What are the top Nebraska graphic design schools for 2023?

Top Nebraska Graphic Design School Programs - 2023 College Rankings
1University of Nebraska Lincoln
2Creighton UniversityOmaha
3University of Nebraska OmahaOmaha
4University of Nebraska at KearneyKearney

Our 2023 ranking of the top graphic design school programs in Nebraska. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.

1. University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
University of Nebraska – Lincoln

The School of Art, Art History & Design at University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) is the state’s only National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD)-accredited school to offer a BFA or BA in Graphic Design. Housed in Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, the School features opportunities to collaborate on projects with faculty members; a range of design research jobs; and access to nearly 5,000 square feet of facilities including state-of-the-art classrooms, student exhibition and critique spaces, large open labs, and graduate studios.

Students in both the BFA and BA Programs may also participate in design research projects. In the past two years, students have designed public exhibitions, from UNL’s Innovation Campus to California, and they have participated in projects in places such as Puerto Rico.

Other UNL Graphic Design highlights include coursework that focuses on real-world projects; mandatory AIGA membership; and the option to apply 6-9 credit hours of internship toward major requirements. Students have interned at places such as Nelnet, Swanson Russell, the University of Nebraska Athletics Department, and Agile Sports Technologies, Inc. (Hudl). UNL Graphic Design students also have opportunities to participate in the student-run Jacht Ad Agency.

In the Graphic Design BA Program at University of Nebraska – Lincoln, more than fifty percent of coursework is in the major. Students in this program must declare a Minor or second Major. In the intensive Graphic Design BFA, the major accounts for seventy percent of the coursework. Both programs require 120 credit hours to graduate. Course examples across programs include Design & Integrated Brand Promotion, Problems in Graphic Design, Critical and Creative Thinking, Graphic Design I-III, Publication Design, Interaction Design II: Interactive Storytelling, Digital Book Design, and Typography I-II.

The BFA Program at University of Nebraska – Lincoln culminates with the Graphic Design Capstone. Students in both programs will enter the job market with a professional portfolio of their best work. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in Graphic Design, Editorial & Publication Design, Product Packaging Design, Sustainable & Green Design, Mobile Application Design, Interactive Media & Web Design, Design for Social Change, Advertising Design, Information Design & Data Visualization, Environmental Graphics and Signage, Fashion & Retail Design, and Branding and Identity Design.  

Some UNL Graphic Design alumni continue their education by enrolling in the school’s 60 credit hour Studio Art MFA Program. Students in this program may focus in one or more areas from the following: Graphic Design, Printmaking, Drawing, Photography, Painting, Sculpture, and Ceramics. The Graphic Design Emphasis features courses such as Book Arts, Advanced Graphic Design I-II, Advanced Problems in Art Studio, Interactive Design II: Interactive Storytelling, and Problems in Graphic Design.

Other program features include shared workspaces; access to state-of-the-art computer labs and studios; and resources such as the Great Plains Art Collection, Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Eisentrager-Howard Gallery, and Lentz Center for Asian Culture. Each space hosts a variety of lectures and visiting exhibitions.

The Studio Art MFA Program at University of Nebraska – Lincoln culminates with the Studio Thesis. Graduates of the program go on to secure upper-level and leadership positions such as Senior Graphic Designer, Creative Director, Director of Exhibit Design and Production, Arts Administrator, Design Director, and Art Professor.

Founded in 1869 and serving 23,805 students, University of Nebraska – Lincoln is the state's oldest university and the largest institution in the University of Nebraska System. UNL offers more than 70 doctoral programs and over 150 majors, 70+ master's degree programs, and more than 30 graduate certificates. Programs at UNL are housed across nine colleges. University of Nebraska-Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

2. Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska
Creighton University

The College of Arts and Sciences at Creighton University provides more than 60 degree and pre-professional programs, making it the largest of the school’s nine academic units. The College also boasts a 100% employment rate within six months of graduation. Among the College’s Arts and Sciences Programs are two options for Graphic Designers including the Graphic Design and Film BS and Graphic Design Minor. Across Programs, students have access to state-of-the-art production facilities, research opportunities, internships, and career development resources.

The Graphic Design and Film BA has two Tracks: Graphic Design and Filmmaking. Both Tracks explore Graphic Design, Video, and Web Design. The Graphic Design Track covers traditional design, including advanced Graphic Design and Interaction Design. Filmmaking Track students will delve into Video and Photography. Course examples across Tracks include Concept Sketch Development, 3D Digital Design, Graphic Design II, Photojournalism, Computer Illustration, Mini-Documentary, Motion Graphics, and Web Design.  

The Graphic Design and Film BS culminated with the Senior Capstone course. Graduates are prepared for careers in area such as Graphic Design, 3D Design, Motion Graphics, Photography, Illustration, Photojournalism, and Documentary Filmmaking. Graduates have been placed at companies such as ESPN, Sundance Film Festival, NIKE, Gallup, and Flywheel.

The Graphic Design Minor complements any Art, Design or related program at Creighton. Consisting of 18 credit hours, the Program has two required courses including Digital Web Foundations and Video and Photo. Upon completion of the requirements, students have the opportunity to select four 300-level Graphic Design (GDE) courses. Examples include Graphic Design I-II,  Computer Illustration, Photojournalism II: Picture Editing, Concept Sketch Development, and Digital Foundations.

Heider College of Business at Creighton University has an additional option for students interested in a hybrid degree that explores Business, Analytics, and Design—the Business Intelligence & Analytics (BIA). Within this BS Program is a Digital Media and Design Track that requires 21 credit hours in the focus area. Course examples include Graphic Design I-II, Digital Foundations, Interaction Design, Python Programming for Data Analytics, and Systems Analysis and Design.

More than 90% of BIA BS students complete one or more internships during the program. Students have obtained internships at places such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, General Electric, and Cerner Corporation.

Graduates of the Business Intelligence & Analytics BIA at Creighton are prepared for careers in Graphic Design, Information Management, Analytics, Business Intelligence, and many other areas.

Creighton University opened in 1878 with five Jesuits, two teachers, and 120 students. Today, this private Jesuit, Catholic university serves more than 8,700 students enrolled in 140+ programs leading to undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies degrees. The degree programs at Creighton are housed across nine colleges and schools. Creighton University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

3. University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha Nebraska
University of Nebraska Omaha

The College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CFAM) at University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO) has established partnerships with arts organizations, cultural institutions, and businesses in the region and across the U.S. These partnerships allow students to gain valuable professional experience before graduating. UNO CFAM students have interned at places such as Walt Disney World, Cox Communications, Habitat for Humanity, Swimming World Magazine, Hayneedle, Omaha Media Group, Hy-Vee, Ronald McDonald House, PEN American Center, Summit Media, and Omaha Performing Arts.

Within the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media (CFAM) at UNO is the School of the Arts, which houses the Studio Art BA and BFA Programs. Both provide the opportunity to focus in Graphic Design. Students may also focus in Three-Dimensional Art, which includes Book Arts, and Two-Dimensional Art, which includes Drawing and Illustration. The Media Arts Concentration is also a good option for students who would like to take courses in Papermaking, Hand Produced Books, Patterned Paper, and Drawing.

The Graphic Design Concentration requires 63 focused credit hours in the Major. Course examples for the program include Typeface Design and Typography, Graphic Design I-III, Digital Media, Game Design as Art, Web Design, Graphic Design Studio, Video Art, CGI: Computer Generated Imagery, Photography/Digital Printmaking, History of Design, and Professional Studio Practices.

An optional Art Internship is part of the program as well as the option to add the Arts Entrepreneurship or Art History Minor to enhance the degree.

Graduates of the Graphic Design Programs at University of Nebraska Omaha are prepared to pursue positions such as Graphic Designer, Brand Identity Designer, Photo Editing Artist, Logo Designer, Advertising Designer, User Interface (UI) Designer, Packaging Designer, Creative Director, Layout Artist, User Experience (UX) Designer, Exhibit Designer, Book Designer, and Publications Designer.

Founded in 1908 by the Presbyterian Theological Seminary at Omaha, University of Nebraska Omaha serves approximately 15,330 students from across the Midwest, Texas, and 66 countries. UNO provides more than 200 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees across six colleges. University of Nebraska-Omaha is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

4. University of Nebraska at Kearney, Kearney, Nebraska
University of Nebraska at Kearney

The College of Arts and Sciences at University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) houses 16 departments. The Department of Art and Design here has a Visual Communication and Design (VCD) Program leading to a BFA and a Minor. Consisting of 21 credit hours, the VCD Minor is ideal for students in other majors who are interested in a foundation in Visual Communication Design or as an introduction to the BFA Program. Course examples for the program include Cultural Studies Through Art, Graphic Imaging, Typography, Design, Graphic Applications, and Drawing.

The VCD BFA requires 120 credit hours of study. Course examples include Graphic Media, Typography, Web Design & Motion Graphics, 3D Design, Printmaking I-Intaglio and Relief, Water Based Media, Computer Animation & 3D Modeling, Creative Photography, Individual Problems in Art, and Design Illustration.

The Visual Communication Design Program at University of Nebraska at Kearney requires 120 credit hours, with 15 unrestricted electives. This component provides opportunities to enhance the degree. Course examples for the program include Color and Design, Typography I-II, Web Design & Motion Graphics, Design I-IV, Graphic Applications, Typography I-III, Computer Animation & 3D Modeling Design Illustration I-II, and Graphic Media.

Upper level VCD BFA students will complete the Design Practicum and Design Portfolio courses, the VCD Senior Project Review, and the Capstone course. An optional internship is also part of the program.

Graduates of the VCD Program at University of Nebraska at Kearney are prepared for positions in Advertising, Publishing, Marketing, Graphic Design, Web Design, and Video Entertainment.

Founded in 1903 as a Normal School, University of Nebraska at Kearney serves 6,275 students enrolled in 121 undergraduate majors, 21 pre-professional programs, 54 graduate programs, and 11 certificates. Programs at UNK are housed across the Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Education; Business & Technology; and UNK Online. University of Nebraska at Kearney is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).