The Best Training for
Graphic Design in 2021

Graphic design is a career that combines technology with artistic skills. This profession involves creating visual designs to communicate a message or feeling. Graphic design is used in most company’s branding operations, and it’s a crucial skill set to learn if you want to become a web designer.

If you’re interested in becoming a graphic designer in 2021, check out this article. We will show you the best graphic design schools and programs. You will learn about what each institution offers so you can decide which one works best for you.

Rundown: The Top 15 Software Engineering Programs in 2021

The following list will show you general information about each school, such as pricing, certifications offered, and locations. The tuition information was taken from each school’s website.

School State Programs and Tuition Certifications
ArtCenter College of Design CA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$23,667 per term
None
Brigham Young University UT Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$3,060 per semester (Latter-Day Saint)
$6,120 per semester (non-Latter-Day Saint)
None
California Institute of the Arts CA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$52,850 per year
None
Kansas City Art Institute MO Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$39,975 per year
None
Maryland Institute College of Art MD Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$50,160 per year
None
Minneapolis College of
Art and Design
MN Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$40,396 per year
None
Rhode Island School of Design RI Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$55,220 per year
None
School of Visual Arts NY Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$22,500 per semester
None
University of Southern California CA Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design
$28,628 per semester
None
Washington University in St. Louis MO Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design
$57,750 per year
None
how-to-pick-the-best-graphic-design-school-for-you

How to Pick the Best Graphic Design School for You

Before choosing a program, you should evaluate each option based on the school’s outcomes, tuition cost, and curriculum. This way, you’ll find a program that suits your expectations and needs.

Tuition and Fees

The cost of education is a crucial factor when it comes to deciding where to study. According to the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), the average undergraduate tuition cost is $13,360 per year. You must consult each potential school and program to evaluate what’s best for you.

Curriculum

The curriculum is another factor to consider when it comes to choosing a graphic design program. You should make sure the subjects covered by the program are up-to-date with the latest industry trends. You can also decide which courses interest you the most and choose based on what each school offers.

Student Outcomes

Most schools publish their graduate outcomes on a yearly basis. You should check those reports to see what the school can offer you. High graduation and employment rates are a great sign of success. Some schools offer career services to help you find a job and ace your interview.

Financing Options

Another factor you should consider is whether the school has different financing options. Most students don’t have enough money to pay tuition upfront, so the school must have flexible financing options. You can check to see if your school offers any scholarships or grants that you can use.

Online Courses

Maybe you’ve found the best school for you, but you don’t want to move out of town. If this is the situation, you should browse online colleges or schools with online options. Not every program is offered online, so you should make sure you can take online courses if possible. Graphic design courses can mostly be completed online.

Schedule

Most undergraduate programs have a full-time schedule, which is not compatible with having a day job or other responsibilities. However, some of them offer different plans like part-time or self-paced. You should find the program that suits your current lifestyle.

The Best Graphic Design Schools of 2021

Below is a detailed rundown of the best graphic design programs. These schools were selected based on their graduation outcomes, tuition costs, and curriculum.

ArtCenter College of Design

Programs

ArtCenter College of Design

Accreditation

WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Online Options

N/A

The ArtCenter College of Design’s graphic design program is focused on the latest trends in the industry. You will learn about 3D motion, packaging design, and digital magazine design. This program includes career services to help you build your resume and get ready for a job. This design school is one of the best in the industry.

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum

Advertising

Branding

Entrepreneurship

California Institute of the Arts

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Accreditation

WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Online Options

N/A

The California Insitute of the Arts, also called CalArts, is a Los Angeles-based institution that offers art degrees for undergraduates. This school offers a full-time graphic design program that covers topics like web design, branding, and motion design. Graphic design students have access to studio art labs and career services throughout the program.

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum

Web and interface design

Motion graphics

Identity and type design

Kansas City Art Institute

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission (HLC), National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Online Options

N/A

The Kansas City Art Institute is a private and independent institution. This school is known for its fine arts degrees in many liberal arts and science subjects, including graphic design, filmmaking, and art. The major in graphic design goes through fundamental topics in design software, interactive design, drawing, and painting.

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum

Branding

Design software

Social innovation inquiry

Maryland Institute College of Art

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Accreditation

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Online Options

N/A

The Maryland Institute College of Art is a Baltimore-based private university. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design at MICA teaches you the most fundamental elements of graphic design such as drawing, cartography, prototyping, and typography. You can learn about graphic design in an interdisciplinary environment.

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum

Typography

Drawing

Prototyping

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Accreditation

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)

Online Options

Hybrid options available

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is a private art institution. This school offers programs in graphic design, animation, photography, and more. The graphic design program dives into up-to-date design techniques. The BFA also includes an internship program to help you get experience in the field.

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum

Computational design fundamentals

Typography

Capstone project

Rhode Island School of Design

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)

Online Options

N/A

The Rhode Island School of Design was founded in 1877. Today, RISD is the best graphic design school in the country, according to US News. The graphic design degree gives you access to the school’s labs and community centers. You will learn about visual design fundamentals like typography, drawing, and color psychology.

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum

Color and surface

Drawing

Theory and history of art and design

School of Visual Arts

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design

Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Online Options

Fully online in 2021-22

The School of Visual Arts is one of the leading design institutions in the United States. This school offers design courses in UX/UI design, graphic design, and web design. This BFA in Graphic Design includes an internship program where you can put your skills into practice. This school is known for its creative focus and high-quality curriculum.

BFA in Graphic Design Curriculum

Storytelling

Advertising design

Editorial design

University of Southern California

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design

Accreditation

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

Online Options

N/A

The University of Southern California was founded in 1880, and it now has over 45,500 enrolled students. This university has a design school called USC Roski. The BFA program for graphic designers covers topics like marketing, advertising, and entrepreneurship. You will also learn about 2D and 3D design and other career fundamentals.

BFA in Design Curriculum

Web design

Typography

Advertising design

Washington University in St. Louis

Programs

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design

Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Online Options

N/A

Washington University in St. Louis has a design department called Sam Fox School that offers graphic design training. The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design is an intensive design program that will teach you technical and creative skills. You can also enter a joint MFA program if you want to fast-track your graphic design master’s degree.

BFA in Communication Design Curriculum

Illustration

Narrative design

Interaction design

How Much Can You Earn as a Graphic Designer?

How Much Can You Earn as a Graphic Designer?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average graphic designer salary is $53,380. However, the lowest-paid graphic designers earn less than $31,720, and the highest-paid design professionals earn $93,440 and above. It will depend on the type of company you work for and your skills.

The Highest-Paying Graphic Design Roles

Role Required Education Approx. Average Salary
User Experience Director Master’s degree $143,220
Creative Director Bachelor’s degree $97,270
Interactive Art Director Bachelor’s degree $82,289
Creative Services Manager Bachelor’s degree $74,652
Art Director Bachelor’s degree $69,158

Why You Should Be a Graphic Designer in 2021

You should become a graphic designer if you’re passionate about visual arts, creative design, and digital imagery. This career requires both technical and artistic skills, and it can be very rewarding depending on which sector you work in. You can also keep studying until you qualify for a higher-level position as a creative designer or art director.

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