Best Colleges for Visual Communication

Last Updated on February 8, 2023 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

What is visual communication? Visual Communication is a multi-disciplinary field encompassing graphic design, illustration, fine arts (like drawing and painting), multi-media, and photography. With courses ranging from the history of art to typography and web design, you can gain skills useful in dozens of careers. A degree in visual communication is especially beneficial if you plan to work in new media, journalism, or web design.

The landscape of how we communicate is constantly changing. The biggest advantage of studying Visual Communication is that you are asked to approach visual content creation from many different angles, synthesizing experience from multiple mediums and subjects in your creation of content.

You can gain skills useful in dozens of careers, with courses ranging from the history of art to typography and web design. A degree in visual communication is especially beneficial if you plan to work in new media, journalism, or web design. Do you need to know about design and visual communications major description? Starting from the best colleges for visual communication design, best visual communication colleges in the world & design and visual communications major, you can get all the information you need on Collegelearners right away.

Best Visual Communication design Colleges

Want to study Visual Communication courses in the USA? Visual communication is one of the most important ways that people communicate and share information. A degree in visual communications can lead you to a career as a photojournalist, fashion photographer, videographer, graphic artist, illustrator, and designer.

Bachelor of Visual Communication Design - The University of Newcastle,  Australia

Students who want to get a degree specifically in visual communication or related degrees in graphic design, graphic communication, or design. For the best career opportunities, here we have compiled a list which has the Best Visual Communication Colleges that can help you to become a professional graphic designer.

The study of symbols and visual communications is called semiotics. Keep scrolling to explore the top-ranked universities and colleges in the US for visual communications programs. Get details about school rankings, program options, tuition, and other points of distinction. Good Luck!!Advertisements

1. School of Visual Arts—New York City

The School of Visual Arts- NYC has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for nearly seven decades. The Design program focuses on teaching visual communication problem solving, a skill that can open the door to a host of rewarding careers. Comprised of more than 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and nearly 37,000 alumni in 75 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. The College offers 32 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The School of Visual Arts is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Top 20 Best Visual Communications Degree Programs – Graphic Design Degree  Hub
  • Ranking: 1stGraduation Rate: NA
  • Tuition & Fees Approximately: $39,562
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: +1 212-592-2000
  • Website: http://www.sva.edu/undergraduate/design

2. The New School – Parsons

As a BFA Communication Design student, you begin your major with an intense focus on typography and interaction, then go on to complete courses, internships, and sponsored projects in editorial design, interaction design, branding, Web/mobile product design, type design, motion graphics, advertising design, and information design. Students in the Communications Design program take courses in art and design history and related theory to develop research, writing, and critical thinking skills. A leading design school offering undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree programs, Parsons lets you engage with a range of disciplines — studio design, urban planning, fashion, media, design management, design studies, and more.

  • Ranking: 2ndGraduation Rate: 64%
  • Tuition & Fees Approximately: $40,426
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: 46,960 USD
  • Website: http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/bfa-communication-design

3. Maryland Institute College of Art

Visual communication is a broad spectrum that includes signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, advertising, animation, color, and electronic resources. In MICA’s Graphic Design major, you will gain the creative, technical, and intellectual skills to become the design visionary of the future while shaping the form and content of media — from magazines and books to websites and social media applications. The graphic design curriculum at MICA is built around a three-year sequence of core design courses. They see graphic design as a comprehensive activity of visual problem solving for professional leaders working in branding, UI/UX, packaging, spatial design, publication design, and typeface design, among others.

  • Ranking: 3rdGraduation Rate: 71%
  • Tuition & Fees Approximately: $39,400
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: +1 410-669-9200
  • Website: https://www.mica.edu/undergraduate-majors-minors/graphic-design-major/

4. Carnegie Mellon University School of Design

Graphic Design USA, a business-to-business information source for graphic design professionals for more than 50 years, has named Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Design students Juan Aranda and Tiffany Lai as two of their Students to Watch for 2018. Students in this program can customize their degree by specializing in one area or combining two areas of specialization to create a unique interdisciplinary degree that reflects their interests and career goals. CMU also offers a unique program called Integrative Design, Arts, and Technology (IDeATe), which allows the student to concentrate their studies on cross-campus industry themes like game design, animation, and special effects, innovation and entrepreneurship, intelligent environments, and learning media design.

  • Ranking: 4thGraduation Rate: 87%
  • Tuition & Fees Approximately: $47,642
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: (412) 268-2828
  • Website: https://design.cmu.edu/taxonomy/term/26

5. University of Cincinnati (College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning)

At the University of Cincinnati, communication design students receive a foundation in visual problem-solving. Communication designers give visual form to information, ideas, and feelings. They inform, persuade, educate and entertain using typography, photography, drawing, video/animation, audio, storytelling, interaction, and space. Communication designers increasingly collaborate with other fields to help meet human needs. These courses help students develop critical and visual thinking along with essential design processes.

  • Ranking: 5thGraduation Rate: 55%
  • Tuition & Fees Approximately: Out of State: $25,816; In-State: $10,784
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: 513-556-6000
  • Website: http://daap.uc.edu/academics/design/bs_graphic_communication.html

6. California College of the Arts

California College of the Arts educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Students enrolled in this program take Core Studio courses in basic drawing, 2D, 3D, & 4D, as well as classes in graphic design tools, typography, and media history. They also complete a senior thesis and an internship as requirements for graduation. Its Graphic Design Program trains you to translate complex ideas into inspired designs.

  • Ranking: 6thGraduation Rate: 45%
  • Tuition & Fees Approximately: $40,334
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: 415.703.9500
  • Website: https://www.cca.edu/academics/graphic-design

7. Pratt Institute-Main

The School of Design on Pratt’s historic campus in Brooklyn, the department of undergraduate communications design is a recognized leader in the field. Students learn to engage audiences, explore technologies, develop visual languages, challenge preconceptions, redefine problems, and identify opportunities through the lens of communication design. Its courses and projects promote the rich exchange embodied in a studio culture that values the development of individual perspectives, critique, visual literacy, media fluency, experiential learning, and innovative formal outcomes. Upper-level studio courses prompt students to engage in increasingly complex projects that introduce time-based media, visual systems, branding, and installations.

  • Ranking: 7th
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Tuition & Fees Approximately: $40,585
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: +1 718-636-3600
  • Website: https://www.pratt.edu/academics/school-of-design/undergraduate-school-of-design/ug-communications-design/
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8. School of Art Institute of Chicago

The Visual Communication Design department encourages students to actively engage their world and define their role as contributing designers by developing their critical and analytical skills, personal voice, and visual language. Students must pass a Visual Communication Design department portfolio review in order to enroll in intermediate courses in the department. The department cultivates a sense of social responsibility and inquiry in student designers who will be working at the intersection of art, design, and mass culture. Its diverse course offerings include both physical and virtual design areas. Each year the Department of Visual Communication Design hosts Exploratory Languages, a lecture series featuring leading designers and design educators from across the country.

  • Ranking: 8thGraduation Rate: 54%
  • Tuition & Fees Approximately: $43,126
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: 800.232.7242
  • Website: http://www.saic.edu/academics/departments/visual-communication-design

9. Auburn University

Visual journalists tell stories with words, pictures, and design. Visual journalists craft compelling designs using color, typography, visual hierarchy, assignment and selection of images and visual organization. Through the journalism curriculum, students interested in the Visual Journalism area of emphasis will receive a solid grounding in journalism basics. The curriculum includes courses in editing and design, multimedia journalism, news writing, and reporting. Students choose from electives to focus on their particular interests; possible options include sports reporting, international PR, and introduction to filmmaking.

  • Ranking: 9th
  • Graduation Rate: 68%Tuition & Fees Approximately: $26,364; In-State: $9,852
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: (334) 844-2727
  • Website: https://cla.auburn.edu/cmjn/journalism/curriculum-areas-of-emphasis/visual-journalism/

10. University of South Carolina

The Visual Communications degree is offered through the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and is a good fit for students who are prepared to take a number of core courses and then apply those skills through several media-related electives. The visual communications curriculum is a great foundation for graduate study.  Its graduates work for news organizations, advertising agencies, public relations firms, fashion houses, magazines, social media groups and themselves. You’ll learn how to focus your passion into telling stories, and then improve your skills to do so. You can tailor your major to your specific interests, taking classes to make you a smarter, better-prepared visual journalist.

  • Ranking: 10th
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Tuition & Fees Approximately: $28,528; In State: $10,816
  • Finance and Admission Office Contact: +1 803-777-0169
  • Website:https://sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/cic/academic_programs/bachelors/visual_communications.php

Interdisciplinary visual communications programs are available at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can earn degrees specifically in visual communication or related degrees in graphic design, graphic communication, or design. Visual communication expresses ideas through design and visual aids and is used in advertising, marketing, and art. Four good schools with programs in this field include Baruch College, the University of Delaware, the University of Miami, and California Institute of the Arts – each of which was nationally or regionally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

11. Baruch College

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO3rZOu0R10

A visual or graphic communication program is offered as a specialization in Baruch’s business communication major. Students take a combination of business and graphic design classes, including marketing communications, graphic communications, and typography. The school was ranked #5 among top public regional universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

12. University of Delaware

School highlight: The University of Delaware (or UD) in Newark is a research university with a distinguished history. The university’s first class included three signers of the Declaration of Independence and one signer of the U.S. Constitution.

UD offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications degree program that emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning. Students take courses in graphic design, communication, and typography. The school was ranked #30 among all public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

13. University of Miami

School highlight: The University of Miami is located in Coral Gables, FL, and its undergraduate degree program in visual journalism emphasizes the importance of visual storytelling in the global community.

Students have the opportunity to take courses in a wide variety of subjects, including communication ethics, multimedia design, and interactive storytelling. Alumni of the visual journalism program include award-winning journalists working with major news organizations. Among all national universities, U.S. News & World Report ranked this school #44 for 2017.

14. California Institute of the Arts

School highlight: The School of Art at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, offers BFA and MFA programs in graphic design and photography and media, as well as an MFA in art and technology.

Other programs that are relevant for students interested in visual communications are offered through the School of Film/Video. BFA and MFA programs are available in film and video as well as experimental animation, and students can also earn a BFA in character animation. As of 2017, California Institute of the Arts was tied for #9 on the U.S. News & World Report list of best fine arts MFA programs.

colleges with design and visual communications major

Here are some more schools with relevant visual communications programs:

School NameLocationDistinction
Northeastern UniversityBoston, MAOffers an intensive, studio-based program
Ohio State University-Main CampusColumbus, OHOffers computer-based, interactive design options
Purdue University-Main CampusWest Lafayette, INPlaces an emphasis on typography and image generation
University of California-DavisDavis, CAHome to the Design Museum, and undergraduate design majors have opportunities to help develop and prepare exhibits
University of KansasLawrence, KSStudents create a portfolio of their work
The University of Texas at AustinAustin, TXDesign facilities include computer labs, a digital fabrication lab, a publication studio with presses and wood and metal type, and a production lab

Within the broad field of visual communications, students can find a variety of relevant undergraduate and graduate programs which generally integrate studies in media and the arts.

The World's Greatest Graphic Design Schools (50 Programs for Students)

degree in visual communication

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

An admission advisor from each school can provide more info about:

  • programs & curriculum
  • career opportunities
  • tuition & financial aid
  • admissions & starting dates
  1. Duke University School Info School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)Program Info Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts Get Started with Duke University. Research Duke University’s Degree Programs
  2. University of Notre Dame School Info School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus) Program Info Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts Get Started with University of Notre Dame. Research University of Notre Dame’s Degree Programs
  3. Iowa State University School Info School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)Program Info Areas of study you may find at Iowa State University include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Fashion Design
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Musical Arts Get Started with Iowa State University. Research Iowa State University’s Programs
  4. University of Dayton School Info School locations:
    • Ohio (1 campus)Program Info Areas of study you may find at University of Dayton include:
    • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video Get Started with University of Dayton. Research University of Dayton’s Programs
  5. Western Washington University School Info School locations:
    • Washington (1 campus)Program Info Areas of study you may find at Western Washington University include:
    • Graduate: Master
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
        • Industrial Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video Get Started with Western Washington University. Research Western Washington University’s Degree Programs
  6. University of Central Oklahoma School Info School locations:
    • Oklahoma (1 campus)Program Info Areas of study you may find at University of Central Oklahoma include:
    • Graduate: Master
    • Non-Degree: Diploma
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts Get Started with University of Central Oklahoma. Research University of Central Oklahoma’s Degree Programs
  7. University of Michigan: School Info School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)Program Info Areas of study you may find at University of Michigan include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master’s Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Advertising and Commercial Design
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
        • Illustration and Drawing
        • Industrial Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video Get Started with University of Michigan. Research University of Michigan’s Degree Programs
  8. University of Wisconsin School Info School locations:
    • Wisconsin (2 campuses)Program Info Areas of study you may find at University of Wisconsin include:
    • Graduate: Master
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts Get Started with University of Wisconsin. View University of Wisconsin’s Locations and Programs
  9. University of Minnesota School Info School locations:
    • Minnesota (1 campus)Program Info Areas of study you may find at University of Minnesota include:
    • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
    • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
    • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video Get Started with University of Minnesota Research University of Minnesota’s Programs
  10. Ferris State University School Info School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)Program Info Areas of study you may find at Ferris State University include:
    • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
    • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
    • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
    • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Advertising and Commercial Design
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
        • Industrial Design
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video Get Started with Ferris State University

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