Graphic Design Graduate Programs

Hello, I was wondering if anyone one knew of the most affordable graphic design graduate degree programs on campus in the U.S. thanks

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That’s a lot of programs. Can you maybe share a little more about your situation?

Well i have a certificate in Graphic Design from one shool and took about 9 courses with my undergrad bachelors degree in something else. I work full time in the field. But want to learn more and get more education, at a program but one that is affordable

Do you work full time as a graphic designer, or in the “something else” field?

Also, are you saying you would move to be near the cheapest program?

I work at a newspaper designing magazines and newspapers at night. And not sure it depends, because I like my job. Would you know of any good graduate programs with cheap tuition?

I haven’t made a study of it, because there’s a lot of them across the US. Figure each state probably has 3 - 5 graphic design programs, times 50, somewhere around 200 programs.

Some community colleges offer a 2-year degree, some universities offer a 4-year degree. Community colleges are cheaper than universities.

Generally, someone who wants to go to school looks into the options near them. You should start your research there. It’s a highly individual thing, more complicated than “good” or “cheap.”

What part of the country are you in? The New York, NJ area have some of the best graphics programs in the world.

But I must ask, why are you so intent on the graduate degree. I’ve been in the industry some 13 years - I’ve never once seen a company even so much as ask for a Masters. Art director positions included.

Do you have an online portfolio? If you’re happy with your current position and paid fairly, why look elsewhere?
It’s a nightmare of job hunting out there for designers. I fell back on my print production experience more than few times for employment.

A Masters degree in design would make you unhireable. Employers would feel they couldn’t pay enough for someone with a Masters.

Have you thought instead about taking a course that compliments the work you do? Perhaps a Masters in communication or marketing. Though again, that might make you unemployable… There are way too many designers out there with just a bachelors willing to take any job for peanuts. A masters, unless you want to teach, is not going to make that situation any better for you.

I haven’t looked recently, but cheap and graduate programs aren’t words typically found next to each other.

I’m going to both agree and disagree with what’s already been said. Graduate degrees aren’t needed in graphic design, but given that you already have a degree in another field, a master’s degree is probably the fastest and least expensive way to get the kind of design degree that will break through the HR barriers.

Of course, your undergraduate degree might determine whether or not you’d even be accepted into a good graduate program. If you majored in something unrelated to design, art, communication, marketing, etc., you might have a hard time finding a program that will accept you unless your design experience and portfolio show that you’re already working at a professional level.

Even though graduate degrees aren’t necessary for design, if you want to eventually move up the corporate ladder into senior management-level positions, an advanced degree suddenly becomes very relevant — especially if it’s paired with a complementary undergraduate degree.

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Thanks for the help everyone. could someone please name some good Masters in Graphic design porograms, that are not very high in cost

A quality Masters program is not going to be cheap.
What do you consider not very high in cost? A lot of schools might have low tuition, in fact they may tout that they haven’t raised tuition in 20 years. But the fees? Astronomical would be a good descriptor.

I’ve investigated a Masters program that complimented my BA (not a continuation of it.)The base cost of the program was $35K just for the tuition and you had 5 years to complete the course of study or you pretty much forfeit the tuition and the degree. Student fees, course supplies and travel pile on top of that.
Is that cheap or expensive?

Ok, so i guess it it seems like it may be difficult to find a find a cheap program anywhere. 35k isnt too much if an employer can pay for a lot of it. I was looking something with a tution 20k to 15k and under. Would schools be less expensive in the middle states compared to ones along the east coast?

You’ll need to research programs that you can afford, because only you know your situation.

You might find an online program from an accredited school for around that, but I’d be skeptical of the education you’ll get. Good in-person state schools in the south seem to have lower tuition on average than anywhere else in the U.S., but you’re still looking at $35,000 and up.

Have you checked this site: ? The only schools it lists in your price range offering Master’s degrees in design are Liberty University and Regent University (I’ve never heard of either, and both appear to be church-focused schools).

It sort of sounds like you’re mainly interested in just getting the degree instead of a quality education. Maybe you’re already a fantastic designer, I have no idea, but if the diploma is all you want, it seems Liberty University can get you one for about $17,000.


Ok, thanks. Yea it is probably smart to go for a degree that you can get a lot out of and something that is respected and recognized. I think SCAD has a good online program, I’m not sure if that is a recognized school and it is probably better for me to do something online with my current work and living situation. I am hoping for some tuition reimbursement from my company, because that could help a lot.

Unless I’m overlooking something on their website, SCAD’s tuition is $37,530 per year for their Master’s program (maybe online is less expensive — I didn’t see a separate tuition schedule for that). I know very little about the school, but the graduate-level design curriculum looks good — a lot more structured than the MFA program I went through.

Yea, I think they may be able to provide some financial aid, or if I am able to get like half off from my company, then it might be worth the extra money.

I would ask them before you choose a program, in case they have restrictions on what kind of training they’ll pay for.

I have, so I will find out in a couple days. I haven’t applied anywhere yet, I’m not really in a rush to start too soon

SCAD is one of THE best schools out there for design. Good luck getting accepted into their master’s program without some sort of design undergrad degree. They are serious. Their masters program isn’t a place to learn basics.

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