|1||University of Vermont||Burlington|
|3||Northern Vermont University||Lyndonville|
Our 2019 rankings of the top graphic design school programs in Vermont. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
Founded in 1791, the University of Vermont (UVM) serves nearly 13,400 students enrolled in 100+ majors in 53 master's degree programs, 25 doctoral programs, 30 accelerated master's programs, 22 certificate programs and a number of non-degree programs. Programs are offered through seven undergraduate colleges and schools, including the College of Arts and Sciences, which houses the Department of Art and Art History. Here, students can earn a BFA in Studio Art.
Per the school, the program prepares students for a “diversity of careers” and graduate study. Students may take courses in Graphic Design, Digital Art, Printmaking, Motion Picture Media, Drawing, Ceramics, Painting, Photography, and Sculpture. Other program highlights include small classes, a dedicated teaching faculty, and access to studios 24 hours a day.
As a Studio Art major, students will also have opportunities such as gallery exhibitions in the Department's Colburn Gallery or in galleries situated throughout the University's many public spaces, and faculty-sponsored and independent internship opportunities, including partial funding support for select student internships at national and international sites. “Through the Mollie Ruprecht Fund for Visual Art” the Department also “hosts visiting artists who lecture and exhibit their artwork while interacting directly with students in roundtable and individual critique activities.”
2. Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont
Established in 1878, Champlain College serves more than 2,200 students from 44 states and 18 countries. The school offers more than 80 subject areas, including undergraduate majors, minors and specializations as well as online and on-campus graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain has four academic divisions including the Division of Communication & Creative Media, Robert P. Stiller School of Business, the Division of Education & Human Studies (EHS), and the Division of Information Technology & Sciences.
The Division of Communication & Creative Media offers a BFA in Graphic Design with optional Motion Graphics or Publishing Specializations and a combined degree program in Emergent Media. The combined degree allows students to earn a bachelor's degree while completing an MS within a year of graduation.
BFA program highlights include the opportunity to jump right into major courses such as Form & Color and The Digital Image in the first year, and participation in AIGA, where students will meet guest speakers from companies in the industry, network with local professionals, and enter AIGA design competitions.
All students will have the opportunity to complete a design internship at companies such as Burlington City Arts, Clutch Creative, Driven Studio, Four Nine Design, and at BKA Interactive in Auckland, New Zealand, and HRVST Collective in Montreal, Canada, or through Champlain’s Emergent Media Center (EMC) and the Center for Publishing (CFP), where students work alongside students from other disciplines to complete design projects for real clients.
The school has also designed the curriculum to support a semester of study abroad. This means, students can study or work in another country and still graduate on time. Students may choose international study at Champlain’s campus in Montreal, Canada, or in Dublin, Ireland, or through one of the school’s third-party programs.
Besides these experiences, graduates will leave the program with a completed, professional-level design portfolio “rigorously critiqued by a panel of guest designers from top design firms and in-house corporate design centers.” In 2017, around 87% of Graphic Design & Digital Media graduates were employed in positions relevant to their career goals within six months of graduating.
3. Northern Vermont University, Lyndonville, Vermont
In September 2016, the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees initiated the unification of Johnson State College (est. 1828) and Lyndon State College (est. 1911) as Northern Vermont University (NVU), effective July 1, 2018. The school serves more than 2,200 students enrolled in dozens of programs through a number of departments. The Visual Arts Department offers AA, BA, and BFA degrees in Graphic Design.
All three programs offer a solid foundation in graphic design. The AA is designed for professionals who would like to supplement their four-year degree with arts credentials or boost their professional skills, and the BA program provides study in design for digital and print media, with an optional focus in Web or Print Design. Per the school, the BFA provides “in-depth knowledge of the principles and practical skills of design.”
Students in the program will “gain additional skills in print and web design, work on projects and intern at local organizations, and become an expert with the tools professional designers use to create print and web design.” Graduates will leave the program with a professional portfolio and work experience gained from the design internship, international travel, and other professional development opportunities.
Students have been to Italy, France, and Japan, as well as Macworld in San Francisco, and the EdMedia conference and the International Digital Media and Arts Association conference in Vancouver, BC. NVU Visual Arts graduates can be found at Levi Co., NBC, Lego, Life is Good and other major companies.
4. Castleton College, Castleton, Vermont
Established in 1787, Castleton College is the 18th oldest institution of higher education in the U.S. The school serves 1,900 full-time students and 200 part-time students enrolled in over 75 programs of study in the liberal arts and sciences and in professional and career preparation. Program options for aspiring graphic designers include a BA and a Minor in Art with a Concentration in Graphic Design.
Offered through a collaboration between the Art & Media and Communication Departments, the Graphic Design major “offers a blend of theoretical and practical courses providing a combination of perspectives on design principles and use,” says the school. Sample courses include Digital Photography, Drawing, Graphic Design I-IV, Media & Communication, Media Writing, Motion Graphics & Animation, Typographic Design, Video and Filmmaking, and Web Content and Site Development.
Students will also complete an internship and during their final year, they will the Senior Portfolio Capstone Course. The Capstone was designed to help students transition into the professional world.
Graduates of the Graphic Design Program at Castleton are prepared to seek positons in a wide variety of fields and locations including Advertising, Broadcasting, Education, Government Services, Health Care, Marketing, Product Packaging, and Public Relations.