Graphic Design Colleges in Louisiana

6 Best Graphic Design Colleges in Louisiana


In the vibrant heart of Louisiana, where creativity flows as freely as the Mississippi River, lies a treasure trove of educational institutions that are shaping the future of graphic design. From the bustling streets of New Orleans to the tranquil bayous, Graphic Design Colleges in Louisiana offer a unique blend of traditional Southern charm and cutting-edge design education.

Whether it’s the storied halls of Louisiana State University with its comprehensive BFA and MFA programs, or the innovative spaces of Louisiana Tech University, where technology and art converge, students here are not just learning to create; they’re being prepared to revolutionize the way we see the world. As we delve into the top graphic design colleges in Louisiana, we uncover the stories of passionate educators, ambitious students, and a community that embraces the power of visual communication.

Graphic Design Colleges in Louisiana

Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University (LSU) stands as a beacon of excellence in the realm of graphic design education. Nestled in the culturally rich and vibrant city of Baton Rouge, LSU’s College of Art & Design offers a comprehensive and rigorous Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Graphic Design, recognized among the top programs in the region and nationally. The curriculum is meticulously crafted to mold students into visual communicators, critical thinkers, and creative problem solvers, equipped with a diverse skill set that spans typography, print and editorial design, infographics, digital marketing, packaging, environmental design, corporate identity design, and branding.

The program’s prestige is reflected in its rankings, where Animation Career Review placed LSU 25th among public schools and colleges and fifth in the South for graphic design. This acclaim is a testament to the dedicated faculty, a blend of exceptional teachers and practicing professionals, who guide students through a transformative educational journey. The BFA and MFA curricula are designed to challenge students with a broad range of experiences, ensuring they emerge as masters of aesthetic, conceptual, technological, social, strategic, and presentation skills.

LSU’s graphic design students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources, including workshops and lectures by visiting artists, graduate studio courses, studio art electives, and art history. A unique feature of the MFA program is the inclusion of a Teaching Seminar and two Thesis Research courses, which are integral to the development of a well-rounded design educator. Graduates of LSU’s graphic design program are not only prepared for independent professional practice but also poised to become influential members of creative teams in design, advertising, corporate communications, education, publishing, or the non-profit sectors.

The program’s philosophy is to inspire creativity and analytical thought in addressing issues of value and meaning in work and life. This holistic approach ensures that LSU’s graphic design graduates are not just skilled artisans but also thoughtful contributors to the broader discourse of visual culture. As they step out into the world, they carry with them the legacy of LSU’s commitment to excellence, ready to revolutionize the way we see and interact with our visual environment.

Louisiana Tech University

Louisiana Tech University, located in the heart of Ruston, Louisiana, is a hub of innovation and creativity in the field of graphic design. The university’s School of Design offers an in-depth Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program in Graphic Design that is both comprehensive and challenging, pushing the boundaries of traditional design education. Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the program adheres to the highest standards of student preparation for a career as professional designers.

The curriculum at Louisiana Tech is designed to foster a strong work ethic and mastery of both traditional and digital skills. Students are encouraged to communicate ideas visually, develop new perspectives, and build a collaborative community that extends beyond their degree. The program emphasizes solving communication problems, conceptualizing and developing visual form, and effectively using tools and technologies to create impactful design solutions.

Students at Louisiana Tech are prepared to exhibit essential competencies in various aspects of graphic design, including understanding commercial and industrial communication needs and the designer’s role in meeting those needs. The educational journey includes comprehensive evaluations, involvement in design exhibitions and competitions, field experiences, and team-based design challenges. This hands-on approach ensures that students are well-versed in the practical aspects of the industry.

The senior year is particularly focused on portfolio preparation, which is crucial for showcasing a graduate’s talents and expertise to potential employers. Upon graduation, students are qualified to perform professionally in a wide variety of design-related industries, such as print media, advertising agencies, corporate design, web and multimedia design, among others.

Louisiana Tech’s commitment to excellence is evident in the quality of its graduates, who leave the university as well-rounded professionals ready to make their mark in the dynamic field of graphic design. The university’s graphic design program is not just about creating aesthetically pleasing work; it’s about instilling a deep understanding of the power of visual communication and its impact on society.

Graphic Design Colleges in Louisiana

Nicholls State University

Nicholls State University, located in the serene town of Thibodaux, Louisiana, is a distinguished institution that offers a robust Graphic Design program within its Department of Art. The program is designed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to become successful professionals in the dynamic field of graphic design. Emphasizing a blend of commercial, cultural, social, historical, and technological concepts, the curriculum prepares students to create works that convey critical thought through language, type style, imagery, and symbols.

The Graphic Design concentration at Nicholls State University is the largest within the Department of Art, reflecting its significance and the comprehensive education it provides. Faculty members, who bring diverse expertise from both commercial and conceptual backgrounds, are committed to expanding their students’ range of knowledge. This ensures that graduates are well-versed in various aspects of graphic design, from print to web, and are capable of addressing the communication needs of today’s industries.

The program boasts excellent facilities, including a state-of-the-art graphic design studio in Talbot Hall, equipped with the latest technology, Apple workstations, and Adobe Creative Suite. Additionally, the studio features a sound and video workroom, vinyl cutter, and large display screens with Apple TV for student and visiting artist presentations. Nicholls State University also provides Maxon Cinema 4D for 3D students at no cost for their personal computers, further enhancing their learning experience.

A unique aspect of the program is the mandatory internship, where every graphic design student gains real-world experience by interning with one of Louisiana’s outstanding design firms or area businesses. This hands-on approach not only bridges the gap between academic learning and professional practice but also provides invaluable networking opportunities and industry insights.

Graduates of Nicholls State University’s Graphic Design program have a wide array of career opportunities available to them, including roles in advertising, animation, art direction, brand strategy, commercial illustration, digital media art, greeting card design, magazines and publishing, promotional design, and technical illustration. The program’s focus on practical skills, combined with the theoretical foundation, ensures that students are ready to meet the challenges of the graphic design profession and contribute meaningfully to the visual culture of our society.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana, situated in the historic city of Natchitoches, offers a vibrant and comprehensive Graphic Design program through its Department of Fine + Graphic Arts. As a NASAD accredited institution, Northwestern State University is dedicated to challenging, inspiring, and directing students toward successful careers in the visual arts. The university provides a nurturing yet demanding environment that fosters artistic study and production.

The university offers three professional degrees: a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Studio Art, a B.F.A. in Graphic Communications, and a Master of Arts in Art (M.A.) with an emphasis on Graphic Design. These programs are structured to develop students’ abilities to think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, and master the technical skills necessary for the evolving field of graphic design.

Students enrolled in the Graphic Design program at Northwestern State University are expected to undergo a rigorous curriculum that includes a portfolio review and a series of foundational courses before delving into more specialized areas of study. The program emphasizes the importance of conceptual development, design principles, and proficiency in industry-standard software and technologies. It also encourages students to explore interdisciplinary approaches to design, integrating knowledge from various fields to create innovative solutions.

The faculty at Northwestern State University are accomplished professionals and educators who provide personalized attention to each student, ensuring that they receive a well-rounded education that is both theoretically grounded and practically applicable. The department regularly hosts exhibitions, workshops, and lectures by visiting artists, providing students with opportunities to engage with the broader art and design community.

Graduates of the Graphic Design program at Northwestern State University are well-prepared to enter the professional world with a strong portfolio that showcases their skills in various areas, including web design, multimedia, print media, branding, and more. The program’s focus on real-world applications and the development of a professional work ethic positions its alumni for success in a competitive and ever-changing industry.

Loyola University of New Orleans

Loyola University of New Orleans, a prestigious Jesuit institution, offers a distinctive Graphic Design program that is deeply rooted in the Jesuit mission of making the world a better place. Located in the heart of New Orleans, a city renowned for its rich cultural heritage and artistic vibrancy, Loyola’s College of Music and Media provides a fertile ground for budding designers to flourish. The program, also known as visual communication, is a practice of creating visual and textual content to communicate ideas and experiences to a specific audience.

The Graphic Design curriculum at Loyola is meticulously structured to guide students through the entire design process, from initial sketching and conceptualizing to producing a polished final product. Students are encouraged to explore both analog methods—such as drawing, hand lettering, screen printing, and letterpress—and digital methods using the Adobe Creative Suite. This dual approach allows them to craft unique solutions that cater to a wide range of audiences.

In their first two years, all design majors at Loyola take the same core courses, which include Introduction to Design, Typography, Motion, Interactive, Print Design and Narrative, and Design History. After their sophomore year, students can choose to remain in the Graphic Design Degree or apply to be part of the Interactive Degree. Those who continue with Graphic Design take upper-level courses that cover Socio-Political Design, Digital Illustration, Design Photography, Printmaking, and other elective courses.

A hallmark of the program is the Senior Capstone Show, where all design students culminate their course of study by participating in an exhibition before graduating. This event not only showcases their talents but also serves as a transition from academic study to professional practice. The Bachelor of Design – Graphic Design major at Loyola is a 120-semester credit hour academic program that requires a 2.0 GPA in the major curriculum and a 2.0 GPA in the Loyola cumulative curriculum for completion.

Loyola’s Graphic Design program is not just about learning to create; it’s about learning to make a difference. The program’s focus on projects that align with the Jesuit mission ensures that graduates are not only skilled designers but also socially responsible individuals who are prepared to use their talents to contribute positively to society.

Xavier University of Louisiana

Xavier University of Louisiana, located in the vibrant city of New Orleans, offers a dynamic learning environment for students interested in the visual arts, including graphic design. The university’s Department of Art and Performance Studies is dedicated to fostering a space where students can realize their creative potential and develop skills in both traditional and contemporary artistic practices.

The program at Xavier encourages students to explore a blend of studio work, seminars, and theory, covering a wide range of visual media such as photography, graphic design, printmaking, painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, and art history. This comprehensive approach ensures that students gain valuable experience in visual art, culture, and communication, preparing them for the diverse demands of the graphic design industry.

Xavier’s curriculum emphasizes professional development, requiring art majors to build a portfolio and learn to market themselves for our global society. Many students take advantage of internship opportunities to gain experience as working artists and designers, and their work is frequently exhibited in local galleries and museums. Upperclassmen have the chance to conduct undergraduate research through the Center for Undergraduate Research, allowing them to present at conferences and conduct research travels.

While Xavier does not offer a dedicated Graphic Design major, the Art B.A. program includes numerous classes on drawing, design, and graphic design. Courses such as Introduction to Graphic Design, Web Design, Intermediate Graphic Design, and Advanced Graphic Design provide a solid foundation for students interested in pursuing a career in this field.

Xavier University of Louisiana’s commitment to visual arts education is evident in its efforts to prepare individuals to be visually aware and socially conscious. The department’s mission aligns with the university’s overall goal of making the world a better place through the power of art and design.


As we conclude our exploration of Louisiana’s graphic design colleges, we are reminded of the rich tapestry of educational opportunities that the state offers. Each institution, with its unique strengths and specialized programs, contributes to a vibrant community that nurtures the next generation of visual communicators. From the bustling creativity of New Orleans to the quiet ambition of Ruston, Louisiana’s colleges are united in their mission to empower students with the tools, knowledge, and inspiration they need to leave a lasting impact on the world of design.

Whether it’s through the development of a socially conscious campaign at Loyola University or the mastery of cutting-edge digital techniques at Louisiana Tech, students across the state are being prepared to not just enter the industry, but to redefine it. As they embark on their professional journeys, armed with portfolios that reflect both their technical prowess and creative vision, they carry forward the legacy of Louisiana’s commitment to excellence in graphic design education.

In the end, it is the stories of the students and alumni, the projects that challenge conventions, and the careers that shape our visual culture that truly encapsulate the essence of Louisiana’s graphic design education. As the sun sets on the bayou, casting a warm glow over the campuses that have become homes to aspiring designers, we look forward to the bright future they will undoubtedly design.