Design Courses in Baltimore, MD with Degree Program Descriptions

There are more than a dozen schools within roughly ten miles of Baltimore, MD, that offer design degrees. Read an overview of three schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

Baltimore, MD, Design School

In this article, you'll learn about the design programs at a private art college and two public universities in Baltimore, MD. Along with the program summaries, you'll find an overview of the schools in table form, as well as a paragraph with information about two other educational options in the extended Baltimore area for design students.

  • The Maryland Institute College of Art offers certificate and degree programs in graphic design. Located just two miles from the downtown, the college ranked as the third-best fine arts school for graphic design in the country by U.S. News & World Report in 2019.
  • Also located two miles from the downtown, the University of Baltimore offers undergraduate and graduate programs in several design-related areas. Students at this school may be eligible for internships and graduate assistantships.
  • Towson University offers undergraduate and/or graduate programs in digital art, graphic design and interactive media design, as well as a student chapter of AIGA, a professional association for design. At 11 miles away, the university is the farthest away from downtown Baltimore.

Comparison of Schools

Aspiring designers can use this table to help them decide which of the three featured schools best meets their budgetary considerations and interest in attending a large or small school. Key statistics include those related to tuition and financial aid.

Maryland Institute College of Art University of Baltimore Towson University
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public 4-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 2,128* 5,565* 22,705*
Campus Setting Large city* Large city* Small city*
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $46,990* $8,824 in-state; $20,704 out-of-state* $9,694 in-state; $22,140 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 95%* 92%* 77%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 62%* 81%* 77%*
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 87% for full-time students* 68% for full-time students; 84% for part-time students* 85% for full-time students; 80% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (for students who began in Fall 2011) 72%* 33% (35% transfer-out rate)* 72% (20% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Maryland Institute College of Art

The Maryland Institute College of Art enrolls approximately 2,000 students. According to the U.S. News & World Report, the school's MFA graphic design program in visual arts was ranked #3 in the nation in 2019. The university has a student-faculty ratio of 8:1.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Courses in the graphic design program include sculptural forms, drawing, typography and advanced design. Students start their main courses during their sophomore year and have the opportunity to take advanced electives their senior year. During their last year of studies, students also attend a seminar which is worth three credits.

Master of Arts in Graphic Design

In preparation for an MFA degree, students may want to consider this MA program. A Design Theory and Practice seminar will be included as well as a workshop where a portfolio will be developed. This degree requires half the credits of an MFA in areas like typography as well as a lab course in transmedia type.

Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

This program requires the completion of nine credits in liberal arts electives and 24 credits in studio electives. Four design studio courses, three visiting designers courses and a visiting thesis critics course will be required. A thesis will also be completed.

University of Baltimore

The University of Baltimore offers some classes online and on weekends as well. Students can earn degrees in a variety of areas related to design through the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.

Bachelor of Arts in Digital Communication

Students in this program explore digital technologies and learn how they can apply digital media to business ventures. Courses include media literacy, a survey of digital communication and communication technologies. Program specializations include media design and production, digital theory and culture, public relations, speech and rhetoric, and media writing.

Bachelor of Science in Simulation and Digital Entertainment

This program teaches students about computer programming, game concepts and usability design. Students have the chance to work with professionals through dual capstone seminars. Program requirements include Internet technologies, interactive design programming, designing for humans and 3-D graphics.

Master of Arts in Integrated Design

Students can earn their master's degrees online and through weekend study. Areas of study included in the program include professional writing, interactive design, public relations and corporate publications. Graduate students also create a professional portfolio in a dual capstone experience. There's also a workshop in written communication.

Towson University

While attending Towson, students have the chance to go on studio tours and group trips to printing facilities. Students can intern at independent graphic design studios, advertising agencies and in graphic design departments.

Bachelor of Fine Arts of Art and Design - Graphic Design

The graphic design undergraduate program is focused on typography, critical thinking, design technologies and traditional print design. Courses include visual concepts, the history of modern design and illustration principles. Students also design a portfolio.

Bachelor of Fine Arts of Art and Design - Digital Art and Design

Graduates of the digital art and design program may be ready for entry-level employment in multimedia design, interactive design or animation. Courses include photo imaging, history of new media and interactive media. Focuses for the program are available for independent study and game design.

Interactive Media Design Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

Students can earn their post-baccalaureate certificate entirely online while receiving instruction in typography, interactive media and other related topics. The program consists of 12 units, and students can apply their credits to the master's degree programs in studio art and art education. Program graduates are prepared for careers in areas like website production, video media production and web development.

Other School Options

Students have several options for school located less than 40 miles from Baltimore. For example, design programs can be found at American University, which is located 35 miles from Baltimore; Gallaudet University, located 33 miles from Baltimore; and Anne Arundel Community College, which is 18 miles from Baltimore. The programs at Gallaudet University are targeted towards students who are hearing impaired.

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