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2023 Graphic Design Degree Guide

Graphic Design Degrees Growing in Popularity

#107 Most Popular Major
8.7k Degrees Awarded
1.9% Increase in Graduates

In 2020-2021, graphic design was the 107th most popular major nationwide with 8,710 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 169 over the prior year, a growth of 1.9%.

This year's Best Graphic Design Schools ranking compares 192 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom graphic design rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Graphic Design
2023 Overall Best Graphic Design Colleges >

Best Graphic Design Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Graphic Design
Bachelor's Degrees in Graphic Design
Master's Degrees in Graphic Design


Graphic Design Degree Requirements

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times has been highlighted as one of the most essential skills for careers related to graphic design. Talking to others to convey information effectively and understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents are all required skills for careers related to this major.

Getting Accepted Into a Graphic Design Program

graphic design degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic graphic design program qualifications, to serve in some graphic design careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Graphic Design Degrees

Graphic Design degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a in graphic design to something that takes less time like a . The type of graphic design degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to graphic design, with approximately 50.4% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for graphic design workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 41.4%
Master’s Degree 26.1%
Doctoral Degree 13.9%
Some College Courses 8.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 6.1%

76.9% of graphic design workers have at least a bachelor's. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in graphic design have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which graphic design career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Graphic Design Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
77.6k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
7% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Growth Projected for Graphic Design Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your graphic design degree? Graphic Design careers are expected to grow 6.6% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to graphic design.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Graphic Designers 277,400 4.2%
Art, Drama, and Music Professors 137,200 12.0%
Art Directors 95,200 5.4%
Multimedia Artists and Animators 79,900 8.4%
Artists 13,500 5.5%

How Much Money Do People With a Graphic Design Degree Make?

As you might expect, salaries for graphic design graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

Highest Paid Graphic Design Careers

Salaries for graphic design graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers graphic design grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Art Directors $104,590
Art, Drama, and Music Professors $82,560
Multimedia Artists and Animators $78,230
Artists $67,700
Graphic Designers $54,680

Getting Your Graphic Design Degree

With over 865 different graphic design degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased graphic design school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Graphic Design

Graphic Design is one of 9 different types of Design & Applied Arts programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Interior Design 5,840
Visual Communications 5,765
Commercial & Advertising Art 3,597
Fashion Design 3,103
Game & Interactive Media Design 2,692

View All Graphic Design Related Majors >


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