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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Visual Communications

Majors Overview April 18, 2015

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

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Visual Communications

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Visual Communication program explore the creative processes and technical skills they would need in communicating a message via various media. Students keep busy delving into the digital processes and equipment of photography, investigating methods of printed media, using cutting-edge software to create 3-D models, and exploring the modes of conceiving and implementing website designs. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma.

Visual communications students may be allowed to select an emphasis of study, such as video, photography, publication design, or interactive media. Most students develop professional portfolios over the duration of their career in college.


Over the duration of the program, students engage in the individual and collaborative completion of projects in a variety of media and create a portfolio of work that they may submit. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•2-D modeling
•Digital imaging
•Web design
•Graphic systems management
•Desktop publishing
•Art history
•Visual communications skills
•Interactive media applications
•3-D design

Career Choices

Graduates gain a broad grasp of communication trends and techniques, augmented with skills in their specialized area of emphasis. They may pursue various job titles in accordance with their concentration, such as:

•Film producer
•Media editor

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2010 – 2020 decade, declining rates of 30% in job growth have been predicted for news photographers or photojournalists, corresponding with the decline in the demand for print images in the news industry (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Over the same period, some growth, though negligible, is expected to be witnessed by editors involved in online media work, while 11% job growth is projected to be seen by film producers on the back of an increasing demand for movies. The continual growth of the independent film industry is expected to spur a 16% increase in job growth for independent film producers.

In May 2012, photographers working for a newspaper or periodical publisher brought home an average annual wage of $41,150 (BLS). During the same year, editors earned $62,440. While those in video and motion picture industries earned $73,940, those employed in television and radio broadcasting brought in $55,620, and producers in the video and motion picture industries banked $114,450 on average during the year (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s program can opt for continuing education by earning a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) degree, wherein they develop their conceptual skills and can experiment with media via independent studies, seminars, and studio courses.

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