What are the top graphic design MFA programs for 2022?

Top 25 Graphic Design MFA Programs in the U.S. – 2022 College Rankings
1Rhode Island School of DesignRhode Island
2School of Visual ArtsNew York
3Yale UniversityConnecticut
4California Institute of the ArtsCalifornia
5Pratt InstituteNew York
6Maryland Institute College of ArtMaryland
7ArtCenter College of DesignCalifornia
8Savannah College of Art and DesignGeorgia
9Cranbrook Academy of ArtMichigan
10Virginia Commonwealth UniversityVirginia
11California College of the ArtsCalifornia
12University of Texas at AustinTexas
13School of the Art Institute of ChicagoIllinois
14Minneapolis College of Art and DesignMinnesota
15Otis College of Art and DesignCalifornia
16University of Illinois at Urbana Illinois
17University of Southern CaliforniaCalifornia
18San Diego State UniversityCalifornia
19The Ohio State UniversityOhio
20Rochester Institute of TechnologyNew York
21Texas State UniversityTexas
22Iowa State UniversityIowa
23Boston UniversityMassachusetts
24Academy of Art UniversityCalifornia
25University of HoustonTexas

Below are the Top 25 Graphic Design schools and colleges in the US offering Master of Fine Arts (MFA) 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 an MFA Graphic Design. One of the school’s largest departments, RISD Graphic Design serves 165 students.

The MFA in Graphic Design has two tracks: a two-year pathway for students with an undergraduate degree in graphic design or related degree, and a three-year option for individuals with liberal arts, sciences or fine arts degrees. Both tracks allow students to customize the curriculum through cross-disciplinary electives. The first year of the two-year track consists of graduate seminars, graphic design studies, electives, and studios. During the second year, students will complete the Graduate Thesis.

In the three-year track, students will take electives, a seminar and graduate level Type Design, Form, Typography and History of Graphic Design courses during the first year. The second and third year consists of studios, seminars, electives and the thesis.

All Graphic Design MFA students share individual workspaces in a large design studio in RISD's Center for Integrative Technologies (CIT), which houses several graduate programs and the graduate student gallery. MFA students will have opportunities to interact with Digital + Media, Teaching + Learning in Art + Design, Interior Architecture, and Textiles graduate students.

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 Concentrations in Graphic Design, 3D Design, Interaction Design, and Motion Graphics. Programs feature guest lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and competitions covered by CNN, NBC, and others. The program also provides complimentary membership to The One Club for Creativity, which includes The Art Directors Club and Type Directors Club.

SVA Design students have access to the Digital Imaging Center and internship opportunities at local and national companies, as well as campus-based Visual Arts Press. Graduate students also have 24-hour access to individual, private studios.

The SVA MFA Design/Design as Entrepreneur covers branding, user experience, motion graphics, video, interaction, digital publishing, new media directing, and art book publishing. Because the program emphasizes leadership and entrepreneurship, other areas explored include business, marketing, networking, research, advertising, intellectual property, and ethnography. Course examples include Type for Masters, Writing and Designing the Visual Book, Designing and Branding, Intellectual Property and the Law, and Design Conception: Developing Your Venture.

During the final year of the MFA program, students will complete a several seminars and the Thesis, which consists of six courses.

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. Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
 Yale School of Art

Yale School of Art (Yale SoA) offers an MFA In Graphic Design that takes two years to complete, full-time. Consisting of 60 credit hours, the program accepts just 12 students each year and up to six students into the preliminary-year program, which appeals to students with relevant experience in an area outside of design.

The Yale SoA Graphic Design Program consists of lectures, presentations, workshops, and exhibitions, along with immersive studio work group thesis meetings, and one-on-one sessions with editing and writing tutors. MFA students have access to more than 2,000 courses offered each year, the Sterling Memorial and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Libraries, art and natural history museums, conferences, and films.

Other MFA program perks include designated workspaces in the design studio loft, motion capture and VR tools at the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media, and unlimited access to equipment such as the RISO Digital Duplicator, Vandercook presses, bookbinding materials, and wide format printers.

To graduate, students must complete a thesis and a portfolio. Yale SoA Graphic Design graduates are prepared to seek positions at advertising agencies, print and online publishing companies, design firms, manufacturing companies, computer systems design, web design studios, marketing companies, and public relations firms, among others.

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 MFA Program that features small, critique-based classes, communal studios with 24 hour access, mentoring, and access to School of Art facilities and labs. Courses for the program are taught by industry professionals with years of experience.

The CalArts Graphic Design MFA has an Integrated Media (IM) Concentration, which combines IM seminars and critiques with specialized coursework and access to elective courses offered across the institute. Visual Literacy, Typographics IA-IB, and Graphic Design Theory are just a few required courses for the program. Students will also participate in two MFA Graphic Design Practicum workshops and Graduate Seminar I-II (Lecture) and Graduate Seminar I-II (Studio).

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 an MFA in Communications Design consisting of 60 credit hours that may be completed in two years, full-time. Courses are taught by renowned professionals in the field.

Students in the program will complete several studio courses, attend seminars, and complete a thesis and exhibition. Graduates of the program are prepared for academic careers, as well as leadership positions in identity systems and branding, user experience design, typography, information design, and environmental design, design strategy, print and digital media, social media and interaction design, and data visualization.

Students in all programs and schools at Pratt Institute have the opportunity to enroll in one of more than 20 study abroad programs and international exchange programs in over a dozen locations such London, Milan,  Florence, Tokyo, and Copenhagen.

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

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has a Graphic Design MFA Program consisting of 60 credit hours. Students in the program will complete studio courses, attend seminars, and conduct research and independent work. Elective options in digital media, print, and video allow MFA students to create a focus area. Course examples include Advanced Publication Design, Design Studio I-IV, and Visiting Designers I-II. The Graphic Design MFA at MICA takes two years to complete, full-time.

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

ArtCenter College of Design (ArtCenter) has a Graphic Design (Gx) Program that leads to an MFA (MGx). The program has two options: two-year and three-year. The two-year option consists of 75 units completed across four full terms, plus one ArtCenter Lite (ACL) summer term. Consisting of 86 units, the three-year option is for students who need to develop additional design skills in order to complete the graduate degree. This program consists of two additional terms. Upon successful completion of both terms, the student can enter the traditional graduate track.

Course examples across options include LinkedIn Learning, Typography 3, Design Research/Strategy, Graduate Visual Interaction Design, and Professional Leadership. MGx students will complete a number of labs, including the Portfolio Lab, and a thesis is required to graduate.

Students in all ArtCenter College of Design programs 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 MFA in Graphic Design at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) may be completed at the Savannah or Atlanta campus, 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.

All SCAD programs offer 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. Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Cranbrook Academy of Art

The 2D Design Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art (Cranbrook) houses the Graphic Design MFA Program, which emphasizes critical studies, writing, theory, criticism, and critiques. The program consists primarily of collaborative studio work and mentoring. Studio spaces provide 24/7 access for working on projects and displaying works.

Graphic Design MFA students also have access to Cranbrook’s Professional Practices Program, which consists of workshops, discussions, seminars related to applying for jobs, local tours, and more.

The MFA Thesis and Graduate Degree Exhibition is the culminating event for graduating students. Attended by journalists, collectors, visiting critics, and the Cranbrook community, the Exhibition is held in the Eliel Saarinen-designed Cranbrook Art Museum and in several locations across the museum campus.

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 Design/Visual Communications MFA. Students have 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 60 credit hour Design/Visual Communications MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University is a design and research degree that culminates in a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation. MFA students will complete several Visual Communications Workshops and Seminars and Research/Individual Study, an Internship, or Teaching Practicum. Study abroad opportunities are also available.

Graduates of the Design/Visual Communications MFA Programs at VCU 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 an MFA in Design Program with a focus on Graphic, Interaction, and Industrial Design. Students have two options. The two-year option is designed for students with experience in one or more areas of design. The three-year option is for students with an undergraduate degree in an unrelated area. The first year of this program allows students to develop design skills in preparation for the traditional two-year curriculum.

While the CCA MFA in Design provides the opportunity to explore Graphic, Interaction, and Industrial Design, students may concentrate in either area. Course examples for the program include Contemporary Design practice, Expanded Tools, Business of Design, Scripting Graphics, The Studio 1 and 2, and Thesis Studio 1 and 2. Examples of electives include Digital type Design, Sound, Music & Technology, and Interaction Theory.

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 Design Programs 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 an MFA in Design.

The 60 credit hour MFA is 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.

UT Austin MFA graduates 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. 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 VCD Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio. This one-year, 30-credit program consists of art history courses, seminars, and studio seminars. Upon completion of the Certificate Program, students may enter the MFA in Studio Program.

The 60 credit hour MFA in Studio is an interdisciplinary pathway that allows students to explore other SAIC departments such as Film, Video, New Media, and Animation (FVNMA), Designed Objects, Intermedia, Writing, Architecture, Photography, and Interior Architecture. Besides interdisciplinary studies, a major component of the MFA in Studio is the opportunity to complete a graduate project every semester.

Students will work one-on-one with a faculty member and they may sign up with artists, writers, and other academics from other SAIC departments. Graduate seminars, such as Form-Configuration-Content and Narrative Architectures, are also part of the program. Successful completion of a thesis is required to graduate.

SAIC Design students 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).

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

The interdisciplinary MFA at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) consists of critiques, collaborative studios, 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 60 credit hour Interdisciplinary MFA also features independent studios, one-on-one work with a mentor, and the opportunity to pursue creative work in multiple areas. Examples include graphic design, web and multimedia, paper and book arts, experimental video/film, web and multimedia, comic arts, animation, printmaking, illustration, photography, installation, drawing/painting, and public arts.

Graduates of the Design Programs 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.

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

The Graphic Design MFA at Otis College of Art and Design (OTIS) features an accelerated curriculum running four consecutive semesters over 14 months. The program, which typically begins in the summer semester, consists of courses in history and design theory, studio projects, round table discussions, and workshops led by visiting artists and designers. Course examples for the program include Models of Practice, Seminar Studio I-IV, Contemporary Graphic Design Issues, and Entrepreneurship.

Graduates of the OTIS MFA Program 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.

16. 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 has an MFA in Art & Design Program with a Concentration in Design for Responsible Innovation (formerly Graphic Design). The program requires a minimum of 64 credit hours to graduate. Students in this interdisciplinary pathway may also specialize in New Media.

The MFA offers the following additional specialized tracks of study: Sustainable and Regenerative Design, Visual Cultural Studies, and Urban Sociology and Critical Race Design. Students may also focus on applied research in responsible innovation, engagement, and social impact. MFA students will complete a written thesis and participate in the graduation exhibition.

Graduates of the 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. 

17. 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 in Italy, London, Australia, and South Africa.

USC Roski has a Design MFA that requires at least 56 units of study, including 26 elective units. Eighteen elective units must be from Roski School of Art and Design, and eight can be from departments and schools outside Roski. Suggested electives include Design Studio Co-Lab, Design Pedagogy, Directed Research, Design Study Tour, and Field Internship Experience. Examples of required courses for the program include Design Theory, Contemporary Issues in Design, Designers in Residence Forums, Individual Studies, and Advancement. MFA students will also complete a Master’s Thesis.

In addition to all USC Roski has to offer, MFA students benefit from the school’s partnership with organizations such as the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and the opportunity to participate in discussions, seminars, and visits from leaders in the design industry.

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.

18. San Diego State University, San Diego, California
San Diego State University

The School of Art + Design at San Diego State University serves nearly 800 students. The School is part of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA), which houses seven schools, three departments, and 15 interdisciplinary centers and institutes. Serving more than 5,000 students, PFSA provides internship opportunities, international experiences, and public performances and presentations to students in all of its departments and schools.

For designers with an undergraduate degree, the PFSA School of Art + Design offers an MFA with a Graphic Design Emphasis. The program provides access to state-of-the art facilities such as the Mac Computer Lab, Printmaking, Letterpress, and Book Arts Studios, Intaglio and Relief Printmaking Studios, the Screen Printing Studio, and the Computing Labs for Digital Imaging, Interactive Media, and Video. SDSU Graphic Design students also benefit from the visiting lecture series, access to local galleries, museums, and visual and performing arts organizations, and AIGA membership.

Course examples include Artists and Designers in Real Time, Graphic Design I-IV, Packaging Design, Experiential Graphic Design, Expressive Typography, Screen Printing Studio, Design for the Internet, Art and Design Theory and Criticism, and Seminar in Professional Practice of Art and Design. MFA students will complete a Thesis or Final Project to graduate.

Graduates of the San Diego State University Graphic Design Program are prepared to pursue positions such as Lead Graphic Designer, Technical Illustrator, Layout/Production Artist, Book Artist, Packing Designer, Logo Designer, Art Director, Multimedia Artist, Brand Designer, Graphic Illustrator, Print Production Artist, and Ad Designer, among others.

19. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University (OSU) MFA in Visual Art is a three-year, 66 credit hour interdisciplinary program that explores Art and Technology, Painting and Drawing, Printmaking, Photography, Film/Video, Glass, and Sculpture. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences (est. 1968), the program allows students to specialize in a variety of design disciplines through electives and other coursework. Additional program benefits include visiting artists, critics, and curators, 24/7 access to private and semi-private studio spaces, internship opportunities, and access to state-of-the-art facilities, exhibition spaces, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Fine Arts and Cartoon Libraries.

The OSU Visual Art MFA Program culminates with the MFA Thesis Exhibition, which demonstrates the student’s expertise in their area of specialization. Exhibitions are displayed at the OSU-run, Urban Arts Space, located in downtown Columbus.

20. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York
Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) College of Art and Design houses a 60 credit hour, STEM-designated MFA in Visual Communication Design that explores graphic, motion, and interactive design, UI/UX design, 3D digital design, and design studies. The program is cross-disciplinary, allowing students customize the curriculum with coursework from other programs and departments. Course and elective examples include 3D Modeling and Motion, Design Studies Seminar, Character Design and Rigging, 3D Particles and Dynamics, Design Praxis I-II, Real Time Design, Branding and Identity Design, Programming for Designers, UX Design Strategies, Information Design, Digital Media Integration, and Project Design and Implementation.

Students in all RIT Programs have access to cooperative education and internship opportunities, as well as workshops, state-of-the art production facilities and studio spaces, and networking through the school’s Creative Industry Day.

With a 100% outcome rate, graduates of the Rochester Institute of Technology VCD MFA Program go on to secure employment in positions such as Senior Visual Designer, Graphic and UI/UX Designer, Product Designer, Motion Graphic Designer, User Experience Researcher, Game Producer,  Cinematographer and Editor, among others.

21. 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), which has an MFA in ComDes  (MFA/CD) that requires 60 credit hours to graduate. 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.

The MFA 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.

The Texas State University MFA/CD 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.

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.

22. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University

The College of Design at Iowa State University (Iowa State or ISU) houses the Department of Graphic Design (GD) home to the MFA in Graphic Design Program. In partnership with the Iowa State Virtual Reality Applications Center, the ISU College of Design also offers a dual GD MFA/Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) MS degree. This interdisciplinary program allows students to study HCI, Graphic Design, and other disciplines such as Virtual Reality and Game-Based Learning.

Course examples for the GD MFA/HCI MS include Graphic Design and Behavioral Change, User engagement, Visual Design for HCI, Virtual Worlds and applications, Evaluating Digital Learning Environments, Python Application Development in HCI, Change by Design: Disruptive Innovation, Foundations in Game Based Learning, Computer Graphics and Geometric Modeling, and Emerging Practices in HCI. Dual degree students will also complete Graphic Design Studio, Thesis Preparation, and Graduate Thesis Studio I-II.

The ISU Graphic Design MFA is a terminal degree that requires a minimum of 60 credits to graduate. Students in the program may choose an elective focus area outside of graphic design and they will work closely with faculty to complete the MFA Graduate Thesis. Seminars and studios are also part of the program.

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), all ISU Graphic Design pathways provide access to internships and other opportunities to gain work experience prior to graduation. For graduates receiving degrees from August 2020 to May 2021, 100% were employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.

23. Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
Boston University

The School of Visual Arts (SVA) at Boston University (BU) is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Established in 1954, the School provides immersive studio experiences, internship opportunities, workshops, seminars, unique electives, and  minors that complement any design program. All SVA students also have access to state-of-the-art facilities such as the Engineering Production Innovation Center (EPIC), the Visual Arts Resource Library, Darkrooms, Computer Labs, and the Media Center. Graduate students have 24/7 access to individual private studios.

Consisting of 60 credit hours, the BU MFA Program hosts visiting artists and designers, workshops, and  group critiques. Through BU’s partnership with AIGA Boston, MFA students have opportunities to network with industry leaders through campus events and visits to area studios. Of the 60 required credit hours, 32 are in Graduate Graphic Design courses. Other requirements include Graphic Design Theory I-II, History of Graphic Design, and Graduate Typography. Twelve required elective credit hours allow students to explore additional areas within and outside of design.

Graduates of the Boston University Graphic Design Program have held positions at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO), Converse, and Free People, to name a few. Some program alumni have launched their own design studios or creative firms, while others have found success as freelance designers.

24. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California
Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University has Graphic Design Program that explore branding, experience design, print, packaging, communication design, innovation, editorial design, typography, user experience, environmental design, and motion graphics. Students work with all forms of media including traditional, digital, emerging, and interactive.

Housed in the School of Graphic Design, the MFA also emphasizes entrepreneurialism, content creation, social innovation, and authorship. Course examples for the program include Making Ideas Visible, Type Systems, Writing & Research for the Master’s Student, Visual Thinking, Digital Design Studio, Integrated Communications - Message Synthesis, and Directed Studies. During the final two semesters of the MFA Program, students will compete Professional Practices for Designers & Advertisers, three Thesis courses, the Design Internship, and Design/Seminar Portfolio.

Academy of Art University graduates have been recruited by Apple, Google, IDEO, Nike, R/GA, Square, and The Clorox Company, among others. Examples of job titles include Art Director, Creative Director, Graphic Designer, Product Designer, Service Designer, and User Experience Designer.

25. 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 an MFA in Studio Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design. The program 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.