Best Masters in Graphic Design Programs in 2020 - Best Value Schools

Best Masters in Graphic Design Programs in 2020

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

Graphic design is the professional art process that requires the implementation of many fine art skills in combination with one’s creativity. Therefore, a graphic designer’s role is central to the performance of a final product as it is brought to market. Graphic design is used fundamentally in most industries as it is used to illustrate textbooks or create branding & advertising, among many other purposes. The specialized field of graphic design includes illustrations, typography, visual art, and the creative posture required to combine these aspects to create a visually appealing final product. Students enrolled in a Masters in Graphic Design degree program or a Master in Graphic Design online program explore the many aspects of the graphic design process within the graphic design industry and beyond. This would include the exploration of various web & art, packaging, and logos & branding, among other graphic design elements. Additionally, a Masters in Graphic Design degree program provides students with hands-on learning experiences as they have the opportunity to participate in the many aspects of the graphic design program throughout their tenure at school. As such, a Masters in Graphic Design degree delivers degree candidates the opportunities to work with the important and essential practical skills required to navigate a graphic design career successfully. Career options for graphic designers include, in part, –

  • A flash designer.
  • A web designer.
  • A layout artist.
  • A photoshop artist.
  • A creative director.
  • Brand identifier, to name a few.

Fortunately, there are many quality Masters in Graphic Design programs from which to choose, many of which are available entirely online. If you have an eye for creative detail, a masters in graphic design online or on-campus degree may be the perfect degree and career for you.

Rank School Location
1Ohio UniversityAthens, Ohio
2Cranbrook Academy of ArtBloomfield Hills, Michigan
3Pratt InstituteNew York City, New York
4The New School (Parsons)New York City, New York
5Yale UniversityNew Haven, Connecticut

Masters in Graphic Design On-Campus

1

Ohio University

  • Athens, Ohio
  • Graduation Rate: 62%

Located in Athens, Ohio, Ohio University’s School of Design and Art offers a three-year MFA degree that allows students better to understand graphic design’s cross-cultural role in society. This cross-disciplinary masters in graphic design from Ohio University also offers students the opportunity to contribute to the Fine Art’s College Create-space.Degree candidates explore graphic design topics in image/typography and bookmaking, pedagogy and graphic design thinking, and interactive animation/technology and coding, among others.

Tuition Fees: $ 4,722 per Semester (In-state), $8,718 per Semester (Out of State Resident)
Credit Units Required : 60 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 26,367
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
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2

Cranbrook Academy of Art

  • Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the Cranbrook Academy of Art is a nationally ranked institution of higher education that is exclusively dedicated to graduate degree education options in the fields of architecture, design, and art. Students enrolled in Cranbrook’s masters in graphic design program (MFA) can opt for one of eleven academic tracks that include print media, sculpture, painting, photography, 2D, 3D, 4D Design, ceramics, metalsmithing, and painting.

Tuition Fees: $ 19,000 per Semester
Credit Units Required: 60 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 130
The Student to Faculty Ratio: varies and depends on the specialty.
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3

Pratt Institute

  • New York City, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 70%

Pratt Institute’s School of Design offers a two-year, in-residence Master of Fine Arts in Communications Design that allows degree candidates to explore the many ways to communicate meaningful messaging by developing compelling experiences for each user of each product. Pratt Institute’s masters in graphic design program prepares graduates for the world of professional graphic design by learning about digital/print media, branding, typography, and interactive design, to name a few.

Tuition Fees: $ 22,164 Per Semester
Credit Units Required: 60 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 5,069
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
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4

The New School (Parsons)

  • New York City, New York

The New School’s Parson School of Design is located in lower Manhattan. The New School offers a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Communication Design that allows students to explore and learn competence and confidence in industry technologies that include JavaScript, CSS, and HTML through a cooperative team cohort. Students graduate from the New School’s masters in graphic design program in only twelve months. This program is considered one of the United States’ best higher learning institutions.

Tuition Fees: $ 21,720 per Semester
Credit Units Required: 30 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 10,432 for the News School, approx. 5,100 students in Parsons SOD
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
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5

Yale University

  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • Graduation Rate: 94%

Yale University’s Norfolk School of Art offers a two-year degree in Masters in Graphic Design (Master of Fine Arts (MFA)) that offers students a state-of-the-art digital lab facility while studying for a graphic design degree from this prestigious Ivy League university. Yale’s School of Art, situated in New Haven, Connecticut, was founded in 1948, nearly 250 years after Yale University was established in 1701.

Tuition Fees: $ 22,466 per Semester
Credit Units Required: 60 Total Credit Units, with 42 Credit Units in Concentration
Student Enrollment: 13,609
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 6 to 1
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6

Carnegie Mellon University

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 90%

The School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), located in Pittsburgh, PA, offers a Master of Design degree that permits students to explore a research-based approach to professional design and social innovation. CMU’s masters in graphic design offers degree candidates three academic tracks – Transition Design, Design for Service, and Social Innovation Design. Students explore these topics, research-based design for interactive work, theory/practice of communications in design, and advanced concepts in service design, to name a few.

Tuition Fees: $ 22,518 per Semester
Credit Units Required: 195 quarter units.
Student Enrollment: 14,180
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 5 to 1
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7

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

  • Baltimore, Maryland
  • Graduation Rate: 74%

Founded in 1826, the Maryland Institute College of Art is located in Baltimore, Maryland, offers an interdisciplinary degree program in graphic design with its MFA degree. Students enrolled in MICA’s masters in graphic design program explore a variety of relevant topics in research and design within MICA’s advanced lab facilities. Coursework for MICA’s graduate degree in graphic design includes studio classes in graphic design, visual identity in branding, interactive media, plus a thesis project, to name a few.

Tuition Fees: $ 24,255 per Semester
Credit Units Required: 60 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 2,227
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 9 to 1
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8

Rochester Institute of Technology

  • Rochester, New York
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

Located in Upstate New York, the Rochester Institute of Technology offers an MFA degree program in Visual Communication that prepares students in the areas of user design, professional practice, and innovation in research/design through a broad spectrum of available media options. Coursework covers the topics of design in motion, 3D modeling, typography, web/UI design, and project implementation, to name a few. Students graduate and enter the workforce as a consulting art director, UI/UX designer, or visual designer, among many other options.

Tuition Fees: $ 25,068 per Semester
Credit Units Required: 60 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 15,254
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
Visit School Website
Rank School Location
1Ohio UniversityAthens, Ohio
2Cranbrook Academy of ArtBloomfield Hills, Michigan
3Pratt InstituteNew York City, New York
4The New School (Parsons)New York City, New York
5Yale UniversityNew Haven, Connecticut

Masters in Graphic Design Online

1

Quinnipiac University

  • Hamden, Connecticut
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

Situated in Hamden, Connecticut, Quinnipiac University offers a Master of Science degree (MS) in Interactive Media & Communications that prepares students for innovative and successful careers as professional graphic designers. Students explore the principles and theories relating to conceptual design, business challenges, and creative strategizing. Additionally, students enrolled in Quinnipiac University’s masters in graphic design online degree program are required to complete a project-based capstone experience.

Tuition Fees: $ 14,325
Credit Units Required: 30 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 9,708
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
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2

Lesley University

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Lesley University offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Arts degree program that requires only two short residency visits. Lesley University’s masters in graphic design online program can be finished in only 24 months and is considered a low-residency graduate degree in graphic design.

Tuition Fees: $ 15,750 per Semester
Credit Units Required: 60 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 4,510 students
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 10 to 1
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3

Savannah College of Art

  • Georgia
  • Graduation Rate: 66%

Founded in 1978, the Savannah College of Art (SCAD) offers a Master of Arts degree program (MA) in Graphic Design & Visual Experience that can be completed entirely online. SCAD’s masters in graphic design online degree programallows students to explore the graphic design techniques & approaches that include design research, ideation models, typographic voice/visual narratives, visual analysis of static content, plus a graduate internship in graphic design.

Tuition Fees: $ 19,237.50 per Semester
Credit Units Required: 45 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 14,840
The Student to Faculty Ratio for this SCAD: 20 to 1
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4

Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

  • Kutztown, Pennsylvania
  • Graduation Rate: 54%

The College of Visual & Performing Arts, located at the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, offers a low-residency Master of Fine Arts degree program in Communication Design (MFA) that is ranked among the nation’s best masters in graphic design online programs. Degree candidates work one-on-one with Kutztown’s faculty as they develop their graphic design voice. Kutztown University’s graduate degree in graphic design is accredited by the National Associate of Schools of Art & Design.

Tuition Fees: $ 4,644 per Semester (In-State Resident); $ 6,966 per Semester (Out of State Resident)
Credit Units Required: 60 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 8,195
The Student to Faculty Ratio for this Kutztown University: 18 to 1
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5

Suffolk University

  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Graduation Rate: 59%

Suffolk University’s College of Arts& Sciences Graduate Degree Programs, located in Boston, Massachusetts, offers a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Graphic Design (MAGD) that is NASAD accredited. Those who wish to apply to Suffolk University’s masters in graphic design online program without a visual arts background can opt for a pre-degree program option prior to enrolling in the 12-class graduate degree in graphic design.

Tuition Fees: $ 15,840 per Semester
Credit Units Required: 36 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment: 7,560
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
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Best Value Schools is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
6

Ball State University

  • Muncie, Indiana
  • Graduation Rate: 57%

Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University offers a Master of Arts degree (MA) in Emerging Media Design & Development that is primarily available online with a low-residency requirement. This masters in graphic design online degree program is designed for working learners who wish to learn to manage the many advanced techniques of visual storytelling. Students can opt for a final thesis project or another personalized capstone project with the faculty’s approval.

Tuition Fees: $ 5,388 per Semester (In-state Resident); $ 7,932 per Semester (Out of State resident)
Credit Units Required: 36 Total Credit Units
Student Enrollment:
The Student to Faculty Ratio: 12 to 1
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Our Ranking Methodology The schools listed above include some of the finest Masters in Graphic Design programs available in the marketplace today. The list is organized with the most affordable graduate degree programs listed first. The data used to determine this list of available master in graphic design programs has been pulled from the latest available tuition data from the school year of 2019/2020 or 2020/2021. All other relevant information has been extracted from the school’s website and/or the information detailed on the NCES  website as provided by the NCES – the National Center for Education Statistics. Each school’s rankings include the following information that offers students a comprehensive look at a potential school.

  • Tuition fees listed are per semester, with 12 – 15 credit units, unless otherwise noted.
  • Credit Units Required is helpful to determine the depth of the degree program.
  • The school’s student enrollment data is indicative of the university/college size.
  • The school’s Student to Faculty Ratio is valuable information for those students who prefer to learn within smaller class sizes or for those students who perform well at larger schools.

Concerns about Your Ranking? Have you noticed an error in the information denoted above? Please contact BestValueSchools.org should you wish to comment or edit the information detailed in the rankings above.

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