What are the top Oklahoma graphic design schools for 2023?

Top 5 Oklahoma Graphic Design School Programs - 2023 College Rankings
1Oklahoma State UniversityStillwater
2University of Central OklahomaEdmond
3University of TulsaTulsa
4Oklahoma Christian UniversityEdmond
5Oral Roberts UniversityTulsa

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

1. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Oklahoma State University

The College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma State University (OSU) houses the Department of Art, Graphic Design, and Art History, which has two paths to study Graphic Design. At the undergraduate level, the Department has an Art BFA Program with a Graphic Design Option. At the graduate level, students can earn a Graphic Design MFA. Students in both programs have access to the Visual Resource Center (3D Printing Lab), and 24/7 access to design studios and computer labs in the Bartlett Center for the Visual Arts.

The OSU Art BFA/Graphic Design Program requires 120 credit hours with both upper- and lower-division sequences. Lower division course examples include Graphic Design, Studio Art Digital Survey, Printmaking, Typography, Photography, and Drawing. Upper division course examples include New Genres in Studio Art, Alternative Photography, Interaction Design Studio, Electronic Communication, Mass Media Style and Structure, Information Graphics, Graphic Design for Strategic Communication, Brand Marketing, Motion Design Studio, and Marketing Design Essentials. A Professional Internship and Portfolio Capstone are also part of the program.

Graduates of the Oklahoma State University BFA Program go on to enroll in top graduate programs or they have established careers at advertising agencies, design studios, marketing firms, creative agencies, and in-house design departments. Examples of potential job titles include Graphic Designer, Advertising Artist, Creative Director, Package Designer, UI/UX Designer, Publications Designers, Brand Manager, Typographical Artist,  Magazine Designer, Environmental Designer, Interactive Designer, Exhibit Designer, Layout Artist, Art Director, Motion Graphics Designer, and Web Designer.

Recent OSU BFA graduates have been hired at places such as the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, Masterwork Artistry, the Museum of East Texas, and Matchfire.

The Graphic Design MFA Program at Oklahoma State University is a three-year, sixty credit hour terminal degree that emphasizes writing, research, and presentation skills. Three focus areas are available including Visual Communication, Interaction Design, and Motion Design. Students in all areas will complete 27-30 credit hours of graduate level studio courses, 9-12 credit hours of electives (within and outside the department), an off-campus Internship, a Teaching Practicum, and a Thesis. 

Course examples for the MFA include Graphic Design Graduate Studio, History/Theory/Critical Analysis, Interaction Design Graduate Studio, Special Topics in Graphic Design, Motion Design Graduate Studio, and Graphic Design History.

Recent Oklahoma State University graduates have been hired at Amazon, Dallas Morning News/Belo Corporation, Walmart, JPMorgan Chase, Merck, Halliburton Industries, IBM, Lockheed Martin, ConocoPhillips, Tyco, FDIC, and Dell.

Oklahoma State University was established on Christmas Day in 1890 as Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. Today, this five-campus system houses seven academic colleges, a veterinary school, an osteopathic medical school, and several centers and institutes. Serving approximately 26,650 students, OSU offers 200 undergraduate majors and options, more than 75 master’s programs, and 45 doctoral programs. Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

2. University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma
University of Central Oklahoma

University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) is the first university in the region to house its Design Programs (Graphic Design and Interior Design) in its own School of Design. Established in 2001 and Part of the College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD), the School of Design/Department of Design is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Specific program options for Graphic Designers include a Graphic Design BFA, a Design Minor – Graphic Design, and a Design MFA with heavy Graphic Design coursework. The MFA is a 60 credit hour program that features courses and studios such as History of Graphic Design I-III, Computer Graphics Studio, Design Studio I-III, Typography Studio, Clocktower Studio, and Illustration Studio. The Design MFA culminates with the Portfolio Development Course and the Design Thesis.

The Graphic Design BFA Program at University of Central Oklahoma requires 124 credit hours, with 80 credits in the Major. The program explores advertising, package design, web design, and other media. Students in the program will work and learn in a simulated studio environment, while building their professional portfolios. All students will complete an internship and courses such as Design Foundations I-IV, History of Graphic Design I-III, Computer Graphics I-IV, Illustration I-III, Character Design, Environmental Illustration, Advertising Design, Sequential Illustration, Packaging Design, Ink Tank, and Advanced Letterpress.

To enhance the degree, students may take electives such as Bookmaking and Prototyping, Advanced Bookmaking, Design Entrepreneurship, and the Design Apprenticeship and/or Study Tour in Design. Note that students may complete more than one work experience. During the last year of the program, UCO BFA students will complete the Advanced Portfolio Development course.

The Design – Graphic Design Minor requires 24 credit hours. Students in this program will take Design Foundations I-IV, Typography, Graphic Design I, Computer Graphics OR Print Media and Marketing for Fine Arts & Design, and History of Graphic Design III OR Design in Global Cultures. The Minor can be taken with any Art, Design, or related program with approval.

Graduates of the University of Central Oklahoma Graphic Design Program are prepared for careers such as Package Designer, Print Designer, Advertising Designer, Creative Director, Web Designer, Commercial Designer, and Art Director.

Founded in 1890, University of Central Oklahoma serves more than 10,000 students across  seven colleges, institutes, and UCO Connected. Students at UCO have access to more than 170 academic programs leading to degrees at all levels. University of Central Oklahoma is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

3. University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma
University of Tulsa

Kendall College of Arts and Sciences at University of Tulsa (TU) is home to the School of Art, Design and Art History, which houses a BFA Program that provides the opportunity to declare an Emphasis in Graphic Design, Printmaking, Digital Media/Motion Graphics, Painting/Drawing, Photography, or Ceramics. Students in all areas will complete the Tulsa Curriculum, which consists of 51-53 credit hours, with 26-28 in the First Year Experience. Emphasis areas are 54 credit hours.

Course examples for the TU BFA Program include Design I-II, Graphics Communication I-III, Printmaking Studio, Digital Drawing and Illustration, Digital Art: Survey and Practice, Typography and Graphic Production, Drawing: Advanced Studio, Package Design, Interactive Multimedia, Digital Video and Animation, and Website Design.

An Internship, the Independent Study course, and Senior Seminar are also part of the program as well as the Portfolio: Graphic Design course. In this culminating experience, TU Graphic Design BFA students will create a job-seeking portfolio through lectures, demonstrations, and studio work. Student projects are refined and completed along with sessions that address résumés, job interviewing skills, and personal projects.

Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA Program at University of Tulsa work in Advertising, Marketing, Multimedia Design, User Experience (UX)/User Interface (UI) Design, Exhibit Design, Publishing, Entertainment, and many other areas. Some graduates work in in-house design departments, while others have launched their own studios or freelance businesses. Graduates have also gone on to enroll in graduate school.

University of Tulsa was founded in 1882 as the Presbyterian School for Indian Girls, and became Henry Kendall College in 1984. Today, TU is a private, doctoral degree-granting institution that serves approximately 3,770 students enrolled in 71 bachelor’s, 30 master’s, and 16 doctoral degrees. Programs are housed in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business, Engineering and Natural Sciences; and Health Sciences; and the Graduate School and School of Law. University of Tulsa has maintained accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1929.

4. Oklahoma Christian University, Edmond, Oklahoma
Oklahoma Christian University

The College of Humanities and the Bible at Oklahoma Christian University (OC) houses the Division of Fina and Performing Arts. Within the Division is a Graphic Design Program with BFA, BS, and Minor  pathways. The 21 credit hour Minor is open to all majors, but is an ideal complement to most art and design programs. Course examples for this program include Advanced Graphic Design, Digital Imaging I-II, Typography as Visual Language, Interactive Media Design, and Visual Storytelling.

The Graphic Design BFA at Oklahoma Christian University is an interdisciplinary program designed for students interested in careers in Graphic Design, Copywriting, Web Design, Animation or Game Design, Advertising Design, and Art Direction, among others. The program requires 126 credit hours, including 72 in the major. Students have the opportunity to choose specialized areas such as Gaming and Animation, Illustration and Fine Art, Photography and Videography, and Digital Art. Elective options provide additional opportunities to enhance the degree. Editing and Field Production, Motion Graphics, and Advanced Media Production are just a few elective options.

The Graphic Design BS requires 126 credit hours, including 51 in the major and a required Minor such as Communication Studies, Business, Gaming and Animation, Marketing, or Writing. Course examples for the program include Business of Branding Yourself, Advanced Graphic Design, Integrated Marketing Design, Conceptual Illustration, Graphic Arts Production, Print+Digital Delivery Design, and Digital  Imaging I-II.

Across programs, students have access to OC’s state-of-the-art-computer lab equipped with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign & After Effects. Students also have opportunities to interact with 24 different guest speakers throughout the program and they have access to 25 field trip options, 14 internship opportunities, and the OC Study Abroad Program. All Graphic Design students will graduate with a portfolio of their best work.

Founded in 1950 as Central Christian College, Oklahoma Christian University opened 97 students. Today, OC serves 2,250 students enrolled in more than 100 programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Programs at OC are housed in the College of Humanities and the Bible, the College of Professional Studies, and the New College. Oklahoma Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

5. Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oral Roberts University

The College of Arts and Cultural Studies at Oral Roberts University (ORU) houses the School of Liberal Arts (SOLA), home to the Graphic Design Program. Leading to BFA, the program follows the guidelines established by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Other program features include collaborative projects, internship opportunities, and the Practicum Infield Study/Senior Project.

Course examples for the ORU Graphic Design Program include Graphic Design I-IV, Digital Photography, Motion Design, Illustration, Graphic Design Studio, Typography, Graphic Design History, Fundamentals of Art I-II, and Web Design. To graduate, students will complete a final professional portfolio of their best work.

Graduates of the Oral Roberts University Graphic Design Program are prepared to pursue positions in areas such as Advertising, Brand Design, Graphic Design, Packaging Design, Book Design, User Experience Design, Newspaper and Magazine Layout, Photography, Creative Direction, Public Relations, Marketing, Animation, Web Design, and Exhibit Design.

Oral Roberts University was founded in 1963 by Christian Televangelist Granville Oral Roberts. Serving more than 5,000 students, ORU provides 125+ programs housed across the Colleges of Arts and Cultural Studies; Business; Education; Health Sciences; Science and Engineering; and Theology and Ministry. Oral Roberts University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).