communication design- best school to go to?

just wondering…
if u were to study communication design, which school would be the best?
i’m going to pratt this year…studying communication design.

There are many good GD programs in the U.S. It partly depends on what you’re looking for. Pratt is considered a good program, and it puts you in NYC, which is a great place for internships, networking, and things like that that you’ll need in a couple of years.

Some other good programs come to mind:

CalArts: outside of LA, close connections with Disney and Hollywood in general
Art Center: outside of LA; strong, commercial program; close connections with auto industry
CCA: program under transition but seems to be going strong; SF is a great city
NC State: good, public university (therefore cheaper)
RISD: of course; also close to Boston

Different schools have different learning environments. For instance, if you’re serious about your academic coursework, you may prefer a university (like NC State). Or, if you have a secondary, related interest, choose a school that’s strong in both areas. For example, CalArts is great for GD and Animation, so it would be a good place if you’re interested in designing film titles or something.

What are you specifically looking for? Are you concerned that you’ve made the wrong choice with Pratt?

You could also look at programs abroad, like RCA in London or Umea in Sweden, or the Design Academy in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

I am going to be a senior next yr. at parsons school of design. an I major in CD (communication design)

we have great professors an a lot of job opportunities/ internships. if you would like contact me an I can get you in touch with our directors/ counslors an they can better answer your questions.

For grad, I’d say Cranbrook, hands down. For u-grad, any of those schools mentioned.

Does anyone here know about Montserrat College of Art for Graphic Design? It’s just north of Boston. I don’t know if it’s the “best” place, but I’ve looked into Mass Art, Hartford, RISD, and all those, and they’re just not for me. Is this a good place?


I don’t agree. Cranbrook is good for some but not for all. Depends if you’re into what Eliot Earls does. I would check out Yale… although, like the earlier poster mentioned there are many schools.

Graphic Design school listings

SCAD has a great program too.

SCAD is terrible.

Some of the best Comm Design programs in the US are ( in no particular order):

  1. RISD ( probably the best)
  2. Carnegie Mellon
  3. Rochester Institute of Technology ( more graphic design or new media design)
  4. Pratt: Three different tracks of Comm Design
  5. University of Cincinnati. Surprisingly very good program even if it doesn’t require a portfolio
  6. UMBC ( graphic design)
  7. Syracuse University: reportedly quite good and even has a separate advertising design program too.
    8.MICA: very open ended with lots of electives
  8. Parsons School of Design
  9. SVA ( more graphic design)
    11.Cleveland Institute of Art ( graphic design)
    12.UMass Dartmouth: Very, very inexpensive state school with some teachers who also teach at RISD.
  10. Cal Arts ( more graphic design)
  11. University of the Arts in Philly ( graphic design)
    15.Otis School of art in LA ( graphic design)
  12. Ringling School of Art in Florida
  13. School of art institue in Chicago ( graphic design): Not sure how good the program is here. They are, however, very well known for fine art such as painting.
  14. Cranbrook ( graduate school only)
  15. Yale ( graphic design)( great program but graduate school only)
  16. Minneapolis College of Art and Design
  17. Kansas City Art Institute ( I think this is the name)

    The first 10 are probably the most well- known,but the others are quite good too. Yale and Cranbrook should be in the top tier but they have only graduate programs. Hope this gives you a nice start.

Yes, I forgot the University of Hartford. They supposedly have a good art school but their other schools are very mediocre.

Also, don’t forget Tyler School of Art, which is part of Temple University

I realized that I forgot a few other good schools

  1. Mass College of art: Very good and VERY inexpensive
  2. Corcoran College of art
    3.California Institue of the Arts
    4.University of Illinois
  3. Tufts University/ Museum School of Fine Art ( you get a degree from Tufts but I don’t know how good the program is)
  4. Art Center College of Design: Supposedly very strong program in graphic design.

Wow, Taxguy, that’s a very comprehensive list. Yale does have an undergraduate program in graphic design. CalArts and the California Institute of the Arts are the same school. You may have meant the California College of the Arts (formerly CCAC), which is also a good place. Also, U. T. Austin has a pretty good program, plus it’s cheaper than most private schools. And, don’t forget Cooper Union, which is free but very difficult to get into.

I forgot Cooper Union because of their incredibly tough admissions and because they only take a few students. I didn’t include many state schools that might have graphics programs because they are too numerous and are generally not well rated. There are of course some exceptions such as East Carolina University, UT, UMBC, etc. I was focusing mostly on the top rated schools.

As for Yale, I did check their majors and didn’t see an undergrad major in graphic design. Maybe I missed it.

University of Illinois in Chicago seems to have a better reputation than University of Illinois, champaign urbana.

Does anyone know anything about the grad program at SVA? They have lots of famous teachers like Sagmeister and Glaser and Heller, etc. but it seems everyone I’ve talked to think Yale, Cranbrook, and RISD are the only ones worth attending on the east coast. Plus SVA is in NY–major plus+++ (Also looking at Parsons’ technology MFA.) Thanks alot.

NYC is a cool place. If you’re looking for schools in the city, check out the MFA program at Pratt. It’s much stronger than SVA’s, in my opinion. Unfortunately, some of the best MFA programs in the country just aren’t in the best places (I’m talking about Yale, RISD, and Cranbrook). They’re great programs, though, and that’s really what you’re looking for, isn’t it?

If you can, you should really meet the faculty and students at all the schools you’re considering. See if you can imagine yourself being happy and fulfilled among them. It really depends on who you are and the kind of experience you’re after. Some people go into MFA programs because they want to teach, or because they’re switching careers into Graphic Design. Typically, the various graduate programs cater to certain kinds of students. Figure out what you want, and don’t only think about the reputation of the institution.

hey u’ll
i was wondering if anyone knows anything about billly blue school of graphic arts, australia. everything seems preety impressive but i would love some personal comment.
thanks a lottt

If you are interested in graphic design, SVA ( according to US News and World Report) is rated below Yale, Cranbrook and RISD.

The actual ratings are as follows:

  1. RISD
  2. Yale
  3. Cranbrook
  4. Art Center College of Design in California
    tied with VCU
  5. Carnegie Mellon
    7,8.North Carolina State University tied with Univ of Illinois
    9 and 10: Pratt and SVA

However, that said, SVA is a very good school I would personally put it ahead of VCU (terrible place) and North Carolina State University.SVA also has some strong digital design courses too.

Don’t take those rankings too literally. A lot depends on what you’re looking for, what area of the field you want to practice in, and how well you click with the people in a specific school. In my particular corner of the design scene, NC State ranks fairly highly, while the University of Illinois doesn’t exist at all. VCU seems focused on advertising. Cranbrook seems very artsy and impractical. SVA seems overly commercial, and has ties to the Illustration department. CalArts seems wrapped up in Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general. Carnegie Mellon seems to have a pretty good undergrad program, but I don’t know anything about grad. Those are just my own osbervations. You really need to check out the schools for yourself. Also, keep in mind if you want an art school or research university experience.