Are you ready to embark on a career in graphic design? Great! The first step is to explore your educational options. Incredible graphic design schools can be found throughout the world, but which schools are the best? This list of top graphic design schools is something to consider.

Best Graphic Design Schools in the World

1. Royal College of Art

The Royal College of Art (RCA) is one of the best graphic design schools in the world. Located in London, UK. RCA is a great college if students are already skilled artists looking to challenge themselves and improve their craft. RCA only offers a Master of Arts degree, allowing students to enter classrooms with prior knowledge and experience in graphic design.

A student will expect to complete their coursework in just two years. During this time, students will experience tremendous growth and networking opportunities among top clients. If you are a student looking to take a large step in your graphic design career, RCA is the right fit for you.

2. The New School

The New School is physically located in New York City, United States. The Parsons School of Design within The New School offers multiple levels of degrees suiting students of all abilities and prior experiences. Coursework ranges from two years to four years, depending on which degree avenue the student embarks. Undergraduate programs are offered on campus in the heart of New York City whereas graduate degrees are offered online. Graphic design professionals have the opportunity to improve their skills remotely while continuing to produce work at their current employment.

The Communication Design Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (BFA) is the oldest undergraduate graphic design program in the United States. Students thrive in lower Manhattan as they are surrounded by a design pulse that is felt across the United States and the world. Each student is immersed in urban culture and inspired by the world’s top designers.

3. Glasgow School of Art

The Glasgow School of Art is located in Glasgow, Scotland, and is considered one of the top graphic design schools in the world. Students flock to Scotland seeking specializations in photography, illustration, and graphic design. These specializations aid students in attracting top clients around the world.

Each program offered at Glasgow School of Art is studio-based, leaning every student to collaborate artistically with their peers. Courses are offered on campus to encourage this socialization and networking among students who will continue to collaborate after graduation. Students graduate from Glasgow School of Art with a deep understanding of professionalism and value of each artist.

4. Pratt Institute

The Pratt Institute offers three convenient locations in New York City, United States, promoting a project-based and studio design approach to learning. Professors at Pratt Institute focus on the impacts of art on a community at large and students understand how popular media, ideas, and cultural norms affect their art. Each artist will hone into their artistic voice to visually express thoughts and ideas. Students who attend Pratt Institute learn to collaborate and professionally present their work to future clients.

5. Politecnico di Milano

  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Science

Design students at Politecnico di Milano enjoy the surroundings of the beautiful city of Milan, Italy. Each student has the opportunity to draw inspiration from the rich cultural history Italy offers at this excellent graphic design school. Enrolled students have the unique opportunity to complete their coursework in just three years, compared to four years that is the tradition in most United States’ undergraduate universities.

Each design class is taught in Italian, which can be both a hurdle and an opportunity for international students. If students do travel to Politecnico di Milano from foreign countries, they need to ensure their Italian fluency to gain the best learning experience. One of the prestigious universities in Italy is best operated in its native language.

6. School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Located in Chicago, the United States, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is another prestigious graphic design schools that has produced some of the world’s most famed artists including Georgia O’Keefe and Walt Disney. Students know the rich artistic history of the school and consider this university a top choice. SAIC focuses largely on each student’s analytical and critical artistic skills. Students are taught to draw deep meaning from their work, which can be attractive to premier employers.

Chicago is located in a very political area of the United States and students are immersed in propaganda, large advertising campaigns, and visuals from some of the nation’s largest companies. SAIC also sits close to Lake Michigan, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes where students can escape the hustle of urban life and gain inspiration from the stillness of nature.

SAIC also focuses on artists learning from other top artists. An annual speaker series is hosted in which students have the opportunity to hear and learn from top designers across the United States. This tradition is helpful for students in seeking career paths and choosing a direction in their work. Annual speaker series are common among universities, but SAIC prides itself on inviting premier American designers.

7. Aalto University

  • Degrees offered: Bachelor of Arts

Aalto University is located in Espoo, Finland, and has only recently opened its doors in 2010. Aalto University can quickly rise into the list of top design schools due to its unique learning practices. Students at Aalto University dive deeply into the philosophy of each art piece and view it through a cultural and political lens. Each piece is thoroughly researched in terms of the overall design and design thinking.

European Union (EU) citizens study at Aalto University free of charge, yet the population of international students is growing. Artistic students who are very analytical thrive in Aalto University’s unique curriculum.


I hope that this article on Best Universities for Graphic Design in the world was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

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