2015 Graphic Design School Rankings (Top 10)
RankingSchool%
1Rhode Island School of DesignTop 1%
2Parsons School of Design at the New SchoolTop 1%
3Maryland Institute College of ArtTop 1%
4Yale UniversityTop 1%
5School of Visual Arts, New YorkTop 1%
6Cranbrook Academy of ArtTop 1%
7Pratt InstituteTop 1%
8California Institute of the ArtsTop 2%
9Ringling College of Art and DesignTop 2%
10Savannah College of Art and DesignTop 2%

26. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas (Top 4% of schools considered)

 

The University of Kansas (KU) opened its doors in September 1866. It is home to around 28,000 students from all 50 states and 105 countries. The University, which is one of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities, houses 13 schools offering more than 360 degree programs. The School of Architecture, Design and Planning is home to the Department of Design. Established in 1920, the Department offers five design programs. Offerings for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Visual Communication in Graphic Design. The program is “networked with local advertising and promotional agencies,” where students may complete an internship as part of the degree.

27. Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (Top 4% of schools considered)

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Oregon State University was founded in 1868. It is home to more than 30,000 students enrolled in more than 200 undergraduate and more than 80 graduate degree programs across 13 colleges and schools. The College of Business is home to the School of Design & Human Environment (SDHE), which offers a BFA in Graphic Design. Through the SDHE Internship program, graphic design students have the opportunity to work at a local company to gain experience and contacts in the industry. Design students also have the opportunity to study abroad in London or Rome.

28. The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Top 4% of schools considered)

The University of the Arts (UArts) was founded in 1876. It is home to around 1,900 students enrolled in 26 undergraduate and 23 graduate programs offered through two colleges and one division including the College of Art, Media and Design, the College of Performing Arts, and the Division of Liberal Arts. The College of Art, Media and Design houses the School of Design, which offers a BFA in Graphic Design. The program, which has been existence for more than 40 years, has alumni that work for companies such as MTV, Sony Music, the Philadelphia Art Museum and the Philadelphia Art Museum, to name a few.

29. Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri (Top 5% of schools considered)

Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) was established in 1885. The school is home to more than 700 students and it offers BFA degrees in 13 areas from Animation to Sculpture. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA with an Emphasis in Graphic Design. Offered through the Graphic Design Department, the BFA program “stresses collaborative work within a studio environment.”

30. Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine (Top 5% of schools considered)

Maine College of Art (MECA) was founded in 1882 as part of the Portland Society of Art. It is one of “37 private, non-profit, degree-granting professional art colleges in the country, and one of only 18 such colleges not affiliated with a larger academic or arts institution,” according to the school. MECA is home to 350 students enrolled in more than 17 undergraduate art and design programs, an MFA program, and an MAT program. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Graphic Design. The program features studio visits to NYC and Boston, as well as the opportunity to complete an internship with companies such as Martha Stewart Publishing (NYC), L.L. Bean, American Eagle Outfitters, Portland Museum of Art and more.

31. University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin (Top 5% of schools considered)

Founded in 1848, the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW-Madison) is home to 43,389 students enrolled in more than 300 programs across 21 colleges and schools. The School of Education offers several programs for aspiring graphic designers including a BS and a BFA in Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design. Several graduate programs are also offered through the School of Education. Options include MA and MFA degrees in Art with a Focus in Graphics. The School also offers a Doctoral Minor in Art. Students may choose from several focus areas in the minor, including Graphics.

32. San Diego State University, San Diego, California (Top 5% of schools considered)

San Diego State University (SDSU) was founded in 1897. It is the oldest and largest university in San Diego and the third largest in the State of California. SDSU is home to around 30,000 students from more than 100 countries. It offers nearly 160 undergraduate majors and minors, 16 pre-professional programs, and nearly 100 graduate degrees and credentials. The school houses seven colleges including the College of Professional Studies & Fine Arts, which is home to the School of Art and Design. The School offers a variety of programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include a BA in Applied Arts & Sciences with a Major in Art. This program features an Emphasis in Graphic Design. MA and MFA degrees in Studio Arts are also on the menu. Both graduate programs also offer an Emphasis in Graphic Design. 

33. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York (Top 5% of schools considered)

Founded in 1870, Syracuse University (SU) is home to approximately 21,492 students enrolled in more than 400 programs across 12 colleges and schools and a graduate school. The S.I. Newhouse School Of Public Communications houses the Graphic Design Program, which emphasizes “design, image, interactivity, motion graphics, and communications.” The Program, which leads to a BS, prepares students to work in both print and multimedia environments.

34. Memphis College of Art, Memphis, Tennessee (Top 5% of schools considered)

Memphis College of Art (MCA) was established in 1936. It is home to 400-450 students from 25 states and five foreign countries. MCA offers more than a dozen art and design programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Design Arts with a Concentration Graphic Design. Students may also opt for the MFA in Studio Arts, which provides the opportunity to create an individually tailored program of interdisciplinary study.

35. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (Top 5% of schools considered)

Brigham Young University (BYU) was founded in 1875 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The school is home to 26,674 undergraduate students enrolled in 100+ programs across more than a dozen colleges and departments. The Department of Design offers several programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include BA and BFA degrees in Design with a Graphic Design Emphasis. The BA requires completion of 45 credit hours in Graphic Design (GD) and the BFA requires 73 GD credit hours.

36. Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Top 6% of schools considered)

Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) was founded 1974. It is the successor to the Layton School of Art, founded in 1920. The school is home to around 740 students enrolled in eleven major specializations and 15 minors. Aspiring graphic designers typically choose the BFA in Communication Design (CD). The program highlights internship opportunities at advertising and design firms in Milwaukee and around the nation, as well as access to MIAD’s Visual Resources Studio. MIAD CD graduates hold titles such as Art Director, Creative Director, Designer and many others.

37. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Top 6% of schools considered)

Established in 1885, the University of Arizona (UA) is home to more than 40,000 students enrolled in more than 300 majors across 21 colleges, 20 schools, and dozens of departments. The College of Fine Arts is home to the School of Art, which offers two programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include BFA and MFA degrees in Studio Art with a Visual Communications Emphasis. Program highlights include a wide range of internship opportunities and a variety of study abroad programs. Please note that the name of this program will become “Illustration & Design” effective Fall 2016. The program will still provide the education and training needed to become a graphic designer.

38. California State University - Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California (Top 6% of schools considered)

California State University - Los Angeles (Cal State LA) was established in 1947. It is home to 27,000 students enrolled in more than 300 programs across eight colleges and dozens of departments. The College of Arts and Letters, Department of Art offers a BA in Graphic Design/Visual Communication. The program prepares aspiring graphic designers to work in today’s digital media and print industries. Besides internship opportunities, the program offers access to the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, the TV, Film and Media Center, and internship opportunities at the Getty Center. 

39. Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas (Top 6% of schools considered)

Texas State University was established in 1903 as Southwest Texas State Normal School. It is home to more than 38,000 students enrolled in nearly 200 programs across nine colleges. The College of Fine Arts & Communication houses three schools and two departments. The School of Art + Design offers two programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include a BFA in Communication Design (ComDes) with a Graphic Design Focus and an MFA in Communication Design (ComDes). Classes for both programs are taught in a studio environment, with class sizes limited to 20 students. The programs also highlight internship opportunities with a variety of Austin and San Antonio firms, as well as companies across the U.S. and in Europe.

40. San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California (Top 6% of schools considered)

San Francisco State University (SFSU) was founded in 1899 as San Francisco State Normal School. It is home to 30,500 students enrolled in more than 140 undergraduate and graduate programs, 17 credential programs and 38 certificate programs across seven colleges. The College of Liberal & Creative Arts is home to the Department of Design and Industry (DAI). The Department offers a BS in Visual Communication Design (Graphic Design and Interactive Digital Media).

The BS in Visual Communication Design (BSVCD) program is for students who “intend to focus their studies on design problems along a spectrum anchored by graphic design and digital media and with outcomes including print graphics, information design, web design, interaction design, and motion graphics.” Aspiring graphic designers might also consider the Master of Arts (MA) in Industrial Arts, which allows students to study Visual Communication Design/Graphic Communications. A Minor in Industrial Arts is also on the menu, which covers graphics and digital media and design, among other related subjects.

41. Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio (Top 6% of schools considered)

Bowling Green State University (BGSU) was founded in 1910. It is home 19,000 students enrolled in more than 200 programs across nine colleges. The College of Arts and Sciences is home to the School of Art, which houses the Division of Graphic Design (BGSUGD). The Division offers a BFA in Graphic Design. Graduates of the program go on to become graphic designers, communications specialists, and art directors in a variety of fields with major corporations and creative firms across the U.S. 

42. Baylor University, Waco, Texas (Top 6% of schools considered)

Baylor University was chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas. It is home to more than 16,000 students enrolled in more than 250 degree programs across nine undergraduate colleges and schools, a seminary, a graduate school, and a nursing school. The College of Arts and Humanities houses the Department of Art, which offers seven degree programs. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Graphic Design.

43. Cornish College of The Arts, Seattle, Washington (Top 7% of schools considered)

Cornish College of the Arts was established in 1914. It is home to nearly 800 students from 35 states and 18 countries. Cornish awards BFA degrees in areas from Art to Theater as well as a Bachelor of Music (BMus), and a Post-Baccalaureate Artist Diploma in Early Music. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Design with a Specialization in Visual Communication and Motion Design. The program, which covers everything from graphic design to social and digital media, is offered through the Department of Design.

44. Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California (Top 7% of schools considered)

Established in 1929, Academy of Art University is home to more than 18,000 students enrolled in dozens of Art, Design, Fashion, and Architecture programs. Degrees are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and many programs are available entirely online. The School of Graphic Design offers an array of programs for aspiring graphic designers. Offerings include AA and BFA degrees in Graphic Design as well as a four-year Certificate and an Online Award of Completion (OAC) in Graphic Design. An MFA in Graphic Design is also on the menu.

45. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (Top 7% of schools considered)

Chartered in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the nation’s first public university. It is home to more than 29,000 students enrolled in 78 bachelors, 112 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. The School of Media and Journalism, which is home to 650 undergraduates and 135 graduate students, offers a variety of unique bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees for aspiring graphic designers. Two such degrees are the BA in Journalism & Mass Communication with a Specialization Editing & Graphic Design, and the JD/MA dual degree with a Specialization in Visual Communication/Editing/Multimedia. In addition to unique degree options for graphic designers, the School of Media and Journalism manages six study abroad exchanges in Paris, London, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, and Pamplona.

46. University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas (Top 7% of schools considered)

The University of Texas at Arlington (UT Arlington or UTA) dates back to 1895 when it was named Arlington College. In 1967, after six name changes beginning in 1902, the school became the University of Texas at Arlington. Today, UTA is home to nearly 35,000 students from every state and more than 100 countries. The school offers more than 180 degree programs across 10 schools and colleges. The College of Liberal Arts is home to the Department of Art and Art History, which offers two programs for aspiring graphic designers.

Options include BFA and MFA degrees in Visual Communication (Graphic Design, Web Design, Illustration, APP Design, Packaging, Gaming). The program is home to 300 students, which is the largest in the Art and Art History Department. Graduates of the programs are employed by top design agencies/studios in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, and throughout the nation, according to the school. In addition, students in the program have won over 132 state, regional, and national awards since 2001.

47. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, Indiana (Top 7% of schools considered)

Indiana University and Purdue University merged in 1969 forming Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Today, the school is home to 30,690 students enrolled in 243 degree programs across two colleges and 17 schools. The Herron School of Art and Design offers BFA and MFA degrees in Visual Communication Design (VCD). A Design Production Minor is also on the menu and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at IUPUI’s Fort Wayne campus offers a BFA in VCD with a Concentration in Graphic Design.

48. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Top 7% of schools considered)

Louisiana State University (LSU) welcomed its first class on January 2, 1860. The school, which is home to more than 29,000 students, offers more than 200 programs across 11 colleges and schools. The College of Art and Design at LSU offers several programs for aspiring animators including BFA and MFA degrees in Graphic Design. According to LSU, the programs prepare students for a career in graphic design “through experiences in the development of work in typography, print and editorial design, information design, digital imaging, packaging, environmental design, identity design, and branding.”

49. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana (Top 7% of schools considered)

Purdue University was established in 1869. It is home to 38,788 students enrolled in more than 200 majors across 10 academic colleges and schools. The College of Liberal Arts is home to the Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts. The School houses two departments—Art and Design and Theatre, three divisions—Dance, Music, and Purdue Galleries, and nearly 900 undergraduate and graduate students. The School offers two programs for aspiring graphic designers. Offerings include BA and MFA degrees in Visual Communications Design (VCD). All graphic design students have the opportunity to participate in the internship program and to show their work via special exhibitions.

50. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (Top 8% of schools considered)

The University of Georgia (UGA) was chartered in 1785. It is home to more than 34,000 students enrolled in 170 programs through 17 colleges and schools. The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences is home to the Lamar Dodd School of Art. The School offers 15 undergraduate areas of study and 10 graduate areas of study. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA with a Concentration in Graphic Design. The program features 39 credit hours of graphic design study as well as studio electives in the areas of drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. All students have the opportunity to study abroad in places such as Cortona—a small town in Tuscany, Italy, Ghana, Africa or Costa Rica, Central America. 

 

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