Did You Know.....Full Sail’s Graphic Design degree program, offered both on campus and online, teaches students skills that are highly sought-after in the creative industry. Students will learn how to meet deadlines and work within specific creative demands while producing high-end design work in a variety of format. Learn more about Full Sail University's graphic design program.
What are the top public graphic design schools of 2023?
|1||University of Texas at Austin||Texas||1%|
|2||North Carolina State University||North Carolina||1%|
|3||University of Cincinnati||Ohio||1%|
|4||Virginia Commonwealth University||Virginia||2%|
|5||University of North Texas||Texas||2%|
|6||Arizona State University||Arizona||2%|
|7||University of California, Los Angeles||California||3%|
|8||University of Washington||Washington||3%|
|9||Portland State University||Oregon||3%|
|10||University of Illinois at Chicago||Illinois||4%|
|11||The Ohio State University||Ohio||4%|
|13||San Diego State University||California||5%|
|14||University of Florida||Florida||5%|
|15||University of Kansas||Kansas||6%|
|16||Fashion Institute of Technology||New York||6%|
|17||University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign||Illinois||6%|
|18||University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||Minnesota||7%|
|19||Massachusetts College of Art and Design||Massachusetts||7%|
|20||Michigan State University||Michigan||7%|
|21||Texas State University||Texas||8%|
|22||University of Houston||Texas||8%|
|23||University of Utah||Utah||8%|
|24||University of Georgia||Georgia||9%|
|25||Kent State University||Ohio||9%|
|26||University of Central Florida||Florida||9%|
|27||Appalachian State University||North Carolina||10%|
|28||University of Tennessee||Tennessee||10%|
|30||California State University, Los Angeles||California||15%|
|31||Oregon State University||Oregon||15%|
|32||Louisiana State University||Louisiana||15%|
|33||University of Wisconsin – Madison||Wisconsin||15%|
|34||Oklahoma State University||Oklahoma||15%|
|35||Colorado State University||Colorado||15%|
|38||San Jose State University||California||15%|
|39||California State University, Fullerton||California||15%|
|40||University of Colorado, Denver||Colorado||15%|
|41||Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis||Indiana||15%|
|42||Clemson University||South Carolina||15%|
|43||University of Arizona||Arizona||15%|
|44||Texas Tech University||Texas||15%|
|45||Purchase College||New York||20%|
|46||University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa||Hawaii||20%|
|47||Pennsylvania State University||Pennsylvania||20%|
|48||Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||Virginia||20%|
|49||Mississippi State University||Mississippi||20%|
|50||San Francisco State University||California||20%|
Our 2023 rankings of the Top 50 Public Graphic Design School Programs in the US. We considered over 300 public colleges with graphic design programs for this year's rankings. For an explanation of ranking criteria, click here.
1. University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas (Top 1% of colleges considered)
The College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) houses the School of Design and Creative Technologies. Within the School is the Design Department. Housed in the Doty Fine Arts Building (DFA) and the Art Building (ART), the Department has several pathways to study Graphic Design. At the undergraduate level, students have the option to enroll in the Design BA or BFA Program. Students seeking an advanced degree may enroll in the Design MFA Program.
For students who prefer a shorter program, The Center for Professional Education at UT Austin has a Graphic Design Certificate Program that may be completed 100% online. Over 13 sessions lasting three months, Certificate students will master industry software such as After Effects, Photoshop, In Design, and Illustrator. The program also explores design practices and the production of static and motion graphic designs.
At all degree levels, design students will explore graphic design, interaction design, and industrial design. All coursework is project-based and industry oriented, with the opportunity to create a specialization through courses across five areas: Graphic Design, Interaction Design, Industrial Design, Design History, and Design Research. Students in all UT Austin Design Programs also have plenty of opportunities to engage in experiential learning through the school’s internship and study abroad programs.
The Design BA at UT Austin combines liberal arts courses with courses in design techniques, aesthetics, theory, research methos, and history. While BA students will take fewer upper division design courses than BFA students will, the program offers the opportunity to explore other areas in additional departments across the university. Course examples for this 120 credit hour program include Sketching, History of Design, Introduction to 2D and 3D, Interaction Design, Typography, Design Research and Images in Communication. Internship and study abroad opportunities are also part of the program. Both are optional.
The Design BFA is a pre-professional degree consisting of 120 credit hours. Around two-thirds of the courses for this program are in Design and related coursework. Course examples include Identity Systems, Typography I-III, Design and Social Environment, and Industrial Design. Students in the Design BFA Program will complete one or more paid internships along with a capstone design project that will be presented in UT Austin’s Annual Public Exhibition. Students have interned at places such as Apple, Google, Samsung, Dell, IBM, and EA Games.
The University of Texas at Austin Design MFA is a 60 credit hour program designed for exceptional students with solid design skills. The program consists of seminars, studios, electives, and a thesis project. Design MFA students have 24/7 access to shared studio spaces and as well as the Design, Computer, Materials, and Digital Fabrication Labs, the Wood Shop, Visual Arts Center, and Fine Arts Library, and the Harry Ransom Center and The Foundry.
Graduates of the Design Programs at UT Austin are Graphic Designers, Brand Designers, UI/UX Designers, Book Designers, Interaction Designers, Art Directors, Product Designers, Project Managers, Design Strategists, Visual Designers, Industrial Designers, an Entrepreneurs, among others. UT Austin Design graduates work at Walt Disney Imagineering, Razorfish, Deloitte, Meta, The New York Times, H-E-B Digital, Publicis Sapient, Serenity Forge, Droga5, Double A Labs, Gensler, and frog design (part of Capgemini Invent).
Founded in 1883, University of Texas at Austin serves approximately 52,385 students, making it one of the largest universities in Texas. UT Austin provides more than 155 undergraduate degree programs with 170+ fields of study, 139 graduate degree programs, and nearly 100 doctoral programs across 18 colleges and schools. University of Texas at Austin is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
2. North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina (Top 1% of schools considered)
The College of Design at North Carolina State University (NC State University) houses the Department of Graphic and Industrial Design, home to the Bachelor of Graphic & Experience Design (BGXD) and Master of Graphic & Experience Design (MGXD) Programs. Both pathways are recognized by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The NC State MGXD is also one of the few Graphic Design graduate programs in the U.S. with STEM Classification (CIP).
Students in the BGXD Program will participate in studios that explore topics such as branding, data visualization, artificial intelligence, and accessible design. Students will also practice visualization strategies such as storyboarding, mapping, and diagramming, and they will use rapid prototyping techniques to test ideas. All students have the opportunity to collaborate with fellow BGXD students as well as industrial design, architecture, and landscape architecture students.
Other BGXD Program benefits include distinctive courses such as Typography and Technology; Branding, Interaction, and Service Design; Image & Tech Tinkering; and Information and Publishing Design Systems; the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or summer at the NC State Prague Institute or other study abroad location; professional paid internships at major design firms; and participation in sponsored studios as part of the GXD curriculum. Examples of past sponsors have included Caterpillar, John Deere, Lowe’s, Under Armour, Hanes, Coca Cola, Bosch, Eastman Chemical, and The National Civil Rights Museum.
Graduates of BGXD Program at North Carolina State University are designers at top design firms and software companies such as IDEO, R/GA, IBM, Red Hat, Lenovo, SAS, Citrix, IQVIA, Pentagram, and Willowtree.
The MGXD Program at NC State has both two-year and three-year options. Both lead to a terminal degree, equivalent to the MFA, which qualifies graduates to pursue a Design PhD or teach at the university level. The two-year program (MGXD II) is designed for students with a Graphic Design BFA (or equivalent) and experience in design, visual communication, interaction design, or related field. The three-year program (MGXD III) is for students who have earned a BA in another field or a Graphic Design Concentration.
All students will participate in graduate studios, seminars, and workshops; they will have opportunities to take electives at affiliate universities such as Duke and UNC Chapel Hill; and students will work on collaborative projects and research with major companies and institutes such as IBM, the Institute of Emerging Issues, SAS, NC State Laboratory for Analytic Sciences, and Red Hat Software. For the final graduate project, MGXD students will research an area of focus, record conclusions, design studies and mock-ups, and present the project to the public.
Graduates of the MGXD Program at North Carolina State University are prepared for leadership positions in user experience and user interface design (UX/UI), with expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), research, data visualization, and digital typography.
NC State MGXD alumni go on to establish successful careers at consulting firms, software companies, and colleges and universities. Examples include Adobe, IDEO, Pratt Institute, Lenovo, IBM, and University of Michigan, Fjord, University of Washington, Red Hat Software, and Carnegie Mellon University.
North Carolina State University employs 9,000+ faculty and staff members that serve more than 36,000 students, making it the largest university in the University of North Carolina System. Established in 1887 as a land-grant institution focusing in agriculture and engineering, NC State offers more than 300 degree programs across 11 colleges, 68 departments, and The Graduate School. North Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
3. University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio (Top 1% of colleges considered)
The College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati (UC) houses the Myron E. Ullman Jr. School of Design, which has a Bachelor of Science in Design – Communication Design Program and a Master of Design (MDes). All programs in the School of Design are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
The five-year Communication Design Program has three areas of interest including Graphic Design, Interaction Design, and Motion Design. Students in all areas have opportunities to gain real-world experience through several required co-op experiences with top Fortune 500 companies such as Nike, 3M, IBM, Meta, Guess, Macy’s, Southwest Airlines, and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Consisting of 120 credit hours, the UC DAAP Communication Design Program requires courses such as Advanced Typography, Interaction Design, Collaborative Studio, Graphic Design 1-2, Welcome to Design, Applied Professional Practice – DAAP, Design Aesthetics, Interaction Design, Photo Design, Design & Meaning, and Motion Design.
The MDes Program at University of Cincinnati is a 60 credit-hour multidisciplinary program that encompasses Communication Design, Fashion Design, and Industrial Design. The program focuses on strategy, systems thinking, evidence, methods, and designing for social impact. Course examples include Design Communication, Translational Research, Design Strategy, and Professional Development Seminar. A co-op experience is required as well as independent study and a thesis, which will be exhibited at the Annual UC DAAPworks Show.
Graduates of the DAAP Programs at University of Cincinnati have established successful freelance careers, they have been hired at design firms, or they work on internal design teams. Career opportunities include advertising design, exhibition design, publishing, corporate communications, packaging, posters, webs design, branding, game applications, environmental design, film effects, 3D animation, virtual reality applications, and more.
University of Cincinnati is an urban research university that has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1919. Accreditation includes all regional campuses. In addition, as an Ohio Public Institution, every program at UC is approved by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). Founded in 1819, University of Cincinnati serves nearly 48,000 students enrolled in more than 400 academic programs across 14 colleges and a graduate school.
4. Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia (Top 2% of schools considered)
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is home to the School of the Arts (VCUarts), which houses the Department of Graphic Design. Degree pathways here include the Graphic Design BFA and the Design MFA with a Visual Communications Concentration. Students in both programs have access to resources such as the student-run Golab, which provides print and production services, and middle Of broad (mOb)—an experimental design lab that provides opportunities to work on real-world state projects. Past projects have included projects signage for the James River Park System, a reimagined Monument Avenue in Richmond and the development of bridge concepts for Interstate 95.
Consisting of 122 credit hours, the VCUarts Graphic Design BFA includes the mandatory Art Foundation Program (AFO), which provides a first year, studio-based experience that explores current issues in art and design. Upon completion of the AFO, students move on to studio and seminar courses in graphic design that will help them develop skills in interaction design, publication and print design, and sequential and motion design. Course examples include Typeface Design, Book Arts, Design Activism, Research as Practice, and Web Design.
The 60 credit hour Design/Visual Communications MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University is a design and research degree that culminates in a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation. MFA students will complete several Visual Communications Workshops and Seminars, Research/Individual Study, and an Internship or Teaching Practicum. Study abroad opportunities are also available.
Graduates of the VCUarts Graphic Design and Design/Visual Communications Programs are Interaction/Interface Designers, Creative Directors, Environmental Graphic Designers, Broadcast/Film Designers, and Exhibition Designers.
Founded in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university that serves more than 28,900 students. The largest employer in Richmond, Virginia, VCU offers more than 200 programs across 15+ colleges, schools, and centers. Virginia Commonwealth University accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Founded in 1928, the School of the Arts at (VCUarts) is a four-year, non-profit art and design school accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association for Schools of Theatre (NAST). The school serves around 3,200 students enrolled in 18 bachelor’s degree programs and five master’s degree programs.
5. University of North Texas, Denton, Texas (Top 2% of colleges considered)
The College of Visual Arts and Design (CVAD) at the University of North Texas (UNT) is home to the only PhD in Art Education in the state of Texas. CVAD also houses the Design Department, which has several paths to study Graphic or Communication Design. At the undergraduate level, CVAD has a Communication Design BFA with two tracks: Graphic Design and User-Experience Design (UX Design).
Both tracks consist of studio coursework, with Graphic Design students taking additional requirements such as Foundations for Communication Design, Image-Making and Color Theory, and Typography I. UX Design students will take additional requirements such as Foundations of User-Centered Design, Contextual Research Methods, and Typographic Systems.
Other course examples across Tracks include Cause-Based Design, Image Making & Color Theory, Communication Design Studio, Interaction Design, Data Visualization & the Design of Information, Advanced Product Design in UX Design, Prototyping & User Testing, Planning and Developing Interactive Systems, Art History Survey I-III, and GD Advanced Campaigns.
Students in both Tracks may add a minor such as Printmaking, New Media Art, Photography, or Art History. All UNT Communication Design students will complete a portfolio of their best work to graduate. Program alumni are prepared to work in advertising, publishing, entertainment, manufacturing, and computer systems design. University of North Texas CVAD graduates also qualify for jobs in government agencies, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, and museums.
Established in 1890 and employing more than 4,600 faculty and staff members, University of North Texas is one of the largest employers in the City of Denton, Texas. The school serves approximately 44,530 students, making it one of the top 10 largest universities in Texas and one of the largest in the U.S. Students at UNT have access to more than 200 degree options across 14 colleges and schools. University of North Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and it is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
6. Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona (Top 2% of colleges considered)
Arizona State University (ASU) houses the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts—home to The Design School. Within the School is a Visual Communication (Graphic) Design Program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Degree options include a Bachelor of Science in Design (BSD) in Graphic Design, a Master of Science in Design (MSD) with a Concentration in Visual Communication Design (VCD MSD), and a Master of Visual Communication Design (MVCD).
The Graphic Design BSD is available at ASU’s Tempe campus and through ASU Online. Course examples for the program include Visual Communication I-VI, Designing Life, Motion Graphics and Interaction Design, Principles for Graphic Design I-II, Advanced Media, Technology for Design I-II, Exhibit Design, and Letterform. The ASU Graphic Design BSD requires 120 credit hours to graduate, including 45 upper division hours.
The VCD MSD is available at the ASU Tempe campus. Consisting of 36 credit hours taken over four semesters (two years), the MSD Program requires courses such as Research Methods, Qualitative Research in Design, Methods in Visual Communication I-II, and VCD Seminar: Contemporary Issues. Visiting designers, an internship in teaching design, and a Thesis or the Applied Project Course are also part of the program.
The MVCD Program at the ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts explores interaction design, user experience design, design for social innovation, service design, participatory design, and more. Students will also engage in visualization, prototyping, theoretical research, ideation, creative solutions testing, and visual research.
Consisting of 42-43 credit hours, the MVCD Program has two options: a two-year, studio-based degree for professionals with solid design experience or a degree in VCD, Graphic Design or other related area, and a three-year degree, also studio-based, for students without an undergraduate design degree or experience in VCD or Graphic Design.
Students in the two-year ASU MVCD Program are encouraged to complete an internship, while three-year students are required to complete an internship. Internships take place during the summer after the first year, and they may be completed anywhere in the U.S. and around the world. Both program options require successful completion of Advanced Visual Communication Design Studio IV (culminating experience), worth five credits.
Graduates of the Design Programs at Arizona State University are prepared to pursue positions such as Graphic Designer, Set and Exhibition Designer, Instructional Designer, Technologist, Design Educator, Commercial and Industrial Designer, Art Director, Media Collection Specialist, Desktop Publisher, Package Designer, Animator, and UI/UX Designer, among others.
ASU Design alumni have been hired at major companies and organizations such as Google, UNICEF, American Airlines, GoDaddy, and Banner Health.
Arizona State University serves approximately 140,760 students, making it one of the largest universities in the U.S. Founded in 1885 as the Arizona Territorial Normal School, ASU has four campuses that provide 800 fully accredited degree programs across 16 colleges and schools. Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
7. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Los Angeles, California (Top 3% of schools considered)
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) houses the School of the Arts and Architecture, home to the Department of Design Media Arts (DMA). Within the Department are two paths to study Graphic Design: the DMA BA and the Media Arts MFA. Students in both programs will explore visual communication, narrative, game design, video, and network media through required coursework and/or electives.
Foundation courses for the undergraduate program cover typography; color, space and form; and interactivity and motion. Graduate Media Arts students will complete a number of seminars, group critiques, and programming media courses along with research projects and a final thesis project. The thesis will be part of the UCLA MFA Exhibition. Course examples for this program include Programming Media, Contemporary Topics in Media Arts, Virtuality, Creating Context & Collaborative Practice, and TA Training.
Courses for the UCLA DMA and Media Arts Programs are taught as studios, typically with no more than 22 students. Course examples for the undergraduate program include Design Culture, Topics in Visual Communication and Image, Typography, Network Media, Narrative, Word + Image, Special Topics in Design Media Arts, Form, Topics in Interactivity And Games, and Tangible Media. DMA BFA students will complete course 159, Capstone Senior Project in Design Media Arts, to graduate.
All UCLA DMA and Media Arts students have access to numerous labs, spaces, and other facilities. Examples include the Broad Art Center, DMA Labs, Video Labs, Experimental Digital Arts (EDA) Space, Media Arts Research Space (MARS), the Audio and Video Labs, Fabrication & Electronics Labs, the Shoot Room, Print Lab, Art | Sci Center, New Wight Gallery, the UCLA Game Lab, DMA Graduate Student Gallery, and the Arts Library.
Graduates of the DMA and Media Arts Programs at University of California Los Angeles are prepared to pursue careers in areas such as graphic design, multimedia design, advertising, UI/UX design, art or design direction, media art, web design, content strategy, branding and packaging, book art and publishing, exhibition design, presentation design, graphic art, motion art and design, and marketing.
Some of the top companies that hire UCLA graduates include Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Apple, KPMG, Getty, Microsoft, NBCUniversal, Walt Disney Company, Mattel, Oracle, Kaiser Permanente, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SpaceX, Cisco Systems, Target Corporation, Accenture, Teach for America, Bloomberg, and the County of Los Angeles.
University of California Los Angeles has played a pivotal role in the formation of nearly 200 startup companies to date. Established in 1919, the school serves 45,900 students enrolled in more than 250 programs across 12 professional schools and UCLA College. UCLA students hail from more than 118 countries around the world. University
8. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (Top 3% of colleges considered)
The College of Arts & Sciences (ArtSci) at University of Washington (UW) houses the School of Art + Art History + Design (SoA+AH+D), home to the Division of Design, which has two paths to study Graphic Design: the Bachelor of Design (BDes) and the Master of Design (MDes). The BDes has Visual Communication, Interaction Design, and Industrial Design Majors.
One of the largest and most decorated undergraduate programs at UW, Visual Communication Design is a professional program that explores all areas of design systems, new media, typography, publication design, visual methods/processes, information design, and exhibition design. Consisting of 180 credit hours, the Visual Communication BDes is intensive and collaborative, with opportunities to take electives in other areas of interest.
Courses for the program are five credit hours and include titles such as Marks + Symbols, Interface Design I-II, Exhibition Design, Visual Systems, Information Design, Publication Design, Advanced Typography, Corporate Identity, and Motion Design.
In the Junior and Senior years of the UW BDes program, students will complete an internship, a Design Capstone, and Design Exhibition worth 1-3 credit hours. Students will also have the opportunity to complete a Study Abroad experience in places such as Paris, London, or Amsterdam.
The MDes Program at University of Washington emphasizes individualized and interdisciplinary studies, which provides plenty of opportunities to study Visual Communication. This two-year, terminal degree is suited to students who already have a degree in a design-related field and several years of work experience in the field. The program is research-based and allows students to choose courses from and complete research projects with the College of Engineering; the Departments of Communication, Psychology, and Biomedical Informatics; and the Schools of Business and Nursing. Past thesis topics include Information visualization, Urban Planning, Aviation, and Healthcare.
Throughout the MDes Program, students will have opportunities to complete several special projects led by design faculty and sponsored by major corporations. Other program benefits include project-based studios, seminars, and independent study. During the final year of the UW MDes Program, students will work with their Chair and committee to complete a thesis document and exhibition to be displayed at UW’s Henry Art Gallery.
Established in 1861, the University of Washington serves approximately 60,080 students across campuses in Seattle (main), Bothell, and Tacoma, Washington. UW houses more than 300 programs and 570+ degree options across 18 colleges and schools. The University of Washington is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Engineering at the University is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
9. Portland State University, Portland, Oregon (Top 3% of schools considered)
The College of Arts at Portland State University (PSU) houses the School of Art + Design (A +D), which has a Graphic Design BFA, a Graphic Design Minor, and an Advertising Management (AM) Minor for Graphic Design Majors. The 24 credit hour AM Minor consists of the following courses: Advertising, Creative Strategy, Consumer Behavior and Customer Satisfaction, Advertising Campaigns, and Marketing Management. Students will select one 400-level Marketing elective to complete the program.
The Graphic Design BFA Program at Portland State University provides the opportunity to gain experience through A + D Projects (the School of Art + Design’s in-house studio) where they have the chance to work on projects for real clients. Other program features include the peer mentorship program, the weekly graphic design lecture series, field trips, professional portfolio development, demos, and professional off-campus internships.
More than 200 study abroad programs are also open to BFA students. Examples include Summer Abroad experiences such as Art History in Rome, Mixed Media and Printmaking in Guanajuato, Mexico, and Berlin: The Fall and Rise of an Art City.
Each spring, PSU Graphic Design students will participate in the annual student showcase Be Honest. This allows them to present their work to design professionals. In the final year of the program, graduating Seniors will participate in Fresh—the A + D Graphic Design Senior Showcase. The event allows students to network, display their work, and get feedback from industry professionals.
Consisting of 32 credit hours of study, the PSU Graphic Design Minor is a flexible program that includes courses such as Digital Page Design, Communication Design Systems, Narrative and Communication Design Typography, Digital Imaging and Illustration, and Communication Design Systems.
Graduates of the Portland State University Design Programs are prepared to pursue positions such as Graphic Designer, Branding and Identity Designer, Interactive Designer, Web and Mobile Designer, Product Designer, Art Director, User Interface Designer, Environmental Designer, Illustrator, Design Manager, App Designer, Publication Designer, and Motion Graphics Designer.
Program alumni have been hired at major agencies and corporations such Apple, IBM, Nordstrom, Adidas, Snapchat, Spotify, Dropbox, Wieden+Kennedy, Buzzfeed, R/GA, Nike, and IDEO. Others have found success at design studios such as OMFCO, Jolby, Sandstrom, and Instrument. Some PSU Design alumni have gone on to launch their own start-ups, product lines, or freelance careers.
Portland State University opened in the summer of 1946 with 220 students. Today, PSU serves approximately 22,015 students, with more than 2,700 students enrolled in the College of Arts, making it the largest art school in the Pacific Northwest. PSU College of Arts houses the Schools of Art + Design, Architecture, Film, and Music & Theater. Portland State University offers more than 200 degree programs housed across nine colleges and schools. Portland State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
10. University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (Top 4% of schools considered)
The College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts (CADA) at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) houses the School of Design, home to the Bachelor of Design (BDes) and Master of Design (MDes) Programs. The School of Design also houses a studio-based, interdisciplinary Design Studies BA for students who are interested in studying multiple areas of design. With a focus on collaboration and the human experience in design, the Design Studies BA explores Graphic and Industrial Design, Humanities, and the Sciences.
The BDes and MDes Programs provide the opportunity to study Graphic Design or Industrial Design. The Graphic Design BDes consists of a Foundation Year, followed by Form + Systems (year two), Expressions + Interactions (year three), and Options (final year). The Foundations Year consists of courses such as Design Drawing, Form Studio, and Color Theory. Year two course examples include Digital Media Design II: Interactivity and III: Motion, Type I: Form and Type II: Systems, and Form + Image Studio. During the third year of the BDES Program, students will take a number of design history courses and advanced courses such as Type III: Dimension, Type IV: Experimentation, Digital Media Design IV: Advanced Interactivity, and Social Media Design.
In the final year of the Graphic Design BDes Program at UIC, students will complete two Senior Design Colloquium courses, Mobile App Design (MAD) I-II, and two Capstones including the Personal Capstone: Graphic Design Thesis I-II and Professional Capstone: Interdisciplinary Product Development.
The Graphic Design MDes at UIC is an intensive, collaborative program that takes two years to complete. Course examples include Advanced Graphic Design I-II, Combined Studio, Graduate Seminar, Documentation Studio, and Research Seminar I-II.
A major component of the Graphic MDes at University of Illinois at Chicago is the study abroad experience. All Chicago-based students will participate in the Basel School of Design summer workshops, which take place at the FHNW HGK Basel Visual Communication Institute in Münchenstein, Switzerland.
Serving nearly 34,000 students, University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest university in the Chicago area and one of the top five largest universities in the state. With roots dating back to 1859, when the Chicago College of Pharmacy was founded, UIC offers more than 250 degree programs and 85 minors across 16 colleges and schools. The University of Illinois at Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
11. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (Top 4% of colleges considered)
The College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University (OSU) houses the Department of Design and the Department of Art. Both provide paths to study Graphic Design. The Department of Design has a Visual Communication Design Program that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Design (BSD), and a Design Thinking Minor. For students seeking a graduate degree, the Department of Art has an interdisciplinary Visual Arts MFA Program.
Students in the Visual Communication Design Program will have access to undergraduate research opportunities beginning on day one. Students also have opportunities to study with students from Mackenzie Presbyterian University in São Paulo, Brazil, or participate in Design Week in Milan, Italy. Other program benefits include participation in student organizations such as Design for 90, D3: Design Develop Deploy, and NOMA: Designers for Diversity; the opportunity to pursue the Arts Honor Program; and portfolio development throughout the program.
Course examples for the BSD Program include Intermediate Visual Communication Design, Design Media, Materials and Processes, Advanced Visual Communication Design, Typographic Design, Collaborative Design, Design Research, Professional Practice, and Design History.
Graduates of the Visual Communication Design BSD at OSU have been hired at places such as McGraw-Hill Education, Microsoft, Walt Disney Company, IBM iX, The Digest, JP Morgan Chase, Binance, Walt Disney Imagineering, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ring, Interbrand, and SafeAuto Insurance.
The Design Thinking Minor is a 15 credit hour program that covers the basics of design. Courses include Introduction to Design Practice, Design History, Exploring Design Thinking, Visualization as Thinking, and Presentation as Thinking. Students in all departments may add the Design Thinking Minor to their degree program.
The Ohio State University Visual Arts MFA is a three-year, 66 credit hour program that explores Art and Technology, Painting and Drawing, Printmaking, Photography, Film/Video, Glass, and Sculpture. Students in this full-time program may specialize in a variety of design disciplines through electives and other coursework. Additional program benefits include visiting artists, critics, and curators, 24/7 access to private and semi-private studio spaces, internship opportunities, and access to state-of-the-art facilities, exhibition spaces, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Fine Arts and Cartoon Libraries.
The OSU Visual Arts MFA Program culminates with the MFA Thesis Exhibition, which demonstrates the student’s expertise in their area of specialization. Exhibitions are displayed at the OSU-run, Urban Arts Space, located in downtown Columbus.
The Ohio State University was established in 1870 as Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. The school serves close to 65,795 students across six regional campuses including Columbus (main), Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and OSU’s Agricultural Technical Institute in Wooster. More than 200 majors, minors, and specializations are offered in 18 colleges and schools. The Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
12. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama (Top 4% of colleges considered)
The College of Architecture, Design, and Construction houses the School of Industrial and Graphic Design—home to Alabama’s only Graphic Design Program to receive accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Leading to a BFA, the Graphic Design (GDES) Program consists of 123 credit hours that focus on branding, packaging, wayfinding design, UI/UX, illustration, app design, typography, motion design, and publishing. Course examples include Graphic Design I-II, Interactive Media, Typographics, Graphic Processes, Photo Design, and Graphic Design History.
Besides a variety of in-demand courses, BFA students benefit from the program’s professional studio environment, hands-on design instruction, cross-disciplinary collaborations, guest lecturers, exhibitions, and design symposiums. Students also have access to internship opportunities and access to Auburn University’s Study Abroad Program, with work and learn experiences in places such as Scotland, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, and Taiwan.
During the final year of the Auburn GDES BFA Program, students will complete a professional portfolio of their best work.
Auburn GDES graduates go on to secure positions with advertising agencies, publishers, design studios, magazines, marketing firms, web design companies, and more. They work in areas such as branding and packaging, illustration, environmental graphics, web design and development, interactive media, and exhibition design, among others.
Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Chartered in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, the school went on to become the first land-grant college in the South in 1872. Today, Auburn serves a diverse population of approximately 31,765 students, making it one of the largest universities in the region. Auburn University offers 150 majors and programs across more than a dozen colleges and schools.
13. San Diego State University, San Diego, California (Top 5% of schools considered)
The College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA) at San Diego State University (San Diego State or SDSU) houses seven schools, three departments, and 15 interdisciplinary centers and institutes. Serving more than 5,000 students, PFSA provides internship opportunities, international experiences, and public performances and presentations to students in all of its departments and schools.
For students who would like to pursue a career in Graphic Design, the PFSA School of Art + Design has BA, MA, MFA degrees in Applied Arts and Sciences with a Graphic Design Emphasis. Students in all programs have access to state-of-the art facilities such as the Computing Labs for Digital Imaging, Interactive Media, and Video; Printmaking, Letterpress, and Book Arts Studios; Intaglio and Relief Printmaking Studios; the Screen Printing Studio; and seven Mac Computer Labs. SDSU Graphic Design students also benefit from the Art + Design School’s visiting lecture series; access to local galleries and museums; interaction with visual and performing arts organizations; and AIGA membership.
Course examples across programs include Graphic Design I-IV, Experiential Graphic Design, Expressive Typography I-IV, Screen Printing Studio, Design for the Internet, Artists and Designers in Real Time, Packaging Design, Art and Design Theory and Criticism, and Seminar in Professional Practice of Art and Design. BA students will complete the Senior Portfolio/Exhibition to graduate, while MA and MFA students will complete a Thesis or Final Project to graduate.
Graduates of the San Diego State University Graphic Design Programs are prepared to pursue positions such as Lead Graphic Designer, Brand Designer, Ad Designer, Graphic Illustrator, Print Production Artist, Technical Illustrator, Layout/Production Artist, Book Artist, Packing Designer, Logo Designer, Art Director, and Multimedia Artist, among others.
Established in 1897 and serving approximately 35,725 students, San Diego State University is the oldest and largest higher education institution in San Diego. The school offers more than 200 degree programs across seven colleges and hundreds of departments. San Diego State University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
14. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida (Top 5% of colleges considered)
The College of the Arts at University of Florida (UF) encompasses the fully accredited schools of Art + Art History, Theatre + Dance, and Music, the Center for Arts in Medicine, and the Digital Worlds Institute. Within the School of Art + Art History are three paths to study Graphic Design including the Graphic Design BFA, the Design & Visual Communications (MxD) MFA, and the Graphic Design Certificate.
The 120 credit hour Graphic Design BFA explores 2D, 3D, and 4D, design, art history, and drawing. Course examples for the program include Workshop for Art Research and Practice: WARP, Visual Methods and Processes, Space Studio, Digital Imaging, Graphic Design: Visual Systems in Design, Technologies and Processes, Design: Visualization and Creativity, Image, Form and Meaning, and Design and Professional Practice Studio.
Students in the UF Graphic Design BFA Program will take Design Workshop and studios such as Design and Professional Practice, and Senior Design Studio. All students will have the opportunity to work with clients on real-world projects. Design students will graduate with a professional portfolio of their best work.
The University of Florida MxD MFA is a terminal degree consisting of 60 credit hours of coursework. In existence for more than 20 years, this design-centered, interdisciplinary program has two-year and three-year options consisting of studios, seminars, workshops, practicums, and internship opportunities. The MFA also provides opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills and teaching skills through electives. Examples include Seminar in Arts Advocacy and Public Policy, Social Entrepreneurship, Creativity in Entrepreneurship, Teaching Art in Higher Education, and Methods of Research in Art Education. Students have the option to complete a Thesis or MFA Creative Project.
The 15 credit hour Graphic Design Certificate Program at University of Florida is open to students majoring in Art or Art History. Courses include Perceptual Drawing, Visual Methods and Processes, Typography 1: Letterform, Design Thinking, and Graphic Design Practice. The UF Graphic Design Certificate Program takes four semesters to complete.
Graduates of the Graphic Design and Visual Communications Programs at University of Florida are Designers, Creative Directors, Educators, and Entrepreneurs. Program alumni have been hired at a variety of companies, studios, and organizations such as Walt Disney Imagineering, Apple, Meta, Verizon, Microsoft, IBM, Twitter, JetBlue, West Elm, IDEO, Fossil, Viacom, JetBlue, Kate Spade, and the Miami Heat.
MxD alumni have also landed positions at Google, L’Oréal, Ball State University, Auburn University, University at Buffalo, Illinois State University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Colorado–Boulder, Northern Alabama University, and University of Florida.
University of Florida was founded in 1858 as Gainesville Academy. When it opened, the Academy has just a few students. Today, UF serves approximately 61,110 students enrolled in more than 300 undergraduate and graduate programs across 16 colleges and schools. The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
15. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas (Top 6% of colleges considered)
The School of Architecture and Design at the University of Kansas (KU) houses the Department of Design. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Department features access to state-of-the-art facilities; collaborations, lectures, and workshops led by industry professionals; study abroad programs; and local and international internships.
For students seeking a Graphic Design program, the Design Department has a Visual Communication (Graphic Design) BFA and a Book Arts Certificate with both undergraduate and graduate pathways. The undergraduate certificate consists of 12-13 credit hours. The graduate program requires 12 credit hours. Examples of available courses across programs include Publication and Editorial, Bookmaking, Papermaking or Japanese Woodblock, Publication Design, Letterpress, Writer’s Workshop, The Artists Book, Typography & Printing in Italy, and Medieval Manuscripts & Early Printed Books. Both programs offer the opportunity to complete Study Abroad: Typography & Printmaking in Italy.
The University of Kansas Visual Communication Design Program consists of 120 credit hours. Courses for this professional BFA are hands-on, studio-based, and research intensive. Course examples include Principles in Visual Communication. Branding, Designing Understanding, Typographic Systems, Think and Make, Design Thinking and Research, Fundamentals in UX Design, Designing Social Interactions, and Elements of Type. In the Junior year of the program, students will begin working on their final portfolio. In the final year of the program, students will complete the Professional Studies requirement (two courses), Senior Problems, and the Final Capstone Project.
Graduates of the Visual Communication Design and Book Arts Programs at KU work in advertising, branding and package design, UI/UX design, publishing, book design marketing, public relations, industrial design, exhibition design, motion graphic design, environmental design, web design, and multimedia. Possible careers include Graphic Designer, Communications Manager, Advertising Commercial/Industrial Designer, Advertising Art Director, Visual Designer, Multimedia Artist, Public Relations Manager, Exhibition Designer, Art Director, and Marketing Manager.
Founded in 1865, University of Kansas opened on September 12, 1866 with one building and 55 students. Today, the school serves 28,500 students across five Kansas campuses including Lawrence, Overland Park, Kansas City, Wichita, and Salina. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), University of Kansas houses more than 400 degree and certificate programs across 13 academic schools.
16. Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New York (Top 6% of colleges considered)
Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) has two paths to study Graphic Design. For students seeking a four-year degree, FIT’s School of Art and Design has a Graphic Design BFA Program that consists of 32 credit hours in the major. In the Communication Design Pathways Department is a Communication Design AAS, which has one-year and two-year options. The one-year option can be completed on campus or entirely online.
Both programs provide hands-on learning, collaborative and experimental design projects, courses taught by experienced design professionals, and access to more than 30 minors. Examples that complement the degree programs include Design Thinking, Film and Media Studies, Creative Technology, English, 3D Design, Color Studies, International Trade and Marketing, Ethics and Sustainability, and Creative Entrepreneurship.
The FIT Communication Design AAS is an introductory program that explores concept development, visual communication, typography, digital design foundation, layout systems, design process, presentation skills, photography, web design, information systems, and research methods. Course examples for the program include Advanced The Convergence of Type and Image, Design Process Technology, Visual Language, Typography I-II, Digital Graphics Intensive, Computer Typesetting and Design, Vector Graphics, Presentation Graphics for Built Environments, and Basic Bookbinding.
Graduates of the FIT Communication Design AAS Program are prepared to pursue entry-level positions in Graphic Design or admission to an FIT BFA Program such as Graphic Design, Packaging Design, Advertising and Digital Design, or Spatial Experience Design.
The FIT Graphic Design BFA explores topics such as branding, motion graphics, editorial design, advanced typography, interactive web design, experiential design (exhibitions and wayfinding) and emerging design practices and approaches. Course examples include Core Studio I: Design and Methodology, Typeface Design, Print and Digital Production, Core Studio II: Design and Culture, Design for Web-based User Interface, Typography and Language, Core Studio III: Design and Innovation, Print and Digital Production, and Motion Graphics for Designers. All BFA students will complete the Professional Preparation course, the Senior Thesis Project, and an Internship.
Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA Program at Fashion Institute of Technology work for advertising agencies, nonprofit organizations, branding agencies, cultural institutions, design studios, interactive agencies, and music producers. FIT alumni have been hired at BBDO, MoMA, Atlantic Records, The Jewish Museum, Nike, Sony Music, R/GA, Think Brands, Landor & Fitch, the New York Public Library, and Hyperkat.
Part of the State University of New York (SUNY) System, Fashion Institute of Technology opened in 1944 inside the High School of Needles Trades. On the first day of class, the school had 100 students. Today, FIT spans an entire city block and serves 8,150 students, according to the most recent available figures. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels in five academic divisions. Fashion Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA).
17. University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, Champaign, Urbana (Top 6% of colleges considered)
The College of Fine & Applied Arts at University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign (UIUC) houses the School of Art & Design, home to Graphic Design BFA Program. Students in this 122 credit hour program have the option to explore other areas through an interdisciplinary selection of electives such as Advanced Interaction Design, Traditional Printmaking, and Video. Course examples for the program include Design Methods, Graphic Design Toolbox, Interaction Design, Typographic Systems, Graphic Design Inquiry, and Ethics of a Designer in a Global Economy.
Other BFA Program features include dedicated studio spaces, 24/7 access to computer labs, participation in the Annual BFA Exhibition held at UIUC’s Krannert Art Museum, the lecture series, and the Senior Portfolio Review held in Chicago. Graphic Design BFA students also have the opportunity to join the AIGA Student Chapter, which provides networking opportunities, workshops, and trips Chicago-based design studios. All Graphic Design BFA students have the opportunity to take advantage of enrichment programming such as minors, internships, and more than 300 study abroad programs in 50+ countries.
The Graphic Design BFA Program at UIUC ends with a Graphic Design Practicum and a Graphic Design Capstone.
For students seeking an advanced degree, the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign has an Art and Design MFA with a Concentration in Design for Responsible Innovation (formerly Graphic Design). Consisting of 64 credit hours, this interdisciplinary program explores responsible practices in traditional print media and emerging technologies such as digital interaction, visual narrative, systems thinking, data visualization, and information design.
The UIUC Art and Design MFA has specialized tracks of study in Sustainable and Regenerative Design, Visual Cultural Studies, and Urban Sociology and Critical Race Design. Students may also focus on applied research in responsible innovation, engagement, and social impact. MFA students will complete a written thesis and participate in the graduation exhibition to complete the program.
Graduates of the Design Programs at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign work in areas such as publication design, advertising, interaction design, consulting, photography, type design, art direction, and environmental design. Program alumni work for advertising agencies, design studios, start-ups, and on in-house design teams in a variety of settings.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was established in 1867 as Illinois Industrial University. The second oldest public school in the state, UIUC serves 55,000 students from 50 U.S. states and 126 countries. More than 150 undergraduate programs and more than 100 graduate and professional programs are offered across 16 colleges and instructional units. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
18. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Top 7% of colleges considered)
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (UMN) is home to the College of Design, which houses the Graphic Design Program. Available paths include a BFA degree along with MA, MFA, MS, and PhD degrees with an optional Graphic Design Track. Students in all programs participate in advanced studios, individual and collaborative design projects, workshops, seminars, internships, and the study abroad program.
The UMN Graphic Design BFA requires 120 total credits, with 80-89 in the major. The program explores areas such as typography, data visualization, digital drawing, color theory, hand-drawing, and web design. Course and elective examples include Interaction Design, Text and Image, Packaging and Display, Identity and Symbols, Product Innovation Lab, Design and Visual Presentation, Travels in Typography, Storytelling and Design, Data Visualization Studio, Digital Illustration and Animation, and Concept Sketching.
The Graphic Design BFA Program at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities culminates with the Senior Thesis and Exhibition, which allows students to present their work to the faculty, peers, and the design community. Students will graduate with a portfolio of their best work.
In addition to the Graphic Design Track, the MA, MFA, MS, and PhD Programs at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities allow students to specialize in Human Interaction with Designed Objects, Color Systems and Perception, Design History, Social and Cultural Implications of Design, Visual Representation of Information, Design Education, or Multicultural Communication.
The MA and MS Programs offer two plans: A and B. Plan A is thesis-focused and prepares students for the PhD Program. This pathway can be completed in 2-3 years full-time. Plan B is a project-based, two-year program designed for students seeking career advancement. Both plans are 34 credit hours and a both require a final oral examination.
The UMN MFA with a Graphic Design Track consists of 60 credit hours completed over three years, full-time. Students will complete 40 credit hours in the major and 12 capstone project credits. A final oral examination is required to graduate. Consisting of 64 credit hours completed over four years, full-time, the PhD is for students interested in research or teaching. Students in this program will take 28 credits in the major and 24 dissertation credits.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at University of Minnesota - Twin Cities are prepared to pursue positions at places such as graphic design studios, public relations firms, advertising agencies, publishing companies, web design companies, marketing firms, entertainment production studios, government agencies, and museums. Program alumni hold titles such as Graphic Designer, Art Director, User Experience Designer, Data Visualization Strategist, Web Designer, Interactive Designer, and Creative Director, and among others.
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities is the flagship institution of the University of Minnesota System and the state’s only land-grant university. Founded in 1851, UMN is one of largest research universities in the nation and one of just five universities in the U.S. with agricultural, engineering, law, medical, and veterinary medicine schools—all on one campus. Around 20,000 UMN faculty and staff serve more than 50,000 students enrolled in over 150 undergraduate majors, 150+ minors, and more than 200 master’s and doctoral programs. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1913.
19. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts (Top 7% of colleges considered)
The Communication Design Program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) has two program options for students seeking careers in Graphic Design: the Communication Design BFA and the Communication Design Certificate. The MassArt Communication Design BFA explores advertising, branding and package design, interactive communication, information design, web and app design, user experience design, and publication design. Program features include hands-on studio courses led by designers who are active in the industry; collaborative projects; readings and presentations; and the MassArt Internship.
In addition to several design studio courses, BFA students will complete Professional Practice, Independent Study, Advanced Projects I-II, the Graphic Design Portfolio course, and the Senior Degree Project. Other course examples include Graphic Design I-IV, Advertising and Art Direction, Lettering in Design, Typography I-III, Identity Systems, Programming for Designers, Experimental Book Arts, Poster Design, Print Production Workshop, Advanced Web Projects, Tools for Web & App Development, Type Design, and Information Architecture.
Graduates of the Communications Design BFA Program at Massachusetts College of Art and Design work in advertising, book publishing, public relations, marketing, print media, entertainment, web development, social media, and animation and multimedia, among others. Some program alumni have established successful freelance careers, while others have gone on to launch their own creative studios and design firms.
The Communication Design Certificate at Massachusetts College of Art and Design has three stackable levels of certification. Level 1 consists of four courses and covers visual communication for print and screen-based mediums. Level 2 consists of three courses and a non-credit workshop. Building on skills learned in Level 1, Level 2 includes advanced coursework in brand design, interactive design for web and mobile interfaces, typography, and UX design. Level 2 students will complete a professional portfolio.
Level 3 consists of four courses and one non-credit workshop. The most advanced of the three, this level consists of advanced courses in design systems. Level 3 graduates are prepared to pursue immediate employment in visual designs, brand strategy and design, graphic design, UX/UI design, and product design at advertising agencies, design studios, interactive agencies, web design companies, and non-profits. Graduates also have the skills needed launch their own design studios and freelance businesses.
Founded in 1873 as Massachusetts Normal School, Massachusetts College of Art and Design is the nation’s first and only public college of art and design. The school serves approximately 1,785 students enrolled more than 40 degree, minor, and certificate programs. More than 150 continuing education students are enrolled in over 100 classes and workshops in all areas of art and design.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) and it is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
20. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan (Top 7% of schools considered)
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. The Graphic Design Minor consists of 15 credit hours. 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 AAHD programs are eligible for AIGA membership, and they have access to the Annual Visiting Artist & Scholar Lecture Series, and opportunities to complete an internship at a local or national company.
In addition to completing required courses, students in the Graphic Design BFA will select courses from the Two-Dimensional, Three-Dimensional, and Electronic Art and Intermediate and Photography Areas. Course examples for the BFA and the Minor include Graphic Design I: Graphic Form, Motion Design, Digital Graphic Design: Tools and Methods, History of Graphic Design, Graphic Design II: Visual Communication, Interaction Design, Experimental Design Practices, Concepts of Graphic Design, Design Thinking for Entrepreneurs, Design Center, Cartographic Design and Production, and Senior Seminar and Professional Practice.
Graduates of the MSU Graphic Design BFA Program work at advertising agencies, marketing firms, design studios, publishing companies, and more. They hold titles such as Graphic Designer, Art Director, Creative Producer, Media Manager, Communications Coordinator, Web Designer, and User Experience Designer. Program alumni have been hired at Leo Burnett, General Motors, Quicken Loans, TechSmith Corporation, Campbell Ewald, Domino’s, and Shift Digital.
For students seeking a graduate degree, Michigan State University has a Create Your Own Pathway MFA Program that includes seminars, dedicated studio practice, opportunities for external study, and formal critique. Students may select courses from any area of interest to build a focus area. This includes Graphic Design. In addition to selected courses, and seminars such as History of Art and Professional Practices, MFA students will take studios such as Integration in Studio Art and Exploration and Research in Studio Art.
The Michigan State University MFA Program requires a Final Research Project, completed over several courses, to graduate. Program alumni are prepared to pursue positions at major companies, design studios, advertising agencies, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions.
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.
21. Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas (Top 8% of colleges considered)
The College of Fine Arts & Communication at Texas State University (Texas State) is home to the School of Art and Design, which houses the Communication Design Program (ComDes). Degree options include the BFA and MFA in ComDes. The 120 credit hour ComDes BFA provides mentoring, meetups, and internship opportunities through the Texas State’s relationships with local and national businesses. Students have also interned at companies in Europe.
Courses for the program are taught in a studio environment with access to the Mitte Complex, which houses state-of-the-art production facilities and equipment. Coursework explores brand experience, sustainable packaging, typography, corporate identity, environmental graphics, human-centered design, interactive design, art direction, and design research. Specific course examples include Branding Systems, Expanded Media, Trademark Design, Interactive Media, Introduction to Printmaking: Intaglio and Lithography, and Typography. The ComDes BFA Program culminates with a Senior Portfolio Presentation and Self-Promotion Capstone.
Before graduating from the program, many ComDes students have already earned publishing credits in journals such as PRINT, Communication Arts, Graphis New Talent Annual, Step Inside Design, CMYK, and Logo Lounge. Students in the program have also received recognition competitions such as the Austin Addy Awards, the San Antonio Addy Awards, AIGA Flux, Creative Summit, the American Advertising Federation Awards, Art The National Show, Director's Club of Houston, and The One Show.
Graduates of the Texas State University ComDes BFA Program have been placed at companies such as DDB, Google, Microsoft, Disney, Verizon, IBM, Spotify, Indeed, Vrbo, H-E-B Digital, GSD&M, USAA, and Helms Workshop.
The Texas State University ComDes MFA is a terminal degree that can be completed online with just one campus residency each year. During the residency, students will participate in workshops, critiques, and visiting designer lectures. Graduate assistantships are also offered in the School of Art and Design, and allow students to gain teaching experience through the ComDes BFA Program. Graduate assistantships are paid positions that require 20 hours of work per week.
The Texas State MFA/CD consists of 60 credit hours including 18 credit hours of core curriculum, 30 credit hours of prescribed communication design studio electives, six credit hours of free electives, and six credit hours of thesis. Courses explore digital design, visual communication, typography, and design history. Course examples include The Experimental Book, Generative Design, Experience Design, Imaging, Alternative Printing Methods, Kinetic Typography, Design for Motion, Corporate Identity Systems, Professional Practice, Design Futures, Entrepreneurial Design, Exhibitions, Corporate Marketing Materials, and Research Through Making.
In the Professional Practice course, MFA students will work with regional and national advertising agencies, graphic design firms, and digital media studios to gain professional experience.
Potential careers for graduates of the Texas State University MFA/CD Program include Senior Graphic Designer, Design Manager, Visual Designer, Creative Director, Typographer, Senior Interaction Designer, UI/UX Designer, Art Director, and Professor.
Lyndon B. Johnson is the Texas State University’s most famous alumni, and the only president to graduate from a Texas college. Established in 1899 as a teacher’s college known as Southwest Texas Normal School, the school serves approximately 38,170 students enrolled in more than 200 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Located on the banks of the San Marcos River, Texas State University has been a part of the Texas State University System since 1911 and it is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
22. University of Houston, Houston, Texas (Top 8% of schools considered)
Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts (KGMCA) at University of Houston (UH) houses the School of Art, which has two paths to study Graphic Design: a BFA in Graphic Design and Studio Art MFA with a Graphic Design Concentration. Program features for the Graphic Design BFA include the option to add the Graphic Communications Technology Minor; learning and networking opportunities through visiting artists and speaker events; participation in workshops, site-specific projects, lectures, and critiques; and access to internship opportunities.
Consisting of 18 semester hours, the Graphic Communications Technology Minor explores the technology used to produce print media. Course examples include Graphic Communication Output Lab, Graphics for Digital Media, Information Technology Applications for Digital Media, and Page Layout and Design. The UH Minor is part of the College of Technology’s Department of Information and Logistics Technology.
All BFA Program students will take courses such as Colors, Materials and Methods, Intermediate Graphic Design, Introduction to Typography, History of Graphic Design, Art History, and Fundamentals of Graphic Design. Examples of recommended courses include Graphic Design Software, Digital Tools, Rendering and Sketching, Digital Fabrication, Printmaking, Photography/Digital Media, and Video Art.
The Graphic Design BFA Program at University of Houston culminates with the Senior Exhibition, which allows students to showcase their best work.
The UH Studio Art MFA with a Graphic Design Concentration consists of 60 semester hours including 24 hours in related arts, 18 hours in the concentration, nine hours in art history, and nine hours in graduate seminars. Course examples include Graphic Design Studio, Interdisciplinary Practice and Emerging Forms Studio, Art Seminar, and Writing Seminar. Upon completion of all coursework and projects for the program, MFA students will present their work in a Thesis Exhibition at University of Houston’s Blaffer Art Museum.
In addition to Graphic Designer, graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at UH are prepared to pursue positions such as Creative Director, User experience (UX) Designer, User interface (UI) Designer, Brand Identify Developer, Production Artist, Brand Manager, Product Developer, Art Director, Marketing Specialist, and Multimedia Artist.
Founded in 1927 and serving 46,700 students, University of Houston is the largest public research university in Houston and the third largest university in Texas. The school offers 276 degree programs across 16 colleges and schools, and an interdisciplinary Honors College. University of Houston is Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College (SACSCOC).
23. University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah (Top 8% of colleges considered)
University of Utah houses the College of Fine Arts at University of Utah (The U), home to the Department of Art & Art History, which houses the Graphic Design BFA Program. Formerly the BFA in Studio Art–Graphic Design Emphasis, this new and improved program consists of 122 credit hours, with a minimum of 79 in the major. Students may declare the Graphic Design major in their first year of study. To advance to the second year, students must successfully complete all first year coursework and submit a portfolio. A second year review is required to advance to the third year of the program.
The Graphic Design BFA at The U includes six Studio Foundations courses that explore areas such as mapping, action, and touch. Course examples for the program include Design Strategy, Visual Rhetoric, Communication Design 1-5, Digital Drawing, History of Graphic Design, Writing for New Media, Typography 1-2, and Digital Imaging for Visual Artists.
Examples of upper division courses include Design Theory And Practice, Visiting Designer Studio: Design Co-op, Professional Practices Seminar, Graphic Design Capstone 1: Research And Inquiry, and Graphic Design Capstone 2: Development And Presentation.
The Visiting Designer Studio course is a requirement for all BFA Graphic Design majors. The course consists of workshops led by guest lecturers and studio driven projects. In the Professional Practices Seminar, students will complete a portfolio and professional resume. The Capstone courses are required to complete the Final BFA Project. Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at University of Utah are prepared to pursue positions at advertising agencies, design studios, publishing companies, web design firms, marketing agencies, and in all industries that require graphic design skills.
Founded in 1850, University of Utah is the state’s public flagship institution. A top-tier research university, The U serves more than 34,900 students enrolled in over 200 programs across 17 colleges and schools. University of Utah is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
24. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (Top 9% of colleges considered)
University of Georgia (UGA) is home to Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, which houses Lamar Dodd School of Art. Within the School of Art are several paths to study Graphic Design. Options include the Fine Arts BFA, the Interdisciplinary Art & Design AB (BA), the Printmaking and Book Arts BFA and MFA, and the Digital Design + Media Minor.
The Fine Arts BFA at UGA has Graphic Design, Photography & Expanded Media, Printmaking & Book Arts, and Scientific Illustration Concentrations. The curriculum for the Graphic Design Concentration explores areas such as color techniques, graphic survey, typography, electronic design, layout, three-dimensional design, illustration, and photography. Because the program encourages an interdisciplinary approach to design, students have opportunities to select courses from other departments and schools outside the School of Art.
The Interdisciplinary Art & Design AB (BA) Program includes experiential learning opportunities such as study abroad in Cortona, Costa Rica, or Ghana, and the option to complete a minor, certificate program or double major in a field outside the Dodd School of Art. The Interdisciplinary Art & Design AB requires 122 credit hours to graduate.
The Printmaking and Book Arts BFA and MFA Programs provide access to state-of-the-art equipment to produce print, paper and book arts media; and the multifunctional Project Space for installing, staging, critiquing, and exhibiting work. MFA students have access to private studios with natural lighting, large windows, and ample ventilation. The BFA requires 120 credits to graduate and the MFA requires a minimum of 67 credit hours to graduate.
Graduates of the Art and Design Programs at University of Georgia work in a variety of positions at creative firms, retailers, broadcasting companies, magazines, museums, and publishers. Companies that have hired UGA graduates include Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS), IBM Design, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Meta, Aveda, Bustle, Free People, and Gensler.
Chartered by the state of Georgia in 1785, University of Georgia is the nation’s first state university. The school serves more than 40,000 students enrolled in 379 degree programs across 17 colleges and schools. Established in 1910, the Graduate School houses 250 of UGA’s 379 degree programs. University of Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
25. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (Top 9% of colleges considered)
The College of Communication and Information at Kent State University (KSU) houses the School of Visual Communication Design (VCD), home to the BA, BFA, MA, and MFA Programs in VCD. A key part of all degree programs at KSU is the mandatory internship. Many are paid and they provide the opportunity to work at companies and design studios in Cleveland, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.
Students in all undergraduate programs will complete the Kent State University Core. Consisting of 36-37 credit hours, the Core covers six areas: Composition, Mathematics and Critical Reasoning, Humanities and Fine Arts, Social Sciences, Basic Sciences, and Additional Options. All undergraduate options explore illustration and design, 2D and 3D forms, print, interactive design, motion, exhibition design, package design, video, and environmental design.
Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the BA and BFA Programs also require a minor or secondary area of study. Examples include Advertising, Marketing, Health Communication, Visual Journalism, Public Relations, and Management or Entrepreneurship for Non-Business Majors. International study experiences, portfolio development, and an exhibition are also part of the programs.
The Graduate VCD Program at Kent State is one of only three programs in Ohio to offer an MA in Visual Communication Design. The Graduate Program was also the first to offer the terminal degree in the field, the MFA. The MA is a 32 credit hour program that consists of just three semesters of study. Course examples include Graphic Design Advanced, Concept Development and Implementation, Typographic Structures and Systems, User Experience Design Principles and Concepts, and Design Research Methods. Master of Arts students will complete the MA Project in Graphic Design and Illustration and a portfolio.
The Kent State VCD MFA is a 60 credit hour, five semester program that combines design, research, and theory coursework with hands-on teaching experiences at the freshman and sophomore level. MFA graduates are prepared for leadership roles in design and design education. MA graduates can pursue careers in Branding, User Experience Design, Social Media, and Digital Media, among others.
Established in 1910 as a teacher training school, Kent State University comprises an eight-campus system that serves approximately 30,590 students from across the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Kent State University provides access to more than 300 programs across 40+ colleges, departments, and schools. Kent State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
26. University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida (Top 9% of colleges considered)
The College of Arts and Humanities at University of Central Florida (UCF) houses the School of Visual Arts & Design (SVAD), home to the Emerging Media BFA Program with a Graphic Design Track. At the graduate level, SVAD has an interdisciplinary Emerging Media MFA with a Studio Art and Design Track.
The Emerging Media BFA at UCF explores branding, UI/UX design, identity systems, publication design, typography, film interactive and web design, film and broadcast graphics, packaging design, and poster creation. Consisting of 120 credit hours, including 63 credit hours in the major, the program provides opportunities to complete a co-op experience; work in multidisciplinary teams on projects and real world problems; and select a minor to enhance the degree.
Course examples for the program include Art in the Last 25 Years, Intermediate Computer Graphic Design, Type & Design, Special Problems in Graphic Design, and Motion Design. Emerging Media BFA students will also work on building a professional portfolio during the entire four years of the program.
The Emerging Media MFA at University of Central Florida is a rigorous, 60 credit hour program that consists of experimentation with emerging and traditional media, mentoring, and individual and group critiques. The program follows a three-year cohort style format consisting of six full-time semesters excluding summers.
With a focus on enhancing students’ artistic talents using 21st Century electronic media, the Emerging Media MFA requires 24 credit hours of required courses, 18 credits of electives, and 18 in Thesis courses. Course examples include Advanced Seminar in Art, Design Theory and Methods, Time Arts, Art, Design and Human Interactions, Serial Content, and The Professional Practice of Art. The UCF Emerging Media MFA Program culminates with a Thesis Exhibition.
Graduates of the art and design programs at University of Central Florida are prepared for careers in advertising, publishing, animation and film, multimedia, marketing, public relations, and many other areas. University of Central Florida alumni are routinely hired at major companies and studios such as The Walt Disney Company, Amazon, Microsoft, Universal Orlando Resort, Google, Lockheed Martin, Facebook, Orlando Health, TEKsystems, Walt Disney World, AdventHealth, and Salesforce.
University of Central Florida opened in 1968 as Florida Technological University. On the first day of classes, the school had less than 2,000 students. Today, UCF serves around 70,400 students, making it the largest university by enrollment in the state of Florida, and one of the nation’s largest universities. The school provides 240 bachelor’s degrees, 214 master’s degrees, and 81 doctorate degrees across 13 colleges. University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
27. Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina (Top 10% of colleges considered)
The College of Fine and Applied Arts (CFAA) at Appalachian State University (Appalachian State or ASU) houses the Department of Art, home to the Graphic Design Program. Students in the program have access to fully equipped facilities and labs, where they will have opportunities to engage in interactive design projects, and create environmental graphics, print publications, screen-based experiences and identity programs. Students will also explore type design, packaging, and signage/information systems.
Leading to a BFA, the Graphic Design Program features faculty-led regional and national trips to places such as New York to visit studios and museums; study abroad experiences in places such as South Africa, Panama, Italy, and Austria; and internships with companies and organizations such as Publicis (Bangkok, Thailand), Discovery Communications (Chicago, Illinois), and Appalachian Voices (Boone, North Carolina). Students in this 120 credit hour, four-year professional program also have access to clubs and organizations such as the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), the Arts Management Organization (AMO), the Art History Club, and the Student Art League (SAL).
The curriculum for the Appalachian State Graphic Design BFA includes a three course Typography sequence, electives, an internship, and a two course Capstone. Course examples for the program include Idea Lab; Sign, Symbol, Language; Interaction Design; Special Topics in Graphic Design; Design Methods; Motion Graphics; Hand-Lettering; Illustration; and Graphic Design for Professional Practice.
To enhance the degree, students have the opportunity to add a minor. Examples include Graphic Communications Management, Creative Engagement and Social Change, Digital Marketing, Media Studies, Photography, and Studio Art, such as Studio Art with Portfolio Review.
In addition to courses such as Motion Graphics, Hand-Lettering, Design Methods, Interaction Design, Idea Lab, and Printmaking Studio, the ASU Graphic Design curriculum includes an internship opportunity and Graphic Design Professional Practice. In this course, students will participate in lectures, create self-promotional packages, engage in research and writing related to job search preparedness, and develop and refine their portfolios. As part of the course, students will also visit local or regional design studios and printing facilities.
Graduates of Graphic Design BFA Program at Appalachian State University are prepared to pursue careers such as Multimedia Designer, Book Designer, Editorial Artist, Graphic Designer, Creative Director, Cartoonist or Illustrator, Computer Graphic Artist, Advertising Director, Computer Graphic Artist, and Communications Specialist. Most program alumni start jobs right after graduation or continue their education at colleges such as Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), Pratt Institute, and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
ASU Graphic Design graduates have been hired at places such as Gap, Amazon.com, McCall Publishing Company, Tiffany and Co., Footbridge Media, Fifty&Fifty, CreateSpace, Oculus Studios, Red Hat, COCG, McKinney, Registered Creative, thoughtbot, and Raizlabs.
Founded in 1899 as Watauga Academy, Appalachian State University is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. The school serves approximately 20,435 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across eight colleges and schools. Appalachian State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
28. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee (Top 10% of colleges considered)
The College of Architecture and Design at University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT Knoxville or UTK) houses the School of Design, home to the Graphic Design BFA Program and the Graphic Design Studies Minor. Across programs, students benefit from small class sizes, collaborative Design Studios, and 24/7 access to state-of-the-art labs and equipment.
The UTK BFA begins with a Design-Centered Foundations Program, which takes place in studio setting. Upon completion of the one-year Foundations requirement, students must pass the Portfolio Review in order to gain access to upper-division courses. Consisting of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary projects, the 120 credit hour BFA Program includes courses such as Expanded Principles of Typography, Advanced Design Investigations, The Idea of Design, Graphic Design Studio, Design as Visual Message-Making, and Professional Seminar.
BFA students have the option to complete the Practicum (45 working hours), the Undergraduate Research and/ or a Study Abroad experience. All students must complete a Capstone Project, which will be presented at the Annual Senior Show. The Graphic Design BFA at University of Tennessee, Knoxville can be completed in four years, full-time.
The Graphic Design Studies Minor requires 15 credit hours of study. Students in this program will take The Idea of Design, The Art of Presentation Design, and The Art of Identity Design. To reach 15 credit hours, students may choose two courses from a wide variety of courses. Examples include Advertising Principles, User-Centered Design, Communication for Media, Non-Major Introduction to Book Arts and Papermaking, Writing, Layout, and Production of Technical Documents, and Public Relations Principles. The UTK Graphic Design Studies Minor takes two years to complete, full-time.
Graduates of the UT Knoxville Graphic Design Programs are prepared to pursue positions at advertising agencies, publishing companies, magazines, design studios, public relations firms, marketing firms, film studios, web design companies, game studios, and museums. Graduates are also prepared for positions in in-house design departments across all industries.
Over the past five years, graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at University of Tennessee, Knoxville have enjoyed a 90% employment rate. Alumni work at major companies, agencies, and design studios such as IDEO, Google, Apple, Facebook, Accenture, Zillow, HGTV, Instagram, Boeing, Herman Miller, Coca-Cola, and Discovery.
Some UTK Graphic Design graduates go on to launch their own companies and studios. Examples include Matchstic Media, Morris Creative, Robin Easter Design, Nathanna Design, and Old City Mailroom.
Founded in 1794 as Blount College, University of Tennessee, Knoxville serves 33,805 students enrolled in more than 900 programs including 547 graduate programs of study. Programs at UT Knoxville are housed across 11 colleges. University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been continuously accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) since 1897.
29. Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Top 10% of colleges considered)
Temple University (Temple) houses Tyler School of Art and Architecture, home to the Graphic & Interactive Design (GAID) Department, which has both BFA and MFA GAID programs. In partnership with Temple University’s Fox School of Business, Tyler also offers a Graphic & Interactive Design with Entrepreneurial Studies BFA.
Provided in partnership with Temple’s Fox School of Business, this innovative program explores innovation, how to start a business, and entrepreneurship. In addition to course requirements for the traditional GAID BFA Program, Entrepreneurial Studies will complete courses such as Launch a New Venture in 100 Days, Entrepreneurial and Innovative Thinking, Special Topics: Strategic Management, The Business of Design, and Doing Well by Doing Good: Where Innovation and Entrepreneurship Meet Social Impact. Students may also participate in the Rome Internship or Field Internship.
The traditional GAID BFA Program at Temple University requires 126 credit hours of study. Course examples include Graphic Design, Computers for Design, Typography, Interactive Design, Digital Narratives, Senior Graphic Design: Packaging; Brand Identity; Hybrid Design; and Publishing, Advanced Typography, and Senior Graphic Design: Design for the Public Good.
BFA Program benefits include small class sizes, mentorship, and access to state-of-the-art labs, studios, and equipment. GAID BFA students also have the opportunity to complete the Collaborative Design Workshop in Rome, which last six weeks.
Both GAID BFA Programs culminate with the Senior Portfolio Capstone and Senior Graphic Design: Projects in Authorship.
The Graphic & Interactive Design MFA at Temple University is an interdisciplinary, research-driven program consisting of electives and Art History, project, and seminar courses. Project and seminar courses include Graduate Professional Practices (three credits), Visual Design Graduate Seminar (12 credits/four terms), Graphic Design Graduate Projects (nine credits/three terms), and Visual Design Thesis (12 credits/four terms).
Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the GAID MFA culminates with the Thesis Exhibition with Slide Show.
Graduates of the Temple University GAID Programs work at design studios, advertising agencies, publishing companies, web design firms, design and packaging companies, and film and television studios. Program alumni also work in design education, in their own design studios, and in their own freelance businesses.
Some of the top employers of Temple University graduates include Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Vanguard, and SEI.
Founded in 1884 as a night school, Temple University Serves 37,365 students, making it the largest university in Philadelphia. Temple offers more than 500 academic programs across 17 colleges and schools, including five professional schools. Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA-CESS).
30. California State University, Los Angeles, California (Top 15% of schools considered)
The College of Arts and Letters at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) houses the Department of Art, which has Art BA, MA, and MFA degrees with a Graphic Design/Visual Communication Option. As part of the Cal State LA Department of Art, all degree-seeking students have the opportunity to present their work through weekly rotating exhibitions in the student-run exhibition space COMA Gallery.
Each semester, the Fine Arts Gallery of the Department of Art also hosts several events that allow students to present their work to professional artists and faculty. MFA students present at the Graduate Thesis Exhibition and undergraduates present at the BA Capstone Show in the campus-based Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery. Additional opportunities to present to the public are also available.
Other Department of Art benefits include access to state-of-the-art labs and studio spaces, internship opportunities, and study abroad experiences.
The Art BA/Graphic Design/Visual Communication Program requires 120 units, with 57 units in the major. Course examples for the program include Graphic Design, Advertising Art Direction, Problems in Advanced Design, Interactive Design, Directed Field Work in Art, Typography, Digital Image Processing and Illustration, Art and Motion, Color and Digital Photography, and Video for Artists.
The Art MA/Graphic Design/Visual Communication Program is a 30-unit program that consists of courses such as Seminar: Visual Arts, Graduate Problems in Design, Graduate Animation, and Graduate Animation. The Art MFA/Graphic Design/Visual Communication Program is a highly selective program that requires 60 units of study to graduate. Course examples include Perspectives on Visual Art, Aesthetics, and Culture, MA/MFA Practice in Studio Art, Research Methodologies in Art, Seminar: Visual Arts, Art History Seminar: Art of Changing Eras, and MFA Professional Field Work in Art.
Students in both graduate programs will complete MA/MFA Project Development in Design. Graduates of the Graphic Design/Visual Communication Programs at Cal State LA are prepared to pursue positions in advertising and marketing, packaging and branding, book design, publication design, exhibit design, and many other areas.
Department of Art alumni have been hired at places such as Young & Rubicam, Marvel Studios, Catalina Communications, 20th Century Fox Japan, Harding Marketing Communications, Graphic Ink, Prologue Films, Dynamic Dezign, Column Five Media, Strategic Materials, and Consolidated Design West.
Established in 1947, California State University, Los Angeles serves approximately 26,025 students enrolled in more than 150 degree, certificate, and minor programs. Part of the 23 campus, California State University System, Cal State LA is comprised of nine colleges and the University Library. California State University, Los Angeles is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Department of Art Programs at Cal State LA are accredited by National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
31. Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon (Top 15% of schools considered)
The College of Liberal Arts at Oregon State University (OSU or Oregon State) houses the School of Visual, Performing, and Design Arts. Students here can earn a BFA or Honors BFA (HBFA) in Graphic Design (GD). Consisting of 180 credit hours, this professional program includes a nine-month, seven credit hour Senior Capstone Project that will be presented at the Year-End Capstone Showcase.
Course examples for the program include 2D Core Studio, Graphic Design Pro Application, Typography 1-3, Process: Making and Meaning, Interactive Design, Graphic Design Technology and Production, Graphic Design: Collaborative Process, and Graphic Design: Professional Development. Students may focus in other areas of art and design through the required 32 elective credit hours for the program.
Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA at Oregon State University are prepared to seek careers in branding and visual design, exhibition design, interactive design (web and video), package design, publication design (newspapers, magazines, catalogs), and information design.
Founded in 1856 as Corvallis Academy, Oregon State University is one of just three land-, sea-, space-, and sun-grant universities in the U.S. Serving approximately 35,240 students, OSU has campuses in Corvallis, Bend, Portland, Newport, and LaGrande, Oregon. The school also houses 12 experiment stations.
Students at Oregon State have access to more than 200 academic programs across 11 colleges, 36+ Extension Programs across all 36 Oregon counties, and hundreds of online degrees through the Ecampus Program. Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
32. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Top 15% of schools considered)
The College of Art & Design at Louisiana State University (LSU) houses the School of Art, which has a Graphic Design Program with both BFA and MFA pathways. Students in all School of Art programs have access to the Arts, Visualization, Advanced Technologies and Research (AVATAR) Initiative and the LSU Art Building, which houses classrooms, studio spaces, the Design Shop, IDEA Hub, teaching labs, and the Fabrication Factory.
School of Art students may also join the Digital Art and Design Association (DADA), participate in design competitions, and join the Graphic Design Student Organization (GDSA), which hosts field trips to local design firms and lectures,
The Graphic Design Programs at Louisiana State University explore branding, packaging design, print and editorial design, typography, information design, motion graphics, environmental design, illustration/digital imaging, and identity design. Consisting of 120 credit hours, the BFA curriculum includes courses such as Graphic Design I-III, Applied Typography, Digital Imaging Techniques, Graphic Abstraction, Letter Forms, Color Design, Prepress Production Techniques, and Interactive Multimedia Design.
The LSU Graphic Design MFA is a 60 credit hour program that combines workshops and lectures by visiting artists with art history courses, studio art electives, and graduate studios. A Teaching Seminar is part of the program as well as two Thesis Research courses worth six credits. The graduate Graphic Design Program culminates with the MFA Thesis Report and Exhibition.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Louisiana State University work in advertising, corporate communications, design, publishing, education, and the non-profit sectors. Some graduates have launched their own businesses or studios.
Graphic Design alumni have been hired at Travel + Leisure, Sony Picture Entertainment, Halliburton, Disney, The Washington Post, DreamWorks, Nissan North America, SVAD-NYC, Lucasfilm, KPMG, Baltimore Museum of Art, Pixar Animation Studios, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, Leftfield Entertainment, Hunter Museum of American Art, Bluebonnet, Modern Media, Modern Art Museum (Fort Worth, Texas), and Trace Labs.
Louisiana State University was founded in 1860 as the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy. The flagship institution of the Louisiana State University System, LSU serves approximately 37,355 students enrolled in more than 330 programs across 18 colleges, schools, and centers, and LSU Online. Louisiana State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). School of Art Concentration Areas are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
33. University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, Wisconsin (Top 15% of colleges considered)
The School of Education at University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW Madison) houses the Department of Art, which offers an BFA and BS degrees in Art with a Graphic Design Option. An 18 credit hour Graphic Design Certificate is also available. Course examples for this program include Basic Graphic Design, History of Graphic Design and Typography, Introduction to Digital Forms, 2D Design, and Information Graphics.
The UW Madison BFA requires 72 credits hours of studio courses and 18 in aesthetics, while the BS requires 45 studio credits and 13 in aesthetics courses. Students in both programs must complete the first year program before entering the major, which consists of six courses that may be completed by participating in the Contemporary Art & Artists First-Year Interest Group (FIG). Course examples include Foundations of Contemporary Art, Current Directions in Art, History of Graphic Design and Typography, and Global Arts.
Course examples for the Graphic Design Option include 3D Digital Studio, Typeface Design, Information Graphics, Graphic Design for Branding and Identity, Motion Typography, Colloquium in Art, Graphic Design for Publications, Product Development for Graphic Design, Digital Art and Code, Graphic Design for Posters, Installation and Environments, Graphic Design for Games, User Experience and Graphic Design, and Graphic Design for Packaging. In addition, the BFA and BS programs require the Graphic Design Practicum, and the Design Portfolio and Professional Practice course.
All Department of Art Programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
Graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Art Programs work in graphic and multimedia design, advertising and marketing, book design, community arts, user experience design, publication design, animation and film, exhibit design, interactive design, public relations, and photography.
Founded in 1848, University of Wisconsin–Madison serves approximately 49,885 students enrolled in more than 200 undergraduate majors and certificates, and over 250 masters, doctoral, and professional programs in 13 colleges and schools. University of Wisconsin–Madison has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1913.
34. Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma (Top 15% of colleges considered)
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).
35. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado (Top 15% of colleges considered)
The College of Liberal Arts at Colorado State University (CSU) houses the Department of Art and Art History—one of the largest academic departments at CSU. The Department has programs leading to a Studio BFA or MFA. The undergraduate Studio Program has a Graphic Design Concentration that begins with the CSU Foundations Program, which consists of projects and coursework that allow students to develop ideas, and gain skills and techniques in different mediums. Students will also explore experimentation, research, and emerging practices in art and design.
The Studio BFA/Graphic Design Program explores design systems, typography, electronic art, printmaking, and illustration. Course examples include Global Art History I-III, Typography and Design Systems, Advanced Illustration, Photo Image Making, Electronic Art, Materials and Space, and Graphic Design.
Consisting of 120 credit hours, the CSU BFA Program provides access to labs and state-of-the-art facilities in the Visual Arts Building (VAB). This includes 4,000 square feet of studio space, a dedicated computer lab, the Digital Fabrication Lab, and Mac workstations equipped with Adobe Creative Suite & other interactive media software. Near the VAB is the Nancy Richardson Design Center. CSU’s only interdisciplinary space focused on Design Thinking, the Center is open to students from all disciplines.
Other CSU BFA Program benefits include internship opportunities, study abroad experiences, and the biennial Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition (CIIPE), where students will help organize and participate in the event.
Graduates of the Colorado State University Studio BFA/Graphic Design Program will enter the job market with a portfolio of their best work. Program alumni are prepared to pursue positions such as Graphic Designer, Creative Director, Brand Designer, Production Artist, Creative Director, Storyboard Artist, UX/UI Designer, Publication Designer, Marketing Designer, and Environmental Designer.
The MFA/Graphic Design Program at Colorado State University has a Graphic Design Specialization. Consisting of 60 credit hours, this terminal degree program highlights research and experimentation in studio media. Throughout the program, students have opportunities to exhibit work and give presentations at venues in the southwest region and across the U.S.
Students in this program also benefit from a wide variety of elective options, group critiques, open-studio tours, faculty mentorship, and the Masters of Visual Arts Association (MoVAA), which provides access to workshops and artist talks.
During the final year of the CSU MFA Program, students will complete a Thesis for inclusion in the Spring Graduate Exhibition at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art.
Graduates of the CSU MFA (Graphic Design) Program are designers at arts organizations and they contribute to publications and conferences, curate exhibitions, teach at colleges and universities, and exhibit their work at venues in Colorado, across the U.S. and around the world.
Founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, Colorado State University is a land-grant university consisting of three campuses including CSU Fort Collins (the system’s flagship campus), CSU Pueblo, and CSU Global. The CSU System serves approximately 38,120 students enrolled in more than 300 academic programs, including more than 70 majors with 140 concentrations and 80 minors. Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
36. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana (Top 15% of schools considered)
Purdue University houses the College of Liberal Arts, home to Patti & Rusty Rueff School of Dance, Art, and Performance. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Patti School is home to the Department of Design, which has a Visual Communications Design (VCD) Program with both undergraduate and graduate options.
The VCD BFA is a 126 credit hour program with 78 credits in the major. The program focuses on projects that explore Packaging Design, Typography, Information Design, Poster Design, Multimedia Design, Web Design, and Professional Practice. Course examples include Visual Communication Computing I-II, Interactive Design Studies, Visual Communication Design I-IV, Advanced Typography, Professional Practice for Visual Communication Design, Studio in Visual Communication Design, Physical Computing, Advertising Media Strategy, and New Product Development.
VCD BFA students have the opportunity to complete the Internship in Art and Design. This experiential opportunity is worth 1-8 credit hours and it provides intensive exposure to professional experience through supervised internship at an art-and-design-related firm, department, or studio.
Graduates of the VCD BFA Program at Purdue University are prepared to pursue positions such as Graphic Designer, Package Designer, Advertising Artist, Design Consultant, UX Designer, Brand Manager, Creative Director, and Web Designer.
The VCD MFA at Purdue University is an interdisciplinary program that consists of a 60 and 66 credit hour programs completed over three years. Students in both programs will complete the first-year curriculum, consisting to 18-21 credit hours and a qualifying review, before advancing to the upper-level curriculum.
The Purdue VCD MFA Program explores information design, typography, critical theory, poster design, web communications, advanced color design, design methodology, research methods, and design history. The program also consists of immersive studios, elective coursework, and interdisciplinary seminars. During the final year of the VCD MFA, students will work on their MFA Thesis and Exhibition, where they will present a public gallery talk about their final projects.
Graduates of the Purdue University VCD MFA Program are prepared for advanced roles in art and design such as Brand Manager, Design Educator, Graphic Artist, Senior Graphic Design, Graphic Design Consultant, Senior Packaging Designer, Web Designer, Multimedia Designer, and Creative Director.
Established in 1869, Purdue University is a public research university that opened with six instructors and 39 students on September 16, 1874. Today, Purdue employs more than 10,000 full-time faculty members and employees that serve approximately 50,885 students from all 50 states and 130 countries. Purdue University offers more than 400 programs in 11 colleges and schools. Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
37. Indiana University, Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana (Top 15% of colleges considered)
The College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington (IU Bloomington) is home to Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design (SOAAD), which houses a Studio Art Program with three degree paths including the BA, BFA, and MFA. All pathways allow students to concentrate in Graphic Design. Program benefits include access to state-of-the-art facilities such as The Letterpress Studio, Student Technology Centers (STCs), and Digital Printing Labs.
Part of SOAAD since the 1960s and housed in the Fine Arts Building, The Letterpress Studio is equipped with Vandercook presses, a bookbinding press, foil stamper, guillotine paper cutter, and wood and metal fonts. Both BFA and MFA students also have access to individual workspaces, with separate shared studio spaces.
Across programs, Graphic Design students will explore imagery, typography, systems, and grids while creating logos, packaging, posters, apps, and other digital media. Course examples across programs include Graphic Design, Graphic Design Problem Solving, Interactive Multimedia, Computer Graphical Environments, Printmaking Advanced Studio, Typography, Graphic Design Seminar, Digital Art Survey and Practice, 3D Computer Graphics, Video Art, Graduate Graphic Design, Visual Studies, and Relief Printmaking Media.
Students in all SOAAD programs benefit from interdisciplinary collaborations and cross-disciplinary workshops; internship opportunities at places such as Amazon, PwC, Universal Studios, BlueLine Creative Agency, Macy’s, Interbrand, Mediaworks Advertising, Urban Outfitters, and Morningstar, Inc.; the McKinney Visiting Artist Series, where artists lead workshops, critiques, lectures and gallery talks; and access to overseas study programs in Barcelona, Florence, Japan, Italy and Guatemala. Students also have opportunities to work with independent artists through the apprenticeship program, with departments on campus, or at local businesses.
Studio Art BA students will complete a final portfolio of their best work, and the BFA Program culminates with a BFA Thesis Exhibition in Grunwald Gallery of Art at IU Bloomington. During the final semester of the SOADD MFA Program, students will complete a Thesis to be displayed in the Grunwald Gallery. This graduate event opens with a reception that allows students to present a summary of their work to the public.
Indiana University Bloomington is the flagship campus of Indiana University’s seven campus system. Serving 47,005 students, IU Bloomington is also one of the largest universities in the Midwest. Established in 1820, the school offers more than 550 academic programs across 16 degree-granting colleges and schools. Indiana University Bloomington is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
38. San Jose State University, San Jose, California (Top 15% of colleges considered)
Established in 1969, the Graphic Design Program at San Jose State University (SJSU) is the only program of its kind in a public university in Silicon Valley. Housed in the College of Humanities and the Arts’ Department of Design, the program features a mandatory internship, opportunities to collaborate with students in other disciplines, classes and workshops led by studio professionals, funded research, and community engagement projects.
Degree pathways include a Design Studies BA with a Graphic Design Specialization, and a Graphic Design BFA. The Design Studies BA is a 120 credit hour Liberal Arts Degree that encourages students to select electives in arts and other areas. The program also encourages students to add a Minor from any of the following departments: Art and Art History, Global Studies, Journalism and Mass Communications, Psychology, Environmental Studies, Computer Science, Business, English and Comparative Literature, Urban and Regional Planning, Anthropology, General Engineering, and Philosophy.
Course examples for the Design BA Program include Graphic Design History and Theory, Visual Communication & Process, Typography, Design Values and Professional Practices, Fundamental Graphic Visualization, Digital Applications, and Visual Principles.
Graphic Design History and Theory, Fundamental Graphic Visualization, 2D Animation, Visual Communication & Process, Advanced Typography, Exhibition Design & Info Graphics, Visual Literacy: Image Making, Design Practicum, Advanced Graphic Design, Motion Graphics, User Interface & Interaction Design, 3D Branding & Promotion Design, Special Topics in Graphic Design. The BA Program culminates with the Senior Project, worth three credit hours.
The 120 credit hour Graphic Design BFA at San Jose State University can be completed online or on-campus. Students in this program must complete 48 units in the major. Course examples include Digital Applications: Methodology, Advanced Typography, 3D Branding & Promotion Design, User Interface & Interaction Design, Special Topics in Experience Design, Visual Literacy: Image Making, Exhibition Design & Info Graphics, and Special Topics in Graphic Design. SJSU BFA students will complete Degree Project: Senior Studio, worth three credits, and present their work at the BFA Senior Show held in the Spring.
Graduates of the San Jose State University Graphic Design Programs work in all industries. Top employers of SJSU graduates include Google, Apple, Intel Corporation, Amazon, KPMG LLP, Starbucks, LinkedIn, Genentech, Microsoft, Cisco, Target Corporation, PayPal, NBC Universal, IBM, Oracle, Nordstrom, Western Digital, Wells Fargo, The City of San Jose, Samsara Networks, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and State Farm.
Established in 1857, San Jose State University is Silicon Valley’s Public University. Serving approximately 36,000 students, the school offers more than 250 areas of study at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Programs at SJSU are housed across nine colleges and dozens of departments and schools. San Jose State University is accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
39. California State University-Fullerton, Fullerton, California (Top 15% of colleges considered)
The College of the Arts at California State University Fullerton (Cal State Fullerton) houses the Department of Visual Arts. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Department has BA, BFA, MA, and MFA pathways with a Graphic & Interactive Design Concentration.
Course examples across pathways include Lettering and Typography, Perspective Drawing, Printmaking Etching, Digital Narrative Illustration, Typography into Graphic Design, Exhibition Design, The Digital Studio, Design for Interactive Art, 2D and 3D Design, Entertainment Graphics, Lettering and Typography, Computer Assisted Graphics, Creative Photography, and Graphic Design Practicum. Graphic Design Graduate Seminar and Graphic Design Thesis are part of the MA and MFA Programs.
All programs provide access the Visual Arts Complex, which house state-of-the-art facilities, labs, and equipment; workshops; internship and study abroad opportunities; and seminars. In addition, at the end of each semester, art directors, artists, and illustrators from graphic design firms, animation studios, advertising agencies, and game studios are invited to review student portfolios.
Graduates of the Cal State Fullerton Department of Visual Arts go on to enroll in graduate or doctoral programs at institutions such as Rutgers University, New York University (NYU), University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Parsons School of Design, and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
Program alumni have established careers at Jim Henson Company, Creative Domain, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Electronic Arts (EA), Oakley, Apple, Disney Entertainment and Disney Interactive, Ocean Pacific Apparel Company, BLT and Associates, Earthlink., TOKYOPOP, LucasFilm, Billabong USA, Landor Associates, and Paul Frank.
Founded in 1957, California State University, Fullerton is part of the 23 campus California State University (CSU) system. Serving 40,000 students, the school offers 55 undergraduate and 55 graduate degree programs in eight academic colleges. California State University, Fullerton is Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
40. University of Colorado-Denver, Denver, Colorado (Top 15% of schools considered)
The College of Arts & Media (CAM) at University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) houses the Digital Media Program. Within the program are two paths to study Graphic Design: the Digital Design BFA and the Minor. The BFA has an Accelerated Option that allows students to combine their junior and senior years into one. This means, Accelerated BFA students can complete the program a year earlier.
Both Digital Design pathways are hands-on and interdisciplinary. Students can expect to explore areas such as branding design, interactive media, motion graphics, user experience design, and graphic design. The Digital Design Minor consists of 21 total credit hours. Course examples include 3D Motion Design, Interactive Media, Typography Studio, and History of Modern Design: Industrial Revolution-Present.
The Digital Media BFA is a screen-based Graphic Design Program the provides hands-on learning in branding design, interactive media, user experience design, and user experience design. This interdisciplinary program consists of courses such as Fostering Creativity, Typography, 3D Motion Design, Interactive Media, Art History, and 3D Design. The CU Denver Digital Design BFA culminates with the Design Thesis Project.
Graduates of the University of Colorado Denver Digital Design Programs work as Graphic Designers, Creative Directors, UI/UX Designers, Video Editors, Motion Graphic Artists, and Game Designers. Program alumni have been hired at Unity, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Mozilla, Craftsy, JILA, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Fruition, Mercedes-Benz, Dire Wolf, and JILA.
University of Colorado Denver opened in 1912 as an extension of University of Colorado Boulder. The school became CU Denver in 1973, making it an independent campus. Organized into eight colleges and schools, University of Colorado Denver serves 15,000 students enrolled in more than 110 degree programs. University of Colorado Denver is accredited by Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
41. Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, Indiana (Top 9% of colleges considered)
Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) is home to Herron School of Art and Design (Herron), which houses the Visual Communication Design (VCD) Program. As part of the Herron School, students in this program have access to eight visual communication design studios, the Think It Make It Lab, and research and studio spaces such as the book arts studio, woodshops, photo lighting studios, and the Herron Art Library. BFA students have access to dedicated individual spaces within larger studios. MFA students are assigned private studios, with access to a separate conference room for seminars.
The IUPUI VCD BFA requires 125 credit hours of study to graduate. Course examples include Design Methodology, Book Arts, Production for Print Design Outcomes, Emerging Technologies, Typography, Making Meaning, Type & Image, Designing People Centered Experiences, Photography, Design in Context, Introduction to Illustration, and Production for Digital Design Outcomes. Students in this professional degree program will complete six design labs, including two advanced labs, and a Professional Practice Internship. To enhance the VCD BFA degree, students can add a Book Arts, Studio Art & Technology or Art History Minor.
The graduate VCD Program at IUPUI was established in 2007 and is being redesigned. Currently, this intensive MFA Program consists of collaborative external projects with the City of Indianapolis and other entities, and on-campus research projects in collaboration with professors and peers. During the course of the program, which takes two years to complete, students will take Collaborative Action Research in Design 1-6 (two courses each semester).
Other course examples include Design Methods for Prototyping, Design Methods for Framing Problems, Design Thinking for Tackling Wicked Problems and Sensemaking, Design for Ideating, Leadership in Design Practice, Human Factors in Design, and Collaborative Action Research Design. In addition, VCD MFA students have the opportunity to complete several interdisciplinary electives.
In the final year of the IUPUI VCD MFA Program, students will complete four courses leading to a final project/thesis. These include Thesis Writing 1-2 and Thesis Studio 1-2.
Graduates of the Visual Communication Design Programs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis are Graphic Designers, Brand Managers, Interactive Designers, Exhibit Designers, Package Designers, Creative Directors, User Experience Designers, and Mobile App Designers, among others.
Program alumni have launched careers at companies such as Amazon Web Services, ExxonMobil, Google, Facebook, Chase Bank, Humana, Mayo Clinic, Salesforce, Airbnb, Callabo Creative, Texas Tech University, Riverview Health, and Meituan-Dianping.
Indiana University (est. 1820) and Purdue University (est. 1869) merged in 1969 to create what is known today as Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). The school houses the only School of Dentistry in Indiana, the First School of Philanthropy in the world, and the nation’s only bachelor’s degree in Motorsports Engineering. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), IUPUI serves 27,690 students enrolled in more than 550 degree programs and majors across 17 degree-granting schools.
42. Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina (Top 15% of colleges considered)
Clemson University (Clemson) houses the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business, home to the Department of Graphic Communications, which has two paths to study Graphic Design. At the undergraduate level, the College has a Graphic Communications BS Program that serves 400 students. Program benefits include access to a 14,000-square-foot main laboratory and two additional state-of-the-art labs equipped with packaging and printing equipment; collaborative projects with students in the Packaging Science Department; access to the Sonoco Institute, which hosts workshops, classes, and seminars; and the opportunity to add a Brand Communications, Packaging Science, or Business Administration Minor.
Course examples for the program include Graphic Communications I-II, Planning and Controlling Printing Functions, Current Developments and Trends in Graphic Communications, Package and Specialty Printing, Digital Imaging, Marketing, Junior Seminar in Graphic Communications, and Technical Writing.
In addition to a summer Co-op Education requirement, a major component of the Clemson Graphic Communications BS is the Internship Program. Students are required to hold an industry internship for at least two semesters before graduating. The Department hoss an Intern employer Day each semester, providing the opportunity to interview with representatives from more than 40 companies.
Graduates of the Graphics Communications BS Program at Clemson University have gone on to pursue graduate study at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) and Wake Forest University. Others have been hired at places such as Newell Brands, The Hughes Agency, R.R. Donnelley, Horizon Investments, and Boston Beer Company.
The Clemson University Graphic Communications MS Program has both Thesis and Non-Thesis options. The Thesis option requires 33 credit hours to graduate. Non-Thesis students will complete 30 credit hours. Core courses for both options include Current Developments and Trends in Graphic Communications, Package and Specialty Printing, Commercial Printing, Graphic Communications Graduate Seminar, and Research Problems I-II.
The Thesis option requires the Master’s Thesis Research course. The Non-Thesis option requires Graphic Communications Research Problems I-II. For students without relevant work experience, an industrial internship is a required for both options.
Graduates of the Graphic Communications MS at Clemson University are placed in creative, technical, and scientific positions; sales, marketing, and customer service; packaging, printing, and publishing; and academic and management.
For students seeking a program that provides a foundation in Art, Clemson University has a Fine Arts Program with BA and BFA pathways. Housed in the College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities’ Department of Art, both programs are accredited by National Association for Schools of Art & Design (NASAD).
The Art BA is a Liberal Arts program that allows students to customize their studies with a double major or minor in any area. Students may also choose an emphasis such as Digital Art or Design Media. The Visual Arts BFA offers emphasis areas such as New Media, Drawing, Printmaking or Photography, with complementary coursework in Graphic Design and Animation.
Program benefits for both pathways include the visiting artist series, access to Lee Gallery, the annual field trip to art centers such as New York City, the four-week summer school in Orvieto, Italy, and the opportunity to exhibit works in the Lee Art Gallery in the senior year or the programs. In addition, Clemson Art students regularly display their work in national and regional venues, as well as locally in the Pendleton and Greenville arts districts.
Graduates of the Clemson University Art and Visual Arts Programs work at art museums and galleries, for publications, and in public relations, exhibit design, graphic design, illustration, art therapy, media, retail, animation and cartoons, and art journalism. Recent employers include Anthropologie, GDC Home, Museum of the Cherokee, Kaleidoscope Design Factory, and Greenville County Schools.
Some program alumni have gone on to pursue graduate study at Northwestern University, Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD), Sotheby’s Institute of Art, University of Georgia, and Christie’s Education.
Founded in 1889, Clemson University opened in 1893 as Clemson Agricultural College. On the first day of classes, the school welcomed 446 students. Today, Clemson serves approximately 27,340 students enrolled in 80+ majors, 90+ minors, and more than 130 graduate degree programs. Clemson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
43. University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona (Top 15% of schools considered)
The College of Fine Arts at University of Arizona (UA) houses the School of Art, which has a Design Arts and Practices (DAP) Program that prepares students for careers in areas such as Graphic Design, Desktop Publishing, Exhibition Design, User Experience (UX) Design, Product Design, and User Interface (UI) Design. Leading to a BA, the program explores design history, theory, and practice. DAP students develop skills in visual communication, computational thinking, design thinking, project management, problem solving, data analysis, and teamwork/collaboration.
Course examples for the UA Design Arts and Practices BA Program include Gaze Digital Photography, Amalgam Mixed-Media, Typography, Experience, Sound, Video, and Performance, Design for Web and Devices, Propaganda Design, Dealing with Data, Information Graphics, Design Studio, and Design Thinking. The program includes a culminating Capstone Project.
The College of Fine Arts at University of Arizona also has a Studio Art Program with BFA and MFA options in Studio Art. Students in both programs may select from the following Emphasis Areas: Illustration and Design (I+D), 3D & Extended Media, 3D Studies, and Photography. I&D undergraduates may choose an Illustration or Design Track. Other program features include team projects with local clients, field trips, participation in the Annual Spring Portfolio Review, internship opportunities, and study abroad experiences.
The UA Studio Art BFA requires 125 units, including 42 in upper division coursework, and 24 in the emphasis area. Mapping, Photography, Printmaking, Typography, Design, Illustration, and Contemporary Art are just a few course examples. The MFA consists of 60 units, with 30 units in studio art courses. Graduate students participate in interdisciplinary coursework, seminars, and independent studies. Teaching opportunities are also part of the program.
All School of Art students have access to external resources such as the Center for Creative Photography, University Museum of Art and the Poetry Center, and a state-of-the-art library. Internal resources include studio spaces, computer labs with Wacom Cintiq Touch screens and animation stations, a digital imaging lab with large format printing, mounting services, letterpress equipment, and darkrooms.
Graduates of the Design Arts and Practices Program at University of Arizona are prepared to pursue positions such as Graphic Designer, Creative Director, Visual Designer, Illustrator, UI/UX Designer, Brand Manager, Packaging Designer, Advertising Artist, Motion Designer, and Multimedia Designer.
Established in 1885, University of Arizona opened in 1891 with 32 students and six faculty members. Today, UA serves approximately 51,135 students, making it one of top five largest post-secondary institutions in Arizona. Students at UA have access to more than 300 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in more than 150 areas of study. Programs are offered across 20 colleges and nearly two dozen specialized schools. University of Arizona is accredited by the by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
44. Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas (Top 15% of colleges considered)
Texas Tech University (TTU) is home to J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts (TCVPA), which houses the School of Art. Within the school is an Art BFA Program with a Graphic Design Specialization. Program features include collaborative projects, workshops, guest speakers, and internship opportunities. Students also have access to state-of-the-art labs, studios, and equipment, and a study abroad program that provides opportunities to work and learn in more than 70 countries.
The Graphic Design BFA at TTU is a limited access program that explores branding, emerging technologies, interactive design, publication design, and identity design. Consisting of 123 credit hours, the program includes the TTU Core Curriculum, 42-45 credit hours of Graphic Design courses, and 21-24 credit hours of studio art and art history electives. Major course examples include 2D and 3D Design, Publication, Visual Systems, Graphic Design Process, Symbols, Computer Design Methods, Typography, Design in the Community, and Web Media.
During the final semester of the TTU BFA Program, students will complete the Portfolio Development and Professional Practice courses, which prepare students for entry into the job market through mock interviews, self-promotion strategies, and more.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Texas Tech University are Brand Managers, Visual Communication Designers, UX/UI Designers, Packaging Designers, Freelance Designers, Exhibit Designers, Creative Directors, and Web Designers. They for advertising agencies, web and interactive design studios, social media and marketing firms, magazines, publishing companies, museums, non-profit organizations, and on teams within design departments at companies across all industries.
TTU alumni have worked with The New York Times, Southwest Airlines, IBM, Fidelity, Paul Mitchell, Conde Nast Traveler, Dwell Magazine, H-E-B, Nike, Wired, AT&T, JC Penny, Fossil, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Southwest Airlines, Refinery 29, and Texas Monthly.
Texas Tech University opened in 1925 as Texas Technological College (TTC) with six buildings and 914 students. Today, TTU serves approximately 40, 655 students, making it the largest comprehensive higher education institution in the western two-thirds of the State of Texas. Texas Tech University offers more than 150 academic programs in 13 colleges and through the eLearning Division. Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
45. Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY), Purchase, New York (Top 20% of colleges considered)
The School of the Arts at Purchase College, SUNY, houses the School of Art + Design, home to the Graphic Design BFA Program. Design students have the opportunity to learn and create in a hands-on studio environment with access to labs and studios for collaborating, working on projects, and developing portfolios.
Consisting of general education coursework and 84-86 credits in visual arts and graphic design, the Purchase College Graphic Design BFA includes courses such as Studio Assistant (Graphic Design), Letterpress Workshop, Digital Media for Designers, Book Structures, Interactive and Experience Design, Typographic Investigations, Motion Graphics for Designers, Word and Image I-IV, Experimental Book, Design for the Web and Screens, Community Design, History of Graphic Design Survey, and Artist/Writer Workshop.
In addition to a variety of courses, the Graphic Design Program at Purchase provides access to coursework from the Printmaking Program. This allows students to explore additional courses in book design and experimental publishing. During the Junior or Senior years of the BFA Program, students have the opportunity to complete an internship worth four credits. All students will complete the Junior Seminar and Senior Project I-II courses.
The Graphic Design BFA Program at Purchase College culminates with an Online Exhibition of student projects from the Graphic Design BFA and Visual Arts BS Programs.
Graduates of the Purchase College Graphic Design Program are Brand Identity Designers, Layout Artists, Magazine Designers, Corporate Identity Designers, Advertising Directors, Packaging Designers, Production Artists, Book Designers, Web Designers, Exhibit Designers, Television Graphic Designers, Art Directors, Multimedia Designers, Storyboard Artists,
Purchase College is a member of the State University of New York System (SUNY). Established by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1967, the school serves approximately 3,225 students enrolled in BA, BS, BFA, and MusB degrees in more than 40 areas. Programs at Purchase are housed in the Schools of Art + Design, Liberal Arts and Sciences, The Arts, and Continuing Education. Purchase College has been continuously accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1976. The school is also an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).
46. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, Hawaii (Top 20% of colleges considered)
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) houses the College of Arts, Languages, and Letters, home to the Department of Art and Art History, which has BFA and MFA Programs that allow students to select a concentration in an area such as Graphic Design, Print Media (Digital Imaging, Photography, Printmaking), or Drawing and Painting. All options provide access to multimedia workstations, shooting studios, digital imaging equipment, darkrooms, presses, and papermaking studios.
The BFA Program requires 12 credits of upper level Art History courses, 21 credits of studio courses in a chosen media-specific program, 15 credits of art electives, 12 credits of Studio and Art History core courses, and a 21 credit hour Art Studio Minor. Course examples for the BFA Program include Electronic Arts Studio, Printmaking, Design: Studio I Lab, and Design: Production Techniques.
In the final year of the program, students will complete the BFA Capstone Seminar, where they will produce works and help organize the annual BFA Exhibition. To graduate from the UH Mānoa BFA Program, students will also complete the BFA Graduation Portfolio including 10-12 digital images of artwork, a paper, resume, and image inventory.
The MFA Program at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is the only program of its kind in Hawaiʻi. Consisting of 60 credit hours completed over three years, the MFA requires 24 Graduate Studio Seminar credits, 15 elective credits, 12 Thesis credits, six Art History credits, and a three-credit Interdisciplinary Seminar. In addition to the areas mentioned earlier, students in this program may also specialize in an area such as Electronic Arts.
The UH Mānoa MFA Program culminates with a Thesis Exhibition, Thesis Paper, and Oral Defense.
Established in 1907 and serving approximately 19,075 students, UH Mānoa is the oldest and largest of the 10 University of Hawaiʻi campuses. Nearly 250 academic programs and areas are available at the bachelor’s, master’s, professional, and doctoral levels. Academic programs at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa are housed in 15 colleges and schools. The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
47. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania (Top 20% of colleges considered)
The College of Arts and Architecture at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) is home to The Stuckeman School, which houses the Department of Graphic Design. Programs here lead to a BDes, which is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and a Minor. In partnership with the School of Visual Arts (SOVA), the Graphic Design Department offers an Art MFA Program with an optional Graphic Design Concentration.
Across programs, students benefit from small class sizes, an interdisciplinary and collaborative learning environment, courses taught by industry professionals, and 24/7 access to state-of-the-art studios and labs. Students also have access to workshops and opportunities to show their work in the campus-based exhibit gallery.
The Penn State Graphic Design BDes Program consists of 120 credit hours, including 45 general education credits, 3-9 elective credits, and 73 credits in the major. Course examples include Applied Experience Design, Visualizing Information, Programming for the Web, Graphic Design Studio, Time and Sequence, Experience Design Process + Methods, Package Design, Practical Communications, and Typography.
BDes students have the option to add a minor such as Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Information Sciences and Technology, or Photography. In addition, students may complete field experiences, practica, or internships up to a maximum of 18 credit hours. The Department of Graphic Design places 100% of students in an internship with leading firms and brands between their third and fourth years of study. Examples include TIME Magazine, Michael Kors, Penguin Random House, DKNY, Billboard Magazine, and Victoria’s Secret. Many internship placements lead to full-time jobs upon graduation.
The 21 credit hour Graphic Design Minor explores visual communications, typography, image making, digital production, and design methodologies. Course examples include Introduction to Graphic Design, Graphic Design Studio, Design Foundation 1-2, Typography, and Minor Advanced Studio. Students in this program will complete a Minor Capstone Studio to complete the program.
The Art MFA at Pennsylvania State University consists of 60 credit hours, including 30 credit hours in the major. The program expands on the undergraduate program, with additional coursework in advanced design, research, and teaching. Course examples include Graphic Design, Supervised Experience and College Teaching, New Media Art, Issues in Contemporary Art, Printmaking, Graduate Seminar, and Individual Studies. The MFA Program culminates with the MFA Thesis Exhibition.
Nearly 100% of Graphic Design graduates at Pennsylvania State University are employed in the field within three months of graduation. Program alumni work in branding, typography, UI/UX design, art direction, packaging, information visualization, and storytelling, among others.
Pennsylvania State University is the state’s only land-grant university. Chartered in 1855 as one of the nation’s first colleges of agricultural science, the school serves approximately to 88,115 students enrolled in more than 275 undergraduate majors and 300+ graduate and professional programs, including medical and legal studies. Programs at Penn State are offered across 24 campuses, sixteen academic colleges, and several schools. Penn State is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1921.
48. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, Virginia (Top 20% of colleges considered)
The School of Visual Arts (SOVA) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) houses the Graphic Design Program, which includes a required 130-hour internship that takes place in the students junior or senior year. In addition to the internship, SOVA students may gain hands-on experience in the student-run, faculty-led Graphic Design Center known as FourDesign, which attracts real-world clients from within the industry.
Leading to a BFA, Virginia Tech Graphic Design Program explores user interface and user experience (UI/UX) design, problem-solving, conceptual thinking, and aesthetic development. Students will complete required courses in Design and Typography, with access to a variety of Studio Art and Creative Technologies courses, and electives. Course examples across areas include include Hand-Lettering, Motion Graphics, Advanced Typography, Human-Centered Design, 3D Computer Animation, Art Direction, Packaging, New Media Art, Creative Code, Web Design, Mobile Design, Visual Communication Design, Pictorial Arts Studio, and Mapping.
Students will leave the Graphic Design BFA Program with work experience and a portfolio of their best work.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Virginia Tech work in fields such as advertising, product design, brand management, exhibit design, marketing, web and interaction design, and packaging design. Program alumni have been hired at major companies and organizations such as Amazon, ESPN, Google, NASA, the Brooklyn Art Museum, USA Today, Warby Parker, Axios, and Willow Tree Apps.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University opened on October 1, 1872 as Virginia’s land-grant institution. The school serves more than 37,000 students enrolled in approximately 280 undergraduate and graduate programs across more than a dozen departments and schools. Virginia Tech houses campuses, and educational and research facilities across Virginia, as well as a study-abroad site in Switzerland. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
49. Mississippi State University, Starkville, University (Top 20% of colleges considered)
The College of Architecture, Art and Design (CAAD) at Mississippi State University (MSU) houses the Department of Art—home to the state’s largest undergraduate Studio Art Program. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the Program has Concentrations in Graphic Design, Fine Arts, and Photography.
Leading to a BFA, the MSU Studio Art Program emphasizes immersive studio experiences, hands-on studio learning, and internships. For admission to the Graphic Design Concentration, Studio Art students must pass a Foundation Portfolio Review after completing courses such as Introduction to Computing for Art, Design I-II, Drawing I-II, and Three-Dimensional Design.
Once students enter the Concentration, they will take electives and required courses such as Graphic Art Design, Advertising Design, The Art of Typography and Layout, Illustration, Advanced Print Production, Multimedia Design and Authoring, Advanced Studio – Graphic Design, Digital Photography, Print Production, and Graphic Design for the Internet. This 123 credit hour program culminates with a Thesis and Senior Presentation.
Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA Program at Mississippi State University are Product Designers, Brand Managers, Digital Publishers, Art Directors, Packaging Designers, Book Illustrators, Exhibit Designers, Advertising Designers (print and web), Motion Designers, Visual Information Specialists, Interactive Designers, and Creative Directors.
Mississippi State University was founded in 1878 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi. The school serves approximately 23,085 students enrolled in more than 175 programs leading to a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree. Programs at Mississippi State University are housed across eight academic colleges including Agriculture and Life Sciences; Architecture, Art, and Design; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Bagley Engineering; Forest Resources; and Veterinary Medicine. Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
50. San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California (Top 20% of colleges considered)
San Francisco State University (SFSU) houses the College of Liberal Arts, home to the School of Design, which has several paths to study Graphic Design. At the undergraduate level, students can enroll in the Visual Communications BS or the Minor with a Visual Communication Design Pathway. At the graduate level, the School of Design has a Design MA with a Specialization in Graphic Design/Visual Communication Design.
The Visual Communications BA requires 120 units, with 58 units in the major, and the Design Minor requires 19-20 units. The Design MA consists of 30 units. Across undergraduate programs, students will take courses such as Computer Graphic Imaging, Research and Writing for Design, Interactive Design, Graphic Design, Modern Letterpress Printing, Design and Society, Rethinking Digital Visual Media, Information Design, Projects in the Teaching of Design, and Design Gallery: Exhibitions and Communications.
Students in the BS Program will have the option to complete an internship. Worth six credits, the culminating requirement for the program consists of Professional Practices for Design and the Senior Design Project.
The Design MA at San Francisco State University is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to specialize in a specific area, while studying product design, digital media, and more. The program also explores user-centered design, inclusive design, and community design, with a focus on socially motivated projects. Course examples for the program include Digital Media, Technical Drawing, Product Design, Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing Systems, Design Process, Seminar in Design Management, Independent Study, and Directed Experience. Graduate students will also complete a number of workshops, labs, and studios.
The culminating experience for the Design MA consists of a Creative Work Project (Masters Thesis), worth three credits.
As part of the School of Design, students in all programs have the opportunity to collaborate with external industry partners and/or community organizations; they have access to DESIGNSPACE—the on-campus teaching and learning workspace for students, faculty, and partners; and students may participate in design activities in the Fine Arts Building including interactive media (AR and VR), bookbinding, 3D printing, large format printing, rapid prototyping, and letterpress printing.
All School of Design students have access to the SFSU Study Abroad Program, which includes experiences in more than 20 countries with partner institutions such as Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan; University of Technology Sydney, Australia; Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland; Nuova Accademia Di Belle Arti (NABA), Italy; Brunel University London, UK; and Swinburne University, Australia.
Graduates of the Design and other programs at San Francisco State University are routinely hired at companies such as Google, Wells Fargo, Apple, Kaiser Permanente, and Oracle. Design alumni are also in high demand at companies and studios in Silicon Valley. Graduates are Brand Managers, Packaging Designers, User Experience Designers, Exhibit Designers, Creative Directors, Layout Artists, Book Designers, Publication Designers, Art Directors, and Web Designers. Program graduates have also gone on to launch their own studios and freelance businesses.
Founded in 1899 as San Francisco State Normal School, San Francisco State University serves approximately 25,045 students enrolled in more than 200 programs across six colleges that house more than 75 schools and academic departments. San Francisco State University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).