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Most Affordable Online Graphic Design Degrees

Graphic design is a rapidly-evolving field, for which demand in the corporate world is constantly increasing. As companies push advertising to new heights, they need increasingly qualified artists, designers, creatives, and marketers to exceed expectations. Graphic designers can work in a number of different positions–and virtually any field imaginable–a few of which include web design, brand coordination, art direction, and clothing and product design.

You might be wondering what makes the cheapest online graphic design degree option so much more desirable than an in-person arrangement. Firstly, virtual courses can be completed from the convenience of your own home–or practically anywhere with a WiFi signal. Add that to the fact that any online bachelor degree program will be formatted to fit your schedule, so if you have extraneous everyday responsibilities, you won’t have to make the sacrifices that in-person attendance would expect. And, as this particular degree will require you to complete the majority of your work on a computer anyway, the virtual option is a highly practical one.

When it comes down to earning a graphic designer degree from anywhere and in any format, it’s going to be a challenge. We know how stressful and overwhelming finding your ideal institution and degree program can be. That’s why, below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most affordable, highest-quality graphic design degrees out there. If you’re ready to amp up your artistic skills with a technological twist and commit to a full graphic design degree to do so, then you’ve come to the right place.


All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online graphic design degree (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in July of 2022.

2023 Most Affordable Colleges for Graphic Design Degrees Online

RankSchoolAverage Net Price
#1University of Maryland Global Campus$15,395
#2University of West Alabama$16,747
#3Bellevue University$17,288
#4Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design$18,533
#5Upper Iowa University$24,063
#6Regent University Online$24,888
#7California Baptist University$26,719
#8Maryville University$27,290
#9Kentucky Wesleyan College$27,750
#10Liberty University$29,382

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Graphic Design Degrees

1. University of Maryland Global Campus

Average Net Price: $15,395

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: MSCHE

Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions

The University of Maryland, home of the cheapest online graphic design degree, has its physical campus location headquarters in the College Park area of Washington D.C. It has a diverse student population because the global campus, which offers online classes, admits students from all over the world. The graphic design major at Maryland is offered as an online degree in graphic communication, which boasts of making successful graduates get paid for their creativity. Through the exhaustive course content, both the on-campus and online graphic design degree from this university equips you with the necessary skills to create a killer portfolio so that you can approach clients with confidence. The graphic design program has 120 credits, and the program accepts transfers from students with up to 90 transfer credits. Students in the graphic design school program at this college also acquire entrepreneurial skills that they can use to set up their own graphic art businesses after graduating or create compelling portfolios when looking for jobs or clients.

2. University of West Alabama

Average Net Price: $16,747

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 93%

The University of West Alabama is located in the Livingston area of Alabama and admits close to 1800 undergraduate students in every cycle. It has majors for students who want to study nursing, humanities, and fine art. The graphic design course at this university has gained popularity because it combines marketing skills with design principles to give the online bachelor students a competitive edge when competing for opportunities with students from other graphic design colleges after they graduate. The online graphic design program is offered under Integrated Marketing Communications and allows students to major in graphic art. Coursework in this computer science program is wide and covers aspects such as graphic communication, marketing, and behavioral science. Throughout this computer science coursework, graphic design school students learn how to use industry-standard software tools and equipment to leverage their skills in the competitive marketing industry. They also get familiarized with popular media platforms and learn how to create engaging content. This ensures that the students are ready for the job market once they graduate.

3. Bellevue University

Average Net Price: $17,288

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions

Bellevue is a small university located in Bellevue, Nebraska that enrolls a little over 4000 undergraduate students. It offers a robust variety of online college courses including a comprehensive design course that covers basic design principles, identity design, interactivity basics, single-page design, typography, and web design among others. Students can access the course material through online classes, which allows students pursuing an online graphic design degree at the university, to study remotely from the comfort of their homes. Students love this small private higher education institution because it allows them to focus on their regular daily activities without missing their classes. You can pursue a part-time courses or be a full-time student at Bellevue because their online classes can be accessed conveniently from any location, thus making it one of the best places to study graphic design online. Enrolment advisors at the university also assist students during admission in addition to helping students transitioning from other colleges or students who had paused studies for some time to get started.

4. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Average Net Price: $ 18,533

School Type: For-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design specializes in courses that equip students to be frontrunners in various creative design careers. The college has specialized courses in animation, videography, game art, graphic design, and fashion design, among many others. Students have the option of taking their Graphic design course either on campus or through online platforms. The online college coursework covers various aspects of design, such as typography, visual storytelling, and both written and verbal presentations. The robust coursework includes basic and advanced design principles that help students to grasp the skills they need to feel confident when stepping out to compete with other designers who possess qualifications from other graphic design schools. Study tools comprise wide coverage of the Abode software suite, which is the industry standard tool, and practical skills covering handling a professional DSLR camera. With such tools used throughout course coverage, you graduate from the college with hands-on skills that can land you a client right away. The college also partners with design professionals who come in during the course to share real-world experiences and projects with students to help them know how the material they learn in class applies in the real world.

5. Upper Iowa University

Average Net Price: $ 24,063

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: 65%

Upper Iowa University has headquarters located in Fayette, Iowa, and offers the graphic design course remotely via online classes and in multiple physical locations on its many campuses. The University takes pride in its effective instructor-to-student ratio of 1 instructor matched to 13 students. Through this, each student gets ample time with the instructor and the learning arrangement provides an environment where class sizes are small and one-to-one learning is possible. The online classes and small class sizes in this higher education institution make it one of the best colleges for graphic design.

The graphic design course at Upper Iowa University takes a different approach from other graphic design schools by offering the course under the faculty of business and professional studies. This helps students who study graphic design in this college to relate the course content with how they can utilize it in the business world. Instructors who guide students through the course at Upper Iowa also have real-world experience in digital design and use recognized software tools to teach the students. This ensures they graduate with ready portfolios that can land them jobs or paying clients after they graduate.

6. Regent University Online

Average Net Price: $ 24,888

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Located in the Norfolk Area of Virginia, Regent University boasts a diverse student population that comes from different parts of the world. The university is a mid-sized institution that admits more than 2,300 new students every admission cycle. An online graphic design accreditation is offered in this university under their Fine Arts department and goes by the title Bachelor of Fine Arts. The coursework in the Graphic design degree trains the students by sharpening their creative skills and equipping them with the necessary skills in digital drawing. Moreover, the students acquire marketing and presentation skills so that they can compete in the design market and come top in job applications against applicants from other graphic design colleges.

General education students who want to get their graphic design online degree are welcome to join this college, which offers an online platform from where the students can complete the course. Regent proves to be one of the best colleges for graphic design in the whole of Virginia because the university has a financial aid department that helps qualified students hailing from disadvantaged backgrounds pursue degree programs by giving them student loans and grants.

7. California Baptist University

Average Net Price: $ 26,719

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: WSCUC

Acceptance Rate: 80%

California Baptist University is a premier Christian institution that offers a graphic design course that is structured with the industry in mind. The university has a physical location along Magnolia Avenue in California and offers a Graphic design bachelor’s degree as a major for design students and as a minor for students from other faculties. Students are exposed to the rigors of the competitive digital design industry through the course material that is anchored on photography, video and animation, illustration, graphic design, and visual communication.

The university provides a graphic design course under its College of Architecture and Visual Arts, which has competent faculty members with years of experience in the industry. They use the best practices and the latest technologies to deliver the coursework to students. They also go a step further to mentor students who are serious about dominating the industry. As a result, the university ranks highly among the providers of graphic design courses. The exposure gives students has enabled some of them to bag prestigious awards and make a name for themselves even before they graduate.

8. Maryville University

Average Net Price: $ 27,290

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: 95%

Maryville University gives you one of the best experiences when you want to pursue a graphic design degree online or on campus. If you are an on-campus student, for instance, the school issues you with a free tablet that comes equipped with multiple apps to help you access the course material. If you prefer to pursue a graphic design degree online, you learn from a remarkably user-friendly platform that is always available. The instructors at Maryville take a hands-on approach with students with the average class size being about 14 students. This gives you ample time to engage the course instructors throughout the learning process. When pursuing your degree at Maryville, you begin the course with the basics and progress to more intense training whose pinnacle is a yearlong project scheduled for the final year. By the end of the course, you graduate with enough knowledge to help you step out into the professional design field and compete at the same level as the best in the industry.

9. Kentucky Wesleyan College

Average Net Price: $27,750

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Kentucky Wesleyan College is a tertiary Christian institution that enrolls less than 1000 new students every admission cycle. It has a physical location in the Evansville Area in Kentucky and offers both on-campus and online courses. The graphic design course in this college is offered under the college’s Art Department and begins by taking students through the basics of computer literacy, art history, and design principles before moving on to advanced programs that involve photography, typography, identity design, and other more advanced projects. The coursework is planned as it is to enable new students to get familiar with operating state-of-the-art computers in the university lab before they start using the industry-standard graphic design applications used to train them in the advanced stages of the course. The course material trains students with all the necessary skills for pursuing design careers such as Graphic Design, Art Directing, Photo Manipulation, and Animation among many others.

10. Liberty University

Average Net Price: $ 29,382

School Type: Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Liberty University has physical offices in Lynchburg and offers you the chance of pursuing your Graphics design degree online through an e-learning platform. The university allows students to pursue their passion and equips them with the necessary skills to monetize their creative skills using the latest software tools. The hands-on approach used during the pursuit of your graphic design degree helps you to incorporate the designs you come up with as a student into your professional portfolio. This way, you can begin seeking clients as soon as you graduate from the university. Experienced and passionate professors guide you through the course material and supervise you through exhaustive practical sessions. Part of the course also involves interning under a professional graphic designer who will help you bridge the gap most graphic design schools leave when you want to seek employment after completing your studies. The internship period also makes it easier for you to land a job. This is because the students who perform exceptionally well during their internship get absorbed into the same institutions where they intern.