Best Graphic Design Schools {Online & On-Campus 2020}

Best Graphic Design Schools

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Best Graphic Design Schools

Graphic designers are in high demand. If you have an interest in visual creativity, website design, app interfaces, or advertisements, you might find yourself researching the best graphic design schools online so you can hone your skills.

Conveniently, there are graphic design schools all over the country, and many offer online courses. But schools with graphic design programs are so popular, it can be difficult to know which is best for you! 

Below, we take a look at some of the best schools plus their degrees and career services.

What Is Graphic Design School

First, the basics. Graphic design is the use of images, media, and words to deliver ideas or information. People who specialize in this craft are called graphic designers. Here are just a few things a graphic designer might have a hand in creating:

  • App interface
  • Book jacket
  • Album art
  • Company logo
  • Website

Graphic design is generally considered an ideal field for people who are creative, good with words, and have an eye for detail and communication. An interest in technology goes hand-in-hand with these other qualities to make someone a strong candidate for graphic design. 

Online VS On-Campus

As we outline the best graphic design schools in the US, keep in mind that many of these campuses offer online learning for your convenience. If you don’t find a school near you, or it’s not possible for you to make the move, you may want to consider the ease and flexibility of online coursework.

You can learn more about each university’s online offerings by clicking on their official websites – linked below.

The Best Graphic Design Schools In The US

Now that you have some idea of what you can learn in graphic design school, let’s take a look at some of the top-rated graphic design schools in the U.S. – from coast to coast.

Best Graphic Design Schools In New York

If you’re looking for a graphic design school in NYC or NY state, you’re not alone. NYC is a great place for creatives and higher learning. As you might expect, there’s no shortage of graphic design top schools in NY! 

In The Empire State, cultural, historic, and natural beauties abound. New York is an education all its own, but if you’d like to narrow your focus to Graphic Design, these are some excellent options.

Parsons School Of Design At The New School – NY, NY

Parsons is one of the most recognizable and well-respectable graphic design schools in the country. They offer a BFA in Communication Design and an AAS in Graphic Design. 

They also provide a great deal of career services including co-op education, interview training, internships, and on-campus job interviews. Thanks to their prime location and renowned reputation, Parsons alumni have access to all the right organizations, companies, and influencers.

https://www.newschool.edu/parsons/

Pratt Institute – Brooklyn, NY

Pratt Institute offers a BFA in Communications Design, an AAS in Graphic Design, and an AOS in Graphic Design. They also offer things like internships, interview training, resume assistance, and access to a vast alumni network. 

Though the tuition is steep, you have some exciting choices at Pratt. The AOS Graphic Design program prepares you for a career and the AAS Graphic Design program sets you up to enter into the Communications Design BFA program. 

https://www.pratt.edu

New York Film Academy – NY, NY

The New York Film Academy isn’t just for aspiring actors, directors, and screenwriters. One of the best aspects of this school is the faculty, many of whom are accomplished graphic designers. Because they’re still active in the industry, the faculty are able to pass all the latest and greatest expertise and knowledge on to their students.

There’s a 1 year graphic design conservatory program or you can opt to earn your BFA in Graphic Design. But you don’t have to be in NY to attend. NYFA has campuses across the globe and they offer online courses as well.

https://www.nyfa.edu

Best Graphic Design Schools In California

Whether you’re looking for a graphic design school in Los Angeles, San Diego, or just within the great state of California, there are quite a few options open to you. 

California is a state teeming with universities that place a lot of emphasis on creativity, ingenuity, and innovative communication. And that makes it a great place to learn graphic design.

Otis College Of Art and Design – Los Angeles, CA

At Otis, you can earn your degree in Digital Media, Fine Arts, or Communication Arts. Within the Communication Arts Department, you can attend a Graphic Design program. 

Some of the things you can expect to learn in this department are how to create ezines, posters, apps, and even tattoos. 

https://www.otis.edu

California Institute of the Arts (CAL ARTS) – Santa Clarita, CA

CAL ARTS is a very popular, well-regarded School of Art. You can earn your BFA in Graphic Design, MFA in Graphic Design, or MFA in Graphic Design with a Motion Graphics Specialization. 

They offer internships, alumni networking, job search classes, and resume assistance. 

https://calarts.edu

California College of the Arts – San Francisco, CA

CCA offers a lot of design-related degrees, including BFA in Animation, BFA in Illustration, BFA in Graphic Design, and BFA in Printmaking, just to name a few. 

If you have an interest in illustration, this is an exciting school. They even offer instruction courtesy of animators from Pixar and Dreamworks. 

https://www.cca.edu

Best Graphic Design Schools In Florida

One of the most well-known graphic design schools is located in Florida. If you’d like to experience higher education in the Sunshine State, you’re in for a treat with the coursework, community, and weather!

Full Sail University – Winter Park, Florida

Full Sail is by far one of the most popular graphic design schools in the country. Although it started in 1979 as an audio recording workshop, it has since grown into something much more comprehensive. 

Full Sail specializes in degree programs in areas like Media Art, Technology, and Entertainment.

At Full Sail, you can earn a BS in Graphic Design in 29 months through their online courses. They also offer a Media Design MFA.

https://hello.fullsail.edu

University of Miami – Miami, Florida

If you’re looking for the best graphic design school in Miami, you need look no further than University of Miami. They have a graphic design degree program where you can earn a BA in Graphic Design/Multimedia, BFA in Graphic Design/Multimedia, or MFA in Graphic Design/Multimedia.  

Business field trips as well as museum and gallery trips are all a part of the immersive graphic design experience offered at U of M.

https://welcome.miami.edu

Best Graphic Design Schools In Texas

Texas is known for football and longhorn cattle, but they also have some outstanding universities and lively campus communities! Whether you want to stay in a small town or try your hand at the big city, the great state of Texas has a little something for everyone. 

West Texas A&M University – Canyon, TX

If you’re looking for a graphic design school in the Lone Star State, this is a good choice. West Texas A & M has an affordable tuition and offers a BFA in Graphic Design. 

They also have plenty of career services, including interest inventory, co-op education, and interview training.

https://www.wtamu.edu

The Art Institute of Houston – Houston, TX

If you’re drawn to a larger city, you might like the Art Institute in Houston, Texas. There, you can earn your AAS in Graphic Design or your BFA in Graphic and Web Design. 

Although they don’t offer much in the way of career services, the Art Institute of Houston places a heavy emphasis on web development and interface design. So if you have an interest in these areas, this might be the school for you. 

go.artinstitutes.edu

Best Graphic Design Schools In Georgia

Georgia has a little bit of everything: farmland, mountains, and coastal beaches. There’s something to excite everyone, including students of graphic design. 

And if you’re a fan of beautiful architecture, you’ll appreciate Georgia – and Savannah in particular – for its stunning 18th and 19th century architectural splendor.

Savannah College of Art and Design – Savannah, GA

Another school that focuses heavily on interface design and user experience is the Savannah College of Art and Design. Not only do they offer a BFA and MFA in Graphic Design, they also offer an MA and BA. 

Whether you want to attend college in Georgia or complete your coursework online, this school is a solid choice. They have an excellent online program for your convenience and flexibility. 

https://www.scad.edu

University of Georgia – Athens, GA

At UGA, students can obtain A BFA in Art with Concentrations in Graphic Design, Printmaking & Book Arts as well as a BA in Interdisciplinary Art & Design. All BFA degrees include the Studio Art Core and a survey of art history as well as professional practice courses. 

https://www.uga.edu

Best Graphic Design Schools in Michigan

Whether you want to learn in the Great Lakes State or online, you can find some excellent programs through Michigan universities. Michigan in the tenth most populous state in the US and it has a wide variety of attractions, sights, and natural beauty to enjoy. 

College for Creative Studies – Detroit, MI

CCS is located in Detroit and was founded in 1906. They have a dozen degree programs and 14 academic departments. Their Graphic Design Department is one of the top five largest departments at the school. 

If you’re an aspiring graphic designer, you can choose between an BFA in Communication Design (Graphic Design), or MFA in Interaction Design and Integrated Design. Other degrees of interest might be Advertising: Copywriting or Advertising: Design and Fine Arts.

https://www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu

Michigan State University – Easing Lansing, MI

MSU has a few options for students interested in graphic design. They offer a BFA degree and a minor in Graphic Design or an MFA with a Focus in Graphic Design. A few of the available courses include: Electronic Art & Intermedia, Photography, Printmaking, and Graphic Design.

All MFA students at MSU have the opportunity to mount a solo exhibition in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design galleries.

admissions.msu.edu

Best Graphic Design Schools in North Carolina

North Carolina boasts some beautiful scenery – like the Great Smoky Mountains – and some fine options for higher education. The cost of living is relatively low in North Carolina and it has a strong business climate, making it an ideal place for students and recent graduates to call home.

North Carolina State University – Raleigh, NC

NC State has ten colleges to represent all the major academic fields. If you’re interested in Graphic Design, you’ll attend the College of Design. There, you can choose between a BA in Graphic Design or an MA in Graphic Design. 

Additionally, NC State offers a PhD in Design/Information Design Concentration. Both the graduate and undergraduate degrees are NASAD (National Association of Schools of Art and Design) accredited. 

https://www.ncsu.edu

Winston-Salem State University – Salem, NC

At WSSU, the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education includes the Department of Art + Visual Studies. Graphic Design students can earn their BA in Art with Concentration in Computer Graphics.

Some popular courses include: Multimedia Editing, Intro to Computer Art and Design, and Graphic Design I and II.

https://www.wssu.edu

Best Graphic Design Schools in Arizona

If you’re a fan of cactus-thick national parks and Grand Canyons, you might be hoping to attend college in Arizona. You’d be in luck, because Arizona has some outstanding graphic design schools and varied opportunities to grow and perfect your graphic design skills.

Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ

Students at ASU can earn either a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design or a Master of Science in Design in Graphic Design. Some of their career services include resume assistance, alumni networking, and internships. 

Graphic Design students attend the Graphic Design program at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Students can attend online or on-campus classes.

https://go.asuonline.asu.edu

Arizona Western College – Yuma, AZ

If affordable tuition is the goal, you might be pleasantly surprised by Arizona Western College. Whether on-campus or online, you can earn your AA in Graphic Design in two years with 64 credits. 

The Associate in Arts degree covers all the bases: graphic communications, dimensional basic design, drawing, and more. Career services include career search classes, interview training, and on-campus job interviews.

https://www.azwestern.edu

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is a graphic design certificate worth it?

A certificate is a great investment for several reasons. For one, you gain the training and education to successfully maneuver a very competitive field. Another reason a certificate is worth it is that it shows employers you’re serious about your education and your craft.

How do I find graphic design schools near me?

Graphic design schools are so prevalent, you can easily find one nearby with an online search. However, you might be able to broaden your search if you are open to online courses. When learning from-home, the physical location of the school no longer factors into the equation.

Are there reputable graphic design schools online?

Absolutely. In fact, some of the most highly respected graphic design schools in the world offer online classes. With more and more employers and universities allowing and even encouraging remote participation, now is a great time to learn online.