Graphic Design College Requirements

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    Associate Degree

    • If a student hopes to start working quickly, an associate degree in graphic design is ideal. Associate degree programs typically last two years and prepare students with a basic knowledge of graphic design. According to Education-Portal's web information on graphic design, "the requirements to complete an associate degree in graphic design typically include a project-oriented curriculum that introduces students to industry design problems and lets them demonstrate their understanding." Students are required to take classes focused on design technology and creating designs. The curriculum typically includes general education, electives and graphic design courses, which they must finish to graduate.

    Bachelor's Degree

    • While four-year bachelor of arts (BA) or bachelor of graphic design (BGD) degrees typically take four years, a bachelor of fine art (BFA) may take four and a half or five to finish. With either a BA or BFA, students increase their chances of beginning an entry-level position and the ability to work their way up in the field. Bachelor's programs typically go beyond the problem-solving skills that students learn in associate degree programs. They may focus on finding out what problems exist and new ways to solve them. Technological instruction includes learning to use Mac computers, presentation equipment, and the Adobe Master Collection package. Undergraduate degrees include general education, the history of graphic design and art, and electives. Students are introduced to typography and computer-aided design.

    Master's Degree

    • A master of fine art program for graphic design may take two to three years of full time study. Students may choose a master's program because the advanced knowledge they learn should help them secure promotions. Programs typically emphasize the theory, discipline and implementation of design. Teachers push students to find innovative methods to solve graphic design issues and create improved designs. Courses typically include seminars and studio courses. An advanced typography course may be required; students also complete a thesis course involving presentation skills. Students take courses in motion graphics, contemporary art and design systems. Students may complete field internships or go on field trips with direction from their professors.

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