2024 GDUSA Top Design Schools

Pictured: DePaul CDM


It is time once again time for our annual list of favorite graphic design schools and programs that excel in teaching the hard and soft skills necessary for success, in nurturing talent and expanding minds, and in preparing the next generation of creatives for a dream career in the real world. The mix is unique: it includes, of course, the venerable institutions long dedicated to art and design; several notable university departments, programs and majors; and select innovative and flexible online or hybrid programs for graduate, undergrad or continuing education. The selection is based on objective and subjective factors, and is influenced by our own long relationships with designers, educators, hiring managers and recruiters. The list is alphabetical. The reach is national. The theme is growth: personal, professional, societal.


Traditional and innovative design knowledge seamlessly merge in the School of Graphic Design at the Academy of Art University. Immerse yourself in a dynamic education empowering you to reveal your creativity and gain a deep understanding of the transformative power of design. Master proper design skills and develop an exceptional portfolio, paving the way for greater opportunities to showcase your talent at top-tier companies, agencies, and design studios.

Our curriculum explores real-world applications, including communication design, branding, typography, and more. Our instructors are industry professionals who ensure you will have real-world practical experience and leave with an outstanding portfolio.

As a student in the School of Graphic Design, you are also part of a larger community, the School of Brand Communications, which includes the School of Advertising, the School of Interaction & UI/UX, and the School of Communications & Media Technologies. Being a part of this collective group means you have access to numerous classes and collaborations with students from various disciplines.

Stay ahead with our AI for Designers course, where you’ll learn to leverage tools like Midjourney, ChatGPT, and Adobe Firefly for cutting-edge creativity. Dive into social media, mobile interfaces, streaming content, and more, preparing for the evolving design landscape.

Benefit from our extensive business network and alumni connections, helping to build your portfolio and opening doors to internships and jobs. If you’re ready to unlock your creative potential, we’re here to help you shape your unique design vision. Join us for a transformative educational journey in graphic design.
Contact: academyart.edu/art-degree/graphic-design

The Design School is the largest and most comprehensive design school in the nation. Students learn the art of collaboration and how to work across disciplines.

The field of visual communication design changes rapidly. We are looking for students who are adaptive, curious, and want to experience hands-on learning, develop their critical thinking skills, and make a difference in the world. The curriculum is focused on developing visual language, process and synthesis. Our program was established over 30 years ago. Today, graduates can be found throughout the world in all forms of media providing solutions in fields such as design, education, environmental, exhibition, fashion, marketing, packaging, publication and more.
Contact: design.asu.edu

ArtCenter’s visionary approach to art and design education is based on the College’s conservatory-like approach to teaching and learning; a desire for rich, intercultural, and transdisciplinary dialogue; and a mandate to provide students innovative learning and making spaces. An international leader in art and design education, ArtCenter offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines, as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to the industry and social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, its alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.
Contact: artcenter.edu

The Graphic Design Program at Auburn University prepares students to practice visual communication in a competitive global environment. Auburn’s nationally regarded BFA is NASAD accredited and concentrates on interactive media and mobile app design, user experience design, strategic branding, typography, publication design, packaging, illustration, image-making, and fine arts. Students receive hands-on design instruction in a professional studio environment accented by a strong sense of community among students and faculty. Courses emphasize a systemic approach to design through cross-disciplinary collaborations, cultivating students to become versatile designers and art directors. The program hosts exhibitions, design symposiums, and guest lectures by industry leaders while supporting an internship program that facilitates experiences in professional practice and opportunities for networking. Students build a strong portfolio of work across their overall experience in design and education.
Contact: cadc.auburn.edu/design/programs/graphic-design

Founded in 1918, Ball State University is a research-intensive, residential university in Muncie, Indiana, with about 22,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The art-making facilities in the School of Art at Ball State are competitive with the best in the country, and our faculty and staff are active nationally and internationally as artists, creators, scholars, and designers. With roughly 600 students, our NASAD-accredited programs (BA, BS, BFA, MFA) cover a broad range of opportunities, including Graphic Design, Animation, Game Design, Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture, Photography, Ceramics, Glass, Metals, Intermedia, Graphic Arts Management, Art History, and Art Education.

Our Graphic Design BFA students receive a rigorous interdisciplinary education focused on cultural awareness and real-world work expectations. They develop problem-solving abilities, technical skills, and digital competencies across several disciplines. The students enjoy superior facilities that are outfitted with industry-standard computers, software programs, and equipment. Students work closely with professors and peers in multiple areas to build a solid foundation in design concepts and professional practices while blending traditional and emerging media. The Graphic Design program also provides an opportunity to enroll in an award-winning student-run design studio (Studio 165+) and to collaborate on local, regional, national, and international design projects.
Contact: bsu.edu/art

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. The Department of Art and Art History at Baylor offers an emphasis in graphic design within the studio art major. The studio art major provides students the opportunity to develop their hand and aesthetic skills and conceptual development. In addition to foundation courses, students take graphic design courses in Conceptual Development, Typography, Identity Design and Branding, Advanced Typography, UX/UI design, and Portfolio. An elective internship course is also available for those students wishing to take advantage of professional practice in the field. Graduates have gone on to work in design studios and major advertising agencies, and some have also started design studios and advertising agencies of their own.
Contact: art.artsandsciences.baylor.edu/areas-study/graphic-design

Located near the heart of thriving Nashville, Tennessee, Belmont University consists of nearly 9,000 students who come from every state and 33 countries. The University is nationally recognized for its innovative approach as well as its commitment to undergraduate teaching (U.S. News & World Report). As a Christ-centered, student-focused community, Belmont’s mission is to develop diverse leaders of purpose, character and wisdom who possess a transformational mindset and are eager and equipped to make the world a better place.

Belmont’s Watkins College of Art at Belmont University offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees and post-graduate programs and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. These programs include: Art Studies, Art Education, Art History, Design Communications, Experiential Design, Illustration, Photography, Photographic Studies and Studio Art. The Design Communications (B.F.A.) program, a portfolio-based graphic design curriculum, equips students with a broad spectrum of skills, focusing on information, communication and a deep understanding of end-user needs. Graduates of Belmont’s Design program become positive contributors to the local, national and international media landscape, competing effectively in any market.

Watkins College of Art’s mission is to educate purpose-driven artists and designers with a global perspective and an entrepreneurial mindset, making them valuable contributors to their communities. The college also provides opportunities for study abroad, internships and community education programs.
Contact: belmont.edu/watkins

The Graphic Design program at Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Visual Arts takes a studio-driven approach to design thinking and visual communication. With an emphasis on process and critical design thinking, the program sets itself apart as a maker-based design department within an art school and a R1 University. The design faculty are leaders in the field who work closely with students to develop their technical and conceptual skills, challenging them to think creatively and strategically, and placing them at the forefront of entrepreneurial thinking in the business world.
Contact: bu.edu/cfa/academics/degrees-programs/graphic-design

The Bowling Green State University Graphic Design program educates and mentors its students to become independent and collaborative innovators and leaders in the field of graphic design. Our award-winning program is dynamic, enterprising, and responsive, and leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design. Our multi-faceted curricula merges design ideologies and research with appropriate aesthetic and communication methods through intensive critical analysis, exploration and experimentation. Students are taught and trained to be mindful professionals and socio-politically aware stewards for the profession and the world. Our practical and theoretical approach to foster and guide clarity of communication is the foundation for a progressive and fluid curriculum— one that graduates thinkers with curious minds.

Our Master of Design (MDes) in Integrative Design program is an interdisciplinary program that cultivates individual and community growth through intentional, inclusive, and collaborative values and frameworks. Our guiding practices observe, question, and shapes culture, shifts priorities from exclusive to inclusive. Through meaning-making, deliberate design, ethical education, and sustainable systems, our integral approach develops students as leaders in creating a sense of belonging and a bold future for all.
Contact: bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/school-of-art/undergraduate-programs/graphic-design.html

Brigham Young University (BYU) is a large private religious university in Provo, Utah, serving 34,000+ students from over 100 countries and all 50 states. The BYU Graphic Design program has a history of producing award-winning work and enjoys an established international reputation. The major simulates a professional studio experience with students working to solve complex visual problems. As members of a small cohort group, students complete a variety of individual and collaborative projects under close faculty direction.

BYU’s Graphic Design BFA program aspires to prepare students with the skills, knowledge, and intellect necessary to be excellent visual communicators and to foster innovation through problem solving, collaboration, and design thinking. The program aims to cultivate designers that encourage human flourishing, foster charitable interactions, and promote societal and ecological well-being today and in the future. BYU emphasizes experiential learning on and off-campus, both in its extensive study abroad programs and our program’s national internship placements.
Contact: designdept.byu.edu/graphicdesign

Founded in 1907, CCA educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility. A top-ten most diverse college in the US, CCA attracts promising students from across the nation and around the world. Graphic design at CCA is dedicated to conceptual exploration and practical problem solving. We teach students to become leaders in the field by emphasizing craft, creativity, and collaboration, and we encourage them to engage with pressing social issues and examine how their work shows up in the world.
Contact: www.cca.edu

The Graphic Design Program at CalArts fosters the next generation of graphic designers through rigorous inquiry, fearless exploration, and innovative making within a tight-knit studio community. The students with the support of their fac-colleagues, endeavor to develop individual agendas and lines of exploration that challenge received structures and value systems of graphic design outcomes, criticism, theory, and practice. The program’s curriculum is based on the Institute’s critical approach of contextualizing praxis in history, theory, and broad cultural literacy, and in the Graphic Design program’s inclusive pedagogy. Students are trained in print and publication design; web and interface design; motion graphics for broadcast and film; branding, identity, and type design; as well as for careers in design history and education. Classes in Graphic Design are small, intimate, and critique-based, fostering debate and discussion as well as imparting formal and practical knowledge. All students work in residence in communal studios (grouped by year level) that are open 24 hours and have access to Art School facilities and labs.
Contact: art.calarts.edu/programs/graphic-design

The School of Design has established a program framework that responds to recent changes in the field of design — and to the escalating business, social, and environmental challenges that we face in the 21st century. Our programs prepare students for top jobs in leading companies and organizations today, while teaching hem to design with future generations in mind. Our Communication Design program honors strong graphic design history, but constantly incorporates new innovative technologies, platforms, and methods, ultimately pushing the discipline of communication design into new territories. Today, we face many challenges resulting from communication breakdowns and misinformation. Through diverse perspectives, we use new narrative frames, storytelling, and future-casting to prepare students as future leaders, playing critical roles across various industries, organizations, and settings. We celebrate our interdisciplinary approach to teaching — working alongside students to develop the necessary 21st-century skill sets, posture, and critical consciousness to effectively use Communication Design practice, leading to positive impact.
Contact: design.cmu.edu/design-cmu

The Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College provides a comprehensive educational experience with an emphasis on graphic design studies within a broader liberal arts context. All students at Weissman are encouraged to establish a solid academic foundation through a wide array of courses, ranging from English and history to fine arts and Black and Latino studies. These courses are led by a distinguished faculty, recognized for their excellence and commitment to student success.

Graphic design students at Weissman are not confined to theory alone; they are propelled into real-world scenarios through internships and hands-on projects, where they can apply their creative skills in practical settings — bringing their artistic practices back to the New York City communities they themselves come from. The school’s partnerships with leading organizations provide students with invaluable field work and research opportunities.

Baruch’s New Media Artspace and Mishkin Gallery offer immersive learning environments where students can engage with contemporary artistic practices, complemented by events featuring visiting artists and experts. The Harman Writer’s Program and the Baruch Performing Arts Center further enrich the creative environment with a dynamic range of performances and lectures.

Located in the vibrant heart of New York City, the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences stands as a singular beacon of academic excellence, cultural diversity, and economic accessibility, making it a premier destination and hidden gem for those pursuing a career in graphic design and the arts.
Contact: https://weissman.baruch.cuny.edu/weissman-academic-departments/communication-studies/

Located in the heart of Detroit and integrated into its cultural life, CCS educates artists and designers to be leaders in creative professions. A private, fully accredited college, the school enrolls nearly 1,400 students pursuing BFA, MA and MFA degrees. It also offers non-credit courses through its Continuing and Precollege Studies programs and opportunities for youth through its Community Arts Partnerships programs.

CCS’s innovative Communication Design program encourages students to create imaginative work that engages users in new and unexpected ways in print, motion, and user experience design. Integrated into the Communication Design program, Graphic Design studies strengthen students’ design and research skills, and develop their ability to use a variety of media in creating engaging and strategic communications across emerging media platforms.
Contact: www.ccsdetroit.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/communication-design/

Columbia College Chicago offers two programs in graphic design, a BFA and BA. Both degrees give students the tools and experience needed to launch a career in graphic design within a broader program of foundational studies in art and design. Students also gain a strong business foundation, which will prepare them to join a design firm, an agency, an in-house corporate design team, or launch their own freelance business. A second Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design is also available. The BFA is a rigorous, professionally focused degree in graphic design. The BFA requires students to learn multiple disciplines and has fewer opportunities to choose electives. The BA provides a foundation in design but allows students to choose a general concentration one in Web Design or Publication Design. All Graphic Design students develop a professional portfolio of work as part of the requirements of the degree programs.
Contact: colum.edu

The School of Art at The Cooper Union has a mission to educate artists in the broadest sense, both as creative practitioners engaged with a wide range of disciplines in the visual arts and as enlightened citizens of the world who are prepared to question and transform society. The program is structured around an integrated curriculum that fosters connections between disciplines, as well as between traditional and new media. The Foundation Program consists of a series of prerequisite courses taken during the first year. Following completion of the Foundation Program, disciplines offered are graphic design, drawing, film and video, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Students may choose to focus on one or more areas of specialization and are encouraged to follow an integrated approach. The graphic design curriculum includes courses on typography, web design, game design, information design, motion graphics and more.
Contact: cooper.edu/art

DePaul University’s BFA in Graphic Design prepares students to communicate to diverse audiences through a wide range of design practices, integrating emerging media and contemporary technologies including typography, interaction design, branding, illustration, motion graphics, package design, programming, artificial intelligence, and digital fabrication.

Our program is located in the heart of Chicago, where a vibrant design community creates opportunities for collaboration, networking, and internships. Meanwhile, our new Jarvis Student Center for Innovation and Collaboration provides a multidisciplinary, student-focused space for professional learning and industry partnerships. The Jarvis Center connects students with designers, creators, and experts-in-residence through a series of regular events and workshops.

Award-winning faculty oversee a host of initiatives, design labs, and research programs that foster student learning, engagement, and community. And students lead their own initiatives as well, including our AIGA student chapter, makerspace and digital fabrication studio. Design-related study abroad programs in Japan and Scandinavia provide our students with a global context for their practice.
Contact: www.cdm.depaul.edu/design

The creative heart of Drexel University, the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design trains the next generation of scholars, thinkers, makers, and doers in the fields of media, entertainment, design, and the visual and performing arts. Westphal offers 18 undergraduate majors, 26 undergraduate minors, and nine graduate programs, housed in award-winning facilities that encourage collaboration across creative disciplines. The Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design educates students to inform, persuade, educate, and entertain through the creative use of word and image. The program prepares students with diverse backgrounds to enter the field of graphic design with a competitive edge as skilled design practitioners, creative problem solvers, and multi-talented team members.
Contact: drexel.edu/westphal/academics/undergraduate/graphic-design/

The Graphic Design BFA Program of the Communication Design Pathways Department educates creative, socially responsible, and worldly professionals who are well positioned for a broad range of art and design fields. It challenges students to generate problem-solving and culture-making design, through experimentation and collaboration attuned to social, environmental as well as commercial challenges. It is an intensive, professionally oriented course of study that relies heavily on typographic craftsmanship, design authorship and motion design. The program presents an annual lecture series for its design students and multiple student curated exhibitions. It facilitates Study Abroad, internships and professional interaction opportunities. Courses are taught by accomplished practicing designers and scholars.
Contact: fitnyc.edu/academics/academic-divisions/art-and-design/ graphic-design/index.php

Full Sail University is an award-winning educational leader for those pursuing careers in entertainment media and emerging technologies. Founded in 1979, Full Sail has received numerous accolades throughout its 45-year history, including most recently being named a 2024 “Top Game Design School” by The Princeton Review, and recognized as the 2022-2023 “School of the Year” by the Florida Association of Postsecondary Schools and Colleges. Full Sail University is a graduate and undergraduate degree-granting institution offering on-campus and online degree programs in areas including Graphic Design, Media Design, and Digital Arts & Design. With over 97,878 graduates worldwide, Full Sail alumni have worked on countless award-winning projects with individual recognition including Oscar®, Emmy®, Grammy®, Addy® and The Game Award honors.
Contact: www.fullsail.edu

George Mason University’s School of Art is a collaborative academic and professional community focused on advancing creativity through traditional and new media applied to varying social contexts.

Embedded in a major liberal arts university rich in learning resources, the School of Art plays a vital role in the creative climate of the institution and the region through the cross-disciplinary research it facilitates and the artwork it produces and exhibits. The School’s facilities engage an exceptional faculty of practicing artists, an active visiting artist program, and a diverse and intellectually curious graduate and undergraduate student body. Artistic skills and principles of creative practice in all visual media are grounded in a forward-thinking, adaptive curriculum. Faculty and students forge cross-disciplinary experimentation, challenging conventional thinking and blurring the lines between traditional artistic disciplines, indeed, between the arts and other humanities and sciences.

The School of Art educates artists and creative professionals to be responsible contributors to society, preparing them to be agents of change in an increasingly connected, complex, inclusive world. The School of Art offers such degrees as Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Master of Arts in Teaching, as well as certificates and minors.
Contact: art.gmu.edu

The Graphic Design Department at Iowa State is situated in the College of Design, one of the most comprehensive institutions for art and design education, which leads to a strong multidisciplinary network of design thinking for our 300+ students. The department includes an undergraduate BFA in Graphic Design, a Masters in Experiential Graphic Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. The curriculum emphasizes how to design through organization of visual and verbal information. Our concept-based approach can be applied to printed material, digital media, motion, and environmental graphics.

Students learn to create designs based in a solid understanding of the history and fundamentals of graphic design. They hone their skills through elective studios in a variety of topics including UX design, 3D animation, digital media, motion graphics, exhibition design, packaging design, wayfinding, typography, publication design and branding. They enhance their education with internships or study abroad, including a semester in Italy with our Rome Program.

Our mission is to educate experiential communicators who enrich our ethical, social, cultural, and environmental future. We prepare students to be adept in the ever-evolving graphic design discipline in the creation of communication artifacts and systems that inform and inspire in virtual and physical environments.
Contact: design.iastate.edu/academics/departments/graphic-design/

KCAI is a college of art and design awarding the B.F.A. degree in 13 majors. We recruit top talent from across the country and equip them with a versatile skill set and the fearlessness to pursue their craft. KCAI’s Graphic Design department takes a wide-ranging view of the possibilities for visual communication, introducing students to the principles of print, interaction, motion, environment, experience, information, and advocacy. Our approach to design problems can best be described as exploratory, systematic, and transmedia. We recognize the complexity of contemporary design and seek to foster critical and surprising responses through a rigorous process of research, thinking, form-making, and connection to various external communities.
Contact: kcai.edu/graphic-design

Graphic Communications is one of the largest programs in the School of Art and Design at Kennesaw State University. This vigorous, progressive program supports students in advancing their technical and creative skills, with visual literacy and technology serving as the foundation. Students embody competencies and relevance for a multicultural, global marketplace. The School of Art and Design (SOAAD) is accredited by NASAD and offers students challenging and exciting degrees, including the BFA in Art, a BFA in Digital Animation, and an MA in Art and Design. SOAAD and the City of Atlanta are a powerful combination providing educational and professional opportunities that launch careers into local and international creative industries.
Contact: arts.kennesaw.edu/visual-arts

The primary mission of the School of Visual Communication Design is to provide a comprehensive and superior professional education in the study and practice of visual communication design that complements university study in the liberal arts, humanities and sciences. Uniquely positioned within the College of Communication and Information, the curriculum encourages cross-disciplinary studies to meet the challenges of an evolving marketplace.
Contact: kent.edu/vcd

MICA envisions a just, sustainable, and joyful world activated and enriched by designers who are valued for their leadership and imagination. MICA officials state: “Our program empowers students to make the world they imagine through a sequence of required courses and broad-ranging electives. We see graphic design as a comprehensive activity of visual problem solving in commercial, social, public, and political spheres. Designers forge creative, purposeful lives and careers in a diverse and changing world. Graphic Design graduates shape culture, flourish through collaboration, embrace difference and champion equity, and invent through thoughtful disruption. Graphic Designers strive for excellence and rigor, act with intent and critical appraisal, and exemplify resilience, passion, and conviction.”
Contact: mica.edu

As the nation’s first and only public college of art and design, MassArt has spent 150 years demonstrating the truly amazing things that happen when world-class education is an option for every deserving student.

MassArt faculty and instructors are working artists, designers, and educators who apply their real world experience and expertise to the classroom to help students hone their skills and develop their artistic practice.

Communication design students gain a robust working knowledge of print design, information design, branding, and dynamic media (user experience design).
Contact: massart.edu/academics/programs/communication-design

Mercer University Department of Art & Design offers a comprehensive curriculum that encourages the investigation of contemporary directions in art, imaging, and visual communication, housed within a vibrant liberal arts program. By working in a wide range of print and interactive media, students develop cohesive portfolios appropriate for the pursuit of graduate studies or professional practice. Theory, methodology, and industry-standard technology are taught by award-winning faculty members to prepare students for success in this continually evolving field of study.
Contact: liberalarts.mercer.edu/academic-programs/majors-and-minors/graphic-design/

Michigan State University, founded in 1855 as a pioneering landgrant institution, is one of the top research universities in the world — on one of the biggest, greenest campuses in the nation — and is home to a diverse community of dedicated students and scholars, athletes and artists, scientists, and leaders. Within the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, students in the BFA in Graphic Design Program are exposed to a series of experimental and intellectual exercises that prepare them for a wide range of professional careers in design. Notable alum, such as Katherine and Michael McCoy, Sam Landers, Doug Kisor, and Ellen Bruss, have made historic contributions to design history and continue to give back to our students in lasting and meaningful ways. Real-world experience is gained through internships, the client-initiated coursework of Design Center, and the AIGA student group. Inspiring lectures demonstrate the wide scope of the profession, as renowned designers are brought in as part of the annual Visiting Artist & Scholar Lecture Series. Past lecturers include Massimo Vignelli, Martin Venezky, Ben Fry, Nancy Skolos & Tom Wedell, James Victore, Andrew Blauvelt, Jim Sherraden, Stuart Bailey, Jan Wilker, Hans Allemann, and Karen Cheng.”Martin Venezky, Ben Fry, Nancy Skolos & Tom Wedell, James Victore, Andrew Blauvelt, Jim Sherraden, Stuart Bailey, Jan Wilker, Hans Allemann, and Karen Cheng.
Contact: art.msu.edu

The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) is Wisconsin’s only four-year, private college of visual art and design, offering BFA degrees in Communication Design, Illustration, Product Design, Fashion and Apparel Design, Interior Architecture and Design and Fine Arts (New Studio Practice). Throughout MIAD’s Communication Design program – closely tied to its award-winning Illustration program – students have the opportunity to work with professional clients in the classroom and through the MIAD Innovation Center. Communication Design students at MIAD create innovative and thoughtfully crafted work across a variety of mediums and experiences including motion/animation, packaging, traditional print, experiential, environmental, UX/UI, publication, screen printing, letterpress and risograph printing, art direction, book art, copywriting, and much more. MIAD CD students also intern at leading advertising and design firms and in corporate and small business settings. Upon graduation, MIAD CD alumni fill important positions in the design field, sharing their voice, vision, and skill at major multinational corporations, marketing and communications firms and non profits across the US.
Contact: www.miad.edu/communication-design

The Modern College of Design is a nationally recognized design college in Ohio. The Modern transforms students passionate about art, design, photography, and technology into exceptional designers and future leaders in design. The Modern’s unique residential and online programs provide an innovative education in design, marketing, business, and leadership, and students complete internships and co-ops at agencies across the country. Modern students are creative problem solvers and are recognized nationally for their work. Faculty are industry experts and provide one-on-one education and mentorship. Alumni have access to The Modern’s vast network of employers and work for some of the world’s leading brands, including Apple, Nike, and Disney.
Contact: themodern.edu

Parsons School of Design at The New School is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. The Communication Design BFA is the oldest undergraduate program of its kind in the United States. In this major, students learn the theory and craft needed to combine words, images, and ideas to visually transmit information and project human experiences in print, on screen, or in space.
Contact: newschool.edu/parsons/

The Graphic and Experience Design Program at NC State University’s College of Design blends user experience and user interface design (UX/UI) with traditional graphic design practices like branding, typography, service design, and exhibition design. Through project-based assignments, graphic & experience design students acquire strong formal and conceptual skills framed by a human-centered approach. Students progress to advanced studios that enable in-depth exploration of special topics such as data visualization, branding, accessible design, and artificial intelligence. The NC State Graphic & Experience Design (GXD) program is consistently recognized as one of the top NASAD-accredited design programs in the country. Students are embedded in a College of Design which allows them to thrive in a creative culture alongside fellow graphic & experience designers, industrial designers, landscape architects and architects.
Contact: design.ncsu.edu

The Ohio State University’s design undergraduate offerings fall into three major programs, each leading to the Bachelor of Science in Design (BSD) degree: Industrial Design, Interior Design, and Visual Communication Design. The Visual Communication Design program was recently ranked third among the 25 best bachelor’s degree programs for 2022 by CollegeRank. Our undergraduate degree programs provide comprehensive, professional training in the design disciplines, while also emphasizing collaboration between each of the areas of study. Students develop projects that demonstrate their abilities to create solutions that meet or exceed professional expectations. The Department of Design also offers two complementary design-led and research-oriented areas of emphasis in Design Research and Development or Digital Animation and Interactive Media, both leading to the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Ohio State is the highest-ranked public university in Ohio and ranked in the top 50 of US universities.
Contact: design.osu.edu

Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design was the first independent professional school of art in Los Angeles and has become a national leader in art and design education. The BFA Communications Arts program includes areas of emphasis in Graphic Design and Illustration. Graphic design students research and conceive projects that combine images and typography to convey specific ideas. Illustration students develop strong personal style and image-making skills in a variety of media. The MFA Graphic Design program is a 14-month, LA-based, student, faculty, and research collective of designers investigating the issues of our day. Otis alumni and faculty are Fulbright, MacArthur, and Guggenheim grant recipients, Academy Award winners, legendary costume designers, leaders of contemporary art movements, entrepreneurs, and designers at Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pixar, DreamWorks, Mattel, Nike, and Disney, among others. Otis College is also home to the influential Otis College Report on the Creative Economy, which chronicles the power and reach of creative industries in California and its regions.
Contact: otis.edu

At Pennsylvania College of Art & Design, we are makers and dreamers, designers, and entrepreneurs. Here students learn to make creativity their careers. Located in the heart of Lancaster city’s thriving arts community, inspiration is found around every corner. As a micro-college, it’s the personal attention and guidance from our faculty of working artists, coupled with internships and hands-on experiences, that set us apart. A hallmark of our Graphic Design program is our annual Designathon event, a day-long push of brainstorming, designing, refining, production, and presentations, as students and faculty create free marketing materials — logos, websites, brochures, and branding — for local nonprofits. This deadline-driven adrenaline-filled experience prepares students well for their futures as they learn to design under pressure.
Contact: pcad.edu/degrees/graphic-design

Portland State Graphic Design equips students to conquer creative challenges with a breadth of technical and artistic skills. Our program prepares students to be exploratory, experimental, collaborative graphic designers who can thrive in today’s world.

The faculty in the design program at Portland State University are active makers as well as educators. Through their efforts and connections, Portland State’s graphic design students become part of the larger design community while they are still in school.

We empower students to trust their creative impulses, embrace their interests, and direct their own learning experiences. Individualization of projects and self-authorship are encouraged and in turn create powerful creative workers who trust their choices.

We offer students myriad opportunities to make work for the real world. Many of our classes pair students with clients — small businesses, non-profits, cultural institutions — to give students the experience of solving design challenges that will have real, tangible impact.

We work to connect our students to the design community within Portland, and beyond. Through PSUGD’s facilitation of visiting designer lectures, field trips, in-class demos, portfolio days, and internship opportunities, our students become integrated members of a global community of makers.
Contact: psu.gd

Founded in 1887, Pratt Institute is a global leader in higher education dedicated to preparing undergraduate and graduate students for successful careers in art, design, architecture, information, and liberal arts and sciences. Located in a cultural hub, with historic campuses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, Pratt is a living lab of craft and creativity with an esteemed faculty of accomplished professionals and scholars. The Undergraduate Communications Design department offers concentrations in illustration, advertising art direction, and graphic design, and teaches students to craft the strongest and most impactful communications possible by being creative problem solvers and elegant image-makers. Pratt’s Graduate Communications Design department educates graphic and package designers and offers an MFA in communications design and MS in package design degree programs. Both programs provide students with the opportunity to develop and refine their design process, design voice, and creative skills, preparing them for leadership positions in their field.
Contact: www.pratt.edu

Within the intimate and supportive atmosphere of our upstate campus, the Graphic Design program at Pratt Munson stands out as a transformative learning experience. Here, students acquire the essential skills to visually communicate ideas, explore cutting-edge tools, and shape perspectives within a dynamic and interconnected culture. The faculty, committed to fostering ambitious ideas, ensures a robust foundation in traditional practices while offering guidance and support.

Our multidisciplinary approach to Graphic Design encompasses coursework in visual communication, typography, design procedures, and illustration. Through simulated professional projects, students gain hands-on experience in preparing artwork for publication, emphasizing real-world relevance. Pratt Munson prioritizes a supportive environment where world-class faculty provide personalized guidance and feedback, fostering a sense of community and creativity. Join us at Pratt Munson to embark on a journey that combines the prestige of Pratt Institute with the intimacy and affordability of our upstate campus.
Contact: www.prattmunson.edu

Graphic Design at RISD provides a comprehensive education that pushes on the boundaries of the discipline. Students learn how to communicate ideas visually, play with the tools of the field, frame points of view and messages, build community and embrace a fluid, networked culture. Faculty support these explorations and encourage ambitious ideas along with a mastery of traditional practices.
Contact: risd.edu/academics/graphic-design

Since 1931, Ringling College of Art and Design has cultivated the creative spirit in students from around the globe. The College and its 1,400 students benefit from an award-winning faculty, cutting-edge technology, and a supportive creative community. The rigorous curriculum employs the studio model of teaching and immediately engages students through a comprehensive, first-year program that is both specific to the major of study and focused on the liberal arts. The Ringling College teaching model ultimately shapes students into highly employable and globally aware artists and designers.
Contact: ringling.edu

The School of Design is ranked among the best, with Business Week naming it one of the the top 10 design schools in the country. Effective design combined with creativity and professionalism are the school’s tenets. Using both technological and theoretical approaches to find solutions to design problems, students work with award-winning faculty who are creatives, critical thinkers, and innovative problem-solvers. Students have access to state-of-the art laboratories and computer facilities as well as the Cary Graphic Arts Collection and the entire archive of renowned designers Massimo and Leila Vignelli, housed in RIT’s Vignelli Center for Design Studies.
Contact: rit.edu/artdesign/school-design

The Graphic Design program is committed to teaching professional skills that allow students to plan and execute visual communication according to the needs of audiences in specific contexts. Our students gain a thorough understanding of the principles of design, theories of communication, and strategies for problem-solving, by working on a wide range of projects that apply cognitive, social, and cultural human factors to inform, instruct, and persuade. In addition to developing solid professional skills, courses in our curriculum explore emerging design practices, and theoretical concerns with a focus on the cultural, technical, and communicative potential of graphic design.

The program is structured as a sequence of core studios in design fundamentals, typography, image-making, and history courses, that progressively introduce form and concept-development skills across a range of media. As students enter their junior and senior years, they apply their skills to real-world, contemporary design problems by interacting with a wide range of clients, organizations, and local communities through the Internship and Design Studio programs.

At the end of the program, students build a professional portfolio that prepares them for entry-level positions in various areas within graphic design. Our program is connected to the national professional community through a close affiliation with AIGA and to the international education and professional design communities through student and faculty exchange programs. The diversity of our students as well as San Diego’s location at the border of Mexico and the Pacific Rim provide a rich multicultural environment for exploration and experimentation.
Contact: art.sdsu.edu/

SCAD is a private, nonprofit, accredited university, offering more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degree programs across locations in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia; Lacoste, France; and online via SCADnow. The innovative SCAD graphic design curriculum is rooted in creative processes, problem-solving methodologies, and visualization concepts designed to connect users to brands. Each year, SCAD graphic design students earn illustrious accolades, including Applied Arts Student Awards, GDUSA, and International Design Awards. In 2021 and 2022, SCAD was named No. 1 in the U.S. in Art & Object’s Best Art Schools ranking. Career success is woven into every fiber of the university, resulting in a superior alumni employment rate. For the past four years, 99% of SCAD graduates were employed, pursuing further education, or both within 10 months of graduation. Through SCADpro, the university’s in-house design studio, students join forces with luminaries of design, draw inspiration, and form lasting connections with industry powerhouses. The combination of advanced instruction and unrivaled portfolio-building opportunities leads to elite internships and careers with iconic companies such as Apple and IBM.
Contact: scad.edu

For more than 155 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world, and adults, teens, and kids in our Continuing Studies classes can explore their creative sides, build portfolios, and advance their skills. Notable alumni and faculty include Georgia O’Keeffe, Nick Cave, David Sedaris, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Cynthia Rowley, Michelle Grabner, Richard Hunt, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and Jeff Koons.
Contact: saic.edu

SVA has been a leader in the education of artists, designers, and creative professionals for seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, a dynamic curriculum, and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprising 7,000 students at its Manhattan campus and more than 40,000 alumni in 128 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. Our Design program focuses on teaching visual communication problem-solving. In addition to a distinguished faculty, we offer a wide range of course options tailored to each student’s strengths and needs. We achieve this by offering more studio courses than any institution in the world. Our Advertising program is a soup-to-nuts proposition: we ground students in the basics — typography, digital production, 3D design, motion graphics, and graphic design while broadening their visual literacy and sharpening their voice. Many of SVA’s advertising classes are held right at the agencies of faculty members, where students can mingle with executives, media planners, and copywriters.
Contact: sva.edu

Sessions College for Professional Design is a fully online school of visual arts offering a range of degree programs and certificate programs in Graphic Design, Web Design, Digital Media, Illustration, Advertising Design, Digital Photography and Fine Arts. The Sessions College Associate and Bachelor’s degree programs in Graphic Design offer an accessible, affordable path for students seeking to enter careers in print and interactive visual communication. Designed for high school graduates and adult learners, the programs offer a powerful foundation in visual design and a working knowledge of contemporary design practices and media.

Talented, passionate experts teach the artistic, digital, and critical thinking skills required by dynamic creative fields.
Contact: sessions.edu

Shillington is the Original Graphic Design Bootcamp, with courses in New York, London, Sydney, Melbourne and Online. Since 1997, we have been helping students reach their creative potential and completely transform their lives. With full-time and part-time options — three months and nine months respectively — our course is designed to accelerate your learning, inspire you creatively and give you the practical skills and all-important portfolio to launch your creative career. Students are taught real and relevant industry skills — from design theory, typography and packaging to mobile app design and user experience (UX) — by skilled and passionate designers. No experience required. To help prepare them for the industry, students are treated like a designer from day one. Our classrooms mimic a studio environment with real world briefs, realistic deadlines, constructive feedback, and mentorship. Shillington is the best way to learn graphic design and transform your life.
Contact: shillingtoneducation.com/us

Founded in 2002, the Graphic Design program at Susquehanna University has spent two decades training and developing some of the nation’s top designers. The foundation of the program is simple—process and concept are king. Hard work is the reality, talent is the illusion. See everything. Solve the problem. Give a damn. These ideals fuel a community of designers that are changing the landscape of design every day through deadline-driven real word projects with the goal of creating competitive, industry ready portfolios. The School of the Arts’ award winning, nationally known graphic design program offers two degree options; the BFA for those looking for a career in the creative and fast-paced world of graphic design or advertising and the BA for those wishing to augment their first-choice major with professional design skills. Students will graduate with in demand skills, the industry knowledge that employers seek, and a widespread and supportive alumni network working professionally for some of the top agencies and companies throughout the country. Pairing true artistry with professionalism, doors open to thrilling creative opportunities and a career that’s durable, exciting, and satisfying.
Contact: susqu.design

The Visual Communications department at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University embraces emerging and traditional forms of visual storytelling. Its design program emphasizes strategy, problem solving and human-centered design to create smart, compelling, innovative solutions in print and pixels, including motion, UI/UX, augmented reality, virtual reality, brand identity, product packaging, typography, and publication design. The Visual Communications department values designing for social good, cross-media partnerships, workshops, and collaboration. We encourage students to let their passions drive their focus and academic path and are proud to support and foster the individuality of its students and their unique voices and vision. Graduates of the design program have gone on to work at places such as IDEO, Google, Adobe, IBM, Facebook, Amazon, Mapbox, Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, National Geographic Magazine, Herman Miller, Trip Advisor, Near East Foundation, U.S. State Department, and their own businesses. The program offers both a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design and a Master of Science in Multimedia, Photography, and Design degrees.
Contact: newhouse.syr.edu

The School of Design is an inquisitive community of students and faculty that addresses firsthand the issues of the world around it. State school officials: “We take pride in our professionally oriented programs, many of which have a long history at Syracuse University. Concern for sustainable design practices, social issues, and excellence in professional practice forms the core of our programs.” The School of Design’s first-year experience is a prerequisite, providing a design-studio-based education focused on the fundamental elements of the design disciplines. Students learn basic visualization and making skills as well as an ability to apply iterative thought and action processes to a given problem. In addition, students receive a focused introduction to the ethical and philosophical grounding of each of the design professions. School of Design faculty are active professionals dedicated to ensuring that students reach their potential and provide one-on-one instruction in studio classes. The School maintains a special relationship with the Syracuse community through the activities of various student groups (including chapters of professional design organizations) who work on projects with not-for-profit agencies as well as funded research design collaborations.
Contact: vpa.syr.edu/academics/design

Located in Philadelphia, the Tyler School of Art & Architecture’s Graphic & Interactive Design Department offers one of the nation’s most respected BFA and MFA programs in graphic design. Students at Tyler are mentored by faculty members who understand the design profession’s standards, are committed to the growth of each student, and are invested in their post-Tyler outcomes. Core pillars of the department include authorship, entrepreneurship, image-making, human-centered design solutions, and design for social justice. Tyler students are taught a conceptual approach to the design process — they develop skills in research, image-making, typography, and visual storytelling. They learn to work with information and content, creating digital systems and narratives across new and emerging technologies. The result is that student work is frequently featured in national and international design competitions and publications. Graduates are employed by influential studios, agencies, corporations and institutions across the US, and internationally. Based at Temple University, a research-based, urban public university, Tyler gives students access to a vibrant campus with more than 300 academic programs and the resources of a city with a reputation as a world-leading (and affordable) art & design center. Students may participate in high-profile internships as part of their learning process.
Contact: tyler.temple.edu/programs/graphic-interactive-design

The Communication Design Program is one of the largest public programs in the country and is one of the best in the Southwest United States. The program’s curriculum is oriented around the preparation of a superior portfolio with a focus on enabling students to become excellent critical thinkers, fearless makers, and effective communicators as they enter the professional field of communication design. Courses in interactive design, typography, art direction, corporate identity, sustainable packaging, brand experience, human-centered design, environmental graphics, and design research prepare the student for professional practice. Students may further their education with independent study courses, job shadowing, and professional internships. Communication Design students have received recognition in numerous prestigious design journals by having their work published in Communication Arts, CMYK, Step Inside Design, Graphis New Talent Annual, LogoLounge, and PRINT. Students have also received recognition in national, regional, and local competitions such as: The One Show, American Advertising Federation Awards, AIGA Flux, The National Show, Creative Summit, Art Director’s Club of Houston, Austin Addy Awards, and San Antonio Addy Awards.
Contact: finearts.txst.edu/Art

The Visual Communication Design program at Thomas Jefferson University emphasizes the role of design as a vital cultural, social, economic, political, and environmental force in society. Rooted in the universal principles of design that shape our world and the human experience, graduates learn to make and think critically to identify and solve a wide variety of modern problems.

Every student in the program learns the foundations of visual aesthetics, design research, the creative process, and a variety of tools and technology. Students can extend this core knowledge to either the Graphic Design Communication or Web Design & Development specialization to find their unique place within the ever-changing and expanding design profession.

By fostering curiosity, faculty empower students to develop individual points of view and equip them to investigate and tackle the complex challenges of our profession and the world. We provide students with opportunities to explore a range of techniques and applications, to collaborate with peers and faculty from other programs, to work on industry projects, and to engage with the professional design community.
Contact: Jefferson.edu/BSVisualCommunicationDesign

The BFA in Graphic Design program at The University of Alabama (UA) resides in the department of art and art history in the College of Arts and Sciences. UA’s graphic design program is NASAD accredited and prepares students to be technically versed, critical thinkers who create forms of visual communication that are dynamic, and functional, and address the design goals of the contemporary world. The program offers courses on package design, publication design, brand and visual identity, illustration, video art and animation, UX/UI, typography, production, and more. Throughout the curriculum, students gain real-world experience with internships and classroom collaborations with businesses and organizations, have access to state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and finish with a competitive professional portfolio upon graduation.
Contact: https://art.ua.edu/degree-programs/graphic-design/

The School of Design at UCO places student-centered excellence at the program’s core. This philosophy and practice are captured in a quote by former design student Emily Falls, “When I joined the School of Design, I knew virtually nothing about design. Now, three years later, I have found my calling as a designer, and I am proud of my work and accomplishments. There are plenty of challenges in the School of Design, and it is wildly rewarding in the end. The School of Design has shaped me into the person I am today, and for that, I’ll always be grateful.” At the UCO School of Design, students learn to be change-makers and social innovators while engaged in real-world work experience outside the typical design classroom. The School of Design is deeply committed to the university mission, which states we exist to help students learn by providing transformative education experiences so that they may become productive, creative, ethical, and engaged citizens and leaders serving our global community.”
Contact: https://uco.edu/cfad/academics/design

At the University of Cincinnati, communication design students receive a foundation in visual problem solving. The core of the curriculum is a series of sequential design studios. These courses help students develop critical and visual thinking along with essential design processes. Students also have opportunities to further develop in the specific areas of graphic design, interaction design and motion design. Students reinforce their skills in the field through several co-ops.
Professional communication designers build careers wherever communication is important. Designers often work for design firms, internal design teams, or as independent freelancers. They have career opportunities in branding and corporate identity, digital product design, exhibit design, interface design, motion graph-ics, package design, service design, user experience design, and web design. Today’s designers may be found working in the health-care system improving health, or for governments and NGOs impacting society.
Contact: daap.uc.edu/academic-programs/school-of-design/communication-design.html

For over 50 years, we have prepared students for a range of practices and careers in graphic design, design & visual communications, interaction design, and beyond. In addition to critical design competencies, we value and emphasize community and shared learning experiences to prepare students for the collaborative work that is fundamental to design practice. Situated within a top-tier research university, both undergraduate and graduate programs emphasize the integration of research, process, and making to inform a range of responses to challenges we see in the world. Our goal is to create design interventions and engagements that are responsible, sustainable, and innovative. As such, our programs focus on addressing the issues and challenges that matter to people.
Contact: https://arts.ufl.edu/academics/art-and-art-history/programs/design-and-visual-communications/

The Graphic Design program aims to prepare students for creative lives and professions related to visual communication design through broad coursework that develops abilities in design fundamentals, collaboration, builds an understanding of audiences, and encourages experimentation across media. The program supports an interdisciplinary approach to design and benefits from the wider offerings within the School of Art and the greater University.

The Graphic Design program is competitive and is only offered at the undergraduate level. To major in graphic design, students must go through a portfolio review process to be accepted into the major after completing initial coursework in studio core and introductory graphic design courses.

Graduates of the program secure positions in a variety of creative positions in firms ranging from boutique design studios that focus on motion, experience, or branding design; to the entertainment and publishing industries; to in-house creative departments for museums, apparel brands, and digital companies.
Contact: art.uga.edu/academics/graphic-design

At the Hartford Art School, students build the skills that will enable them to successfully enter the professional world. The School offers eight studio majors leading to the BFA — including in Visual Communication Design — a BA program in Art History, and three MFA programs. Students have the best of both worlds, pursuing rigorous studio-based disciplines with a liberal arts university environment. Visual communication design students learn how to design static and interactive work, which can include motion graphics, product packaging, and advertising pieces. The program encompasses all visual languages used to communicate, and classes on design theory, methods, and history align with practical work with real clients by senior year. Designers in this program are able to think critically about how to tell a story using design elements rather than words, and to consider not only how work looks, but also about how people will interact with it.
Contact: hartford.edu/academics/schools-colleges/art/default.aspx

The Graphic Design program at the University of Houston prepares students for a career in design through a comprehensive investigation of design practices, theories and methods. Success is fostered through individual inquiry and group collaboration to promote critical and imaginative thinking. A tight cohort within a sequenced curriculum provides content flexibility, ensuring the most innovative education within a continually shifting media environment. Design research, interdisciplinary collaboration, professional cross-pollination, team building, community outreach, ethical inquiry and sustainable practices are all tools that position our students to become top competitors in the national design job market and leaders within the profession. Engagement with the broader Houston community and its leaders gives our designers real-world experience and situates their practice in a larger sociocultural framework. At the undergraduate level, emerging designers utilize these skills and approaches as they begin their careers in the field. At the graduate level, personal research initiatives advance the designers’ practices to prepare them for the next phase of their careers in design.
Contact: uh.edu/kgmca/art/undergraduate-programs/graphic-design/

The School of Design at the University of Illinois Chicago is an established leader in design education. Grounded in studio culture and deeply involved with the human experience, UIC Design programs are organized to reflect and to advance developments in the field. Led by a faculty of renowned professional designers who are thoroughly committed to teaching, UIC Design students are introduced to contexts of culture and meaning as they develop the formal, conceptual, and technical skills necessary to confidently enter a professional setting.

Students at the UIC School of Design learn formal design principles, and they acquire the skills necessary to engage these principles in practice. At the undergraduate level, students are immersed in the aesthetics, mechanics, and systems of typography, while also developing skills in motion literacy, user-interface, and web-based design. At the graduate level, students engage in project­-oriented activities that foster analytical competence in research, writing, design history, and image theory, cumulating in a public exhibition of the master’s research paper and project.

We take great pride in the fact that many ideas initiated in UIC Design classrooms expand beyond the university to bring about positive change in the world. Design is city-centric, and Chicago is a global design center. Through engagement with industry partners, national design associations, employment in professional internships, and critical exposure to design practices and exhibitions, our students become active in the real world of design as they pursue their professional design degrees.
Contact: design.uic.edu/

We provide students with the necessary skills to challenge and shape the way we interact with the world around us—whether via the printed page or on mobile devices; through client-based commissions or personal projects; on virtual networks or in physical environments.

Coursework addresses graphic design fundamentals (typography, critical thinking, and image making), design history and contemporary practices, research methods, user experience, and social responsibility. Students engage with complex problems and are asked to identify opportunities where design can intervene. In addition, students have the opportunity to develop their personal interests by taking advantage of a highly interdisciplinary selection of elective courses offered by the School of Art & Design, including photography, video, traditional printmaking, sustainability, and advanced interaction design.
Contact: art.illinois.edu/

At KU, the Visual Communication Design program encourages students to question conventional approaches and concepts by fostering creative exploration, hands-on inquiry, and systematic design research. Through our program, they become innovative practitioners and socially-engaged leaders, ready to thrive in the ever-evolving professional landscape.

We equip our students to excel as graphic designers, UX/UI developers, marketing creatives, and versatile communicators across various disciplines. Career options for visual communication designers are expansive. Our graduates work in branding, fashion, advertising, mobile and web UX/UI design, publishing, packaging design, corporate marketing, exhibition and environmental design, motion graphics, and more. Our network of alumni spans the globe with KU graduates working in and leading large companies, boutique agencies, and independent practices.
Contact: arcd.ku.edu/visual-communication-design

Graphic design at the University of Minnesota will challenge you to set the pace in a field where global definitions of research, creative production, and practice are rapidly evolving. As a graphic design student, you will learn how humans perceive, interpret, and communicate and will be exposed to a wide variety of creative opportunities.

Regardless of degree, our graphic design program and graduate track emphasize innovative thought, professional portfolio development, and strategic approaches to problem-solving that reflect your creative talent and career goals. Our curriculum supports a rich variety of topics like typography, color theory, screenprinting, packaging, and web design so that you can build competency in a range of design techniques. Through studio courses and project work, you will build a well-rounded selection of portfolio samples while learning to make informed decisions about your future career path.
Contact: design.umn.edu/academics/programs/about-graphic-design

The University of North Texas, College of Visual Arts, offers a purpose-built curriculum that provides rigorous Communication Design education. Freshmen are required to take the College’s art foundation curriculum, which introduces visual problem-solving and critical-thinking strategies by incorporating and studying culture, history, and practices of various art and design forms across disciplines.

Admission to our Graphic Design track has a two-part process. At the end of the fall semester, there is a candidacy review to admit freshmen into the first of our ComDes courses. This review is a portfolio-based submission along with a design-thinking exercise. This work is reviewed and scored by the entire Communication Design faculty at the end of the freshman spring semester and the first ComDes course. There is a second portfolio review to admit selected students into the Graphic Design track of the Communication Design program. Projects from this course are reviewed and ranked, and those who rank the highest are officially accepted into the program.

We are looking for students who are imaginative and curious, and whom we believe are capable of intellectually maturing. Most importantly, students are required to demonstrate that they are willing and able to engage in conceptual development and critical thinking to succeed in our program. Graduates from UNT’s Communication Design program have earned jobs at respected design firms, ad agencies, and in-house design studios throughout the country.
Contact: cvad.unt.edu

USC Roski School of Art and Design has a noteworthy history as a supportive environment for talented students to explore creativity, experimentation, and collaboration with renowned faculty. Roski’s graduate programs are housed in a new state-of-the-art facility in the Los Angeles Arts District — a vibrant art and design community. The MFA Design program particularly instills a critical understanding of the issues, theories, and ideas that are relevant to contemporary design. Roski’s open approach offers myriad opportunities for inter-disciplinary research and collaboration across the 18 professional schools at USC, a leading research institution. This gives Roski design students the extraordinary ability to integrate countless relevant pathways to shape their contemporary design practice. Roski’s faculty is a diverse group of internationally recognized artists, designers, and scholars dedicated to their students and their professional work. Small classes ensure a close, personal instruction with abundant access to the faculty. Additionally, students interact with visiting designers in lectures, classes, and portfolio reviews through the Visiting Designer and Designer-in-Residence forums.
Contact: roski.usc.edu

Established in 1910 the University of Southern Mississippi is a tier one research institution that has provided a quality education in visual arts for 110 years. As 1 of only 39 institutions in the nation accredited in all major art forms it is considered the flagship university for the arts in the state of Mississippi. The graphic design program has a rich history dating back to 1946 and has produced distinguished alums which include an AIGA Medalist, and numerous design industry leaders. The design program continues to develop this rich tradition of success which can be seen through our students’ award-winning work that has garnered over 300 awards in the past 5 years. Our BFA curriculum focuses on visual literacy; development of conceptual, aesthetic, and visual skills; and creative problem solving. In addition to traditional course work students can experience design in one of 2 student lead agencies: Rise Creative, and SPVA Design and Marketing. Our students also enjoy a rich culture and active community within our program with large, active student organizations that travel to design conferences, portfolio reviews and competitions.
Contact: usm.edu/performing-visual-arts/index.php

The School of Design, situated within the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. The BFA in Graphic Design is a four-year program that provides an undergraduate education stressing creative and intellectual thinking, diverse problem-solving, innovative investigations, and creative research in all forms of communication. Beginning with a Design-Centered Foundations program, students start from Day 1 looking at the world through the lens of design. Small faculty-to-student ratios in a studio setting create a dynamic and creative environment in which to learn.

After students pass portfolio review, they have access to a collaborative design studio. This space houses amenities any designer needs, like a small library, an individual desk, and access to a full graphic design print production lab- and to which students have 24/7 access.

The College of Architecture and Design is committed to staying on the leading edge of technology and innovation. Resources available to our students and faculty include the Digital Futures Lab, an AR/VR/XR design studio and the Fab Lab, an expansive 22,000 sq ft. production facility equipped with an array of analog and digital fabrication tools. These facilities also include a Robotics Lab dedicated to design automation. In addition, the School of Design students have support for national and international student field trips and course instruction.
Contact: archdesign.utk.edu/schools/school-of-design/

The School of Design and Creative Technologies (SDCT) at The University of Texas at Austin aims to produce diverse, creative students who are the best technical creators, designers, and problem solvers with exceptional job opportunities. SDCT comprises two academic departments: the Department of Arts and Entertainment Technologies (AET) and the Department of Design. The Department of Design empowers students with a multi-faceted educational experience that poises graduates for careers in the design profession, professions with a design component or a strategic focus, and entrepreneurial endeavors. In addition to a BFA and BA in Design, the department offers an MFA in Design and an MA in Design focused on Health, a first-of-its-kind program equipping a new generation to be change agents in healthcare using design methodologies and practices.
Contact: designcreativetech.utexas.edu

University of the Arts’ mission is simple: to advance human creativity. Established in 1876, UArts believes creativity is the most essential skill for success today and has educated generations of groundbreaking artists, performers, designers, and creative leaders for more than 141 years. It now features 30 undergraduate arts majors, 15 graduate programs and the nation’s first PhD program in Creativity. The Graphic Design Program provides critical thinking and core design competencies together with a wide range of technological approaches and prepares graduates for careers in fields ranging from publication design to motion graphics to branding and more. We turn out powerful thinkers who are sophisticated typographers and versatile designers. Our students collaborate with other programs at the University and with Philadelphia designers, artists, and organizations, and experiment with the tools and technologies available in the University’s new Makerspace and Center for Immersive Media. UArts graphic design students obtain real-world experience through internships and become fluent in many areas of practice, then lean towards areas of expertise. This combination of versatility and specificity serves them well as they step out into the post-grad job market; many begin working as professionals at local design firms during their junior and senior years.
Contact: www.uarts.edu

As a creative discipline, Graphic Design is primarily concerned with visual communication. Our responsibility as designers is to determine how to effectively posture messages, and to create expressive and efficient visual systems for the communication of information, especially as it increases in complexity. In order to do this, designers must have a broad base of knowledge, including a comprehensive understanding of visual design principles, problem-solving methods, conceptual thinking, image-making, typography, organizational structures, and critical thinking. Our process-oriented curriculum engages students in the exploration of visual communication strategies and techniques across a variety of media and is designed to prepare students to enter the field as nationally-competitive creative professionals.
Contact: finearts.utah.edu/

The MFA in Graphic Design at Vermont College of Fine Arts is a truly original low-residency program built around students’ particular interests, values, and goals. Students and faculty continuously rethink graphic design by considering the role of design in the larger culture, the relationships between designers and their work, and the nature of education in design. Both the two-year and three-year tracks combine two on-campus residencies per year with six-month semesters of faculty mentorship and independent study. Students, faculty, and guest designers take part in a 9-day residency to begin each semester. They then return home and work from an individually crafted study plan with a faculty advisor for the remainder of each semester. Graduates emerge with new research methods, critical expertise, a supportive international network, and a body of design work that is personal and relevant to the next stage in their design careers and creative lives.
Contact: vcfa.edu/graphic-design

The Department of Graphic Design champions agency through the competencies of collaboration, research, making and cultural literacy. The department believes in responding to the reality of our time and that design is activated by content, condition and impact. Further, that design exists in a continuum: The study of the historical past as it informs the now strengthens design’s ability to strategically speculate on future forms, languages and systems.The department provides an education that values the inclusion of diverse backgrounds, skill sets and experiences. Students develop acuities to communicate effectively through visual and verbal representation, and are prepared — as individuals and collaborators — to be practitioners not limited by the confines of current professional practices.
Contact: arts.vcu.edu/academics/departments/graphic-design/

Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, transdisciplinary approach to prepare students to be leaders and problem-solvers. As a leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers about 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 34,000 students. Through experiential learning, future-focused research, and inclusive, spirited culture, the institution strives to accomplish the charge of its motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). The Graphic Design program prepares students for a career in design by focusing on conceptual thinking, user experience, and problem-solving tactics, while also developing aesthetic abilities. The program demands individual creativity, teamwork, and adaptability, and will prepare students to enter the job market with practical experience and a professionally reviewed portfolio. Graduates work in app design, motion design, product and packaging design, web and interaction design, advertising, and other related fields.
Contact: sova.vt.edu

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts is a leader in architecture, art, and design education. We advance our fields through innovative research and creative practice, excellence in teaching, a world-class university art museum, and a deep commitment to addressing the social and environmental challenges of our time. We offer 15 unique degree programs, supplemented by several creative research centers and resources, including the Office for Socially Engaged Practice, Island Press, and the D.B. Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, featuring a comprehensive archival collection of periodical illustration. Undergraduates in design may pursue a BFA or a BA as well as second majors and minors in diverse academic fields. Students are free to explore drawing, typography, graphic design, illustration, book arts, and interaction design (and everywhere in between). The MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture (MFA-IVC) program combines studio practice in illustration and writing with the study of visual and material culture. With a focus on illustrator authorship, this two-year, fully residential program is made for illustrators, comic artists, and designers interested in popular visual matter.
Contact: samfoxschool.wustl.edu/academics/college-of-art

Woodbury University’s Graphic Design Program is housed in the School of Media : Culture : Design and grants a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design. The program holds accreditations from NASAD, the National Association of Schools of Art and Design as well as WSCUC, Senior College & University Commission. The Graphic Design program has been recognized among the top thirty design programs nationwide during the last eight years. Located in Burbank, California and recognized for its high-quality education, it has provided unique opportunities for Graphic Design students to take internships in major entertainment, marketing, and interaction design companies and studios. These opportunities have led GD graduates to start their professional careers within a few months after graduation. GD students consistently win international and national design awards, and have achieved recognition in entertainment design, web design, advertising design, package design, identity design and environmental graphics. Program coursework includes studies of traditional and experimental typography, levels of web, app, UX and interaction designs, levels of graphics and information design, Packaging design, Environmental design, Entertainment design, Experimental Design, Motion Graphics, Professional Practice, Senior Portfolio Presentation, and Senior Thesis Project.

Founded in 1884, Woodbury University is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in Southern California. The university offers bachelor’s degrees from the School of Architecture, School of Business, School of Media : Culture : Design, and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, along with a number of graduate studies in Business and Architecture.
Contact: woodbury.edu/program/school-of-media-culture-design/

This highly selective MFA program accepts up to ten students each year, and up to seven students for a preliminary year program. The degree program focuses on the development of a cohesive, investigative body of work, also known as the student’s thesis. It is conceived as a loose framework within which each student’s visual method is deployed across many diverse projects during his or her two-year course of study. While every thesis project is unique, there are several common features: a focus on methodology, the application of a visual method to studio work, and the organization of the work in a thoughtfully argued written document and catalogue raisonné, also known as the “Thesis Book.” Students applying to the preliminary-year program typically have relevant experience in a field of study outside design and demonstrate evidence of visual acuity.
Contact: art.yale.edu/GraphicDesign