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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Visual Communications

Majors Overview April 12, 2015

Get information about Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs in Visual Communications and their coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Visual Communications

Schools offer general studies coursework in a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program in Visual Communications, wherein the curriculum is devised to explore principles in interaction design, visual communication techniques, computer graphic design, and drawing.

Coursework involves learning about modes of using digital tools, such as Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop, apart from the examination of traditional principles and studies related to numerous forms of visual communication, including magazine, book, packaging, and Web design.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Applicants to some visual communications programs may be asked to produce a portfolio as evidence of their art and design abilities.

Traditional classroom lectures are combined with hands-on studio experiences; schools often require a capstone project and portfolio development. Additionally, students enrolled in some schools may be required to minor in the humanities, marketing, or business.


Coursework is devised to include digital media design, technical communication, visual literacy, drawing techniques, and design fundamentals. Apart from coursework, a senior capstone project and portfolio may also be included. General education courses find augmentation through core coursework topic areas such as:

•Web Design
•3-D design
•Color management
•Design history

Career Choices

Armed with training as visual communicators in both electronic and print media, those who complete the program can seek work with in-house art departments, publishers, design studios, and advertising agencies. They may seek entry-level positions such as:

•Assistant art director
•Multimedia animator and artist
•Web designer
•Graphic designer

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, average job growth rate of 7% have been predicted for graphic designers. Over the same decade, multimedia artists and animators are expected to see a slower-than-average growth of 6% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, graphic designers brought in an average annual wage of $44,150, while multimedia artists and animators earned $61,370 on average (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates from the bachelor’s program may seek continuing education by earning a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communications or by seeking formal training as offered in design schools and colleges. Some may learn on the job by opting for professional work experience.

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