|1||Louisiana State University||Baton Rouge|
|2||Loyola University of New Orleans||New Orleans|
|3||Louisiana Tech University||Ruston|
|4||University of Louisiana at Monroe||Monroe|
|5||Louisiana State University||Shreveport|
Our 2019 rankings of the top graphic design school programs in Louisiana. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Louisiana State University (LSU) was founded in 1853 under the name Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy. The school serves around 29,300 students enrolled in more than 235 programs through more than a dozen colleges and schools. The College of Art and Design houses the School of Art, which offers two programs for aspiring graphic designers. Options include a BFA in Studio Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design and an MFA in Graphic Design.
The 120 credit hour BFA program helps students develop skills in typography, print and editorial design, information design, digital imaging and motion graphics, packaging, environmental design, identity design, and branding. Course highlights include Graphic Abstraction, Two-Dimensional Design, Three-Dimensional Design, Digital Art, Prepress Production Techniques, Interactive Multimedia Design, Digital Imaging Techniques, and Applied Typography.
Per the school, the 60 credit hour, three-year MFA program includes “research and discourse of both modernist and postmodernist methods, strategies, and analysis of the practice of design and their implementation to contemporary graphic design.” Students in the program will take 27 graduate studio hours, 12 art history hours, 12 studio art/general elective hours, and a three-hour teaching seminar.
Courses are supplemented by workshops and lectures by national and international visiting artists, scholars, and design professionals. The final year of study is “dedicated principally to the master’s thesis—submitted as a thesis report and exhibition, for which it is anticipated that students will make original and comprehensive student-directed research investigations in graphic communications.” The thesis is worth six credit hours.
2. Loyola University of New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana
Loyola University of New Orleans opened its doors in 1904 as Loyola College. By 1911, the school was on its way to becoming a university. It was chartered in 1912. Today, the school serves nearly 4,000 students enrolled in 66 undergraduate programs and 17 graduate and professional programs through five colleges. The College of Music and Fine Arts houses Department of Design, which offers a Bachelor of Design (BDes) – Graphic Design and a BDes Interactive Design. A 21 credit hour Minor in Design (DSGN) - Graphic Design is also available.
Per the school, the 120 credit hour BDes – Graphic Design “prepares students for a wide-range of career options as a graphic design professional from motion graphics and web design to exhibitions and careers in education.” The BDes Interactive Design teaches students to “use the techniques of graphic design to fully realize the capabilities of the new media environment based on both user experience design (UX) and user interface design (UI)."
The overall Design curriculum begins with “intense coursework covering basic design principles, typography, imagemaking, and history/theory. These are followed by more specialized classes dealing with subjects such as type design, interactive design, motion graphics, and publication design as each year builds upon the prior year’s study.”
Graphic Design students can expect to take courses such Illustration Design, Print Design + Narrative, Professional Design Practice and Typography. Students will have the opportunity to refine the degree with a Track in Print, Interactive, or Motion/Film. They may also create their own Track in consultation with an advisor. Interactive Design students can expect to take courses such as Electronic Multimedia, UX Design Lab, and UX Design Product Development. An internship and capstone course are also part of the program.
Graduates of the design programs at Loyola University of New Orleans will leave the programs with the ability to “use words (typography) and images (photography, illustration, diagrams, abstract shapes, textures, lines, and color) to communicate messages for the purpose of informing, persuading, and exciting individuals and audiences.”
3. Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana
Founded in 1894, Louisiana Tech University (LA Tech) serves nearly 12,500 students enrolled in more than 100 programs through five colleges and the Department of Air Force Aerospace Studies. The College of Liberal Arts houses the School of Design (SOD), which offers BFA and MFA degrees in Graphic Design.
BFA program highlights include classroom critiques, field experiences and tours related to the design industry, experiences in creating design solutions when working within a team, involvement in design exhibitions and competitions on local, regional, and national levels, and experiences in design challenges requiring interdisciplinary interface with students in other academic areas. In addition, the school says, “properly prepared” students have the opportunity to pursue individualized study in subjects of personal interest through elective coursework.
In the MFA program, students will work towards 60 hours in any of the following three areas: Communication Design, Photography, and Studio. “Within these areas, students are involved in various disciplines” such as communication design, drawing, printmaking, mixed media, multimedia, traditional and digital photography, painting, sculpture, and ceramics. Because emphasis is placed on individual studio work, a private studio is provided for each student.
Other program highlights include individual critiques, intensive group critiques, and critical seminars and LA Tech’s Study Abroad Program in Paris.
4. University of Louisiana at Monroe, Monroe, Louisiana
University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) ULM opened in 1931 as Ouachita Parish Junior College. The school serves more than 9,000 students enrolled in 89 majors and minors and dozens of graduate programs through 15 colleges and schools. The College of Arts, Education, and Sciences houses the School of Visual and Performing Arts, which offers a BFA in Studio Art: Graphic Design.
Course highlights include Graphic Design I and II (three credits each), Advanced Graphic Design (12 credits) and Graphic Design (three credits). A portfolio course worth three credits is also part of the program and students will take around 18 credit hours of core courses including classes such as Advanced Drawing, Black and White Photography, Block Printing, Lithography, and Silkscreen.
Other program highlights include real-world design environments, critiques, field trips, seminars and job assignments for actual clients.
5. Louisiana State University – Shreveport, Louisiana
Founded in 1967, Louisiana State University – Shreveport (LSUS) serves more than 7,000 students enrolled in more than 20 undergraduate degree programs, a dozen master's degree programs, and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership Studies. Programs are offered through several colleges including the College of Art and Design, which houses the School of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Department of Arts & Media. Here, students can earn a BFA in Digital Arts.
The program consists of 120 credit hours of study including 33 hours in the core, 30 hours in the concentration, 18 elective credits, and 39 general education credits. Sample courses include Adobe Photoshop, Basic Design, Computer Graphics, Creative Problem-Solving, Drawing, History of Media Arts, Inter-Design, and Motion Graphics. A capstone course is also part of the program. Other program highlights include department-sponsored student organizations in animation and advertising design, including competition with other colleges,
Graduates of the LSUS BFA in Digital Arts program are prepared to seek careers in Graphic Design, Animation, Game Design, and many other fields.