Top Ten Design Schools in the United States

See which top-ranked schools have design programs. Get information about program options and rankings at two profiled schools; keep reading for a list of colleges and universities that also offer similar programs.

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School Information

Design encompasses a broad range of creative fields that are often closely related to the visual arts. Common areas of study include graphic design, multimedia design, industrial design and interior design. Design programs are typically enrolled at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Two top schools with undergraduate and graduate design program options include the University of California, Los Angeles and Drexel University in Pennsylvania.

Top U.S. Institutions with Design School Programs

1. University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is the highest-ranked school to offer a design program in the United States. UCLA ranked 24th overall among U.S. News and World Report's list of best colleges in 2010. With 38,220 students enrolled annually, this 4-year public university is also one of the most populated schools in the nation to offer a reputable design program. The School of the Arts and Architecture offers a Bachelor of Arts in Design and Media Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Design and Media Arts.

2. Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA

U.S. News and World Report ranked Drexel University 88th in a list of best colleges in 2010. This 4-year private university boasts a total enrollment of roughly 21,537 students each year. The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design offers majors in design and merchandising, fashion design, graphic design, interior design, product design and digital media. Graduate programs are also offered in interior architecture and design, digital media and fashion design.

List of Popular Colleges and Universities with Design School Programs

College/University Name Student Population Address Phone Number
Arizona State University67,082Tempe, Arizona 85287(480) 965-9011
University of California, Los Angeles38,220405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, California 90095(310) 825-4321
Virginia Commonwealth University32,044910 W. Franklin St., Richmond, Virginia 23284(804) 828-0100
University of Kentucky26,054Lexington, Kentucky 40506(859) 257-9000
University of Illinois at Chicago25,835601 S. Morgan, Chicago, Illinois 60607(312) 996-7000
Drexel University21,5373141 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104(215) 895-2000
Carnegie Mellon University10,8755000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213(412) 268-2000
Howard University10,3202400 Sixth St. NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20059(202) 806-6100
The New School9,82566 W. 12th St., New York, New York 10011(212) 229-5600
Savannah College of Art and Design9,120342 Bull St., Savannah, Georgia 31402(912) 525-5000
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Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    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:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    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
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    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
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Graphic Design
        • Interior Design and Decorating
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University 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:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Miami include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
        • Graphic Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video

Popular Schools

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