What are the top Texas graphic design schools for 2022?

Top 10 Graphic Design School Programs in Texas - 2022 College Rankings
1University of Texas at AustinAustin
2University of North TexasDenton
3Texas State UniversitySan Marcos
4University of HoustonHouston
5University of Texas at ArlingtonArlington
6Baylor UniversityWaco
7Texas A&M UniversityCommerce
8Texas Christian UniversityFort Worth
9Texas A&M UniversityCorpus Christi
10Sam Houston State UniversityHuntsville

Our 2022 ranking of the top graphic design school programs in Texas. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
University of Texas at Austin

The College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) houses the School of Design and Creative Technologies, home to the Design Department. Housed in the Doty Fine Arts Building (DFA) and the Art Building (ART), the Design Department offers BA, BFA, and MFA degrees in Design. In addition, the Center for Professional Education offers a Graphic Design Certificate that may be completed 100% online. Over 13 sessions, lasting three months, certificate students will master industry software such as After Effects, Photoshop, In Design, and Illustrator. The program also explores design practices and the production of static and motion graphic designs.

Design BA students at UT Austin combines liberal arts courses with courses in design techniques, aesthetics, theory, research methos, and history. While BA students will take fewer upper division design courses than BFA students will, the program offers the opportunity to explore other areas in additional departments across the university. Course examples for this 120 credit hour program include Sketching, History of Design, Introduction to 2D and 3D, Interaction Design, Typography, Design Research and Images in Communication. Internship and study abroad opportunities are also part of the program. Both are optional. 

The Design BFA is a pre-professional degree consisting of 120 credit hours. Around two-thirds of the courses for this program are in Design and related coursework. Course examples include Identity Systems, Typography I-III, Design and Social Environment, and Industrial Design. Students in the Design BFA Program will complete one or more paid internships along with a capstone design project that will be presented in UT Austin’s Annual Public Exhibition. Students have interned at places such as Apple, Google, Samsung, Dell, IBM, and EA Games.

The MFA in Design at University of Texas at Austin is a 60 credit hour program designed for exceptional students with solid design skills. The program consists of seminars, studios, electives, and a thesis project. Design MFA students have 24/7 access to shared studio spaces and as well as the Design, Computer, Materials, and Digital Fabrication Labs, the Wood Shop, Visual Arts Center, and Fine Arts Library, and the Harry Ransom Center and The Foundry.

Graduates of the Design Programs at UT Austin go on to become Graphic Designers, Art Directors, Multimedia Designers, Entrepreneurs, UI/UX Designers, Book Designers, Project Managers, Package Designers, and Executives, among others.

The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1883, the school opened in 1883 with one building, eight professors, one proctor, and 221 students. Today, UT Austin has around 52,000 students served by a teaching faculty of 3,133. The University of Texas at Austin offers more than 500 degree programs and fields of study in 18 colleges and schools.

2. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
University of North Texas

The College of Visual Arts and Design (CVAD) at the University of North Texas (UNT) houses the Design Department, which offers a BFA in Communication Design with two tracks: Graphic Design and User-Experience Design (UX Design). Both tracks consist of studio coursework, with Graphic Design students taking additional requirements such as Typography I, Foundations for Communication Design, and Image-Making and Color Theory. UX Design students will take additional requirements such as Contextual Research Methods, Foundations of User-Centered Design, and Typographic Systems.

Course examples across Communication Design Tracks include Art History SurveyI-III, GD Advanced Campaigns, Interaction Design, Data Visualization & the Design of Information, Cause-Based Design, Image Making & Color Theory, Communication Design Studio, Prototyping & User Testing, Planning and Developing Interactive Systems, and Advanced Product Design in UX Design.

Students in both Tracks may add a minor such as New Media Art, Art History, Printmaking, or Photography. All UNT Communication Design students will complete a portfolio.

CVAD Communication Design students will graduate with a professional portfolio and the skills needed to pursue positions in industries such as advertising, publishing, entertainment, manufacturing, and computer systems design. University of North Texas CVAD graduates also qualify for jobs in government agencies, museums, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, and for associations, among others.

University of North Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). The school is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Established in 1890, UNT serves just over 38,150 students enrolled in 105 bachelor's, 88 master's, and 37 doctoral degree programs across 14 colleges and schools. With more than 4,600 faculty and staff members, University of North Texas is one of the largest employers in the City of Denton, Texas.

3. Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas
Texas State University

The College of Fine Arts & Communication at Texas State University (Texas State) houses the School of Art and Design, home to the Communication Design Program (ComDes). Degree options include the BFA and MFA in ComDes. The 120 credit hour BFA provides mentoring, meetups, and internship opportunities through the Texas State’s relationships with local and national businesses. Students have also interned at companies in Europe. 

Courses for the program are taught in a studio environment with access to the Mitte Complex, which houses state-of-the-art production facilities and equipment. Coursework explores corporate identity, brand experience, typography, environmental graphics, human-centered design, interactive design, art direction, sustainable packaging, and design research. Specific course examples include Branding Systems, Interactive Media, Trademark Design, Introduction to Printmaking: Intaglio and Lithography, Expanded Media, and Typography. The ComDes BFA Program culminates with the Senior Portfolio Presentation and Self-Promotion Capstone.

Before graduating from the program, many ComDes students have already earned publishing credits in journals such as PRINT, Communication Arts, Graphis New Talent Annual, Step Inside Design, CMYK, and Logo Lounge. Students in the program have also received recognition competitions such as the Austin Addy Awards, the San Antonio Addy Awards, AIGA Flux, Creative Summit, the American Advertising Federation Awards, Art The National Show, Director's Club of Houston, and The One Show.

Graduates of the Texas State University ComDes BFA Program have been placed at companies such as  Microsoft, Disney, Verizon, IBM, Google, Indeed, DDB, Spotify, Vrbo, H-E-B Digital, Helm’s Workshop, GSD&M, and USAA, among others.

The Texas State University ComDes MFA (or MFA/CD) is a 60 credit hour program that can be completed online with one on-campus residency each year. During the residency, students will participate in workshops, critiques, and visiting designer lectures. Graduate assistantships are also offered in the School of Art and Design, and allow students to gain teaching experience through the ComDes BFA Program. Graduate assistantships are paid positions that require 20 hours of work per week.

The Texas State MFA/CD Program explores design history, visual communication, typography, and digital design. Course examples include Imaging, Alternative Printing Methods, Kinetic Typography, Design for Motion, Generative Design, Experience Design, Design for Motion, Corporate Identity Systems, Professional Practice, Design Futures, Entrepreneurial Design, Exhibitions, Corporate Marketing Materials, The Experimental Book, and Research Through Making. In the Professional Practice course, MFA students will work with regional and national advertising agencies, graphic design firms, or digital media studios to gain professional experience.

Potential careers for graduates of the Texas State University MFA/CD Program include, but are not limited to, Art Director, Senior Graphic Designer, Visual Designer, Creative Director, Design Manager, Typographer, Senior Interaction Designer, UI/UX Designer, and Professor.

Texas State University was established in 1899 as a teacher’s college known as Southwest Texas Normal School. With Lyndon B. Johnson as the school’s most famous alumni—and the only president to graduate from a Texas college—Texas State serves 38,000 students enrolled in more than 200 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Located on the banks of the San Marcos River, Texas State University has been a part of the Texas State University System since 1911.

4. University of Houston, Houston, Texas
University of Houston

The University of Houston (UH) is home the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts. Within the McGovern College is the School of Art, which offers a BFA in Graphic Design and an MFA in Studio Art. The graduate program has a Concentration in Graphic Design.

The UH Graphic Design BFA provides learning and networking opportunities through visiting artist and speaker events, and the option to add the Minor in Graphic Communications Technology. Consisting of 18 semester hours, the minor helps students master the technology used to produce print media. Course examples include Graphic Communication Output Lab, Graphics for Digital Media, Information Technology Applications for Digital Media, and Page Layout and Design. The UH Minor is part of the College of Technology’s Department of Information and Logistics Technology.

Other Graphic Design BFA benefits include participation in workshops, site-specific projects, lectures, and critiques, and access to internship opportunities. At the end of the program, students will participate in a senior exhibition that showcases their best work.

The MFA in Studio Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design consists of 60 semester hours including 24 hours in related arts, 18 hours in the concentration, 12 hours in art history, and six hours in graduate seminars. Course examples include Graphic Design Studio and Writing Seminar. Upon completion of all coursework and projects for the program, MFA students will present their work in a thesis exhibition at Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston.

The University of Houston is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Established in 1927, this public research university houses an interdisciplinary Honors College, and 16 colleges and schools that offer more than 400 degree programs to more than 47,000 students.

5. University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas
University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) houses the College of Liberal Arts (CoLA), home to the Department of Art and Art History, which offers BA and BFA degrees in Art and Art in Studio Art, and an MFA in Visual Communication Design (VCD). The 120 credit hour BA includes an 18 credit hour Minor in Film/Video-Animation/Gaming), 55 credit hours in art, advanced studio classes, and the opportunity to concentrate in Visual Communication Design. The BFA Program requires 124 credit hours of study, with 79 in art. Students in this program may also concentrate in VCD.

Course examples across programs include Digital Media, 3D Studio, Advanced Drawing, 2D and 3D Design, Web Typography, Art History Foundation, Sign and Symbol, Printmaking, Water Media, Advanced Typography, Digital Imaging, and History of Graphic Design. Both the BA and BFA culminate with a Portfolio and Presentation.

The MFA Program at University of Texas at Arlington consists of 60 credit hours, with 39 in Visual Communication Design. Course examples include Research in Visual Communication, Topics in the History of Art & Design, and Creative Strategies. The VCD MFA culminates with the Thesis Exhibition.

Students in all CoLA Department of Art and Art History Programs have access to advanced digital studios and printing labs, the Corrugated Prototype Design and CAD Production Lab, over 40 Mac Computers, and the Studio Createc Gaming Studio. All VCD studios are equipped with Adobe Suite and other industry programs. The Art Programs at University of Texas at Arlington are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

Graduates of the Visual Communication Design programs at UTA have career opportunities such as Graphic Designer, Printmaker, Book Designer, App Designer, Art Director, Exhibition Designer, Brand Manager, Packaging Designer, Animator, Exhibit Designer, Illustrator, and Web Designer, among others.

The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1895, UTA is a Carnegie Research 1 institution that serves around 45,950 students. The largest university in North Texas and the second largest in the University of Texas System, University of Texas at Arlington offers more than 180 degree programs across nine colleges.

6. Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Baylor University

The College of Arts & Sciences at Baylor University (Baylor) is the school’s largest academic division. Established in 1919, the College consists of 25 academic departments (including the Department of Art and Art History), and eight academic centers and institutes. Housed in the Lewis Art Building, the Department of Art and Art History houses smart classrooms, computer labs for graphic design and photography, darkrooms, and state-of-the-art studios drawing, painting, printmaking, and more. Students in the Baylor Studio Art BFA Program have access to all Department facilities.

The Studio BFA offers an emphasis in Graphic Design that consists of 66 hours in Studio Art, 15 hours in Art History, and 50-51 hours in Liberal Arts. Course examples for the program include Digital Media for Graphic Design, Publication Design, Illustration, Studio Topics in Graphic Design, Typography and Conceptual Development, Package Design, Identity Design, Web Design, Internship in Studio Art and Portfolio Preparation. In the Portfolio course, students will develop a final Graphic Design Portfolio. Portfolio Preparation also covers interviewing, presentation skills, and job search strategies.

Graduates of the Baylor University Studio Art BFA work for advertising agencies, publishing firms, creative agencies and design studios, publishers, newspapers and magazines, public relations firms, marketing companies, web design firms, and museums, among others.

Baylor University is accredited by the by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Chartered in 1845, the school is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Serving close to 20,630 students, Baylor offers more than 250 degree programs across 12 academic divisions.

7. Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce, Texas

The College of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Arts at Texas A&M University-Commerce (TAMU-C) houses the Department of Art-home to the Visual Communication (VisCom) Program. Leading to a BFA, MA, and MFA, the VisCom Program has three concentrations: Art Direction, Design, and New Media.

Students in all VisCom BFA concentrations must complete the 42-semester hour University Studies curriculum and a common core of freshman and sophomore-level art courses. Upon completion of all first year and second year requirements, students must submit a portfolio for entry into the junior year of the program. During the last year of the program, students will complete an internship and a portfolio of their best work.

Students in both the MA and MFA VisCom Programs will work with adjunct instructors, design professionals, and graduate faculty at the Visual Communication Graduate Facilities located at the Universities Center at Dallas (UCD) near the Dallas Arts District (DAD). Located in Downtown Dallas, DAD spans 118 acres, making it is the largest contiguous urban arts district in the U.S.

The TAMU-C VisCom MA is a two-year program that requires 30 credit hours to graduate. Course examples for the program include Creative Promotion and Innovation, User-Centered Design Experience, Creative Methodologies, Ideation, Process and Product, Cross-Cultural Marketing, and Design teaching Methods. The VisCom MA culminates with a Capstone Project.

The VisCom MFA at Texas A&M University-Commerce requires 60 credit hours to graduate. Designed for working professionals or individuals with experience in Visual Communication, the MFA is a terminal degree consisting of interdisciplinary coursework and 11 studios. Studio examples include Creative Method, Design Writing, Design Studio Processes, User-Centered Design Experience, and Design Technology. Examples of support courses include Research Literature & Techniques, Design Teaching Environment, Special Topics, History of American Typography, Design Teaching Methods, and History of Graphic Design. 

The VisCom MFA Program culminates with the Written Thesis and Thesis Exhibition. The Master of Fine Arts Exhibition in Visual Communication consists of four credit hours.

Texas A&M University-Commerce is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). TAMU-C opened in 1889 as East Texas Normal College in Cooper, Texas. The fifth oldest state university, the school serves nearly 11,000 students making it the second largest university in the Texas A&M University System. TAMU-C offers more than 140 areas of study at the undergraduate, master's and doctoral levels. Programs are housed in six colleges, two schools, and dozens of departments.

8. Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas
Texas Christian University

The College of Fine Arts at Texas Christian University (TCU or Texas Christian) houses the Department of Design, which offers a BFA in Graphic Design. A major component of the program is the internship requirement during the third year of study. The TCU Design Internship provides the opportunity for students to work at design studios or ad agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, anywhere in the U.S., and overseas. Texas Christian Design students have completed internships in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Austin, Houston, St. Louis, Kansas City, Peru, Taiwan, England, and Panama, among others. Many Design students receive offers to remain with the studio or agency part-time during their senior year, while others are recruited for full-time positions.

Consisting of 124 credit hours, the TCU Graphic Design BFA Program explores advertising, packaging, branding and corporate identity, web and interactive media, typography, and publications. Students will complete 51 credit hours in Graphic Design. Course examples include Corporate Identity, Advertising Design, Computer Applications to Graphic Design, Package Design, Publication Design, Advanced Design Practices, and Typography. Students will also complete Portfolio and Marketing, the Senior Thesis in Visual Communication, and The Digital Portfolio.

Graduates of the Texas Christian University Graphic Design Program have enjoyed a prefect 100% over the past four years. Program alumni are Creative Designers and Art Directors at ad agencies and design studios in just about every major city in Texas, across the U.S., and abroad. Examples include New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, London, Peru, Germany, Guatemala, Panama, and Nicaragua.

Texas Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Established in 1873 as one of the Southwest’s earliest coed universities, TCU serves nearly 12,000 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs in 10 colleges and schools.

9. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

The College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) houses the School of Arts, Media & Communication (SAMC), home to the Department of Art and Design, which has a Graphic Design Program leading to a BA. A Studio Art MFA is available and the SAMC also has a 21 credit hour Studio Art Minor that explores Graphic Design, Studio Art, and Traditional Design.

The Studio Art MFA has a Graphic Design Concentration with a Track in Professional Practices of Academic Appointment. Both options require 60 credit hours of study, including 12 courses in Graphic Design (36 credit hours), six semester hours in the Graduate Teaching Assistant Practicum, and two courses in Art/History/Theory. Course examples include MFA Studio in Art: Graphic Design, Workshop in Art, Gallery and Museum Practices, MFA Studio in Art: Printmaking, and Art Theory and Methods.

To graduate, MFA students will complete the MFA Project and Oral Defense (six credit hours) and the MFA Thesis (also six credit hours). Final projects will be presented at the MFA Exhibition.

The TAMU-CC Graphic Design BA is a 120-122 credit hour program that requires 54 credit hours in Graphic Design and 18 in University Electives. Elective provide the opportunity to select courses that complement the major. Courses in Media Production, Communication, Marketing, and Fine Art, are a few examples.  

Course examples for the BA program include Design in Advertising, Publication & Editorial Design, Design Experience and Awareness, Emerging Technologies, Typography I-II, UI/UX, Packaging Design, and Client Solutions. The BA Capstone is the Portfolio and Professional Practices course where students will develop self-promotional materials, including a printed and digital portfolio, while focusing on professional practices and job-seeking strategies. Guest speakers will engage with students through critiques, lectures and mock interviews. BA students will display their work in the SAMC Portfolio Showcase Gallery Exhibition.

Another major component of the TAMU-CC BA Program is the internship opportunity. Ongoing internships are available with small businesses and major corporations, advertising agencies, video production companies, publications, non-profit organizations, city offices, and tourist attractions.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1947 as the University of Corpus Christi (UCC), the school opened with just 312 students. Today, as part of the Texas A&M University System, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi serves 10,310 students enrolled in close to 90 degree programs in seven colleges.

10. Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas
Sam Houston State University

The Sam Houston State University (SHSU) Graphic Design (GD) Program has options leading to a BFA or a Minor. Both programs are housed in the Department of Art in the SHSU College of Arts and Media. The SHSU Graphic Design Minor explores areas such as typography, industry software, interactive design, image and color, web design, and concept development. Consisting of 18 credit hours, the program consists of courses such as Graphic Design Production, Advanced Typographic Design, Web Site Development, Corporate Identity Design, Interactive Design, and Design History.

The SHSU Graphic Design BFA explores typography, ideation, production tools and technology, and visual organization. In addition to 45 credit hours of GD requirements, the Department of Art requires completion of the Foundation Courses and Core. Upon completion of Foundations, students will participate in the Portfolio Review, which is required to advance into the major.

Throughout the Graphic Design BFA Program, students will also participate in portfolio critiques led by professional designers. The SHSU Graphic Design Program culminates with the Graphic Design Senior Show, which takes place at the University Art Gallery.

Graduates of the Sam Houston State University Graphic Design Program will possess high-demand skills such as critical thinking, digital technology, global and intercultural fluency, teamwork and collaboration, problem solving, and oral, written, and visual communications. 

Sam Houston State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1879 as the Sam Houston Normal Institute, SHSU serves more than 21,500 students enrolled in 90 bachelor's degree programs, 55 master’s degree programs, and 10 doctoral programs, including the nation’s first PhD in Forensic Science. Programs at Sam Houston State University are offered in eight colleges.