PhD in Graphic Design

Are There Any Prerequisites?

You must have a bachelor's or master's degree in design or a related area of study, such as art, technical communication or architecture. In addition, you should have several years of professional experience in a design field, as well as a well thought out plan for your doctoral degree studies. Applicants that are lacking foundational design courses or proficiency with industry-standard computer programs may be required to take prerequisite coursework prior to admission.

What Will I Learn?

The core of a Ph.D. in graphic design program includes courses in qualitative and quantitative research methods, and design theory and criticism. You'll also take courses in human interaction with designed objects, multicultural communication, design education or design history, depending on your chosen concentration.

A thesis project or dissertation that requires original research is typically a requirement as well. You may also complete a teaching assistantship. Some courses to expect in a doctoral degree program in graphic design might include:

  • Advanced typography
  • Digital design
  • Web design
  • Interactive design
  • Research methods for graphic design
  • Photography
Start Date

End Date

Program Duration

24 Months

Application Deadline


Phd programs

Certifications & Titles


Study Options

Full Time

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United States

Washington, D.C.


Phd programs

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