What are the top Connecticut graphic design schools for 2023?

Top 5 Connecticut Graphic Design School Programs - 2023 College Rankings
1Yale UniversityNew Haven
2University of ConnecticutMultiple
3University of HartfordHartford
4Central Connecticut State UniversityNew Britain
5Sacred Heart UniversityFairfield

Our 2023 ranking of the top 5 graphic design school programs in Connecticut. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

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

Yale School of Art (SoA) at Yale University is a graduate school that awards MFA degrees in Graphic Design, Photography, Painting/Printmaking, and Sculpture. The Graphic Design MFA Program accepts just 12 students each year and up to six students into the preliminary-year program, which is ideal for students with relevant experience in an area outside of design.

Consisting of 60 credit hours, the MFA Program consists of lectures, presentations, workshops, and exhibitions, along with immersive studio work group thesis meetings, and individual sessions with writing and editing tutors. MFA students have access to more than 2,000 courses offered each year, films, the Sterling Memorial and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Libraries, and art and natural history museums. The program also provides opportunities to attend conferences and film festivals.

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

The Yale SoA Graphic Design MFA takes two years to complete, full-time. To graduate, students must complete a thesis and a portfolio. Yale School of Art Graphic Design graduates are prepared to seek positions at advertising agencies, design firms, manufacturing companies, web design studios, marketing firms, print and online publishing companies, public relations agencies, and computer systems design companies.

Established in 1701, Yale University (Yale) is one of the oldest institutes of higher learning in the U.S.  A member of the Ivy League, the school is home to 14,525 students served by more than 10,500 staff members. Eighty majors are offered across more than 100 departments and schools including Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and Yale Professional Schools—including Yale School Art (SoA).

Established in 1869, Yale SoA was the nation’s first art school connected with an institution of higher learning. The school serves more than 100 students enrolled in graduate Graphic Design, Painting/Printmaking, Photography, and Sculpture programs. Yale SoA also offers an undergraduate Art major for students in Yale College.

2. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Stamford, Connecticut
University of Connecticut

The School of Fine Arts at University of Connecticut (UConn) houses the Department of Art and Art History (AAH), home to the Studio Art Program, with a Graphic Design Concentration. Consisting of 120 credits, including 66 Studio Art Credits, this BFA Program explores print and experience, installation, motion, and interactive design. Course examples include Graphic Design Process and Thinking, Graphic Design: Typography, Graphic Design: Relational Design, Counterproof Press, Graphic Design: Communication  Dynamics, Motion Graphics, Publication Design, Web Design, Interactive Design, and Graphic Design: Interactive.

During semester five or seven of the UConn BFA Program, students may participate in the study abroad program known as Graphic Design in London. Students enroll at Central Saint Martins (CSM), which is part of the University of the Arts London, and they will study alongside CSM peers in addition to completing UCONN Graphic Design, Art History, and Elective coursework with the resident faculty director. The experience consists of 12-15 credit hours.

Graduates of the Studio Art and other programs at University of Connecticut are routinely hired at places such as NBCUniversal, Adspace Agency, Cigna, Andromeda Digital Inc., Bloomingdale’s, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Animatic Media Inc., ITV America, ANC, Best Buy, AMP Agency, Arnold Worldwide, Ai Media Group, and Aetna. Some UConn graduates go onto enroll in graduate programs at New York University (NYU), UConn, and New York Institute of Technology (NYIT).

Founded in 1881, University of Connecticut began as Storrs Agricultural School with just three faculty members and 13 male students. Today, UConn’s more than 18,000 faculty and staff members serve approximately 32,150 students across the main campus at Storrs, and four regional campuses. Programs at UConn are provided across 14 colleges and schools. Offerings include eight undergraduate degrees with 120 majors, 17 graduate degrees in 92 fields of study, and six professional degree programs.

University of Connecticut is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). UConn School of Fine Arts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).

3. University of Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut
University of Hartford

University of Hartford (UHart) is home to Hartford Art School (HAS). Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), HAS serves 400 students enrolled in eight Studio Majors leading to a BFA, one Art History BA, and two MFA Programs. Other HAS benefits include studio-based curriculums; access to a 65,000 square foot facility that includes 100 Apple computer stations and Senior studio spaces; a 15:1 student-teacher ratio; and study abroad experiences at art and design institutions such as Glasgow School of Art (Scotland), University of Tasmania (Australia), and Slade School of Fine Art (London).

Hartford Art School at University of Hartford has a Visual Communication Design (VCD) BFA Program that requires 120 credit hours to graduate. This includes 77-80 studio credits and 45-46 academic credits. Students begin the VCD Program with the Foundation Year, which highlights small studio classes, a focus on creative growth, and skills development. Sophomore and Junior reviews must be completed to continue advancing in the program.

Examples of Core courses for VCD BFA Program include Experimental Typography, Image Making and Meaning, Sequential Graphics, and Design Problem Solving. Electives may include Book Arts, Digital Illustration, Printmaking, Advertising Illustration, Etching, and Foundation 2D Studio. VCD students also have the opportunity to complete a Design Internship worth six credits.

The VCD BFA Program at University of Hartford culminates with the advanced-level Senior Project and Senior Portfolio courses. During the first course, students will work independently to identify and investigate a specific problem or theme in Graphic Design. The course ends with the production of a Final Project (Thesis).

During the Senior Portfolio course, faculty will assist students with the preparation and development a professional presentation. The course also focuses on professionalism, career planning, resume preparation, and discussion of various issues related to a career in Graphic Design.

Graduates of the Art and Design Programs at Uhart’s Hartford Art School go on to enroll in graduate school, establish careers at a variety of companies and agencies, or launch their own studios or freelance businesses. HAS alumni have worked on projects for Netflix and Amazon, they have been hired at places such as Nike, CVS Health, ESPN, and Travelers; and their work has been presented at museums and galleries such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET), Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, and Team Gallery.

Chartered in 1957, University of Hartford is a four-year private university that serves approximately 5,740 students from 48 states and 45 countries. More than 175 programs spanning the Arts, Business, Education, Engineering and Technology, Health, and Humanities are provided across seven colleges and schools. University of Hartford has been continuously accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) since 1961.

4. Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut
Central Connecticut State University

The College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) houses the Department of Art & Design, which has two paths to Graphic Design. At the undergraduate level, the Department has a BA Program. At the graduate level, the Department has an Information Design MA Program.

The Graphic Information Design BA at CCSU is a multidisciplinary program that explores Graphic Design, Animation, Digital Design, Graphics, 3-D Motion, Interactive Multimedia, History of Design, and Web Design. A major component of the Program is the Central Design course. This 400-level course is an in-house design studio that allows students to work on real projects and productions with local non-profits. Works created during the course will become a part of the student’s final portfolio.

BA students may also add a Minor to enhance the degree. Examples include Strategic Communication, Art for Graphic Information Design Majors, Media Studies, Communication, Graphics Technology, Writing & Publishing, Creative Writing, Graphics Technology, and Entrepreneurship.

Graduates of the BA Program at Central Connecticut State University are prepared for careers in areas such as Advertising, Branding, Packaging Design, Design Print Media, Digital Illustration, Book Arts and Design, UI/UX Design, 3D Design, Motion Graphics, Web Design, Social Media Design, Layout Design, Marketing, Exhibit Design, Logo Design, and Storyboard Art.

The Information Design MA at Central Connecticut State University explores Design Practice, Research for Graphic Information Design, Advanced Graphic and Information Design Theory, Interactive Multimedia Design, and History of Design. Course examples include Graphic/Information Design Theory I-II, Advanced History of Design, and Computer Applications for Graphic/Information Design. An Advanced Design Internship is part of the MA Program, and students will complete a Capstone Project to graduate.

Graduates of Information Design MA at Central Connecticut State University are prepared for leadership positions in Advertising, Graphic Design, UI/UX Design, Corporate Information Design, Digital Imaging, Publishing, and Web Design.

Founded in 1849 as the New Britain Normal School and serving approximately 11,800 students, Central Connecticut State University is the largest of four universities within the Connecticut State University System and the oldest public university in the state. Students at CCSU have access to more than 150 degree and certificate programs housed in the Carol A. Ammon College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, and the Schools of Business; Education & Professional Studies; Engineering, Science & Technology; and Graduate Studies. Central Connecticut State University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

5. Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut
Sacred Heart University

Sacred Heart University (SHU) houses the School of Communication, Media & the Arts (SCMA), home to the Department of Art & Design. Department features include access to five art studios for Graphic Design, Illustration, and Painting projects; participation in the SCMA Student Art Club; access to the state-of-the-art Digital Design Laboratory; and Study Abroad experiences in places such as Ireland and India.

The SCMA Department of Art & Design at Sacred Heart University has one degree program option with three Concentrations and three Minors. Students can earn an Art & Design BA with a Graphic Design, Illustration or Studio Art Concentration. All Concentrations can be taken as Minors. Concentrations are 33 credit hours, while Minors are 18 credit hours.

The Graphic Design Minor includes courses such as Digital Design Basics, Design: Visual Organization, and Graphic Design I-II. Other courses, such as Design for the Web and Interactive 2D Animation, allow students to develop skills in additional areas of art and design.

The Graphic Design Concentration at SHU consists of courses such as Advertising Design, Graphic Design I-IV, Illustration, Interactive 2D Animation, and Drawing II: Life. The Program culminates with the Senior Capstone course. Guided by faculty and visiting professionals, the Capstone focuses on developing a professional portfolio and promotional materials. Final projects will be presented to the public, to include area advertising, design, marketing, and recruiters.

Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at Sacred Heart University are prepared to pursue positions such as Graphic Designer, Advertising Designer, Brand Identity Designer Web Designer, Packaging Designer, Layout Artist, Exhibit Designer, Book Designer, Logo Designer, and Publications Designer.

Founded in 1963, Sacred Heart University opened with 200 undergraduate students. Today, the school serves over 9,000 students enrolled in more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs on its main campus in Fairfield, CT, and satellite campus in Dingle, Ireland. Programs at SHU are housed across six colleges and three schools. Sacred Heard University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).