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Find info on schools and colleges offering animation, design, and gaming programs in your state:

Our 2015 rankings of the top graphic design schools in the Midwest.

We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (Top 1% of schools considered)

Cranbrook Academy of Art dates back to 1932 when it was called The Academy of Art. Home to around 150 students, the school consists of 10 departments led by an Artist or Designer-in-Residence. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include an MFA in Graphic Design. The program, which places strong emphasis on studio work time and group critique, is offered through the 2D/graduate graphic design department.

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Our inaugural list of the Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs on the West Coast. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California (Top 5% of schools considered)

Established in 1961, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is the nation's first postsecondary institution to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in both the visual and performing arts. The school offers 70 programs at all degree levels, including several for aspiring graphic designers. Offerings include a BFA in Graphic Design, an MFA in Graphic Design, and an MFA in Graphic Design with a Specialization in Motion Graphics. The programs are offered through the through the School of Art. In addition to small class sizes (the school is home to 1,489 students), CalArts offers a variety of internship and study abroad opportunities as well as a variety of summer study programs.

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Our inaugural list of the Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs in the Southwest. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (Top 5% of schools considered)

University of North Texas was founded in 1890 as Texas Normal College and Teachers’ Training Institute. It is home to more than 36,000 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across 11 colleges and schools. The College of Visual Arts & Design is home to the Design Department, which offers several programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include a BFA in Communication Design (Graphic Design) and MA and MFA degrees in Design.

Housed in the Art Building, the Communication Design programs offer access to studio classrooms and design labs as well as resources such as 1,000-plus reference books and magazines and paper/print samples of photography, illustration, typography, graphic design and advertising.

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Our inaugural list of the Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs in the South. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida (Top 1% of schools considered)

Established in 1931 by circus baron, real estate developer, and noted art collector John Ringling, Ringling College of Art and Design opened just 75 students enrolled in 111 courses. Today, the school sits on a 35-acre campus that houses nearly 1,300 students enrolled in BA and BFA degree programs in 11 majors. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Graphic Design, which has been in existence 1980.

In existence since 1980, the graphic design teaches students to “create design solutions in print, motion, and interactive media with projects of all varieties.” Students gain real-world experience through internships with major firms and through “The Collaboratory,” which pairs teams of Ringling students with local businesses. Students also have the opportunity to work at RCADs in-house design firm on projects with external clients and for Ringling College events.

RCAD design graduates have landed positions at Google, Leo Burnett, Microsoft, Trader Joe's, Wieden + Kennedy, LinkedIn, Yahoo, American Greetings, and more.

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Our inaugural list of the Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs on the East Coast. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.

1. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island (Top 1% of schools considered)

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is a private, not-for-profit, four-year art school. It is home to 2,014 undergraduate students and 435 graduate students from across the U.S. and 57 other countries. This co-educational art school offers 32 degree programs, including graphic design—one of the RISD’s top five most popular majors. Offerings include a BFA in Graphic Design and a two- or three-year MFA in Graphic Design.

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Our 2015 rankings of the top programs on the East Coast for game design and development. We define the East Coast as Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

11. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was founded in 1900. It is home nearly 13,000 students enrolled in more than 100 programs across seven colleges and schools. The College of Fine Arts-Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network (IDeATe), and the School of Computer Science-Computer Science Department offer a unique program for aspiring game designers. The Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA) features a Concentration in Game Design.

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Our 2015 rankings of the Top 10 schools for game design and development in the Southwest US. We define the Southwest as Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

The University of Utah is home to 31,000 students enrolled in close to 100 undergraduate programs and more than 90 graduate programs. Founded in 1850, the University of Utah  houses 17 colleges and schools, and close to 100 departments. The College of Engineering and the College of Fine Arts offer the Entertainment Arts and Engineering Master Games Studio (EAE:MGS). Tracks include Arts, Engineering, Technical Arts, and Production. According to the Studio, “all students in each of the tracks have a series of common classes including Game Design, Rapid Prototyping, Pre-Production, and Final Project.” In addition, students will “develop and enhance a professional game portfolio” and they will have the opportunity to complete an internship in the game industry.

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Our 2015 rankings of the top 10 game design and development schools in the South. We define the South as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas. 

For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here

11. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Savannah, Georgia

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is home to more than 11,000 students enrolled in more than 40 majors and 60+ minors. Founded in 1978, SCAD has campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and Hong Kong. The School of Digital Media at SCAD offers several programs for aspiring game designers. Offerings include BA, BFA, MA, and MFA degrees in Interactive Design and Game Development and a Certificate in Interactive Design. A Minor in Interactive Design and Game Development is also on the menu.  

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Our 2015 rankings of the Top 20 schools on the West Coast for game design and development. We define the West Coast as California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. 

For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

11. University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California was established in 1880. It is home to 43,000 students enrolled in more than 200 undergraduate programs, 300-plus graduate programs, and more than 150 minors. The school features a variety of game design programs at multiple degree levels. USC Games offers a BA in Interactive Entertainment and an MFA in Interactive Media through the School of Cinematic Arts, and a BS in Computer Science (Games) and an MS in Computer Science with a Specialization in Game Development through Viterbi School of Engineering. Minors include Game Animation, Game Audio, Game Design, and Game Entrepreneurism.

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Our 2015 rankings of the Top 15 game design and development programs in the Midwest. We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

DePaul University was established in 1898. It is the nation’s largest Catholic university with a student population of 23,799 students enrolled in more than 300 programs through 10 colleges and schools. The College of Computing and Digital Media offers several programs for aspiring game designers including BS and MS degrees in Computer Game Development with Concentrations in Game Design, GamePlay Programming, and Systems Programming.

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