If you are looking for a career that will allow you to use your artistic talent and creativity, you may want to consider graphic design programs. Graphic designers are in great demand right now and that shows no signs of abating in the near future. A bachelor’s degree in graphic design will help hone your innate talents, strengthen your technical knowledge and give you all the tools you need for a thriving career in graphic design.
These top 10 colleges offer the best graphic design programs in the U.S.
Rhode Island School of Design—Providence, RI
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has consistently topped the list of best colleges for graphic design. It is recognized as much for its strong, well-rounded graphic design program and its impressive faculty as it is for its famous alumni.
Graphic Design is among the largest undergraduate departments at the college. The programs are well funded but highly competitive. You have to be at the top of your game to get admission into this prestigious college. Those who do, graduate with a BFA degree.
Savannah College of Art and Design—Savannah, Georgia
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is another prestigious and highly competitive college for studying graphic design. With three global campuses, this college offers plenty of exciting opportunities to students who are talented and motivated. The US campus is located in Savannah, Georgia and the global campuses are located in Lacoste, France, and Hong Kong. Students graduate with a BFA in Graphic Design.
The Pratt Institute—Brooklyn, New York
The Pratt Institute offers a BFA in Communications Design. This is an interdisciplinary program where students choose from one of three specialties – graphic design, adverting or illustration. The program focuses on preparing students for future careers by strengthening their artistic vision as well as their practical skills. Many of their professors are working professionals invested in educating budding graphic designers.
The New School: Parsons School of Design—New York City, NY
Located in Manhattan, Parsons School of Design has been listed as the best design school in the US and the second-best in the world by the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings. Several famous personalities in globally-recognized companies including Facebook, Google and New York magazine call Parsons their alma mater. Students learn the technical and artistic principles of graphic design from top-notch faculty and graduate with a BFA in Communication Design.
College for Creative Studies—Detroit, Michigan
The College for Creative Studies is different from most other graphic design programs in that it is one of the very few that focuses on experience design and community engagement. Their immersive design experience paves the way for students to go on to highly creative careers with companies that are reputed to settle for nothing less than the best.
Alumni from the College for Creative Studies have worked for Disney, Dreamworks, Microsoft, Google, Fox, and Nike among others. Many have launched their very own, equally well-known design companies. Students from this program receive a BFA in Graphic Design degree.
Yale University School of Art—New Haven, Connecticut
It’s no surprise that getting admission into Yale University School of Art is as competitive as getting into any of their other programs. The graphic design program at Yale is different from most other programs that focus on the commercial and practical applications of design. At Yale, graphic design students learn about the craft and theory of design. While this may not be the best choice for students who are interested in the commercial applications of graphic design, it is excellent for those whose interests lean more towards artistic and academic applications.
Students of the Yale University School of Art choose their major in their sophomore year and receive a BA degree with a specialization in graphic design.
California College of the Arts—Oakland, CA
If you are looking for a graphic design program that focuses on socially conscious design practice, California College of the Arts is definitely one to check out. The program prepares students to work in multiple design areas. The internship program for 4th year gives them the opportunity to get hands-on professional experience. Students graduate with a BFA in Graphic Design.
University of Cincinnati—Cincinnati, Ohio
The graphic design program offered by the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning is different from the others in that students from graduate with a BS in Communication Design, unlike other colleges that offer a BA in Communication Design. This top-notch design program is a great choice for anyone looking to take courses in a variety of design-related disciplines and is interested in a design career within the healthcare industry or working with NGOs or the government.
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)—Valencia, Santa Clarita, California
Do you see a degree in graphic design as your entry into Hollywood? If that is your dream career, California Institute of the Arts may be perfect for you. Established by none other than Walt Disney, many CalArts alumni have gone on to work for reputed film and television companies in Hollywood. The program fosters a collaborative environment between students from different artistic disciplines. The program has only 12 to 20 students. Every student receives personalized attention. CalArts offers a BFA in Graphic Design
Virginia Commonwealth University—Richmond, Virginia
The Virginia Commonwealth University offers the best art and graphic design program at a public university. This is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality education without the high fees usually associated with it. Students of this program graduate with a BFA in Graphic Design. Before they can apply for a major in graphic design, all students must first complete the ‘Art Foundation’ sequence.
Interested in any of these schools? Use College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!