20 Best Colleges With Graphic Design Majors In 

With the emergence of social media and occupations that are solely online, graphic design has grown to be one of the most popular fields of study for college students.

When you think of graphic design, you feel of visually appealing, attention-grabbing advertisements.

It’s incredible how frequently graphic designs are used today; they may be found, for example, in publications, websites, and other media.

Your decision regarding a graphic design school is essential. Thus, we have created these rankings to guide you.

By adding up our degree-level rankings and weighting them according to the number of degrees granted at each institution, we arrive at our orders for the Best Overall Graphic Design Schools.

You may narrow your search to one of the degree levels listed below to locate the schools that are the most excellent fit for you.

Who Is A Graphics Designer?

Graphic designers produce visual concepts intending to capture clients’ attention through digital and physical designs that often incorporate graphics, photos, art, and other visual aspects. 

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design is a type of communication that uses hues, shapes, images, and phrases to produce the visual material that permeates our surroundings and appears in print and digital media.

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20 Colleges with Graphic Design Majors

  • Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
  • ArtCenter College of Design
  • College Of Creative Studies, Detroit.
  • Messiah University
  • Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
  • California College of the Arts (CCA)
  • Art Center College of Design
  • Carnegie Mellon School of Design
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida
  • Parsons School of Design
  • The Pratt Institute
  • Bellevue University
  • Kentucky Wesleyan College
  • Academy of Art University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Bethel University
  • Judson University
  • School Of Art Institute of Chicago
  • Yale University

#1. Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

Address: 1300 Mount Royal Ave  Baltimore, Maryland 21217-4134

Maryland Institute College of Art is at the top of our ranking of the best institutions providing graphic design programs.

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) stands out from the competitors because of its affordability and reputation for providing top-notch instruction on graphic design majors.

When applying for jobs, you will create a portfolio of pertinent digital multimedia design content using the project-based curriculum at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

This portfolio will serve as a tool for you to show your skill set to potential employers. 

The Maryland Institute College of Art also offers liberal arts minors in subjects including Critical Theory and Gender Studies.

Furthermore, it offers a distinctive interdisciplinary BFA degree in humanistic studies that enables you to combine your training in graphic design with a multidisciplinary concentration on the liberal arts and humanities.

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#2. ArtCenter College of Design

Address:1700 Lida St, Pasadena, CA 91103, United States

 ArtCenter College of Design is regarded as one of the most important colleges with graphic design majors in the world. 

The ArtCenter College of Design focuses on both new and old media and equips students with the abilities they’ll need in various graphic design fields. 

However, the school encourages its pupils to approach learning in a practical and socially concerned way.

A fantastic visual communication course includes graphic design as one of its main areas of study.

Students take part in seminars led by experts in their industry during the program. 

This program is perfect for you if you’re an experienced designer who wants to advance in your career. 

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Read Also: 21 Best Free Graphic Design Classes Online | Beginners & Experts 2022

#3. College Of Creative Studies, Detroit

Address: 201 E Kirby St, Detroit, MI 48202, United States

Next on our list of the best colleges with graphic design majors is the College of Creative Studies. The BFA in Graphic Design is available through the College for Creative Studies.

 They emphasize “experience design,” which refers to immersive, multimedia design experiences. 

Given the scarcity of programs specializing in experience design, the College Of Creative Studies is the place to attend.

Additionally, the College of Creative Studies also strongly emphasizes community involvement on an institutional level. 

Graduates of graphic design programs have held positions with Dreamworks, Google, Nike, Disney, Fox, Microsoft, universities, and libraries. Others have started their own design firms.

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#4. Messiah University

Address: One College Ave., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055, United States

Messiah University is a top-ranked private institution of higher learning where you can learn graphic design with an established track record of incorporating high academic standards.

The graphic design curriculum at Messiah is also extensive, demanding, and innovative. 

Choosing electives like digital imaging and interactive and print-based media will allow you to customize your curriculum further while gaining a solid foundation in graphic design. 

You will also have the chance to travel as a graphic design student at Messiah University, either domestically to major art and design hubs in New York City and Washington, D.C., or internationally to Rome and Italy.

As we’ve already indicated, Messiah’s graphic design program is challenging, but its graduates are prepared for success.

In fact, within 6 to 9 months of graduation, 100% of graduates have jobs or are enrolled in graduate programs!

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#5. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Address:20 Washington Pl, Providence, RI 02903, United States

RISD is considered one of the most recognized colleges with graphic design majors

The Rhode Island School of Design is a fantastic curriculum for graphic designers, available in both BFA and MFA editions for people who want to learn how to communicate their thoughts and stories.

However, the graphic design program at RISD is one of the university’s most popular and competitive undergraduate departments.

Project-based learning is a significant component of the four-year BFA in Graphic Design program at RISD.

Students can expect to work on projects involving packaging, film graphics, book design, user experience design, and other topics.

The program also draws international guest artists, commentators, and designers.

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#6. California College of the Arts (CCA

Address:1111 8th St, San Francisco, CA 94107, United States

California College of Art earns a top spot on our list of the best graphic design schools because of the student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1 and the above-average graduation rate of 65%.

This university provides undergraduate and graduate graphic design degrees that can be completed in two to three years. A BFA with a concentration in graphic design is available to undergraduate students.

The three-year option is available for students with an undergraduate degree in a non-related field.

 To prepare for the conventional two-year curriculum, students might build design abilities during the first year of this program.

However, getting this degree is necessary for entering a graduate-level graphic design program or for career growth.

 Graphic, interaction, and industrial design are the main areas of study for the MFA in Design offered at the graduate level by California College of the Arts.

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#7. The Kansas City Art Institute 

Address: Kansas City Art Institute, 4415 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City, MO, United States

The Kansas City Art Institute is a private university between the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in vibrant midtown Kansas City, Missouri.

 The Kansas City Art Institute in the US is widely considered one of the best design schools in the world and only offers bachelor’s programs. 

 Although Kansas City Art Institute offers several other degree options, its bachelor’s degree in graphic design gives students the adaptability they need to thrive in the rapidly evolving digital world. 

You’ll take classes in graphic web design, art, illustration, and digital publication while you’re studying typography and web layout.

Additionally, graphic designers have full access to an innovative fabrication lab, which teaches students the newest techniques in design while enhancing their manufacturing skills.

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#8. Carnegie Mellon School of Design 

Address: Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, 5130 Margaret Morrison St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, United States

The Carnegie Mellon School of Design, one of the oldest and most prestigious in the United States

This institution provides a bachelor of design (BDes) in communications (graphic design) tailored to your interests and long-term professional objectives. 

However, graduates are connected to design initiatives like the Starbucks logo, Pinterest’s user interface, and Spiderman’s opening title sequence.

Additionally, The program is built on a comprehensive foundation of how design influences the natural world and how the industry has evolved.

Ranking as one of the colleges with graphic design majors, you are also taught how to satisfy design requirements in various circumstances.

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Read ALSO; Best Graphic Design Schools In The World | 2022

#9. Virginia Commonwealth University

Address: 907 Floyd Ave, Richmond, VA 23284, United States

Virginia Commonwealth University comes next on our list of the best colleges with a graphic design Program.

It is a sizable public university with over 20,000 students, making it a fantastic option for grahic design major if you want the art school chops and the huge university experience. 

Furthermore, before applying to the major at Virginia Commonwealth University, which provides a BFA in graphic design, each student must pass the “Art Foundation” course.

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#10. Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, Florida

Address: 2700 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34234, United States

Next on Our list of elite colleges with graphic design majors is Ringling College of Art and Design.

This institution is best known for its reliable and comprehensive programs.  

This institution provides a BFA in Graphic Design, intending to develop “visual storytellers” in its students. During their stay at Ringling, students can study abroad in Europe.

Additionally, alums work for Instagram, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Birchbox, Trader Joe’s, and top design studios and have won essential industry honors.

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#11. Parsons School of Design

Address: 66 5th Ave, New York, NY 10011, United States

The Parsons School of Design is on our list of institutions with graphic design programs.

It is a well-known institution with a distinguished faculty, which routinely ranks at the top of best-Course lists. 

Furthermore, they offer a four-year BFA degree in communication design (the equivalent of graphic design), creating many freelancers and entrepreneurs.

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Read Also: Best Graphic Design Schools In The World | 2022

#12. The Pratt Institute

Address: 200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205, United States

One of the top schools for graphic design programs is Pratt Institute, a private, above-average university in Brooklyn, New York.

Pratt Institute aims to prepare creatives and artists to contribute to society positively.

 Pratt aims to impart artistic judgment, professional knowledge, teamwork abilities, and technical proficiency to all graduates.

The Pratt Institute offers in addition, a multidisciplinary degree with a concentration on graphic, illustration, and advertising design as a BFA in Communications Design (you choose to focus on one of the three areas).

 Alums laud the curriculum for its cutting-edge and innovative focus and for preparing them for careers in their respective professions.

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#13. Bellevue University

Address: 1000 Galvin Rd S, Bellevue, NE 68005, United States

Bellevue University is listed among our best colleges with graphic design majors primarily because of its affordable undergraduate tuition fee for in-state residents. 

However, through the U.S. Department of Education, the Higher Learning Commission has granted the university accreditation for its bachelor’s degree program in graphic design.

The curriculum is conveniently delivered online, and college instructors teach the courses.

Basic design principles, print design fundamentals, and web page design are only a few of the program’s courses.

You shouldn’t pass by Bellevue while looking for a school to attend because it is by far the most promising candidate on this list of the best graphic design colleges.

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#14. Kentucky Wesleyan College

Address:3000 Frederica St, Owensboro, KY 42301, United States

Kentucky Wesleyan College is a private institution in Kentucky that offers a top-notch graphic design program for students.

Students receive a broad range of skills in their graphic design bachelor’s program, including typography, branding, marketing, web design, animation, and more.

Graduates of Kentucky Wesleyan University should feel comfortable addressing design tasks with ease once they have completed their degrees. They should be able to get employment as graphic designers, illustrators, or photo editors.

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#15. Academy of Art University

Address: 180 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105, United States

The Academy of Art University is regarded as one of the top colleges with graphic design majors dedicated to providing career-focused academic programs.

The WASC Senior College and University Commission has granted accreditation to this institution.

To prepare students for various graphic design occupations, the School of Graphic Design’s BFA curriculum focuses on teaching them information and practical abilities.

However, there are nationally renowned professionals available in this School who push and inspire their pupils to become excellent designers.

Also, to graduate from this accredited institution, complete at least 132 credit hours in courses such as information Design, Visual Systems, Human-Centered Design, and Package Design.

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#16. Southern New Hampshire University

Address:2500 N River Rd, Manchester, NH 03106, United States

Next up on our list of the best colleges with graphic design is Southern New Hampshire University.

 There are two options for Southern New Hampshire University’s Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Media Arts program. User experience design and web design are your options.

SNHU offers a bachelor’s degree program in graphic design to develop fundamental abilities in design thinking and digital media.

Also, you will discover what professional practice and brand identity are.

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#17. Bethel University

Address: 3900 Bethel Drive, St. Paul, MN 55112

Bethel University is a top-ranked Christian university with rigorous academic standards; Bethel University also offers a program in graphic design.

There are options for emphasis areas in Bethel’s innovative, multidisciplinary BA in graphic design.

In addition, you can focus on business, communication, or digital humanities in this 126–129 credit program. 

Furthermore, Small, individualized lessons with an average of just 11 individuals are what you can expect. You will become proficient in all things design-related, from typography to web design, besides learning the fundamentals of graphic design.

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#18. Judson University

Address: 1151 N State St, Elgin, IL 60123, United States

Judson University is a private Christian university with an international presence.

However, Judson is also modern and energetic and has welcomed foreign leaders.

As a graphic design student at Judson, you will gain knowledge of the various design mediums, including print, packaging, web, installation, and multimedia.

Also, one benefit of attending Judson is that you will join the AIGA, The Professional Association for Design, which will let you network with others and introduce you to potential job prospects.

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#19. School Of Art Institute of Chicago

Address: 36 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60603, United States

The School Of Art Institute Chicago is the next institution in our ranking of the top graphic design programs.

Chicago’s renowned Art Institute museum is affiliated with the School of the Art Institute. A BFA in Visual Communication Design is available from the School of the Art Institute, emphasizing both traditional and contemporary design platforms. 

The department supports student freelancing and internships to guarantee that students graduate with actual professional experience.

Furthermore, the department also hosts a yearly lecture series with guest designers undertaking ground-breaking work in the industry. 

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#20. Yale University

Address: New Haven, CT 06520, United States

Finally, on our list of the best schools for graphics design Programs is Yale University. 

A BFA in Graphic Design is available from Yale University, with specialization options in areas like packaging design, website design, book jacket design, and more.

In addition, The graphic design school at Yale is very focused on the craft and philosophy of design rather than its more practical and commercial applications, like many other Yale degrees. 

So students whose interests are more scholarly and creative than mechanical or commercial are best suited for this curriculum.

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How Long Does It Take to Earn a Graphic Design Degree?

An average degree takes almost the same time as a degree in graphic design. 

The time required also varies depending on the school and the nation where the university is located. 

While it typically takes four years to earn a degree in graphic design, several colleges offer three-year options.


What is the difference between UI UX and graphic design?

The primary distinction between UI UX and graphic design is that the former is concerned with the user experience, while the latter is more concerned with the user interface’s aesthetics.
 In contrast to graphic designers, who are in charge of giving the user interface a lovely and polished appearance, UI UX designers are responsible for making an interface that is simple and easy to use.

Is it possible to work as a graphic designer without a college degree?

Yes, it is possible to become a graphic designer without a degree, but those who choose this route must take the time to learn thoroughly and acquire the required abilities and knowledge.

 What qualifications are required to work as a graphic designer?

The following competencies are prerequisites for becoming a graphic designer:

Adobe’s artistic software
engaging media
sending out presentations


We provide comprehensive information on the top colleges with graphic design programs. We even contrasted the differences between a graphic designer and a UIUX designer and spoke about the advantages of becoming a graphic designer as a career.



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