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Confessions of a Liberal Arts Major: "My Parents Wanted a Doctor"

dr-mccoyIn the original Star Trek television series, a running gag occurs between Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy in various episodes. Inevitably, McCoy would be asked his opinion about something outside his expertise.

He would become exasperated and proclaim, "I'm a doctor, not an engineer!" McCoy's line would vary according to the circumstances, but it was clear that he considered himself narrowly focused on his career as a doctor and nothing else.

Choosing liberal arts as a major or career is sort of like playing the role of Dr. McCoy, except in reverse. We say to our family, "I'm a graphic designer, not a doctor!" Or, you could fill in that last part with the liberal arts profession of your choice. Parents often beam when saying, "My son/daughter, the doctor!" But rarely do you hear, "My daughter, the graphic artist!"

design-toolsSelecting a profession in the liberal arts can be a steep hill to climb especially when your family wants you to take on a career that is considered more traditional such as medicine, law, business, or engineering.

However, those who work in design, graphics, media, print, and imaging are as professional in nature as any other career. These important professions provide the visual infrastructure for the entertainment, medical, legal, business, and media industries.

Graphic designers, fashion designers, graphic artists, photographers, web designers, and others in the liberal arts are the cornerstones for what people hear, see, wear, or read. We reach and influence everyone in some way.

So the next time you are asked why you decided to become an illustrator, interior decorator, animation artist, etc., you can say proudly, "I'm a (fill in the blank), not a doctor!"


Schools and Colleges offering design degrees:

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Results:  5
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Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 95% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
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  • Accredited
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AAA in Digital Graphic Arts
Remington College , Fort Worth
  • Dallas campus named 2013 School of the Year by the National Association for Health Professionals (NAHP).
  • Tuition covers course-required materials for campus students, including books, lab equipment, and class supplies.
  • Offers flat tuition rate to continuously enrolled students who are on track toward program completion.
  • Campus accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
  • 18 campuses across the United States, with online options as well.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
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Associate Degree-Computer Graphics and Design
  • Features a public spa where massage students can get real-world experience.
  • Honored by the PennSuburban Chamber of Commerce as Business of the Century in 2013.
  • New terms start every 10 weeks.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS).
  • Main campus is located in North Wales, Pennsylvania, with satellite campuses in Phoenixville and Warminster.
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Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Media Arts with concentration in 3-D

At SNHU, we believe everyone should have greater access to higher education. That’s why we offer over 200 accredited degree programs, flexible class schedules, and some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation. We offer military tuition discounts up to 30% toward online undergraduate and graduate degree programs for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty. 

  • Accredited
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  • Accelerated Programs
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AAS Graphic Design
  • Several campuses are designated as 2015 Military Friendly Schools by Victory Media.
  • Scholarships and other financial aid opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Day, evening, and online classes are available for flexible schedule options.
  • Regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
  • Founded 160 years ago, it is one of America’s premier private career colleges.
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