What are the top Arkansas graphic design schools for 2023?
|University of Arkansas
|University of Arkansas at Little Rock
|Arkansas State University
Our 2023 ranking of the top graphic design school programs in Arkansas. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas
The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at University of Arkansas (U of A) is home to the School of Art, which houses a Graphic Design (GDSB) BFA Program with traditional, eight-semester, and honors options. Launched in 2016 and requiring 120 credit hours of study, the GDSB Program explores branding, typography, interactivity, and design research, long with the latest industry software and techniques used to create designs.
The GDSB BFA Program at University of Arkansas consists of courses such as Studio Foundation I-II, Typographic Systems 1-3, Human Centered Design, Technology in Context, Design Tools and Concepts, User Experience, Interactive Language, Identity Systems 1-2, Art History Survey, and Professional Development Seminar. Students may participate in the Internship Program, and the BFA Degree Project (Capstone) is required to graduate.
Graduates of the Graphic Design BFA Program at U of A have completed internships or currently work for companies and organizations such as Saatchi & Saatchi X, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Olivet, Rockfish, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Acumen Brands, J.B. Hunt, DOXA, Hayseed Ventures, Elkins Design, Collective Bias, Field Agent, Archetype, RevUnit, and BLKBox Labs.
For students seeking a graduate degree, the School of Art has an MDes Program with a Communication Design Concentration. This 60 credit-hour program requires 33 credits in Graduate Studios, 12 in Graduate Seminars, and nine in Graduate Special Topics. Course examples include Design and Technology, Design Theory: Past, Present, and the Future, Design and Communities, Design Pedagogy and Leadership, Design and Culture, and Design Research Methods.
Graduates of the MDes Program at University of Arkansas are prepared for leadership positions in all areas of Communication Design and for academic positions at design schools, colleges, and universities.
Established in 1871 as the first public university in Arkansas, University of Arkansas is among just three percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. The school serves approximately 30,935 students, which also makes it Arkansas’s largest university. U of A provides more than 240 academic programs at the undergraduate, master’s, doctoral, and specialist levels across 10 colleges and schools. University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
2. University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Arkansas
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The University houses the School of Art and Design, which hosts artist workshops, research opportunities, internships, and mentorship. Students in the School of Art and Design also have opportunities to display their works in campus galleries such as the Brad Cushman Gallery and the Ann Maners and Alex Pappas Gallery.
Other School of Art and Design features include access to the Windgate Center of Art + Design (WCAD), which houses both galleries as well as more than 15 studios, collaborative classrooms, and state-of-the-art labs with a student work area within a 65,500 square foot facility. The WCAD is LEED certified, with woodworking, digital fabrication, metal fabrication, and ceramics studios.
The School of Art and Design at UA Little Rock also houses two programs for students who would like to study Graphic Design. Options include a BA or BFA with an Emphasis Graphic Design, and a 30 credit hour Technical Certificate in Graphic Design. Across programs, students will take courses such as Package Design, Typography, Web Design, Digital Imaging for Illustrators and Designers, Print Design, Advanced Problems in Design, Vector Graphics for Illustrators and Designers, and Computer Applications in Art.
Degree-seeking students will complete an Internship or the Professional Practice course, as well as a final project. Certificate students will develop a professional portfolio of their best work. Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at University of Arkansas at Little Rock are prepared to pursue positions in all industries that require Graphic Design skills. Examples include Advertising, Public Relations, Packaging, Publishing, Branding, Media and Communications, and Design Consulting.
Founded in 1927, University of Arkansas at Little Rock began as Little Rock Junior College. The school became Little Rock University in 1957, and University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1969. This public research institution serves approximately 8,100 students enrolled in more than 150 programs of study across seven colleges and departments. University of Arkansas at Little Rock is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
3. Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas
The College of Liberal Arts and Communication at Arkansas State University (Arkansas State) houses the Department of Art and Design, which provides a number of paths to study Graphic Design. Options include a Graphic Design BFA and a Minor, an Online Creative Media Production BS with a Graphic Communication Emphasis, a Digital Technology and Design BS with a Graphic Communication Emphasis, and an Online Graphic Communication Certificate. The Digital Technology and Design BS is delivered online and on campus.
Course examples across programs include Digital Prepress Workflow, Desktop Publishing and Publication Design, Graphic Communication Management, Typography and Layout, Art Direction for Advertising, Front End Web Development, Information Design, Digital Illustration, Identity Design, Advanced Digital Studio, Advanced Photography for the Graphic Designers, Design Technology, and Interaction Design.
Some Design courses at Arkansas State require field trips to art museums and centers such as the Memphis Brooks Museum and The Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock. Arkansas State University is an Accredited Institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. In addition all Graphic Design students will complete a Graphic Design Internship and Portfolio Capstone.
Graduates of the Arkansas State Design Programs are prepared to enter a graduate program or pursue careers such as Graphic Designer, Art Director, UX/UI Designer, Brand Manager, Packaging Designer, Web Developer, Interactive Designer, and Creative Director.
Founded in 1909, Arkansas State University serves approximately 14,110 students enrolled in more than 180 programs across eight colleges. Arkansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).