What Are the Best Graphic Communications Schools?

Read about three top-ranked schools with programs in graphic communications, and review the degree options they offer in this field. Learn about important considerations for choosing a school with a strong graphic communications program. Schools offering Communication Design & Interactive Media degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Graphic Communications School?

You might want to enroll in a school that meets the accreditation standards of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, like those below. Perhaps you're interested in national and international rankings. You'll probably want a school that provides excellent studio facilities and opportunities to showcase your work. Schools that provide real-world experiences through a co-op program or a funded research center can prepare you to obtain an actual job upon graduation. Travel abroad opportunities might expose you to intercultural aesthetics and trends. Here are some schools you could consider.

What Are Three Top Graphic Communications Schools?

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA

CMU was 91st globally and 43rd among U.S. universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities for 2018 (www.shanghairanking.com). U.S. News & World Report rated it fifth for graphic design in 2016 (www.usnews.com). You could major in communication design in the university's School of Design, where you'll be trained in both static and interactive methodologies. You'll have your own workspace and a shared studio for group work. You'll also have access to a 3-D lab, the John Reese Memorial Electronic Studio for creative digital work, photography and darkroom studios, a letterpress and bookbinding lab and the Robert Smillie Digital Imaging Lab. Your graduate work can be promoted in the school's gallery or online. Here are your degree options:

  • Bachelor of Design - Communications, Products or Environments
  • Master of Design
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Transition Design

University of Cincinnati in OH

UC, a public university, offers an undergraduate graphic communication program in the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP). Students will be responsible for a year of foundation studies, followed by a formal portfolio presentation with feedback from a panel. The program also encourages field and internship experience and co-operative programs. Local art galleries might also be available to students. These degrees are offered.

  • Bachelor of Science in Design - Communication Design
  • Master of Design

Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond

This public university ranked seventh for graduate programs in graphic design in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 evaluation. The Department of Graphic Design offers bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts. As a student in the department, you'd be eligible to apply for a Dean's International Study Grant or an Undergraduate Research Grant. You might enjoy contemporary art exhibitions at the Anderson Gallery. The School of the Arts Visual Resource Center at the Cabell Library offers research resources. Through VCU's daVinci Center for Innovation, you might work on interdisciplinary team addressing a product development design problem. These degrees are offered:

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

Other Graphic Communications Schools

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Undergrad In-State Tuition*
Arizona State University - Polytechnic4-year, PublicMesa, AZ$10,000
Grand View University4-year, PrivateDes Moines, IA$28,000
Bluefield College4-year, PrivateBluefield, VA$26,000
Siena Heights University4-year, PrivateAdrian, MI$27,000
University of North Dakota4-year, PublicGrand Forks, ND$9,000
Illinois State University4-year, PublicNormal, IL$14,500
Lewis-Clark State College4-year, PublicLewiston, ID$7,000
Carroll University4-year, PrivateWaukesha, WI$32,000
Murray State University4-year, PublicMurray, KY$9,000
California State University-Los Angeles4-year, PublicLos Angeles, CA$7,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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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