Best Communication Design Schools

Read about three top-ranked schools with communication design programs, and find out what degrees each school offers in this field. Get info on what to look for when choosing a school with a strong communication design program. Schools offering Communication Design & Interactive Media degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look For in a Top Communication Design School?

Communications design integrates design and information to motivate people. Top programs belong to the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design and are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. Faculty members may range from practitioners to academic researchers who have won prestigious fellowships and design awards. Top schools also have the latest laboratory and studio facilities.

What Are Three of the Best Communication Design Schools?

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA

In U.S. News & World Report's 2016 ranking of graduate fine arts schools, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was listed first for time-based media/new media and fifth for graphic design. CMU's School of Design is an Adobe Partners by Design member and is also a partner in Microsoft's annual design challenge. The School of Design has over 32,000 square feet of workspace for design students, including shared studios, digital imaging, 3-D and bookbinding labs, darkrooms and photo studios. You'll have 24/7 access of the workspace with local telephone privileges and secured doors. Undergraduate and graduate degree options include:

  • Bachelor of Design - Communications
  • Master of Design in Design for Interactions
  • Doctor of Design

Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY

In addition to Pratt's undergraduate and graduate degree options, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers professional development programs in areas like electronic imaging and illustration and interactive media. Your resources include library collections with over 200,000 volumes and 30,000 pictures, a digital arts research laboratory, a Center for Sustainable Design Studies and a Writing and Tutorial Center. Pratt promotes your undergraduate and graduate work through its online Communications Design Gallery. The following degrees are offered:

  • Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design/Illustration
  • Associate of Occupational Studies (A.O.S.) in Digital Design and Interactive Media
  • A.O.S. in Graphic Design
  • A.O.S. in Illustration
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communications Design
  • Master of Fine Arts in Communication Design
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Communications Design

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA

VCU tied for #2 among graduate fine arts programs in 2016, according to U.S. News & World Report. Also in 2016, the publication ranked VCU's graduate graphic design program seventh in the nation. Adcenter, part of VCU's graduate School of Mass Communications, partners with major corporations on projects developed by graduate students. The School of the Arts' Visual Resource Center has over 700,000 slides of digital images for students' use its Anderson Gallery shows contemporary art and design, including annual student and MFA Thesis Exhibitions. VCU faculty members have received awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Society of Illustrators National Gold and Bronze Medal and the Getty Foundation Postdoctoral Grant. Design programs include:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Arts
  • Master of Fine Arts in Design, Visual Communications Track

Other Communication Design Schools

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocation
California College of Arts4-year, PrivateSan Francisco, CA
Radford University4-year, PublicRadford, VA
Spring Arbor University4-year, PrivateSpring Arbor, MI
William Peace University4-year, PrivateRaleigh, NC
Nevada State College4-year, PublicHenderson, NV
Northeastern University4-year, PrivateBoston, MA
Duke University4-year, PrivateDurham, NC
University of Baltimore4-year, PublicBaltimore, MD
University of California-Berkeley4-year, PublicBerkeley, CA
University of Chicago4-year, PrivateChicago, IL

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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