10 Best Graphic Design Schools in the World

November 14, 2022
By AdmissionSight

10 Best Graphic Design Schools in the World

The graphics on books, the navigation of websites, halftime ads, and logos on business cards are all examples of how graphic designers are present in practically everything we view, watch, or read. The visual wizards who ensure that every concert poster and the app user interface have an effect and convey the intended message are graphic designers. So, if you want to pursue this career, enrolling in one of the best graphic design schools in the world will provide you with a competitive edge.

What is graphic design?

First things first, what is graphic design? Graphic design conveys ideas or messages visually, as described by the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) as “the art and practice of designing and expressing ideas and experiences with visual and verbal material.” These images might be as straightforward as a company logo or as intricate as website page designs.

When asked to define graphic design, designer Alexandros Clufetos responds, “Graphic design takes graphical and textual aspects and applies them into numerous sorts of media.” “It facilitates consumer-producer interaction. The initiative, event, campaign, or product’s message is communicated through it.

Among other things, graphic design can be used by enterprises to brand themselves, by websites to present complex information understandably, and by businesses to advertise and sell their products.

It’s also critical to keep in mind that, even though many graphic design projects serve business objectives like creating logos and commercials, graphic design is also employed in other settings and produced merely for aesthetic expression.

What are the best graphic design schools?

You’ll need a solid portfolio of work to offer prospective employers if you want to work as a professional graphic designer, which you might theoretically do on your own or by earning an associate degree. Consider enrolling in one of these top graphic design colleges if you want a fully developed college experience, a surefire good portfolio, and ready-made industry connections.

In order to provide an answer to the question “what are the best graphic design schools,” we compiled a list for your reference.

10 Best Graphic Design Schools in the World

1. Royal College of Art

Location: UK, London

Type of degree: MA

QS rating: 99.6

The Royal College of Art is at the top of this year’s ranking of the world’s top design universities (RCA). The school only provides postgraduate programs; thus, it appeals to people who are serious about moving up in their careers. The Master of Arts in visual communication degree at RCA takes pride in having a strong graphic design component.

Front view of Royal College of Art - one of the best graphic design schools

Students participate in practical workshops throughout the course of the two years and work with experienced designers.

This is a fantastic option for graphic designers with more experience who want to expand their networks and learn more knowledge.

2. London University of the Arts

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

Type of degree: BA, MA

QS rating: 94.0

The University of the Arts London (UAL), one of the most well-known art institutions in the world, is no surprise given that it is home to 18,000 students from more than 130 countries and offers six distinct colleges.

Strategic connections between UAL and other organizations serve to assure the employability of their graduates. UAL is known for emphasizing the functional aspects of art. Many of its alumni have been nominated for — and even won — the prestigious Turner Prize, which only the greatest and brightest British artists are recognized for, despite its concentration on the practical applications of art.

3. The New School

Location: United States, New York City

Type of degree: MFA or BFA

QS rating: 92.8

The Parsons School of Design, Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School for Social Research, College of Performing Arts, and Schools of Public Engagement are all part of The New School, a comprehensive institution.

The Communication Design BFA is one of 126 undergraduate degree and diploma programs offered at the renowned Parsons School of Design. Studies in information design, branding, motion graphics, type design, and web design are all included in the BFA degree.

Fashion designer Alexander Wang, fashion photographer Steven Meisel, and fashion designer and director Thomas Ford are notable alumni.

4. Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, Rhode Island, US

Type of degree: MFA or BFA

QS rating: 89.0

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), one of the oldest and best graphic design schools in the US, was founded in 1877 and has a proud and lengthy artistic heritage.

Facade of Rhode Island College of Design - the 4th best graphic design schools in the world

RISD is well-known for its fine arts curriculum in addition to its noteworthy alumni, which include the actors James Franco and Seth MacFarlane. The graphic design program at RISD is one of their most well-liked and significant undergraduate departments, with about 165 students enrolled in the course. The school’s art museum and year-round rotating exhibits are available to students who are lucky enough to be accepted.

With a mere 19% acceptance rate, competition is tough, so be ready to present your best.

5. Politecnico di Milano

Location: Milan, Italy

Type of degree: BSc, MSc

QS rating: 84.0

One of the most esteemed universities in Italy is without a doubt Politecnico di Milano, which has seven campuses scattered throughout the city.

Their communication design curriculum is comparable to many graphic design schools in the US in that it incorporates elements of other fields, including typography and web design. The Politecnico di Milano’s courses, however, are completed in three rather than four years. Laurea degrees, which are the Italian equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in science, are also awarded to graduates because it’s a technical school, which is another benefit.

6. Aalto University

Location: Espoo, Finland

Type of degree: BA, MA

QS rating: 83.9

Due to its unique but effective teaching methods, Aalto University has been able to advance since its founding in 2010. Their design curriculum, which blends aspects of philosophy, art, and innovation, is particularly well recognized. Professors talk about the cultural and political context in which designs are created in addition to the visual aspects of design.

Being able to attend for free makes this public research university especially appealing to people of the EU and EEA. The good news is that students who are not citizens of the EU or EEA can apply for one of the lucrative, merit-based scholarship programs, in which the institution will pay either 50% or 100% of the tuition.

7. Pratt Institute

Location: United States, New York City

Type of degree: MFA or BFA

QS rating: 83.4

The Pratt Institute is among one of the best graphic design schools in the US. It is most recognized for its commitment to “poetic pragmatism,” or the notion that art and practicality can and should coexist. They not only support the value of creativity, but they also see it as an essential component of the contemporary professional landscape for artists.

The majority of Pratt’s undergraduate programs are created to be interdisciplinary for just this reason. Students who concentrate on Communications Design, for instance, have the option of concentrating on either graphic design, illustration, or advertising.

8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Type of degree: BSc

QS rating: 83.3

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which is renowned for turning out the best engineers, also offers one of the top art programs in the world, not just in the US. They have created a design program that is ideal for those who possess both scientific and artistic talent by fusing their technical competence with art.

Aerial view of MIT building - the 8th best graphic design schools in the world

The acceptance rate at MIT, one of the top technological universities in the US, is shockingly low at 3.96% (for students applying to the Class of 2026), and tuition is expensive. The good news is that you may always apply for merit-based scholarships, which are fully need-blind if you are naturally talented.

9. Design Academy Eindhoven

Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands

Type of degree: BA, MA

QS rating: 81.6

Design Academy Eindhoven (DAE), a multidisciplinary school for art, design, and architecture, is widely considered one of the top design institutions in the world. While the master’s programs are separate, bachelor’s students are permitted to switch between departments even though DAE teaches at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The school assists students in locating intriguing internships and job placements by creating what is known as the DAE community, which is made up of teachers, alumni, advisors, and business professionals. DAE graduates receive priceless experience and make crucial connections through this hands-on involvement in real-world initiatives, establishing the groundwork for a rewarding future.

10. School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Type of degree: MFA or BFA

QS rating: 81.6

It’s no surprise that the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is on the list of best graphic design schools, which is home to some of the most well-known painters in the world. It is still regarded as a top choice among students. It also helps to have an impressive alumni list, which includes successful businessman Walt Disney, renowned artist Georgia O’Keeffe, and best-selling novelist David Sedaris.

One of the top design programs in the US is consistently SAIC. The institution is known for having one of the most effective curricula for turning out marketable graduates because it has a focus on helping students enhance their critical and analytical thinking abilities.

Is a graphic design degree worth it?

Is a graphic design degree worth it? It’s not necessarily necessary to acquire a degree to start a successful career in graphic design. But obtaining a degree is the only surefire way to get a job in several fields of graphic design.

Here are some of the most significant benefits and drawbacks of earning a degree in graphic design to assist you in making the best choice.

1. The pay that degree-holding designers receive is one obvious benefit.

One of the highest-paying college majors is graphic design, which also makes it easier to land coveted positions at reputable design firms and raises one’s earning potential.

You can certainly do it without a degree, but it will be far more difficult to find such jobs.

2. You gain credibility in the design industry by having a degree.

Especially if it’s a graphic design degree that attests to your high level of proficiency in a certain field.

Your job will benefit greatly from a degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art or Rhode Island School of Design.

3. Your degree can be earned in a variety of ways.

Consider traditional academic institutions like Sessions College and the Art Institutes as well as online learning opportunities. It is less expensive and far more convenient to take a graphic design course from the convenience of your home.

A male student standing in a brightly lit hallway of a graphic design school reading through a silver-colored tablet

So, is it wise to spend money on a graphic design degree?

The answer is unquestionable yes if you’re serious about pursuing a career in graphic design!

A graphic design degree demonstrates your knowledge while also assisting in the development of a wide range of design abilities.

A degree in graphic design may be time-consuming and expensive, but it will be your ticket to this exciting career if you want to work for prestigious organizations and secure some seriously intriguing projects that everyone talks about.

Do you need additional assistance? AdmissionSight can assist you in putting your best foot forward when applying to the best graphic design schools. We have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and see what we can offer to make sure that you are well-prepared and knowledgeable enough to enter your choice of school.


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