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Graphic Design :

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Bachelor’s Degree

The UIU Advantage

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from UIU, you can turn your creativity into a rewarding career. In this program, you will use the latest digital innovations to learn the technical and creative problem-solving skills needed to produce the advertisements, videos, social media and web designs that so much of our world depends on.

Why Graphic Design at UIU?

You never have to put your creativity on hold at UIU. As a student in the graphic design degree program, you’ll start taking core graphic design courses right away. As you move through the program, you will build a portfolio of original work and gain proficiency in Adobe Creative Cloud technologies. This means you’ll graduate with the work and knowledge you need to impress future employers.

At UIU, you’re more than just a number. We keep class sizes small, at a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio, to make sure you have one-on-one time with your professors. And, between our expert faculty and our helpful staff, you always have someone ready to offer you support.

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Explore Your Program

Graphic Design Courses

See course descriptions for the classes you need for your Graphic Design degree, as well as any general education requirements.

Academic Calendar

Keep up with your academic program’s registration deadlines, session dates, holiday breaks and exam schedules.

Careers in Graphic Design

A degree prepares you for many careers, such as art director, creative director, film & video editor, graphic designer, industrial/product designer, marketing manager, multimedia artist/animator, photographer, web designer.

Majoring in Graphic Design

About UIU’s Graphic Design Degree Program

What is a Graphic Design Degree?

UIU’s graphic design degree is a portfolio-driven program that helps you find unique responses to design problems and create original work in every course. The curriculum pairs topics like digital imaging and video editing with foundational courses in marketing and advertising to give you a well-rounded education. When you graduate, you’ll have a robust portfolio that can help you stand out in the job market.

A 24-credit minor is also available in graphic design. This minor is a great fit for those majoring in related fields like marketing or communication studies.

Getting Your Graphic Design Degree Online

Get the same high-quality graphic design education that you would get from a UIU classroom — at home or in your office. Upper Iowa University offers a degree in graphic design online, as well as in-person and distance learning options to meet your educational needs.

How to Apply

To apply, visit our Online Application portal to create an account and start your application. Still unsure if the graphic design degree at Upper Iowa University is right for you? Reach out to our admissions office to ask questions or request additional information. They’ll be happy to assist you.

Career Opportunities & Benefits

Careers in Graphic Design

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design from UIU, you’ll be prepared to pursue both entry-level positions and more senior titles. You may find work as an in-house graphic designer or as part of an agency. You may also decide to work for yourself as a freelance designer.

A degree in graphic design can prepare you for jobs like:

  • Art Director
  • Creative Director
  • Film & Video Editor
  • Graphic Designer
  • Industrial/Product Designer
  • Marketing Manager
  • Special Effects Artist/Animator
  • Photographer
  • Web Designer

Need a little help getting started on your job search? The UIU Office of Career Development is a great resource that provides complimentary services to help you find your dream job.

Graphic Design Salary Information

Your salary as a graphic designer will vary depending on your employer, your position, your location and your years of experience. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some average salaries for graphic design careers include:

  • Art Director – $97,270[1]
  • Film & Video Editor – $67,250[2]
  • Graphic Designer – $53,380[3]
  • Industrial Designer – $71,640[4]
  • Marketing Manager – $142,170[5]
  • Special Effects Artist/Animator – $77,700[6]

Benefits of a Graphic Design Degree

A degree in graphic design gives you options. A lot of options, in fact. That’s because graphic designers aren’t only employed by one specific industry. You have the freedom to work with clients in fields ranging from medicine to business to education and beyond. You can work for yourself, or as part of an agency or organization. And every single day you get to create something new. With a graphic design degree, you can find success in a creative, fulfilling career.

You can also use your Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design as a starting point for continuing your education. Some UIU graduates go on to earn their Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Degree Requirements, Skills & Certifications

Graphic Design Courses

UIU’s bachelor’s degree in graphic design focuses on the diverse skills you’ll need to succeed as a graphic designer. This means that, in addition to learning to use the latest tools and programs, you will also graduate with an understanding of key marketing principles that support the work you do.

Throughout the program, you’ll take courses in topics like:

  • Advertising Design
  • Branding
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Digital Photography and Editing
  • Digital Video and Editing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Typography
  • Web Publishing and Social Media

Graphic Design Skills

To succeed as a graphic designer, you need more than just artistic skills. You need to be able to stay on top of current trends, have experience with the latest technology and utilize soft skills while working with clients or members of your team. You must be able to give and receive feedback, justify design choices and, of course, always deliver original work that meets your client’s needs.

Some of the top skills graphic designers need include:

  • Attention to Detail
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Decision Making
  • Design Software Experience
  • Time Management

Best Minors for Graphic Design Majors

You can customize your degree to better match your goals and interests by adding a minor. Some minors typically paired with a graphic design degree include:

  • Art
  • Communication Studies
  • Creative Writing
  • Marketing

Your Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design can also be your first step towards a graduate degree. UIU offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) to help you advance your career even further.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to get a Graphic Design degree?

At UIU, you can typically complete your Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design in about four years.

UIU operates on a unique course schedule that breaks the academic year into four eight-week sessions and one accelerated six-week session. This gives you more time to focus on your courses and balance your academic life with your other commitments. Learn more about UIU’s course schedule.

Is a Graphic Design degree worth it?

A degree in graphic design will help you find success in an evolving industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for graphic designers is expected to grow by 3% from 2020-20303. Related jobs, like film and video editor and special effects artist, are increasing at a greater rate with 29%[2] and 16%[6] expected growth, respectively.

Can I earn a degree in Graphic Design online?

Yes! UIU offers a Graphic Design online program. Learn more about UIU’s online programs.

UIU Student on computer

Convenient, Focused Scheduling

UIU Graphic Design students have the advantage of focusing on fewer classes at once with the Two-at-a-Time schedule. Plus, convenient evening or online courses ensure your education fits your unique lifestyle.

The Graphic Design bachelor’s degree program is offered through UIU’s School of Business and Professional Studies.


When you’re ready to apply for your bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, we’re ready to help you every step of the way.

Go Further with an MBA

Earned your undergraduate degree in Graphic Design? Consider UIU’s MBA program to advance your career even further.

Faculty Spotlight

Xiaojun Huang, M.F.A.
Assistant Professor, Graphic Design (2021)


  1. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Art Directors.
  2. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators.
  3. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Graphic Designers.
  4. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Industrial Designer.
  5. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers.
  6. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Special Effects Artists and Animators.