Top 10 Schools for Visual Communication

Jul 18, 2018

Learn about schools where you can earn a visual communication degree. Get details about school rankings, program options, and other points of distinction.

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School Overviews

Interdisciplinary visual communications programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can earn degrees specifically in visual communication or related degrees in graphic design, graphic communication, or design. Visual communication expresses ideas through design and visual aids and is used in advertising, marketing, and art. Four good schools with programs in this field include Baruch College, the University of Delaware, the University of Miami, and California Institute of the Arts - each of which was nationally or regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

Baruch College

School highlight: Baruch College in New York, NY, is part of the City University of New York system, and it boasts one of the most ethnically diverse student bodies in the United States.

A visual or graphic communication program is offered as a specialization in Baruch's business communication major. Students take a combination of business and graphic design classes, including marketing communications, graphic communications, and typography. The school was ranked #5 among top public regional universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

University of Delaware

School highlight: The University of Delaware (or UD) in Newark is a research university with a distinguished history. The university's first class included three signers of the Declaration of Independence and one signer of the U.S. Constitution.

UD offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications degree program that emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning. Students take courses in graphic design, communication, and typography. The school was ranked #30 among all public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

University of Miami

School highlight: The University of Miami is located in Coral Gables, FL, and its undergraduate degree program in visual journalism emphasizes the importance of visual storytelling in the global community.

Students have the opportunity to take courses in a wide variety of subjects, including communication ethics, multimedia design, and interactive storytelling. Alumni of the visual journalism program include award-winning journalists working with major news organizations. Among all national universities, U.S. News & World Report ranked this school #44 for 2017.

California Institute of the Arts

School highlight: The School of Art at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, offers BFA and MFA programs in graphic design and photography and media, as well as an MFA in art and technology.

Other programs that are relevant for students interested in visual communications are offered through the School of Film/Video. BFA and MFA programs are available in film and video as well as experimental animation, and students can also earn a BFA in character animation. As of 2017, California Institute of the Arts was tied for #9 on the U.S. News & World Report list of best fine arts MFA programs.

Top Visual Communication Schools

Here are some more schools with relevant visual communications programs:

School Name Location Distinction
Northeastern University Boston, MA Offers an intensive, studio-based program
Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus, OH Offers computer-based, interactive design options
Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, IN Places an emphasis on typography and image generation
University of California-Davis Davis, CA Home to the Design Museum, and undergraduate design majors have opportunities to help develop and prepare exhibits
University of Kansas Lawrence, KS Students create a portfolio of their work
The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX Design facilities include computer labs, a digital fabrication lab, a publication studio with presses and wood and metal type, and a production lab

Within the broad field of visual communications, students can find a variety of relevant undergraduate and graduate programs which generally integrate studies in media and the arts.

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