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Best Graphic Design Schools: The Top Colleges and Universities for Graphic Design Programs

Mehnaz Meem - June 05, 2022


The graphic design field teaches prospective students the art of communications design. The best schools for graphic design give hands-on experience in influencing others with art. The graphic design industry creates interactive design strategies to communicate ideas and messages.

The best graphic design universities provide interdisciplinary programs covering electronic or print media art, like creating logos or designing a website. In this article, we discuss the best graphic design schools and colleges for undergraduate and graduate degrees. These in-person and online colleges provide real-world experience. We will also discuss the top jobs, their salaries, and degree requirements.

Best Graphic Design College and University Rankings: Top 10 Graphic Design Schools at a Glance

School State Formats Available US News Ranking
Arizona State University AZ Hybrid 117
California College of the Arts CA In-person 10 (Best Fine Arts Programs)
Maryland Institute College of Art MD Online 8 (Best Fine Arts Programs)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MA In-person 2
Pratt Institute NY In-person 15 (Best Fine Arts Programs)
Rhode Island School of Design RI In-person 1 (Graphic Design)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago IL In-person 2 (Best Fine Arts Programs)
School of Visual Arts NY In-person 23 (Best Fine Arts Programs)
University of Arizona AZ Hybrid 103
Yale University CT In-person 5

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Graphic Design School Rankings: Best Graphic Design Colleges and Universities

We have listed the best graphic design universities and colleges in the table above. However, these schools have various programs in graphic design education and art. We discuss the benefits of studying in these schools, their tuition fees, and how to gain admission.

1

Arizona State University

Graduation Rate: 66%

Arizona State University is currently one of the largest public research universities in the US with over 100,000 enrolled in online and in-person programs. Its undergraduate program is one of the leading visual design programs in America.

Arizona State University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: 117
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 132

Best Arizona State University Graphic Design Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Design in Graphic Design. This is a full-time, four-year undergraduate program with 120 credit hours. There is an online and in-person option for this degree.
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Graphic Information. Although different from traditional courses, it also offers development skills and web development with visual design knowledge. It is a four-year undergraduate program with 120 credit hours.
  • Bachelor of Science in Graphic Information Technology - User Experience. This online BS degree concentrating on user experience is a four-year degree with 120 credits needed to graduate.
  • Bachelor of Science in Graphic Information Technology. This online degree gives you experience across multiple media techniques. It is a four-year degree with 120 credits.
  • Master of Science in Graphic Information Technology. The online MS degree equips students with in-depth knowledge of graphic information technology. It needs 30 credits to complete over two years.

Arizona State University Graphic Design Key Takeaway

ASU encourages its students to create sustainable works while remaining sensitive to cultural artistic taste.

2

California College of the Arts

Graduation Rate: 67%

The California College of the Arts (CCA) has 1,600 students. Professional, award-winning faculty teach technical skills to students in the graphic design program, guiding them to create beyond their previous capabilities. Each year, the school hosts 150 events where students exhibit and meet the community.

California College of the Arts Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: 10 (Best Fine Arts Program)
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 376

Best California College of the Arts Graphic Design Programs

  • Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design: This is a four-year bachelor's program. It requires 120 credit hours to complete the course. Students can choose to specialize in either visual design or interaction design.
  • Bachelor of Arts in Visual Studies : This program has 120 credit hours and takes four years to complete the degree. You will learn digital techniques of visual arts and graphics in this course while you develop a professional portfolio.
  • Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design: You can choose to continue your education by completing a master's degree. You can choose a two-year or three-year postgraduate program with your choice of major.

California College of the Arts Graphic Design Key Takeaway

CCA offers multiple courses for graphic designers in an inclusive learning facility. The private institution offers excellent high-quality programs and a great community of 2,000 students.

3

Maryland Institute College of Art

Graduation Rate: 73%

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is a private art school with over 2,000 students. It offers an inclusive learning environment and an art program that offers majors in visual design and visual arts. Graphic design majors develop a wide range of creative and analytical skills.

Maryland Institute College of Art Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: 8 (Best Fine Arts Program)
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 460

Maryland Institute College of Art Graphic Design Programs

  • Bachelor of Fine Art in Graphic Design. You can earn your degree with a choice to major in book arts studios, graphic arts studios, or humanities. The undergraduate degree program takes four years to complete with 120 credit hours.
  • Master of Fine Art in Graphic Design. The graduate program also has multiple areas that allow you to develop advanced skills in the subject. The program has Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts options focusing on educational art and electronic graphics. The course length will vary depending on your specialization.

Maryland Institute College of Art Graphic Design Key Takeaway

MICA’s mission is to provide students, faculty, and staff with equal opportunity and mutual respect. It is dedicated to creating a harassment-free, non-discriminatory environment.

4

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Graduation Rates: 96%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is one of the leading engineering and technical universities, established in 1861. It has over 10,000 students enrolled in various programs and has the reputation of being the hub of the best minds and creative professionals in the world.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: 2
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 5

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graphic Design Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Art and Design. Currently, MIT offers a bachelor's program for full-time students. It is a four-year program of 120 credit hours with a special concentration on graphic design courses.
  • Masters in Integrated/System Design & Management. This graduate degree program leads students to a Master of Science Degree in Engineering and Management. This one-year program for full-time students dedicates itself to producing innovative and creative leaders.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Graphic Design Key Takeaway

MIT offers the most advanced learning environment for the students. Being the leading university for engineers worldwide, a degree in graphic design from MIT ensures you get the best career opportunities.

5

Pratt Institute

Graduation Rate: 71%

Pratt Institute has about 5,000 students and offers different degrees for visual design enthusiasts. The institute has a unique environment, renowned faculty members, and supportive alumni. You’ll have the chance to learn all the skills you need to start a graphic design career.

Pratt Institute Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Associate, bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: 15 (Best Fine Arts Program Ranking)
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 244

Pratt Institute Graphic Design Programs

  • Associate of Occupational Studies or Applied Science in Graphic Design. This degree is a 60-credit-hour program completed over two years. You can study this degree online or in person and choose a career track or a further study track. The further study track allows you to transfer credits towards a bachelor’s degree.
  • Bachelor of Fine Art (emphasis in Graphic Design). The program is 126 credit hours and takes four years to complete.
  • Master of Fine Art in Communications Design: It takes two years to complete with 60 credit hours. Students must hold a bachelor’s degree in a similar field and should complete a portfolio for admission requirements. The school offers many courses online. Contact admissions for details.

Pratt Institute Graphic Design Key Takeaway

Pratt Institute offers the best peer-to-peer support for its students, and is one of the few colleges to offer an Associate Degree in Graphic Arts and Design.

6

Rhode Island School of Design

Graduation Rate: 89%

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has approximately 5,000 students enrolled in bachelor's and master's programs. The private design school takes pride in teaching the students the most advanced visual design programs at a reasonable cost.

Rhode Island School of Design Graphic Design Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 27%
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: 1 (Best Fine Arts Program Ranking)
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 135

Rhode Island School of Design Graphic Design Programs

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. RISD offers a full-time, four-year degree with 120 credit hours needed to complete the degree. This is an in-person degree.
  • Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Bachelor's degree holders in this subject can choose the two-year Master of Fine Arts degree. If you have a bachelor's degree in liberal arts, sciences, or fine arts, you can opt for the 3-year Master of Fine Arts degree.

Rhode Island School of Design Graphic Design Key Takeaway

RISD alumni have received Academy Awards and Primetime Emmy Awards. The school is popular among the visual and graphic artists and companies in America.

7

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Graduation Rate: 68%

The Schools of Arts Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has nearly 4,000 students and is one of the oldest art schools to get accreditation from the higher education authorities. It has a faculty-driven curriculum that strives to enhance every student’s full potential. The urban institute is community-based and uses the city’s diversity to influence its values and diversity.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 78%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees Offered: bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: 2 (Best Fine Arts Program)
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 372

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Graphic Design Programs

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. SAIC offers a four-year , 120-credit-hour program. The in-person course offers two major options in either physical media or virtual media.
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio. This is a one-year 30-credit certificate program that can be used as a track to the master’s program. If students choose this route, it will be a three-year program to complete the certificate and the master's.
  • Master of Fine Arts in Visual Communication: The Master of Fine Arts program is two years with 60 credit hours. To pursue a good career, you can build your skills in different visual design, animation, liberal arts, and print media.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Graphic Design Key Takeaway

SAIC is one of the best schools for graphic design in the USA. Its alumni have received prestigious awards in graphic and visual arts.

8

School of Visual Arts

Graduation Rate: 72%

The School of Visual Arts in New York was founded mainly for illustrators and cartoonists in 1947. It is pretty new compared to the best visual design universities on the list. Yet, it has ranked among the top institutes for graphic designers. Its alumni have been working in Hollywood, multinational corporations, TV media, etc. it currently has 3800 plus students.

School of Visual Arts Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 72%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: 23 (Best Fine Arts Program)
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

School of Visual Arts Graphic Design Programs

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. The visual arts school in New York offers a four-year , 120-credit-hour program. You can major in motion graphics, graphic design, or 3D design and modeling.
  • Master of Fine Arts Design/Designer as Entrepreneur. After completing the bachelor's degree, you can opt for the two-year Master of Fine Arts or Master of Arts program. It is a 60-credit-hour in-person program.

School of Visual Arts Graphic Design Key Takeaway

School of Visual Arts students have worked for organizations like NBC, New York Times, and CNN. They have admirable peer-to-peer support career services for job preparation. The Studio Lab remains open for students around the clock.

9

University of Arizona

Graduation Rate: 65%

Established in 1885, the University of Arizona was the first public university in Arizona. It currently has over 46,000 students. Its College of Fine Arts has a reputation as one of the best graphic design colleges in the US and took seventh place for the best online bachelor’s design and art practices program.

University of Arizona Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 85%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: 103
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 150

University of Arizona Graphic Design Programs

  • Bachelor of Arts in Design Arts & Practices. The 120-credit hour four-year bachelor’s program focuses on theoretical and practical aspects. This online program is known for its brilliant teaching of human structure, which enables the students to mimic human movements in their motion design.
  • Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art. The 60-credit hour two-year terminal degree includes illustration and visual design subjects. The design studio course encourages students to understand their own artistic vision and concepts.

University of Arizona Graphic Design Key Takeaway

The University of Arizona designed its visual design program for all students and provides exclusive portfolio support. The university has extensive labs, studios, and a massive book collection.

10

Yale University

Graduation rate: 96%

Yale University is undoubtedly one of America’s most prestigious schools. Established in 1869, the school of arts at Yale University was the first art program for higher education in the US. The school enjoys a long history with many traditions. It is committed to making the world a better place and is on a mission to train the next generation of leaders.

Yale University Overview:

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 7%
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, master’s
  • US News Ranking: 5
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: 8

Yale University Graphic Design Programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts degree in Art with Graphic Design Concentration. The four-year and 120-credit-hour program in Yale's school of art allows you to major in five different directions. These include visual design, painting and printmaking, photography, sculpture, and filmmaking.
  • Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. The two-year prestigious master’s program at Yale University is a 60-credit hour program. Each semester, only 12 students are selected for this in-person and online education degree.

Yale University Graphic Design Key Takeaway

Yale University is among the top ten universities worldwide and getting accepted into the school is highly competitive.

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The Best Schools for Graphic Design: Types of College Degrees and University Programs Offered

Talented visual design enthusiasts have the liberty to choose from multiple programs to learn visual design techniques. You can start your education with certificate courses or an associate degree . Later you may want to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s in design. If you want to do further research, you could study for a PhD.

1

Graphic Design Community College Certificate

Community colleges offer practical skills in both certificate and associate degree programs. If you want to increase your skills, you may choose a post-secondary program. The program length will vary depending on the course outline and requirements. It can be anywhere from a couple of months to one year or more.

The credit hours will vary extensively. The certificate course will help you learn the basics of graphic designing. There is a scope of specialized sector certificate courses such as studio labs, human modeling, and printmaking.

2

Graphic Design Associate Degree

An Associate Degree in Graphic Design usually lasts for two years with students completing 60 credit hours. Associate degrees will teach you to think creatively and give you various skills in visual design, visual arts, and animation. The associate program also teaches typography, coding, interactive media, and Adobe Photoshop technical skills.

3

Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree

The Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design is a multidisciplinary program. There are two types of bachelor’s degrees, namely a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in graphic design. This degree type covers advanced communication, the history of graphic design, human forms and structure theories, Adobe Photoshop, and typography.

Students can access the massive book collections and studio labs on campus. A bachelor’s degree goes into detail about digital media design, animation, and motion animation. You can get well-paying jobs with newspapers, creative media, printing, and electronic media.

4

Graphic Design Master’s Degree

To study for a master’s degree, you must already have completed a bachelor’s degree in the same or a related subject. A master’s can take two or three years to complete, depending on your bachelor's degree background. Those with master’s degrees can earn a higher salary and work as CEOs of creative media design firms. Master’s degree graduates can also teach in post-secondary institutions.

5

Graphic Design Graduate Certificate

The graduate certificate is for professionals with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts or arts. It is a one-year course with variable credit hours that is often a stepping stone to a master’s degree. You may learn the basic design methods, illustrations, communication skills, color theories, and typography during the certificate course.

6

Graphic Design Doctorate

A PhD or Doctorate in Graphic Design is for those who love research. The length of the doctoral degree can be anywhere from a year to a couple of years. PhD holders may want to be art directors, film directors, or work in the high positions of graphic designing firms or multimedia platforms.

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Best Graphic Design Schools: Other Graphic Design University Rankings

We found the best graphic design colleges and universities for various digital design programs. The list is based on the visual design university rankings on different platforms to offer you the best learning environment.

Best Online Graphic Design Schools

  1. Maryville University. The university offers a comprehensive degree on a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media. You can learn typography, digital media, design theory, basic art and design theory in this degree program.
  2. Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Online. The Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Media Arts at SNHU online is a full-time four-year degree. SNHU is known for its reliability and has some of the best online bachelor’s degree programs.
  3. University of Florida. The 120-credit Bachelor of Arts in Digital Arts and Sciences, focusing on graphic design, teaches digital design basics, studio labs, 3D modeling, and traditional and advanced designing concepts.

Best Community Colleges for Graphic Design

  1. Anne Arundel Community College (AACC). The AACC is a leading community college. Its program is an associate degree that will open up entry-level jobs as a graphic designer or visual artist.
  2. Salt Lake Community College. The Associate in Graphic Design and Communications is one of the best graphic design college degree programs for design. You have access to the school’s studio labs and design studios. If you decide to study for a bachelor’s degree later, you can transfer credits from an associate degree.
  3. San Diego City College. This college is also a top community college of design for digital design enthusiasts. The associate program is affordable, and the school claims that 70 percent of their students find a job within three months of finishing the course.

Best Undergraduate Schools for Graphic Design

  1. Boston University. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Visual Arts at Boston University has a creative and dynamic environment that will help you develop designing skills for professional life.
  2. California College of the Arts. This college of design offers a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. It is among the best visual design colleges and ranked within the top ten on most platforms. The school boasts advanced design and studio labs, design layout facilities, and alumni support.
  3. Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The school offers a multidisciplinary bachelor’s program for future graphic designers. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design degree shares multidisciplinary courses. You can combine visual design methods and communication skills for a diverse career.

Best Graduate Schools for Graphic Design

  1. North Carolina State University. This graduate program ranks among the top one percent of university programs in the USA. The public-owned university has over 40,000 students and boasts one of the best design labs.
  2. Rhode Island School of Design. RISD is the best art school worldwide. Naturally, its visual design program offers high-quality graduate programs. Depending on your undergraduate background and courses, you can choose a two or three-year program.
  3. Yale University. The Master of Fine Arts degree in graphic design is one of the most prestigious and futuristic graduate programs. It takes only 12 students per semester, creating a competitive admissions process for prospective graduate students.

Best Graphic Design Schools With Dual Degree Programs

  1. Cornell University | Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts. Cornell University offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree allowing you to combine it with another undergraduate degree from Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees in urban design and regional studies.
  2. University of Denver | Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Arts. You may choose from multiple degrees to combine with visual design programs. It includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts, or a Bachelor of Science in various subjects.
  3. The New School Parsons | Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts. The school offers a five-year dual-degree program for undergraduates. Students can study for a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Art and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music, art, or design.

Best Schools With Accelerated Graphic Design Programs

  1. Bellevue University | Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. Bellevue University has produced many award-winning graphic designers. This self-paced program allows undergraduate students to customize courses to finish faster.
  2. California Baptist University | Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Digital Media. You can complete this accelerated degree in just 16 months. It is affordable, and the course is for professionals and students alike.
  3. Maryville University | Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media. The 120-credit-hour program is fully online and allows you to complete the degree at an accelerated pace. The faculty will customize the course path for you, depending on the requirements.

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Is Graduate School for Graphic Design Worth It?

Yes, graduate school for graphic design is worth it. The return on investment for associate, undergraduate, or postgraduate degrees is almost twice that of normal subjects. Graphic designers earn around $47,000 annually, which is higher than the annual income of the average American.

What Jobs Can You Do With a Graphic Design Degree?

Jobs you can do with a graphic design degree include a graphic designer, animator, art director, and special effect artists. You can also be a freelancer or work as a trainer in various organizations.

How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Graphic Design?

You can earn an average salary of $50,710 per year with a degree in graphic design, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As you become skilled and gain experience, you may work as an art director who earns an average of $100,890 per year. VFX artists and animators earn an average salary of $78,790 per year with a design media arts degree.

Highest-Paying Graphic Design Careers

Profession Minimum Education Average Salary
Art Directors Bachelor’s Degree $100,890
Special Effects Artists and Animators Bachelor’s Degree $78,790
Web Developers and Digital Designers Bachelor’s Degree $77,200
Industrial Designers Bachelor’s Degree $77,030
User Experience Designers Bachelor’s Degree $75,895
Video Game Designers Associate Degree $67,604
Drafters Associate’s degree $60,290
Graphic Designers Bachelor’s Degree $50,710
Craft and Fine Artists Not required $49,960
Desktop Publishers Associate’s degree $46,910

Best Jobs With a Graphic Design Degree

The best jobs with a graphic design degree are art director, SFX and VFX artists, web developer, and digital designer. Internship opportunities may give you a foot in the door of your dream job.

Advanced degrees in visual communication design, professional experience, and a strong portfolio will open up higher-paying jobs in the field of design. Industrial design is another lucrative job you can get with a bachelor’s degree.

1

Best Graphic Design Associate Degree Jobs

The best graphic design associate degree jobs include a graphic designer, drafter, or video game developer. Since these are entry to mid-level positions and you will work with a large team, associate degrees fulfill the job requirements.

Top Graphic Design Careers With an Associate Degree

2

Best Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree Jobs

The best graphic design bachelor's degree jobs are art directors, special effects artists, and user experience designers. You can choose any job in the design field, from a senior graphic designer to a manager of graphic or gaming companies.

Top Graphic Design Careers With a Bachelor’s Degree

3

Best Graphic Design Master’s Degree Jobs

The best graphic design master’s degree jobs include art directors, special effects artists and animators, and web developers and digital designers. Once you have a master's degree in graphic design, you can apply for all graphic design-related jobs. You could run public relations departments in ad agencies, media agencies, and TV studios.

Top Graphic Design Careers With a Master’s Degree

4

Best Graphic Design Doctorate Jobs

The best graphic design doctorate jobs include a university, college, or post-secondary teacher. You could also work as an art director, VFX artist, or an expert in multimedia agencies. Since a doctoral degree is the highest education you can pursue as a graphic designer, you can work in every graphic design-related job and command a higher salary.

Top Graphic Design Careers With a PhD

5

Best Internships for Graphic Design Students

You can apply for the best internships for graphic design students once you’ve completed your associate or bachelor's degree in graphic design. You can apply for internships with tech giants or various media platforms.

Top Graphic Design Internships

  • Accelity Marketing | Graphic Design Intern: $15/hour
  • Fotile America | Graphic Design Intern: $9/hour
  • Faegre Drinker | Graphic Design Intern: $41,440

How Can I Pay for Graphic Design School?

There are various ways to pay for graphic design school. You can pay for schools through government-funded tuition fee assistance, scholarships, and student loans. Get a savings plan going as soon as possible and look for online schools as they are less expensive. Part-time programs make it possible to work at the same time.

  • Government Funded: There are multiple government-funded financial assistance programs for graphic design students. You can apply for government financial aid from FAFSA, the Federal Work-Study Program, and Federal Pell Grants.
  • Grants and Scholarships: You can also look for private grants and scholarships. Your university may have multiple associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees scholarships. Many organizations also offer semester or annual grants.
  • Bank Loans: Almost every bank will provide educational loans. You could also apply for a Federal Government subsidy. However, a loan requires paying off and there are things you can do to afford college and avoid a loan.
  • Deferred Payment: Your graphic design school may allow you to pay the tuition fee after graduation once you have a job. Deferred payment options are available for some online programs and bootcamps. Contact admissions to find out if they offer this option.

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Choosing the Best Graphic Design School for You

When choosing the best graphic design school for you, look at its ranking, accreditation, reputation, and format. The US News and World Report rank the best visual design programs every year, this will help you make the best decision.

Accreditation

First of all, look at the accreditation of the school and its offered program. The proper authority must accredit the school and program. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has all this information, including acceptance and graduation rates.

Flexibility and format

If you need flexibility, it is best to follow an online program. Some community colleges and universities are well-known for offering high-quality online education. These schools include Arizona State University and Southern New Hampshire University.

School’s Reputation

Choose a school and program that you know has a good reputation. Look for the university or program ranking on the US News and World Report and Times Higher Education websites. Often, it is quite challenging to gain admission into the schools with the best reputations.

Concentration options

Not all universities or colleges will offer a direct degree in graphic design, so look at the course, concentration options, and the program’s curriculum. The degree could be a Bachelor’s in Graphic Information Technology, a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Studies, or a Bachelor of Science in Art and Design with a Graphic Design concentration.

Barriers to admission

Check all the admission requirements and barriers before finalizing your school selection. Education requirements include a minimum GPA and standardized tests. Other admission barriers could consist of tuition fees, courses, or location.

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Does It Matter What College I Go to for Graphic Design?

Yes, it does matter which college you go to for graphic design. It is best to have a college with a good reputation on your resume. Some schools have a better reputation than others for the visual design program they offer. You can also check the student-to-faculty ratio, as smaller classes mean more attention and support. Check the individual universities’ design centers and lab facilities.

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Graphic Design University Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Schools for Graphic Design

We ranked the best graphic design schools by consulting the university rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education. To further refine our graphic design  university ranking methodology, we gave special consideration to things like reputation, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and breadth and depth of graphic design degree program offerings.

Additional Reading About Graphic Design

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Best Graphic Design Schools FAQ

Is graphic design a good career?

Yes, graphic design is a good career. If you are a creative thinker and want to invest in a creative earning source, graphic designing-related jobs will be an ideal choice. With the rapid growth of multimedia, jobs for graphic designers are on the increase. One of the fastest-growing jobs for those with a bachelor’s degree in visual design is special effects artists and animators , according to BLS.

Is graphic design a hard major?

No, graphic design is not a hard major if you have a creative mind and complete your assignments, presentations, and projects on time. However, some schools can be very competitive.

Does graphic design require math?

Yes, most graphic design undergraduate programs require math. You will need three to four credits of basic math. It is also useful to better understand perspective and visualization. The math course may include basic calculus, geometry, and algebra.

Does it matter what art school you go to?

Yes, it matters which art school you go to because potential employers often look for accredited and well-reputed institutions during the hiring process. Studying at one of the best graphic design universities and an accredited institution is very important, especially if you’d like to study further. You will be able to transfer credits to another degree or institution.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Mehnaz Meem

About the author: Mehnaz is a content writer and social media manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from Dhaka International University. She also completed a writing and editing course from the University of Michigan and Coursera.

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