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Our ranking of the 50 best graphic design schools in the US for 2020. For this year’s ranking, we looked at over 700 colleges with graphic design programs. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
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Founded in 1701, Yale University serves more than 12,300 students in dozens of programs in fields such as art, architecture, theology, drama, forestry and environmental studies, law, management, music, health, and more. With more than 145 departments and schools, the school is home to one of the most prestigious art schools in the United States.
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Founded in 1869, the Yale School of Art was the nation’s first college-affiliated art school. The school has more than 100 students. The school offers a Bachelor of Arts degree and an MFA degree in graphic design, painting and printmaking, photography and sculpture. An interdisciplinary program in film and video is also available.
The Bachelor of Arts Degree offers an opportunity for intensive study leading to greater specialization in one or more visual disciplines such as graphic design, painting/printmaking, photography and sculpture. Course highlights include Introduction to Graphic Design, History of Graphic Design, Graphic Design Methodologies, Advanced Graphic Design: Series and Systems, Advanced Graphic Design: History, Editing and Interpretation, Typography: Expression, Structure and Sequence, Printmaking, Visual Thinking, Interactive Design and the internet. Students in the program will complete a senior project workshop that will allow them to showcase their projects.
The Yale Graphic Design MFA (Yale GDMFA) is a competitive 60-credit hour program that admits only 12 students each year and up to six students per previous year. Candidates for the MFA degree are expected to have “significant and distinguished experience in visual studies and related professional experience,” the school says. Students can expect to support their graphic design majors in a number of ways, including “studio work under the direction of weekly faculty meetings, small groups of five to six who meet biweekly thesis, and one-on-one tutoring with faculty on writing. and edit.”
Lectures, presentations and seminars are also part of the program, as well as access to “extraordinary” resources, including Yale courses, conferences, films, lectures, museums, and “great” research and rare book collections in the Sterling and Beinecke Libraries. Students also have a dedicated workspace in the loft of the design studio and access to equipment including binding materials, large format printers, a RISO copier, a Vandercook press and workspaces in the School of Art buildings. More resources to support interdisciplinary projects, including motion capture and virtual reality, are available in the adjacent Center for Collaborative Arts and Media.
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The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), founded in 1877, is one of the first schools of art and design in the United States. Serving approximately 2,500 students from the United States and 57 other countries, the school has 19 majors and leads to bachelor’s or master’s degrees in art, architecture, design or art education. The school’s most popular programs are graphic design, film/animation/video (FAV), illustration, painting and industrial design. Aspiring graphic designers have two options: a four-year bachelor’s degree and a dual-track master’s degree.
The School of Graphic Design, which is one of RISD’s largest departments, says it “offers countless opportunities for collaboration within and across disciplines” with access to more than 160 majors for students. Course highlights include Spatial Dynamics, Color + Surface, and Design Studio. The program culminates in a “challenging, self-determined thesis project that utilizes each student’s strengths, interests and experiences,” the school says.
MFA programs offer the same options as the BFA, with two tracks: a two-year option for students entering with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or other visual communication, and a three-year option for students with a liberal arts, science or fine arts degree Art. Built around a sequence of required courses, the curricula for both tracks allow candidates to tailor individual courses of study through interdisciplinary electives.
An impressive 96% of all RISD graphic design graduates are employed within a year of graduation, and 70% are in positions directly related to their major.
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Founded in 1887, the Pratt Institute serves more than 4,800 students in more than 25 undergraduate programs and concentrations, and more than 26 master’s programs in the schools of art, design, architecture, liberal arts and sciences, and information. The design school, founded in 2014, offers “up to four of Pratt’s oldest and most respected disciplines,” the school says, including communication design, fashion design, industrial design and interior design.
The Communication Design program is “the only program in the country that recognizes and embodies the convergence and integration of illustration, advertising and graphic design as fundamental forces for the visual expression of ideas.” Students can focus on one of three areas (illustration, advertising art or graphic design). The BA program for aspiring graphic designers leads to a bachelor’s degree in communication design with an emphasis in graphic design.
The School of Design also houses the Graduate Communication Design Department, which offers an MA in Communication Design and an MA in Packaging Design. The full-time Communication Design MFA emphasizes full-time studio practice in graphic design – communication, identity, objects, environments and systems. Graduates are prepared for careers in print and digital media, typography, identity and branding systems, design strategy, social media and interaction design, motion design, environmental design, data visualization, information design and user experience design.
First offered in 1966, the MS in Package Design is an introductory master’s degree that provides students with structured coursework in the decision-making process for new product and package design, including a focus in package design, typography, brand development, marketing, structural Packaging, packaging technology, perfume packaging and business aspects of the packaging industry. This is a full-time program that culminates in a thesis project.
Quality Georgia Graphic Design Schools (updated For 2023)
For students who are not yet ready to enter a degree program, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) offers certificate programs in digital design, including graphic design, digital design, branding and digital marketing, and many others. These programs can be taken individually or “stacked,” an “accelerated path to completion,” the school says. Similar to bachelor’s and master’s programs in communication design, certificate programs offer internship opportunities.
Students in all programs have the opportunity to enroll in one of more than 20 study abroad programs and international exchange programs in more than a dozen locations, such as Florence, Milan, Copenhagen, London and Tokyo.
Founded in 1826, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest independent, continuing degree-granting college of art and design in the United States. The college enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and open-degree students from 49 states and 52 countries. About 80 programs leading to BFA, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees are available in the fields of art, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies. Post-baccalaureate certificate programs are also offered.
Programs for aspiring graphic designers include a Bachelor of Graphic Design Degree with three concentrations including Graphic Design Studio, Book Arts Studio and Graphic Design + Humanities Studies, a Master of Graphic Design (GDMA) and a Master of Graphic Design (GD MFA).
About Product Design
The undergraduate graphic design curriculum at MICA includes a three-year sequence of core design courses, while the 60-credit MFA program includes two years of full-time study, which, according to the school, combines “important seminars, guided studio courses, and independent work.” MFA Students can choose to major in Critical Studies or Curatorial Practice, or “take advantage of electives across MICA’s many departments, including video, print and digital media.”
The master’s program prepares students to prepare for their careers and/or to apply for a competitive MFA. Program highlights include an “intensive introduction to design” delivered by the GDMA Studio, “taught with a strong emphasis on design fundamentals, processes, visual studies and working with media”, a seminar on design theory and practice and a GDMA workshop. Thanks to the seminar, GDMA students have the opportunity to create and exhibit an independent design project and a professional portfolio.
The New School was founded in 1896 by the American impressionist William Merritt Chase. The school then became known as The Chase School and later as the New York School of Fine and Applied Art. Today known as The New School’s Parsons School of Design, this college of art and design serves nearly 6,000 students in 130 degree and diploma programs across five schools, including the School of History and Theory of Art and Design, the School of Art, Media and Technology, School of Built Environments, School of Design Strategies and School of Fashion.
The School of Arts, Media and Technology offers several degree programs for aspiring graphic designers, including an AAS in Graphic Design, a BFA in Communication Design, and an MPS in Communication Design.
Western Carolina University
The school says the AAS program “provides a solid foundation in traditional graphic design practices and concepts,” while the BFA covers typography and interaction. sponsored
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