In just one decade, the number of salaried graphic designers grew by more than 49,000. In 2002, the U.S. was home to 141,830 salaried graphic designers. Today, the country is home to 191,000 and they work in all industries from advertising to technology. The industry has shown such promising growth that colleges and universities have created new programs for graphic designers or expanded existing ones. The result is an overwhelming number of degree programs to choose from. Fortunately each year, a number of college ranking agencies separate the best from the rest.
Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report, and Forbes are just a few of the top college ranking organizations. They determine which schools deserve a spot on the list by assessing important factors such as faculty resources, student selectivity, number of program offerings, peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, and financial resources.
According to the most recent report by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Virginia is home to 129 Title IV degree-granting institutions. Many of these schools offer art and design programs, and more than a dozen offer graphic design programs. Virginia Beach Norfolk, Chesapeake, Arlington, Richmond, and Newport News are the state’s largest cities. A large population of artists and designers live in these cities, where the art and culture scenes are the liveliest. However, we found that the state’s best schools for artists and designers can be found all over, from Virginia Beach (more than 442,000 residents) to Staunton (less than 24,000).
Continue reading to learn more about Virginia’s best schools for aspiring graphic designers and what they have to offer.
Best Graphic Design School Programs - Major Virginia Cities
Marymount University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Graphic Design, B. S. Information Technology with Specialization in Interactive Media
Hampton University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Emphasis in Graphic Design
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Communication Arts, Graphic Design, Kinetic Imaging; M. F. A. Design with Specialization in Visual Communications, Kinetic Imaging
Best Graphic Design School Programs - Other Virginia Cities and Towns
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Studio Arts with Concentration in Digital Art, B. F. A. Visual Communication Design; M. F. A. Creative Technologies. NOTE: Virginia Tech’s Graphic Design program is referred to as Art History; Studio Art; and Visual Communication & Graphic Design.
Bluefield College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Graphic Communications
Virginia Intermont College - Degrees Offered: B. A., B. F. A. Art with Concentration in Graphic Design
Emory & Henry College – Degrees Offered: B. A. Graphic Design
George Mason University - Degrees Offered: B. A., B. F. A. Art and Visual Technology with Concentration in Graphic Design, New Media; B. F. A. Computer Game Design; M. F. A. Art and Visual Technology with Emphasis in New Media; M. A. Graphic Design
James Madison University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design
Virginia State University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Visual Arts with Concentration in Animation, Graphic Design
Radford University - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Graphic Design
Staunton Mary Baldwin College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Studio Art with Emphasis in Graphic Design
More Programs to Consider:
- Savannah, Atlanta, Hong Kong, France, and Online via SCAD eLearning