I'm interested in possibly studying graphic design while I work full-time. I already have a BA in Business and a MS in Software Engineering, but have not taken any art or design courses because the other stuff was "practical".

As a kid I would draw quite a bit and make things. I find that I enjoy creating UI mockups along with my programming work. I understand building software and websites from a programming standpoint, but, when I've had the opportunity to do a bit of design, I've enjoyed it but feel that I lack understanding on how to make a product look great and lack understanding of UX principles. I'm interested in improving my knowledge and abilities in design for websites and mobile apps, layout fundamentals, typography and making fonts, art history and drawing.

I know there are tons of books and sites devoted to these topics, and I have been reading many of them, but I would like more of a comprehensive approach to learning that includes fundamental theory and critique. Are there any online programs that you would recommend?

I've seen that SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) offers a BA, and Academy of Art offers both an AA and BFA. Are these decent programs? Are there any others I should look at that are not too "degree mill-ish"?

Also, would you recommend I take a few fundamental courses ad hoc then apply for a MA or MFA degree since I already have a Bachelors? Alternately, should I simply go for some kind of certificate since I already have a bunch of school?

  • What is your end-goal? Is it for self enrichment? A job within the profession? If a job, what particular kind of job? – DA01 Apr 24 '12 at 22:50
  • One goal would be to be able to do web design projects on the side, at least initially, or also incorporate design into my day gig professionally doing more UI/UX design for software and mobile apps. Eventually I would like to be a freelance designer/developer. – Chris Livdahl Apr 24 '12 at 22:59
  • There are programs out there just for UI/UX. There are also programs out there for Graphic Design, as well as interactive media design and many other flavors. SCAD is a good school, but I think you may want to narrow your program focus a bit first. – DA01 Apr 25 '12 at 0:01
  • Closing this question as it's basically a shopping question which is not a good fit for this site. Please consider revising it to something that may have better lasting value, such as "how to choose an online course" or "what should I look for when choosing a course". – Farray Jun 28 '12 at 17:17

I just noticed that you are in Seattle. While not an online course, have you looked into School of Visual Concepts?


I don't have any experience with the school, but have been keeping an eye on it. It seems to be focused on continuing education and I have heard of several of the instructors (names that you see pop-up in the industry).


Illinois Institute of Technology has Online Certification programs in a few different areas that I think would be of a lot of use and interest to you as they're very heavily focused on UX. IIT I have found some student resumes of https://trex.id.iit.edu/resume_files/ and they looked pretty darn good in the UX department.

Texas State University has an online MFA in Graphic Design but I believe it is more traditional Graphic Design then UX. Still might be worth a gander.

Note: I do not know the quality of either program, I only know they exist!

Edit by request:


School of Art & Design: http://www.distancelearning.txstate.edu/students/program-offerings.html Information Tech Mgmt: http://iit.edu/iit_online/programs.shtml

  • I don't really see any IIT programs that offer what you're talking about. Also, I don't see the online programs for TSU, do you have a link? – Chris Livdahl Jun 27 '12 at 15:32

There is lot of Online Graphic design traning program but in my openion the best is Sessions College

Session College Established in 1997, Sessions College for Professional Design offers online degree programs and online certificate programs to prepare you for a creative career. A faculty of professional artists and designers with innovative course materials provides an excellent online education in graphic design, Web design, multimedia, marketing, game art, and fine arts.

I think this will help you a lot

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