Did you know? Savannah College of Art and Design alumni work at top companies around the globe like Apple, IBM, Ralph Lauren, Under Armour, and Verizon. Learn more.
What are the top Florida graphic design schools for 2022?
|1||Ringling College of Art and Design||Sarasota|
|2||Full Sail University||Winter Park|
|3||University of Florida||Gainesville|
|4||University of Central Florida||Orlando|
|5||Florida State University||Tallahassee|
|6||University of North Florida||Jacksonville|
|7||University of Miami||Coral Gables|
|8||University of South Florida||Tampa|
|9||University of Tampa||Tampa|
|10||Florida Atlantic University||Boca Raton|
Our 2022 ranking of the top 10 graphic design school programs in Florida. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) has a Graphic Design Program that launched in 1980. Available pathways include a 120 credit hour BFA and a 15 credit hour Minor. Program features include an immersive, studio-based curriculum, visiting artists from major studios such as DreamWorks, internships opportunities, and the opportunity to work on real-world projects with local businesses and at The Design Center—RCAD’s in-house design firm.
Course examples across programs include Graphic Design I-VI, Development of Art & Ideas, Design & Typography, 3D Problem Solving, 4D Design, New Media UI/UX, Drawing & 2D Design, Visual Persuasion Designing with Type, and Literature and Media Studies.
Graduates of the Ringling College of Art and Design Graphic Design Program are prepared for careers in many different industries. Examples include Advertising Director, Visual Identity Art Director, Conceptual Designer, Packaging Designer, Logo Designer, Global Brand manager, Digital Image Artist, Editorial Designer, Licensing Production Artist, Motion Graphics Designer, UI/UX Designer, Book Designer, and Communications Director.
RCAD alumni have been hired by companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi X, Microsoft, Walt Disney Imagineering, Google, Nickelodeon, Wieden+Kennedy, Meta (formerly Facebook), Leo Burnett, BBC Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, Instagram, and Arc Worldwide.
Ringling College of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). A private, not-for-profit college, RCAD has been around since 1931, when it was co-founded by circus baron, John Ringling. Serving nearly 1,700 students from 54 countries, 45 states, and four territories, Ringling College of Art and Design offers eleven majors leading to a BFA degree, two majors leading to a BA, and minor options in 10 areas.
2. Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida
Full Sail University has a Graphic Design BS Program that may be completed in 20 months on-campus or 29 months online. Program features for both tracks include a project-based curriculum, hands-on experience with entertainment and media companies, seven project and portfolio courses, several Professional Development Seminars, and a four credit hour Career Readiness course. Other course examples include Creating Brand Experience, Interactive Editorial Design, Typography and Page Layout, Technology in the Entertainment and Media Industries, Logos and Symbols, and Digital Publishing, Graphic Design BS graduates are prepared to pursue positions at advertising agencies, marketing firms, and public relations firms, magazines and book publishers, web design companies, design studios, and more. Some graduates go on to pursue an advanced degree such as Full Sail University’s Media Design MFA.
Offered 100% online, the Full Sail MFA Program explores client communications, motivational theories, team dynamics, and research. Course examples include Organizational Structures, Defining Client Needs, Design Strategies and Motivation, Design Research, and Measuring Design Effectiveness. Courses are five credit hours each and the MFA Program takes just 12 months to complete, full-time.
Full Sail University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The school opened in 1979 in Dayton, Ohio. Today, Full Sail is located just 35 minutes from downtown Orlando and Universal Studios. Serving approximately 21,000 students, Full Sail University offers degree programs and graduate certificates in the Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Technology.
3. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Established in 1925, the College of the Arts at University of Florida (UF) houses the fully accredited schools of Art + Art History, Music, Theatre and Dance, the Center for Arts in Medicine, and the Digital Worlds Institute. In the School of Art + Art History, students interested in design can earn a Graphic Design BFA, an MFA in Graphic Design/Design & Visual Communications (MXD), or a Graphic Design Certificate.
The 120 credit hour Graphic Design BFA explores art history, drawing, design, and 2D, 3D, and 4D. Course examples for the program include Workshop for Art Research and Practice: WARP, Visual Methods and Processes, Space Studio, Digital Imaging, Graphic Design: Visual Systems in Design, Technologies and Processes, and Image, Form and Meaning. Students in the UF Graphic Design BFA will take Design Workshop, studios such as Design and Professional Practice Studio and Senior Design Studio, and they will work with clients on real-world projects. Students will leave the program with a professional portfolio of their best work.
The University of Florida MXD MFA is a terminal degree consisting of 60 credit ours of study. In existence for more than 20 years, this design-centered, interdisciplinary program has two-year and three-year options that consists of studios, seminars, workshops, practicums, and internship opportunities. The MFA also provides opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills and teaching skills through electives. Examples include Seminar in Social Entrepreneurship, Creativity in Entrepreneurship, Teaching Art in Higher Education, and Methods of Research in Art Education. Students have the option to complete a Thesis or MFA Creative Project.
In the 15 credit hour Graphic Design Certificate Program at University of Florida is open to students majoring in Art or Art History. Courses include Perceptual Drawing, Visual Methods and Processes, Typography 1: Letterform, Design Thinking, and Graphic Design Practice. The UF Graphic Design Certificate Program takes four semesters to complete.
Graduates of the Graphic Design and Visual Communications Programs at University of Florida are designers, educators, entrepreneurs, and creative directors, among others. Program alumni work at major companies such as Apple, Walt Disney Imagineering, Meta (formerly Facebook), Verizon, Microsoft, IBM, IBM, Twitter, JetBlue, Kate Spade, West Elm, IDEO, Fossil, Viacom, JetBlue, and for the Miami Heat.
MDX MFA alumni have also laned positions at Google, L’Oréal, University at Buffalo, University of Colorado–Boulder, Illinois State University, Alabama at Birmingham, Ball State University, Northern Alabama University, Auburn University, and the University of Florida.
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1858 as Gainesville Academy, the school opened with just a few students. Serving nearly 58,000 students today, UF encompasses a 2,000-acre campus with more than 900 buildings, including the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum-certified building in the State of Florida. The University of Florida offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs in 14 colleges and schools.
4. University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
The College of Arts and Humanities at University of Central Florida (UCF) houses the School of Visual Arts & Design (SVAD), which offers an Emerging Media BFA with a Graphic Design Track. At the graduate level, SVAD offers an interdisciplinary Emerging Media MFA with a Studio Art and Design Track.
The Emerging Media BFA Program explores interactive and web design, typography, branding and packaging, UI/UX design, poster creation, publication design, film and broadcast graphics, and identity systems. Consisting of 120 credit hours, the program requires 63 credit hours in the major. Course examples include Type & Design, Intermediate Graphic Design I-II, Advanced Computer Graphic Design, Computer Art, Art in the Last 25 Years, and Special Problems in Graphic Design. In addition, Emerging BFA students will work on building a professional portfolio during the entire four years of the program.
With a focus on Electronic Media, SVAD Emerging Media MFA is a rigorous, 60 credit hour program that consists of individual and group critiques, experimentation with emerging and traditional media, and mentoring. The program requires 18 credit hours of electives and 18 in Thesis courses. Elective examples include Design Theory and Methods, Time Arts, Art, Design and Human Interactions, Serial Content, and The Professional Practice of Art. The UCF Emerging Media MFA Program culminates with a Thesis Exhibition.
University of Central Florida alumni work at Amazon, Google, Lockheed Martin, Walt Disney World, Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company, Universal Orlando Resort, AdventHealth, Salesforce, Meta (formerly Facebook), Orlando Health, and TEKsystems, among others.
University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1963, University of Central Florida opened in 1968 as Florida Technological University. When it opened, the school had less than 2,000 students. Today, UCF serves more than 70,000 students making it the largest university by enrollment in the State of Florida, and one of the nation’s largest universities. Program offerings include 106 bachelor’s degrees, 95 master’s degrees, 31 research doctorates, three professional doctorates, and three specialist degrees.
5. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida
Florida State University (FSU) has a Studio Art Program with BA, BFA, and MFA pathways. Housed in the Department of Art in the College of Fine Arts, the Studio Art Program provides opportunities to concentrate or focus in areas related to Graphic Design. All pathways offer access to studio spaces in the Carnaghi Arts Building (CAB) and labs and other facilities in The Facility For Arts Research (FAR). Part of FSU’s College of Fine Arts, FAR houses REBOOT Laboratory, collab, Small Craft Advisory Press, and comma.
Other facilities include the Digital Media Lab, Photo Labs, Printmaking Labs, and FabLab Digital Fabrication Lab. Additional project and installation spaces are available for MFA students in the 400-square-feet MFA Gallery. MFA students also have access to individual 235-square-feet studios, a graduate seminar room, common spaces, FSU’s Innovation Hub, Lightbox, and FAR&AWAY—the visiting artist program. Both BFA and MFA students have 24/7 access to CAB art studios.
The interdisciplinary Studio Art BA has a Digital Media Concentration, which covers areas such as Text+Media and Interactive. Text+Media explores typography, printmaking, and photography. Interactive explores exhibition design, interface design, experience design, web design, animation, and contemporary art. Students in this program may add another major, minor or certificate. In addition to access to dedicated computer and media labs, FSU Studio Art students (including BFA students) have internship and study abroad opportunities, as well as opportunities for gallery exhibition at the FSU Phyllis Straus Gallery.
The Florida State University Studio Art BFA consists of 120 credit hours. Students may concentrate in Digital Media. The BFA Program culminates with a Thesis Project which will be displayed at FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts.
The Studio MFA at FSU is a three-year, fully funded residency program that provides professional teacher training, teaching opportunities at the college level, study trips, studio visits, and curatorial and exhibition opportunities locally and on campus. The Studio Art MFA culminates with an Exhibition event in Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Art (MoFA).
Florida State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1851, FSU serves nearly 44,000 students enrolled in 276 degree programs at all levels. One of the largest and oldest universities in Florida, FSU houses 16 colleges and schools at campuses across the state.
6. University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida
The College of Arts & Sciences (COAS) at University of North Florida (UNF) has a BFA Program that offers an interdisciplinary major in Graphic Design & Digital Media. Housed in the COAS Department of Art, Art History, and Design, the program features internship opportunities, study abroad experiences in Brazil, Italy, and others, visiting artists, and participation in two Senior Showcases in UNF Gallery Spaces.
The Graphic Design & Digital Media BFA is a limited access program that requires a review before taking restricted classes. Areas explored include motion graphics, advertising design, poster design, web design, visual identities, and packaging, among others. With 24 major and free electives, BFA students have opportunities to explore other areas of art and design. Course examples for this 120 credit hour program include Creativity and Critique, Visual Systems, Process and Methods, UI and Interaction Design, Graphic Symbols and Semiotics Type Communication, Visual Identity, and Time-Based Media.
In the final year of the UNF Graphic Design & Digital Media BFA Program, COAS students will complete the Professional Practices course and a Graphic Design Portfolio. Graduates are prepared to pursue positions at advertising agencies, creative firms, design studios, marketing companies, production studios, web design firms, public relations firms, and in-house design departments at companies in just about every industry.
University of North Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Chartered in 1965, UNF is one of 12 public universities in the State University System of Florida (SUSF). The school serves 17,000 students across six colleges and Hicks Honors College. University of North Florida offers 60 bachelor's degree with 75 areas of concentration, 36 master's degrees with 72 areas of concentration, five doctoral degrees with three areas of concentration, and one specialist degree.
7. University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
The University of Miami (UM) houses the College of Arts and Sciences, home to the Department of Art and Art History, which offers a BFA with a Concentration in Graphic Design and Multimedia. Part of the Electronic Media Area, the Graphic Design and Multimedia BFA is multidisciplinary program that provides access to studios, computer labs, drawing classrooms, and exhibition spaces. Course examples for the program include 2D and 3D Design, Color Digital Photography, Drawing, Graphic Design I-III, Introduction to Electronic Media, Experimental Illustration for Print and Interactive Media, Multimedia I-III, and Typography.
Also part of the program is the Seminar in Professional Practices, which requires placement in a professional design or multimedia setting. Student may also enroll in the UM Internship (UMI) Program, which allows students to obtain real-world work experience at a design studio or creative agency in the Miami/Broward area.
The Graphic Design and Multimedia Program at the University of Miami culminates with a professional portfolio and exhibition. Potential job titles for graduates of the program include Art Director, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Artist, Packaging Designer, 3D Artist, Computer Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Media Specialist, Brand Manager, Exhibit Designer, Digital Artist, Layout Designer, Multimedia Producer, Illustrator, User Experience Designer, Concept Artist, and Digital Media Designer, among others.
The University of Miami is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1925, this private research university opened in 1926 with 646 full-time students enrolled in programs across the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Music, and the Evening Division. Today, University of Miami serves more than 17,000 students enrolled in nearly 350 majors and programs across 12 colleges and schools.
8. University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
The College of the Arts at University of South Florida (USF) houses the School of Art & Art History, which has a Graphic Arts BFA Program with a Concentration in Graphic Design. The program combines production courses with internship opportunities and portfolio development coursework. The curriculum focuses on print, image development, screen-based graphics, and image development. The program begins with illustration, drawing, and printmaking courses.
Over the next three years students will complete 18 credit hours in the concentration. Course examples include Graphic Interface, Motion Graphics, Book Design, Packaging Design, Business Graphic Design, Advanced Typography, Design Signs and Symbols, Advanced Illustration, Social Design, and Advanced Web Design.
All students in the USF Graphic Design Concentration must complete the Art and Art History Internship worth three credits. Research and study abroad opportunities are also part of the program. In the final year of the BFA Program, student designers will complete Graphic Design: Senior Studio, Senior Project: Research, and Senior Project: Portfolio. In addition, BFA students will design, organize, and promote an exhibition of their Final Senior Project.
Potential jobs titles for University of South Florida Graphic Design graduates include Creative Director, Graphic Designer, Production Artist, Design Consultant, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Motion Designer, Brand Designer, Illustrator, Packaging Designer, Layout Artist, Logo Designer, Senior Graphic Designer, Technical Designer, and Industrial Designer.
The University of South Florida (USF) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1956, USF serves more than 50,000 students across three campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee. Students at University of South Florida choose from 180 undergraduate majors and degree programs at the graduate, specialist, and doctoral levels. Programs are housed in 14 colleges.
9. University of Tampa, Tampa, Florida
The Department of Design at University of Tampa (UT) is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Housed in the UT College of Arts and Letters, the Department provides access to and participation in the Visiting Artist Program, the Art and Design Immersion Travel Course, experiential learning activities at local galleries and museums, the campus-based, 30,000-square-feet R.K. Bailey Art Studios, and the Ferman Center for the Arts.
The UT Graphic Design BFA is housed in the Department of Design. Topics of study for the program include traditional design, visual communication: art and contemporary + history and theories, advanced study in typography, digital design, collaboration and entrepreneurship, and socially responsible design. Course examples include Graphic Design I-IV, Printing, Mixed Media Painting, Publishing and Book Arts, Typography I-II, Branding and Packaging, Design Thinking, Intaglio Printmaking, Digital Photography, and Graphic Design Portfolio Studio.
Students are also encouraged to complete a professional internship and they may add a minor to help expand their skill sets. Examples include Communication, Media and Culture, Digital Media, Film and Media Arts, Interactive Media, Public Relations, Writing, New Media, and the Advertising Minor, with courses in Communication Department and the John H. Sykes College of Business.
The University of Tampa Graphic Design BFA culminates with the Senior Capstone Project and Exhibit at the UT Scarfone/Hartley Gallery.
University of Tampa is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1931 as Tampa Junior College, the school opened with just 62 students. Today, UT is a global research university that serves 10,500 students. More than 200 academic programs are available in four colleges including the College of Arts and Letters, Sykes College of Business, the College of Natural and Health Sciences, and the College of Social Sciences, Mathematics, and Education.
10. Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida
Florida Atlantic University (FAU) houses the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. Within the Dorothy College is the Department of Visual Arts and Art History, which has a Graphic Design Program with undergraduate and graduate options. The BFA consists of 24 credits (six courses) in Graphic Design including Interactive Design Lab (one course), Typographic Design Lab (two courses), and Visual Design Lab (three courses). Elective options provide the opportunity to develop additional skills in an area of Graphic Design such as Poster Design or specific Design Software such as InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop.
Out-of-Concentration Studio Art Electives allow students to further enhance the degree. Course examples include Alternative Media, Digital Photography, Handmade Books, Narrative Drawing, and Printmaking. During the senior year of the FAU Graphic Design BFA Program students will complete the BFA Senior Seminar and finalize their portfolios.
The MFA option at Florida Atlantic University is a Visual Art Program that offers a Concentration in Graphic Design. Consisting of 60 credit hours, the program combines art history courses, 24 credit hours in Graphic Design, and electives with graduate design studios and seminars. MFA students will complete a number of independent study projects and the Graduate Thesis Exhibition and Thesis Document. Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) are optional, but competitive.
All FAU Department of Visual Arts and Art History students have access to internship opportunities at creative agencies, companies, and museums such as Norton Museum of Art. Students may enroll in the Summer Study Abroad Program. Past locations include Spain, France, and Italy. FAU students also benefit from partnerships with MOCA | Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, City of Las Vegas Arts Commission, and Boca Raton Museum of Art, among others.
Florida Atlantic University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Established in 1961, FAU opened in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, Florida Atlantic University serves more than 30,000 students enrolled in 170+ programs across six campuses and 10 colleges.