Design Schools in Connecticut with Degree Program Summaries

There are about 10 schools within Connecticut that have design programs. Read an overview of the 10 schools' programs, requirements and tuition info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Essential Information

In the state of Connecticut, several community colleges and universities offer degree programs that focus on the design of digital graphics, communications collateral, interior spaces, theatre stages or industrial environments. Degrees are available at the associate, bachelor's and master's levels. These programs may include the study of illustration, multimedia design, interior architecture or computer-aided design (CAD) applications. Profiled below are 10 design schools available in Connecticut.


Central Connecticut State University

As Connecticut's oldest public higher education institution, Central Connecticut State University is a 4-year public school located in the suburb of New Britain. Through the Department of Design, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Graphic/Information Design. Program courses cover graphic design, website design, interactive media and 3-D animation. Graduate students can earn a Master of Arts (MA) in Information Design, which features marketing, business and computer applications courses. Students can complete practical design experience through a design internship, central design studio or the international student exchange. Theatre students can enroll in a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Design and Technical Theatre program, with courses on rendering, scene design, lighting, costuming and technical direction, as well as a theatre internship.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Graphic/Information Design,
    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Technical Theatre,
    Master of Arts in Information Design
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $8,321 (in-state),
    $19,353 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; large suburb

Manchester Community College

A public 2-year college located in Manchester, Manchester Community College was founded in 1963. Students can complete an Associate in Science (AS) in Graphic Design program, which includes course topics in illustration, web page design and computer graphics. Other associate-level programs include the AS in Computer Game Design. Game design students complete courses in programming logic, computer graphics, flash design, digital printing and animation. Students can choose to complete the AS in Technology Studies program with a computer-aided design (CAD) option, featuring courses in engineering drawing, geometric dimension and 3-D mechanical AutoCAD.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Science in Graphic Design,
    Associate in Science in Computer Game Design,
    Associate in Science in Technology Studies - CAD option
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,598 (in-state),
    $10,464 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; large suburb

Northwestern Connecticut Community College

Northwestern Connecticut Community College is a 2-year public institution located in the town of Winsted. The school's service area includes 20 local counties. Within the art department, students can pursue an AS in Graphic Communication Design. Program courses cover topics such as drawing, photography, 2-D design, 3-D design, interactive media and web design.

  • Program Offered: Associate in Science in Graphic Communication Design
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,598 (in-state),
    $10,756 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; fringe town

Norwalk Community College

The city of Norwalk is home to Norwalk Community College, founded in 1961 through the merger of 2 local institutions. Through the Department of Art, Architecture and Design, students can pursue a web design associate degree with courses in web development, graphic design, typography and digital imaging. The AS in Graphic Design program covers figure drawing, color theory, digital photography and portfolio presentation. Students may opt to complete a cooperative work experience. Other 2-year programs include the AAS in Interior Design, which includes courses in environmental systems, architectural visualization and design materials.

  • Programs Offered: Associate in Applied Science in Design for the Web,
    Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design,
    Associate in Science in Graphic Design
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $3,598 (in-state),
    $10,754 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 2-year, public; small city

Quinnipiac University

In the suburb of Hamden, Quinnipiac University is a 4-year private institution that began in 1929 as a liberal arts college. The Department of Visual and Performing Arts offers a BA in Interactive Digital Design program with courses in motion graphics, 3-D graphics, soundscapes and programming. Within the BA in Game Design and Development program, students can complete courses covering visual design, 2-D animation, audio design and interactive storytelling. Additionally, graduate students can pursue a Master of Science in Interactive Media. This online program explores user-centered design, media production and social media analysis; it culminates in a master's thesis or project.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Digital Design,
    Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and Development,
    Master of Science in Interactive Media (online)
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $38,000*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb

Sacred Heart University

Founded in 1963 by the Bishop of Bridgeport Diocese, Sacred Heart University is a private Catholic institution located in the city of Fairfield. In addition to several non-degree programs in design, including certificates in interactive design and a minor in fashion design, students can pursue a BA in Graphic Design. Courses examine visual communication, computer design and 3-D design.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design - Graphic Design
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $34,030*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb

University of Bridgeport

The city of Bridgeport is home to the University of Bridgeport, a private institution founded in 1927 as a junior college. Through the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design, students can pursue a BFA in Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (BS) in Industrial Design and BS in Interior Design. Graphic design students complete coursework in letterforms, computer applications, illustration, advertising and business communication. Industrial design courses cover shop orientation, drafting, manufacturing and furniture design.

The BS in Interior Design program features courses in modern architecture, interior construction systems, CAD, materials and lighting. Graduates of this program meet the education requirements for interior design licensure in Connecticut. At the graduate level, students can pursue a Master of Professional Studies in Design Management program that delves into marketing, collaborative design, intellectual property rights and entrepreneurship.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design,
    Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design,
    Bachelor of Science in Interior Design,
    Master of Professional Studies in Design Management
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $28,140*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city

University of Connecticut

Located in Storrs, the University of Connecticut is a 4-year school with almost 25,000 students. Undergraduate students can enroll in a BA or BFA in Digital Media and Design program, featuring track options in web design and development, digital game design and development, 2-D animation, 3-D animation and interactive design. The school also offers a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Digital Media and Design program that includes business topics, as well as digital humanities and entertainment. In addition to courses, students complete a final project.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media and Design,
    Master of Arts/Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media and Design
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $11,242 (in-state),
    $29,074 (out-of-state)*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, public; fringe town

University of Hartford

A private institution in West Hartford, the University of Hartford was chartered in 1957 through the merger of three local schools, including the Hartford Art School. The school offers a BFA in Visual Communication Design. The program covers image making, media arts, design systems and sequential graphics, among other topics. In addition to courses, students complete a senior project and portfolio.

  • Program Offered: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $32,172*
  • School Type & Setting: 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city

Yale University

Located in New Haven, Yale University offers several degree programs through the School of Art. Undergraduate students may wish to pursue a BA in Computing and the Arts. This interdisciplinary program includes computer courses in graphical user interfaces and algorithm design, as well as art courses in visual biography, drawing, digital photography and graphic design. Graduate students can pursue an MFA in Graphic Design through the School of Art. Graphic design students delve into type design, moving images, mobile computing and exhibition design.

  • Programs Offered: Bachelor of Arts in Computing and the Arts,
    Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
  • Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013): $42,300*
  • School Type & Setting:4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type and Setting Design Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2012-2013)
Central Connecticut State University 4-year, public; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Graphic/Information Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Technical Theatre,
Master of Arts in Information Design
$8,321 (in-state),
$19,353 (out-of-state)*
Manchester Community College 2-year, public; large suburb Associate in Science in Graphic Design,
Associate in Science in Computer Game Design,
Associate in Science in Technology Studies - CAD option
$3,598 (in-state),
$10,464 (out-of-state)*
Northwestern Connecticut Community College 2-year, public; fringe town Associate in Science in Graphic Communication Design $3,598 (in-state),
$10,756 (out-of-state)*
Norwalk Community College 2-year, public; small city Associate in Applied Science in Design for the Web,
Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design,
Associate in Science in Graphic Design
$3,598 (in-state),
$10,754 (out-of-state)*
Quinnipiac University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Interactive Digital Design,
Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and Development,
Master of Science in Interactive Media (online)
$38,000*
Sacred Heart University 4-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design - Graphic Design $34,030*
University of Bridgeport 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design,
Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design,
Bachelor of Science in Interior Design,
Master of Professional Studies in Design Management
$28,140*
University of Connecticut 4-year, public; fringe town Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media and Design,
Master of Arts/Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media and Design
$11,242 (in-state),
$29,074 (out-of-state)*
University of Hartford 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Design $32,172*
Yale University 4-year, private not-for-profit; midsize city Bachelor of Arts in Computing and the Arts,
Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$42,300*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Philadelphia
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Graphic Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Durham
    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

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