What are the top Kentucky graphic design schools for 2022?

Top 5 Graphic Design School Programs in Kentucky - 2022 College Rankings
1Northern Kentucky UniversityHighland Heights
2Western Kentucky UniversityBowling Green
3University of LouisvilleLouisville
4Murray State UniversityMurray
5Kentucky Wesleyan CollegeOwensboro

Our 2022 ranking of the top graphic design school programs in Kentucky. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky
Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University’s College of Arts and Sciences houses the School of the Arts (SOTA), which has a Visual Communication Design (VCD) Track SOTA’s BA and BFA Programs. Both pathways consist of foundation courses and a variety of creative projects. SOTA students have access to state-of-the-art facilities in the Northern Kentucky University (NKU) Fine Arts Center, as well as workshops, seminars, and career development resources.

The BA is a general studies degree that requires a Minor or Concentration in a Non-Visual Arts area. The BFA is a Professional Degree recognized by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD) as the entry-level degree. Students in this program will complete advanced, focused coursework, portfolio development courses, and the Senior Capstone and Exhibition. Students must complete an internship to graduate from the NKU VCD BFA Program.

NKU VCD graduates are Designers in the Advertising industry, Corporate Design, User Interface Design, Technical Illustration, Art Direction, Digital Imaging Art Package Design, Environmental Graphic Design, Illustration, Exhibition Design, Font Design, Multimedia Design, Book Design, Scientific Illustration, Web Design, and Entertainment Design.

Northern Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Founded in 1968, this young metropolitan university has a student population of 15,000 served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff. NKU offers nearly 120 degree programs in eight colleges and schools.

2. Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University (WKU) houses the Potter College of Arts and Letters (PCAL), home to the Department of Art & Design, which has a Graphic Design Program leading to a BFA, Minor or Certificate. The Certificate consists of 18 credit hours and the Minor is 24 credit hours. Course examples across these non-degree programs include 2D Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Visual Thinking, Electronic Illustration, Package Design, Digital Media, and Advanced Computer Graphics. Students in both programs will have the opportunity to complete a professional portfolio.

The WKU Graphic Design BFA Program requires 79 credit hours in the major. Exploring traditional, digital, and emerging practices in design, the program requires 12 credit hours of electives, which provides the opportunity to focus in an area of interest within the design field. Course examples include Print Design, Computer Animation, Graphic Design, Visual Thinking, Electronic Illustration, Advanced Computer Graphics, History of Graphic Design, and Digital Media.

In the Senior year of the program, students will compete the Portfolio course, worth three credits, and the Capstone Seminar, also worth three credits.

Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at Western Kentucky University are Graphic Designers, Animators,  Illustrators, Package Designers, Print Designers, Web Designers, Corporate Branding Designers, User Experience Designers, Publication Designers, and Book Designers, among others. Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1906 as Western Kentucky State Normal School, WKU serves more than 18,000 students enrolled in over 165 undergraduate majors and minors, 48 master's degree programs, two specialist degree programs, four doctoral degrees, six associate degree programs, 69 certificates programs. Academic offerings at Western Kentucky University are housed in five colleges and schools.

3. University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
University of Louisville

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) at University of Louisville (UofL) is the school’s largest academic unit. The College houses more than 30 departments and programs in the Arts and Humanities, Natural and Physical Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The Hite Institute of Art and Design in the College of A&S is home to the Department of Art and Design, which has a Graphic Design Track within the Hite Art and Design BFA Programs. Course examples across programs include Typography I-II, The Book Form, Web Site Design, Design for Public Issues, Identity Systems, Packaging Design, Wayfinding & Environmental Graphic Design, Adventures in Design: Methods + Process, Lettering and Font Design, Design for interaction, and Data Visualization.

Although it is not a requirement, most Graphic Design students complete an internship over one or more semesters. Internships during the semester total approximately 120 hours. Summer internships allow for more work hours.   

The Graphic Design BFA at University of Louisville is a professional preparatory program, so graduates are prepared for leadership positions in the Graphic Design industry, among others.

University of Louisville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, bachelor, master, specialist, doctoral, and first-professional degrees. Established in 1798 as Jefferson Seminary, UofL serves close to 23,200 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs in 12 colleges and schools.

4. Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky
Murray State University

The College of Humanities and Fine Arts at Murray State University (MSU) houses the Department of Art & Design, home to the Studio Art Program. Degree pathways include the BA, BFA, and BS. Students in all pathways may enroll in the Graphic Design Concentration or the 21 credit hour Graphic Design Minor.

Course options across programs include Graphic Design I-VI, History of Modern Design, Studio Practice, Digital Studio, Motion Graphics, Illustration, Digital Sculpture, Introduction to Advertising, Web Design, Drawing 1-3, Moving Image: Screen, Principles of Marketing, User Interface Design, and Introduction to Bookbinding and Artist Books.

In all programs, students will work on the building a professional portfolio of their best work, Graduates of the Murray State University Graphic Design Programs will be prepared to pursue positions in advertising, web design, book publishing, packaging design, branding, user experience design, magazine publishing, exhibit design, and public relations, among others.

Murray State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1922, the school serves nearly 9,500 students enrolled in more than 120 programs in six academic colleges and schools. Murray State University has five regional campuses and an Online Learning Division.

5. Kentucky Wesleyan College, Owensboro, Kentucky
Kentucky Wesleyan College

The Department of Fine Arts & Humanities at Kentucky Wesleyan College (KWC) has a Graphic Design Program with BA and Minor options. Both programs offer internship opportunities at Paxton Group, Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Legends, and many others, access to state-of-the-art labs and studios in the WKC Ralph Center, and the opportunity to submit a 10-image portfolio to the Art Talent Scholarship Program. The WKU Graphic Design Program also features guest lectures, workshops, and seminars.

Consisting of 21 credit hours, the Graphic Design Minor may be added to programs such as Communications, Business, and Computer Science. The Graphic Design BA requires 45 credits in the major. Course examples across programs include 2D and 3D Design, Graphic Design I-V, Digital Photography, Digital Painting, Advanced Digital Photography, Graphic Topics, and Senior Seminar.  

Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at Kentucky Wesleyan College are Graphic Designers, Art Directors, Photographers, Animators, Brand Designers, Web Designers, Illustrators, Photographers, and Ad Layout Designers, among others.

Kentucky Wesleyan College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Founded in 1858, KWC is a United Methodist-related institution that serves close to 900 students enrolled in more than 40 academic majors across four academic divisions/departments and the Online Division.