Best Graphic Design Schools in California

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Best Graphic Design Schools in California

If you have a knack for creativity, graphic design can be your niche. Whether it is creating designs for websites, social media platforms, print publications, or you name it, the industry is in high demand since most companies lack skilled graphic designers updated with the 2022 style. Suppose you are looking for a job where you will be hugely paid for something you love to do, then a career in graphic designing can be a fantastic choice. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the median income for those with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design can expect a starting income of around $47,640.

But how to find out the best graphic design school in California? Well, don’t worry, I got you covered. In this article, I have handpicked the top-rated 10 Graphic design Schools in California that offer first-class education. If you are looking for a safe bet where you don’t lose your job when the trend goes down, graphic designing is an excellent choice as, according to the data, they have an unemployment rate of 3.7%, which is a decent ratio. So without further adieu, let us get down to business.

1. California Institute of the Arts

Known as the art school, the California Institute of The Arts is a fantastic choice if you are looking for a top-rated institution to learn graphic designing. Since Walt Disney itself founded it, they focused on bringing the creative skills out of their passionate students.

Moreover, it is one of the most diverse schools lately. They will provide a first-class environment school where you can enjoy and learn simultaneously. Located in Santa Clarita, it has a gorgeous campus, and the four-year program offered by this school is highly recommended.

Founded In: 1961
Tuition: $74,931 (before aid)
SAT Avg. : 1445
ACT Avg. : 29
Acceptance Rate: 27%
GPA: 3.8
Rank: #1 of Best Graphic Design Schools in US
Contact: (661) 255-1050
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs,
Cien Amigos – IME Scholarship Fund- Varies- Merit-Based Fund
Against the Grain Artistic Scholarship- Varies- Educational Fund

Apply For Admission

2. California College of the Arts

If you are exclusively looking for a college known for its hands-on training in graphic designing, then California College of the Arts is a good option. It is popular since programs feature 2D and 3D digital work, such as animation and graphic design.

Moreover, if you study here, you will get an opportunity to learn from the renowned personalities of the industry. Animators from Pixar, Tippett, and Dreamworks–a solid powerhouse lineup will provide you with their valuable insights throughout the course to give you a comprehensive perspective on the subject.

Founded In: 1907
Tuition: $74,680 (before aid)
SAT Avg. : 1199
ACT Avg. : 20
Acceptance Rate: 83%
GPA: 2.7
Rank: #2 of Best Graphic Design Schools in US
Contact: (510) 594-3600
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs,
First-Time Freshmen Merit Scholarships- up to 25,000$- Merit-Based Fund
Transfer Merit Scholarships- Varies- Educational Fund

Apply For Admission

3. San Jose State University

The most crucial reason why San Jose State University is endorsed for your graphic designing program is that they offer exceptional internship opportunities at significant designing companies through their partnerships and affiliations. This will help you to get real-world experience. It is also located in the middle of silicon valley, which opens more opportunities.

Moreover, the most critical factor we have to consider before choosing a graphic designing school is to see whether the school and the curriculum constantly upgrade according to technological advancements. San Jose is an innovative school that can be a great choice.

Founded In: 1857
Tuition: $29,025 (before aid)
SAT Avg. : 1263
ACT Avg. : 21
Acceptance Rate: 67%
GPA: 3.2
Rank: #3 of Best Graphic Design Schools in US
Contact: (408) 924-1000
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs,
SJSU Alumni Association Dean’s Scholarships- Varies- Educational Fund
Inez and Donald Burdick Scholarship- Varies- Merit-Based Fund

Apply For Admission

4. Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University has one of the most extensive and world-class facilities for graphic designing in North America. Located in San Francisco, it is an excellent university with a great campus and infrastructure where you will get a community-based approach towards learning.

The graphic designing program follows a rigorous curriculum where students can learn and focus on visual effects, storyboarding, 2D animation and stop motion, 3D modeling, and 3D animation through hands-on training. They have a fantastic alumni network where students can find millions of opportunities,

Founded In: 1929
Tuition: $47,174 (before aid)
SAT Avg. : 1100
ACT Avg. : 28
Acceptance Rate: 90%
GPA: 2.8
Rank: #4 of Best Graphic Design Schools in US
Contact: (800) 544-2787
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs,
Emerging Artist Scholarship- 3,000$- Merit-Based Fund
Spring Forward Scholarship- 2,000$- Scholarship Fund

Apply For Admission

5. Otis College of Art and Design

Exclusively known for its arts and design programs, Otis College of Art and Design is a fantastic choice to learn graphic designing and illustration. Top companies like Random House, Marvel, National Geographic, The New York Times, and many more have chosen students from this university to offer first-class illustrative work. The school is highly recommended.

They offer a rigorous curriculum where you will get a chance to learn all the necessary skills to shine in the industry. From tattoos and posters to apps and ezines, everything can be learned through their faculties who have advanced experience in this industry.

Founded In: 1918
Tuition: $69,532 (before aid)
SAT Avg. : 1238
ACT Avg. : 24
Acceptance Rate: 80%
GPA: 3.0
Rank: #5 of Best Graphic Design Schools in US
Contact: (310) 665-6800
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs,
Nike, Sony, the Ahmanson Foundation Scholarships- Various- Educational Fund

Apply For Admission

6. California State University, Fullerton

If you are looking for a school where you will learn through a first-class infrastructure, California State University, located in Fullerton, is a great choice. They have a beautiful campus where there is great diversity and an atmosphere filled with positivity.

The graphic designing program can extend upto4 years, so it is necessary to find a school that will offer a great environment with a lot of learning opportunities. The highlight of this program is you will get internship opportunities from giant companies like Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney, Blizzard, or Sony Online Entertainment.

Founded In: 1888
Tuition: $28,715 (before aid)
SAT Avg. : 1333
ACT Avg. : 24
Acceptance Rate: 68%
GPA: 3.77
Rank: #6 of Best Graphic Design Schools in US
Contact: (657) 278-2011
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs,
CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement- Various- Educational Fund
Howard C. Christiansen Endowed Scholarship- Varies- Merit-Based Fund

Apply For Admission

7. Woodbury University

Woodbury University rose to fame for its first-class graphic designing program when it was featured in the top 25 graphic designing schools in the US list. The school is known for its first-class faculty who have advanced experience in the industry. Moreover, it is located in the land of opportunities- LA.

The school focuses on having small-sized classes and a very decent student-faculty ratio so that you will get undivided attention from the renowned faculty. The school provides a holistic approach towards the curriculum where you will learn the necessary designing skills to shine in the industry.

Founded In: 1890
Tuition: $59,940 (before aid)
SAT Avg. : 1427
ACT Avg. : 28
Acceptance Rate: 70%
GPA: 3.22
Rank: #7 of Best Graphic Design Schools in US
Contact: (818) 767-0888
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs,
Kenneth R. Nielsen Endowed Scholarship Fund- Varies- Educational Fund

Apply For Admission

8. Laguna College of Art and Design

If you are looking for a school where they will offer action sports design emphasis, then Laguna College of Art and Design is highly recommended. They offer a complete hands-on approach to graphic designing programs, which will also help you fetch great opportunities in the industry.

Laguna can be your safe bet since the school has a tremendous graduate with a job in the field rate. It is pertinent to note that nearly 98 percent of students from graphic designing programs have gotten into the same field and are thriving. It is a pretty impressive record.

Founded In: 1923
Tuition: $54,429 (before aid)
SAT Avg. : 1148
ACT Avg. : 29
Acceptance Rate: 83%
GPA: 2.88
Rank: #8 of Best Graphic Design Schools in US
Contact: (949) 376-6000
Financial Aid: Below are some of the best funding programs,
LCAD Scholarship Fund- 2000$- Educational Fund
Endowed scholarship- 25,000$- Merit-Based Fund

Apply For Admission

9. ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, California

ArtCenter College of Design, located in Pasadena, is a first-class graphic designing school that offers a holistic approach towards its curriculum. There are students from nearly 40 countries who come to learn at this top-rated college. They have two satellite studios in Los Angeles where they provide first-class hands-on training for students.

The school is also known for its first-class faculty renowned in the field. Students will get a plethora of opportunities through the school’s alumni network as well as through their partnerships. They also provide a wonderful campus to study through the years.

Founded In: 1930
Tuition: $70,444 (before aid)
SAT Avg. : 1300
ACT Avg. : 29
Acceptance Rate: 78%
GPA: 3.5
Rank: #9 of Best Graphic Design Schools in US
Contact: (626) 396-2200
Financial Aid: The University does not offer scholarships currently

Apply For Admission

10. University of Southern California

Last but not the least, the University of Southern California is a fantastic choice for a graphic designing program. Through the four-year course, students are given the freedom to explore their opportunities through many options like internships, student abroad programs, and much more.

The graphic designing program offered by this school provides a combination of studio courses in tandem with theory seminars, critique studios, capstone courses, and senior thesis projects. This is the reason why the school is considered to be one of the top schools to provide a graphic designing program in California.

Founded In: 1880
Tuition: $80,151 (before aid)
SAT Avg. : 1449
ACT Avg. : 32
Acceptance Rate: 16%
GPA: 4.0
Rank: #10 of Best Graphic Design Schools in US
Contact: (213) 740-2311
Financial Aid: The University does not offer scholarships currently

Apply For Admission

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.