|1||Yale University||New Haven|
|2||University of Connecticut||Storrs|
|3||Connecticut College||New London|
|4||University of Bridgeport||Bridgeport|
|5||Paier College of Art||Hamden|
Our 2019 rankings of the top graphic design school programs in Connecticut. For an explanation of the ranking criteria, click here.
1. Yale University School of the Arts, New Haven, Connecticut
Founded in 1701, Yale University is home to more than 12,300 students enrolled in dozens of programs in the areas of art, architecture, divinity, drama, forestry and environmental studies, law, management, music, public health, and more. The school, which houses more than 145 departments and schools, is home to one of the most prestigious fine arts schools in the U.S. Established in 1869, the Yale School Art was the nation’s first art school connected with an institution of higher learning.
With an enrollment of more than 100 students, the Yale School of Art offers MFA degrees in Graphic Design, Painting and Printmaking, Photography, and Sculpture. An interdisciplinary Film & Video program is also available.
The Yale Graphic Design MFA (Yale GDMFA) is a competitive, 60 credit hour program that accepts just 10 students each year and up to seven students into the preliminary-year program. Per the School, MFA applicants are expected to have “substantial and distinguished experience in visual studies and related professional experience.” Students can expect support for their graphic design collections in several ways including, “studio work led by faculty meeting weekly, small five- or six-person thesis groups meeting biweekly and individual sessions with writing and editing tutors.”
Lectures, presentations, and workshops are also part of the program as well as access to “extraordinary” resources including Yale University courses, conferences, films, lectures, museums, and the “extensive” research and rare book collections of Sterling and Beinecke libraries. The Yale Graphic Design MFA takes two years to complete, full-time.
2. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut
The University of Connecticut (UConn) was founded in 1881 by brothers Charles and Augustus Storrs under the name Storrs Agricultural School (SAS). At the time, SAS was a two-year vocational school, which eventually became Storrs Agricultural College, and began officially admitting women. Today, UConn serves more than 32,000 students enrolled in 113 majors, 90 research and professional practice fields of study, and six professional degree programs across 14 schools and colleges.
The School of Fine Art houses the Department of Art and Art History, which offers a BFA in Studio with a Graphic Design Concentration. Per the school, “Courses in Graphic Design build upon a sequence of six upper-level courses in the area. The curriculum thus includes direct studies in design (20-25% of the total program); other courses in art and design, (20-30%); studies in art and design history (10-15%); general studies and electives (25-35%). Studies in the major area and related courses total 60-65% of the curriculum.”
Sample courses for the program include Communication Dynamics, Design Center Studio, Interactive Design, Motion Graphics, Process and Thinking, Publication Design, Relational Design, Survey, Typography, and Visual Systems. Oher program highlights include access to libraries, studio space, and up-to-date technology, and the opportunity to develop a special project in advanced studio art, participate in field trips on special topics, and complete a studio internship in a commercial design studio, agency or related work.
3. Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut
Founded in 1911, Connecticut College serves more than 1,800 students from the U.S. and 44 other countries. The school consists of 31 academic departments, 11 programs and five centers that offer more than 50 areas of study. The Studio Art Department offers a BFA in Art that allows students to experiment or concentrate in a broad range of studio disciplines including ceramics, graphic design, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
Students may take courses such as Concepts in Digital Process: Design, Concepts in Three Dimensions, Decoding Color, Printmaking: Exploration of Imagery Through Process, and The Science of Art: Rendering Through Optics.
Program highlights include access to Cummings Arts Center, which the school says, “has generous studios, darkrooms, computer laboratories and galleries supporting diverse disciplines,” newly renovated studios in sculpture, ceramics and printmaking and a new white-box gallery for student exhibitions and special projects. Seniors will have a private studio with access 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the thesis project.
Other program highlights include special opportunities to collaborate with art professors, the opportunity to work with leading national and international artists on campus in workshops, studio classes and exhibitions through the Dayton Artist-in-Residence and Weissman Visiting Artist programs, and access to internships, retreats and trips to major art centers.
4. University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Founded in 1927, the University of Bridgeport (UB) serves nearly 5,500 students from over 45 states and 80 countries. The schools three colleges include the College of Engineering, Business & Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Health Sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences houses the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design, which offers a BFA in Graphic Design.
Per the school, the four-year program “consists of an integrated, inter-disciplinary sequence that is designed to strengthen communication skills, promote teamwork and individuality, stimulate creativity, and provide both traditional and technological skills for the career-oriented student.” Graphic Design students will “learn techniques and processes to build their portfolios with works prepared for both traditional print and new media including typography, branding and identity, promotional campaigns, publications, motion, and interactive.”
“Typefaces, logos, and websites, drawing, painting, and video” are “all part of the SASD Graphic Design Program, which “emphasizes process, real-world community projects, and skill-building toward a final self-directed project in the senior year.”
Graduates of the program will have the ability to identify, analyze, and solve graphic design problems; they will demonstrate a mastery of design tools, techniques, and concepts in graphic design, and an understanding of the aesthetics of form development and of the history and current state of design. Graduates will also demonstrate proficiency in selection and use of relevant technologies in design, an understanding of the cultural and societal connections linking graphic design trends and processes, knowledge of business practices and of the marketplace, and proficiency in presenting their own work and discussing and constructively critiquing the work of others.
5. Paier College of Art, Hamden, Connecticut
Established as the Paier School of Applied Art in 1946, Paier College of Art is a four-year, degree-granting institution that serves several hundred students enrolled in five programs. Programs include Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, and Photography. The Graphic Design Program leads to a BFA or a Diploma. A Certificate in Graphic Production is also available.
Course highlights include Advertising Design I-IV, Advanced Computer Graphics, Art Direction, Computer Drawing, Computer Page Layout, Concept Rendering, Graphic Design I-IV, Multimedia, Package Design: Materials, Photo Digital Imaging, Publication Design, The Figure in Advertising, Typography, and Web Page Design.
Students will graduate from the program with experience in Practical Design Applications (Logos, Advertisements, Brochures, Concept Rendering), Web Site Design and Development (Page Layout, Animation, Interactive Designs), Photographic Essentials (Retouching and Enhancement, Basic Photographic Techniques, and Adobe Design Suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator).