Top 30 Bachelor’s in Graphic Design Degree Programs 2024

graphic design

In this article, we profile the top 30 best graphic design degree programs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects major competition for graphic design jobs in the next eight years. In fact, the employment growth rate falls short of the average for all other occupations. This means limited job opportunities. But, the job outlook for graphic designers is still favorable. A 3 percent projected growth through 2028 is expected. To set yourself apart from the competition, consider earning a graphic design degree. This can help to gain the skillset needed to qualify for management roles.

Top 30 Best Graphic Design Degree Programs Methodology

Just over 80 colleges were filtered through the Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator. We also reviewed reputable online sources for schools that offered both online and traditional graphic design programs. We evaluated both master’s and bachelor’s degree programs. The following criteria were used to narrow our search:

Featured Programs

  • Accreditation (regional and/or national)
  • Institution rankings with U.S. News and World Report
  • Tuition costs

We then ranked our chosen schools according to raw affordability.

Here are the resulting selections for our top 30 best graphic design degree programs.

#30 – Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Bachelor’s in Design


Carnegie Mellon University logo

Undergraduate Tuition: $57,119

Carnegie Mellon University offers a bachelor’s in design degree program. It emphasizes the importance of human interaction in the natural and built worlds. Students work in dedicated studio spaces learning and honing their craft. The first-year curriculum builds a solid base covering three design tracks:

  • communications
  • products
  • environments

The coursework offers a broader approach to design. It helps them develop interests and talents before moving into more specialty coursework. One of the year’s highlights includes the annual career event, Confluence. More than 70 companies come looking to fill internships and offer career opportunities. Carnegie Mellon has an outstanding academic reputation. It ranks #25 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report

#29 – Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Logo of Boston University

Undergraduate Tuition: $55,892

Students wanting a degree in graphic design may find the BFA at Boston University a great option. This is due to its innovative curriculum and dedicated faculty. The program uses a sequenced approach to design. The program develops creativity and problem-solving skills. This prepares a future graphic designer for success in a fast-paced work environment. Students are set up with faculty mentors. They work on projects that are both open-ended and well-defined. This helps students navigate different types of project challenges in the field. The degree requires 132 semester credits. It includes general education courses taken during the student’s first two years. Boston University ranks #40 among national universities by U.S. News and World Report.

#28 – Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, Rhode Island

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Logo of Rhode Island School of Design

The Rhode Island School of Design offers a degree program. It focuses on developing analytical problem-solving and creative design processes. Students graduate with a BFA degree with a major in graphic design. They offer small class sizes and studio space for students to explore and hone their craft. First-year foundational courses include:

  • first-year literature seminar
  • spatial dynamics I
  • theory and history of art and design I: global modernism

The coursework ends with a self-defined project. The project exhibits student mastery of conceptual and applied aspects of the program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $52,860

#27 – California Institute of the Arts

Valencia, California

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Logo of California Institute of the Arts

Undergraduate Tuition: $51,466

California Institute of the Arts provides students with a transformative graphic design degree. It blends conceptual and practical design coursework. The general education curriculum incorporates the following:

  • socio-cultural considerations
  • political aspects
  • ethical considerations

Besides the bachelor of fine arts degree, students can also earn a minor in digital arts. It readies them to operate digital platforms used for engineering and design purposes. Coursework may include:

  • digital design
  • graphic design
  • intro to digital photography
  • professional practice for graphic design

The degree ends in a student portfolio. It is a unique creation and highlights the student’s mastery and uniqueness.

#26 – California College of the Arts

San Francisco, California

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


California College of the Arts logo

Undergraduate Tuition: $51,092

The graphic design degree at CCA uses cutting-edge software and technology. (t prepares students for a wide range of careers in graphic design. Students learn skills that prepare them for professional practice, such as:

  • motion graphics
  • interactive media
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign

The core curriculum contains three sequence courses in graphic design and typography. These classes teach the foundational principles and concepts of form and craft. The program is grounded in applied skill-building. Students also learn about the various influences of art like:

  • social
  • cultural
  • political

It helps them to find their voice within the context of society and the individual.

#25 – Maryland Institute College of Art

Baltimore, Maryland

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Logo of Maryland Institute College of Art

Undergraduate Tuition: $50,330

There is a range of occupations and settings available with a graphic design major. At MICA, students graduate ready to enter a professional career. They do this by engaging in pre-professional experiences during their last two years. The faculty are leading professionals in their respective fields. They use their social and occupational capital to help students land:

  • internships
  • freelance opportunities
  • post-graduation jobs

The program requires 120-credits. The curriculum includes general education courses in the liberal arts and design courses. Classes may include:

  • cartographies
  • contemporary practices
  • history of graphic design

#24 – Otis College of Art and Design

Los Angeles, California

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Otis College of Art and Design logo

Undergraduate Tuition: $48,380

Otis College of Art and Design helps students discover their artistic and creative talents. It helps to prepare them for one of several career paths in design. The curriculum presents an overview of design and illustration. Several alumni are working for organizations such as:

  • Apple
  • Guess
  • Capital Records

Students will learn the many facets of the graphic design fields, including:

  • web design
  • branding development
  • package design

An upside to the program is the amount of practical utility built into the major. Aside from coursework, students spend many hours in the lab honing and mastering the very skills they will be doing on the job.

#23 – Art Center College of Design

Pasadena, California

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Art Center College of Design logo

Undergraduate Tuition: $44,932

Art Center College of Design provides an undergraduate graphic design degree. It uses innovative coursework to foster:

  • creativity
  • critical thinking
  • professionalism

Its program is unique. The focus is on art and its practice as essential tools for communication in graphic design. It doesn’t only consider commercial enterprises. The program is for those who enjoy producing work across various mediums. It also targets specialists who are passionate about a specific medium. The faculty also help students to identify what career path they want to be on. They teach students to understand their strengths and weaknesses as graphic designers. The program can be completed in four years.

#22 – Cleveland Institute of Art

Cleveland, Ohio

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Cleveland Institute of Art logo

Undergraduate Tuition: $43,305

CIA offers undergraduates a graphic design degree with a cutting-edge curriculum. The program is consistently updated to reflect changes occurring in the industry. Coursework also stays true to time-tested design principles and concepts. Students engage in radical forms of self-expression through a variety of media. This helps them discover their artistic style and talents. It prepares them for successful careers. CIA prides itself in engaged practice. They work with outside clients on real-world projects with actual stakes.

#21 – Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah, Georgia

Online Bachelor’s in Fine Arts


Logo of Savannah College of Art and Design

Undergraduate Tuition: $38,075

Savannah College of Art and Design offers an excellent program. The result of the online degree is a bachelor of fine arts with a major in graphic design. It is one of the few online BFA degrees offered. The program is for those who prefer the flexibility and convenience of an online degree. It develops artistic skills in combination with sound business and professional practices. Graduates are part artists, storytellers, entrepreneurs, and tech experts. The combination of skills makes for a strong graphic designer candidate sought after by top organizations.

#20 – California Baptist University

Riverside, California

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design and Digital Media


Logo of California Baptist University

Undergraduate Tuition: $34,882

California Baptist University offers an online graphic design degree. It is designed for working individuals seeking a new career or wishing to advance in their current occupation. The program focuses on helping graduates be competitive in the workforce. It teaches skills and concepts in subjects like:

  • web design
  • typography
  • photography
  • imaging
  • scripting

Students learn how to solve complex problems using critical thinking through design solutions. Courses may include:

  • fundamental design
  • history of graphic design
  • intermediate composition

Admission requirements include 24 transferable credits or a high school diploma or its equivalent, along with a 2.0 minimum GPA. The average completion is only 16 months.

#19 – Upper Iowa University

Fayette, Iowa

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Logo of Upper Iowa University

Undergraduate Tuition: $31,685

Upper Iowa University offers an excellent online degree program for undergraduates. It can help them advance their current career or break into the field as a competitive candidate. The online program is offered by the School of Business and Professional Studies. It allows a student to continue their current obligations while pursuing their career as a graphic designer. Students learn technical and problem-solving skills within the context of:

  • print publications
  • advertising
  • web design
  • multi-media

U.S. News and World Report rank #117 in regional universities Midwest and #86 among top performers in social mobility.

#18 – Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Logo of Southern New Hampshire University

Undergraduate Tuition: $31,136

Southern New Hampshire University offers an online graphic design degree. It is known for its flexibility and innovative curriculum that helps prepare graduates to excel on the job. The institution is ranked in several U.S. News and World Report categories. This includes:

  • #92 in regional universities North
  • #1 in most innovative schools

Students learn advanced technical skills along with concepts and critical thinking methods. Students can choose from concentrations in 3D modeling and animation or web design. Graduates can go on to any number of successful careers as graphic designers, such as:

  • creative director
  • multimedia designer
  • production artist
  • logo design
  • marketing specialist

#17 – Columbia College

Chicago, Illinois

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Logo of Columbia College Chicago

Undergraduate Tuition: $27,756

Many new college students often wonder what can you do with a graphic design degree. The undergraduate program at Columbia College of Chicago answers that question. Its curriculum is taught by professors with industry experience, you can achieve your goals. The program is designed to give students the tools to launch a career in visual communication through a variety of mediums. Students can choose from concentrations in publication design or web design. Students get plenty of hands-on work through internships and lab time where they can work on and hone their craft. Columbia College ranks in several U.S. News and World Report categories, such as:

  • #105 in regional universities Midwest
  • #13 in most innovative schools

#16 – Kentucky Wesleyan College

Owensboro, Kentucky

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Kentucky Wesleyan College logo

Undergraduate Tuition: $27,200

Kentucky Wesleyan College offers an online degree program. It prepares students for a fast-paced career in graphic design and visual communications. Students will take foundational courses in drawing and design courses. They will move on to advanced coursework, including:

  • typography
  • branding
  • publication
  • web design

The online nature of the program allows students to work towards the degree while maintaining their current obligations, such as family and work. In fact, the vast majority of students are working professionals either starting college for the first time or finishing up their degree. Kentucky Wesleyan currently ranks #16 in regional colleges South by U.S. News and World Report.

#15 – Midway University

Midway, Kentucky

Online Bachelor’s in Marketing Communication and Graphic Design


Logo of Midway University

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,850

Founded in 1847, Midway University offers an online graphic design bachelor degree that focuses on the following:

  • branding
  • visual marketing
  • business
  • graphic design

Courses include:

  • animation
  • brand management
  • digital storytelling
  • social media management

Midway currently ranks #73 in regional universities South and #3 among top performers in social mobility by U.S. News and World Report.

#14 – Full Sail University

Winter Park, Florida

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Logo of Full Sail University

Undergraduate Tuition: $24,513

Full Sail University offers an online design degree intersecting business and design. Graduates learn the creative aspect of design and learn to navigate the complexities of the industry. Students get an understanding of design, from print to virtual reality, and everything in between. Coursework covers the gamut from art history to technical proficiency. The online bachelor’s program can be completed in 29 months. This saves students time and money and allows them to start their careers quickly. The online format allows students to continue other commitments while pursuing their bachelor’s degree.

#13 – Academy of Art University

San Francisco, California

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Logo of Academy of Art University

Undergraduate Tuition: $25,424

The Academy of Art University offers an online graphic design degree. It features a robust curriculum taught by highly trained faculty with industry experience. Students are evaluated on four broad categories, including:

  • critical and creative thinking
  • conceptual skills
  • formal skills
  • professional readiness

Because the program is online, students fit coursework and projects into their schedules. The flexibility and rigor help students develop self-motivation. It also introduces the concept of meeting deadlines and turning in quality work.

#12 – Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design


Logo of Liberty University

Undergraduate Tuition: $22,747

Liberty University’s online graphic design degree. The program requires 120-credit program and is divided into 8-week courses. The curriculum is 100% online. Its efficiency and flexibility and allows students to transfer in up to 75% of the 120 credits. In addition to online coursework, students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience. They take part in practicums and supervised internships. Students develop creative and professional skill sets which increases their marketability. Featured classes include:

  • digital imaging
  • graphic design
  • history of art
  • introduction to graphic design

Liberty University is a Christian institution and infuses its curriculum with religious principles. U.S. News and World Report ranks Liberty #293 in national universities.

#11 – Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Lakewood, Colorado


Logo of Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Undergraduate Tuition: $19,670

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design offers a graphic design degree online. It is designed for individuals seeking a flexible course delivery. There is a challenging coursework taught by trained and experienced faculty. Students graduate well-versed in the latest industry tools and time-tested design principles. Students learn skills like:

  • typography
  • visual storytelling
  • the latest design software

It engages in written and verbal presentations with real-world clients. Applicants must submit a portfolio of their work along. They also need an official high school or college transfer transcripts. Full financial aid packages and scholarships are available to those who qualify and complete the FAFSA.

#10 – Temple University

Bachelor’s in Graphic and Interactive Design

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Logo of Temple University for our ranking of Best Graphic Design Degree Programs

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,970

Temple University’s graphic design degree trains students to navigate the entire design process. The curriculum focuses on professional discipline combined with creative thinking. Students practice their skills on a variety of media from tactile materials to virtual reality. It gives them both breadth and depth to their skillsets and helps them to hone in on their passions. Seniors focus on completing a unique portfolio that can be used throughout the graduate’s career.

#9 – Virginia Commonwealth University

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Richmond, Virginia


Virginia Commonwealth University logo

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,596

Virginia Commonwealth University’s graphic design degree has an excellent academic reputation. As you can see by its multiple rankings in U.S. News and World Report. The program takes a scaffold approach. This is where freshmen learn the foundational principles of professionalism and design followed by intensive practice beginning their sophomore year. The junior year entails freedom of expression and experimentation with:

  • text
  • images
  • materials
  • the underlying socio-political meanings and consequences of various mediums and messages

Students then focus on refining their skills and passions during their senior year.

#8 – Independence University

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Salt Lake City, Utah


Logo of Independence University for our list of Graphic Design Degree Programs

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,585

Students looking for a graphic design degree online may want to consider the program at Independence University. The curriculum can be completed in just 37 months. It prepares the student for a design-related career or further schooling. Graduates most commonly move on to careers as:

  • graphic designers
  • web designers
  • production artists
  • multimedia artists
  • art directors

The program is practitioner-based with a focus on practical skills in the latest technologies, such as:

  • InDesign
  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator

In addition, students learn foundational concepts in design while faculty help to foster creativity and professionalism. The program can be best described as flexible, employment-focused, and flexible.

#7 – Pennsylvania State University World Campus

Online Bachelor’s in Digital Multimedia Design

University Park, Pennsylvania


Logo of Pennsylvania State University World Campus for our ranking of Top 30 Best Graphic Design Degree Programs

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,988

The goal of the Penn State World Campus online graphic design degree is to create graduates to become leaders in the various creative industries. The curriculum focuses on the development of a competent and creative design professional. Graduates will be able to handle the complex and fast-paced environment of design that requires professionalism, creativity, and skill. They go on to careers in various industries, including:

  • technology
  • media
  • production
  • design
  • marketing

The diversity of the degree allows students to choose the field and medium they are most passionate about. Courses include:

  • digital multimedia design foundations
  • introduction to application development
  • introduction to digital art
  • design criticism

And because the entire degree is online, students have maximum flexibility and time to complete their studies.

#6 – University of California

Bachelor’s in Design Media Arts

Los Angeles, California


Logo of University of California

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,240

UCLA offers a graphic design degree. It has featured several graduates who have gone on to national and international acclaim in the industry. The curriculum helps students develop a solid foundation in:

  • typography
  • interactive media
  • color
  • form
  • space

Students spend innumerable hours in the lab working on their craft and developing their acumen and skill. In addition, students learn critical design concepts and how design impacts culture, politics, race, gender, and more. UCLA enjoys a worldwide reputation as one of the finest institutions in the world, backed by multiple U.S. News and World Report rankings such as #20 in national universities, #1 in top public schools, and #27 in most innovative schools.

#5 – University of Georgia

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Athens, Georgia


Logo of University of Georgia

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,080

The Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia offers a graphic design degree specializing in design and communication. In particular, skills and concepts such as typography, information hierarchy, concept development, and visual exploration are emphasized in the course and lab work. Students desiring to major in graphic design must enroll in ARGD 2010 to become eligible for the major. Prospective students must also submit a student portfolio. Graduates have gone on to prestigious careers in organizations such as Facebook, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, CNN, and Evernote. Faculty bring a wide range of industry and teaching experience and can impart their wisdom and skill to the student who can exit the program as a skilled professional ready to contribute to the design needs of any firm.

#4 – Arizona State University

Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Tempe, Arizona


Logo of Arizona State University

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338

Arizona State University answers the question for students wondering what can you do with a graphic design degree. The program is housed in the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. It is committed to helping students develop their artistic skills and professionalism. The program rests on solid design and sustainability principles where students develop their intellectual creativity. Studio courses allow students to work alone and in group projects. This can aid in honing their craft and preparing for the workforce. Arizona State ranks #1 in most innovative schools by U.S. News and World Report.

#3 – Rasmussen College

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Bloomington, Minnesota


Rasmussen College logo

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,935

Rasmussen College offers an online graphic design degree. There are specializations in animation and motion graphics or web and interactive design. The curriculum is constantly updated to reflect the latest industry needs. Graduates will be well-versed in the concepts, design skills, and technology required to be competitive job candidates. Design skills are emphasized, including:

  • audio/video editing
  • interactive design
  • graphic animation

Students learn transferable skills, such as:

  • critical thinking
  • problem-solving
  • teamwork
  • communication literacy

All of these skills are necessary within the context of the graphic design industry. Graduates exit the program as comprehensive graphic design professionals can produce timely deliverables as needed.

#2 – Bellevue University

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Design

Bellevue, Nebraska


Bellevue University logo

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,851

Bellevue University’s online graphic design degree focuses on developing students’ print and web design skills. It uses the latest technology tools combined with sound design principles. The program combines hands-on learning and theory in an online manner. Online classes allow students to work towards their bachelor’s degree with time for other obligations such as work and family. The comprehensive curriculum prepares students through transformative experiences resulting in a dedicated graphic design professional with the knowledge and skills needed to excel on the job. The 127-credit program includes courses such as:

  • fundamentals of print design
  • fundamentals of web design
  • history of contemporary graphic design
  • problem-solving
  • idea generation

#1 – University of Maryland Global Campus

Online Bachelor’s in Graphic Communication

Adelphi, Maryland


Logo of University of Maryland Global Campus

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,560

The University of Maryland Global Campus ranks as our number one online graphic design degree. This is due to its affordable tuition, flexible curriculum, and outstanding faculty. The program is a portfolio-based degree. It results in an innovative set of projects aimed toward client and employment acquisition. Graduates are well prepared for design careers in many industries, such as:

  • private business
  • government
  • education

In addition to design skills and principles, students learn the business side of the industry and occupation. They will also learn to develop comprehensive business plans that include timelines and budgets. Courses may include advanced graphic communication, professional branding, digital media, and typography and layout.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admission requirements for undergraduate graphic design degree programs?

Below we discuss the admission requirements for an undergraduate graphic design degree. While most admission requirements are similar, it is important to note that each institution and department may have its own set of unique provisions.

Admission to a bachelor’s program in graphic design requires a two-step process. The first step is gaining admission to the institution at large. This typically entails submitting an admission application such as the Common Application. This is when students must upload important documents, such as:

  • high school transcripts
  • counselor recommendation letters
  • standardized test scores

Upon admission to the university, students will take undergraduate general education requirements in disciplines such as:

  • natural sciences
  • social sciences
  • mathematics
  • humanities
  • English

In lieu of applying to a four-year institution, students can also apply for admission to a community college. They can take these courses and then transfer them to the baccalaureate institution upon approval. Typically in the sophomore year, students take a survey course in graphic design or art and are ready to apply for the graphic design major. In addition to pre-requisite coursework, which is generally 1-3 courses, students submit a portfolio of their artistic work and are interviewed by faculty within the department before an admission decision is rendered. Along with interviews and prerequisite courses, graphic design departments also require students to have a minimum GPA to apply.

What can you do with a graphic design degree?

Today’s graphic design careers blend art, technology, and business. The vast majority of graphic design careers focus on the digital side of the industry. Technology plays an integral, if not the most important, role in terms of gainful employment and upward career mobility. While graphic design programs vary by institution. The majority of them have a substantial portion of their curriculum dedicated to digital design platforms and technology.

The most common career is in graphic design. These professionals work for a variety of industries, including entities in sectors like:

  • public
  • private
  • non-profit entities

A graphic designer’s main function is to develop graphics and layouts for:

  • websites
  • company logos
  • product illustrations
  • organizational messaging

The job duties cover a wide range of tasks across virtually any industry.

Graphic design graduates who possess industry experience can go on to become creative directors. They can provide the vision for a particular project and organization. They lead teams of designers and other professionals to provide orders for in-house and external clients. The job involves creative vision, management, leadership, and budgetary skills.

Another popular career for graphic design graduates is the user experience designer. The professionals are tasked with making products and services simple and intuitive for users. This career is a good fit for technically savvy designers who enjoy refining design and user processes using the latest technology tools.

What is the job outlook for individuals with a graphic design degree?

According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook is best described as divided by industry. The overall growth is expected to be fairly flat at three percent from 2018 to 2028. For context, the three percent increase lags behind the five percent overall growth for all occupations. When drilling down into the data, it shows an industry with segments that are in severe decline and extreme growth.

When dissecting the industry, the employment of graphic designers in the book, newspaper, and magazine industries is expected to decline a staggering 22 percent during the ten-year period from 2018-2028. The drop is portended by the move away from hard-copy products to digital environments. On the other hand, graphic design employment is expected to grow 24 percent over the same timeframe. In-demand work will be driven by graphic design projects within a digital environment using the latest design technology tools and platforms.

Candidates who focus on the digital aspects of design will find more competition for job openings. They better match the skills required by today’s organizations. Those with fewer digital skill sets may choose to continue their education. Professional development courses can increase their employability.

How long does it take to complete a graphic design degree?

A bachelor’s degree in graphic design can take anywhere from 2.5-4 years to complete. The average time to completion varies greatly by institution and delivery method. For on-campus, traditional semester/quarterly programs take four years when attending full-time. The first two years consist of general education courses that all students have to take. It is followed by two years of graphic design courses. Graduation for part-time attendance differs by institution, with the average being ten years.

Some on-campus programs that follow competency-based education models can be completed in as little as two years. These types of programs do not follow a chronological calendar. Rather, they allow the student to accelerate through courses once they have mastered the curriculum, which can be a specific skill, knowledge, or both.

Online bachelor’s programs in graphic design are known for their flexibility. As such, the timelines vary between 2-4 years, with the majority taking 3-4 years. They take longer due to the sheer number of credits required compared to master’s degrees. For example, the average master’s degree is 30 credits in contrast to a bachelor’s degree, which is 120 credits. Online programs often allow students to transfer in a large number of general education courses taken at a different university, college, or community college, either locally or out of state. This may shorten the timeframe, so it is a good idea for the potential student to check the online program’s transfer policies.

How much money can I earn with a graphic design degree?

Data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics shows graphic designers earn a median (average) annual salary of $50,370. Compared to the national average of $38,640 for all occupations, which shows graphic designers earn an average salary make over 30% more than the average worker. When looking at the spectrum of graphic design pay, the data shows the top ten percent of earners make $85,760 per year while the lowest ten percent earn an annual wage of $29,610. Several factors determine salary levels, including industry, organization, level of experience, and education.

When looking at industry-related pay, graphic designers working in advertising, public relations, and related services earn the highest wages, with a median salary of $51,380, followed closely by specialized design service designers that earn $51,320. Low-level graphic design jobs in newspapers, periodicals, and printing earn far less, with average salaries of $43,450 and $40,170, respectively.

In addition to the factors mentioned above, geographic location is a salient factor as it relates to salary. States with a high cost of living, such as California and New York, pay the highest salaries, with New York coming in at number one with a median salary of $66,870, followed by California at $63,710.

CVO Staff
April 2020

This concludes our list of top 30 best graphic design degree programs.