comparing graphic design schools Compare offerings at various graphic design schools before making a decision.

Compare Graphic Design Schools

Guide to Traditional and Online Graphic Design Schools

If you've just started researching online graphic design schools, the options can be daunting. Below is an analysis that compares Sessions College online to traditional graphic design schools as well as other online schools. We have compared the offerings, applications, and costs at Sessions College online to those you can expect to find at other colleges in your search list.

Traditional or online?

Traditional or "on-ground" graphic design schools involve attending classes in person, while online graphic design schools offer most or all of their coursework through an online learning environment. Traditional programs require you to attend school at specific days and times, and classes are small or large groups of local students. Online programs such as those at Sessions College provide courses that can be taken 24/7. Faculty and student interaction in these programs occurs via discussion boards, email, and other technologies, so that you are not required to be "in class" at any specific time.

Here are some other considerations when choosing between most traditional and online graphic design schools and online programs at Sessions College:

 
Most traditional schools
Sessions College
Fully accredited?
Yes
Yes
Associate's degrees
Yes
Yes
Bachelor's and Master's degrees?
Yes
No
Certificate programs?
Sometimes
Yes
Faculty of professional designers?
Usually
Yes
24/7 access to course materials?
No
Yes
Online library of free textbooks?
Sometimes
Yes
Multimedia instructional tools?
Sometimes
Yes
Group discussions and critiques?
Yes
Yes
Ability to complete projects at home?
Sometimes
Yes
Classmates from around the world?
Sometimes
Yes
Military friendly schedules and options?
Sometimes
Yes

What programs are available?

Online graphic design schools offer a wide range of programs, from certificate programs that help adult learners build specific skills to degree programs that offer well-rounded coursework and a highly sought-after credential. Most traditional and online graphic design schools offer degrees in print-based graphic design as well as interactive/Web design. Degrees may range from two-year Associate's programs to four-year Bachelor's programs and beyond.

Sessions College offers Associate degree programs in: Graphic Design, Web Design, Digital Media, Illustration, and Advertising Design.

Not all graphic design schools offer certificate programs, as many (especially traditional schools) focus primarily on recent high school graduates seeking degrees. Online certificate programs are a great option for adult learners who already have degrees, or any student looking to gain specific skills in visual design. Online Sessions College certificate programs are available in seven major areas: graphic design, Web design, multimedia arts, digital arts, marketing design, game art, and fine arts. Additionally, online certificate programs can be customized with concentrations for added skill building.

How do you apply?

The application process for graphic design schools can vary in length and requirements. It is important to understand the application requirements in full before you begin. Degree programs in traditional and online programs will require a portfolio of your art or design work as well as an application form, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and an application fee. Some schools require standardized testing scores as well, such as the SAT or ACT.

At Sessions, SAT or ACT scores are an optional part of your degree application, and your application can be completed easily online. We send your references an online form to fill out and we provide a simple upload area for your portfolio pieces. Completed applications and transcripts are reviewed within two weeks. Having a prompt decision can help you as you decide between schools and programs.

If you are interested in a Sessions online certificate program, you can also apply online, providing evidence of a high school diploma or equivalent.

How much does it cost?

One of the distinct advantages to taking a Sessions College program online, as opposed to a traditional in-person program, is cost. The table below identifies the tuition, fees, and other costs for a typical traditional program against those of a Sessions online degree program.

 
Traditional degree
Sessions degree
Tuition
Yes
Yes
Application fee
Yes
Yes
Registration fee
Yes
Yes
Room and board
Yes
No
Textbooks
Yes
No
Software/supplies
Yes
Yes
Parking/transportation
Yes
No
Student activities fee
Yes
No
Technology fee
Yes
No
Facilities fee
Yes
No

As you continue your research of online graphic design schools, be sure to take time to weigh cost and programs against your ultimate goals in becoming a professional designer. We hope you'll consider Sessions College, but we wish you the best of luck no matter where you attend!

Need help comparing graphic design schools?
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