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Advance Your Career in Graphic Design and Web Design

Associate Degree in Graphic Design

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Career Outlook and Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers for Graphic Designers are expected to add over 22,000 jobs, while careers for Web Designers and UX/UI Designers are expected to grow much faster than average at 8% or higher through the year 2029.1

Preparing now means you’ll be ready for the jobs of the future.

Attractive Career Opportunities

As a graduate of the Bryan University Associate Degree in Graphic Design, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to be job-ready for entry-level career opportunities2 such as:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Website Designer
  • User Experience (UX) Designer
  • User Interface (UI) Designer
  • Website Designer
  • UX/UI Developer
  • UX Analyst

Employers are Hiring

From Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit organizations, the demand for capable designers continues to grow. You’ll lead a rewarding career in employment settings such as:

  • Technology companies
  • Advertising and marketing companies
  • Media and entertainment organizations
  • Business consulting groups
  • Federal, state, and local government agencies
  • Self-employed

Program Overview

Valuable Design Skills that Employers Want

Bryan U’s Associate Degree in Graphic Design gives you the technical skills and soft skills that employers want including:

  • Design technologies
  • Design principles and color theory
  • Digital design and illustration using Adobe Illustrator
  • Image manipulation using Adobe Photoshop
  • Page layout and composition design using Adobe InDesign
  • User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) process, theory, and design using Adobe XD and Figma
  • Motion and animation design using Adobe After Effects
  • Website design principles and techniques
  • Business foundational technologies using Microsoft Office©
  • Soft skills such as communications, interpersonal relations, and problem-solving
  • How to prepare a professional design portfolio 

Unrivaled Benefits for You – Included in Tuition

As a Bryan University student, you’ll receive valuable benefits that are included in tuition at no extra charge that will build your resume and establish your credibility in the marketplace, including:

  • Certification for Adobe XD (Experience Design)
  • Certification for Adobe Illustrator
  • All your books, courseware, and design software
  • A portfolio that highlights your design projects to future employers

An Educational Experience Like No Other

Your investment in a Bryan University credential provides an online educational experience like no other:

  • Learning technology that lets you build skills faster and retain more knowledge
  • Real-world assignments that simulate job tasks
  • A mastery-based learning environment that allows you to improve grades by retaking assignments based on instructor feedback
  • Peer mentors, tutors, and success coaches who provide encouragement, guidance, and insight
  • Live, interactive online events such as industry speakers, faculty mentoring sessions, and helpful workshops that are all recorded in case you miss the event and need to watch it later

Attend from the Comfort of Home with Personalized Support

At Bryan, we don’t think learning online means learning alone. Connect with faculty, peers, and student support conveniently from your smartphone, tablet, or computer using Zoom, a user-friendly video app. You’ll join a vibrant community that will provide support and celebrate your success along the way. You’ll not only develop friends and colleagues, but you’ll also build a professional network—for life.

Career Services for Students and Graduates

You’ll receive a dedicated career services advisor that provides job search assistance, job networking best practices, interview preparation, and helps you create an eye-catching resume.

Earn While You Learn: Dual Enrollment Available

You can enroll in the UX/UI Design Undergraduate Certificate and the Associate Degree in Graphic Design concurrently. This means once you complete your certificate, you can get to work sooner while completing your associate degree.  If you have prior college credit, or you have already completed an associate degree at another institution, we will accept as many credits as possible (and potentially your entire associate degree) to help accelerate your Bryan program.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our consumer information page.

Footnotes

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2020-21 Edition. Also see https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1255.00 and https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/27-1024.00.   Sites visited on 7/5/2021.

2Example occupations shown herein do not imply a guarantee of employment. Students are responsible for conducting occupational research for their chosen program. Employers have unique hiring practices and job-specific requirements, which may include years of experience for manager positions. Graduates with little to no prior experience should expect an entry-level position.

Program Details​

Objectives & Courses
Locations & Credits
Program Faculty
General Education Faculty
Admission Requirements
Affording College

Objectives

The Graphic Design Academic Associate Degree introduces students to the various functional areas of graphic design, digital design, illustration, creative writing, motion graphics, and image manipulation, including printing processes and production, basic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript capabilities and design development strategies. In addition, the curriculum facilitates the development of practical skills such as observational, perspective, and life drawing; business of graphic design; typography design and hierarchy; and file management. The program is designed to meet the increasing industry demand for graphic design professionals. Bryan University delivers this program through dynamic, adaptive, experiential learning that includes personalized instruction and coaching. Following the completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills within various disciplines of graphic and digital design.
  • Apply historically proven design solutions to original concepts in an inclusive environment.
  • Logistically create high-quality and effective illustrations, layouts, image manipulations, web pages, and motion graphics with an emphasis on meeting demanding deadlines.
  • Understand deadlines, standard file sizes, print capabilities, and other production-related skills.
  • Develop and utilize effective file management systems.
  • Receive and articulate criticism into actionable suggestions for design solutions.
  • Operate as a freelance and in-house design professional.

Courses

UNV-101UX—Student Success and Technology Foundations—3.0 credits

A course covering the information and skills needed to succeed in academic studies, including study skills, setting academic goals, managing time, and technology skills such as word processing, presentations, and using Excel.

UXI-100— Design Principles & Color Theory—3.0 credits

Students will concentrate on utilizing design principles and theories in problem-solving, focusing on the importance of layout composition. Emphasis will be on the process of design development from roughs to comprehensives, layout, and the use of grid systems for multi-component layouts. Critical analysis will be applied through the usage of type and layout to create clear, communicative design. Additionally, students will get an introduction to the principles of color and an exploration of color theory as it relates to print and digital media. Students will also receive an introduction to Adobe Creative Cloud.

UXI-105— Design Technologies—3.0 credits

This course will explore the use of Adobe Creative Cloud digital design tools. Students will gain a thorough understanding of design techniques by using tools to create compositions, prototypes, web and print media, and animation. They will also learn about file types and exports for web and print media.

UXI-110—Typography & Hierarchy—3.0 credits

This course will explore printed communication and the use of typography as an exclusive element of design. The course will focus on the development of marketable, original and creative problem-solving solutions with an emphasis on professional presentation techniques. This course includes three distinct areas of learning in the subject of typography: Traditional Typography, Expressive & Experimental Typography, and Contemporary Typography. Students will complete a final project that can be added to their developing capstone portfolio.

UXI-115—UX Process & Theories—3.0 credits

User experience (UX) design centers on the interaction between real human users and everyday products and services. In this course, students will learn key theories and processes to help them create usable, useful, and delightful products that answer users' needs. User Research involves qualitative and quantitative research practices aimed at empathizing with target users and discovering and defining their needs. Information Architecture is the process of establishing flow between a person and a product, service, or environment. Usability Testing engages the student in learning user-centered testing techniques to evaluate a product by testing it on real users. Students in this course will work with software tools such as: Adobe XD, Sketch, and or Figma and practice generating a UX case study asset to add to their capstone portfolio.

UXI-120—Interaction & Visual Design—3.0 credits

This course provides a practical overview of interaction and visual design practices and how they work together to build toward a strong product. Learn and practice techniques for developing products around user goals. Interaction Design - Students will learn how to take data distilled through research to sketch and develop wireframes and prototypes grounded in proven interaction patterns and usability principles and testing them using usability testing knowledge gained in UX Process & Theories. Students will learn how to translate ideas into interactions by developing prototypes and simulations; choose the appropriate fidelity of prototype for the phase of design; articulate the benefits of fast iteration; create paper prototypes; and properly explore the design space before deciding on a solution. Visual Design - Adapting design fundamentals in color, hierarchy, and typography learned in earlier courses, students will learn how to take their concepts from wireframe to pixel-perfect UI (user interface) design prototypes. Students in this course will work with software tools such as: Adobe XD, Sketch, and or Figma and practice generating a UX case study asset to add to their capstone portfolio.

UXI-125— Motion Design—3.0 credits

This course provides an introduction to motion design. Design in animation is becoming an increasingly vital tool for any designer as its impact on user experience continues to increase for marketing, brand story, understanding complex concepts, and creating emotionally captivating content. This area of study exposes students to the art of graphics that move in space and time, which can be applied to animated films, videos, animated text, and web-based apps. Students will explore how to: create storyboards that demonstrate the flow of the animation; use models to simulate the behavior of animated characters; draw images to be scanned into various computer programs; participate in the design of media campaigns; create 2D and 3D images using computer animation; and manipulation of designed assets in a studio environment. Students will gain a thorough understanding of advanced techniques as they continue to explore special effects, image compositing, and motion graphics. Students will engage in interaction design and functionality using Adobe AfterEffects.

UXI-130— UI Development—3.0 credits

In this course, students will build upon what they have learned in Interaction & Visual Design and UX Process & Theories to develop more advanced UI design techniques. This course introduces students to the role and development of design systems to manage UI design components for a product. Students will learn to leverage atomic design principles for creating and categorizing UI components that can be applied to high-fidelity design prototypes. Prototypes and design system elements developed in this course will be added to the student's expanding UX/UI portfolio.

UXI-135—Web Development for UX/UI—3.0 credits

This course utilizes web page scripting techniques and software for website design and development to combine multi-media assets into a user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing website. Design solutions include the use of basic cascading style sheets (CSS) and JavaScript languages. Students will create websites utilizing CSS, the basic scripting language of web documents, in addition to many of the other effects and extension scripts available for that medium. The integration of aesthetics, design principles, layout, typography, and imagery into designs using a CSS and hypertext markup language (HTML) authoring tool will be covered along with JavaScript image galleries.

UXI-140— UX/UI Capstone & Portfolio—3.0 credits

This course centers students on the production of a usable online portfolio of design case studies demonstrating all skills and competencies acquired during the program. Students will learn how to select existing or determine new projects for their portfolio, write case studies describing their process on projects, and how to organize and prepare the artifacts of their design process for display online. Previous projects may be revised and updated to be included, or students may construct new projects to satisfy the needs of a professional UX portfolio.

GWD-200— Digital Design in Marketing—3.0 credits

This course provides students with a working knowledge in the growing field of digital marketing. Students will learn about the evolution and purpose of digital marketing, the strategic uses of social media, and how these principles can transform the customer's journey. Students will also gain important industry skills for successful digital design in advertising such as copywriting, creating banner ads, producing promotional displays, and designing logos for products and businesses. At the conclusion of this course, students will produce a portfolio artifact of digital marketing design to enhance a company's product using effective digital media.

GWD-205— Image Manipulation & Photography—3.0 credits

In this course, students explore the principles of photography and the utilization of photography as a means of documenting design projects and portfolio pieces. This course covers the basic principles for lighting, setup and shooting with digital cameras. Students will photograph both two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects, then students will become acquainted with the concepts, hardware, and software, related to digital image acquisition, image editing, manipulation, color management basics, masking, layering, retouching, and output.

GWD-210—Digital Illustration—3.0 credits

This course advances the students' understanding of the computer as an artist's tool. Building on previous courses in drawing, concept development and introductory computer aided design; students will be asked to generate a number of expressive solutions that address specific illustrative problems, both technical and creative. Emphasis will be placed on meeting deadlines, use of applicable rendering techniques, application of appropriate typography and professional presentation methods. As part of this course, students will be given the opportunity to develop their digital illustration skills by exploring numerous tools and techniques to obtain desired results, including: Dynamic Digital Illustration will concentrate on advertising illustrations using vector-based applications and explore graphic designs for products and apparel. Editorial Illustration will explore various conceptual illustrators and their visions. Graphic Illustration will concentrate on the application of design elements in a stylized illustration. Attention to detail and rendering techniques will be emphasized and refined. Illustration for Multimedia & Web will help students produce vector-based computer-generated compositions for use in print, web sites, and multimedia products.

GWD-215— Page Layout & Composition Design—3.0 credits

This advanced course will concentrate on utilizing design principles and theories in problem solving, focusing on the importance of layout composition. Emphasis will be placed on the process of design development from thumbnails to comprehensives, layout, and the use of grid systems for multi-component layouts. Prior learnings in typography, illustration, image manipulation and photography will be combined to create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing page layout system.

GWD-220— Graphic Design Capstone & Portfolio—3.0 credits

This course brings together the learned design and development concepts for Graphic Design for students to identify, interpret, and implement the roles and responsibilities digital industry design team members. Web page scripting skills, aesthetic design principles such as page layout, type design, imaging and development of web pages will be used. Students will create mockups showcasing their design work and develop a unique project case study for formal presentation, engaging in a collaborative environment to practice accepting and implementing feedback, further enhancing their effective communication and collaboration skills in preparation for the workforce. As a final capstone, students will design and develop the overall identity for a self-promotional website and digital portfolio showcasing their learnings throughout their graphic design courses at Bryan University.

CRT-110S — Critical Thinking I—3.0 credits

This course provides foundational topics related to logic and critical thinking including, informal logic, formal logic, and fallacies.

COM-115S — Interpersonal Communication—3.0 credits

This course introduces the concepts and theories of interpersonal communication. Students will explore the process and functions of communication, developing relationships, communication strategies, and interpersonal language skills, including conflict management.

ENG-110S — English Composition I—3.0 credits

This course covers written communication skills with an emphasis on understanding the writing process, analyzing readings, and practicing writing for personal and professional applications.

ENG-112S — English Composition II—3.0 credits

A course building on lessons learned in English Composition I. In addition to reviewing the writing process, topics include research techniques, citation techniques, documentation formats, and critical analysis of written topics.

MAT-110S — Algebra I—3.0 credits

This course begins with a review of real numbers and algebraic expressions before covering algebra topics including linear equations and inequalities, lines and functions, systems, exponents, polynomials, and factoring.

For the most up-to-date course descriptions and textbook information, please see the Bryan University Course Catalog.

Locations:
Program offered 100% online.

Program credits:
To complete the program, students must earn a minimum of 60 semester credits. Generally, students take two courses at a time over an eight week time period. Two eight week time periods constitute a semester.

Transfer credits:
If you apply to Bryan University with prior college credits and/or a degree, we’ll accept as many credits as possible to validate the hard work you’ve already completed.

Rosetta Lilly - Design Program Director
Rosetta Lilly, MS

Program Director, Bryan University

M.S. Instructional Design & Technology, Drexel University; B.S. Information Technology & Multimedia, Central Penn College

Danette Grantz

Faculty, Bryan University

M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Lesley College, Certified Microsoft in Education Trainer; B.A . Communications, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Carly Heath

Faculty, Bryan University

M.F.A Film Production, Chapman University; B.A. Cinema, San Francisco State University, Published author. Member of SCBWI

Valerie Akbulut

Instructor, Bryan University

MA in Interpersonal Communication, University of Central Florida; MA in Multicultural Communication, DePaul University; BA in Journalism, Integrated Communications: Public Relations and Advertising, Butler University

Emily Chaffin

Instructor, Bryan University

MA in English, Arkansas State University; BA in English, Faulkner University

DeWayne Demland

Instructor, Bryan University

MBA, University of Phoenix; B.S. Business Administration, Arizona Christian College

Christina Hammerton

Instructor, Bryan University

MA in Creative Writing, Arizona State University; BA, Psychology, Kent State University

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To be admitted to Bryan University, prospective students must complete the following requirements:
  • Earn a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Be at least 17 years of age. If a student is under the age of 18, they will be required to have a parent or legal guardian counter-sign enrollment forms.
  • Fill out the University’s Application and pay a $25 registration fee.
  • Complete an interview with an Admissions Representative. Please call 888-768-6861 or complete the Request Information form to schedule this.
  • Pass a computer and internet speed assessment to ensure technology minimums are met. Please see the university’s course catalog to see detailed technology requirements.
  • Complete all required forms for admission.
  • For transfer credit evaluation, submit official transcripts from past colleges and universities attended.
  • Complete an online introductory course – “LaunchPad” – to demonstrate the ability to navigate online coursework.
  • Students applying to healthcare programs must also identify a practicum site. The university provides a list of approved practicum sites and will support students in site selection.
To begin this process, we invite you to contact a member of our admissions team at 888-768-6861 or complete the Request Information form.

Tuition Lock Guarantee
Bryan offers affordable tuition rates for all students, no matter where they reside. We don't differentiate between residents or non-residents. We also lock-in your tuition rate when you enroll, so you can rest assured that your tuition will never increase over the length of your program.

Tuition Goes Down the Longer You're in School
We understand the importance of helping you stay in school and graduate successfully. To help motivate you, we provide tuition discounts the longer you're in school.

Financing Options Available
As an accredited institution, students of Bryan University who are residents of the United States may qualify for federal financial aid. Our team of dedicated financial advisors can also help you understand what other options are available to you. To learn more, please visit our financial aid page.

For students who are veterans or active duty members of the U.S. military, you may also use your military educational benefits, if qualified. Please see our military benefits page for more details.

You may also complete the Request Information form or call us at 888-768-6861 to receive immediate assistance.

The Bryan U Difference​

Tuition Lock Guarantee​

We lock your tuition rate once you enroll, plus tuition goes down the longer you're in school.​

Job Search Assistance

We provide students job search assistance while in school and once they graduate.

Accelerated Programs

You can get started - and finish - fast.

Welcome Kits Included

Once you enroll, we provide you a welcome kit package to ensure you're ready to start school.

Faculty Who Put You First

Our faculty provide you with personalized, individual attention and support.

Electronic Books & Courseware Included

We provide easy access to all your electronic textbooks and courseware.

Focus on Employment

You’ll graduate with a degree targeted for a specific job market and earn skills that match employers’ needs.

Learn by Doing

You’ll develop real-world skills by completing simulated job tasks and using industry technologies.

Return for Refresher Classes

As a graduate, you’ll have the privilege of auditing previously completed courses still being taught—at no charge—to keep your skills sharp.
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