Top Graphic Arts Schools and Degree Programs

Learn about top graphic arts, design and technology schools. Read about the programs offered at four highly ranked colleges and universities, as well as a number of other schools that provide training in graphic art, design and technology.

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Undergraduate graphic arts programs can lead to an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Graphic Arts Technology or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Graphic Arts. Students interested in studying website or packaging design can also obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Design.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Advertising and Commercial Design
  • Commercial Photography
  • Fashion Design
  • General Visual Communications Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration and Drawing
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design and Decorating

School Information

For 2016, U.S. News & World Report and Forbes ranked the best schools in the country, and some of them offer graphic arts programs. At the 2-year and 4-year schools highlighted below, relevant programs are available.

The University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN

School Highlight: Ranked #13 among America's Top Colleges

The University of Notre Dame (UND) is an independent, Catholic university that ranked 13th on the Forbes list of 'America's Top Colleges' for 2016. UND's Art, History and Design Department offers a BFA in Graphic Design. Students take courses in website design and painting, as well as math, history and philosophy. Graduates may pursue careers in print production and architecture. UND also offers a MFA in Graphic Design. Students in this program participate in an MFA thesis show at the O'Shaughnessey Gallery of the Snite Museum of Art.

Boston University in Boston, MA

School Highlight: The school was ranked #39 on the U.S. News & World Report list of top national universities in 2017.

Boston University (BU) ranked #39 on the U.S. News and World Report list of best national universities for 2017. BU's College of Fine Arts offers a BFA in Graphic Design. Students in this program can study printmaking, graphic imagery and photography. Courses are offered in 3-D graphics for students who wish to pursue careers in package design.

BU also offers a 5-year combined BFA/Master of Arts (M.A.) in Studio Teaching. This program is designed for students who wish to become K-12 art educators. Course topics can include ceramics, photography and child development.

Ball State University in Muncie, IN

School Highlight: Ranked #16 Best Online MBA Programs

Ball State University (BSU), a research-based school with top-notch facilities, ranked #93 on U.S. News and World Report's list of top public schools in 2017 and #12 on its list of online MBA programs in 2017. BSU's Department of Technology offers a B.S. in Graphic Arts Management, which prepares students for careers in the printing industry. Through hands-on training, students learn the basics of commercial printing and publishing while pursuing a minor in Business Administration. The graphic arts curriculum includes coursework in accounting, advertising and marketing.

Austin Community College in Austin, TX

School Highlight: This institution provides higher education and training in eight central Texas counties.

At Austin Community College, students can earn an Associate of Applied Science or a certificate in Graphic Arts Technology. The AAS program typically lasts for two years and includes general education as well as studies in printing and publishing. Students also gain familiarity with the technology commonly used in the industry, and they are prepared for entry-level jobs upon graduation. Certificates provide similar coursework, but without any general education requirements.

Top Graphic Arts, Design and Technology Schools

Here are some more schools that offer relevant education in the field:

  • Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY, is part of the 64-campus State University of New York System (SUNY).
  • The graphic arts technology program at Rock Valley College in Rockford, IL, focuses on digital production techniques.
  • Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis, TN, offers programs in both graphic arts production and interactive media production.
  • Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, MO, offers a program in digital photography.
  • State University of New York (SUNY) Orange in Middletown, NY has a design arts program that prepares graduates in multiple aspects of visual communications and graphic design.
  • Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee, FL, offers online and self-paced classes.
  • Tulsa Community College in Tulsa, OK, is Oklahoma's largest multi-campus community college.
  • The College of Dupage in Glen Ellyn, IL ranked #71 on Community College Week Top 100 Associate Degree Producers for 2011.
  • The California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA, affords students the opportunity to specialize in motion graphics.

Students who are interested in graphic arts can find both undergraduate and graduate-level study options in the field at highly ranked national universities and at community colleges around the country.

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