What are the top Colorado graphic design schools for 2022?

Top Graphic Design School Programs in Colorado - 2022 College Rankings
1University of Colorado DenverDenver
2Rocky Mountain College of Art and DesignDenver
3Colorado State UniversityFort Collins

Our 2022 ranking of the top graphic design school programs in Colorado. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Colorado-Denver, Denver, Colorado
University of Colorado Denver

The College of Arts & Media (CAM) at University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) houses the Digital Media Program, which has BFA and Minor pathways. Both pathways are interdisciplinary and hands-on, and explore branding design, interactive media, graphic design, motion graphics, and user experience design. Course examples across pathways include 3D Motion Design, Typography, Fostering Creativity, 3D Design, Digital Design, Interactive Media, and Design Studio. The Digital Media BFA culminates with the Design Thesis Project.

Graduates of the University of Colorado Denver Digital Media Program work as Graphic Designers, Creative Directors, UI/UX Designers, Video Editors, Motion Graphic Artists, and Game Designers. Digital Program alumni work at major companies, advertising agencies, and with startups such as Craftsy, JILA, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Unity, Mozilla, Fruition, Mercedes-Benz, and Dire Wolf.

University of Colorado Denver is accredited by Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The school opened in 1912 as an extension of the University of Colorado Boulder and 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 academic degrees.

2. Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver, Colorado
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design (RMCAD) has a Graphic Design Program that has both on-campus and online options. Consisting of 123 credit hours, the program leads to a BFA. The curriculum includes 48 credits in Graphic Design, 45 in Liberal Arts, 18 in Foundations, and 12 in Studio Electives. Course examples include 3D Packaging, Experimental Typography, Design Systems, Sign + Symbol, Raster Image Processing, Layout Design, Visual Sequencing, User Prototyping, Vector Illustration, Web Design I-II, Interaction Design, and Information Visualization. 

In the Junior year of the RMCAD Graphic Design Program, students will participate in the Graphic Design Junior Portfolio Review. In the final year of the program, students will complete Senior Graphic Design Seminar, Graphic Design Senior Portfolio Review, and the Graphic Design Graduation Portfolio.

Other program features include workshops conducted by design professionals, presentations, teaching engagements, international instructors, visiting faculty, and annual award shows used as class assignments. Design students also have the opportunity to gain work experience through the RMCAD Graphic Design Internship Program.

Potential job titles for graduates of the RMCAD Graphic Design Program include Art Director, Package Designer, Digital Project Manager, User Experience/User Interface (UI/UX) Designer, Brand Designer, Illustrator, Interactive Media Designer, Web Designer, and Production Manager, among others.

Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The school began in 1963 as Rocky Mountain School of Art. Serving more than 1,000 students, RMCAD offers 16 degree and certificate programs delivered in campus/hybrid and online formats.

3. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
Colorado State University

Colorado State University (CSU) houses the College of Liberal Arts, home to the Department of Art and Art History. One of the largest academic departments at CSU, the Department of Art and Art History has programs leading to a BFA or MFA. The undergraduate program has a Graphic Design Concentration that explores typography, illustration, electronic art, printmaking, and design systems. Consisting of 120 credit hours, the Studio BFA provides access to 4,000 square feet of studio space, a dedicated computer lab, and the Digital Fabrication Lab, all housed in the Visual Arts Building.

In addition to internship opportunities, a major component of the CSU BFA Program is the biennial Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition (CIIPE) where students will help organize and participate in the event. Graduates will leave the program with a portfolio of their best work.

The MFA has a Specialization in Graphic Design. Students in this program 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 exhibition opportunities, 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 Graphic Design Programs at Colorado State University work as designers and with arts organizations. They contribute to arts publications and conferences, curate exhibitions, teach at colleges and universities, and exhibit their work locally, nationally, and internationally.

Colorado State University (CSU) is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Founded in 1870 as the Colorado Agricultural College, CSU is an RI, land grant university, and part of the three-school Colorado State University System. Colorado State University serves close to 33,000 students enrolled in more than 250 programs in eight colleges and the Graduate School.