A degree from one of the 5 Best Online Master’s in Graphic Design will give you a leg up in the competitive communication technology industry and empower you to present your unique brand to the world.
Graphic designers have a hand in just about every kind of content one consumes on a daily basis. From online, television and print campaigns for politicians and activists, to the logos on coffee cups and soda cans, to the ever-changing look of social media websites, graphic designers take big ideas and translate them into visual and interactive art that makes a big difference in public perception and behavior.
What Is an Online Master’s in Graphic Design?
Online master’s in graphic design programs teach core courses in typography, photography, multimedia design, and sometimes programming. While many graphic designers can learn the basics of these skills in a bachelor’s program, master’s in graphic design programs qualify grads for teaching positions in higher education, management and art director roles, and often provide unique opportunities for collaboration with Fortune 500 companies.
Another major advantage of graduate graphic design programs is that students have a lot of freedom in how they complete their degrees. The programs on our list emphasize faculty mentorship, portfolio development, and even international competitions to help grads fine-tune their unique styles. Some programs offer in-house design studios where students work together on projects for big-name clients, while others help place students in prestigious internships.
A master’s degree is also a good fit for someone with an undergraduate degree in a complementary skill like journalism, communications, or art, who is ready to start their own publishing business or market themselves as a multimedia communications expert.
How Much Can You Earn With an Online Master’s in Graphic Design?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers typically make around $53,000 per year. However, wages vary up to $93,000 per year depending on experience, education, and employer. Additionally, master’s in graphic design programs prepare students for higher-level jobs like art directors in the publishing and motion picture industries, which get paid between $83,000 and $122,000 yearly.
The skills students learn in graduate graphic design programs are invaluable to employers. Because the industry is constantly evolving, graduate students learn how to continue keeping their skills sharp on the job, but also how to translate big ideas into projects and campaigns of various sizes. According to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, employers will continue to seek intellectual skills like these over specific technical skills when sorting through job applicants.
What Is Required for an Online Master’s in Graphic Design?
Master’s in Graphic Design programs differ in their credit requirements and transfer allowances, and not every program excludes applicants without graphic design experience. This is great news for applicants wanting to add graphic design expertise to a complementary undergraduate degree in something like fine arts or communications.
Some programs require a final portfolio review, some require a thesis, and others require internships for graduation. This variation makes it easy for applicants to choose a program based on their specific needs as a designer. Someone entering a program without design experience, for instance, might want to choose a school that builds and refines a portfolio over time, while another student with more experience might prefer a program that helps them present their signature brand to high-ranking companies.
What Are the Best Online Master’s in Graphic Design?
OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the median debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.
The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.