What are the top Michigan graphic design schools for 2022?

Top 5 Graphic Design School Programs in Michigan - 2022 College Rankings
1Michigan State UniversityEast Lansing
2College for Creative StudiesDetroit
3Wayne State UniversityDetroit
4Ferris State University Grand Rapids
5Grand Valley State UniversityAllendale

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

1. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
Michigan State University

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

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

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

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

2. College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan
College for Creative Studies

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

CD students will complete 42 to 43 credits in liberal arts and 84 credits in studio. Course examples include 2D & 3D Integrated Design Studio, 4D Design Studio, Motion Design, Interaction I-III, Typography I-III, Advanced Communication Design, Concepts & Methods/Visual Culture, and Business Practices.

Other program features include the opportunity to study abroad for a year or a semester in places such Paris, Australia, Germany, Mexico, and as Austria and internship opportunities at Foote Cone & Belding, Microsoft, Urban Outfitters, Reebok, FUSE, Whirlpool, Quicksilver, and Chrysler.

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

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

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

3. Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Wayne State University

Wayne State University’s (WSU) College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts houses the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History, home to the Design Program. Leading to a BFA, the program has four Concentration areas: Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design and Fashion Design.  

The WSU Design BFA with a Graphic Design Concentration consists of Core, Departmental, and Concentration requirements. Courses in the Core include Surface Studio, Spatial Studio, Time Studio, Drawing I, and Encounters with the Arts of Global Africa, Survey: Ancient through Medieval, OR Survey: Renaissance through Modern.

Departmental requirements allow students to choose two Art or Design Studio electives and an Art or Design History elective. Other requirements include Design Process and Intro to Graphic Design: Skills and Concepts. The Graphic Design Concentration requires 36 credit hours. Course examples include Graphic Design I-II, Typography, and Interactivity in Graphic Arts.

Students may enhance the degree through required electives (12 credit hours) and they have opportunities to gain work experience through the internship program. Elective examples include Illustration, Information Design, Interactivity, Advanced Typography, Directed Study, and Special Topics. Students may also choose electives from any courses within the Digital Arts.

Internships at Wayne State University may be completed during the Junior or Senior years. In the final year of the program, students will complete the Senior Seminar and Senior Studio courses.  

Recent graduates of the Wayne State University Department of Art and Art History have completed internships or been hired at Amazon, Vera Wang, Carhartt, Detroit Parade Company, Ella Sharp Museum, College for Creative Studies (CCS), the National Gallery of Art, 96.3 WDVD-FM, Detroit, and Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in Birmingham, UK.

Wayne State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1868 as The Detroit Medical College, Wayne State serves 25,000 students enrolled in nearly 200 degree and certificate programs in 13 schools and colleges.

4. Ferris State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Ferris State University Kendall College of Art and Design

Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD) is a college within Ferris State University (FSU). The school has a BFA in Graphic Design Program that features course-driven professional projects, instruction using the latest industry-standard software applications, professional experience through internships, collaborative projects, critiques and presentation of ideas and completed works, a studio-based learning environment, and study abroad experiences.

Graphic Design students at KCAD may also engage with or join the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), or the American Advertising Federation (AAF). Access to industry interactions, design forums, guest speakers, and other events hosted by Design West Michigan (a KCAD organization) are other program features.

Graduates of the FSU KCAD Graphic Design Program are prepared to enroll in a graduate degree program such as an MA or MFA, or seek positions in advertising, branding, or design. Some graduates have gone on to establish successful freelance careers, while others have launched their own studios or taken on leadership roles in a variety of in-house design departments.

Ferris State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Established in 1884, FSU is located in Big Rapids, Michigan, and serves 11,165 students enrolled in more than 190 programs in seven degree-granting colleges.

Founded in 1928, Kendall College of Art and Design is one of the seven colleges within Ferris State University. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, KCAD serves more than 1,000 students enrolled in dozens of specialized undergraduate degree programs and several graduate and certificate programs. As part of FSU, Kendall College of Art and Design is accredited by the HLC. KCAD of Ferris State University is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

5. Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan
Grand Valley State University

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) houses the Department of Visual & Media Arts—home to the Studio Art Program. Leading to a BFA, the program has a Graphic Design Emphasis and provides to option to add a Minor to enhance the degree. Other program benefits include opportunities to present work through frequent public screenings, work and learning experiences through the internship program and local production projects, and the opportunity to work with on a number of projects with clients outside of the classroom.

The GVSU Graphic Design Emphasis requires 36 credit hours (plus three for the Graphic Design Senior Project) in addition to 88 credit hours in foundation, studio elective, art and design history, and general education courses. Course examples in the Emphasis include Graphic Design I-V (various topics), Intermediate Drawing, and Advanced Typography. Elective examples include Advertising Basics, Digital 3D, Marketing Management, Interactive Studio, Legal Environments for Business, Space Studio, Public Relations Basics, and Experimental Black and White Photography.

The Studio Art BFA Program at Grand Valley State University culminates with the Issues in Art Capstone. Graduates of the program are Art Directors, Graphic Designers, Senior User Experience Designers, Creative Directors, and Interactive Designers at worldwide, national, and local companies such as Apple, Vox Media, Full Circle Marketing & Advertising, RealHouse, Visualhero Design Co., Daniel Brian Advertising, Periscope, Barfly, The Image Shoppe, True Fabrications, Concept A, and The Highland Group, among others.

Grand Valley State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Established in 1960, GVSU has eight regional campuses and centers that serve around 22,400 students. More than 140 degree programs are available at GVSU. Programs are housed in seven schools.