Accredited Online Graphic Design Schools and Degree Programs

If you’re thinking about applying to an online graphic design degree program, then the following guide can direct you to some of the top schools and careers in this field. Graphic design accreditation agencies are also listed, pointing you in the direction of credible and high-ranking institutions that offer graphic design degrees.

  • Accreditation Agencies
  • Career Options
  • Notable Schools

Accreditation Agencies

Prospective graphic design students do not have to scour the Web in search of multiple accreditation agencies – there is only one that oversees graphic design degree programs in the United States. The NASAD ensures that art and design programs at more than 322 academic institutions meet rigorous academic and administrative standards.

Career Options

Graphic design majors have a diverse set of employment options as undergraduate or graduate degree holders. The following are some of the most common opportunities pursued in this field of study.

Job Title National Employment Mean Hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage
Graphic Designer 191,440 $23.43 $48,730
Desktop Publishers 15,960 $18.77 $39,040
Art Director 31,570 $45.32 $94,260
Commercial and Industrial Designer 29,030 $30.02 $62,430
Multimedia Artist or Designer 29,270 $33.44 $69,560

Figures from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

Notable Schools

Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of accredited colleges there are across the nation. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for your specific program. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable online and campus-based schools offering degrees in this subject to help you begin your school search.


The schools listed here are known for providing high-quality distance learning degree programs in graphic design. While these degrees can be completed 100% online, some of these schools might also offer on-campus class formats for students who wish to take a blended academic approach.

Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah, Georgia / Online

This college sets itself apart by being ranked amongst the best online bachelor’s programs and graduate education programs by the U.S. News and World Report. The graphic design department at SCAD is very accommodating to online learners, offering four types of degrees for prospective distance learners: the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, and Master of Fine Arts.

The New School

New York, New York / Online

The New School is located in the cultural hub of the United States, and its graphic design department ranks at No. 10 amongst the nation’s top graduate school programs within this field. The Parsons design school encourages global learning experiences and curricula sharing through academic partnerships in Paris, Shanghai, and Mumbai.

Herzing University

Madison, Wisconsin / Online

The U.S. News and World Report distinguishes this academic institution as one of the top regional colleges in the Midwest. Students who enroll in the online undergraduate degree programs at Herzing can choose to specialize in either print or Web design.

Campus Only

The following schools have received the top three rankings by the U.S. News and World Report for their graphic design programs. These colleges only offer degree programs on campus.

Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, Rhode Island

The Rhode Island School of Design takes is recognized as the premier graphic design school in the United States by the U.S. News and World Report. This private college boasts a 95% retention rate and small class sizes, with undergraduate classes reaching an average of 17 students and graduate courses averaging at 12 students.

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut

Not only is Yale ranked No. 3 amongst all colleges in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, Yale’s graphic design department take the No. 2 spot amongst other top programs within this field. Yale’s graphic design website itself is a testimony to the innovative work being done by students – it is an evolving wiki to which graduate students and faculty members can contribute. In addition, students enrolled at Yale gain access to personalized studio work space and rare book collections.

Maryland Institute College of Art

Baltimore, Maryland

This college performs extremely well within fine arts, receiving a No. 3 rank for its top-notch graphic design department from the U.S. News and World Report. MICA offers graphic design education at undergraduate and graduate levels, and they produce more Fulbright Scholars than any other college in the nation.