic arts. Other careers could include advertising, marketing, or media integration. Students will have the opportunity to study the fundamentals of corporate branding, design, digital photography, drawing, fundamentals of design, illustration, logo development, web design, and more. Each of the courses offered at Regent University is also from a Christian point of view.Regent University receives its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. They’re a private institution founded in 1978 with an undergraduate class of 4,660. With the motto, ”Christian Leadership to Change the World,” the university embraces values including excellence, integrity, and innovation.ANNUAL TUITION: $$$$$DEGREE: BFA in Graphic Arts
6Hodges UniversityThe online BA in Digital Design and Graphics from Hodges University is designed to be accessible and affordable for students concerned about experiencing high student debt following graduation. Students work one-on-one with admissions counselors to determine where to start in their digital design and graphics degree. The main reason is that the courses students select depend on where they are in their career. What that means is, administrators will work with students to ensure they’re meeting their educational and career goals by applying previous digital design experiences. Hodges University respects the need for students to find affordable graphic design schools, which is why they work hard to ensure high-quality education is available that will meet and exceed expectation.Hodges University receives its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Founded in 1990, the university is a private institution offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Their motto is, “Stay Near. Go Far.” They follow institutional pillars including programmatic excellence, operational effectiveness, community engagement, institutional growth, and institutional objectives.ANNUAL TUITION: $$$$$DEGREE: BA in Digital Design and Graphics
7Grand Canyon UniversityGrand Canyon University’s BA in Advertising and Graphic Design online program gives students a comprehensive and intensive degree program that won’t leave them with significant student debt following graduation. Students embarking upon this degree program will embrace the necessary tools to develop an understanding of design strategies, so they can produce advertisements. In doing so, they’ll work toward conceptualizing, developing core principles, and software mastery. Grand Canyon University is known for being one of the affordable graphic design schools that prepares students for success in their career field, as well.Grand Canyon University receives its accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. The university was founded in 1949 as a proprietary institution and, despite its namesake, it is located in Phoenix. Grand Canyon University’s mission includes core values that encompass global citizenship, critical thinking, effective communication, responsible leadership, and how things are seen from a Christian heritage.ANNUAL TUITION: $$$$$DEGREE: BA in Advertising and Graphic Design
8Kentucky Wesleyan CollegeKentucky Wesleyan College’s BA in Graphic Design degree is a bachelor’s completion program designed to meet the needs of the ever-evolving career field. Highly-skilled professionals are continuously in demand in the graphic design industry, as well as related fields. Once students finish their core courses that include foundation design courses and drawing, they’ll move on to graphic design coursework. These courses include branding design, animation, typography, publication, web design, and more. Kentucky Wesleyan College is one of the most affordable graphic design online degree programs in the nation.Kentucky Wesleyan College receives its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The college was initially founded in 1858 as a private institution, and its current undergraduate enrollment consists of 714 students. KWC ranks as one of the top Regional Colleges South, according to U.S. News and World Report. Kentucky Wesleyan College’s mission is to help students communicate effectively, learn to think critically, and live ethically in a rapidly changing and complex world.ANNUAL TUITION: $$$$$DEGREE: BA in Graphic Design
9Academy of Art UniversityThe Academy of Art University offers a BFA in Graphic Design to students who wish to pursue their education online. Even though students will be working online, AAU students will still be receiving the same education from industry experts and hands-on experiences. Every student is part of an engaging and vibrant online learning community that’s filled with engaging coursework, digital documentation, audio-enhanced slideshows, instructional videos, and more. Participating in this program is optimal for those who have busy schedules because it’s flexible, as well as convenient. The Academy of Art University is one of the most affordable graphic design degree programs out there.Academy of Art University receives its accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The university was originally founded in 1929 as a proprietary institution, and currently has 7,652 in its undergraduate class. Their motto is, “Built by artists for artists.” Their core values include valuing inclusion, valuing faculty, the benefits of collaboration, the planet, their urban campus, and your time and schedule.ANNUAL TUITION: $$$$$DEGREE: BFA in Graphic Design
10Rocky Mountain College of Art and DesignThe Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design online BFA in Graphic Design helps with a passion for non-verbal and artistic communication thrive. Not only will they develop the skills necessary for translating their passions into brands and storytelling but they’ll also learn how to integrate them using written and typographic presentations professionally. Coursework will include typography, user interface, storytelling, real-world clients, written and verbal communications, and design software. When students are researching the cheapest online graphic design degree, they’ll see they’re getting a high return on their investment from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design.Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design receives regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. The university was initially founded in 1963 as a private art school. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design embraces ten value statements. These include putting students first, being a campus of innovators, welcoming individuality, celebrating community, communicating campus pride, fostering innovation, being financially sustainable, being risk-takers, valuing professionalism, and embracing a culture of communication, leadership, and trust.ANNUAL TUITION: $$$$$DEGREE: BFA in Graphic Design

How Do I Enroll in an Online Graphic Design Bachelor’s Completion Program?

Want to study graphic design online? Out of all the degrees that you can get online, graphic design is one of the best-suited for internet learning. Since it’s a technology-based field, it fits naturally with the online learning lifestyle. As a result, you’ll find no shortage of affordable online options. If you want a completion program, then you have even more options. So, what exactly is a completion program? It’s a program for those who already have an online graphic design associate degree or comparable experience. A completion program allows you to count the courses that you’ve already taken toward your degree. This option lets you save time and money because you won’t have to review information that you already know.

if you’ve already got some experience under your belt, then an online completion program may provide your best option. If you have an online graphic design associate’s degree, for example, then a completion program will have what you need to get the most out of your education. Most graphic design completion programs require that you earn at least an associate’s degree first. However, a few will accept work experience in place of an associate’s degree. Check for requirements on your target school’s website.

Can I Get an Online Graphic Design Degree Free?

Although getting an online graphic design degree free isn’t impossible, it is very difficult. That said, you have lots of options is you want to test the waters for a while. You can find graphic design short courses online by doing a simple search, and many MOOCs offer free graphic design courses, but not for college credit – they’re just valuable for practicing new skills. You might also find free graphic design courses through your local library. While these free graphic design courses won’t give you degree credits, they will give you great opportunities to build your portfolio, learn new skills and technologies, and decide if graphic design is the right career path for you.

What If I Don’t Want a Full Bachelor’s in Graphic Design?

You don’t necessarily need a full bachelor’s degree to get graphic design work. However, you’ll have better chances of landing a great job if you have proof of skills. If you don’t want a full degree but still need chances to build your portfolio, then look into online graphic design courses with certificates. Graphic design certification programs will help you learn the basics and sharpen your skills. You can earn your certificate in less than half the time from online graphic design certificate programs than it would take for you to earn a full degree. Plus, a certification can be much cheaper than even the cheapest online graphic design degree.

If you’re unsure about the graphic design degree vs certificate question, then understand that it doesn’t have to be an either/or situation. If you’d like, you can start by checking out online graphic design certificate programs. You can earn your certificate to get yourself started in the workforce. Once you have a few years of experience under your belt, you can always expand your work opportunities by seeking out a bachelor’s degree program. A graphic design certificate vs degree isn’t a battle – it’s a step in the right direction.

Graphic Design Degrees in Texas (S-Z)

Iconic images of longhorn cattle, wide open plains and cowboys riding dusty trails may first come to mind when thinking about the Lone Star state, but accredited graphic design degree programs in Texas may soon be in the picture. That’s because Texas houses some of the nation’s best accredited universities offering graphic design degrees and ranks third among states for employing graphic designers. As a result, credentialed professionals with degrees from one of these top accredited graphic design degree programs in Texas can expect to be highly marketable for competitive positions in the field. To see more graphic design degree programs, visit Graphic Design Degrees in Texas (A-R).

Sam Houston State University

College of Fine Arts & Mass Communication

Sam Houston State University operates from a historical perspective that education should motivate graduates to achieve meaningful careers that also benefit their communities. Programs are constructed around rigorous instruction with support from internships, research activities, service learning and volunteering to make content come alive. The university holds the “Doctoral Research University” classification bestowed by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. Its academic excellence is also noted in publications such as Forbes and U.S. News & World Report.

B. F. A. in Art in Graphic Design

This 120-credit program showcases how to visually present information to communicate effectively and persuade viewers to delve deeper into the message. Students complete requirements in general education classes, core and foundational art courses, and specialized graphic design studies. Content for the major covers illustration, typography, packaging, corporate design, motion graphics, production tools, computer technology and website development. For experiential development, students create and maintain a design portfolio of their work. The portfolio becomes part of a graphic design senior exhibition where students network with professional designers who review and critique their designs. Outcomes for graduates include landing competitive positions as in-house graphic artists, freelancers or web designers.


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Department of Art
Sam Houston State University
Box 2089
Huntsville, Texas 77341

Charlotte Drumm
Graphic Design Adviser
(936) 294-4311 (department)
[email protected]
Program Page: http://www.shsu.edu/programs/bachelor-of-fine-arts-in-art-graphic-design/

Schreiner University

Cailloux School of Professional Studies

As a private liberal arts institution, Schreiner offers an individualized educational experience that prepares students for success in 21st-century careers. Learning opportunities are extended through community partnerships with professional, civic, religious and volunteer groups that allow students to put theory into practice. For those in graphic design, these connections facilitate real-world experiences in domestic and international locations to work with clients and see first-hand how traditional art merges with modern mass communication techniques to convey important ideas. The program also participates in the student-led American Institute of Graphic Arts, which offers networking, career development and leadership opportunities.

B.F.A. in Communication Design/Graphic Design

Whether evaluating a communication design problem, analyzing a marketing approach or using creative programs to communicate media information, graduates with Schreiner’s graphic design degree will be prepared to launch successful professional careers. Many have gone on to become advertising designers, animators, illustrators, package designers and web-design specialists. The curriculum builds on a broad-based set of skills and knowledge necessary for professionals to communicate ideas across print and electronic media. Besides completing core university requirements, students earn credits in art history, drawing and illustration, two- and three-dimensional design, color theory, visual and computer arts, typography, printmaking, web design, computer graphics, electronic media and production. Other degree requirements include participation in a professional internship and writing a senior thesis. The thesis is accompanied by a work portfolio that is presented for review at a senior exhibition event.


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Graphic Design Program
Cailloux Hall 204
Schriener University
2100 Memorial Blvd.
Kerrville, Texas 78028

Dr. David C. Smith, Dean
(830) 792-7398
[email protected]
Overview: http://www.schreiner.edu/academics/majors-and-programs/graphic-design/index.aspx
Major: http://www.schreiner.edu/academics/majors-and-programs/graphic-design/major.aspx

Texas Christian University

College of Fine Arts, School of Art

Located in the dynamic Fort Worth area, Texas Christian University opens doors for graduates who earn degrees in over 130 areas of study. Students are immersed in education that expands the intellect while instilling values that lead to ethical leadership in global careers. Regard for TCU’s programs has risen steadily in recent years. The school ranks at No. 76 among national universities on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges list for 2015 and at No. 45 for best colleges in the South according to Forbes.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

TCU’s graphic design degree spans 123 credits covering general education courses, art foundations and focused studies in the major. Foundational art instruction gives students a solid perspective of art history, design theory and the basic skills necessary for visual and technical proficiency in the craft. Focused studies delve more deeply into specific content critical for successful implementation of graphic design programs. Topics cover typography, web design, interactive media, advertising, branding, packaging, corporate identity and editorial management. For practical experience, students complete a creative internship to apply skills in national or international settings. This experience helps students to complete their capstone courses, which involve writing a thesis based on innovative, research-based solutions to marketing problems and creating a competitive work portfolio. Graduates from this program enjoy a 90% placement rate with employers at home and abroad.


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Graphic Design Program
Texas Christian University
TCU Box 298000
Fort Worth, Texas 76129

Lewis Glaser
Graphic Design Coordinator
(817) 257-7643
[email protected]
B.F.A. Degree: http://www.art.tcu.edu/graphic_design_bfa.html
Program Overview: http://www.art.tcu.edu/graphic_design.html

The University of Houston

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, School of Art

The vibrant city of Houston offers degree candidates a chance to lift off into soaring careers on a global scale at the University of Houston. Programs across all majors rely on academic rigor and hands-on partnerships with national and international organizations to provide graduates with the expertise and skills expected in graphic design jobs. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the school as a tier one research facility among universities, and UH regularly appears on Forbes and U.S. News & World Report lists among the best regional and national schools. Additionally, UH’s Fine Arts programs, which include graphic design, rank competitively at No. 114 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 listings.

B. F. A. in Graphic Design

The diverse curriculum of this 120-credit degree presents a variety of design methods and technologies for aspiring graphic designers to use in professional settings. The outcome leads to graduates with the competencies and work ethic to become industry leaders. Graduates use their skills to create promotional, interactive, print, motion and web designs for mass communication tasks. The plan of study builds on UH general education requirements, studies in the major and courses specific to graphic design. Students keep a portfolio of work from classes in art fundamentals, drawing, graphic rendering, design principles, color theory, digital fabrication and other studio art courses. Portfolios are presented and reviewed during junior and senior years. This B.F.A. establishes a foundation for pursuing entry-level career positions or further studies in the field.

M. F. A. in Studio Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design

Candidates can specialize in graphic design with this research-oriented degree. Its theoretical approach advances graphic design to the next level by exploring how social, cultural, historical, and technological perspectives influence the craft. The degree is meant to be finished in three years though candidates can take five to complete the requirements. It encompasses 60 credit-hours of study divided between art history, related arts, concentration courses in graphic design and a culminating graduate seminar. Candidates also take an oral exam and write a thesis that is based on their work and presented in an exhibition format. Graduates with this degree often go on to work as researchers, educators or executives within the graphic design industry.


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The University of Houston
4800 Calhoun Rd.
Houston, Texas 77204

(713) 743-3670
[email protected]
B.F.A: http://www.uh.edu/class/art/undergraduate-programs/Graphic%20Design/

Dr. Jessica Locheed, Graduate Adviser
[email protected]
(713) 743-2830
M.F.A Overview: http://www.uh.edu/class/art/Graduate-Programs/MFA%20in%20Studio%20Art/
M.F.A. Graphic Design: http://www.uh.edu/class/art/Graduate-Programs/MFA%20in%20Studio%20Art/Graphic%20Communications/Course%20requirements/

University of Texas at Arlington

College of Liberal Arts

Located in North Texas, UT at Arlington provides cutting-edge educational opportunities to more than 48,000 students from over 120 countries. With a goal to graduate leaders of the future across global industries, UTA offers rigorous instruction integrated with experiential learning to prepare graduates for the modern workforce. The school ranks fifth in U.S. News & World Report listings for undergraduate diversity and is a best choice for schools in the western region according to The Princeton Review.

B. F. A. in Art in Visual Communication Design

Referred to as a visual communication degree, UTA’s graphic design program expands basic curriculum to include web and mobile application designs, illustration, packaging concepts and gaming. Focus is placed on elements of graphic design that are becoming more complex with the advent of technology and prepares students to find solutions by using trending design methods alongside traditional ones. After completing general education and foundational art classes, students study principles of typography, layout, publications, advertising, sustainable design, interactive and visual design, electronic design, gaming, mobile applications and emerging studio technologies. The degree culminates with an art internship and portfolio review. Graduates carry their UTA experiences and expertise into regional, national and international job placements in top design agencies and studios.

Master of Fine Arts with Concentration in Film & Video Art, Intermedia Studio or Visual Communication

This M.F.A. can be concentrated in Film & Video Art, Intermedia Studio, or Visual Communication. Each of these concentrations emphasizes unique aspects of graphic design and mass communication. Candidates complete 60 credits over three years with basic studies covering advanced theory, trending research in the field, and critical analysis to solve design problems. Meanwhile, studies in each concentration hone in on specialized material such as digital programming for Film & Video Art, technology trends for Intermedia Studio, and sustainable design practices for Visual Communication. Degree outcomes are designed to provide marketable skills that advance graduates into leadership career positions. To see more Visual Communication degree programs, visit Top 20 Best Visual Communications Degree Programs.


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design

University of Texas at Arlington
Art & Art History Department
502 South Cooper Street, #335
Box 19089
Arlington, Texas 76019

(817) 272- 2891
[email protected]
B.F.A.: http://www.uta.edu/art/index.php/undergrad/visual_communication/
M.F.A.: http://www.uta.edu/art/index.php/mfa/
Film & Video Art: http://www.uta.edu/art/index.php/mfa/film_video_art/
Intermedia Studio: http://www.uta.edu/art/index.php/mfa/intermedia_studio/
Visual Communication:http://www.uta.edu/art/index.php/mfa/visual_communication/

University of Texas-Pan American

College of Arts and Humanities, Art Department

The University of Texas-Pan American has historically geared its programs to serve the diverse Hispanic population surrounding the Rio Grande Valley. To that end, UTPA has conferred more than 64,779 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees since 1927. Today, the school continues to provide affordable higher-education opportunities with studies in more than 55 cutting-edge career fields such as graphic design for students from all backgrounds. Forbes ranks UTPA at No. 127 for top universities in the South.

B.F.A. Studio, Specialization in Graphic Design

A strong foundation in visual language, analytical decision-making and use of multiple graphic design approaches allows students earning this degree to develop personal design esthetics to guide their careers. The 121-credit program requires completion of core university classes and specialized studies emphasizing art history, drawing and illustration, typography and printmaking, design and production, styles and contemporary art, visual communication and interactive design. Students are also responsible for keeping a work portfolio and presenting it for review at a senior exhibition. Graduates with this B.F.A. possess the contemporary technology skills necessary to be leaders in the graphic design field.


  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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