26. Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (Top 4% of schools considered)
Oregon State University (OSU) was founded in 1868. With more than 30,000 students in Corvallis, Bend, Newport and Portland, OSU is Oregon's statewide and largest university.
Academic offerings include some 200 undergraduate and 80-plus graduate degree programs across 11 academic colleges. The College of Liberal Arts-School of Arts and Communication offers a BFA in Graphic Design featuring “a hybrid curriculum that incorporates courses in new media, digital communications, art and design, as well as an innovative course on collaboration.” Graduates of the program are prepared for positions in a variety of areas such as print media, editorial design, marketing, advertising, branding, package design, web design, app design, interface design, interaction design, information design, motion graphics and more.
27. Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York (Top 4% of schools considered)
Founded in 1870, Syracuse University (SU) is home to approximately 21,789 students from all 50 U.S. states and 123 countries. The school offers more than 400 programs across 12 colleges and schools and a graduate school. The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication houses
the Department of Multimedia Photography and Design, along with 1,900 undergraduate students, 250 master’s degree students and 13 doctoral degree students. The Department offers BS degrees in Graphic Design and Multimedia Photography & Design (Graphic Design). Second degree and advanced degree options include BS degrees in Magazine or Advertising, an MA in Advertising, and an online MS in Communications with a Concentration in Advertising.
28. Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Top 4% of schools considered)
Temple University was charted in 1888 as “The Temple College.” The school is home to more than 35,000 students enrolled in more than 400 academic programs across 17 schools and colleges. The Tyler School of Art is home to the Graphic and Interactive Design program which has two degree offerings—a BFA and MFA in Graphic and Interactive Design. The programs cover design concepts, and it teaches students “how to make images, to work with typography, and to master a wide range of new and traditional media.”
According to the School, graduates of both programs are “employed by studios and agencies around the country and abroad. They work in print and web design studios, advertising agencies, publishing companies, film and television, music packaging and promotion, product design and packaging, in design departments of major corporations, and as freelance illustrators.”
29. Cooper Union, New York, New York (Top 4% of schools considered)
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (CU) was founded in 1859 by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper. The school offers programs in the areas of Art, Architecture and Engineering, and courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences. With nearly 1,000 students enrolled (2015-2016), CU’s art students account for 32 percent of the student body. The School of Art here offers a BFA in Art with a Focus Graphic Design. Internship opportunities are highlighted as well as the opportunity to study abroad.
30. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York (Top 4% of schools considered)
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) is a collection of five schools offering more than 145 programs to a population of 7,113 students. The School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS), Department of Communication and Media (C&M) offers a BS in Communications with a Concentration in Graphic Design, a dual major—BS in Communication (with an emphasis in Graphic Design) and Design, Innovation, and Society (COMM/DSIS), a Communication Design Certificate and a Graduate Graphics Certificate.
Graduates of HAAS Department of Communication programs go on to enjoy careers in industry and government as graphic designers, brand managers, product designers, marketing strategists; content developers and editors; interaction designers; user experience designers; art directors; web designers, game designers, analysts and developers and more.
31. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Top 5% of schools considered)
The University of Arizona (UA) was established in 1885. The school is home to more than 42,000 students enrolled in more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across 20 colleges, 11 schools, and three campuses. The College of Fine Arts, School of Arts offers several programs for aspiring graphic designers including a BFA in Studio Art (2-D, 3-D, Photography, Visual Communication) and an MFA in Studio Art-Visual Communications. Other options include BFA and MFA degrees in Studio Art with an Emphasis in Illustration + Design.
32. Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas (Top 5% of schools considered)
Texas State University was authorized by the Texas legislature in 1899 under the name “Southwest Texas State Normal School.” The school opened its doors in 1903. After five name changes, Texas State Normal School became Texas State University and is now home to 38,849 students enrolled in 98 bachelor’s, 90 master’s and 12 doctoral degree programs through nine academic colleges. The College of Fine Arts & Communication houses the School of Art and Design which offers several programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include BFA and MFA degrees in Communication Design.
Considered one of the largest public programs in the country, the Communication Design Program (undergraduate) allows students to pursue interests within four areas of professional study: Graphic Design, Art Direction, Interactive Media, and Illustration. The graduate program is designed to provide advanced study in the areas of Corporate Advertising, Art Direction, Graphic Design, and Digital Media Design.
Per the school, students and graduates of the program have received recognition in design journals by having their work published in CMYK, Step Inside Design, Graphis New Talent Annual, and PRINT, and they have also received recognition in competitions such as The One Show, American Advertising Federation Awards, National DSVC Student Show, Creative Summit, Art Director's Club of Houston, Austin Addy Awards, and San Antonio Addy Awards.
33. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (Top 5% of schools considered)
The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) opened in 1883. It is home to 50,950 students enrolled in more than 500 degree programs and fields of study across 18 colleges and schools. The College of Fine Arts, Department of Art and Art History, offers BA, BFA and MFA degrees in Design, and a BFA in Visual Studies. All students have the opportunity to participate in the internship program, which may include working at major companies with offices in the Austin area. Just a few include Google, Dell, IBM, Apple, Samsung, Frog, Pentagram, EA Games, and more.
34. San Diego State University, San Diego, California (Top 5% of schools considered)
Founded in 1897 and home to 35,000 students, San Diego State University (SDSU) is the oldest and largest university in San Diego and the third largest in California. The school offers nearly 160 undergraduate majors and minors, 16 pre-professional programs and nearly 100 graduate degrees and credentials across seven colleges. The College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA) 10 core departments and schools, including the School of Art + Design. Here, students can earn a BA in Applied Arts and Sciences with an Emphasis in Graphic Design or Multimedia and an MA or MFA with an Emphasis in Graphic Design or Multimedia. Students may also focus on Book Arts or Illustration by choosing from an extensive collection of electives.
The Graphic Design program features participation in a large internship program that “places students in professional settings in graphic design firms, interior design offices, galleries, museums and schools in the Southern California region and, specifically, the San Diego community.” The active study abroad program offers experiences in places such as Turkey, Scotland, Mexico, and Japan. Graphic design students are also involved in professional organizations such as the American Institute of Graphic Art (AIGA), the American Craft Council, and the Society of Photographic Education.
Graduates of the art and design programs at SDSU hold titles such as Graphic Designer, Corporate Image Designer, Layout/Production Artist, Advertising Artist, Print Production Specialist, Graphic Illustrator, Technical Illustrator, and many others.
35. Queens College, Queens, New York (Top 5% of schools considered)
Established in 1937, Queens College is part of the City University of New York (CUNY). Current enrollment is close to 19,000 matriculated students from nearly 170 countries. The school awards bachelor’s and master’s degrees in over 170 areas across four divisions including Arts and Humanities, Education, Mathematics and the Natural Sciences, and the Social Sciences. The Arts and Humanities Division houses the Design Program which offers a BS in Design with a Concentration in Communication Design (Graphic Design), Interaction Design, or Animation and Illustration.
Minors in Graphic Design, Digital Graphics, and Imagemaking are also on the menu as well as an MFA in Studio with a Concentration in Media or other area with approval. Per the school, students in all Design programs “learn visual communication using industry-standard technology across interactive, time-based, digital and traditional media.” Graduates are prepared for a career in design or for graduate study.
36. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (Top 5% of schools considered)
The University of Washington was founded in 1861. Home to more than 54,000 students (2014), the school offers 165 majors across 16 colleges and schools and in 79 departments. The College of Arts & Sciences is home to the Department of Art + Art History + Design which offers a Bachelor of Design (BDes) in Visual Communication Design and a Master of Design (MDes).
One of the largest undergraduate programs at the University of Washington, Visual Communication Design emphasizes “visual problem solving, organizational skills, and information theory.” Students engage in all phases of typography, information design, design systems, exhibition design, publication design, new media, and visual methods/processes.
37. University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Top 5% of schools considered)
The University of the Arts (UArts) is the nation’s only comprehensive arts university. The school, which traces its roots back to 1868, is home to around 1,900 students enrolled in 41 undergraduate and graduate programs through 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 BFA degrees in Graphic Design and Design, Art + Technology, an MFA in Book Arts + Printmaking, and Minors in Book Arts, Typography, and Multimedia.
Students in the Graphic Design Program have the opportunity to choose courses from the Schools of Art, Film and Illustration or any cross-college program. All students have access to international opportunities such as study abroad, festivals, and workshops in countries such as Canada, France, and South Korea.
38. Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, Missouri (Top 5% of schools considered)
Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) has a 130-year history that includes notable name such as Walt Disney, who took classes here as a child, multimedia artist Robert Rauschenberg, who studied fashion design, writer Robert Morris, and performance artist and fabric sculptor Nick Cave, to name a few. Besides a long list of notable alumni and students, KCAI offers 13 academic disciplines in Art, Design and Media to a population of more than 600 students. Offerings for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Graphic Design. BFA degrees in Interactive Arts and Printmaking are also on the menu.
39. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (Top 6% of schools considered)
Brigham Young University (BYU) was founded in 1875 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) It is home to 32,615 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in more than 380 undergraduate majors and minors, master’s programs and doctorate programs. The school houses dozens of colleges, schools, and departments that offer everything from Accounting to Visual Communications. The College of Fine Arts and Communications is home to 3,655 students enrolled in programs in the Department of Art, the School of Communications, the Department of Dance, the Department of Design, the School of Music, and the Department of Theater and Media Arts.
Programs for aspiring graphic designers can be found in several departments and schools. Options include BA and BFA degrees in Graphic Design, and Minors in Design or Advertising Design in the Department of Design and a BFA in Art with a Focus in New Genres or Printmaking in the Department of Art. Other areas of study include Interaction Design, Motion Design, Visual Development, and Branding.
40. Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, Washington (Top 6% of schools considered)
Established in 1914 as the Cornish School, Cornish College of the Arts is home to 767 students from 35 states and 18 countries. The school offers BFA degrees in the areas of Art, Dance, Design, Film/Media, Interior Architecture, Music (BMus and Post-Baccalaureate Artist Diploma in Early Music), Performance Production, and Theater. Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Design: Graphic Design, Motion Design, User Design and a BFA in Art: Printmaking, Digital Media, Painting, Photography, Video, Sculpture.
All art and design students may complete an internship or study abroad. Recent examples of where Cornish students have studied Visual and Performing Arts include Accademia dell’Arte, Arezzo, Italy; Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Ireland; Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland; NYU Berlin, Berlin, Germany; Temple University, Japan Campus, Minato, Japan; Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, Scotland; SACI, Florence, Italy; University of Tasmania, Hobart/ Launceston, Australia, and the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia.
41. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana (Top 6% of schools considered)
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) was established in 1969 and it is home to 30,488 students enrolled in more than 250 degree programs across 19 schools. Several programs are available for aspiring graphic designers through Herron School of Art + Design. Offerings include BFA and MFA degrees in Visual Communication Design, an MFA in Visual Art, and degree-enhancing Minors in Design Production, Studio Art and Technology, and Book Arts.
Technologies and tools utilized in the Visual Communication programs include, but are not limited to, drawing, offset printing, photography, and time-based and interactive media (film, video, computer multimedia). Students also learn how to perform basic business practices, including organizing design projects and working productively as a member of teams. All students, Art, Design or otherwise, have access to internship and study abroad opportunities.
42. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (Top 6% of schools considered)
Established in 1785, University of Georgia (UGA) is home to 36,130 students enrolled in 170 majors and academic programs across 17 schools and colleges. The Lamar Dodd School of Art offers a BFA in Art with Concentrations in Graphic Design, Printmaking & Book Arts, and ArtX: Expanded Forms. An Interdisciplinary Art & Design A.B., a Minor in Studio Art, and MFA degrees in ArtX and Printmaking are also on the menu.
All art and design students have access to a large study abroad program that offers experiences on all seven continents and UGA campuses in Costa Rica, Central America; Cortona, Italy, and Oxford, England.
43. Columbia College Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (Top 6% of schools considered)
Columbia College was established in 1890. It is home to more than 10,000 students enrolled in 100-plus academic majors or programs. The School of Fine and Performing Arts, Department of Design offers a BFA degree in Graphic Design and a BA in Graphic Design with Concentrations in Publication Design and Web Design. A BA in Advertising Art Direction is also on the menu for those interested in a second degree program. The School of Interactive Arts and Media also offers several options that complement Graphic Design. They include a BA in Social Media and Digital Strategy, and Interaction Design, and a Web Development Minor.
44. College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan (Top 6% of schools considered)
The College for Creative Studies (CCS) was established in 1906 as The Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts. The school is home to more than 1,400 students enrolled in over a dozen degree programs across 14 academic departments. With an enrollment of 127 students, the Graphic Design Department is one of the top five largest departments at CCS. Degree options for aspiring graphic designers include a BFA in Communication Design (Graphic Design), Interaction Design or Motion Graphics and MFA degrees in Interaction Design and Integrated Design. Degrees that complement Graphic Design include BFAs in Advertising: Copywriting, Advertising: Design and Fine Arts.
All students have the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or a year in places such as Italy, Austria, Germany, Mexico, Paris, Australia, and more. Graduates of the Design programs at CCS are prepared to work in Graphic Design, Editorial Design, Environmental Design, Information Design, Interactive Design, Package Design, Publication Design, Web Design, and many others.
45. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois (Top 6% of schools considered)
Founded as Illinois Industrial University in 1867, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (U of I or UIUC) is one of the original 37 public land-grant institutions created after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862. The school is home to 43,603 students enrolled in more than 150 programs across 15 Colleges and Instructional Units. The College of Fine and Applied Arts, School of Art and Design offers a BFA degrees in Graphic Design and New Media, an MFA in Graphic Design and a Minor in Art + Design. Another graduate degree offering that complements Graphic Design is the MFA in Painting, Sculpture, and New Media.
All design students may study for a semester abroad and they also have access to internship opportunities. Design students have gone on to land positions in Interaction Design, Art Direction, Publication Design, Motion Graphics, Photography, Type Design, Environmental Design, and Social/Service Design in a variety of settings.
46. California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Pomona, California (Top 6% of schools considered)
Established in 1938 with an all-male enrollment of 110 students, California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly Pomona) is one of only two polytechnic universities of the 23 California State University campuses and 11 in the U.S. The school is also the largest in area of all Cal State campuses. Today, Cal Poly Pomona is home to a co-ed population of 23,966 students enrolled in more than 100 degree programs across eight colleges. The school’s College of Environmental Design, Department of Art, offers one program for aspiring graphic designers—a BFA in Graphic Design.
Per the Department, the 180-unit program “focuses on intensive work in art and design supported by a program of general studies.” Students learn to work creatively in Typography, Print, Identity, Illustration, Packaging, Web Design, Motion Graphics, and Environmental Graphic Design.
47. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan (Top 7% of schools considered)
Michigan State University (MSU) was founded in 1855. It is home to 50,543 students from all counties in Michigan, all 50 states, and more than 138 countries. The school offers more than 200 programs across 17 colleges and students have access to more than 260 study abroad programs on all continents in more than 60 countries. The College of Arts & Letters, Department of Art, Art History, and Design offers several programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include BA and BFA degrees in Studio Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design, an MFA in Graphic Design, and a Graphic Design Minor.
Program highlights include real-world experience through internships, the client-initiated coursework of Design Center, and the AIGA (the professional association for design) student group and lectures given by designers such as Massimo Vignelli, Nancy Skolos & Tom Wedell, James Victore, Andrew Blauvelt, Stuart Bailey, and Karen Cheng. Students also have the opportunity to gain experience by offering design services to the community.
Recent graduates of the Graphic Design programs at MSU hold positions as Creative Directors, Art Directors, Graphic Designers, Freelancers, and Video Editors with design firms, advertising agencies, production companies, publishing companies, and in-house design offices.
48. University of Houston, Houston, Texas (Top 7% of schools considered)
The University of Houston (UH) was founded in 1927 and it is home to 40,914 students enrolled in more than 300 academic programs across 12 colleges and the UH Law Center. The College of Arts, School of Art, offers several programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include and a BFA in Graphic Design, an MFA in Studio Arts with a Concentration in Graphic Design, and a Minor in Studio Arts. All design students have access to UH’s large internship program, which highlights jobs with both national and international companies. Students may also study abroad in dozens of countries around the world.
49. Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts (Top 7% of schools considered)
Northeastern University was founded in 1898. Home to 19,940 students (2015), Northeastern offers hundreds of programs across nine colleges and schools, as well as select advanced degrees at graduate campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Toronto. The College of Arts, Media and Design (CAMD) offers a range of programs for aspiring graphic Designers. Options include BFA degrees in Design with a Concentration in Graphic and Information Design, Interaction Design, or Experience Design, a BA in Art with a Concentration in Visual Studies, half majors in Graphic and Information Design, Interaction Design, and Visual Studies, and Minors in Graphic and Information Design, Experience Design, and Interaction Design.
Graduate offerings include MFA degrees in Information Design and Visualization, Studio Art, and Interdisciplinary Arts. All CAMD students have the opportunity to study abroad in places such as Ireland, Venice, Rome, Berlin and Cuba.
50. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (Top 7% of schools considered)
Established in 1982 and home to nearly 29,000 students, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is the largest university in Chicago. The school, which has regional campuses in Peoria, Rockford, Springfield, and Urbana, IL., and The Quad Cities, offers 248 degree programs and 32 certificates across 15 colleges. The College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts houses the School of Design which offers a Bachelor of Design (BDes) and a Master of Design (MDes) in Graphic Design. The four-year BDes program highlights studio-based instruction, while the two-year MDes focuses on an independent master’s research project.
A third option is the MDes Prelim Program. Offered to applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree in design, the Prelim Program is a customized year-long program that prepares students for the two-year MDes.