Graphic Design Colleges in New York City with Degree Overviews

Feb 14, 2019

The New York City region has several schools that offer graphic design programs, including those located within 15 miles of the downtown area. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools to make an informed education decision.

New York City Schools with Graphic Design Programs

Students interested in pursuing graphic design programs in New York City have a wide range of options available, including those available at two private and one public university. Find out what the three schools have to offer in terms of programs options, and use the accompanying table to compare tuition rates and other essential factors. A paragraph listing some of the area's other school options can be found at the end of the article.

  • The New School offers a variety of design programs, including an Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design. Located a half-mile from the downtown in Greenwich Village, The New School's programs utilize New York City's resources to provide an education that combines art, design, technology and culture.
  • CUNY Queens College in Flushing, located about 12 miles from Manhattan's downtown, offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and a minor in graphic design. This school is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) and is home to a reputable art museum and gallery.
  • At St. John's University - New York, students can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design through the school's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This school has three campuses throughout New York City and offers graphic design courses at its Queens location, which is about 11 miles from downtown New York City

Comparison of Schools

Aspiring graphic designers can use the following table to compare undergraduate tuition rates and find out how many first-year students receive financial aid. Additional statistics provide a snapshot of the number of students who are accepted, return after their first-year and graduate in a timely manner.

The New School CUNY Queens College St. John's University - New York
School Type Four-year; private not-for-profit Four-year; public Four-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 10,389* 19,866* 21,340*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $47,276* $7,138 in-state; $14,528 out-of-state* $40,520*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 86%* 72%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 62%* 43%* 68%*
Retention Rate (Fall 2016 to Fall 2017) 81% for full-time students; 80% for part-time students* 84% for full-time students; 71% for part-time students* 83% for full-time students; 33% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (students beginning in Fall 2011) 67%* 54%* 58%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

The New School

The New School at Parsons is home to a variety of design programs. The School of Art, Media and Technology allows students studying design to collaborate with those studying fine arts, become familiar with industry technology and take advantage of New York City's cultural and artistic offerings.

Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Design

The Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Design program requires 65 credits of coursework. Students with 31 credits of undergraduate transfer credits can complete the institution's fast-track option, which can be finished in two semesters. Courses cover typography, layout, color theory, drawing and graphic design history. Studio electives and a portfolio development course are also included.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Communication Design program teaches students to persuade audiences using publication and Web design, advertising, type and motion graphics. The program begins with core studio and lab courses in image, typography and interaction. Students take additional courses in the history of graphic design, creative computing and advanced typography. BFA students must also complete studio electives and compose a senior thesis.

CUNY Queens College

Located in Flushing within the borough of Queens, CUNY Queens College offers an array of art and design degree programs. Within the art division, students can complete a major and minor in graphic design, along with art, studio art, art history and art education.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design

The BFA in Design program includes a variety of art history and elective courses, in addition to the classes required for the major. Required design courses cover digital animation, typography, web design and drawing. A senior portfolio course and internship are also included. Elective courses include imagemaking, design thinking, imagery and motion graphics.

Minor in Graphic Design

At Queens College, students can complete a 21-credit minor in graphic design. Requirements include Photoshop basics, Adobe Flash, video editing, illustration and creative coding. Students must choose an additional five elective courses. Options include typography, publication design, motion graphics and information design.

St. John's University - New York

St. John's University offers Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in graphic design, fine arts, photography and illustration through the fine arts department. The graphic design program includes theoretical, studio and technical courses.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

The 132-credit graphic design program includes 84 credits of major coursework. Classes include color theory, Web design, typography, graphic production and foundation design. Students must also take courses in art history and complete 12 credits in design electives that may include motion graphics, photography or illustration. An internship or creative thesis and a senior portfolio class are required for graduation.

Other School Options

The Fashion Institute of Technology, located near downtown, provides a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. Brooklyn's Pratt Institute is located 4.3 miles from downtown New York City and offers an Associate of Occupational Studies in Graphic Design or Illustration, an Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design/Illustration and a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Communication Design. Saint Thomas Aquinas College offers a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. This school is located around 25 miles outside of New York City.

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