|2||University of South Carolina||Columbia|
|3||Winthrop University||Rock Hill|
|4||Charleston Southern University||Charleston|
Our 2019 rankings of the top 5 graphic design school programs in South Carolina. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
Founded in 1889, Clemson University serves more than 23,000 students enrolled in more than 270 undergraduate majors, minors, and graduate programs through seven schools. The College of Business, Department of Graphic Communications offers a BS in Graphic Communications that the school says is “dedicated to hands-on learning experiences.” Students in the program are “placed in positions in a variety of printing, packaging, publishing, imaging and related industries in management, marketing, sales, customer service, creative, technical and scientific positions.” The school says that placement rates are “consistently high” with “competitive salaries.”
In addition to engaging in hands-on learning experiences, Graphic Communications students will take courses such as Digital Imaging and eMedia, Packaging Science, Ink and Substrates, Package and Specialty Printing, Commercial Printing, Technical Writing, Current Developments and Trends in Graphic Communications, and Marketing. Graduates of the program are prepared to enter the schools MS in Graphic Communications or seek positions in printing management, production planning and supervision, commercial and technical sales, and many others.
The MS in Graphic Communications includes 33 credit hours of graduate courses for the non-thesis option or 30 hours with a thesis. Within the total requirements, at least 17 hours will be in GC technical/managerial courses; seven will be research related; six credits will be from outside the Graphic Communications Department; and at least one-half will be at or above the 8000 level.
Graduates of the program are placed in positions in a variety of printing, packaging, publishing, imaging and related industries in management, marketing, sales, customer service, creative, technical, scientific and academic positions.
2. University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
Founded in 1801 as South Carolina College, the University of South Carolina (USC) Columbia campus is one of eight college campuses in the University of South Carolina system. The school serves 34,795 students enrolled in hundreds of areas of study through 16 colleges and schools. The College of Arts and Sciences houses the School of Visual Art and Design, a comprehensive school for the study of the studio arts, including graphic design and media arts (film, video, animation, game design, and new media). Here, students can earn a BA or BFA in Studio Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design. MA and MFA degrees in Studio Art are also available, as is an MA in Media Arts.
Studio Arts at USC is housed in the largest school of art in the state. Per the school, the BA is a “well-rounded liberal arts major that offers a solid foundation in multiple types of art and is ideal for students interested in double majoring.” BA students will graduate from the program with a professional portfolio. 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 areas such as Drawing, Printmaking, and Photography. BFA students will “have a solo exhibition of their creative research to be examined by the student’s major faculty.”
All students (BA, BFA, MA and MFA) will have access to 4,000 square feet of studio and shop space, internship opportunities and study abroad experiences.
3. Winthrop University, Rock Hill, South Carolina
Founded in 1886, Winthrop University serves just over 5,800 students enrolled in 43 undergraduate and 22 graduate degrees with more than 100 programs of study offered through concentrations and options. Programs are offered through five academic colleges including Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, University College, and Visual and Performing Arts.
The College of Visual and Performing Arts houses the Departments of Design, Fine Arts, Music, and Theater & Dance. With more than 600 students enrolled, through the Department of the Design, the College offers a BFA in Visual Communication Design with Graphic Design and Illustration Tracks. An 18 credit hour Minor in Visual Studies is also available
The BFA program requires 120 credit hours of study including a combination of General Education courses, Design, and Visual Communications (VCOM). Course highlights include Corporate Identity, Design and Color, Design Concepts, Graphic Arts Production Practices, Graphic Design, Typography, Visual Communication Seminar, Visual Thinking and Symbolic Communication, and Web Design. Students will take Professional Portfolio and Practices as well as a Senior Thesis and a Professional Internship.
4. Charleston Southern University, Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston Southern University (CSU) was founded in 1964. The school serv es nearly 3,500 students enrolled in more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online programs through eight colleges and schools. The College of Humanities and Social Sciences houses the Communication and Media Arts area, which offers a BA and a Minor in Graphic Design.
The Graphic Design Program “prepares students for a broad variety of careers in the field of design,” says the school. The program begins with “modest studio art skills,” followed by instruction in the school’s Mac Labs where students will “master many programs within the Adobe platform. This includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver and more.” Other courses include Business of Design, Digital Illustration, Digital Imaging Editing, Drawing, History of Design, and Visual Communication.
During the Junior and Senior years, students may declare a specialization in a particular area of design. This might include Print Design, Illustration, Web Design or Photography. Other program highlights include portfolio development courses, the opportunity to visit real-world design agencies and hear from guest speakers who are respected professionals in a variety of creative industries, and internship opportunities.
“The range of opportunities are diverse with students designing everything from websites, to packaging design, photography, print layouts and much more. For many students, these internships lead to full-time positions after graduation.”
5. Lander University, Greenwood, South Carolina
Lander University was founded in 1872 as a college for women. Today the schools serves a co-ed population of approximately 3,000 students enrolled in dozens of programs through five academic colleges, the school of nursing and the honors college. The College of Arts and Humanities houses the Department of Art, which offers a BS in Visual Arts with a Graphic Design Emphasis and a 15 credit hour Minor in Visual Arts.
Per the school, “the graphic design emphasis will develop skills essential for design positions at advertising houses, in-house corporate art departments, and print and design shops.” Students may explore many areas of graphic design including corporate identity/logo design, environmental/sign, illustration, photography, production/printing techniques and procedures, self-promotion, typography, and web design. Students will have the opportunity to complete an internship and they will graduate from the program with a professional portfolio.