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9 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Visual Communications

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Updated: February 28, 2024, Reading time: 12 minutes

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Humans easily digest visual information. This makes visual communication in the modern day and age an integral part of daily life. Visual communication designs can be found everywhere, from TV commercials to phone apps. Visual communicators are experts in graphic design, often utilizing their communication skills and mastery of art and visual media to connect with relevant audiences.

As visual communicators, they should be able to take on huge tasks such as design management and graphic communications. One must understand how visual elements and design strategies should go together when creating corporate marketing materials and other digital campaigns for various organizations.


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Overview

Communication is an essential component of many of our activities and industries, and as a process, it happens across multiple channels and media. With our sense of sight being an important channel for information relay, visual communication is especially crucial and is used across all fields of discipline and industries for a variety of intents.

The process of visual communication involves a range of skill sets and fundamental knowledge, including a thorough understanding of the message and the intended audience. At the technical/production level, visual communication also involves mastery of multiple media and platforms at one’s disposal.  

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Grad School Center is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Best Online Master’s in Visual Communication

Liberty University

Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design

Experienced artists will find Liberty University’s Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design program an ideal choice for advanced higher education. This online program helps enhance your knowledge of the latest tools and technology integral to graphic design.

Core Courses:

The curriculum is designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge in visual communication with the use of illustrations, graphic design, typography, animation, signs, and advertising. You will also be able to explore the best way to utilize images and harness their power in educating and persuading the target audience.  

In this visual communication design program, you will find coursework that can develop your critical and analytical skills along with the mastery of personal voice and visual language. With the utilization of these tools, you will be well-equipped to become an effective leader in the world of graphic design and digital media.


Boston University Metropolitan College

Boston University Metropolitan College

Boston, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Health Communication, Visual & Digital Health Communication Concentration

The healthcare industry is become more modern in the past few years. The Master of Science in Health Communication with a Visual & Digital Health Communication concentration program offered by Boston University Metropolitan College is a good foundation for healthcare professionals who want to understand the impact of communication technology on the field of health marketing and communication.

Core Courses:

The courses in this program help students become savvy communicators and healthcare providers through the use of compelling storytelling and strategic social media practices. The aim is to learn how to capture relevant audiences and engage with them. This includes engaging with patients and consumers.

 You will learn how users experience various digital platforms, from social media and websites to mobile apps and videos. It is important that you learn how to utilize them for the successful execution of health campaigns and projects.


Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Master of Arts in Communication

Southern New Hampshire University offers the Master of Arts in Communication to help students prepare to succeed as strong communicators and leaders in the field. This program is a good choice for those who want to lead ad campaigns for various objectives, including building community relationships and driving customers to action.  

Core Courses:

In this program, you will find coursework that will help you shape effective messages through technology while keeping up with evolving media platforms. You are expected to learn all about hands-on applications of current communications practices that are integral in your daily profession as a visual communicator.

On top of the visual communication courses, you will also be able to hone your skills in areas of reputation management, social media practices, corporate brand building, and designing marketing campaigns. You are also expected to acquire engagement techniques for a wide range of audiences and use effective communication technologies to spread key messages.


Colorado State University

Colorado State University - Online

Fort Collins, Colorado

Master of Communications and Media Management

The evolving technology prompts communicators to keep up with the latest developments to continue thriving in the field. Those who want to advance into leadership roles in the visual communication field may want to consider earning the Master of Communications and Media Management program offered by Colorado State University. This visual communication online degree program helps you select, enhance, and integrate an ideal blend of media in connecting with target audiences.

Core Courses:

The rigorous coursework in the curriculum imparts the necessary knowledge and skills to understand the use and impacts of communication technologies. You are expected to manage both the traditional and digital communication tools and methods to conduct effective organizational communication plans. You should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of media projects along with communication strategies.

The program’s focus is on ethical decision-making. You must understand how ethical concerns in digital media and communication can affect the success of digital campaigns. Some of the topics you can choose from to help you reach your career goals include digital video editing, digital photography, web design and management, and advertising and marketing communication.


Georgetown University

Georgetown University - School of Continuing Studies

Washington, D.C.

School of Continuing Studies

Master of Professional Studies in Design Management & Communications

Georgetown University’s online Master of Professional Studies in Design Management & Communications draws on and brings together the fields of creative management, design thinking, and business strategy into an innovative visual communications program that prepares you with the skills to be able to fully understand the creative and design processes, as well as master managerial and leadership strategies to develop effective and engaging content.

Core Courses:

This visual communications degree program includes coursework on design thinking and leadership, design management & strategy, and ethical design. The program also features a range of elective courses. Coursework consists of a blend of online lectures, group discussions, and applied coursework.

You also have the option of enrolling in the degree full-time or part-time, to suit your desired pace and schedule. You may also enroll in one or more summer courses if you want to keep progressing throughout the year.


University of West Alabama

University of West Alabama - Online

Livingston, Alabama

School of Graduate Studies

Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications

The University of West Alabama offers a fully online Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing Communications degree program, designed as an intersection of the fields of communications, marketing, and business. This program is ideal preparation for a range of visual communications careers that involve content creation and messaging utilizing various multimedia platforms.

Core Courses:

The program’s curriculum emphasizes hands-on experience and includes courses on mass media, graphic design, and media production, with electives that cover technical skills in a variety of media platforms. The program also includes free access to Adobe Creative Suite software, which is a de facto industry standard tool.

By the time you graduate from this program, you will have also developed your own professional portfolio (which includes a website, work samples, as well as work experience), in addition to gaining valuable skills and knowledge.


Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, Connecticut

School of Communications

Master of Science in Interactive Media and Communications

Quinnipiac University offers a Master of Science in Interactive Media and Communications degree, which is designed to prepare you for careers in visual design and storytelling across a range of industries. The program is offered online.

Core Courses:

The program’s curriculum consists of 10 courses total and is designed around three core subjects that serve as preparatory work for the rest of the master’s level courses: Foundations in Graduate Studies, Writing for Interactive Media, and a Capstone.

You then choose the rest of their courses from a range of electives based on your chosen area of interest. Electives include courses covering motion design, visual design, audio and video design, prototyping, UI/UX, and more.


Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)

Savannah, Georgia

School of Digital Media

Master of Arts in Graphic Design and Visual Experience

Savannah College of Art and Design offers a Master of Arts in Graphic Design and Visual Experience degree program, offered both online and on-campus. This program is a synthesis of entrepreneurial skills and technology together with product design and user-centered design.

Core Courses:

This program is designed to teach you the complete range of aspects and approaches to visual design, which includes typography and typeface design, UX, immersive/virtual reality, branding, interactive design, and more. Courses also cover the process of ideation, contextual research, and the fundamentals of professional practice for visual design.

As a student at SCAD, you also get the opportunity to learn from industry experts and get the chance to work on collaborative projects through SCAD’s in-house design studio, SCADpro. SCAD also offers Graphic Design as a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.


Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University

Spokane, Washington

College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies

Gonzaga University offers an online Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies degree program, which is a versatile degree program that prepares you to create effective and persuasive messaging for a variety of settings, in a range of careers that include content creation, crisis communication, public relations, data visualization, and more.

Core Courses:

Aside from effective media messaging, the program’s curriculum emphasizes developing your expertise in digital platforms and understanding digital media policy, as well as teaching you skills in performance data analysis to determine the effectiveness of messaging.

The program also has a choice of six concentration areas, including the Concentration in Digital Media Strategies which covers digital storytelling, digital media analysis, digital surveillance, algorithms, and ethics, as well as a range of other electives.

Best Grad Schools with Online Master's in Visual Communications - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular career paths associated with Visual Communication graduate programs?

A visual communications graduate program offers a wealth of opportunities in innovative and lucrative areas. This includes fields such as graphic design, video editing, and website development. While a bachelor’s degree is enough to get you an entry-level job in the field, an online master of arts in visual communication degree can help you take a step further in your career and boost your earning potential.

Some of the most common careers include graphic designers, visual arts directors, and other lucrative careers in the design industry. You can find opportunities in creative management and graphic communications, but this time with senior or leadership roles.

Are Visual Communications graduate programs interdisciplinary?

Not all universities necessarily advertise their degree programs as interdisciplinary in terms of communication design, but in a way, visual communications master’s degree programs have one degree or another of interdisciplinarity.

Crafting effective visual communication content and campaigns involves many skill sets, and by connection, visual communication programs necessarily draw content from a number of fields, including communication theory, human behavior and psychology, research and statistics, mass media, and more. These degrees also cover a range of multimedia production processes including print and motion media, which can be different disciplines as well.

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