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Whether you’re already work­ing in mul­ti­me­dia, or just get­ting your start, an afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree can make a big dif­fer­ence in your career. You can look into tra­di­tion­al and online options to get the edu­ca­tion you need to become a graph­ic design­er or mul­ti­me­dia artist. With a mul­ti­me­dia and ani­ma­tion degree, stu­dents can design visu­al effects for movies, cre­ate ani­ma­tion for adver­tis­ing and enter­tain­ment indus­tries, work on video games, and ful­fill many oth­er cre­ative roles.

Dur­ing your under­grad­u­ate stud­ies, you will pro­duce a port­fo­lio that exhibits your tech­ni­cal skills to com­pa­nies and oth­er orga­ni­za­tions look­ing for mul­ti­me­dia artists. Ide­al­ly, stu­dents will also gain expe­ri­ence through intern­ships and part-time posi­tions that give them expo­sure to com­pa­nies in the indus­try. Find­ing a col­lege that offers intern­ships and job place­ment ser­vices can help stu­dents land a job after they grad­u­ate or while they are still enrolled in an afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Multimedia Degree Programs

Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter edi­tors fea­ture only rep­utable, accred­it­ed col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties for the most afford­able mul­ti­me­dia design degree rank­ing. Pro­grams are pre­sent­ed in order accord­ing to tuition cost, based on cur­rent IPEDS statistics.

1. California State University, Fresno

The Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Fres­no has a BFA in Graph­ic Design: Inter­ac­tive Mul­ti­me­dia Design for stu­dents who want to gain in-depth knowl­edge of illus­tra­tion, typog­ra­phy, crit­i­cal visu­al think­ing and motion graph­ics. Cours­es also include the his­to­ry of graph­ic design and oth­er spe­cial­ized class­es to help stu­dents reach their edu­ca­tion­al goals. This pro­gram pre­pares stu­dents for entry-lev­el jobs or grad­u­ate school.

Cal State Fres­no has 20,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents and is a pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty that accepts under 60% of stu­dents who apply. Oth­er pop­u­lar majors include lib­er­al arts and human­i­ties, busi­ness and criminology.

What We Like: Stu­dents who attend Cal State Fres­no have a great chance of get­ting stu­dent aid. Cur­rent­ly, near­ly nine out of 10 stu­dents have some kind of finan­cial assis­tance, mak­ing this an afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree for graph­ic design majors.

Degree: BFA in Graph­ic Design: Inter­ac­tive Mul­ti­me­dia Design

Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Fres­no BFA in Graph­ic Design: Inter­ac­tive Mul­ti­me­dia Design

2. University of Nevada, Las Vegas

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Neva­da, Las Vegas has an afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree that con­fers grad­u­ates with a BS in graph­ic design and media diplo­ma. Cours­es are tak­en in sequence to help stu­dents mas­ter the rig­or­ous mate­r­i­al and gain hands-on prac­tice in graph­ic design. Stu­dents gain valu­able skills in order to achieve their edu­ca­tion­al goals. This includes stud­ies in visu­al design, graph­ic arts and media.

UNLV is based in Las Vegas and this large insti­tu­tion has 19,000 under­grad­u­ates. More than four out of five stu­dents who apply are accept­ed, giv­ing aca­d­e­m­ic hope­fuls a fair­ly good chance of study­ing here. Pop­u­lar majors include psy­chol­o­gy, hos­pi­tal­i­ty, and crim­i­nal justice.

What We Like: UNLV Is ranked #2 among Best Col­leges in Nevada.

Degree: BS in Graph­ic Design & Media

Uni­ver­si­ty of Neva­da, Las Vegas BS in Graph­ic Design & Media

3. Troy University

Troy University’s afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree con­fers a bach­e­lor of sci­ence to stu­dents who want a career in graph­ic design. The pro­gram is one of the most inno­v­a­tive cours­es of study and offers both the­o­ret­i­cal and real-world approach­es. For stu­dents who enjoy watch­ing videos and now wish to make them, this pro­gram may be a good option. This is cur­rent­ly a very hot field. Grad­u­ates go on to find jobs in motion graph­ics, print pub­lish­ing, web design and sig­nage. There’s a wide array of spe­cial­ties that stu­dents can immerse them­selves in. Stu­dents who want to be part of the new gen­er­a­tion of design­ers come to the uni­ver­si­ty to match their eye for aes­thet­ics with the prac­ti­cal knowl­edge need­ed to suc­ceed in the field.

More than 9,000 stu­dents are under­grad­u­ates at Troy, which accepts 88% of stu­dents who apply. This high accep­tance rate means that more than four out of five stu­dents who apply get the nod from the appli­ca­tions com­mit­tee. Pop­u­lar majors include crim­i­nal jus­tice, psy­chol­o­gy and business.

What We Like: Troy ranks #41 among Best Online Col­leges in Amer­i­ca, accord­ing to niche.com. This high rank­ing attests to the qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion stu­dents receive in the school’s tra­di­tion­al online programs.

Degree: BS in Graph­ic Design

Troy Uni­ver­si­ty BS in Graph­ic Design

4. University of Central Florida

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Flori­da has an afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree that results in a BA in Dig­i­tal Media for suc­cess­ful grad­u­ates. The pro­gram incor­po­rates sto­ry­telling, many aspects of art and tech­nol­o­gy. Stu­dents can take their raw tal­ents and devel­op them into a cre­ative and com­mer­cial­ly suc­cess­ful career. The pro­gram pro­vides a sol­id base for heo­ries and tech­niques in dig­i­tal media as well as a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary aca­d­e­m­ic expe­ri­ence that includes cours­es in arts and humanities.

Cen­tral Flori­da has 15,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents and has a com­pet­i­tive admis­sions process. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, just 43% of stu­dents who apply receive an accep­tance let­ter from the Uni­ver­si­ty. Those who do make the cut choose from pop­u­lar majors such as lib­er­al arts and human­i­ties, hos­pi­tal­i­ty and psy­chol­o­gy. The school has a respectable grad­u­a­tion rate of 72%, which is high in com­par­i­son to sim­i­lar schools.

What We Like: UCF is ranked #4 among Florida’s Top Pub­lic Universities.

Degree: BA in Dig­i­tal Media

Uni­ver­si­ty of Cen­tral Flori­da BA in Dig­i­tal Media

5. Wayne State College

Wayne State Col­lege has an afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree that gives stu­dents access to the lat­est soft­ware in the indus­try. Stu­dents who want to learn the lat­est tech­niques and trends will enjoy the program’s focused on the design process. Suc­cess­ful grad­u­ates go on to com­plete grad­u­ate stud­ies at accred­it­ed uni­ver­si­ties or qual­i­fy for entry-lev­el jobs in the field.

Wayne State Col­lege has 130 under­grad­u­ate majors for accept­ed stu­dents to choose from. Many of these pro­grams are offered online and the school has been rec­og­nized by many top ten lists of US col­leges and universities.

What We Like: The uni­ver­si­ty accepts all stu­dents who apply. This 100% accep­tance rate gives equal oppor­tu­ni­ty to those in remote areas or with fam­i­lies who want to get an edu­ca­tion but can­not attend class­es in person.

Degree: B.A. in Art/Graphic Design

Wayne State Col­lege B.A. in Art/Graphic Design

6. West Liberty University

Anoth­er afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree, the BA/BS in Dig­i­tal Media Design at West Lib­er­ty Uni­ver­si­ty offers yet anoth­er oppor­tu­ni­ty for those who wish to go into this field. The pro­gram com­bines many impor­tant aspects need­ed for media design, includ­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions, art, busi­ness and dig­i­tal media tech­nol­o­gy. Expe­ri­enced instruc­tors lead class­es on visu­al­iza­tion, writ­ing, pre­sen­ta­tion and technology.

West Lib­er­ty is locat­ed in West Vir­ginia and this pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty has a small enroll­ment of few­er than 1,900 under­grad­u­ates. Those who do apply have a 69% chance of receiv­ing a let­ter of accep­tance. Den­tal hygiene, busi­ness and lib­er­al arts are pop­u­lar majors at the school. Being able to take class­es online frees stu­dents up to work and raise their fam­i­lies as they con­tin­ue their education.

What We Like: About 96% of stu­dents receive some form of finan­cial aid, mak­ing this tru­ly one of the most afford­able pro­grams avail­able on our list.

Degree: BS/BA in Dig­i­tal Media Design

7. SUNY Canton

Those seek­ing an afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree may like SUNY Canton’s Bach­e­lor’s of Tech­nol­o­gy in Graph­ic and Mul­ti­me­dia Design. Quick think­ing stu­dents will enjoy the fast pace of the pro­gram and being part of a cre­ative com­mu­ni­ty with fac­ul­ty mem­bers avail­able on and offline. You can learn how to cre­ate blogs, pod­casts and oth­er pro­duc­tions. Stu­dents who choose this major go onto jobs that require pho­tog­ra­phy, graph­ics, ani­ma­tion and sound skills. Grad­u­ates devel­op man­age­ment and ana­lyt­i­cal think­ing skills that come in handy when they even­tu­al­ly find them­selves in man­age­ment posi­tions. Stu­dents work with next-gen mul­ti­me­dia soft­ware and col­lab­o­rate with oth­er stu­dents or on group projects. The school offers intern­ships with­in var­i­ous media employers.

SUNY Can­ton Has more than 2,700 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents. The col­lege is based in Can­ton, New York. The school accepts just 78% of those who apply. The most pop­u­lar majors include nurs­ing, vet­eri­nary tech­ni­cian and lib­er­al arts and humanities.

What We Like: Almost all stu­dents enrolled at SUNY Can­ton received some kind of finan­cial aid.

Degree: BT in Graph­ic and Mul­ti­me­dia Design

SUNY Can­ton Bach­e­lor’s of Tech­nol­o­gy in Graph­ic and Mul­ti­me­dia Design

8. Appalachian State University

Appalachi­an State Uni­ver­si­ty has an afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree. Stu­dents who wish to earn a BFA in graph­ic design may want to attend this uni­ver­si­ty online. Online learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties give Appalachi­an State stu­dents the abil­i­ty to study and take class­es at home. This means that stu­dents who are cur­rent­ly work­ing full-time jobs can con­tin­ue their edu­ca­tion­al journey.

The school has an excel­lent fac­ul­ty of active design­ers who want to give back to the com­mu­ni­ty by teach­ing their craft to the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of stu­dents. Over­all, the uni­ver­si­ty focus­es on giv­ing stu­dents a firm foun­da­tion in prob­lem-solv­ing and pro­duc­tive criticism.

What We Like: Appalachi­an State is ranked third among North Car­oli­na’s top pub­lic universities.

Degree: BFA in Graph­ic Design

Appalachi­an State Uni­ver­si­ty BFA in Graph­ic Design

9. Florida Gulf Coast University

Flori­da Gulf Coast Uni­ver­si­ty also has an afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree that pro­vides grad­u­ates with the edu­ca­tion need­ed to com­plete a BA and dig­i­tal media design. The program’s STEAM cur­ricu­lum focus­es hard on Sci­ence, Tech­nol­o­gy, Engi­neer­ing, Art & Math cours­es. Stu­dents take a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary list of cours­es that cov­ers sev­er­al areas and fuels creativity.

Flori­da Gulf Coast is a large school with 12,000 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents. Just 65% of stu­dents who apply receive a let­ter of accep­tance. For those who do get the thumbs-up from the uni­ver­si­ty, there are many pop­u­lar majors includ­ing busi­ness and lib­er­al arts.

What We Like: Flori­da Gulf Coast stu­dents have an excel­lent chance of receiv­ing finan­cial aid since 77% of the cur­rent stu­dent body receives some kind of help pay­ing for tuition.

Degree: BA in Dig­i­tal Media Design

Flori­da Gulf Coast Uni­ver­si­ty BA in Dig­i­tal Media Design

10. Wilmington University

The afford­able mul­ti­me­dia degree pro­gram at Wilm­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty offers stu­dents an oppor­tu­ni­ty to earn their BS in graph­ic design. Graph­ic design can serve as a mode of com­mu­ni­ca­tion that lets devel­op­ers begin with a cre­ative idea and end with beau­ti­ful visu­al com­po­si­tions. Graph­ic design requires an under­stand­ing of visu­al con­tent used to tell a sto­ry or solve a prob­lem. Stu­dents in this pro­gram learn about pack­ag­ing, brand­ing and type­face design, among oth­er valu­able skills need­ed in the field. Stu­dents learn to become visu­al thinkers and devel­op new edu­ca­tion­al and cul­tur­al van­tage points.

Wilm­ing­ton U is locat­ed in the Philadel­phia area and has over 3,400 stu­dents. This small insti­tu­tion accepts every­one who applies, and its oth­er pop­u­lar majors include behav­ioral sci­ences, nurs­ing and business.

What We Like: With­in two years of grad­u­a­tion, 92% of the stu­dents report­ed find­ing a job in their field.

Degree: BS in Graph­ic Design

Wilm­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty BS in Graph­ic Design

Is a Multimedia Design Degree Worth It?

For those who want a career in mul­ti­me­dia, get­ting a bachelor’s degree pro­vides the edu­ca­tion and cre­den­tials need­ed to get the atten­tion of hir­ing man­agers. Look for pro­grams at accred­it­ed col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties that include ani­ma­tion, com­put­er graph­ics, pro­gram­ming, fine arts and tech­nol­o­gy courses.

A graph­ic design and mul­ti­me­dia degree adds val­ue to your port­fo­lio of work. It can get your foot in the door and help you score inter­views with hir­ing man­agers look­ing for spe­cif­ic skillsets. For exam­ple, social media man­agers need tal­ent­ed artists to help them cre­ate pos­i­tive posts that boost the brand image of their prod­ucts and ser­vices. Graph­ic design­ers need to have web skills such as JavaScript and HTML to design web­sites with the appro­pri­ate artis­tic fea­tures and content.

Is a mul­ti­me­dia degree worth it? A mul­ti­me­dia degree can help you become an audi­ence ana­lyst who uses met­rics to find out the needs of con­sumers in order to improved prod­ucts. Stu­dents who want to become dig­i­tal adver­tis­ers need to under­stand every step of media cam­paigns and audi­ence psy­chol­o­gy. Degrees in graph­ic design and mul­ti­me­dia make this possible.

Oth­er jobs you can get with a graph­ic design and mul­ti­me­dia degree include the following:

  • graph­ic designer
  • PR man­ag­er
  • video edi­tor
  • account exec­u­tive
  • blog­ger
  • media con­sul­tant
  • cre­ative director
  • mul­ti­me­dia artist

Degrees in graph­ic design and mul­ti­me­dia give stu­dents an oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn beside expe­ri­enced fac­ul­ty mem­bers with many years of expe­ri­ence in the industry.

How Much Can I Make with a Multimedia Design Degree?

The medi­an mul­ti­me­dia design salary is $75,000, accord­ing to salary.com. The low­er 10% of those mak­ing a mul­ti­me­dia pro­gram­ming and design salary is $40,000. The high­est pay­ing mul­ti­me­dia graph­ic design salary is approx­i­mate­ly $139,940 for the top 10% of those work­ing in this field. As you can see, a graph­ic design and mul­ti­me­dia salary can lead to a com­fort­able liv­ing. Those look­ing to pur­sue their pas­sions and live well can do so on a graph­ic design mul­ti­me­dia salary.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta­tis­tics con­firms the high ranges for graph­ic and mul­ti­me­dia design salary jobs. Accord­ing to the BLS, Mul­ti­me­dia artist work­ing in the motion pic­ture or video indus­tries could count on mak­ing an aver­age of $86,000. Dig­i­tal mul­ti­me­dia design salary jobs as soft­ware pub­lish­ers go for approx­i­mate­ly $80,000. The mul­ti­me­dia design salary for a com­put­er sys­tem relat­ed roll aver­ages $72,000 per year. Mean­while, the mul­ti­me­dia pro­gram­ming and design salary for pub­lic rela­tions adver­tis­ing and oth­er ser­vices aver­age is $71,000.

Although mul­ti­me­dia graph­ic design salary jobs pay well, the hours can be intense when work­ing on dead­lines. Ani­ma­tors and graph­ic design­ers tend to work long hours, includ­ing week­ends and nights.

There are many fac­tors that influ­ence the graph­ic design and mul­ti­me­dia salary the stu­dents can expect for their first job. This includes the loca­tion of the job as well as past expe­ri­ence in the field. For exam­ple, a graph­ic design mul­ti­me­dia salary for some­one fresh out of col­lege will prob­a­bly be low­er than a graph­ic and mul­ti­me­dia design salary for some­one with five years or more of expe­ri­ence. Get­ting a degree in mul­ti­me­dia com­mu­ni­ca­tions can gives stu­dents an oppor­tu­ni­ty to increase their dig­i­tal mul­ti­me­dia design salary potential.

Find­ing the right school that empha­sizes a student’s area of inter­est or exper­tise can lead to bet­ter-pay­ing mul­ti­me­dia jobs.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Mul­ti­me­dia Design

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Mul­ti­me­dia Design

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Mul­ti­me­dia Design