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Q&A - Bachelors Degrees in Graphic Design

Can I work while studying for my bachelors degree in graphic design?

You can work while you study for your graphic design bachelor degree, but try to find a job that is related to graphic design. Working while you study for your graphic design bachelors degree can help you pay your tuition while earning valuable experience in the field.

If you can get a job with a graphic design company, you can produce samples for your portfolio and make connections with people in the field, both of which are important for continuing your education or getting a great job after you graduate. You could also work at a larger corporation or organization, either with the graphic design team or with a related department, such as marketing or communications. Alternately, you could start your own business or work as an assistant to a self-employed graphic designer.

Graphic design bachelor degree programs require you to take a certain number of courses to maintain your full-time or part-time student status. Working while going to school may prevent you from devoting sufficient time to your studies.

If you are enrolled in a traditional program, you will probably take classes during the day, which will limit the amount of time you can spend working during typical business hours. If you are pursuing your graphic design bachelor degree online, then you will likely have even more flexibility in your schedule to work more hours in an office during the regular business day. An institution that offers a top online bachelors degree in graphic design may even provide assistance in finding jobs or internships.

Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online graphic design bachelors degree program?

Many schools offer on-campus graphic design programs, and some of these institutions also offer a graphic design bachelor degree online. One top online bachelors degree in graphic design is at Savannah College of Art and Design, which is a highly selective school.

Other online graphic design schools you might want to consider include the International Academy of Design and Technology and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Some schools let you select a particular aspect of graphic design to focus on, and others give different names to their graphic design programs. Westwood College’s graphic design bachelors degree gives you 4 possible areas of focus. Two of these you can pursue online: visual communications and web design.

The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design lets you study graphic design online through its communications design major. All of these institutions offer an accredited bachelor degree in graphic design.

There are many other schools that offer degrees online, and you should be sure the program you are interested in is accredited. For example, Stevens-Henager College offers an online bachelor of science degree in graphic arts, and California College San Diego, an affiliate of Stevens-Henager College, offers similar tracks in graphic arts, graphic arts with an information design emphasis and web design and development.

Are there any scholarships for traditional or online bachelors degree students in graphic design?

Many traditional programs offer funding to students pursuing a bachelor in graphic design. For example, Virginia Commonwealth University, Colorado State University, the Art Institutes (some of which offer online degree programs) and University of Cincinnati all have scholarships specifically for graphic design students.

Some scholarships and resources are specific to a geographic location, such as Washington state or New York City. Other scholarships are for applicants from certain racial or ethnic backgrounds. For example, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation may award you up to $3,000 for your education, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts offers a Worldstudio AIGA Scholarship of up to $5,000 if you are a minority or economically disadvantaged student.

You might be interested in scholarships from professional associations, which are often based on the quality of your work. The Gravure Association of America and the Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation provide a variety of scholarships between $1,000 and $5,000. You can apply for a $5,000 scholarship from the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute if you plan on a career in that industry. Usually, programs that offer the best bachelors in graphic design will assist you with finding more of these scholarships.

If you choose to get a graphic design bachelor degree online, you may not be eligible for as many scholarships as traditional students. Even a top online bachelors degree in graphic design may not give you access to funding. If you are enrolled in an online program, make sure your institution is accredited, otherwise you will be ineligible for government grants, scholarships and loans, and you may be restricted from private ones as well.

Can I study abroad during my on-campus or online bachelors degree program in graphic design?

More than 200 schools offer study abroad programs as part of their graphic design bachelors degree. Marymount University’s Environmental Graphic Design can take you to Glasgow, Scotland for 3 weeks. At the Savannah College of Art and Design, you can spend a quarter in Lacoste, France, or you can complete your entire degree program in Hong Kong.

At Ohio University, you can take the summer, semester or full academic year in Italy, the UK, Hong Kong, Ghana, Malaysia or Australia. Boston University helps you experience all London has to offer, with both courses and internships in graphic design.

A unique study abroad program at Santa Fe University of Art and Design lets you earn a BFA from Santa Fe as well as a BA from the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, Italy.

You may find that your online graphic design courses do not offer you enough connection with your fellow students, and a study abroad program could fill that gap. However, even a top online bachelors degree in graphic design program might not offer study abroad opportunities. If you want studying abroad to be part of getting your graphic design bachelor degree online, consider an online program that also has a traditional campus.