|1||Kansas State University||Manhattan|
|2||University of Kansas||Lawrence|
Our 2019 rankings of the top graphic design school programs in Kansas. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
Founded in 1863, Kansas State University (K-State) serves approximately 22,221 students enrolled in more than 250 undergraduate majors and options, 43 graduate certificates, 73 master's degree programs, 39 doctoral degree programs, and four educational doctoral programs. Programs are offered through 11 colleges and schools, including the College of Arts and Sciences, which consists of more than 20 departments, more than 7,000 students and more than 115 degree programs, study abroad experiences, and pre-professional options.
Housed within the College of Arts and Sciences is the Department of Art, which offers both BFA and MFA degrees in Graphic Design. The undergraduate program takes place in a laboratory-like studio setting where “where an active community, informal peer-interaction, and opportunities for collaborative output help inform students' preparation for professional practice,” says the school. “Through a mixture of training and experience in visual communication design centered on typography, the program develops students' abilities to shape and solve problems, while expanding technical and visual skill sets across industry-relevant media, materials, and environments.”
Students in the undergraduate program will also have access to internship and study abroad opportunities and all K-State Graphic Design students will benefit from the local AIGA student group, which arranges studio tours, travels to national conferences and events, and attracts influential contemporary designers for speaking engagements.
The K-State MFA in Graphic Design consists of three years of study. Program highlights include independent study with departmental faculty and a cross-disciplinary graduate committee, dedicated studio space in Willard Hall and access to the rest of the Art Department facilities, and a third-year capstone design project and exhibition. Qualified students may also be eligible for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA), which provide financial support as well as valuable experience for future employment.
2. University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
The University of Kansas (KU) was named as the official university for the State of Kansas when Gov. Carney signed the act to begin the university on March 1, 1864. Today, KU is a major public and teaching institution that serves 28,510 students from 50 states and 105 countries, across six campuses in Lawrence, Kansas City, Overland Park, Wichita, Leavenworth, and Salina. KU has 13 schools, including the only schools of pharmacy and medicine in the state, and offers more than 370 degree programs.
Part of the School of Architecture and Design, the Department of Design offers a BFA in Visual Communication Design (Graphic Design). Per the school, the program “prepares students for current professional demands and provides students with the fundamental design thinking, making and process skills required to build a rewarding career and facilitate life-long learning.” Course content “deals with a variety of visual communication design problems related to the community, society, industry, commerce, and advertising and attention is given to the development of a well-rounded, representative, and quality portfolio.”
Course highlights include Designer as Author, Design for Change, Design Understanding, Elements of Type, Publication & Editorial, Typographic Systems, and Visual Communication. Other program highlights include internship and study abroad opportunities as well as the option to complete a Certificate in Book Arts. The Certificate requires 12 credit hours, and students learn production across the “whole book—papermaking, typography, printing, and binding, informed by the history of the book.”
Career options for graduates of the KU Visual Communication Design Program include traditional print media, magazine and book design, corporate marketing communications, branding, packaging design, exhibition and environmental design, motion graphic design, website design, interface design and more.