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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.

Graphic Design

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/Desktop Publishing
ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
  • 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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  • Financial Aid
Web Design & Application Development Certificate
  • Guarantees flat-rate tuition for students who stay continuously enrolled.
  • Offers a four-day class schedule, leaving Fridays open.
  • Founding member of the Accrediting Council for Independent Schools and Colleges (ACICS) in 1912.
  • Career assistance services are provided to all students and graduates for life.
  • Has programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
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  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
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  • Transferable Credits
Graphic Design (AS)
  • 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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Graphic Design Associates - Web and Interactive Design Specialization
  • Founded in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1900, with over 40 diverse online degree programs.
  • Offers a comprehensive student services team (SUPPORT+) composed of financial aid advisors, academic tutors, career service advisors, and more.
  • Operates as a Public Benefit Corporation school, that puts students first and maintains a commitment to the communities they serve.
  • Features a DreamReal program, that provides students with career guidance from enrollment to graduation, helps them to make connections in their community, and more.
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BS - Graphics Multimedia and Web Design
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Serving as America’s technical career education specialists for 75 years.
  • Offers accelerated associate degree programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months, and bachelor degree programs in as little as 3 years.
  • Provides associate, bachelor, master, and online degree programs in nearly 40 technical and business management skills programs.
  • Chooses its faculty members for their talent, expertise, and practical experience.
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  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
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  • Transferable Credits