What are the top graphic design schools in the Midwest for 2022?

Top 25 Graphic Design Schools and Colleges in the Midwest – 2022 College Rankings
RankingSchoolStateTop %
1Washington University in St. LouisMissouri 1%
2School of the Art Institute of ChicagoIllinois 1%
3Minneapolis College of Art and DesignMinnesota 2%
4University of CincinnatiOhio 2%
5University of Illinois at ChicagoIllinois 2%
6University of Illinois at Urbana Illinois 3%
7University of KansasKansas3%
8Kansas City Art InstituteMissouri 4%
9Michigan State UniversityMichigan4%
10University of Minnesota Minnesota 4%
11The Ohio State UniversityOhio 5%
12Iowa State UniversityIowa 5%
13Columbia College ChicagoIllinois 6%
14Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis Indiana 6%
15Kent State UniversityOhio 6%
16Indiana UniversityIndiana 7%
17Ball State UniversityIndiana 7%
18Purdue UniversityIndiana 8%
19College for Creative StudiesMichigan 8%
20Cleveland Institute of ArtOhio8%
21University of Notre DameIndiana 9%
22University of Wisconsin – StoutWisconsin 9%
23University of Wisconsin – MadisonWisconsin9%
24Bowling Green State UniversityOhio 10%
25Kansas State UniversityKansas 10%

Our 2022 rankings of the top graphic design schools in the Midwest. We considered over 250 colleges in the Midwest with graphic design programs for this year's rankings. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.

We define the Midwest as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Idaho, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota. 

1. Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri (Top 1% of colleges considered)
Washington University in St. Louis

The College of Art at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) is home to the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, which houses the Communication Design Program. Degree options include the 120 credit hour BA and the 121 credit hour BFA in Studio Art & Design/Communication Design.

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

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

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

Washington University in St. Louis has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1913. Founded in 1853, the school serves nearly 16,250 students enrolled in more than 300 academic programs in seven schools. The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts was founded in 2006 after the merging of the academic units of Architecture and Art, and the Washington University in St. Louis Museum.  

2. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (Top 1% of schools considered)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The Visual Communication Design (VCD) Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has undergraduate, graduate, and certificate options for students interested in graphic design.

The VCD Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio is a one-year, 30-credit program consisting 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.

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

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

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

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). SAIC has also been accredited as a charter member by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) since 1948. Founded in 1866, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest accredited independent schools of art and design in the country. Serving more than 3,500 students, SAIC offers more than 50 areas of study in 24 academic departments.

3. Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Top 2% of schools considered)
Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) offers a BFA in Graphic Design, an MA in Graphic and Web Design, an interdisciplinary MFA, and a fully online User Experience (UX) Design Certificate.

Students in all MCAD Design programs will participate in critiques, collaborative projects, and hands-on training experiences through internships and other experiential learning activities. Students in all programs also have the option to study abroad in places such Japan, Germany, Ireland, England, Italy, or anywhere in the U.S.

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

The MCAD MA in Graphic and Web Design is a 30 credit hour program that explores typography, web design and programming, design principles, ideation, workflow management, and research. Students in this program can expect to work in teams with peers and professionals in the industry to complete projects and solve problems. Course examples for the program include Typography, User Experience Design, Experimental Interaction, Design in Context, and Motion Design.

The 60 credit hour Interdisciplinary MFA highlights independent and collaborative 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.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). MCAD is also affiliated with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).

Established in 1886, Minneapolis College of Art and Design serves more than 800 students. The school offers 14 undergraduate majors leading to a BFA or BS, three MA programs, including the new MA in Creative Leadership (launching summer 2022), one MFA program, and five professional development certificate programs.

4. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (Top 2% of colleges considered)
University of Cincinnati

The College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati (UC) houses the Myron E. Ullman Jr. School of Design, which offers a BS in Communication Design and a Master of Design (MDes). The five-year Communication Design BS provides opportunities to develop solid, marketable skills through several required co-op experiences. Three concentrations are available including Graphic Design, Interaction Design, and Motion Design.

Consisting of 120 credit hours, the Communication Design BS requires courses such as Welcome to Design, Collaborative Studio, Graphic Design 1-2, Advanced Typography, Design Aesthetics, Interaction Design, Photo Design, Design & Meaning, Motion Design, and Applied Professional Practice – DAAP.

The University of Cincinnati MDes is a multidisciplinary program that encompasses Communication Design, Fashion Design, and Industrial Design. The program focuses on strategy, systems thinking, evidence, methods, and designing for social impact. Course examples for this 60 credit hour program include Design Strategy, Translational Research, Design Communication, and Professional Development Seminar. A co-op experience is required as well as independent study and a thesis., which will be exhibited at the Annual UC DAAPworks Show.

Graduates of the DAAP Programs at University of Cincinnati are freelancers or they work for design firms and internal design teams. Careers include advertising, package design, interface design, user experience design, motion graphics, branding and corporate identity, web design, post-production design, digital product design, and exhibit design.

The University of Cincinnati is an urban research university that has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1919. Accreditation includes all regional campuses. In addition, as an Ohio Public Institution, every program at UC is approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). Founded in 1819, UC serves nearly 46,710 students enrolled in more than 400 academic programs across 14 colleges and a graduate school.

5. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (Top 2% of schools considered)
University of Illinois at Chicago

The College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts (CADA) at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) houses the School of Design, which offers Bachelor of Design (BDes) and Master of Design (MDes) degrees in Graphic Design. A studio-based, interdisciplinary BA in Design is also available for students who are interested in studying multiple areas of design. With a focus on collaboration, the BA in Design explores Graphic and Industrial Design, the Sciences, and Humanities. 

The Graphic Design BDes consists of a Foundation Year, followed by Form + Systems (year two), Expressions + Interactions (year three), and Options (final year). The Foundations Year consists of courses such as Design Drawing, Form Studio, and Color Theory. Year two course examples include Digital Media Design II: Interactivity and III: Motion, Type I: Form and Type II: Systems, and Form + Image Studio. During the third year of the BDES Program, students will take a number of design history courses and advanced courses such as Type III: Dimension, Type IV: Experimentation, Digital Media Design IV: Advanced Interactivity, and Social Media Design.

In the final year of the Graphic Design BDes Program, students will complete two Senior Design Colloquium courses, Mobile App Design (MAD) I-II, and two Capstones including the Personal Capstone: Graphic Design Thesis I-II and Professional Capstone: Interdisciplinary Product Development.

The UIC MDes in Graphic Design is a two-year program that focuses on an independent master’s research project. Delivered in Chicago and Basel, Switzerland, the MDes is a project-oriented program that culminates in a public exhibition of student’s final projects. Course examples include Advanced Graphic Design I-II, Combined Studio, Research Studio, Graduate Seminar, and Documentation Studio.

A major component of the UIC Graphic MDes is the study abroad experience. All Chicago-based students will participate in the Basel School of Design summer workshops, which take place at the FHNW HGK Basel Visual Communication Institute in Münchenstein, Switzerland.

The University of Illinois at Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school serves more than 33,500 students, making it the largest university in the Chicago area. With roots dating back to 1859 when the Chicago College of Pharmacy was founded, UIC offers more than 250 degree programs and 85 minors across 16 colleges and schools.

6. University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, Champaign, Illinois (Top 3% of colleges considered)
University of Illinois at Urbana

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

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

The University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign offers a graduate program for designers. The MFA in Art & Design has a Concentration in Design for Responsible Innovation (formerly Graphic Design) that requires a minimum of 64 credit hours to graduate. Students in this interdisciplinary program may also specialize in New Media.

The MFA also offers the following 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 Programs 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. 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Established in 1867 as Illinois Industrial University, UIUC is the second oldest public school in the state. Serving more than 52,000 students, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers 150+ undergraduate programs and more than 100 graduate and professional programs. Programs are managed across 16 colleges and instructional units.

7. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas (Top 3% of colleges considered)
University of Kansas

The School of Architecture and Design at the University of Kansas (KU) houses the Department of Design. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Department features access to state-of-the-art facilities, collaborations, lectures, and workshops led by industry professionals, study abroad programs, and local and international internships. 

Program options for designers include a BFA in Visual Communication Design and a Certificate in Book Arts. The Certificate Program has undergraduate and graduate pathways. The undergraduate certificate consists of 12-13 credit hours. The graduate program requires 12 credit hours. Course examples across programs include Letterpress and bookmaking, Digital Letterpress, Printmaking: Intaglio, Lithography and Serigraphy, The Photobook, Publication and Editorial, and Medieval Manuscripts and Early Printed Books. Both programs offer the opportunity to complete Study Abroad: Typography & Printmaking in Italy.

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

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

University of Kansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1865, KU opened on September 12, 1866 with one building and 55 students. Today, University of Kansas serves 28,500 students across five campuses the in Lawrence, Overland Park, Kansas City, Wichita, and Salina, Kansas. KU offers more than 400 degrees and certificate programs in 13 academic schools.

8. Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri (Top 4% of colleges considered)

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

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

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

Kansas City Art Institute is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Established in 1885 as a Sketch Club, KCAI serves more than 700 students enrolled in 13 majors in 15 program areas.

9. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan (Top 4% of schools considered)
Michigan State University

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

Courses for the 12 credit hour Graphic Design BFA explore 2D, 3D, electronic art, and photography. The Graphic Design Minor consists of 15 credit hours. Course examples across programs include Drawing, Graphic Design: Graphic Form, Printmaking, Digital Graphic Design: Tools and Methods, History of Graphic Design, Typography, Motion Design, Color and Design, and Concepts of Graphic Design.

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

Michigan State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This land-grant, public research university serves 49,695 students enrolled in more than 200 academic programs across 17 colleges. One of the largest and greenest campuses in the U.S., MSU houses more than 100 institutes and centers including the Institute of Global Health and the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.  

10. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Top 4% of colleges considered)
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

The College of Design at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (UofM or UMTC) houses the Graphic Design Program, which has a BFA Program and MA, MFA, MS, and PhD Programs with an optional Graphic Design Track. Students in all programs will participate in advanced studios, design projects (individual and collaborative), seminars, workshops, internships, and study abroad experiences.

The Graphic Design BFA explores areas such as typography, data visualization, digital drawing, color theory, hand-drawing, and web design. Course and elective examples for the program include Text and Image, Packaging and Display, Travels in Typography, Identity and Symbols, Storytelling and Design, Data Visualization Studio, Digital Illustration and Animation, Concept Sketching, Interaction Design and Product Innovation Lab. The Graphic Design BFA Program culminates with the Senior Thesis and Exhibition, which allows students to present their work to the faculty, peers, and the design community. Students will graduate with a portfolio of their best work.

In addition to the Graphic Design Track, the MA, MFA, MS, and PhD Programs in the UofM College of Design allow students to specialize in one of the following areas: Design Education, Human Interaction with Designed Objects, Color Systems and Perception, Design History, Visual Representation of Information, Multicultural Communication or Social and Cultural Implications of Design.  

The MA and MS Programs offer two plans: A and B. Plan A is thesis-focused and prepares students for the PhD Program. This pathway can be completed in 2-3 years full-time. Plan B is a project-based, two-year program designed for students seeking career advancement. Both plans are 34 credit hours and a both require a final oral examination.

The UMTC MFA with a Graphic Design Track consists of 60 credit hours completed over three years, full-time. Students will complete 40 credit hours in the major and 12 capstone project credits. A final oral examination is required to graduate. Consisting of 64 credit hours completed over four years, full-time, the PhD is for students interested in research or teaching. Students in this program will take 28 credits in the major and 24 dissertation credits.

Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities work for advertising agencies, publishing companies, graphic design studios, public relations firms, web design studios, marketing firms, entertainment production studios, government agencies, museums, and in-house design departments at companies in a variety of industries. They hold titles such as Graphic Designer, Art Director, Data Visualization Strategist, Interactive Designer, Creative Director, User Experience Designer, and Web Designer, among others.  

The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities has been accredited continuously since 1913 by Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1851, UMTC is the flagship institution of the University of Minnesota System and the state’s only land-grant university. One of largest research universities in the nation, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is also one of just five universities in the U.S. with agricultural, engineering, law, medical, and veterinary medicine schools all on one campus. Around 4,000 UMTC faculty members serve more than 50,000 students enrolled in over 150 undergraduate majors, 150+ minors, and more than 200 master’s and doctoral programs.

11. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (Top 5% of colleges considered)
The Ohio State University

Established in 1968, the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University (OSU) houses the Department of Design, which offers a Bachelor of Science in Design (BSD) in Visual Communication Design and a Design Thinking Minor. At the graduate level, the Department of Art, also housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, offers an MFA in Visual Art.

The OSU Visual Communication Design BSD Program begins with the Interdisciplinary Foundation Year consisting of 18 credit hours of coursework. During this time, students will focus on developing drawing skills, mastering design software tools, and typography. Course examples for the sophomore, junior and senior years include Intermediate Vis Com Design, Materials + Processes for Visual Communication Design, Collaborative Design, Professional Practices, Advanced Vis Com Design, Design Seminar for Visual Communication Design, and Design Research.

Graduates of the OSU Visual Communication Design BSD have been hired at places such as Microsoft, Walt Disney Company, IBM iX, The Digest, JP Morgan Chase, Binance, Walt Disney Imagineering, McGraw-Hill Education, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ring, Interbrand, and SafeAuto Insurance.

The Design Thinking Minor is a 15 credit hour program that covers the basics of design. Courses include Introduction to Design Practice, Design History, Exploring Design Thinking, Visualization as Thinking, and Presentation as Thinking. Students in all departments may add the Design Thinking Minor to their degree program.

The Ohio State University 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. Students in this full-time program may 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.

The Ohio State University was established in 1870 as Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The school serves more than 61,000 students at campuses across Ohio in Columbus (main), Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and OSU’s Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. More than 200 majors, minors, and specializations are offered in 18 colleges and schools. The Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

12. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa (Top 5% of colleges considered)
Iowa State University

The College of Design at Iowa State University (Iowa State or ISU) houses the Department of Graphic Design (GD), which offers the only public BFA in Graphic Design in the State of Iowa. At the graduate level, ISU offers MA and MFA degrees in Graphic Design. 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.

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. BFA students also have access to study abroad experiences in the College of Design’s Rome Program or Graphic Design in Europe.

To qualify for admittance into the BFA Program, students must complete College of Design’s one-year Core Design Program. This program allows students to experiment with interdisciplinary work, while preparing for entry into the BFA. The curriculum for the Graphic Design BFA explores digital media, print, environmental graphics, and motion. Throughout the program, students will have the opportunity to travel to design centers across the U.S. and engage in studios in design applications such as 3D animation, publications, web and e-commerce, branding and logo design, motion graphics, multimedia, and more.

All BFA students will complete Graphic Design I-V and Professional Practices to graduate. Within six months of graduating, 95% of ISU’s BFA graduates are employed or continuing their education.

The MA in Graphic Design is an Experiential Graphic Design (MAxGD) Program that requires 30 credit hours to graduate. The program is designed for students with little to no experience in graphic design. The MAxGD explores areas such as interaction, information design, wayfinding, placemaking, and exhibition design. Course examples include Audience & Perception, Seminar: Design Humanics: Sensory Perception & Ergonomic Factors, and Design & Cultural Semiotics. Students will also complete two Graphic Design Graduate Studios.

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.

For graduates receiving degrees from August 2020 to May 2021, 100% were employed or continuing their education within six months of graduation.

Iowa State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1858, the school is the nation’s first designated land-grant institution. Iowa State serves just over 30,700 students enrolled in more than 100 undergraduate majors and over 200 fields of study leading a graduate or professional degree. Programs at Iowa State University are housed in eight colleges, two schools, and around 150 academic departments.

13. Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (Top 6% of colleges considered)
Columbia College Chicago

Columbia College Chicago (Columbia or Columbia College) houses the School of Fine and Performing Arts, which offers BA, second BA, and BFA degrees in Graphic Design. A 21 credit our Graphic Design Minor is also available. This program explores graphic design, typography, visual culture, and website design.

The second BA degree program is designed for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in another area. Students in the traditional BA Program may choose a concentration and a minor or double major. Concentration options include Web Design and Publication Design. Minors that complement the program include Creative Advertising, Design Management, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Motion Graphics, Photography, and User Experience.

Majors that complement the BA Program include Advertising, Arts Management, Communication, Computer Animation, Illustration, Immersive Media, Interaction Design, Marketing, Public Relations, and Social Media and Digital Strategy.

The Columbia College Graphic Design BFA allows students to study in multiple areas of art and design. Course examples for the program include Design Lab, Design Thinking, Experimental Typography, Graphic Design I-V (various topics), Letterpress Studio, Motion Graphics, Photo Communication, Publication Design, and Website Design.

Both the BA and BFA programs begin with foundations courses and cover design programs such as Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. All Graphic Design students have opportunities to complete an internship. Past placements include Leo Burnett, 50000feet Creative Agency, Foot, Cone & Belding, and Pivot Design. The programs culminate with the production of a professional portfolio of the student’s best work.

Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at Columbia College work as designers, creative directors, and brand designers at startups, design firms, ad agencies, nonprofits, and major corporations. Examples include Cards Against Humanity, Google, Fjord (part of Accenture Interactive), Leo Burnett, Modern Luxury, One Design Company, and Time Zone One.

Columbia College Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1890 as the Columbia School of Oratory, Columbia serves 7,000 students enrolled in more than 150 majors, minors, and graduate programs. In addition to offering programs in creative areas such as communication and writing, media and digital, and music and sound, Columbia offers business management programs.

14. Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, Indiana (Top 6% of colleges considered)
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

The Herron School of Art + Design (Herron) at Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) houses eight visual communication design studios, the Think It Make It Lab, and research and studio spaces such as the book arts studio, woodshops, photo lighting studios, and the Herron Art Library. Students in the Herron Visual Communication Design (VCD) Program have access to all Herron facilities as well as dedicated individual spaces within larger studios for undergraduates, and private studios for graduate students. Graduate students also have access to a separate conference room for seminars.

Leading to a BFA, the undergraduate VCD Program at IUPUI consists of 125 credit hours. Course examples include Type and Image, Production: Print Digital Design Outcomes, Image & 4D Studio, Designing for People-Centered Experiences, Visual Communication II: Design Methodology, Studio Art & Technology, Typography, and Making Meaning. Students in this professional degree program will complete six design labs (including two advanced labs) and a Professional Practice Internship. To enhance the degree, students can add a Book Arts, Art History or Studio Art & Technology Minor.  

The graduate VCD Program at IUPUI was established in 2007. Leading to an MFA, this intensive program consists of collaborative external projects with the City of Indianapolis and other entities, and on-campus research projects in collaboration with professors and peers. During the course of the program, which takes two years to complete, students will take Collaborative Action Research in Design 1-6 (two courses each semester).

Other course examples include Intro Design Thinking for Tackling Wicked Problems and Sensemaking, Design for Ideating, Leadership in Design Practice, Introduction to Human Factors in Design, and Design Methods for Prototyping. VCD MFA students will have the opportunity to complete several interdisciplinary electives.

In the final year of the IUPUI VCD MFA Program, students will complete four courses leading to a final project/thesis.

Graduates of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Visual Communication Design Programs are Graphic Designers, Art Directors, Interactive Designers, Package Designers, User Experience Designers, Creative Directors, Brand Managers and Strategists, Mobile App Designers, and Exhibit Designers, among others. They work at Mayo Clinic, Amazon Web Services, ExxonMobil, Chase Bank, Airbnb, Humana, Google, Salesforce, Texas Tech University, OurHealth, and many others.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Indiana University (est. 1820) and Purdue University (est. 1869) merged in 1969 to create what is known today as Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The school serves 27,690 students enrolled in more than 550 degrees and majors in 17 degree-granting schools.

15. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (Top 6% of colleges considered)
Kent State University

The Visual Communication Design (VCD) Program at Kent State University (Kent State or KSU) requires students to complete an internship. Many internships are paid and provide the opportunity to work at companies and design studios in Cleveland, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Housed in the College of Communication and Information’s  School of Visual Communication Design, the program has BA, BFA, MA, and MFA options. Minors include Design and Information Design.

Students in all undergraduate programs will complete the Kent State University Core. Consisting of 36-37 credit hours, the Core covers six areas: Composition, Mathematics and Critical Reasoning, Humanities and Fine Arts, Social Sciences, Basic Sciences, and Additional Options. All undergraduate options explore illustration and design, 2D and 3D forms, print, interactive design, motion, exhibition design, package design, video, and environmental design. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the BA and BFA Programs also require a minor or secondary area of study. Examples include Advertising, Marketing, Health Communication, Visual Journalism, Public Relations, and Management or Entrepreneurship for Non-Business Majors. International study experiences, portfolio development, and an exhibition are also part of the programs.

The Graduate VCD Program at Kent State is one of only three programs in Ohio to offer an MA in Visual Communication Design. The graduate program was also the first to offer the terminal degree in the field, the MFA. The MA is a 32 credit hour program that consists of just three semesters of study. Course examples include Graphic Design Advanced, Concept Development and Implementation, Typographic Structures and Systems, User Experience Design Principles and Concepts, and Design Research Methods. Master of Arts students will complete the MA Project in Graphic Design and Illustration and a portfolio.

The Kent State VCD MFA is a 60 credit hour, five semester program that combines design, research, and theory coursework with hands-on teaching experiences at the freshman and sophomore level. MFA graduates are prepared for leadership roles in design and design education. MA graduates can pursue careers in Branding, User Experience Design, Social Media, and Digital Media, among others.

Kent State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Established in 1910 as a teacher-training school, KSU consists of an eight-campus system that serves around 35,000 students from across the U.S. and 116 countries. Kent State University offers more than 300 programs in more than 40 colleges, departments, and schools.

16. Indiana University, Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana (Top 7% of colleges considered)
Indiana University

The Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design (SOAAD) at Indiana University Bloomington (IU Bloomington) houses a Studio Art Program with BA, BFA, and MFA pathways that allow students to concentrate in Graphic Design. Students in all pathways have access to state-of-the-art facilities such as Student Technology Centers, the Digital Printing Lab, and The Letterpress Studio.

Part of SOAAD since the 1960s, The Letterpress Studio houses resources such as Vandercook presses, a bookbinding press, foil stamper, guillotine paper cutter, and wood and metal fonts. BFA and MFA students also have access to individual workspaces, with separate shared studio spaces. All SOAAD students benefit from the McKinney Visiting Artist Series, which consists of lectures, workshops, and individual critiques; one-on-one faculty mentorship; interdisciplinary collaborations and cross-disciplinary workshops; five overseas study programs in Florence, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, and Barcelona; and internships at places such as Amazon, BlueLine Media Productions, Interbrand, Macy’s, Mediaworks Advertising, Morningstar, Inc., PwC, Universal Studios, and Urban Outfitters. Students may also work with independent artists (apprenticeship), departments on campus, or local businesses.

BA students will complete a final portfolio of their best work. The BFA Program culminates with a BFA Thesis Exhibition in Grunwald Gallery of Art at IU Bloomington. During the final semester of the SOADD MFA Program, graduate students will complete a Thesis. Like the BFA Thesis, the MFA Thesis will be displayed in the Grunwald Gallery. The graduate event opens with a reception that allows students to present a summary of their work to the public.

Indiana University Bloomington is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Established in 1820, IU Bloomington is the flagship campus of Indiana University’s seven campus system. The school serves more than 43,000 students enrolled in more than 550 academic programs across 16 degree-granting colleges and schools.

17. Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana (Top 7% of schools considered)
Ball State University

The College of Fine Arts at Ball State University (BSU) houses the School of Art, which has six programs leading to a bachelor’s degree and one leading to an MFA. At the undergraduate level, the BSU School of Art offers Visual Communication Design (VCD) Concentration within the BFA in Art Program. Consisting of 145 credit hours, VCD requires 60 credits in Visual Communications.

Course examples include Web Design: Coding for Designers, Printmaking: Introduction, Design: Computer for Visual Communication/Graphic Design, Web Design: Frameworks, Libraries and Interactivity, Design: Advanced Practices 1-2, Intermedia: Experimental Video, Digital Fabrication, Printmaking: Serigraphy 1, and Design: Research and Professional Practices.

During the final year of the BSU VCD Program, students have the option to complete the Design: Practicum course, the School of Art Internship or Design: Senior Thesis. The Practicum provides the opportunity to work on group or individual projects for clients within and/or outside the university community. The internship provides paid professional work experiences that take place during the summer for ten or more weeks.

Ball State University graduates enjoy a 90% career placement rate. Potential careers for VCD graduates include, but are not limited to, Graphic Designer, Web Designer, User Experience Designer, Video Editor, Book Designer, Advertising Designer, Art Director, Visual Designer, and Communications Manager.

Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1918 as the Indiana State Normal School Eastern Division, BSU serves more than 20,000 students enrolled in 110 majors and 12 preprofessional option in seven colleges. Ball State University also houses 357 student organizations and more than 150 study abroad programs.

18. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana (Top 8% of schools considered)
Purdue University

The College of Liberal Arts at Purdue University houses the Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Dance, Art, and Performance. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the School is home to the Department of Design, which has a Visual Communications Design (VCD) Program with undergraduate and graduate options.

The BFA in VCD is a 126 credit hour program with 78 credits in the major. Course examples include Visual Communication Design I-IV, Etching And Intaglio Printmaking, Digital Media I: Photography And Digital Imaging, Electronic Media Studio, Studio in Visual Communication Design, Visual Communication Design Computing I-II, Design I-III, Advertising Media Strategies, and Video Art. An internship is also part of the program.

Graduates of the Purdue University VCD BFA Program are prepared to pursue positions and careers such as Graphic Designer, Design Consultant, UX Designer, Data Visualization, Package Designer, Advertising, Marketing, and Web Designer.

The MFA in VCD is an interdisciplinary program that consists of 60-66 credit hours of study completed over three years. The 66 credit hour program requires a thesis. The 60 credit hour pathway does not require a thesis. The VCD MFA program explores information design, typography, critical theory, poster design, web communications, advanced color design, design methodology, research methods, and design history. The program also consists of immersive studios, elective coursework, and interdisciplinary seminars. During the final year of the VCD MFA, students will work on their MFA Thesis and Exhibition, where they will present a public gallery talk about their final projects.

Graduates of the Purdue University VCD MFA Program are prepared for junior, senior, and leadership roles such as Art Director, Brand Manager, Design Educator, Graphic Artist, Senior Graphic Design, Graphic Design Consultant, Senior Packaging Designer, Web Designer, Multimedia Designer, and Creative Director.

Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Established in 1869, this public research university opened with six instructors and 39 students on September 16, 1874. Today, Purdue employs 2,000 full-time faculty members that serve more than 50,000 students from every state in the nation and 130 countries. Purdue University offers more than 400 programs in 11 colleges and schools.

19. College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan (Top 8% of colleges considered)
College for Creative Studies

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) houses the Graphic Design Department. With an enrollment of 114 students, the Department is one of the top five largest academic units at CCS. Leading to a BFA, the STEM-designated Graphic Design Program (Communication Design/CD) allows students to add a 15 credit hour Minor or Business Concentration. Minor examples include Advertising Design: Digital, Creative Entrepreneurship, Entertainment Arts, Illustration, Photography, and Product Design. 

CD students will complete 42 to 43 credits in liberal arts and 84 credits in studio. Course examples include 2D & 3D Integrated Design Studio,  4D Design Studio, Motion Design, Interaction I-III, Typography I-III, Advanced Communication Design, Concepts & Methods/Visual Culture, and Business Practices. Other program features include the opportunity to study abroad for a year or a semester in places such Paris, Australia, Germany, Mexico, and as Austria and internship opportunities at Foote Cone & Belding, Microsoft, Urban Outfitters, Reebok, FUSE, Whirlpool, Quicksilver, and Chrysler.

With one of the highest employment rates in the country, CCS Communication Design graduates work in industries such as advertising, book publishing, public relations, marketing, magazine and newspaper publishing, retail, manufacturing, industrial design, and entertainment as Graphic Designers, User Experience Designers (UX), Brand Managers, Advertising Designers, User Interface Designers, (UI), Visual Designers, Editorial Designers, Web Designers, Creative Director,

Many College for Creative Studies Design alumni are entrepreneurs with design studios across the U.S. and around the globe. CCS alumni have launched studios in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and The Netherlands.

The College for Creative Studies is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Founded in 1906 as the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, the College for Creative Studies is a private, nonprofit institution that serves more than 1,400 students enrolled in 23 art and design programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

20. Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, Ohio (Top 8% of colleges considered)
Cleveland Institute of Art

The Graphic Design BFA Program at Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) explores print, marketing, and advertising design, editorial and publication design, event and exhibition design, interactive and motion graphics, web design, packaging design, signage, and production. Students will also explore print and conventional and experimental media forms.

Course examples include Graphic Design: Advanced Studio, Contemporary Marketing + Art Direction, and Design for Communication. The CIA Graphic Design Program culminates with the Graphic Design BFA Thesis and Graphic Design: BFA Statement + Exhibition.

Potential job titles for graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Cleveland Institute of include, but are not limited to Book Designer, Art Advertising Designer, Magazine Designer, Art Director, Designer + Founder, Film Director + Writer, and Associate Partner.

Cleveland Institute of Art is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Chartered as the Western Reserve School of Design for Women in 1882, this independent, not-for-profit college serves around 600 students enrolled in 15 programs of study.

21. University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana (Top 9% of colleges considered)
University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame or ND) houses the College of Arts and Letters, home to the Department of Art, Art History & Design. The Department’s Division of Design has a Design Program with BA, BFA, and MFA pathways. Design students may concentrate in Visual Communication Design (VCD) or Industrial Design or add a Minor in Collaborative Innovation. In addition to design, students in the five-course Minor come from architecture, engineering, business, and science. Course examples include Social Design: Initiatives, Challenges & Innovation, Design research Practices, and Collaborative Design Development (Capstone).

University of Notre Dame encourages multidisciplinary learning, so students in all ND Design Programs have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and students in other departments and colleges. Examples include the IDEA Center at Innovation Park, Mendoza Business School, the College of Engineering, Keough School for Global Affairs, The School of Architecture, and the College of Science. Other program features include local and campus-based projects, summer internships, and study abroad opportunities in places such as India, Nepal, South Africa, and Haiti.

Across programs and concentrations, Design students will explore packaging, data visualization, user-centered design, digital modeling and visualization, product automation, scale-graphics, social design and social innovations, UX/UI, cultural divergence, and health care. Course examples include Interaction Design of Device User Interface, Rapid Prototyping Lab, Web Design: Web-based interactivity for desktop and mobile Digital Solid Modeling, Advanced Visualization, Motion Design Using Kinetic Messages, Typography: History, application, and art of typography, Digital Visualization Lab, Packaging Design: Professional Practice, and Advanced Product Development-Social Design. 

Depending on the program, Design students will complete a capstone or thesis, and a professional portfolio of their best work during the final year of the study.

Within six months of graduating, 94% of ND Design majors are employed full-time, participating in service programs, enrolled in graduate school, or working on independent projects. Neary 75% of students are working full-time. Examples of wide variety of companies that have hired Notre Dame Design graduates include Ogilvy & Mather, Booz Allen Hamilton, Walt Disney Imagineering, HarperCollins, IBM, JP Morgan, Southwest Airlines, The Denver Broncos, Giorgio Armani, Deloitte, Bain & Company, 2K Games, and Morningstar.

The University of Notre Dame is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1842 and chartered by the State of Indiana in 1844, Notre Dame is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. Formerly a men’s university, the school became coeducational in 1972. University of Notre Dame serves 12,800 students enrolled in 75 undergraduate majors and more than 20 graduate programs in eight colleges and schools.

22. University of Wisconsin – Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin (Top 9% of colleges considered)
University of Wisconsin – Stout

The School of Art and Design at University of Wisconsin – Stout (UW-Stout) offers a BFA in Graphic Design and Interactive Media and a Hybrid MFA in Design. The UW-Stout College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Management offers a Minor in Graphic Media and Print Management.

Accredited by the National Association for Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Graphic Design and Interactive Media BFA has two Concentrations: Communication Design (CD) and Interaction Design (ID). For both options, learning takes place in studio classrooms and design labs where students will have opportunities to work on real-world projects. Other program benefits include internships and study abroad experiences, and the opportunity to exhibit student work at two galleries housed in the School of Art and Design, and off-campus spaces throughout the year.

The BFA requires 120 credit hours with 80 credits in the concentration. Course examples across concentrations include Serigraphy Printmaking, Typography: Letterform, Graphic Design I-II, User Experience Design, and Web Design. Advertising Design, Typographic Design, Publication Design, Sign and Exhibition Design, Information Design, Interactive Media Design, Typography in Motion, Product and Packaging Graphics, and Advanced Interactive Design. Both concentrations offer the option to complete a Field Experience or Cooperative Education Experience. The Senior Project – Graphic Design course is the culminating experience for the BFA Program. 

The UW-Stout Hybrid MFA in Design is a 60 credit hour degree that prepares students for leadership positions in field. This interdisciplinary program consists of courses such as Ethics in Design, Sustainable Design Practice, Design Seminar I-II, Critical Issues in Design Education and Practice, and Research Strategies in Design. The Design MFA takes three years to complete, full-time.

The Graphic and Print Media Minor consists of 18 credit hours. Course examples include Cross-Media Campaigns, Digital Marketing Strategy and Practice, Advertising Design, Usability and Design Testing, and Web Production and Distribution.

University of Wisconsin – Stout graduates enjoy a near perfect 97.8% employment rate. School of Art and Design graduates are Art Directors, Logo and Identity Systems Designers, Package Designers, Book Designers, Graphic Designers, Interface Designers, Advertising/Marketing Designers, Brand Strategists, Creative Directors, Motion Graphics Designers, Applications Designers, and Interactive Designers. They have been hired at DreamWorks Animation, FCB (Chicago), Apple, Target Corporation, Shutterfly, National Public Radio (NPR), Innopark (India), and WorkSimple - The Social Goal Management Company, among others.

University of Wisconsin – Stout is accredited Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Established in 1891, UW-Stout is one of just 125 polytechnic universities in the U.S. and the only one in the State of Wisconsin. Serving nearly 8,000 students, University of Wisconsin-Stout offers 45 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs, many of which are unique to UW-Stout or are not offered anywhere else in the Midwest.

23. University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, Wisconsin (Top 9% of colleges considered)
University of Wisconsin – Madison

The School of Education at University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW Madison) houses the Department of Art, which offers an BFA and BS degrees in Art with a Graphic Design Option. An 18 credit hour Graphic Design Certificate is also available. Course examples for this program include Basic Graphic Design, History of Graphic Design and Typography, Introduction to Digital Forms, 2D Design, and Information Graphics.

The BFA requires 72 credits hours of studio courses and 18 in aesthetics, while the BS requires 45 studio credits and 13 in aesthetics courses. Students in both programs must complete the before entering the major.  This first-year program consists of six courses that may be completed by participating in the Contemporary Art & Artists First-Year Interest Group (FIG). Course examples include Foundations of Contemporary Art, Current Directions in Art, History of Graphic Design and Typography, and Global Arts.

Course examples for the Graphic Design Option include Typeface Design, Information Graphics, Graphic Design for Branding and Identity, Motion Typography, Graphic Design for Publications, Product Development for Graphic Design, Graphic Design for Posters, Graphic Design for Games, User Experience and Graphic Design, and Graphic Design for Packaging. In addition, the BFA and BS programs require the Graphic Design Practicum, and Design Portfolio and Professional Practice courses.

All Department of Art Programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Programs work in graphic and multi-media design, illustration, publication design, animation and film, book design, advertising and marketing, exhibit design, public relations, interactive design, community arts, user experience design, and photography.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1913. Founded in 1848, the school serves nearly 48,000 students enrolled in more than 200 undergraduate majors and certificates, and over 250 masters, doctoral, and professional programs in 13 colleges and schools.

24. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio (Top 10% of colleges considered)
Bowling Green State University

The College of Arts and Sciences at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is home to one of the largest and oldest state art schools in Ohio. In existence for more than 75 years, the School of Art houses five Divisions: Graphic Design, Digital Arts, Studio, Art History, and Art Education. Students across Divisions have access to the BGSU Graphic Design facilities. Housed in the Fine Arts center and Wolfe Center for the Arts, facilities include the CAVE (Center for Advanced Visualization and Education) Lab, 20 state-of-the-art workstations, and an additional lab with access to the Digital Arts classroom.

School of Art students have the opportunity to intern with companies and studios such as American Greetings, Pixar, Cincinnati Magazine, Procter + Gamble, Disney, and WBGU PBS TV. Study abroad experiences in Austria, China, Cuba, France, Italy, Japan, and Spain are also open to School of Art students.

Program options for Graphic Designers include a BA in Graphic Design and MDes in Integrative Design. Course examples for the Graphic Design BFA include Information Design, Time-Based Graphic Design, User Experience and Interface Design (UX/UI), Graphic Design Thinking, and System-Based Graphic Design. BFA students will complete the Collaborative & Community Engagement Practicum, Senior Studio in Graphic Design, and the Graphic Design Senior Thesis course.

The BGSU MDes is a low-residency, hybrid program with just three campus visits each semester and a one-week visit during the summer. Consisting of 60 credit hours, the MDes has two-year, three-year, and four-year options. Examples of required courses and studios include Graphic Design History and Integrative Models, Design Studio, Design + Research Methods, and Collaborative Design Studio. The program culminates with the Design Thesis Exhibition Project.

Graduates of the Design Programs at Bowling Green State University work at advertising agencies, creative firms, design studios, major corporations, networks, universities, and museums across the U.S. Examples include Nike, Abercrombie & Fitch, JP Morgan Chase, The X-Factor, Cooper-Smith Advertising, University of Miami, Progressive, Root Inc., J. Crew, University of Findlay, F+W, Toledo Museum of Art, Landor Associates, Cleveland Institute of Art, and FormATECH Exhibits.

Bowling Green State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The BGSU School of Art has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) since 1984. Established in 1910, Bowling Green State University serves around 19,600 students enrolled in more than 200 programs in six colleges and at BGSU Firelands (Huron, Ohio).

25. Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas (Top 10% of colleges considered)
Kansas State University

Kansas State University (K-State) houses the College of Arts and Sciences, which consists of more than 20 departments, 7,000+ students and more than 115 degree programs, study abroad options, and pre-professional pathways. Housed in the K-State College of Arts and Sciences is the Department of Art. students. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Department has Art BFA and MFA Programs with a Graphic Design Concentration. An 18 credit hour Graphic Design Minor is also available.

The K-State Graphic Design BFA requires 120 credit hours, with 45 credits above the 300 level. Students must take 13 credit hours in foundations courses such as 2D Design, Digital Techniques in Visual Art, and Drawing. Fifteen hours in Art History is required as well as 18 in Graphic Design and 30 in electives. Course examples for the program include Twentieth Century Art History III: Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art, Baroque Art History, Design for Digital Media I-II, Visual Communication Design: Storytelling in Design, and Graphic Design Techniques.

Graphic Design BFA students will complete a Design Capstone and BFA Exhibition or Portfolio Presentation. 

The K-State Graphic Design MFA consists of 60 credit hours, with 35-40 in the major concentration. Students in this program work in assigned studio spaces in K-State’s collaborative design space—Willard Hall. The program also hosts a visiting artist series and an active AIGA student group that features field trips, workshops, and other activities. Graphic Design MFA students have access to all Department of Art facilities. During the final semester of the program, MFA students will participate in the Graduate Exhibition.

Kansas State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1863, K-State serves close to 21,800 students enrolled in more than 250 undergraduate majors and options and 165+ graduate degrees and certificates. Programs are offered in nine colleges and the graduate school.