What are the top graphic design schools in the South for 2023?
|1||Savannah College of Art and Design||Georgia||1%|
|2||Ringling College of Art and Design||Florida||2%|
|3||North Carolina State University||North Carolina||2%|
|4||Full Sail University||Florida||3%|
|6||University of Florida||Florida||5%|
|7||University of Georgia||Georgia||5%|
|8||University of Central Florida||Florida||6%|
|9||Appalachian State University||North Carolina||6%|
|10||University of Tennessee||Tennessee||7%|
|11||Louisiana State University||Louisiana||8%|
|13||Clemson University||South Carolina||9%|
|14||University of Miami||Florida||10%|
|15||Mississippi State University||Mississippi||15%|
|16||University of Memphis||Tennessee||15%|
|17||University of South Florida||Florida||15%|
|18||University of South Carolina||South Carolina||15%|
|19||University of North Florida||Florida||15%|
|20||Loyola University New Orleans||Louisiana||15%|
|21||University of Arkansas||Arkansas||15%|
|22||Georgia Southern University||Georgia||15%|
|23||Florida State University||Florida||20%|
|24||Murray State University||Kentucky||20%|
|25||Georgia State University||Georgia||20%|
Our 2023 ranking of the Top 25 Graphic Design School Programs in the South. We considered over 150 southern colleges with graphic design programs for this year's rankings. For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.
We define the South as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas.
1. Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia (Top 1% of schools considered)
The Graphic Design Program at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) provides degree options at all levels. Students can enroll in a BA, BFA, MA or MFA program at campuses in Savannah or Atlanta, and online. A Graphic Design Minor consisting of 25 credit hours is also available. Across all programs, students benefit from courses taught by industry professionals from companies such as Google, Hasbro, and Airbnb; individual critiques and mentoring by top professionals in the design industry; and access to events such as SCADstyle, which attracts the biggest names in modern design, fashion, and global art.
All SCAD Graphic Design options offer the opportunity to add a minor to enhance the degree. Examples include Advertising, Mobile and Interactive Design, Advertising Copywriting, Mobile and Interactive Design, Advertising and Branding, and User Experience Design. Students may also add the Digital Publishing Certificate. Undergraduates may choose up to 20 hours of electives, which provides additional opportunities to develop skills in multiple areas of art and design. At every degree level, SCAD students have the opportunity to complete an internship at a local, regional, national, or global company.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Savannah College of Art and Design go on to establish careers in Graphic Design, Branding, Package Design, UX Design, Mobile App Design, and Interactive Design.
Program alumni have been hired at Disney, Apple, Google, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, Reddit, Hulu, Riot Games, Stripe, Groupon, Yelp, Verizon, IBM, Facebook, Live Nation, Airbnb, Under Armour, and Ralph Lauren. Some program alumni have gone on to launch their own design studios, while others have established successful freelance careers.
Providing more than 100 degree program options and over 75 minors and certificate programs, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) has more programs and specializations than any other art and design college in the U.S. Founded in 1978, the school opened in 1979 with just 71 students, one classroom, and an administration building. Today, SCAD serves more than 15,000 students across campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, and Lacoste, France. Savannah College of Art and Design is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
2. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida (Top 2% of colleges considered)
The Graphic Design Program at Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD) has been around since 1980. Students can enroll in the program’s 120 credit hour BFA or the 15 credit hour Minor. Program features include an immersive, studio-based curriculum, visiting artists from major studios such as DreamWorks, internships opportunities, and the opportunity to work on real-world projects with local businesses and at The Design Center—RCAD’s in-house design firm.
Course examples across programs include Graphic Design I-VI, Design & Typography, Development of Art & Ideas, Design & Typography, 3D Problem Solving, New Media UI/UX, Drawing & 2D Design, Visual Persuasion Designing with Type, and Literature and Media Studies. Electives for the program allow students to explore a variety of interests. Elective examples include Intro to Letterpress, Wearable Messages, New Music: Music Branding, Design for Business, and Word, Image and Book.
Graduates of the Ringling College of Art and Design Graphic Design Program are prepared for a variety of different careers in many industries. RCAD alumni are Graphic Designers, Creative Directors, Visual Designers, Product Designers, Art Directors, and Interactive Designers, among others. They have worked with major companies, firms, and studios such as Apple, Saatchi & Saatchi X, Microsoft, Walt Disney Imagineering, Google, Nickelodeon, Netflix, Hallmark, Wieden+Kennedy, Meta, Leo Burnett, Ogilvy, BBC Studios, Walt Disney Imagineering, GM, Arc Worldwide, Instagram, Cartoon Network, LinkedIn, Spotify, Target, Hasbro, and Squarespace. Some RCAD alumni have gone on to launch their own design firms or freelance businesses.
Ringling College of Art and Design is a private, not-for-profit college that serves more than 1,600 students enrolled in eleven majors leading to a BFA degree, two majors leading to a BA, and minor options in 10 areas. Founded more than 130 years ago by circus magnate John Ringling, RCAD is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
3. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina (Top 2% of schools considered)
The College of Design at North Carolina State University (NC State University) houses the Department of Graphic and Industrial Design, home to the Bachelor of Graphic & Experience Design (BGXD) and Master of Graphic & Experience Design (MGXD) Programs. Both pathways are recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The NC State MGXD is also one of the few Graphic Design graduate programs in the U.S. with STEM Classification (CIP).
Students in the BGXD Program will participate in studios that explore topics such as branding, data visualization, artificial intelligence, and accessible design. Students will also practice visualization strategies such as storyboarding, mapping, and diagramming, and they will use rapid prototyping techniques to test ideas. All students have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow BGXD students as well as industrial design, architecture, and landscape architecture students.
Other BGXD Program benefits include distinctive courses such as Typography and Technology; Branding, Interaction, and Service Design; Image & Tech Tinkering; and Information and Publishing Design Systems; the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or summer at the NC State Prague Institute or other study abroad location; professional paid internships at major design firms; and participation in sponsored studios as part of the GXD curriculum. Examples of past sponsors have included Caterpillar, John Deere, Lowe’s, Under Armour, Hanes, Coca Cola, Bosch, Eastman Chemical, and The National Civil Rights Museum.
Graduates of BGXD Program at North Carolina State University are designers at top design firms and software companies such as IDEO, R/GA, IBM, Red Hat, Lenovo, SAS, Citrix, IQVIA, Pentagram, and Willowtree.
The MGXD Program at NC State has both two-year and three-year options. Both lead to a terminal degree, equivalent to the MFA, which qualifies graduates to pursue a Design PhD or teach at the university level. The two-year program (MGXD II) is designed for students with a Graphic Design BFA (or equivalent) and experience in design, visual communication, interaction design, or related field.
The three-year program (MGXD III) is for students who have earned a BA in another field or a Graphic Design Concentration.
All students will participate in graduate studios, seminars, and workshops; they will have opportunities to take electives at affiliate universities such as Duke and UNC Chapel Hill; and students will work on collaborative projects and research with major companies and institutes such as IBM, the Institute of Emerging Issues, SAS, NC State Laboratory for Analytic Sciences, and Red Hat Software. For the final graduate project, MGXD students will research an area of focus, record conclusions, design studies and mock-ups, and present the project to the public.
Graduates of the MGXD Program at North Carolina State University are prepared for leadership positions in user experience and user interface design (UX/UI), with expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), research, data visualization, and digital typography.
NC State MGXD alumni go on to establish successful careers at consulting firms, software companies, and colleges and universities. Examples include Adobe, IDEO, Pratt Institute, Lenovo, IBM, and University of Michigan, Fjord, University of Washington, Red Hat Software, and Carnegie Mellon University.
North Carolina State University employs 9,000+ faculty and staff members that serve more than 36,000 students, making it the largest university in the University of North Carolina System. Established in 1887 as a land-grant institution focusing in agriculture and engineering, NC State offers more than 300 degree programs across 11 colleges, 68 departments, and The Graduate School. North Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
4. Full Sail University, Winter Park, Florida (Top 3% of colleges considered)
Full Sail University (Full Sail) provides several paths to study Graphic Design. For undergraduates, the school has a Graphic Design BS Program that may be completed in 20 months on-campus or 29 months online. Students in this program will develop skills in print publishing and interface design, as well as advertising, branding, and integration. Other program benefits include a project-based curriculum, hands-on experience with entertainment and media companies, Professional Development Seminars, and seven Graphic Design Project and Portfolio courses.
Course examples for the program include Graphic Design Principles I-II, Digital Publishing, Psychology of Play, Typography and Page Layout, Creating Brand Experience, Media Integration, Popular Culture in Media, Logos and Symbols, Interactive Editorial Design, Technology in the Entertainment and Media Industries, and Graphic Web Design.
Graduates of the Graphic Design BS Program at Full Sail University are prepared to pursue positions at advertising agencies, design studios, marketing firms, magazines, book publishers, public relations firms, web design companies, and design studios. Some graduates go on to pursue an advanced degree such as Full Sail University’s Media Design MFA.
Offered 100% online, the Full Sail Media Design MFA Program explores client communications, motivational theories, team dynamics, and research. Course examples include Brand Development, Design Strategies and Motivation, Effective Copywriting, Multi-Platform Delivery, Design Integration, Mastery: Personal Development and Leadership, and Measuring Design Effectiveness. To graduate, Media Design MFA students will complete Professional Practice and Thesis: Presentation of Design Solution.
The Full Sail Media Design MFA Program takes just 12 months to complete, full-time. Graduates are prepared for upper level positions at major companies, studios, and organizations; teaching positions at top universities; and to launch their own studios, businesses, or freelance careers.
For students seeking a shorter program, Full Sail University has a Visual Design Certificate that can be completed in 28 weeks, on campus. Consisting of 23 credit hours, the program features courses such as Graphic Design Principles I-II, Design Art and Theory, Technology in the Entertainment and Media Industries, and Color Theory. Certificate students will complete Project I: Visual Design and Portfolio I: Visual Design to graduate. Program alumni are prepared for entry-level positions or higher in a variety of industries.
Full Sail University offers graduate certificates and programs at all degree levels in the Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Technology. The school, which opened in 1979 in Dayton, Ohio, is located just 35 minutes from downtown Orlando and Universal Studios. Serving approximately 21,000 students, Full Sail is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
5. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama (Top 4% of colleges considered)
The College of Architecture, Design, and Construction houses the School of Industrial and Graphic Design—home to Alabama’s only Graphic Design Program to receive accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Leading to a BFA, the Graphic Design (GDES) Program consists of 123 credit hours that focus on branding, packaging, wayfinding design, UI/UX, illustration, app design, typography, motion design, and publishing. Course examples include Graphic Design I-II, Interactive Media, Typographics, Graphic Processes, Photo Design, and Graphic Design History.
Besides a variety of in-demand courses, BFA students benefit from the program’s professional studio environment, hands-on design instruction, cross-disciplinary collaborations, guest lecturers, exhibitions, and design symposiums. Students also have access to internship opportunities and access to Auburn University’s Study Abroad Program, with work and learn experiences in places such as Scotland, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, and Taiwan.
During the final year of the Auburn GDES BFA Program, students will complete a professional portfolio of their best work.
Auburn GDES graduates go on to secure positions with advertising agencies, publishers, design studios, magazines, marketing firms, web design companies, and more. They work in areas such as branding and packaging, illustration, environmental graphics, web design and development, interactive media, and exhibition design, among others.
Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Chartered in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, the school went on to become the first land-grant college in the South in 1872. Today, Auburn serves a diverse population of approximately 31,765 students, making it one of the largest universities in the region. Auburn University offers 150 majors and programs across more than a dozen colleges and schools.
6. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (Top 5% of colleges considered)
The College of the Arts at University of Florida (UF) encompasses the fully accredited schools of Art + Art History, Theatre + Dance, and Music, the Center for Arts in Medicine, and the Digital Worlds Institute. Within the School of Art + Art History are three paths to study Graphic Design including the Graphic Design BFA, the Design & Visual Communications (MxD) MFA, and the Graphic Design Certificate.
The 120 credit hour Graphic Design BFA explores 2D, 3D, and 4D, design, art history, and drawing. Course examples for the program include Workshop for Art Research and Practice: WARP, Visual Methods and Processes, Space Studio, Digital Imaging, Graphic Design: Visual Systems in Design, Technologies and Processes, Design: Visualization and Creativity, Image, Form and Meaning, and Design and Professional Practice Studio.
Students in the UF Graphic Design BFA Program will take Design Workshop and studios such as Design and Professional Practice, and Senior Design Studio. All students will have the opportunity to work with clients on real-world projects. Design students will graduate with a professional portfolio of their best work.
The University of Florida MxD MFA is a terminal degree consisting of 60 credit hours of coursework. In existence for more than 20 years, this design-centered, interdisciplinary program has two-year and three-year options consisting of studios, seminars, workshops, practicums, and internship opportunities. The MFA also provides opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills and teaching skills through electives. Examples include Seminar in Arts Advocacy and Public Policy, Social Entrepreneurship, Creativity in Entrepreneurship, Teaching Art in Higher Education, and Methods of Research in Art Education. Students have the option to complete a Thesis or MFA Creative Project.
The 15 credit hour Graphic Design Certificate Program at University of Florida is open to students majoring in Art or Art History. Courses include Perceptual Drawing, Visual Methods and Processes, Typography 1: Letterform, Design Thinking, and Graphic Design Practice. The UF Graphic Design Certificate Program takes four semesters to complete.
Graduates of the Graphic Design and Visual Communications Programs at University of Florida are Designers, Creative Directors, Educators, and Entrepreneurs. Program alumni have been hired at a variety of companies, studios, and organizations such as Walt Disney Imagineering, Apple, Meta, Verizon, Microsoft, IBM, Twitter, JetBlue, West Elm, IDEO, Fossil, Viacom, JetBlue, Kate Spade, and the Miami Heat.
MxD alumni have also landed positions at Google, L’Oréal, Ball State University, Auburn University, University at Buffalo, Illinois State University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Colorado–Boulder, Northern Alabama University, and University of Florida.
University of Florida was founded in 1858 as Gainesville Academy. When it opened, the Academy has just a few students. Today, UF serves approximately 61,110 students enrolled in more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs across 16 colleges and schools. The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
7. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (Top 5% of colleges considered)
University of Georgia (UGA) is home to Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, which houses Lamar Dodd School of Art. Within the School of Art are several paths to study Graphic Design. Options include the Fine Arts BFA, the Interdisciplinary Art & Design AB (BA), the Printmaking and Book Arts BFA and MFA, and the Digital Design + Media Minor.
The Fine Arts BFA at UGA has Graphic Design, Photography & Expanded Media, Printmaking & Book Arts, and Scientific Illustration Concentrations. The curriculum for the Graphic Design Concentration explores areas such as color techniques, graphic survey, typography, electronic design, layout, three-dimensional design, illustration, and photography. Because the program encourages an interdisciplinary approach to design, students have opportunities to select courses from other departments and schools outside the School of Art.
The Interdisciplinary Art & Design AB (BA) Program includes experiential learning opportunities such as study abroad in Cortona, Costa Rica, or Ghana, and the option to complete a minor, certificate program or double major in a field outside the Dodd School of Art. The Interdisciplinary Art & Design AB requires 122 credit hours to graduate.
The Printmaking and Book Arts BFA and MFA Programs provide access to state-of-the-art equipment to produce print, paper and book arts media; and the multifunctional Project Space for installing, staging, critiquing, and exhibiting work. MFA students have access to private studios with natural lighting, large windows, and ample ventilation. The BFA requires 120 credits to graduate and the MFA requires a minimum of 67 credit hours to graduate.
Graduates of the Art and Design Programs at University of Georgia work in a variety of positions at creative firms, retailers, broadcasting companies, magazines, museums, and publishers. Companies that have hired UGA graduates include Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS), IBM Design, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Meta, Aveda, Bustle, Free People, and Gensler.
Chartered by the state of Georgia in 1785, University of Georgia is the nation’s first state university. The school serves more than 40,000 students enrolled in 379 degree programs across 17 colleges and schools. Established in 1910, the Graduate School houses 250 of UGA’s 379 degree programs. University of Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
8. University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida (Top 6% of schools considered)
The College of Arts and Humanities at University of Central Florida (UCF) houses the School of Visual Arts & Design (SVAD), home to the Emerging Media BFA Program with a Graphic Design Track. At the graduate level, SVAD has an interdisciplinary Emerging Media MFA with a Studio Art and Design Track.
The Emerging Media BFA at UCF explores branding, UI/UX design, identity systems, publication design, typography, film interactive and web design, film and broadcast graphics, packaging design, and poster creation. Consisting of 120 credit hours, including 63 credit hours in the major, the program provides opportunities to complete a co-op experience; work in multidisciplinary teams on projects and real world problems; and select a minor to enhance the degree.
Course examples for the program include Art in the Last 25 Years, Intermediate Computer Graphic Design, Type & Design, Special Problems in Graphic Design, and Motion Design. Emerging Media BFA students will also work on building a professional portfolio during the entire four years of the program.
The Emerging Media MFA at University of Central Florida is a rigorous, 60 credit hour program that consists of experimentation with emerging and traditional media, mentoring, and individual and group critiques. The program follows a three-year cohort style format consisting of six full-time semesters excluding summers.
With a focus on enhancing students’ artistic talents using 21st Century electronic media, the Emerging Media MFA requires 24 credit hours of required courses, 18 credits of electives, and 18 in Thesis courses. Course examples include Advanced Seminar in Art, Design Theory and Methods, Time Arts, Art, Design and Human Interactions, Serial Content, and The Professional Practice of Art. The UCF Emerging Media MFA Program culminates with a Thesis Exhibition.
Graduates of the art and design programs at University of Central Florida are prepared for careers in advertising, publishing, animation and film, multimedia, marketing, public relations, and many other areas. University of Central Florida alumni are routinely hired at major companies and studios such as The Walt Disney Company, Amazon, Microsoft, Universal Orlando Resort, Google, Lockheed Martin, Facebook, Orlando Health, TEKsystems, Walt Disney World, AdventHealth, and Salesforce.
University of Central Florida opened in 1968 as Florida Technological University. On the first day of classes, the school had less than 2,000 students. Today, UCF serves around 70,400 students, making it the largest university by enrollment in the state of Florida, and one of the nation’s largest universities. The school provides 240 bachelor’s degrees, 214 master’s degrees, and 81 doctorate degrees across 13 colleges. University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
9. Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina (Top 6% of colleges considered)
The College of Fine and Applied Arts (CFAA) at Appalachian State University (Appalachian State or ASU) houses the Department of Art, home to the Graphic Design Program. Students in the program have access to fully equipped facilities and labs, where they will have opportunities to engage in interactive design projects, and create environmental graphics, print publications, screen-based experiences and identity programs. Students will also explore type design, packaging, and signage/information systems.
Leading to a BFA, the Graphic Design Program features faculty-led regional and national trips to places such as New York to visit studios and museums; study abroad experiences in places such as South Africa, Panama, Italy, and Austria; and internships with companies and organizations such as Publicis (Bangkok, Thailand), Discovery Communications (Chicago, Illinois), and Appalachian Voices (Boone, North Carolina). Students in this 120 credit hour, four-year professional program also have access to clubs and organizations such as the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the Arts Management Organization (AMO), the Art History Club, and the Student Art League (SAL).
The curriculum for the Appalachian State Graphic Design BFA includes a three course Typography sequence, electives, an internship, and a two course Capstone. Course examples for the program include Idea Lab; Sign, Symbol, Language; Interaction Design; Special Topics in Graphic Design; Design Methods; Motion Graphics; Hand-Lettering; Illustration; and Graphic Design for Professional Practice.
To enhance the degree, students have the opportunity to add a minor. Examples include Graphic Communications Management, Creative Engagement and Social Change, Digital Marketing, Media Studies, Photography, and Studio Art, such as Studio Art with Portfolio Review.
In addition to courses such as Motion Graphics, Hand-Lettering, Design Methods, Interaction Design, Idea Lab, and Printmaking Studio, the ASU Graphic Design curriculum includes an internship opportunity and Graphic Design Professional Practice. In this course, students will participate in lectures, create self-promotional packages, engage in research and writing related to job search preparedness, and develop and refine their portfolios. As part of the course, students will also visit local or regional design studios and printing facilities.
Graduates of Graphic Design BFA Program at Appalachian State University are prepared to pursue careers such as Multimedia Designer, Book Designer, Editorial Artist, Graphic Designer, Creative Director, Cartoonist or Illustrator, Computer Graphic Artist, Advertising Director, Computer Graphic Artist, and Communications Specialist. Most program alumni start jobs right after graduation or continue their education at colleges such as Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), Pratt Institute, and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
ASU Graphic Design graduates have been hired at places such as Gap, Amazon.com, McCall Publishing Company, Tiffany and Co., Footbridge Media, Fifty&Fifty, CreateSpace, Oculus Studios, Red Hat, COCG, McKinney, Registered Creative, thoughtbot, and Raizlabs.
Founded in 1899 as Watauga Academy, Appalachian State University is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. The school serves approximately 20,435 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across eight colleges and schools. Appalachian State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
10. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee (Top 7% of colleges considered)
The College of Architecture and Design at University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT Knoxville or UTK) houses the School of Design, home to the Graphic Design BFA Program and the Graphic Design Studies Minor. Across programs, students benefit from small class sizes, collaborative Design Studios, and 24/7 access to state-of-the-art labs and equipment.
The UTK BFA begins with a Design-Centered Foundations Program, which takes place in studio setting. Upon completion of the one-year Foundations requirement, students must pass the Portfolio Review in order to gain access to upper-division courses. Consisting of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary projects, the 120 credit hour BFA Program includes courses such as Expanded Principles of Typography, Advanced Design Investigations, The Idea of Design, Graphic Design Studio, Design as Visual Message-Making, and Professional Seminar.
BFA students have the option to complete the Practicum (45 working hours), the Undergraduate Research and/ or a Study Abroad experience. All students must complete a Capstone Project, which will be presented at the Annual Senior Show. The Graphic Design BFA at University of Tennessee, Knoxville can be completed in four years, full-time.
The Graphic Design Studies Minor requires 15 credit hours of study. Students in this program will take The Idea of Design, The Art of Presentation Design, and The Art of Identity Design. To reach 15 credit hours, students may choose two courses from a wide variety of courses. Examples include Advertising Principles, User-Centered Design, Communication for Media, Non-Major Introduction to Book Arts and Papermaking, Writing, Layout, and Production of Technical Documents, and Public Relations Principles. The UTK Graphic Design Studies Minor takes two years to complete, full-time.
Graduates of the UT Knoxville Graphic Design Programs are prepared to pursue positions at advertising agencies, publishing companies, magazines, design studios, public relations firms, marketing firms, film studios, web design companies, game studios, and museums. Graduates are also prepared for positions in in-house design departments across all industries.
Over the past five years, graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at University of Tennessee, Knoxville have enjoyed a 90% employment rate. Alumni work at major companies, agencies, and design studios such as IDEO, Google, Apple, Facebook, Accenture, Zillow, HGTV, Instagram, Boeing, Herman Miller, Coca-Cola, and Discovery.
Some UTK Graphic Design graduates go on to launch their own companies and studios. Examples include Matchstic Media, Morris Creative, Robin Easter Design, Nathanna Design, and Old City Mailroom.
Founded in 1794 as Blount College, University of Tennessee, Knoxville serves 33,805 students enrolled in more than 900 programs including 547 graduate programs of study. Programs at UT Knoxville are housed across 11 colleges. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been continuously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) since 1897.
11. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Top 8% of schools considered)
The College of Art & Design at Louisiana State University (LSU) houses the School of Art, which has a Graphic Design Program with both BFA and MFA pathways. Students in all School of Art programs have access to the Arts, Visualization, Advanced Technologies and Research (AVATAR) Initiative and the LSU Art Building, which houses classrooms, studio spaces, the Design Shop, IDEA Hub, teaching labs, and the Fabrication Factory.
School of Art students may also join the Digital Art and Design Association (DADA), participate in design competitions, and join the Graphic Design Student Organization (GDSA), which hosts field trips to local design firms and lectures,
The Graphic Design Programs at Louisiana State University explore branding, packaging design, print and editorial design, typography, information design, motion graphics, environmental design, illustration/digital imaging, and identity design. Consisting of 120 credit hours, the BFA curriculum includes courses such as Graphic Design I-III, Applied Typography, Digital Imaging Techniques, Graphic Abstraction, Letter Forms, Color Design, Prepress Production Techniques, and Interactive Multimedia Design.
The LSU Graphic Design MFA is a 60 credit hour program that combines workshops and lectures by visiting artists with art history courses, studio art electives, and graduate studios. A Teaching Seminar is part of the program as well as two Thesis Research courses worth six credits. The graduate Graphic Design Program culminates with the MFA Thesis Report and Exhibition.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Louisiana State University work in advertising, corporate communications, design, publishing, education, and the non-profit sectors. Some graduates have launched their own businesses or studios.
Graphic Design alumni have been hired at Travel + Leisure, Sony Picture Entertainment, Halliburton, Disney, The Washington Post, DreamWorks, Nissan North America, SVAD-NYC, Lucasfilm, KPMG, Baltimore Museum of Art, Pixar Animation Studios, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, Leftfield Entertainment, Hunter Museum of American Art, Bluebonnet, Modern Media, Modern Art Museum (Fort Worth, Texas), and Trace Labs.
Louisiana State University was founded in 1860 as the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy. The flagship institution of the Louisiana State University System, LSU serves approximately 37,355 students enrolled in more than 330 programs across 18 colleges, schools, and centers, and LSU Online. Louisiana State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). School of Art Concentration Areas are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
12. Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana (Top 9% of colleges considered)
Tulane University (Tulane) houses the School of Professional Advancement (SoPA), which has a variety of programs for students seeking a career in Graphic Design. At the undergraduate level, SoPA has a Digital Design BA Program with a Graphic Design Track, a Post-Baccalaureate (PBC) Certificate in Digital Design with a Concentration in Graphic Design, and a Graphic Design Minor.
The Digital Design BA requires 42 credit hours in the major, 18 elective credit hours, and 60 credit hours in general requirements. The Digital Design PBC requires 30 major hours, and the Graphic Design Minor requires 18 credit hours. Course examples across programs include Branding and Semiotics, Digital Illustration, Digital Imaging, Interactive Design Studio, Copywriting, Packaging Design, Motion Design Studio, Digital Page Layout, Design Studio, and History of Graphic Design.
In addition to a variety of courses, the Design Programs at Tulane provide the option to study in other tracks; participate in symposiums, social events, and professional conferences; complete a professional internship; and study abroad.
Graduates of the Tulane University Design Programs work in advertising, book publishing, marketing, app design, web design, public relations, and entertainment. Program alumni also work at museums, for magazines and newspapers, and in-house for specific brands or companies. Job titles include Creative Director, Print Designer, Brand Manager, Front-End Web Developer, Publication Designer, Type Designer, Art Director, Packaging Designer, Illustrator, and Environmental Designer, among others.
Founded in 1834 as Medical College of Louisiana, Tulane University was the first major research institution to require public service for graduation. Serving more than 14,500 students, Tulane offers more than 275 programs across one colleges and nine schools. Tulane University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
13. Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina (Top 9% of colleges considered)
Clemson University (Clemson) houses the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, home to the Department of Graphic Communications, which has two paths to study Graphic Design. At the undergraduate level, the College has a Graphic Communications BS Program that serves 400 students. Program benefits include access to a 14,000-square-foot main laboratory and two additional state-of-the-art labs equipped with packaging and printing equipment; collaborative projects with students in the Packaging Science Department; access to the Sonoco Institute, which hosts workshops, classes, and seminars; and the opportunity to add a Brand Communications, Packaging Science, or Business Administration Minor.
Course examples for the program include Graphic Communications I-II, Planning and Controlling Printing Functions, Current Developments and Trends in Graphic Communications, Package and Specialty Printing, Digital Imaging, Marketing, Junior Seminar in Graphic Communications, and Technical Writing.
In addition to a summer Co-op Education requirement, a major component of the Clemson Graphic Communications BS is the Internship Program. Students are required to hold an industry internship for at least two semesters before graduating. The Department hoss an Intern employer Day each semester, providing the opportunity to interview with representatives from more than 40 companies.
Graduates of the Graphics Communications BS Program at Clemson University have gone on to pursue graduate study at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) and Wake Forest University. Others have been hired at places such as Newell Brands, The Hughes Agency, R.R. Donnelley, Horizon Investments, and Boston Beer Company.
The Clemson University Graphic Communications MS Program has both Thesis and Non-Thesis options. The Thesis option requires 33 credit hours to graduate. Non-Thesis students will complete 30 credit hours. Core courses for both options include Current Developments and Trends in Graphic Communications, Package and Specialty Printing, Commercial Printing, Graphic Communications Graduate Seminar, and Research Problems I-II.
The Thesis option requires the Master’s Thesis Research course. The Non-Thesis option requires Graphic Communications Research Problems I-II. For students without relevant work experience, an industrial internship is a required for both options.
Graduates of the Graphic Communications MS at Clemson University are placed in creative, technical, and scientific positions; sales, marketing, and customer service; packaging, printing, and publishing; and academic and management.
For students seeking a program that provides a foundation in Art, Clemson University has a Fine Arts Program with BA and BFA pathways. Housed in the College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities’ Department of Art, both programs are accredited by National Association for Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).
The Art BA is a Liberal Arts program that allows students to customize their studies with a double major or minor in any area. Students may also choose an emphasis such as Digital Art or Design Media. The Visual Arts BFA offers emphasis areas such as New Media, Drawing, Printmaking or Photography, with complementary coursework in Graphic Design and Animation.
Program benefits for both pathways include the visiting artist series, access to Lee Gallery, the annual field trip to art centers such as New York City, the four-week summer school in Orvieto, Italy, and the opportunity to exhibit works in the Lee Art Gallery in the senior year or the programs. In addition, Clemson Art students regularly display their work in national and regional venues, as well as locally in the Pendleton and Greenville arts districts.
Graduates of the Clemson University Art and Visual Arts Programs work at art museums and galleries, for publications, and in public relations, exhibit design, graphic design, illustration, art therapy, media, retail, animation and cartoons, and art journalism. Recent employers include Anthropologie, GDC Home, Museum of the Cherokee, Kaleidoscope Design Factory, and Greenville County Schools.
Some program alumni have gone on to pursue graduate study at Northwestern University, Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD), Sotheby’s Institute of Art, University of Georgia, and Christie’s Education.
Founded in 1889, Clemson University opened in 1893 as Clemson Agricultural College. On the first day of classes, the school welcomed 446 students. Today, Clemson serves approximately 27,340 students enrolled in 80+ majors, 90+ minors, and more than 130 graduate degree programs. Clemson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
14. University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida (Top 10% of colleges considered)
The College of Arts and Sciences at University of Miami (UM) houses the Department of Art and Art History, home to the Art BFA Program. Within the Program is a multidisciplinary Graphic Design and Multimedia Concentration that provides access to studios, computer labs, drawing classrooms, and exhibition spaces. Also part of the Electronic Media Area, the Program features two ways to gain real world experience: Seminar in Professional Practices, which requires placement in a professional design or multimedia setting, and the UM Internship (UMI) Program, which allows students to obtain work experience at a design studio or creative agency in the Miami/Broward area.
Course examples for the Art BFA/Graphic Design and Multimedia Program include Introduction to Electronic Media, Typography, Experimental Illustration for Print and Interactive Media, 2D and 3D Design, Graphic Design I-III, Modern Art, Color Digital Photography, Multimedia I-III, Drawing, and History of Graphic Design.
The Art BFA/Graphic Design and Multimedia Program at the University of Miami culminates with a professional portfolio and exhibition. Graduates are prepared to pursue position such as Graphic Designer, Brand Manager, Packaging Designer, 3D Artist, Computer Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Media Specialist, Exhibit Designer, Digital Artist, Layout Designer, Creative Director, Multimedia Producer, Illustrator, User Experience (UX) Designer, Concept Artist, and Digital Media Designer.
Founded in 1925, University of Miami opened its doors with 646 full-time students enrolled in programs across the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Music, and the Evening Division. Today, this private research university serves more than 19,000 students enrolled in nearly 350 majors and programs across 12 colleges and schools. University of Miami is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
15. Mississippi State University, Starkville, University (Top 15% of colleges considered)
The College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at Mississippi State University (MSU) houses the Department of Art—home to the state’s largest undergraduate Studio Art Program. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Program has Concentrations in Graphic Design, Fine Arts, and Photography.
Leading to a BFA, the MSU Studio Art Program emphasizes immersive studio experiences, hands-on studio learning, and internships. For admission to the Graphic Design Concentration, Studio Art students must pass a Foundation Portfolio Review after completing courses such as Introduction to Computing for Art, Design I-II, Drawing I-II, and Three-Dimensional Design.
Once students enter the Concentration, they will take electives and required courses such as Graphic Art Design, Advertising Design, The Art of Typography and Layout, Illustration, Advanced Print Production, Multimedia Design and Authoring, Advanced Studio – Graphic Design, Digital Photography, Print Production, and Graphic Design for the Internet. This 123 credit hour program culminates with a Thesis and Senior Presentation.
Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA Program at Mississippi State University are Product Designers, Brand Managers, Digital Publishers, Art Directors, Packaging Designers, Book Illustrators, Exhibit Designers, Advertising Designers (print and web), Motion Designers, Visual Information Specialists, Interactive Designers, and Creative Directors.
Mississippi State University was founded in 1878 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi. The school serves approximately 23,085 students enrolled in more than 175 programs leading to a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. Programs at Mississippi State University are housed across eight academic colleges including Agriculture and Life Sciences; Architecture, Art, and Design; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Bagley Engineering; Forest Resources; and Veterinary Medicine. Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
16. University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee (Top 15% of colleges considered)
The College of Communication and Fine Arts at University of Memphis (U of M) houses the Department of Art, which has BFA and MFA degrees in Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design. A 12 credit hour Graphic Design Graduate Certificate available for students seeking a shorter program. Launched in Fall 2021, the curriculum for the Graduate Certificate explores technology and interaction, communication and methodology, and the collaborative process. Courses may be taken in any sequence and include Interactive Media Design, History of Graphic Design, Writing/Design Process, and Print Communication Design.
At both the BFA and MFA levels, the Graphic Design Program at University of Memphis explores print and digital design, visual communication, creative solutions, and current industry computer applications. Students in all programs benefit from courses taught by instructors with both professional and design education experience, access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, and a variety of internship opportunities.
The Art BFA with a Graphic Design Concentration requires 120 credit hours and the MFA requires 60 credit hours. BFA students will complete 67 hours in Graphic Design. Course examples include Design Practice Studio, Typographic Design I-II, Interactive Media Design, Graphic Design Methods, Electronic Pre-Press Production, Computer Assisted Graphic Design, Writing/Design Process, Visual Thinking, and Print Communication Design. Graduates of the U of M Graphic Design BFA Program will enter the job market with a professional portfolio of their best work.
The Art MFA with Graphic Design Concentration consists of 42 credit hours in 7000-level courses. Course examples include Problems in Graphic Design and Visual Communication Research. Completed on a three-year, full-time schedule, the MFA culminates with a Thesis Exhibition.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at University of Memphis are prepared to pursue positions such as Graphic Designer or Computer Graphic Designer, Digital Media Designer, Packaging Designer, Advertising Designer, Brand Manager, Design Director, Multimedia Artist, User Experience (UX) Designer, Multimedia Producer, Exhibit Designer, Digital Artist, 3D Artist, Web Designer, Layout Designer, Concept Artist, and Illustrator.
University of Memphis was established in 1912 as West Tennessee State Normal School. Serving approximately 21,915 students, U of M is a public research institution that provides more than 375 areas of study, subjects, and disciplines leading to degrees and certificates at all levels. Programs at U of M are housed across 13 colleges and schools. University of Memphis is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
17. University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida (Top 15% of colleges considered)
The School of Art & Art History at University of South Florida (USF) is part of the College of the Arts. Within the School is a limited access Graphic Arts BFA Program with two Concentrations: Illustration and Graphic Design. The Graphic Design Concentration combines production courses with internships and portfolio development coursework. The curriculum focuses on print, image development, and screen-based graphics. Students will begin the program with foundation courses such as History of Visual Arts, Intermediate Drawing for Graphic Arts, and Beginning Printmaking. Students may choose between the Beginning Painting and Silkscreen courses to complete the foundation requirements.
Over the next three years, students will complete 18 credit hours in the concentration. Course examples include Graphic Interface, Motion Graphics, Book Design, Packaging Design, Business Graphic Design, Advanced Typography, Design Signs and Symbols, Advanced Illustration, Social Design, and Advanced Illustration.
In the final year of the USF Graphic Arts Program, student designers will complete Graphic Design: Senior Studio, Senior Project: Research, and Senior Project: Portfolio. In addition, students will design, organize, and promote an exhibition of their Final Senior Project.
Graduates of the Graphic Arts Program at University of South Florida are prepared for positions such as Graphic Designer, Creative Director, Brand Designer, UI/UX Designer, Technical Designer, Packaging Designer, Layout Artist, Industrial Designer, Production Artist, Design Consultant, Logo Designer, Motion Designer, Illustrator, and Senior Graphic Designer.
University of South Florida was founded in 1956. The school serves approximately 49,766 students across campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee. Students choose from 180 undergraduate majors and degree programs at the graduate, specialist, and doctoral levels. Programs at USF are housed across 14 colleges. University of South Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
18. University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina (Top 15% of schools considered)
The College of Arts and Sciences at University of South Carolina (U of SC) houses the School of Visual Art and Design—the largest school of art in the state. Classes are held in McMaster College, the School’s 85,000-square-foot facility designed specifically for the study and creation of the visual arts. A comprehensive school for the study of the studio arts, the School of Visual Art and Design has several paths to study Graphic Design. Options include BA and BFA degrees in Studio Art and a Studio Art MA. Students may Concentrate in Graphic Design or Graphic Design + Illustration.
Across programs, Graphic Design courses cover Branding, Packaging, Poster Design, Illustration, Logo Design, Motion Graphics, Publication Design, Interactive Design, Editorial Design, and Multimedia,.
The BA is ideal for students who would like to study multiple areas of art or declare a double major. The BFA is a pre-professional degree that allows students to focus in one of seven concentrations. In addition to Graphic Design, students may concentrate in Drawing, Printmaking, or Photography, among others. Both BA and BFA students will graduate from the program with a professional portfolio. BFA students will have a solo exhibition of their creative research to be judged by major faculty.
The Studio Art MA at University of South Carolina is a 30 credit, two-year program that allows students to take courses across studio disciplines and electives, in addition to the Graphic Design or Graphic + Illustration Design Concentrations.
All students (BA, BFA, and MA) have access to internship opportunities, the study abroad program, and the South Carolina Chapter of the AIGA. AIGA SC provides a wide variety of programming that includes workshops, guest speakers, and special design events such as a summer design film series.
Founded in 1801 as South Carolina College, University of South Carolina has eight campuses in 20 locations that serve approximately 42,445 students. The flagship campus in Columbia serves approximately 31,530 students enrolled in hundreds of areas of study across 16 colleges and schools. University of South Carolina is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
19. University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida (Top 15% of schools considered)
University of North Florida (UNF) houses the College of Arts & Sciences (COAS)—home to the Department of Art, Art History, and Design. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Department has a selective, limited-access Graphic Design and Digital Media Program that leads to a BFA. Program features include hands-on design projects for local businesses, internship opportunities at area creative agencies, and the chance to study abroad in places such as Florence, Naples, and Rome, Italy; Brazil; England; and Ireland.
BFA students also have opportunities to interact with visiting artists, attend seminars and workshops, and participate in two Senior Showcases in UNF Gallery Spaces.
The Graphic Design and Digital Media BFA at University of North Florida is a 120 credit hour program that explores packaging, motion graphics, advertising design, poster design, visual identities, and more. With 24 credits in the major and free electives, BFA students have opportunities to explore other areas of art and design. Course examples include User Interface and Interaction Design, Graphic Symbols and Semiotics, Time-Based Media, Visual Systems, Graphic Design: Creativity and Critique, Communication, Graphic Design History, Visual Identity, and Professional Practices.
In the last year of the UNF Graphic Design and Digital Media BFA Program, COAS students will finalize their professional Graphic Design Portfolio. Graduates are prepared to pursue positions at creative studios and design firms, advertising agencies, multimedia firms, production studios, web design companies, advertising agencies, marketing and public relations firms, and in in-house design or marketing departments in just about every industry.
Chartered in 1965, University of North Florida is one of 12 public universities in the State University System of Florida (SUSF). The school serves approximately 16,515 students across six colleges and Hicks Honors College. University of North Florida offers 60 bachelor's degrees with 75 areas of concentration, 36 master's degrees with 72 areas of concentration, five doctoral degrees with three areas of concentration, and one specialist degree. University of North Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
20. Loyola University New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana (Top 15% of colleges considered)
The College of Music and Media at Loyola University of New Orleans (LOYNO) houses the School of Communication and Design, home to the Department of Design. Housed in the recently renovated Monroe Hall, the Department of Design has its own AIGA chapter, which hosts guest artists and fundraising events. The Department also provides internship opportunities at places such as the New Orleans Museum of Art and Peter Mayer Advertising, and students have access to study abroad programs in more than 50 countries. Examples include India, Korea, Brazil, Spain, and the UK.
For students seeking an undergraduate degree, the LOYNO Department of Design has a Graphic Design BDes that requires 120 credit hours, including 72 in the major. The program explores digital methods using adobe creative suite and analog methods such as hand lettering, screenprinting, drawing, and letterpress. Students may select from three Tracks: Print, Interactive, and Motion/Film. Course examples cross Tracks include Bookbinding/Book Arts, Environmental Communication, Writing: Technique + Technology, Understanding Media, Digital Filmmaking, and Media Play.
Course examples for the major include Illustration Design, Typography Lab 1-2, UX Design Practicum, Motion Design and narrative, Business of Design, Social/Political Design, Print Design and Narrative, and Design Photography. In addition to a variety of courses, GDes students will complete a Design Internship and Design Capstone to graduate.
Graduates of the Design Programs at Loyola University New Orleans are prepared to pursue positions such as Graphic Designer, Creative Director, Package Designer, Motion Graphics Designer, Publications Designer, Web Designer, Book Designer, UI/UX Designer, Brand Manager, and Exhibition Designer, among others. Program alumni also are also prepared for graduate study and teaching positions.
Established in 1904 as Loyola College, Loyola University New Orleans is a private, Jesuit university that serves approximately 4,550 students enrolled in close to 150 programs across five colleges and Loyola Online. Situated on 24 acres across from Audubon Park and Audubon Zoo, Loyola University New Orleans is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
21. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas (Top 15% of schools considered)
The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at University of Arkansas (U of A) is home to the School of Art, which houses a Graphic Design (GDSB) BFA Program with traditional, eight-semester, and honors options. Launched in 2016 and requiring 120 credit hours of study, the GDSB Program explores branding, typography, interactivity, and design research, long with the latest industry software and techniques used to create designs.
The GDSB BFA Program at University of Arkansas consists of courses such as Studio Foundation I-II, Typographic Systems 1-3, Human Centered Design, Technology in Context, Design Tools and Concepts, User Experience, Interactive Language, Identity Systems 1-2, Art History Survey, and Professional Development Seminar. Students may participate in the Internship Program, and the BFA Degree Project (Capstone) is required to graduate.
Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA Program at U of A have completed internships or currently work for companies and organizations such as Saatchi & Saatchi X, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Olivet, Rockfish, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Acumen Brands, J.B. Hunt, DOXA, Hayseed Ventures, Elkins Design, Collective Bias, Field Agent, Archetype, RevUnit, and BLKBox Labs.
For students seeking a graduate degree, the School of Art has an MDes Program with a Communication Design Concentration. This 60 credit-hour program requires 33 credits in Graduate Studios, 12 in Graduate Seminars, and nine in Graduate Special Topics. Course examples include Design and Technology, Design Theory: Past, Present, and the Future, Design and Communities, Design Pedagogy and Leadership, Design and Culture, and Design Research Methods.
Graduates of the MDes Program at University of Arkansas are prepared for leadership positions in all areas of Communication Design and for academic positions at design schools, colleges, and universities.
Established in 1871 as the first public university in Arkansas, University of Arkansas is among just three percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. The school serves approximately 30,935 students, which also makes it Arkansas’s largest university. U of A provides more than 240 academic programs at the undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and specialist levels across 10 colleges and schools. University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
22. Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia (Top 15% of colleges considered)
The College of Arts and Humanities (CAH) at Georgia Southern University (Georgia Southern) houses the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art (BFSDoArt)—home to the Graphic Design Program. Four options are available including Art BFA and MFA degrees and Minors in Graphic Design or Graphic Communications. The BFA and MFA Programs allow students to declare a Concentration in Graphic Design. Students in all pathways have opportunities to complete projects in the Georgia Southern Arts Building, which houses several Mac computer labs, a photography studio with green screens, SLR digital cameras, and plotters and printers.
The Graphic Design BFA requires 124 credit hours of study across Art History, Studio Art, the Concentration, and Electives. Course examples include Print, Paper, Book Arts: Introduction, New Media Design, Visual Thinking in Graphic Design, 3D Animation, Typography I-II, Design Theory, Web Page Design, Graphic Design Methods, Digital Dimensions, and Professional Practices.
Although it is not a requirement, the BFA Graphic Design Internship is highly recommended. This experiential experience allows students to apply their skills and learn practices of the profession through professional experience in Graphic Design. The Internship is worth three credit hours.
In the final year of Graphic Design BFA Program at Georgia Southern University, students will complete the Graphic Design Portfolio course and Professional Portfolio. Student work will be presented to the public during an exhibition.
The Graphic Design Minor at Georgia Southern requires 18 credit hours, including nine hours of required courses and nine hours of electives. Course examples include Design Systems, Typography I-II, Visual Thinking in Graphic Design, Digital Art and Design Foundations, and New Media Design.
The Graphic Communications Minor requires 15 credit hours, including Digital Art and Design Foundations (three credits), nine credits in upper division courses, and three credits in Art courses. Course examples include Color Management and Reproduction, Selected Topics in Graphic Communications, Digital and On-Demand Publishing, Print, Paper, Book Arts: Introduction, and Planning, Finishing, and Estimating.
The MFA Program at Georgia Southern University provides students with their own private studio space to create their graduate projects and an extensive professional portfolio. Consisting of 60 credit hours, this terminal degree program includes 36 credit hours in Studio coursework. Design & Semiotics, Design of Information, Design Systems, Design Explorations, Design Activism, and Design for the User are just a few course titles.
Throughout the BFSDoArt MFA Program, students will participate in faculty reviews of their creative work. The MFA Program at Georgia Southern University culminates with the Thesis Exhibition, Support Paper, and Oral Defense of Exhibition and Paper.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at Georgia Southern University are prepared to pursue positions in all areas of Art and Design across a variety of industries. Georgia Southern alumni have been hired at companies, studios, and organizations across the state of Georgia and the U.S. Examples include Amazon, Boeing, DoorDash, Kohl’s, Duke Health, United States Forest Service, Elite Resort Group, Deloitte Consulting, Cisco, Baker Hughes, Lockheed Martin, General Motors, Memorial University Medical Center, and Manhattan Associates.
Georgia Southern University is Georgia’s largest and most comprehensive center of higher education south of Atlanta. Founded in 1906, the school serves approximately 25,505 students across three state campuses including the main campus in Statesboro, the Armstrong campus in Savannah, and the Liberty campus in Hinesville. Students at Georgia Southern have access to 141 different bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs across eight colleges. Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Commission on Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
23. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida (Top 20% of colleges considered)
The College of Fine Arts at Florida State University (FSU) houses the Department of Art. Within the Department a Studio Art Program are BA, BFA, and MFA degree options. Each program allows students to concentrate or focus in up to two areas to develop skills in Graphic Design. Examples include Digital Media, Book Arts, Electronic Art, Printmaking, Moving Image, Photography, and Drawing. Students in the BA Program may also double major, take several minors, and participate in numerous experiential learning experiences. BFA students will work in assigned personal studios.
Other Studio Art Program features include the Visiting Artist Lecture Series, 24/7 access to studio spaces in the Carnaghi Arts Building (CAB), workshops and seminars, opportunities for individualized and advanced research, and access to labs and other facilities in The Facility For Arts Research (FAR).
Part of FSU’s College of Fine Arts, FAR houses REBOOT Laboratory, collab, Small Craft Advisory Press, and comma. Additional facilities include the Digital Media Lab, Photo Labs, Printmaking Labs, and FabLab Digital Fabrication Lab.
Additional project and installation spaces are available for MFA students in the 400-square-feet MFA Gallery. MFA students also have access to individual 235-square-feet studios, a graduate seminar room, common spaces, FSU’s Innovation Hub, Lightbox, and FAR&AWAY—the visiting artist program. All Studio Art students may complete an internship, study abroad, and participate in gallery exhibitions at the FSU Phyllis Straus Gallery.
The BFA Program culminates with a Thesis Project, which will be displayed at FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts. The Studio Art MFA culminates with an Exhibition event in Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Art (MoFA).
Founded in 1851, Florida State University serves approximately 45,495 students enrolled in more than 275 degree programs at all levels. One of the largest and the oldest continuous site of higher education in Florida, FSU houses 16 colleges and schools at campuses across the state. Florida State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
24. Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky (Top 20% of colleges considered)
The College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Murray State University houses the Department of Art and Design, which has several paths to study Graphic Design. Students in the Department may Major in Graphic Design or Studio Art and Design with an Emphasis in Graphic Design. The Graphic Design Major leads to a BFA, and the Studio Art and Design Major leads to a BA, BS, or BFA. The BFA Programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and a Graphic Design Minor is available for students in other majors.
All programs explore packaging design, branding, signage, bookbinding, exhibit design, advertising and marketing, and . Students will also learn about digital technologies such as app design and web design, as well as film and television, video, and computer-related imagery. Course examples include Introduction to Graphic Design I: Digital Art, Moving Image: Screen, Graphic Design II: Type and Image, Introduction to Bookbinding and Artist Books, Graphic Design III: Layout and Introduction to Design Systems, Motion Graphics, Illustration, Graphic Design IV: System Design, User Interface Design, Introduction to Advertising, and Graphic Design V: Senior Portfolio.
Across programs, students will develop a professional portfolio and participate in a final exhibition. Graduates of the Studio Art and Design and Graphic Design Programs at Murray State University are prepared for careers in Advertising, Entertainment, Publishing Architecture, Web Design, Public Relations, and Marketing, among others.
Founded in 1922, Murray State University serves approximately 9,455 students from 48 states and 45 countries. More than 120 programs are provided across five regional campuses, six colleges and schools, and the Online Learning Division. Murray State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
25. Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia (Top 20% of colleges considered)
Georgia State University (GSU) houses the College of the Art, home to the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design. Within the school is a Graphic Design Concentration leading to a Studio BFA or a Design MFA. BFA Program features include 24/7 access to studios, facilities, and student labs; the Visiting Artist & Scholar Lecture Series, which attracts speakers from across the country and around the world; year-round exhibitions in Welch School Galleries & student-run galleries; and access to the Creative Media Center (CMC), which houses camera equipment, Wacom tablets, and other electronic items.
The GSU Studio BFA requires 120 credit hours, with 51 in the Graphic Design Concentration. Students in the BFA Program will take courses such as Motion Design and Time-Based Media, Corporate Identity Design, Graphic Design Through Advertising, Print and Editorial Design, Specialized Applications of Graphic Design, Book Arts, Advanced Computer Graphics Programming, and Screen Print and Experimental Printmaking. Students will complete a professional portfolio of their best work and participate in the BFA Senior Group Exhibition.
The Design MFA at Georgia State University is ideal for experienced designers seeking a multidisciplinary degree. Program features include individual, dedicated studios; 24-hour access shared studio spaces; full tuition waivers and monthly stipends as part of assistantships; one-on-one mentorship with faculty; and access to competitive fellowships, including the premium Welch fellowships. The fellowships fund students for the entire three years of study, in addition to the students' regular stipend and full tuition waiver.
The Design MFA Program requires 72 credit hours, with 30 credits in Studio-specific courses and six in electives. Courses consists of a combination of Graduate Studios, Design Seminars, Design Practice, Art History, and the intensive Thesis work. Upon completion of the Thesis, MFA students will show their work at an Exit Show, Lecture, Screening, or Presentation.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at Georgia State University are prepared for careers in Advertising and Marketing, Art Education, Contemporary Art, Design and Art Entrepreneurship, and many others. Program alumni Graphic Designers, Creative Directors, Multimedia Artists, Advertising Designers, Brand Managers, Curators, Packaging Designers, Exhibit Designers, Web Designers, Book Designers, Art Administrators, and Educators.
Founded in 1913, Georgia State University is a public research institution that serves 52,000+ students across six campuses throughout Metro Atlanta. At the Atlanta Campus, Georgia State provides more than 250 degree programs in 100 fields of study, which is the widest variety of academic offerings in the state. Programs at Georgia State are housed across 11 colleges and schools. Georgia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).