Graphic Design

Graphic Design Associate Degree

If you enjoy working with computers, have an eye for design, and want to create engaging visual content, our online Graphic Design Associate Degree can help your prepare to take the first steps toward the career you want. With flexible, online classes, you'll learn the skills and knowledge needed to be a successful designer on your schedule, from home.

  • Our Graphic Design school online can prepare students for entry-level jobs as graphic designers, web designers, and illustrators.
  • Accredited college-level classes cover foundational topics like photo image editing, web design, multimedia development, and animation using the Adobe® Creative Cloud software.
  • Students receive Adobe Creative Cloud in the second semester, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.
  • Our online programs are flexible enough for you to finish them at a pace that works for you, based on how much time you can dedicate to your coursework each week.
Self Paced

Save up to $400 Ends 6/25/2024

First Semester


$1,699 Save $400


$59/month, Start for as low as $20

1-800-471-3232 (9AM - 9PM ET)

graphic designer using laptop and drawing tablet.

What You Will Learn

  1. How to use Adobe Illustrator® to create graphics illustrations for print, multimedia, and the web, Adobe Photoshop® to create high quality photos, graphics for product illustrations, logos, animations, and websites, Adobe InDesign® to design an image, brochure, magazine or web page.
  2. How to create an effective, interactive web-based portfolio to use during a job search.
  3. How to create web pages with hypertext links, tables, frames, and forms, working with content and layout, and creating new frames and windows using HTML coding.
  4. How to use brand information to design a package that's appropriate for the target audiences, including understanding what makes a brand successful and how to incorporate those elements into your own designs.
Full Program Goal & Outcomes

Graphic Design Degree Career Outcomes

Graphic Designer





Our online Associate Degree in Graphic Design can prepare students for entry-level jobs as graphic designers. You'll earn a variety of valuable and transferable technological skill sets that can be used in a number of job settings. Career opportunities for graphic designers include advertising agencies, design and television studios, publishing houses, corporate communication departments, and more. Graphics designers can also work as freelance designers by starting their own business.

State Licensing Requirements

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in certain fields are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your program. See the State Licensing page for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Graphic Design Associate Degree Curriculum

  • 4 Semesters
  • 65 Credits

Estimated completion time per semester:

  • Fast track = 7 months
  • Average time = 13 months

With Penn Foster, you can learn at whatever pace works best for you. Some learners will be more comfortable moving faster, and dedicating more time, and the fast track estimate will apply to them. The average track will apply to most learners who can dedicate a few hours per week to completing their coursework. The estimated completion times per semester are based on completion times for learners enrolled in this program from November 2020 - October 2021, excluding withdrawals.

In our online Graphic Design Associate Degree Program, you'll learn the foundational skills and knowledge that can help you prepare for graphic design jobs. Your classes include:

  • Color Theory
  • Typography
  • Graphic Design and Production (Illustrator®)
  • Web Design


Non-US residents: This is a United States-based institution with course materials that are geared toward US job and labor standards. Learners from outside of the US may find that some information and materials will differ from the current standards of their country. Please note, the materials for this program are in English and use the Imperial unit of measurement, not the metric system.

Show Full Curriculum

Graphic Design A.S. Success Stories

Penn Foster’s Graphic Design A.S. Degree can help prepare you for the first step in your graphic designer career. This program has helped recent graduates find new jobs or start their own businesses while learning at their own pace. Learn more about Penn Foster graduates' experiences and how Penn Foster worked for them.
View Student Success Stories
quote icon

Tom C.

Graphic Design Associate Degree Graduate, 2018

"I like the ability to set your own pace. I tend to want to work fast and accurate. This program fit my personality and allowed me to complete all the requirements in less than a year."

Looking for training for your workers?

Penn Foster currently works with hundreds of leading employers to meet their unique organizational needs.
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Graphic Design Associate Degree Tuition

Take the first steps toward a new career with our Graphic Design Associate Degree. Simply choose from one of our low-cost customized payment plans below and get started today!  

Option 1: Pay semester in full

Save up to $400 Ends 6/25/2024

First Semester


$1,699 Save $400

  • Best price. Best value.
  • Pay the full cost today
  • No monthly payments
Enroll Now

Option 2: Monthly Auto Pay Plan

First Semester


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $20 down
  • All major credit and debit cards accepted
Enroll Now

Option 3: Monthly Mail Pay Plan

First semester


  • Pay $59 per month
  • Start for $49 down
  • Mail your payments
Enroll Now

California residents please click here for Required California Disclosures.

Need more info or ready to enroll?

Looking for more information on transfer credits, military benefits, or our refund policy? Find this information and more about tuition and enrollment here.

Tuition & Payment Options

We're here to help. Call 1-800-471-3232 (9AM - 9PM ET)

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Our Proven Graphic Design Learning Model

Empowering students to reach their professional goals


  • Start anytime 
  • No exam due dates 
  • Self-paced 


  • Digital study guides 
  • Self-check quizzes 
  • Webinars and discussion boards 


  • 24/7 access to online resources
  • Online student community
  • Dedicated Learner Center


  • Expert faculty 
  • Dedicated student services 
  • Robust learning resources 

Related Programs

Associate Degree in Graphic Design Program FAQs

Where can I work with a Graphic Design Associate Degree?

There are a variety of career opportunities for skilled graphic designers. After earning your online graphic design degree, you can become a graphic designer in advertising agencies, design and television studios, publishing houses, corporate communication departments, and company marketing departments. Many graphic designers also choose to do freelance work, whether as a side job or a full-time career.

What is the average salary of someone with an Associate Degree in Graphic Design?

According to national averages from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary for a graphic designer was $50,710 in 2021.* Salary can vary based on your education, work experience, where you work, and even the state in which you live.

How do I build up a graphic design portfolio?

A professional portfolio is essential when you're applying for graphic design jobs. A portfolio should include previous work you've done - whether for a job or for school - that showcases your skills as a designer. You also want to keep it streamlined like you would your resume; choose projects and designs that show off the skills an employer is looking for. A great way to share more information in your portfolio is to present case studies. Case studies show each step in the creative process for a project, from the first design draft to the final piece. Case studies can also give you the opportunity to go into more detail in an interview about how you come up with ideas, how you've completed assignments for schools and employers in the past, or have you worked collaboratively with a team on a design.

What skills do you need for graphic design?

Some skills that can be necessary to work in graphic design include strong communication skills, computer skills, an eye for design, and creativity. Most of these skills can be learned over time in a graphic design degree, including a better understanding of using industry-standard software, basic color theory, and more.

What is the difference between graphic design and web design?

While graphic designers and web designers may be responsible for working on similar projects, there are a few differences between each role. The main difference between graphic design and web design is that graphic designers focus on the visual elements of the site, such as creating appealing images, while web designers focus more on the functional design and innerworkings of a website.