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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

Top Graphic Design Programs in Illinois

Written by ACR StaffMarch 9, 2012
Top graphic design programs in Illinois
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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Ask any college-bound student what’s the most important thing to consider when searching for a graphic design school, and he might mention price first. Ask any parent on a budget, and they might say the same. However, this isn’t the only thing parents and students think about when it comes to selecting a school. Besides cost, they might also consider convenience, class size, and quality of the facilities. Students also care about the types of social clubs and recreational opportunities the school offers. Schools that score high in these areas are often found on most “top schools” lists, and most of these lists are created by who else—students, alumni, bloggers, and other similar groups.

While top lists are an excellent resource for students during the selection process, many also call on “best” lists to lend a hand. Organizations such as U.S. News & World Report, Princeton Review, and others consider a different set of factors to determine which schools belong on the “best” list. They assess factors such as the number of program offerings, graduation and retention rates, peer assessment, faculty resources (student-teacher ratio), financial resources, and student selectivity. In the end, however, many of the same schools end up on both lists. 

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Continue reading to find out which Illinois schools made the list of top graphic design school programs, and what each has to offer. Please note that the top schools listed below are in order by student population from largest to smallest.

Top Graphic Design School Programs Illinois - Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago
Student Population: 16,925
Backdrop: Urban, 240-acre campus
Degrees Offered:  B. F. A. Electronic Visualization, Graphic Design; M. F. A. Graphic Design, New Media Arts

DePaul University
Student Population: 16,052
Backdrop: Urban, 36-acre campus
Degrees Offered: B. A./B. S. Animation; B. A. Art, Media and Design with Concentration in Art and Design or Media Arts; B. S. Computer Game Development, Computer Graphics and Motion Technology; B. F. A. Graphic Design; M. S. Computer Game Development, Computer Graphics and Motion Technology

Columbia College
Student Population: 12,500
Backdrop: Urban, Downtown Chicago Campus
Degrees Offered: B. A. Art and Design; B. A. Film and Video with Animation (Traditional or Computer) Concentration; B. A. Game Design with Concentration in Game Art, Game Development, Programming or Game Sound; B. F. A. Graphic Design, Illustration; B. A., B. F. A. Interactive Arts and Media

Top Graphic Design School Programs Illinois Other Cities and Towns

University of Illinois at Urbana
Student Population: 31,540
Backdrop: Small city, 4,724-acre campus
Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design, New Media; M. F. A. Art and Design with Concentration in Graphic Design, M. F. A. Studio with Concentration in New Media

Illinois State University
Student Population: 18,594
Backdrop: Small city, 490-acre campus
Degrees Offered: B. A., B. S., B. F. A. Graphic Design

Western Illinois University
Student Population: 10,520
Backdrop: Small town, 1,050-acre campus
Degrees Offered:  B. F. A. Art with Emphasis in Graphic Design; B. S. Instructional Simulation and Gaming

Eastern Illinois University
Student Population: 9,657
Backdrop: Small town, 320-acre campus
Degrees Offered:  B. F. A. Graphic Design

Bradley University
Student Population: 5,067
Backdrop: Small city, 85-acre campus
Degrees Offered:  B. A., B. S., B. F. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design; B. A., B. S. Interactive Media with Concentration in Animation and Visual Effects, Game Design or Web and Application Design; M. A., M. F. A. Drawing/Illustration, Visual Communications and Design

More Programs to Consider:


Princeton Review,
U.S. News & World Report College Rankings,