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Overview of Master of Graphic Design Degree Programs

Majors Overview February 23, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in graphic design and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Master of Graphic Design Programs

Few schools, if any, offer a Master of Graphic Design program; however, the program coursework is akin to that of a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Graphic Design program. Students with undergraduate degrees in related areas, as well as working professionals, can have an in-depth study of media art and technology. Program coursework emphasizes practice, theory, and creative problem-solving. Coursework, philosophy, and ratio of design courses to general studies courses can all vary by school.

Program coursework combines studio work, electives, seminars with industry professionals, and readings. About 30-36 credits may have to be completed by students, including a final project, thesis, or portfolio requirement.

Educational Requirements

Admission criteria related to selective graduate programs in graphic design typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. Students with insufficient credits in the visual arts may have to complete preparatory or foundational courses before they are allowed to begin program coursework. Submission of a portfolio of their work is necessary for students seeking admission.

Coursework

Program coursework aims at students with access to advanced-level classes in methodology, art history, and hands-on instruction in current graphics technology. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Drawing
•Art or graphic design history
•Design research
•Graphic design studio
•Graphic design seminar
•Brand and corporate design
•Web design

Career Choices

In the highly competitive graphics field, candidates with a quality portfolio are preferred for positions in the printing, advertising, publishing and related fields. The greatest opportunities are available to professionals with website design and technical animation experience.

Job and Wage Outlook

Graphic designers are expected to see an one percent job growth, over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, 261,600 individuals were employed as graphic designers in the United States and earned an average annual wage of $45,900.

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  • Campus-based and online degrees include Computer Animation (BS), Digital Arts and Design (BS), Graphic Design (BS), and more
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