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Top 10 Graphic Design Scools & Colleges in 2012

Graphic designers combine creative skills and commercial ideals to produce enjoyable, communicative visual products. Top graphic design schools & colleges teach their students techniques and methods that help them create high-quality professional work. Discover the numerous types of graphic design programs to study before choosing your dream school.

Both small arts colleges and large universities may have a top graphic design program. These 10 top graphic design schools, ranked according to data from U.S. News and World Report, can help young graphic designers find a place in the competitive field of visual design.

  1. Rhode Island School of Design ranks No. 2 in fine arts and offers a number of specialities, including ceramics, industrial design, and multimedia/visual communications.
  2. Yale University School of Art instructs graduate students in graphic design, offers other art programs for undergraduates, and takes the top spot for its Master of Fine Arts program. Its specialities include graphic design/ painting/drawing, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.
  3. Maryland Institute College of Art garners high ranks for its graphic design, painting/drawing, and sculpture programs and ranks No. 7 in fine arts.
  4. Carnegie Mellon University's College of Fine Arts is home to a top-ranked multimedia/visual communications program and an industrial design program ranked in the top 3.
  5. Virginia Commonwealth University ranks No. 1 for its sculpture program and No. 4 in fine arts and also receives kudos for its graphic design and painting/drawing programs.
  6. Cranbrook Academy of Art bases its program on interpretive design methodology and devotes the majority of its students' schedules to in-studio time. Its ceramics and industrial design programs rank in the top 5.
  7. Art Center College of Design emphasizes Web design and motion graphics alongside traditional graphic design and ranks No. 2 for its industrial design program.
  8. California Institute of the Arts teaches graphic design through small, intimate classes based on debate and discussion and ranks No. 2 in multimedia/visual communications and No. 4 for its photography program.
  9. School of Visual Arts in New York focuses on problem solving in visual communication to help students be better prepared for the professional world. Its photography, industrial design, graphic design, and multimedia/visual communications programs all rank in the top 10.
  10. Parsons The New School For Design is a comprehensive design college that offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in graphic design. Its graphic design program ranks No. 10 in the list.

Of course, no research or ranking of top graphic design schools can be considered definitive above all others. These numbers represent the top graphic design colleges based U.S. News and World Report 2012 grad school rankings and do not reflect the personal opinions of Graphicdesignbasics.com or its contributors.


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Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
  • Online Courses
Graphic & Web Design (BFA)
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
  • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
  • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
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Graphic Arts (AAS)
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
  • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
  • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
  • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).


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Master of Fine Arts: Graphic Design
  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
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  • Accredited
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Graphic Design/Desktop Publishing
ABCO Technology , Inglewood
  • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
  • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
  • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
  • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
  • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
  • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
  • Military friendly school.
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  • Flexible Scheduling
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