Graphic Design Schools in Texas

Uncover your artistic talents at the best graphic design schools in Texas, where creativity and innovation come to life.
Graphic Design Schools in Texas
Are you passionate about graphic design and considering pursuing an education in the Lone Star State? Texas boasts a variety of exceptional graphic design degree programs and schools in Texas that cater to different needs, interests, and career goals. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the best graphic design schools and programs in Texas, from degree types and specializations to financial aid and job opportunities. Let’s dive into the world of graphic design and explore the exciting opportunities that await in Texas!

Key Takeaways

  • Explore a wide range of graphic design programs and schools in Texas, from associate to master’s degrees.
  • Develop technical skills, and gain real-world experience through internships and networking for career success.
  • Choose an accredited school with a quality curriculum, faculty expertise, and resources for job placement opportunities.

Explore Graphic Design Colleges in Texas

A diverse array of college and university programs awaits aspiring graphic designers in Texas, with programs catering to a wide range of student interests. Many graphic design colleges in the state offer various degree types, specializations, and course offerings to cater to individual student needs and interests. The very best graphic design colleges and schools in Texas focus on equipping students with the practical and conceptual skills needed to succeed in the design industry.

Degree types range from associate to master’s degrees, and specializations cover a wide array of topics, such as visual communication, web design, and illustration. Schools in Texas also emphasize real-world user experience design and contemporary culture, ensuring students receive a solid foundation in design principles, typography, branding, and layout design.

Degree Types

Graphic design programs in Texas offer a range of degree types to cater to diverse educational and career objectives. Some examples include:

  • Associate of Arts (AA) in Graphic Design: An Associate of Arts degree provides a solid foundation in graphic design, typically spanning two years. It’s ideal for students seeking entry-level positions in design or planning to continue their education.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Graphic Design: A BFA is a more comprehensive four-year program, emphasizing practical and theoretical aspects of graphic design. It’s an excellent choice for those aspiring to work in creative industries, advertising, or as independent designers.
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Design: An MFA is a graduate-level degree that delves deeper into design theories and research. It’s perfect for designers aiming for leadership roles, teaching positions, or specialized design careers.

Graphic Design Program Specializations

In addition to various degree types, graphic design schools in Texas also offer the opportunity to specialize in specific areas of interest.
  • Graphic Design Specialization in Branding and Identity: Focusing on creating and managing visual identities for companies and products, this specialization equips students with the skills needed to design logos, packaging, and promotional materials.
  • Illustration and Animation: For those with a passion for visual storytelling, this specialization teaches the art of creating compelling illustrations and animations, applicable in advertising, entertainment, and publishing.
  • User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) Design: As technology evolves, UI/UX design becomes increasingly important. This specialization hones skills for designing user-friendly digital interfaces and experiences, vital for web and app development.
  • Print and Editorial Design: Focusing on traditional print media, this specialization delves into magazine layout, book design, and print advertising, catering to students with a love for classic design.
  • Motion Graphics and Video Editing: Perfect for aspiring animators and video editors, this specialization covers the creation of dynamic, engaging visual content for advertising, film, and digital media.

Best Graphic Design Schools in Texas

Finding the perfect graphic design school in Texas can be a daunting task, which is why we’ve compiled school rankings for the best graphic design schools in the state. These Texas schools, often considered among the top graphic design colleges nationally, offer exceptional faculty and facilities and have been carefully selected based on factors such as program quality, location, and available resources. 

Let’s take a closer look at these top graphic design schools in Texas:

1. University of Texas at Austin

110 Inner Campus Drive, Austin, TX 78705


The University of Texas at Austin offers dynamic undergraduate degrees in Design. Their innovative curriculum, guided by experienced faculty and industry partnerships, empowers students to become forward-thinking problem solvers.

This program, consistently ranked among the best graphic design schools and public colleges in the country, emphasizes experiential learning and encourages specialization in areas like Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interaction Design, Design Research, and Design History, allowing you to shape your creative journey with confidence.

2. Texas Christian University

2800 S University Drive, Fort Worth, TX 76129


Texas Christian University’s graphic design programs are designed to ignite creativity and excellence. The curriculum is highly competitive, encouraging students to expand their boundaries and excel. TCU students consistently earn accolades in prestigious design competitions, both regionally and globally, showcasing the program’s high standards.

Graduates often secure coveted creative positions at esteemed agencies, with the support of a strong alumni network. TCU offers a comprehensive range of fields of study, from branding and animation to the history of design and UIUX design, providing a solid foundation for a successful career.

3. University of Houston

4800 Calhoun Road, Houston, TX 77004


The University of Houston’s Graphic Design program offers an immersive exploration of design theories and practices. It fosters creativity through individual and collaborative efforts, nurturing critical thinking. With a flexible curriculum and emphasis on design research, interdisciplinary cooperation, and community engagement, students gain an edge in the competitive national design job market.

This program not only prepares undergraduates for their careers but also equips graduates to excel further through personal research initiatives, ensuring their continued success in the dynamic field of design.

4. University of Texas at Arlington

701 S. Nedderman Drive, Arlington, TX 76019


The University of Texas Arlington’s Design program is dedicated to equipping students with the skills to communicate ideas visually on a global scale. Rooted in problem-solving and research, the curriculum empowers students to work both independently and collaboratively, fostering creativity and resource management.

This program bridges academic knowledge with industry standards and culture, producing graduates who have secured numerous awards and positions in prestigious design agencies and studios. With state-of-the-art facilities, including a Corrugated Prototype Design Lab, Advanced Digital Studios, and extensive computer resources, students have access to the tools they need to excel in the visual communication design field.

5. Saint Edward's University

3001 South Congress, Austin, Texas 78704


At St. Edward’s University, the Graphic Design degree program teaches you to shape visual identities for brands and businesses. You’ll become a problem solver, mastering color theory, typography, and digital design in Austin’s creative environment. Gain hands-on experience through internships and interact with the local community.

Saint Edward’s University graduates pursue various careers and further studies, with opportunities in design agencies, technology companies, and more. Explore your path through classes, internships, and extracurricular activities, like the Graphic Design student organization, Command G. Discover creativity and innovation in exhibitions like “To Be Continued.”

6. The University of Texas at El Paso

500 West University Avenue, El Paso, TX 79968


At the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the graphic design program places strong emphasis on formal visual design values. Students begin by mastering the fundamentals of typography and letterform, later progressing to develop conceptual and expressive design skills. These design skills are then applied to individual projects, culminating in a portfolio.

UTEP’s goal is to prepare designers who excel in creatively applying visual aesthetics to solve communication design problems in various fields, including corporate design, individual practice, or education. The program provides modern facilities with state-of-the-art computer labs equipped with industry-standard Adobe software and printing resources.

7. West Texas A&M University

2501 4th Avenue, Canyon, TX 79016


At West Texas A&M University, the Graphic Design program stands out for its fusion of modern technical skills, hands-on experience, and critical conceptual thinking, molding students into confident professionals. The art program at WTAMU not only nurtures creativity but also hones critical thinking and communication, preparing students for success in various visual arts fields.

With a commitment to a diverse academic community, WTAMU’s Department of Art, Theatre, and Dance provides an environment that fosters aesthetic engagement, innovation, and cross-disciplinary activity. They firmly believe in the transformative power of the arts on local, national, and international scales.

8. University of North Texas

1155 Union Circle #311277, Denton, Texas 76203


The University of North Texas, part of the College of Visual Arts and Design offers both undergraduate and graduate professional programs in the Department of Design. These programs share a common mission: to equip students with the skills to tackle the ever-evolving challenges in their professions.

Through well-crafted programs and study pathways, UNT fosters the growth of future designers, nurturing their conceptual, aesthetic, and analytical skills, and empowering them to face and innovate solutions for a dynamically changing world.

9. Baylor University

1311 S 5th St, Waco, TX 76706


At Baylor University, the Department of Art and Art History provides an emphasis on graphic design as part of the studio art major. This program offers students a chance to refine their hands-on and aesthetic talents while nurturing their conceptual thinking.

In addition to graphic design courses, students are exposed to marketing essentials, with optional internships available for practical field experience. Graduates from this program have achieved success in design studios, prominent advertising agencies, and even as entrepreneurs founding their own design and advertising firms.

10. University of the Incarnate Word

4301 Broadway, San Antonio, Texas 78209


The University of the Incarnate Word, housed within the School of Media and Design, offers a comprehensive graphic design degree program. This highly selective program is designed to push students to achieve creative and technical excellence, preparing them for careers in graphic design, interactive design, and various related design and visual communication fields.

With a commitment to quality, UIW maintains small class sizes with a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1. Their state-of-the-art computer labs are equipped with industry-standard software, providing students with hands-on experience using the tools they will utilize in their future professions. Distinguished faculty members, who actively participate in the local design community, serve as both mentors and educators. The graphic design degree program has a proven track record of excellence, with students’ work frequently recognized in regional, state, national, and international design competitions.

Building a Successful Career in Graphic Design

Building a successful career in graphic design requires a balanced focus on education, practical experience, and networking. Having prior graphic design experience, such as internships, entry-level positions, and professional development opportunities is crucial for breaking into the field and advancing your career. This section delves into the significance of internships, networking, and developing a robust portfolio in carving a successful career in graphic design.

A concentrated effort on these key aspects, including technical skills and web development, will equip you to thrive in the competitive graphic design job market and leave your imprint in the design industry.

Internships and Job Opportunities

Internships and entry-level positions are the stepping stones to a solid career start in the graphic design field. Many graphic design schools in Texas offer impressive job placement rates for their graduates, with numerous alumni finding employment in various locations worldwide.

These internships and job opportunities allow students to gain valuable experience, make industry connections, and have ample opportunities to showcase their design skills to potential employers. By participating in internships and securing entry-level positions, you’ll be better prepared to advance in the competitive graphic design field.

Networking and Professional Development

Staying competitive in the fast-paced graphic design industry necessitates continual learning, networking, and collaboration with fellow professionals. Texas is home to numerous graphic design organizations and resources, such as the Dallas Society of Visual Communication and the American Advertising Federation, which provide networking opportunities and educational events for aspiring designers.

By attending industry events, participating in workshops, and staying informed about the latest trends and technologies, you can stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive edge in the graphic design job market.

Developing a Strong Portfolio

Creating a diverse and impressive portfolio is a cornerstone of building a successful career in art and graphic design. Your portfolio is your opportunity to showcase your skills and abilities, helping you stand out from the competition and attract potential employers.

To create a strong portfolio, include a variety of projects that demonstrate your capabilities, versatility, and scope. Make sure to highlight your accomplishments and accolades, as well as any projects that showcase your unique style and creativity. Regularly updating your portfolio ensures that it remains current and accurately reflects your most recent work.

Online Graphic Design Programs in Texas

Online graphic design degree programs in Texas offer a flexible and convenient path to education for college students with busy schedules or various commitments. These programs provide college students with a valuable opportunity to pursue a graphic design degree while accommodating their lifestyle.

The beauty of these online offerings lies in their capacity to deliver the same high-quality education found in traditional on-campus programs, minus the constraints of fixed schedules or specific locations. If you’re seeking a flexible route to advance your graphic design education, these online programs in Texas could be your ideal solution.

Tips for Choosing the Right Graphic Design School

When looking for a graphic design school in Texas, considering various factors is vital to ensure you land with one that best aligns with your needs and interests. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Evaluate the curriculum. Make sure the school offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers the essential skills and knowledge you’ll need to succeed in the industry.
  2. Assess faculty expertise. Look for schools with experienced and qualified instructors who can provide valuable insights and guidance throughout your education.
  3. Consider facilities and resources. A well-equipped school with the latest technology and software, as well as a library of resources, is essential for a successful education in graphic design.
  4. Research internship and job placement opportunities. Schools with strong connections to local businesses and organizations, as well as a robust alumni network, can help you secure internships and job opportunities after graduation.
By taking these factors into account, you’ll be better prepared to choose the right graphic design school in Texas that best meets your needs and helps you achieve your career goals.

Accreditation and Program Quality

Selecting a graphic design school in Texas warrants careful consideration of accreditation and program quality. Accreditation ensures that the institution or program meets stringent educational standards, providing assurance of quality. Accredited programs often have access to federal support programs and simplified credit transfer processes, making it easier for students to complete their education.

Additionally, programmatic accreditation demonstrates to employers that students have developed relevant knowledge and skills, increasing job prospects and ensuring a successful career in the graphic design industry. By selecting an accredited program, you can be confident that you’ll receive a high-quality education that prepares you for success in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions

What degree do most graphic designers need?

Most graphic designers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field. However, the specific degree requirements can vary depending on the job and employer.

In some cases, especially for entry-level positions, an associate’s degree or a certificate in graphic design may be sufficient. It’s important to check the job requirements and industry standards for the specific role you’re interested in.

What major is close to graphic design?

Fields closely related to the graphic design degree programs include Visual Communication Design, Digital Arts, Fine Arts, Illustration, Web Design, Communication Design, and Media Arts. These programs offer similar creative and technical curricula and can be a good fit if you’re interested in graphic design. The best choice depends on your specific interests and career goals in the field of design and art.

Is an MFA in graphic design worth it?

Whether an MFA in Graphic Design is worth it depends on your career goals and personal circumstances. An MFA can offer in-depth design knowledge and research skills, which can be valuable if you’re aiming for senior or teaching positions.

It may also lead to a higher salary. However, it’s an investment in time and money, and in the graphic design field, a strong portfolio and experience often weigh more heavily than degrees. Consider your goals and weigh the costs and benefits before pursuing an MFA.

What degree types are available for graphic design programs in Texas?

Graphic design programs in Texas offer a range of degree programs and types, providing flexibility to cater to diverse educational and career objectives. Some degree options include a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or more liberal arts-focused Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees.

For those looking to advance their art studies and expertise, specialized Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs are also available. Community colleges in Texas offer Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees for a quicker entry into the field. Additionally, online programs provide students a flexible way to pursue graphic design education.