Did you know? Located at the intersection of art and commerce, Academy of Art University's Graphic Design program integrates practice, theory, and inquiry, while refining and encouraging innovation, critical thinking, visual literacy and conceptual problem solving. Learn more.
What are the East Coast top graphic design schools for 2023?
|Rhode Island School of Design
|School of Visual Arts
|The New School's Parsons School of Design
|Maryland Institute College of Art
|Carnegie Mellon University
|Virginia Commonwealth University
|The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
|Fashion Institute of Technology
|Massachusetts College of Art and Design
|Rochester Institute of Technology
|The University of the Arts
|Maine College of Art & Design
|Pennsylvania State University
|Southern New Hampshire University
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
|Pennsylvania College of Art and Design
|University of Connecticut
|George Mason University
Our 2023 rankings of the Top 25 Graphic Design School Programs in the East. We considered over 190 East colleges with graphic design programs for this year's rankings. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
For rankings purposes we define the East as Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Serving approximately 165 undergraduates and dozens of graduate students, the Graphic Design Department at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is one of the school’s largest departments. Leading to a BFA, the four-year undergraduate Graphic Design Program provides the opportunity to collaborate, work, and learn in dedicated studios housed in the RISD Design Center. The program is project-based, allowing students to explore UX design, packaging, book cover book design, film graphics, and more. Course examples include Design Studio 1-4, Typography 1-2, Color + Surface, and History of Graphic Design.
Other BFA Program benefits include electives and workshops that allow students to work in various areas of graphic design; visiting artists, critics, and designers from around the world; and the opportunity to pursue professional internships during the junior and senior years of the program.
The Graphic Design BFA Program at Rhode Island School of Design ends with an independent degree project to be reviewed by visiting critics.
The Graphic Design MFA at RISD has two tracks: a two-year pathway for students with an undergraduate degree in graphic design or related field, and a three-year option for individuals with a fine arts, sciences, or liberal arts degree. 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 of the RISD Graphic Design MFA Program, 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 Graduate Thesis. Note that three-year track students will take an additional typography course.
All RISD 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 graduate students in Textiles, Digital + Media, Interior Architecture, and Teaching + Learning in Art + Design.
Rhode Island School of Design graduates enjoy a high employment rate. Around 96% of RISD alumni 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, Art Directors, Brand Identity Designers, Product Designers, Industrial Designers, Textile Designers, and Creative Designers, among others.
Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design is one of the first art and design schools in the U.S. This private, nonprofit college serves approximately 2,620 students enrolled in dozens of majors and programs. RISD is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). The Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and MA in Teaching programs have special accreditation by the National Architecture Accrediting Board, Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, and the RI Department of Education, respectively.
The Design Program at School of Visual Arts (SVA) has several concentration options for undergraduate students who would like to study graphic design. Options include 3D Design, Motion Graphics, Interaction Design, and Graphic Design. Leading to a BFA, all options provide opportunities to engage with guest lecturers, participate in workshops and exhibitions, and enter competitions covered by CNN, NBC, and others. In addition, the SVA Design Program provides complimentary membership to The One Club for Creativity, which includes The Art Directors Club and Type Directors Club.
All SVA Design students have access to the Digital Imaging Center and internship opportunities at local and national companies, as well as the campus-based Visual Arts Press. Graduate students also have 24-hour access to individual, private studios.
The Design Program at School of Visual Arts allows BFA students to customize an additional area of focus within their chosen concentration. Examples include package design, editorial design, branding, environmental design, book jacket design, experiential design, or 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.
For students seeking graduate degree, School of Visual Arts has an interesting option that leads to an MFA in Design/Design as Entrepreneur. Consisting of 60 credit hours, the curriculum for this program covers art book publishing, branding, new media directing, interaction, digital publishing, user experience, video, and motion graphics. Leadership and entrepreneurship are also emphasized, so students will explore other areas such as advertising, business, marketing, networking, research, intellectual property, and ethnography.
Course examples for the program 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.
Graduates of the Design Programs at School of Visual Arts hold positions at advertising agencies, marketing firms, publishing companies, design studios, nonprofit organizations, museums, and more. Some SVA alumni have even launched 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 launched more than 50 design studios around the world.
School of Visual Arts opened in 1947 as the Cartoonists and Illustrators school. Classes began with just three teachers and 35 students. Today, School of Visual Arts serves approximately 4,110 students enrolled in dozens of BFA, MA, MFA, and MPS programs. SVA is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), with individual program accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).
Pratt Institute (Pratt) houses the School of Design, home to the Communications Design Program, which has both BFA and MFA pathways. Established in 2014, the School of Design also houses the Associate of Occupational Studies (AOS) in Graphic Design Program, the Graphic Design/Illustration AAS, and the STEM-designated Packaging, Identities and Systems Design MS Program.
For students seeking a shorter program, Pratt Institute offers a number of certificate programs in the School of Continuing Studies. Options for designers include Graphic Design, Digital Design, Branding & Digital Marketing, Digital Product Design, UX/UI Mobile Design, Human-Centered Design, and Motion Graphics.
The Communications Design BFA at Pratt Institute has three emphasis areas: Graphic Design, Advertising Art Direction, and Illustration. Course examples across areas 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.
The Graphic Design AOS and Graphic Design/Illustration AAS Programs are 66 credit hours each. The AOS is an intensive, career-track program with an all art and design curriculum. Designed for high school graduates and adults with or without a degree, the AOS includes capstone courses and internship opportunities. Course examples include Graphic Design I-II, Digital Design, Packaging Design I-II, Digital Media, Typography I-III, UI/UX Interactive Media I-II, and Advertising Design I-II. In just two years, AAS students will graduate with a professional portfolio of their best work, along with the skills needed to pursue immediate employment in graphic design, interactive media, advertising, package design, web design, illustration, game design, and publishing.
The AAS in Graphic Design/Illustration at Pratt Institute prepares students for transfer into the Fine Arts Department at Pratt Institute, the Communications Design BFA, or other school or related program of their choice. The program combines advanced art and design coursework with liberal studies. Course examples for the program include History of Art and Design, Communication Design, UI/UX Interactive Media Pre-Press and Print Production, Illustration, Material and 3 Dimensional Form, Light, Color and Design, and Themes in Art and Culture.
The Communications Design MFA at Pratt Institute consists of 60 credit hours that may be completed in two years. Courses are taught by renowned professionals in the field and include titles such as Sustainability and Design, Visual Perception, Motion Design, Typographic + Information Design, Creative Coding Studio, Prototyping and Production, Design Management, and Packaging and the Retail Space.
Students in this graduate program will complete several studio courses, attend seminars, and complete a thesis project and exhibition. Graduates are prepared for academic careers, as well as leadership positions in identity systems and branding, user experience design, typography, design strategy, information design, environmental design, print and digital media, social media and interaction design, and data visualization.
First offered in 1966, the Packaging, Identities and Systems Design MS Program at Pratt University consists of 48 credit hours, completed over two years. Course examples include Structural Packaging, Visual Perception, Cross-Platform Design, Packaging and the Retail Space, Sustainability and Design, Prototyping and Production, Packaging Design I-II, and Design Management. The Capstone Project is an end-of-degree course that results in a professional body of work.
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 at Tokyo, Florence, Copenhagen, London, and Milan.
Pratt graduates have been hired at a variety of major companies and organizations such as Apple, Penguin Random House, DreamWorks Animation, Hasbro, IBM, Warner Music Group, Peacock, Carhartt, Dior, HBO, Gensler, Perkins Eastman, Memorial Sloan Kettering, NYC Department of Transportation, and HOK Group.
Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute was one of the nation’s first colleges to welcome students without regard to color, gender, or class. The school serves approximately 5,140 students across campuses in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Utica, New York. Nearly 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered across six schools and The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Pratt Institute is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Yale School of Art (SoA) at Yale University is a graduate school that awards MFA degrees in Graphic Design, Photography, Painting/Printmaking, and Sculpture. The Graphic Design MFA 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.
Consisting of 60 credit hours, the MFA Program consists of lectures, presentations, workshops, and exhibitions, along with immersive studio work group thesis meetings, and individual sessions with writing and editing tutors. MFA students have access to more than 2,000 courses offered each year, films, the Sterling Memorial and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Libraries, and art and natural history museums. The program also provides opportunities to attend conferences and film festivals.
Other MFA program benefits 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.
The Yale SoA Graphic Design MFA takes two years to complete, full-time. To graduate, students must complete a thesis and a portfolio. Yale School of Art Graphic Design graduates are prepared to seek positions at advertising agencies, design firms, manufacturing companies, web design studios, marketing firms, print and online publishing companies, public relations agencies, and computer systems design companies.
Established in 1701, Yale University (Yale) is one of the oldest institutes of higher learning in the U.S. A member of the Ivy League, the school is home to 14,525 students served by more than 10,500 staff members. Eighty majors are offered across more than 100 departments and schools including Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and Yale Professional Schools—including Yale School Art (SoA). Established in 1869, Yale SoA was the nation’s first art school connected with an institution of higher learning. The school serves more than 100 students enrolled in graduate Graphic Design, Painting/Printmaking, Photography, and Sculpture programs. Yale SoA also offers an undergraduate Art major for students in Yale College.
The New School's Parsons School of Design (Parsons) is home to the School of Art, Media, and Technology (AMT), which has a Communication Design Program with several degree pathways including an AAS, BFA, and MPS. The Communication Design AAS is a campus-based, 60 credit hour program with full- and part-time schedules. Course examples for the program include Design History & Practice, Typography & Interaction, and Professional Practices & Portfolio. The Communication Design AAS program can be completed in just two years, full-time.
The Parsons Communication Design BFA is the oldest undergraduate program of its kind in the U.S. STEM-designated and consisting of 120 credits, 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 Communication Design BFA Design takes four years to complete.
Parsons has one option for graphic designers seeking an advanced degree. The Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Communication Design, with a Concentration in Digital Product Design, is a specialized program that emphasizes teamwork strategies and collaboration. This full-time, STEM-designated program consists of 30 credits taken over one year.
For students seeking a shorter program, the Division of Continuing & Professional Education at Parsons has a Graphic and Digital Design Certificate Program that consists of five courses plus three electives. Required courses include Introduction to Graphic Design, Color Theory, Graphic Design History, Digital Graphics with Illustrator, and Digital Imaging Workshop. Elective examples include Animation Fundamentals, Graphic Design 2, Print Production in a Digital World, 3D Modeling, Digital Layout: Adobe InDesign, and Graphic Design Portfolio. Students typically complete Graphic and Digital Design Certificate Program in just 18 months.
All Parsons School of Design students benefit from interdisciplinary collaboration, visiting artists and lecturers, 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 AAS and BFA programs 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 houses, digital design firms, start-ups, and cultural institutions such as MoMA and the New York Times.
Graduates of the Parsons MPS Program have gone on to pursue advanced degrees in areas such as Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI). Others are Interaction Designers, Digital Product Designers, Product Managers, and Entrepreneurs.
The New School Parsons was founded in 1896 as The Chase School. The school serves approximately 10,815 students enrolled more than 120 degree and diploma programs across six colleges and schools, including Parsons Paris. The New School Parsons is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) requires all undergraduate students to complete the First Year Experience (FYE), which allows them to explore various programs and build foundation-level art and design skills. The FYE is also designed to prepare students for upper-level study within MICA’s Undergraduate Studies (UGS) programs.
For students interested in an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design, MICA has a Graphic Design BFA Program with three Concentrations including Graphic Design Studio, Graphic Design + Humanistic Studies, and Book Arts Studio. The Program consists of 120 credit hours and a three-year sequence of core design courses. Course examples include Graphic Design I-IV, Photoimaging, Typography I-III, Flexible Design Studio, Drawing: Tradition and Innovation, Designing Information, and Advanced Design.
BFA students may also choose a Minor to enhance the degree or focus in an additional area. More than 20 Minor options are available. Examples include Illustration, Animation, Sequential Art, Printmaking, Interactive Arts, Creative Entrepreneurship, Photography, Film & Video, Game Design, and Sustainability & Social Practice.
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.
The graduate programs at Maryland Institute of College and Art serve more than 300 students from nearly every state and 20 countries. For students interested in pursuing an advanced degree, MICA offers a both MA and MFA degrees in Graphic Design.
Housed in a loft-style studio space with dedicated computers and workspaces, the 60 credit hour Graphic Design MA (GDMA) prepares students for career advancement or entry into an MFA program. Program features include courses taught by industry professionals, access to a variety of seminars, and participation in the GDMA Workshop, which provides the opportunity to create and exhibit a self-directed design project and a professional portfolio.
Also consisting of 60 credit hours, the Graphic Design MFA (GD MFA) features studio courses, seminars, and independent work. Elective options in digital media, print, and video allow students to create a focus area. Course examples include Advanced Publication Design, Design Studio I-IV, and Visiting Designers I-II. The graduate Graphic Design Programs at MICA can be completed in two years, full-time.
Graduates of the art and design programs at Maryland Institute College or Art are designers, educators, and artists. Alumni have presented their work at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The Smithsonian Institution (Smithsonian), The Whitney Museum of American Art (The Whitney), and Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA). MICA alumni have been hired at places such as Google, Adobe, Under Armour, Netflix, and Morehouse College.
Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art is the nation’s oldest independent, continuously degree-granting college of art and design. The school serves nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate, and open studies students from 49 states and 52 countries. Programs at MICA lead to a BFA, MA, MFA, MBA, MPS degree, or post-baccalaureate certificate. Maryland Institute College of Art is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
The College of Fine Arts (CFA) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) houses the School of Design, home to the four-year Bachelor of Design (BDes) Program. Equivalent to the BFA degree, the BDes has three tracks: Communications (Graphic Design), Products (Industrial Design), and Environments (Physical and Digital). BDes students have the option to focus in one or all three areas or pursue a focus that combines two of the three tracks.
All BDes students benefit from access to collaborative dedicated studio spaces; participation in Confluence—a career event that attracts more than 70 major companies; the opportunity to work in multi-disciplinary teams in the areas of Design for Service (Sv) and/or Design for Social Innovation (Si); and study abroad opportunities in places such as Korea, Milan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and The Netherlands.
Graduates of the CMU BDes Program have worked on a number of major projects including the title sequence of the Spiderman movie, the Starbucks logo, the Pinterest interface design, and typefaces for The Guardian.
The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University has several other options for undergraduate students seeking a degree or program that combines liberal arts and design with interdisciplinary studies across pathways. The most notable option is the interdisciplinary BXA. The curriculum for this program combines components of the CMU Bachelor of Humanities and Arts (BHA), Bachelor of Science and Arts (BSA), and the Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts (BCSA).
BXA students may add a Design Concentration, which consists of 98 units of required courses and 10 units of Design electives. Course examples include Design Lab, Collaborative Visualizing, Design Studies: Systems, Prototyping Lab, and Studio I: Form and Context. Graduates of this program go on to work in user research, strategic planning, and information systems analysis, among other areas.
Another option is the Design Minor. Consisting of 54 units (including 27 units of design electives), the Design Minor is open to students who wish to add design to their current major. So, a Computer Science student who would like to add a design component to their program may enroll in the Minor. Course examples for the program include Design for Interactions for Communications, Design for Interactions for Products, and Human Experience in Design.
Finally, Carnegie Mellon University offers a unique program—Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology (IDeATe)—that allows students to add a concentration in areas such as Media Design, Animation & Special Effects, Sonic Arts, Immersive Technologies in Arts & Culture, Game Design, Design for Learning, and Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
Graduate programs for designers include a one-year Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Design, a two-year MDes in Design, and a PhD in Transition Design. The CMU Design graduate programs are interdisciplinary and offer seminar and studio courses, with hands-on exposure to design processes, skills, and thinking.
Across programs, graduate students will take courses such as Studio + Lab: Designing for Interactions, Studio: Research Based Design for Interactions, Seminar: Advanced Interaction & Service Design Concepts, Communication Design Studio: Theory & Practice, Design Research Methods, Seminar: Interaction & Service Design Concepts, Transition Design, Experiential Futures, Framing Proposals for change, and Design Writing Workshop.
MDes students will complete a Thesis across four courses, while MPS students may complete an optional Colloquium. During years two and three, PhD students will complete Research I, II, III & IV. During the final year of the program, students will assemble a 60,000- to 80,000-word dissertation or a body of written and practical work consisting of 40,000 to 60,000 words, across two courses.
Graduates of the Design Programs at Carnegie Mellon University have been hired at major companies, firms, and organizations such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Meta, Skype, Whirlpool, Volkswagen/Audi, Motorola, Mayo Clinic, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Pinterest, IDEO, R/GA, and Isobar.
Founded in 1900 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Mellon University began as Carnegie Technical Schools. Today, the school serves around 15,800 students enrolled in more than 200 programs across seven colleges and schools. CMU also has more than a dozen degree-granting locations, and over 20 research partnerships in Silicon Valley, Australia, Africa, and Qatar. A private, global research university, Carnegie Mellon University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is home to the School of the Arts (VCUarts), which houses the Department of Graphic Design. Degree pathways here include the Graphic Design BFA and the Design MFA with a Visual Communications Concentration. Students in both programs have access to resources such as the student-run Golab, which provides print and production services, and middle Of broad (mOb)—an experimental design lab that provides opportunities to work on real-world state projects. Past projects have included projects signage for the James River Park System, a reimagined Monument Avenue in Richmond and the development of bridge concepts for Interstate 95.
Consisting of 122 credit hours, the VCUarts Graphic Design BFA includes the mandatory 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 Typeface Design, Book Arts, Design Activism, Research as Practice, and Web Design.
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, Research/Individual Study, and an Internship or Teaching Practicum. Study abroad opportunities are also available.
Graduates of the VCUarts Graphic Design and Design/Visual Communications Programs are Interaction/Interface Designers, Creative Directors, Environmental Graphic Designers, Broadcast/Film Designers, and Exhibition Designers.
Founded in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university that serves more than 28,900 students. The largest employer in Richmond, Virginia, VCU offers more than 200 programs across 15+ colleges, schools, and centers. Virginia Commonwealth University accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Founded in 1928, the School of the Arts at (VCUarts) is a four-year, non-profit art and design school accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association for Schools of Theatre (NAST). The school serves around 3,200 students enrolled in 18 bachelor’s degree programs and five master’s degree programs.
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (Cooper Union) is home to the School of Art, which houses the Art BFA Program. Students in this program have the opportunity to select courses from seven disciplines upon completion of the First Year Foundation Program. Disciplines 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 develop skills in other areas.
In the senior year of this flexible, 130 credit hour program, students will complete advanced coursework, a number of seminar and studio courses, and work on the Senior Presentation for public viewing. Course examples for the Graphic Design area include Graphic Design I-II, Typography, Computational Studio, Motion Graphics, Advanced Design, and Independent Study in Graphic Design.
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 areas such as Advertising and Public Relations, Package Design, Motion Graphics, Publishing, Web Design, Marketing, and Entertainment.
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1946. Founded in 1859 by industrialist, inventor, and philanthropist Peter Cooper, Cooper Union is one of the nation’s oldest institutions of higher education.
Serving nearly 900 students, this all-honor private college awards all admitted undergraduate students a half-tuition scholarship currently valued at $22,275 per academic year. Programs at Cooper Union are offered in the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, Albert Nerken School of Engineering, the School of Art, and the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.
Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) has two paths to study Graphic Design. For students seeking a four-year degree, FIT’s School of Art and Design has a Graphic Design BFA Program that consists of 32 credit hours in the major. In the Communication Design Pathways Department is a Communication Design AAS, which has one-year and two-year options. The one-year option can be completed on campus or entirely online.
Both programs provide hands-on learning, collaborative and experimental design projects, courses taught by experienced design professionals, and access to more than 30 minors. Examples that complement the degree programs include Design Thinking, Film and Media Studies, Creative Technology, English, 3D Design, Color Studies, International Trade and Marketing, Ethics and Sustainability, and Creative Entrepreneurship.
The FIT Communication Design AAS is an introductory program that explores concept development, visual communication, typography, digital design foundation, layout systems, design process, presentation skills, photography, web design, information systems, and research methods. Course examples for the program include Advanced The Convergence of Type and Image, Design Process Technology, Visual Language, Typography I-II, Digital Graphics Intensive, Computer Typesetting and Design, Vector Graphics, Presentation Graphics for Built Environments, and Basic Bookbinding.
Graduates of the FIT Communication Design AAS Program are prepared to pursue entry-level positions in Graphic Design or admission to an FIT BFA Program such as Graphic Design, Packaging Design, Advertising and Digital Design, or Spatial Experience Design.
The FIT Graphic Design BFA explores topics such as branding, motion graphics, editorial design, advanced typography, interactive web design, experiential design (exhibitions and wayfinding) and emerging design practices and approaches. Course examples include Core Studio I: Design and Methodology, Typeface Design, Print and Digital Production, Core Studio II: Design and Culture, Design for Web-based User Interface, Typography and Language, Core Studio III: Design and Innovation, Print and Digital Production, and Motion Graphics for Designers. All BFA students will complete the Professional Preparation course, the Senior Thesis Project, and an Internship.
Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA Program at Fashion Institute of Technology work for advertising agencies, nonprofit organizations, branding agencies, cultural institutions, design studios, interactive agencies, and music producers. FIT alumni have been hired at BBDO, MoMA, Atlantic Records, The Jewish Museum, Nike, Sony Music, R/GA, Think Brands, Landor & Fitch, the New York Public Library, and Hyperkat.
Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) System, Fashion Institute of Technology opened in 1944 inside the High School of Needles Trades. On the first day of class, the school had 100 students. Today, FIT spans an entire city block and serves 8,150 students, according to the most recent available figures. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels in five academic divisions. Fashion Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).
The Communication Design Program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) has two program options for students seeking careers in Graphic Design: the Communication Design BFA and the Communication Design Certificate. The MassArt Communication Design BFA explores advertising, branding and package design, interactive communication, information design, web and app design, user experience design, and publication design. Program features include hands-on studio courses led by designers who are active in the industry; collaborative projects; readings and presentations; and the MassArt Internship.
In addition to several design studio courses, BFA students will complete Professional Practice, Independent Study, Advanced Projects I-II, the Graphic Design Portfolio course, and the Senior Degree Project. Other course examples include Graphic Design I-IV, Advertising and Art Direction, Lettering in Design, Typography I-III, Identity Systems, Programming for Designers, Experimental Book Arts, Poster Design, Print Production Workshop, Advanced Web Projects, Tools for Web & App Development, Type Design, and Information Architecture.
Graduates of the Communications Design BFA Program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design work in advertising, book publishing, public relations, marketing, print media, entertainment, web development, social media, and animation and multimedia, among others. Some program alumni have established successful freelance careers, while others have gone on to launch their own creative studios and design firms.
The Communication Design Certificate at Massachusetts College of Art and Design has three stackable levels of certification. Level 1 consists of four courses and covers visual communication for print and screen-based mediums. Level 2 consists of three courses and a non-credit workshop. Building on skills learned in Level 1, Level 2 includes advanced coursework in brand design, interactive design for web and mobile interfaces, typography, and UX design. Level 2 students will complete a professional portfolio.
Level 3 consists of four courses and one non-credit workshop. The most advanced of the three, this level consists of advanced courses in design systems. Level 3 graduates are prepared to pursue immediate employment in visual designs, brand strategy and design, graphic design, UX/UI design, and product design at advertising agencies, design studios, interactive agencies, web design companies, and non-profits. Graduates also have the skills needed launch their own design studios and freelance businesses.
Founded in 1873 as Massachusetts Normal School, Massachusetts College of Art and Design is the nation’s first and only public college of art and design. The school serves approximately 1,785 students enrolled more than 40 degree, minor, and certificate programs. More than 150 continuing education students are enrolled in over 100 classes and workshops in all areas of art and design.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and it is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
The College of Art and Design at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) houses the School of Design, which has two pats to study Graphic Design. At the undergraduate level, the School has a Graphic Design BFA that provides opportunities to gain industry experience through cooperative education and internships with top companies in New York and across the country. Coursework for this 120 credit hour program provides additional opportunities to gain real-world experience through collaborative class projects with RIT partners such as Kraft, Starbucks, and Unilever.
BFA students will study everything from branding and identity systems to UI/UX. Senior electives allow students to choose advanced coursework in an area that interests them. Examples include Editorial Design, Packaging Systems Collaborative, Interactive Design III, Packing Systems Projects, Advertising Design, and Typography III. All BFA students will take four Graphic Design Studio courses, Design Systems I-II, Experiential Graphic Design, Interactive Design I-II, Motion Design I-II, and Professional Practices. The RIT Graphic Design BFA culminates with a Graphic Design Capstone and final public exhibition.
With a 94% outcome rate, graduates of the Rochester Institute of Technology Graphic Design Program go on to pursue positions such as Product Designer, Associate Art Director, Junior Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Digital Product Designer, Motion Designer, UI/UX Designer, Promotions Marketing Coordinator, Presentation Designer, Social Media Director, Identity/Packaging Designer, and UI/UX Designer.
Program alumni have been hired at major corporations, advertising agencies, publications, and design firms such as Vogue Italia, Walt Disney Company, Adobe, Apple, Sesame Street, ESPN, the NHL, Sports Illustrated, and Fisher-Price.
At the graduate level, Rochester Institute of Technology offers a 60 credit hour, STEM-designated Visual Communication Design (VCD) MFA 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. Like the BFA Program, the MFA program offers access to cooperative education and internship opportunities, as well as workshops, state-of-the art production facilities and studio spaces, and networking through RIT’s Creative Industry Day.
Course and elective examples for the program include Branding and Identity Design, UX Design Strategies, 3D Modeling and Motion, Real Time Design, Programming for Designers, Design Studies Seminar, Character Design and Rigging, Digital Media Integration, and Project Design and Implementation, 3D Particles and Dynamics, Design Praxis I-II, and Information Design.
With a 97% 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, and Cinematographer and Editor, among others.
Rochester Institute of Technology is a top research university that dates back to 1829. With global campuses in China, Croatia, Dubai, and Kosovo and serving more than 19,000 students from 50 states and over 100 nations, RIT is also one of the largest private universities in the U.S. Students at RIT have access to more than 200 academic programs across 11 colleges and institutes. Rochester Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Boston University (BU) has several paths to study Graphic Design including BFA, MFA, and Certificate options. Programs are housed in the College of Fine Arts’ School of Visual Arts (SVA), which is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
Established in 1954, SVA provides workshops, seminars, immersive studio experiences, internship opportunities, unique electives, and minors that complement all design programs. In addition to all SVA has to offer, Graphic Design students have access to state-of-the-art facilities such as the Engineering Production Innovation Center (EPIC), the Visual Arts Resource Library, the Media Center, Computer Labs, and Darkrooms.
The BU Graphic Design Certificate Program is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree with little to no experience in graphic design. This one-year, intensive program requires 30 credit hours of study including core studios, typography, and electives. Graduates of this program are prepared for positions in the industry or for entry into the Graphic Design MFA Program.
Consisting of 60 credit hours, the MFA Program provides 24/7 access to individual private studios, visiting artists and designers, workshops, and group critiques. Through BU’s partnership with AIGA Boston, MFA students also 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.
The Graphic Design BFA Program at Boston University provides the opportunity to specialize in an area of interest through electives. Examples include Experience Design, Interactive Design, Exhibition Design, Motion Graphics, Design for the Web, and Editorial Design. Consisting of 132 credit hours, the BFA curriculum is cross-disciplinary with course options from the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences, Innovate@BU, Hariri Institute for Computing, the College of Communication, and Questrom School of Business.
Other BU BFA Program benefits include partnerships with area design studios and businesses that lead to internships and employment; participation in a two-week design intensive in Amsterdam; and a two-week Printmaking workshop at the Franz Masareel Centrum in Kasterlee, Belgium. Students in both the BFA and MFA Graphic Design Programs at BU also have the opportunity to participate in the Studio Arts program in Venice, Italy. Students in this program will complete 16-18 credit hours in graphic design, painting, printmaking, drawing, Italian, art history, and sculpture. Courses are courses are held at BU’s Venice Center, with some electives offered off-site at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Boston University have been hired at or worked with places such as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO), Free People, and Converse. Some program alumni have launched their own design studios or creative firms, while others have found success as freelance designers.
Boston University dates back to 1839, where it began as the Newbury Biblical Institute. Officially chartered in 1869, the school serves approximately 36,730 students enrolled in more than 300 programs of study across 22 colleges, divisions, and schools. With 10,000 faculty and staff and a 175-acre campus that houses close to 3,000 buildings, laboratories, classrooms, and libraries, BU is Boston’s largest employer. Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
Syracuse University (SU) houses the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Both provide degree options for students interested in pursuing a career in Graphic Design. The College of VPA (School of Design) has a Communications Design BFA Program. The Newhouse School (Visual Communications Department) has a Graphic Design Program that leads to a Bachelor’s degree
BFA program benefits include hands-on projects covering everything from advertising and marketing to packaging and social media; individual and group collaborations; internship opportunities with local and national companies; and the opportunity to study in London, UK or Florence, Italy through the Syracuse Study Abroad Program. Course examples for this 120 credit hour program include Communication Design Problems, Digital Tools for Designers, Problem Solving Strategies, Communication Design I-II, Design, Cultural Traditions and the Environment, Design Skills & Processes, Design Project Management, and Analog Design Tools.
During the final year of the VPA Communications Design Program, students will complete the Portfolio & Practice course. Final portfolios will be displayed at the annual two-day Senior Portfolio Show in New York City. Graduates of the program work at top firms across the country as Designers, Creative Directors, and more.
The Graphic Design Program in the Newhouse School’s Visual Communication Department features a Fall Workshop. Established in 1999 and a major component of the program, the Workshop hosts industry professionals from around the world that serve as mentors for student projects. Students in this program can expect to take courses such as Typographic Design, User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) Design, and Introduction to Graphic Design.
The Newhouse School Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree Program prepares students for creative careers in advertising, branding, publishing, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), UI/UX, and web design.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Bachelor’s Program at Syracuse University have been recruited by major companies and publishers such as Amazon, Google, and The Washington Post. Some program alumni have gone on to launch their own creative agencies and studios.
Founded in 1870, Syracuse University serves approximately 21,320 students from all 50 states and 120 countries. More than 200 majors, 100 minors, and 200 advanced degree programs are offered across SU’s 13 colleges and schools. In addition to campuses in Syracuse, and Manhattan, New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles, Syracuse University operates overseas centers in France, Italy, London, Poland, Chile, and Spain. Syracuse University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
Temple University (Temple) houses Tyler School of Art and Architecture, home to the Graphic & Interactive Design (GAID) Department, which has both BFA and MFA GAID programs. In partnership with Temple University’s Fox School of Business, Tyler also offers a Graphic & Interactive Design with Entrepreneurial Studies BFA.
Provided in partnership with Temple’s Fox School of Business, this innovative program explores innovation, how to start a business, and entrepreneurship. In addition to course requirements for the traditional GAID BFA Program, Entrepreneurial Studies will complete courses such as Launch a New Venture in 100 Days, Entrepreneurial and Innovative Thinking, Special Topics: Strategic Management, The Business of Design, and Doing Well by Doing Good: Where Innovation and Entrepreneurship Meet Social Impact. Students may also participate in the Rome Internship or Field Internship.
The traditional GAID BFA Program at Temple University requires 126 credit hours of study. Course examples include Graphic Design, Computers for Design, Typography, Interactive Design, Digital Narratives, Senior Graphic Design: Packaging; Brand Identity; Hybrid Design; and Publishing, Advanced Typography, and Senior Graphic Design: Design for the Public Good.
BFA Program benefits include small class sizes, mentorship, and access to state-of-the-art labs, studios, and equipment. GAID BFA students also have the opportunity to complete the Collaborative Design Workshop in Rome, which last six weeks.
Both GAID BFA Programs culminate with the Senior Portfolio Capstone and Senior Graphic Design: Projects in Authorship.
The Graphic & Interactive Design MFA at Temple University is an interdisciplinary, research-driven program consisting of electives and Art History, project, and seminar courses. Project and seminar courses include Graduate Professional Practices (three credits), Visual Design Graduate Seminar (12 credits/four terms), Graphic Design Graduate Projects (nine credits/three terms), and Visual Design Thesis (12 credits/four terms).
Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the GAID MFA culminates with the Thesis Exhibition with Slide Show.
Graduates of the Temple University GAID Programs work at design studios, advertising agencies, publishing companies, web design firms, design and packaging companies, and film and television studios. Program alumni also work in design education, in their own design studios, and in their own freelance businesses.
Some of the top employers of Temple University graduates include Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Vanguard, and SEI.
Founded in 1884 as a night school, Temple University Serves 37,365 students, making it the largest university in Philadelphia. Temple offers more than 500 academic programs across 17 colleges and schools, including five professional schools. Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA-CESS).
The College of Art, Media & Design at the University of the Arts (UArts) houses the School of Design, home to the Graphic Design Program. Leading to a BFA, this 120 credit hour cross-disciplinary program provides collaboration and networking opportunities with arts organizations, local non-profits, and social agencies. In addition, all BFA students have the opportunity to complete a paid or unpaid Design Internship with major companies and studios such as Cartoon Network, Urban Outfitters, and Sterling Publishing.
The Graphic Design BFA Program at University of the Arts explores digital technologies, brand identity, user experience (UX), print, motion graphics, and typography. Students in the program will master design software such as InDesign, Premiere, XD, Illustrator, After Effects, and Photoshop. Access to more than 23 minors allow students to develop skills in other areas. Minor examples that complement the Graphic Design BFA include Print Media, Advertising Practices, Figurative Illustration, Creative Writing, and Business.
Course examples for the program include Design Process, Theory & Communication, Interaction Design, Editorial Systems, Typography, School of Design Workshop, Image & Narrative, Design History, Business & Preparation for Creative Practice, Real World Design, Design for Persuasive Visual Communication, and Critical Studies. During the final year of the BFA Program, students will complete the Portfolio & Brand Development course, and Senior Thesis I-II.
For students interested in a shorter program, the UArts Continuing Education Division has a Graphic Design Certificate Program with two Tracks: Graphic Design Level I and Graphic Design Level II. Both Tracks are designed to be completed in three sequential semesters. Level One consists of 12 credit hours, with courses such as Adobe Illustrator, Typography, and Adobe After Effects. Level Two consists of nine credit hours, including the following courses: Logo + Brand Design, Motion Graphics, and Capstone Project – Graphic Design. Across Tracks, students will participate in special topic presentations, field trips, and hands-on experiences.
Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA and Certificate Programs at University of the Arts are prepared to pursue positions in fields ranging from branding and motion graphics to publication design. Students and program alumni have worked Blizzard Entertainment, NASA, 20th Century Fox, Disney, National Geographic, MTV, Facebook, DreamWorks, Newsweek, Simon & Schuster, Nickelodeon, PBS, Time Magazine, NPR, Hallmark, Harper-Collins, ESPN, The Wall Street Journal, Penguin Group Publishing, Hasbro, Warner Bros., Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), Knopf, and Marvel Comics.
Founded in 1876 as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, University of the Arts serves approximately 1,500 students enrolled in over 40 degree programs in fine arts, design, media arts, dance, music, theater, and crafts. More than 20 minors are available and open to all students. UArts programs are offered in the Schools of Art, Dance, Design, Film, Music, Theater Arts, and Graduate and Professional Studies. University of the Arts is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
The School of the Arts at Purchase College, SUNY, houses the School of Art + Design, home to the Graphic Design BFA Program. Design students have the opportunity to learn and create in a hands-on studio environment with access to labs and studios for collaborating, working on projects, and developing portfolios.
Consisting of general education coursework and 84-86 credits in visual arts and graphic design, the Purchase College Graphic Design BFA includes courses such as Studio Assistant (Graphic Design), Letterpress Workshop, Digital Media for Designers, Book Structures, Interactive and Experience Design, Typographic Investigations, Motion Graphics for Designers, Word and Image I-IV, Experimental Book, Design for the Web and Screens, Community Design, History of Graphic Design Survey, and Artist/Writer Workshop.
In addition to a variety of courses, the Graphic Design Program at Purchase provides access to coursework from the Printmaking Program. This allows students to explore additional courses in book design and experimental publishing. During the Junior or Senior years of the BFA Program, students have the opportunity to complete an internship worth four credits. All students will complete the Junior Seminar and Senior Project I-II courses.
The Graphic Design BFA Program at Purchase College culminates with an Online Exhibition of student projects from the Graphic Design BFA and Visual Arts BS Programs.
Graduates of the Purchase College Graphic Design Program are Brand Identity Designers, Layout Artists, Magazine Designers, Corporate Identity Designers, Advertising Directors, Packaging Designers, Production Artists, Book Designers, Web Designers, Exhibit Designers, Television Graphic Designers, Art Directors, Multimedia Designers, Storyboard Artists,
Purchase College is a member of the State University of New York System (SUNY). Established by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1967, the school serves approximately 3,225 students enrolled in BA, BS, BFA, and MusB degrees in more than 40 areas. Programs at Purchase are housed in the Schools of Art + Design, Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Arts, and Continuing Education. Purchase College has been continuously accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1976. The school is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
Maine College of Art (MECA&D) has an interdisciplinary Graphic Design Program that explores methods in both analog and digital media. Areas explored include branding, motion, information design, interactivity, and narrative. Course examples for the program include History of Graphic Design, Letterform Design, Interactive Design, Typography I-III, Motive, Method, Making, Branding and Visual Systems, Information Design – Mapping, and Web Design.
Leading to a BFA, the MECA&D Graphic Design Program provides opportunities to focus in an area of interest through electives. Other program benefits include opportunities to engage in reality-based projects with local businesses; studio visits in NYC, Boston, Portland, and Montreal; collaborative projects and assignments; and internships with Portland Museum of Art, VIA Agency, Martha Stewart Publishing, American Eagle Outfitters, L.L. Bean, and Might & Main, among others.
During the final year of the MECA&D Graphic Design Program, students will complete Core Studio III, Professional Studio – Graphic Design, Senior Studio, Senior Synthesis, Senior Independent Projects, and several advanced studio electives. In addition, students will finalize a written, designed process book and professional portfolio, which will be presented at the Senior Exhibition.
Founded in 1882 as part of the Portland Society of Art, Maine College of Art & Design is a private, non-profit, four-year institution that serves nearly 600 degree-seeking students and 1,500 continuing students. Degree programs lead to a BFA, MFA, or MAT. Maine College of Art & Design is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
The College of Arts and Architecture at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) is home to The Stuckeman School, which houses the Department of Graphic Design. Programs here lead to a BDes, which is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and a Minor. In partnership with the School of Visual Arts (SOVA), the Graphic Design Department offers an Art MFA Program with an optional Graphic Design Concentration.
Across programs, students benefit from small class sizes, an interdisciplinary and collaborative learning environment, courses taught by industry professionals, and 24/7 access to state-of-the-art studios and labs. Students also have access to workshops and opportunities to show their work in the campus-based exhibit gallery.
The Penn State Graphic Design BDes Program consists of 120 credit hours, including 45 general education credits, 3-9 elective credits, and 73 credits in the major. Course examples include Applied Experience Design, Visualizing Information, Programming for the Web, Graphic Design Studio, Time and Sequence, Experience Design Process + Methods, Package Design, Practical Communications, and Typography.
BDes students have the option to add a minor such as Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Information Sciences and Technology, or Photography. In addition, students may complete field experiences, practica, or internships up to a maximum of 18 credit hours. The Department of Graphic Design places 100% of students in an internship with leading firms and brands between their third and fourth years of study. Examples include TIME Magazine, Michael Kors, Penguin Random House, DKNY, Billboard Magazine, and Victoria’s Secret. Many internship placements lead to full-time jobs upon graduation.
The 21 credit hour Graphic Design Minor explores visual communications, typography, image making, digital production, and design methodologies. Course examples include Introduction to Graphic Design, Graphic Design Studio, Design Foundation 1-2, Typography, and Minor Advanced Studio. Students in this program will complete a Minor Capstone Studio to complete the program.
The Art MFA at Pennsylvania State University consists of 60 credit hours, including 30 credit hours in the major. The program expands on the undergraduate program, with additional coursework in advanced design, research, and teaching. Course examples include Graphic Design, Supervised Experience and College Teaching, New Media Art, Issues in Contemporary Art, Printmaking, Graduate Seminar, and Individual Studies. The MFA Program culminates with the MFA Thesis Exhibition.
Nearly 100% of Graphic Design graduates at Pennsylvania State University are employed in the field within three months of graduation. Program alumni work in branding, typography, UI/UX design, art direction, packaging, information visualization, and storytelling, among others.
Pennsylvania State University is the state’s only land-grant university. Chartered in 1855 as one of the nation’s first colleges of agricultural science, the school serves approximately to 88,115 students enrolled in more than 275 undergraduate majors and 300+ graduate and professional programs, including medical and legal studies. Programs at Penn State are offered across 24 campuses, sixteen academic colleges, and several schools. Penn State is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1921.
Southern New Hampshire University has a Graphic Design & Media Arts BA Program that can be completed on campus or 100% online. This career-focused program provides a variety of Minors to enhance the degree. Examples include Digital Media Video Production, Social Media Marketing, Business Analytics, and Game Art and Development. Other program features include hands-on Graphic Design courses; networking opportunities through program affiliations, projects, and professional conferences; internships; courses taught by industry professionals; and access to more than 50 student clubs.
Consisting of 120 credit hours, the SNHU Graphic Design & Media Arts BA Program requires 36 credit hours in the major, with two concentration options for online students including Experience Design and Web Design. Students in both the campus and online programs may also choose 12 credit hours of electives to create their own focus area. Course examples for the program include Graphic Design Studio I-IV, Layout and Publication Design, User Interface and Experience, Designing a Brand Identity, Advanced Digital Graphic Design for Web, Personal Branding and Self Promotion, Multi-Channel Advertising Design, and Professional Practices in Graphic Design.
In the final year of the SNHU Graphic Design & Media Arts BA Program, students will complete Graphic Design Culmination Experience I and Graphic Design Culmination Experience II, which provides the opportunity to design and implement a final project. Students will also present and defend their project alongside a portfolio of their best work.
Graduates of the Graphic Design& Media Arts Program at Southern New Hampshire University are prepared to pursue positions in areas such as Advertising, Publishing, Marketing, Entertainment, and Public Relations.
Founded in 1932 as New Hampshire Accounting and Secretarial School, Southern New Hampshire University opened in a two-room storefront with less than 50 students enrolled in accounting, bookkeeping, and secretarial courses. Today, SNHU operates across a 300-acre campus that serves more than 3,000 residential students, and over 170,000 online students, making it one of the country’s fastest growing universities.
Students at Southern New Hampshire University have access to more than 200 career-focused programs leading to a certificate, associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
The School of Visual Arts (SOVA) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) houses the Graphic Design Program, which includes a required 130-hour internship that takes place in the students junior or senior year. In addition to the internship, SOVA students may gain hands-on experience in the student-run, faculty-led Graphic Design Center known as FourDesign, which attracts real-world clients from within the industry.
Leading to a BFA, Virginia Tech Graphic Design Program explores user interface and user experience (UI/UX) design, problem-solving, conceptual thinking, and aesthetic development. Students will complete required courses in Design and Typography, with access to a variety of Studio Art and Creative Technologies courses, and electives. Course examples across areas include Hand-Lettering, Motion Graphics, Advanced Typography, Human-Centered Design, 3D Computer Animation, Art Direction, Packaging, New Media Art, Creative Code, Web Design, Mobile Design, Visual Communication Design, Pictorial Arts Studio, and Mapping.
Students will leave the Graphic Design BFA Program with work experience and a portfolio of their best work.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Virginia Tech work in fields such as advertising, product design, brand management, exhibit design, marketing, web and interaction design, and packaging design. Program alumni have been hired at major companies and organizations such as Amazon, ESPN, Google, NASA, the Brooklyn Art Museum, USA Today, Warby Parker, Axios, and Willow Tree Apps.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University opened on October 1, 1872 as Virginia’s land-grant institution. The school serves more than 37,000 students enrolled in approximately 280 undergraduate and graduate programs across more than a dozen departments and schools. Virginia Tech houses campuses, and educational and research facilities across Virginia, as well as a study-abroad site in Switzerland. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Pennsylvania College of Art (PCA&D) has a Graphic Design BFA Program that features on-on-one instruction, portfolio review and critique with faculty who are professional designers, and the opportunity to customize the curriculum. In addition, students can add a Minor or Certificate to enhance the program. Minor examples include Live Experience Design, Animation & Game Art, and Business in Creative Industry. Certificate examples include Packaging Design, Data Visualization, UX/UI Design, Animation, and Digital Photography.
A major component of the Graphic Design BFA Program at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design is the required Senior Internship, which provides the opportunity for all students to gain valuable work experience at a local or national design studio, advertising agency, or marketing firm. Also required in the Senior year is the Professional Practices/Portfolio Preparation course. This includes the production of the student’s final portfolio, which will be presented at the Senior Exhibition.
Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA Program at Pennsylvania College of Art and Design are prepared for positions in the Graphic and Interactive Design industries.
Founded in 1982 by working artists, Pennsylvania College of Art and Design is a private, non-profit, professional art college that serves more than 200 students enrolled in six major programs leading to a BFA, 12 minor programs, and 11 certificate programs. Pennsylvania College of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
The School of Fine Arts at University of Connecticut (UConn) houses the Department of Art and Art History (AAH), home to the Studio Art Program, with a Graphic Design Concentration. Consisting of 120 credits, including 66 Studio Art Credits, this BFA Program explores print and experience, installation, motion, and interactive design. Course examples include Graphic Design Process and Thinking, Graphic Design: Typography, Graphic Design: Relational Design, Counterproof Press, Graphic Design: Communication Dynamics, Motion Graphics, Publication Design, Web Design, Interactive Design, and Graphic Design: Interactive.
During semester five or seven of the UConn BFA Program, students may participate in the study abroad program known as Graphic Design in London. Students enroll at Central Saint Martins (CSM), which is part of the University of the Arts London, and they will study alongside CSM peers in addition to completing UCONN Graphic Design, Art History, and Elective coursework with the resident faculty director. The experience consists of 12-15 credit hours.
Graduates of the Studio Art and other programs at University of Connecticut are routinely hired at places such as NBCUniversal, Adspace Agency, Cigna, Andromeda Digital Inc., Bloomingdale’s, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Animatic Media Inc., ITV America, ANC, Best Buy, AMP Agency, Arnold Worldwide, Ai Media Group, and Aetna. Some UConn graduates go onto enroll in graduate programs at New York University (NYU), UConn, and New York Institute of Technology (NYIT).
Founded in 1881, University of Connecticut began as Storrs Agricultural School with just three faculty members and 13 male students. Today, UConn’s more than 18,000 faculty and staff members serve approximately 32,150 students across the main campus at Storrs, and four regional campuses. Programs at UConn are provided across 14 colleges and schools. Offerings include eight undergraduate degrees with 120 majors, 17 graduate degrees in 92 fields of study, and six professional degree programs.
University of Connecticut is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). UConn School of Fine Arts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).
George Mason University (GMU) has several paths to study Graphic Design. At the graduate level, GMU has a Visual and Performing Arts MFA with a Graphic Design (GD) Concentration. Housed in the College of Visual and Performing Arts-School of Art, this program consists of 60 credit hours, with 36 in the GD Concentration. Course examples include Graduate Graphic Design I-II, Visual Communication Theories, Brand Identity, Special Topics in Graphic Design, Advanced Typography, Special Topics in Art and Visual Technology, and Advanced Graduate Graphic Design I-II.
At the undergraduate level, the School of Art at GMU has BA and BFA degrees in Art and Visual Technology (AVT). The School also has non-degree options, including a GD Certificate and a Minor, and an AVT Minor. The GD Certificate is designed for students with a four-year degree from an accredited institution. Minors are 20 credit hours and allow students to explore Graphic Design, New Media Art, Printmaking and Book Arts, Drawing, and more. The AVT BA is a Liberal Arts Program and the AVT BFA is a Professional Degree Program. Both options require the Studio Foundations Experience, studio core and research practicum courses, art history, a critical theory requirement, interdisciplinary studio course electives, and a capstone. BFA students will also complete Professional Practice coursework and choose a concentration in Graphic Design or Studio Art. Studio art courses explore New Media, Printmaking and Book Arts, Photography, Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture.
BA students will have the opportunity to create an unofficial area of focus through Studio electives that explore Drawing, New Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Book Arts, and Sculpture. All AVT students may complete an internship and participate in the GMU Study Abroad Program
Graduates of the George Mason University Art and Design Programs are prepared to pursue careers in all areas of graphic and visual design at advertising agencies, book publishers, museums, web design companies, marketing firms, magazines, packaging design firms, branding agencies, and more.
Founded in 1949 as a branch of the University of Virginia, George Mason University serves approximately 39,050 students from all 50 states and 130 countries, making it the largest public university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. GMU offers more than 200 degree programs across 10 colleges and schools. George Mason University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University (Drexel) houses the Graphic Design BS Program and a Graphic Design Minor. Consisting of 24 credit hours, the Graphic Design Minor consists of courses such as Visual Communication, Design for Media, Typography, Computer Imaging, and Graphic Design: 20th Century and Beyond.
All degree-seeking students at will participate in Drexel’s cooperative education program (co-op), which is the oldest, largest, and most well-known co-op program in the U.S. This university requirement allows students to gain hands-on experience prior to graduation. Past co-op experiences have taken students to places such as Ghana, Greece, London, Hong Kong, and Spain. Graduates of the Drexel University Graphic Design BS Program are often hired for full-time positions with a co-op employer.
Other program features include access to state-of-the-art studios and labs such as the Hybrid Making Lab, the Computer Lab, and wood and metal shops; frequent field trips that include studio tours and Design Philadelphia events; and the annual field excursion to New York City. Recent trips have included Soviet avant-garde design at the Jewish Museum, Bard Center for Graduate Studies (tour and curator talk on Jan Tschichold); and the Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial.
Electives and minor options allow student designers to pursue advanced study in areas such as experimental publication design, product design, nonprofit communication, environmental graphic design, technology information management, human-computer interaction (HCI), computing technology, virtual reality and immersive media, motion graphic design, writing, photography, web design, marketing, business, and project management.
Course examples for the Drexel Graphic Design BS Program include Publication Design, Book Design, Motion Graphics: Storyboarding and Development for Time-Based Media, Computer Imaging I: Introduction to Adobe Illustrator, Corporate Identity, Information Graphics: Mapping, Wayfinding, Data Visualization, Computer Imaging II: Intro to Adobe Photoshop, Physics: Light and Sound, Production: Introducing the Tools and Methods of Production Management for Print and Screen Media, and Web Graphics/Web Design.
Graduates of the Design BS Program at Drexel University are prepared for positions in areas such as package design, marketing, exhibition design, illustration, publication design, content development, UX/UI design, and web design. Program alumni have been hired at Penguin Random House, Marvel Entertainment, Saatchi & Saatchi, Philadelphia Museum of Art, ESPN, Siemens, Bloomberg, Facebook, Sesame Workshop, Comcast, Urban Outfitters, QVC, SAP, Digitas, The Franklin Institute, and Under Armour, Time Inc., Brooks Brothers, and Philadelphia Magazine.
Drexel University was established in 1891 as Drexel Institute of Art, Science, & Industry. The school serves approximately 23,215 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across 15 colleges and schools. Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The Digital Media and Animation & Visual Effects (VFX) Programs at Drexel are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Arts & Design (NASAD).