What are the top graphic design BFA programs for 2022?

Top 25 Graphic Design BFA Programs in the U.S. – 2022 College Rankings
1Rhode Island School of DesignRhode Island
2School of Visual ArtsNew York
3The New School's Parsons School of DesignNew York
4California Institute of the ArtsCalifornia
5Pratt InstituteNew York
6Maryland Institute College of ArtMaryland
7ArtCenter College of DesignCalifornia
8Savannah College of Art and DesignGeorgia
9Ringling College of Art and DesignFlorida
10Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVirginia
11California College of the ArtsCalifornia
12University of Texas at AustinTexas
13University of North TexasTexas
14Washington University in St. LouisMissouri
15School of the Art Institute of ChicagoIllinois
16Minneapolis College of Art and DesignMinnesota
17Brigham Young UniversityUtah
18The Cooper Union New York
19Otis College of Art and DesignCalifornia
20University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignIllinois
21Auburn UniversityAlabama
22University of Southern CaliforniaCalifornia
23University of KansasKansas
24Kansas City Art InstituteMissouri
25Michigan State UniversityMichigan

Below are the Top 25 Graphic Design schools and colleges in the US offering Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree programs for 2022. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

1. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) houses the Graphic Design Department, which offers a BFA in Graphic Design. One of the school’s largest departments, RISD Graphic Design serves 165 students. Undergraduates have the opportunity to learn, collaborate, and work in dedicated studios including the Design Center Graphic Design Studios and the Graphic Design Type Shop, among others.

The RISD Graphic Design BFA is a four-year program that focuses on project-based learning. Students can expect to work on projects that cover book design, UX design, packaging, film graphics, and more. The program also attracts visiting artists, critics, and designers from around the world. During the junior and senior years of the program, BFA students will have the opportunity to complete a professional internship.

Through electives and workshops, students will work in various areas of graphic design during the final year of the program. To graduate, all Graphic Design BFA students will complete an independent degree project. Visiting critics are invited to review completed projects.

Around 96% of Rhode Island School of Design graduates are employed one year after graduation, with 70% employed in positions directly related to their major. RISD Graphic Design alumni are Senior Graphic Designers, UX Designers, Product Designers, Industrial Designers, Textile Designers, Creative Designers, Art Directors, and Brand Identity Designers, among others.

2. School of Visual Arts, New York, New York

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) has an interdisciplinary Design Program that offers BFA Concentrations in Graphic Design, 3D Design, Interaction Design, and Motion Graphics. Students will participate in guest lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and competitions covered by CNN, NBC, and others. The BFA Program provides complimentary membership to The One Club for Creativity, which includes The Art Directors Club and Type Directors Club. Students also have access to the Digital Imaging Center and internship opportunities at local and national companies, and the campus-based Visual Arts Press.

The Design Program at School of Visual Arts allows BFA students to customize an additional area of focus within the concentration. Examples include branding, experiential design, editorial design, environmental design, package design, book jacket design, and information graphics. Course examples for BFA students include Foundations of Visual Computing, Computers in Studio I-II, Information Graphics, Toys and Games, and Design for Social Change. During the final year of the program, students will complete a Senior Project course and Portfolio. Sample projects include Designing a Business, Creative Computing for Interaction Experiences, and Differentiate or Die: How to Get a Job When You Graduate.

At the end of every academic year the Design Department hosts an Industry Review Day for graduating seniors. Designers, creative directors, and editors are invited to meet and network with students. the event is held in-person and virtually.

SVA Design alumni work for advertising agencies, marketing firms, publishing companies, design studios, nonprofit organizations, museums, and more. Some SVA alumni have even founded their own start-ups, studios, and design firms, while others have become partners in businesses and individual projects. To date, School of Visual Arts alumni have started more than 50 design studios around the world.

3. The New School's Parsons School of Design, New York, New York
The New School Parsons School of Design

The New School's Parsons School of Design houses the School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT), which offers a BFA in Communication Design. This is the oldest undergraduate program of its kind in the U.S. Consisting of 120 credits and STEM-designated, the program is offered on-campus, full-time. Studio course examples include Drawing/Imaging, Space/Materiality, and Time. Other courses include Design Studies, Interaction Lab, Objects as History, and Typography Lab. The Parsons BFA in Communication Design takes four years to complete.

Students in all Parsons School of Design programs benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration, visiting artists, lectures, and AMT events, and access to Our Making Center, which consists of 600 workstations and facilities for animation, 3D prototyping, printmaking, and motion capture.

Graduates of the Parsons School of Design BFA Program work in brand and editorial design, type design, data visualization, digital product design, exhibition design, motion graphics, UX/UI design, and environmental and spatial graphics at creative agencies, tech companies, publishing companies, cultural institutions such as MoMA and the New York Times, digital design firms, and start-ups.

4. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
California Institute of the Arts

The School of Art at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) has a Graphic Design Program with a BFA option. Program feature include small, critique-based classes, communal studios with 24 hour access, mentoring, and access to School of Art facilities and labs. Courses are taught by industry professionals with years of experience. Course examples include Design Issues, Digital Design Lab, Graphic Design I-IV, Motion, Web Design,  Typography I-III, and Professional Practice for Graphic Design.

Students will also complete several workshops throughout this four-year program. To enhance the degree, BFA students may add the Digital Arts Minor, which consists of 18 units of study. Students in the minor can learn about sound production and programming, and how make films, animate, and create games for the web.

All California Institute of the Arts students have the opportunity to complete an internship, study abroad experience, and a portfolio of their best work.

CalArts Graphic Design alumni work in a variety of positions at Meta (formerly Facebook), Google, Walt Disney Imagineering, Art Center College of Design, Evernote, M+ Works, North Carolina State University College of Design, the Whitney Museum of Art, and Otis College of Design, among others.

5. Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
Pratt Institute

The School of Design at Pratt Institute (Pratt) launched in 2014. The school houses the Communications Design Program, which offers a BFA in Communications Design with three emphasis areas: Advertising Art Direction, Graphic Design, and Illustration. Course examples include Image as Communication, Sketchbook Warehouse, Process and Production, Advertising, Emerging Practices, Typography, Illustration, Package Design, Special Topics: Publications, Freelancing & Business Illustration and Graphic Design, Typeface Design, and Sequential Art and Graphic Novel. Students in all emphasis areas may complete an internship at a field related professional site. Successful completion of the Senior Project is required to graduate.

6. Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Maryland Institute College of Art

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has a Graphic Design Program with three Concentrations: Graphic Design Studio, Book Arts Studio, and Graphic Design + Humanistic Studies. Consisting of 120 credit hours and leading to a BFA, the program consists of a three-year sequence of core design courses. Course examples include Drawing: Tradition and Innovation, Designing Information, Graphic Design I-IV, Typography I-III, Photoimaging, Flexible Design Studio, and Advanced Design I-II.

Graduates of the MICA Graphic Design BFA Program are prepared to pursue positions in advertising, marketing, public relations, entertainment, retail, architecture, multimedia, app design, social media, user experience design, and more.

7. ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, California
ArtCenter College of Design

ArtCenter College of Design (ArtCenter) has a 132-unit Graphic Design (Gx) Program leading to the BFA. The program explores both traditional and emerging media. Students will complete 87 studio units and the remainder in Humanities & Sciences. Courses are taught by professors with expertise in packaging, transmedia design, motion, visual interaction, and print. Course examples include Narrative Sketching, Communication Design: Information and Context, Visual Interaction Design, Transmedia, Identity Systems, Graphic Design History, and Business. During the final term, BFA students will complete Portfolio and Career Preparation.  

All ArtCenter College of Design students have the opportunity to intern, network, and interview with the school’s industry partners including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Warner Bros., Meta (formerly Facebook), Apple, Ford, Mattel, Nike, Netflix, BMW, DreamWorks, Blizzard Entertainment, Walt Disney Imagineering, Riot Games, and Honda.

ArtCenter Graphic Design alumni work in branding and corporate identity, printing and poster design, package design, motion graphics, film title design, publication design, environmental graphic design, transmedia design, exhibition design, web design and development, interface ceding, visual interaction design, art direction, production management, information architecture, app design, and broadcast graphics.

Many ArtCenter graduates have been hired at Google, Meta, design and consulting firm IDEO, and Local Projects—a exhibition and media design firm for museums and public spaces.

8. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia
Savannah College of Art and Design

The BFA in Graphic Design at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) can be completed at the Savannah or Atlanta campuses, and online. Program features include courses taught by industry professionals from companies such as Hasbro, Google, and Airbnb, access to events such as SCADstyle, which attracts the biggest names in modern design, fashion, and global art, and individual critiques and mentoring by top professionals in the design industry.

SCAD Graphic Design students have the opportunity to add a minor to enhance the degree. Some of the most popular choices include Advertising, Mobile and Interactive Design, Advertising Copywriting, Mobile and Interactive Design, Advertising and Branding, and User Experience Design. Undergraduate students may also add a certificate such as Digital Publishing.

Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Savannah College of Art go on to establish careers at major companies such as Apple, Verizon, IBM, Under Armour, and Ralph Lauren. Some program alumni have gone on to launch their own design studios, while others have established successful freelance careers.

9. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
Ringling College of Art and Design

Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) has a Graphic Design Program that launched in 1980. Leading to a BFA, the program features 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 for this 120 credit hour program 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.

10. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University

The School of the Arts (VCUarts) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) houses the Department of Graphic Design, which offers a Graphic Design BFA with access to resources such as the student-run Golab, which provides print and production services, and middle Of broad—an experimental design lab that provides opportunities to work on real-world state projects.

The VCUArts Graphic Design BFA consists of 122 credit hours, including the Art Foundation Program (AFO), which provides a first year, studio-based experience that explores current issues in art and design. Upon completion of the AFO, students move on to studio and seminar courses in graphic design that will help them develop skills in interaction design, publication and print design, and sequential and motion design. Course examples include Book Arts, Typeface Design, Web Design, Research and Practice, and Design Activism.

VCUArts Graphic Design graduates are Creative Directors Environmental Graphic Designers, Interaction/Interface Designers, Exhibition Designers, and Broadcast/Film Designers, among others.

11. California College of the Arts, San Francisco and Oakland, California
California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts (CCA) has a BFA in Graphic Design Program that provides access to a dedicated studio space, a Prototyping Studio, the Hybrid Lab, where students can explore virtual reality and other emerging technologies, and the Book Arts and Letterpress studio, which houses bookbinding equipment and lithography presses.

The CCA Graphic Design BFA begins with the First Year Experience where students explore a range of techniques, tools, and materials, and participate in studio projects and critiques. Course examples for this 120 credit hour program include Advanced Interactive, Typography 1-3, Graphic Design Tools, 2D, 3D, and, and Professional Practice Workshop. Students will complete an internship, and a Thesis is required to graduate.

Students in all CCA Design Programs benefit from the lecture series, workshops, visiting designers, the annual Headlands Center for the Arts Retreat, exhibitions for studio and year-end work, and access to the Materials Library.

Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA Program at California College of the Arts go on to become Graphic Designers, Project Managers, Product Designers, UI/UX Designers, Curators, Research and Development Technologists, Entrepreneurs, and Educators, among others.

Companies and organizations that have hired CCA graduates include Google, Apple, Meta (formerly Facebook), The New York Times, and Adobe, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, IDEO, and Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

12. 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 a BFA in Design. This pre-professional degree consists of 120 credit hours. Around two-thirds of the courses 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.

Graduates of the Design Program 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.

13. 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.

14. Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri
Washington University in St. Louis

The College of Art at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) is home to the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Within the school is the Communication Design Program, which leads to a BFA in Studio Art & Design/Communication Design.

Consisting of 121 credit hours, the program begins with a meeting with an academic advisor to customize initial coursework and create a schedule. Students will then move on to core studios in 2D and 3D Design, Drawing, and Digital, supplemented by seminars. As students enter the second semester of the junior year, they will customize their own major courses. Course examples include Global Topics in Visual Communications, Letterpress Printing, Applied Illustration, Semiotics Studio: Designing Signs and Symbols, Programming Design, Content to Cover: The Design of Books, Type as Image: Experiments on Press, UX Research Methods for Design, and Multimedia Design: Time/Sound/Space.

Courses for the WashU Communication Design Program are supplemented by seminars and readings. In Professional Practice seminars, students will develop skills such as portfolio development, CV creation, interviewing, searching for jobs and internships, and public speaking.  

In the senior year of the BFA Program, students will complete a final project (capstone), which may be a digital experience, illustrated book, screen-based presentation, graphic novel/mini-comic, or other work. The Senior Capstone will be presented in a public exhibition at WashU and reviewed by local design professionals.

15. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The Visual Communication Design (VCD) Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has a BFA in Studio with a Concentration in VCD that focuses on physical media (environments, objects and print) and virtual media (interactive and time-based media). Course examples for the program include Image Studio, Identity Systems, Advanced Typography, 4D Design: Manipulating Media, Envisioning Information, Dynamic Information Visualization, Electronic Publications, UI/UX Responsive Web Design, Package Design, and Advanced Motion Graphics.

VCD BFA students are encouraged to complete a Career and Professional Experience (CAPX) internship and participate in the Fall or Spring Exhibition, and the year-end Visual Communication Design Show. Graduates will leave the SAIC VCD Program with a professional portfolio of their best work.

Students in all SAIC Design Programs have access to the VCD AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) chapter, which hosts local visiting designers, tours of Chicago studios, the annual Town Hall AIGA event, and a biannual portfolio preparation seminar. The VCD Department also offers the opportunity for students to  participate in juror-led student workshops, entry jurying, and jurors’ lectures through the Chicago International Poster Biennial (CIPB).

16. Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) offers a BFA in Graphic Design that features critiques, collaborative projects, and hands-on training experiences through internships and other experiential learning activities. Students also have the option to study abroad in places such Japan, Germany, Ireland, England, Italy, or anywhere in the U.S.

The 120 credit hour BFA in Graphic Design combines core courses, foundation studies and studio electives with humanities and sciences coursework. Course examples for the program include Liberal Arts Advanced Seminar, Art and Globalization in the Atlantic World, Applied Art and Design Objects, Graphic Design 1-2, Digital Production, Publication Design, Type Plus, Web and Screen, Coding Concepts, and Advanced Graphic Design Seminar. MCAD BFA students will also complete Senior Project: Graphic Design, worth six credit hours.

Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Minneapolis College of Art and Design go on to establish careers such as Graphic Designer, Brand and Logo Designer, Production Artist, Editorial Illustrator, User-Experience (UX) Designer, Art Director, Front-End Developer, Creative Director and Web Designer, among others.

MCAD alumni work for design firms, start-ups, publishing houses, large corporations, museums, government agencies, small businesses, and production studios. Some graduates have launched their own design studios or other creative firms.

17. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
Brigham Young University

The College of Fine Arts and Communications at Brigham Young University (BYU) houses the Department of Design, which offers a limited enrollment BFA in Graphic Design. The program consists of 120 credit hours, including 72.5-73.5 in the major. Course examples include Branding, 3-Dimensional Design, Interaction Design, Design Lab, Typography, Design Thinking, Motion, Bookbinding, Letterpress Studio, and Illustration Fundamentals. Graphic Design BFA students are encouraged to complete a professional internship after their Junior year in the program.

Graduates of the Brigham Young University Graphic Design BFA Program work in design-related disciplines such as experience and service design, branding and product design, publishing and interaction design, and web design and mobile app development, motion graphics, and data visualization. They work at advertising agencies, traditional design studios, and interactive agencies or on internal teams at a variety of businesses, corporations, and organizations. Some graduates go on to establish successful freelance careers or launch their own design studios.

18. The Cooper Union, New York, New York
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (Cooper Union) houses the School of Art, which offers a BFA in Art. This flexible, 130 credit hour program allows students to choose courses from seven disciplines upon completion of the first year Foundation Program. Options include Graphic Design, Printmaking, Drawing, Photography, Audiovisual, Painting, and Sculpture. In the Junior year of the Art BFA Program, students may take electives from the Schools of Architecture and Engineering to enhance the degree.

The Senior year consists of advanced coursework, seminar and studio courses, and development of the Senior Presentation for public viewing. Course examples include Four-Dimensional Design, Independent Study in Calligraphy, Animation Workshop, Advanced Drawing, Graphic Design I-II, Art of the Book, Information Design, Experimental Typography, Publication Design, Interactive Design Concepts, Motion Graphics, and Advanced Interactive Design Concepts: Computational Media.

All Cooper Union students have the opportunity to complete an internship and/or study abroad experience. Art BFA graduates are prepared to pursue careers in Advertising and Public Relations, Marketing, Design, Publishing, Package Design, Motion Graphics, Web Design, Entertainment, and many others. 

19. Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California
Otis College of Art and Design

The Communication Department at Otis College of Art and Design (OTIS) offers a BFA in Communication Arts with an Emphasis in Graphic Design. The BFA Program emphasizes collaboration, cross-disciplinary studies, craft, and presentation skills. Formats covered include package design, apps, branding and logo development, websites, interactive design, books, and posters. Students will learn about UX/UI design, printmaking and traditional letterpress, storyboarding, typography and type design, and motion sequences design.

Course examples for the OTIS BFA Program include History of Graphic Design, Illustration, and Advertising Design Type and Alternative Media, Systems and Identity Design, Advanced Image Making Projects, Creative Action Studio, and Creative Practices. Students may add the Advertising Minor to enhance the degree.

During the final year of the Graphic Design Program, students will complete the Senior Thesis/Research Paper course, Senior Project/Seminar, and  a Capstone Project.

Graduates of the BFA Program at OTIS College of Art and Design have been hired at Amazon, Capitol Records, Apple, Ogilvy Worldwide, Google, GUESS, Anthropologie, Disney Consumer Products, Young & Rubicam, Deutsch Inc., L.A., Hallmark, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Interscope Records, Metro, Conde Nast Publications, Gehry Partners, the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SciArc), and WB Network, among others.

20. University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, Champaign, Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana

The University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign (UIUC) houses the College of Fine & Applied Arts, home to the School of Art & Design, which offers a BFA in Graphic Design. A major benefit of the program is the option to explore other areas through an interdisciplinary selection of electives. Examples include Sustainability, Video, Advanced Interaction Design, Photography, and Traditional Printmaking.

Other Graphic Design BFA Program benefits include dedicated studio spaces, 24-7 access to computer labs, the Senior Portfolio Review held in Chicago, the lecture series, and participation in the Annual BFA Exhibition held at the campus-based Krannert Art Museum. Students also have access to internship and study abroad opportunities, as well as the AIGA Student Chapter, which provides workshops, networking opportunities, and trips to local and Chicago-based design studios.

Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign work in areas such as publication design, consulting, type design, advertising, interaction design, photography, art direction, environmental design, and consulting. They work for advertising agencies, design studios, start-ups, and with in-house design teams in a variety of settings. 

21. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama
Auburn University

Auburn University has a Graphic Design Program that is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Housed in the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction’s School of Industrial and Graphic Design, the BFA in Graphic Design (BFA GDES) is Alabama’s only Graphic Design Program to receive accreditation by the NASAD.

Consisting of 123 credit hours, the Auburn GDES Program explores branding and packaging, wayfinding design, UI/UX, illustration, app design, typography, motion design, and publishing. Course examples for the program, Graphic Design I-II, Graphic Processes, Typographics, Photo Design, Interactive Media, and Research, Writing, & Presentation. Other program benefits include cross-disciplinary collaborations, a professional studio environment with hands-on design instruction, guest lectures, exhibitions, and design symposiums. An optional internship is part of the program as well as study abroad experiences in England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Taiwan or Scotland.

During the final year of the Auburn Graphic Design BFA Program, students will complete a professional portfolio of their best work.

Auburn GDES alumni go on to secure positions with magazines, advertising agencies, publishers, design studios, marketing firms, web design companies, and more. They work in branding and packaging, illustration, environmental graphics, web design and development, interactive media, and exhibition design, among other areas.

22. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
University of Southern California

University of Southern California (USC) is home to the USC Gayle Garner Roski School of Art and Design. First organized in 1883 and founded in 1895, USC Roski is one of Southern California’s oldest art and design schools. Besides a long history in the arts and design, Roski students benefit from an experimental and collaborative approach to learning, cross-disciplinary curriculums, hands-on studio courses, internship opportunities at places such as DreamWorks, National Geographic, MTV and Lego, and study abroad experiences Italy, London, Australia, and South Africa.

The USC Graphic Design BFA is a 128-unit, intensive, four-year pre-professional degree that requires a complementary Minor such as Advertising, Communication, Designing Products, Marketing, Digital Experiences, Business, Multimedia Experiences, or Entrepreneurship. Students may also choose 26 units of electives to customize a specialization in any  area of design or other discipline. Selections may be from Roski or non-Roski courses from across USC.

Course examples for the Design BFA Program include Art and Design Studio I-II, 3D Design: Materials and Tools, Publication Design, Web Design, Advanced Design Projects, and Professional Practice in Design. Professional Internship in the Arts is a required component of the program, as well as the Senior Thesis completed over two courses.

Graduates of USC Roski School of Art and Design have been hired by hundreds of top companies, studios and other organizations. Examples include Conde Nast, Cisco, Pinterest, American Apparel, PETA, NBCUniversal, DreamWorks Animation, J. Crew, Disney Interactive, MTV Networks, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Skechers, Vogue, L’Oreal, Paramount Pictures, DirectTV, 20th Century Fox, Fandango, Macy’s, E! Entertainment, Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, The Walt Disney Company, Marvel Studios, Mattel, Oliver Peoples, American Express, and Beats.

23. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
University of Kansas

The School of Architecture and Design at the University of Kansas (KU) houses the Department of Design. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Department features access to state-of-the-art facilities, collaborations, lectures, and workshops led by industry professionals, study abroad programs, and local and international internships. The undergraduate program for graphic designers leads to a BFA in Visual Communication Design.

The KU BFA in Visual Communication Design consists of 120 credit hours. Courses for this professional BFA are hands-on, studio-based, and research intensive. Course examples include Think and Make, Fundamentals in UX Design, Elements of Type, Designing Social Interactions, Branding, Typographic Systems, and Designing Understanding. In the Junior year of the program, students will begin working on their final portfolio. In the final year of the program, students will complete the Professional Studies requirement (two courses), Senior Problems, and the Capstone Project.

KU BFA graduates work in areas such as advertising, publishing/magazine and book design marketing, public relations, branding and package design, industrial design, exhibition design, environmental design, UI/UX design, web design, print media, multimedia, and motion graphic design. Possible job titles include, but are not limited to, Graphic Designer, Art Director, Advertising Art Director, Marketing Manager, Visual Designer, Communications Manager, Advertising Commercial/Industrial Designer, Multimedia Artist, Public Relations Manager, and Exhibition Designer.

24. Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) has a Graphic Design Program with three pathways: the traditional BFA in Graphic Design, an Art History and Studio (Graphic Design) double major, and a Creative Writing and Studio (Graphic Design) double major. All Graphic Design students benefit from interactions with visiting artists, the internship program, and faculty-led travel experiences in places such as France, Vietnam, Argentina, Peru, and Thailand.

In all pathways, students will take courses such as Type Image 1 & 2, Media Inquiry, Information & Data, Social Inquiry, Branding & Identity, Graphic Design Histories, and Interaction Inquiry. For Art History and Studio double majors, courses may include Contemporary Art, Global/Comparative Art, Modern Art, Baroque Art, and Art History Seminar. Creative Writing and Studio double majors will complete 15 credit hours of literature courses and 12 credits in Creative Writing Workshop. Writing Seminar and Critical Studies I-II are also part of this program.

Graduates of the KCAI Graphic Design Programs have landed positions with a wide variety of companies and organizations. Examples include Nickelodeon, The Getty Museum, Pentagram, Airbnb, Radius, Fossil, Salesforce, Hallmark, Populous, Barkley, Design Army, VML, Hyperakt, and R/GA. 

25. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Michigan State University

The College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University (MSU) houses the Department of Art, Art History, and Design (AAHD), which offers a BFA in Graphic Design. BFA students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the AAHD Design Center, which provides creative services to local businesses. Students are also eligible for AIGA membership, they have access to the Annual Visiting Artist & Scholar Lecture Series, and opportunities to complete an internship at a local or national company.

Graduates of the MSU Graphic Design Program work at advertising agencies, marketing firms, design studios, publishing companies, and more. They hold titles such as Graphic Designer, Brand Identity Developer, Art Director, Logo Designer, Creative Director, Multimedia Artist, UI/UX Designer, Production Artist, Digital Designer, and Exhibition Designer, among others.