Colleges in Indiana for Graphic Design

Best Colleges in Indiana for Graphic Design


Indiana, often celebrated for its rich history in the arts, is also a fertile ground for modern creativity, particularly in the field of graphic design. From the bustling cityscapes of Indianapolis to the serene college towns like Bloomington, the Hoosier State is home to a variety of institutions that offer cutting-edge graphic design programs. These colleges not only provide students with the technical skills needed to thrive in a digital world but also nurture the artistic spirit required to innovate and inspire.

As we embark on a journey through Indiana’s top graphic design colleges, we uncover the educational gems that are shaping the visual communicators of tomorrow. Join us as we delve into the heart of Midwestern creativity, where tradition meets technology, and where every student’s design dream has the potential to become reality.

Colleges in Indiana for Graphic Design

Saint Mary of the Woods College

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) in Indiana offers a robust Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design program that is crafted to foster clear communication and problem-solving skills through design. The program emphasizes the development of critical thinking, enabling students to approach design challenges with confidence and creativity. With a curriculum that includes 51 credit hours, students at SMWC learn about historical art techniques and modern design methods in class, providing a well-rounded education in the field.

The graphic design degree at SMWC is not just about mastering standard computer software; it’s about gaining a foundational understanding of visual arts that combines art and design processes. Students have access to state-of-the-art software and equipment, allowing them to explore a variety of techniques and styles. This hands-on experience is crucial for creating pieces that effectively communicate messages and for building a full portfolio of high-quality work from their courses.

In addition to the major, SMWC also offers a minor in graphic design, which requires 21 credit hours and allows students to mix and match majors and minors to tailor their education to their career goals. The program prepares students for several careers in the field, such as Art Director, Brand Identity Designer, Creative Designer, and Web Designer, to name a few.

The college supports its students with resources like the Learning Resource Center (LRC), which provides academic support services including a writing center, tutoring, and college success courses. This comprehensive support system, combined with the program’s focus on clear communication and problem-solving, makes SMWC an excellent choice for students seeking a meaningful

University of Saint Francis

The University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana, offers a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design that is designed to develop artistic skill and professional discipline in the world of visual communication and presentation. The program is broad-based and flexible, catering to a variety of student needs and interests.

Students can choose from three concentrations within the graphic design program: Illustration, Photography, and Web Design. Each concentration is tailored to provide in-depth knowledge and skills in the respective area, allowing students to specialize and prepare for specific career paths in the graphic design industry.

The curriculum is rich and diverse, covering a wide range of subjects that include 2D Composition, Drawing, 3D Composition, Foundations of Digital Design, Typography and Layout, Graphic Design, Painting, Intermediate Drawing, Web Design, Process and Production, and more. This comprehensive approach ensures that students are well-equipped with both the creative and technical skills necessary for effective visual communication.

One of the key outcomes for graduates of this program is the ability to achieve an artistic sensitivity across all design levels and understand the consequences and outcomes of large, complex systems. Students are also expected to develop a foundational understanding of design principles, technical skills, and visual organization to achieve basic visual communication in one or more design media.

The program requires a total of 120 credit hours, which includes 60 credit hours in major required courses, 36-37 credit hours of general education courses, 9 credit hours in concentration courses, and 14-15 credit hours in elective courses as needed.

With a focus on project-based learning, the University of Saint Francis encourages collaboration among students and even across different majors to develop creative solutions for real clients. This hands-on experience is complemented by 24-hour access to computer labs and design studios, ensuring that inspiration and productivity are not bound by time.

Graduates of the University of Saint Francis Graphic Design program leave with a portfolio that demonstrates their artistic sensitivity, technical proficiency, and a deep understanding of visual communication, ready to make their mark in the dynamic and evolving field of graphic design.

Goshen College

Goshen College in Indiana offers a vibrant and comprehensive Graphic Design Major & Minor that equips students with the necessary skills to excel in the competitive field of visual communication. The program is designed to address the multifaceted nature of graphic design, blending visual aesthetics, technical expertise, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities.

Students at Goshen College benefit from small class sizes, which ensures personalized attention and mentorship from dedicated faculty members. This intimate learning environment fosters a strong sense of community and collaboration among students and faculty alike. The curriculum is rich and diverse, covering essential areas such as typography, marketing, web design, app design, and traditional print media, providing students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for various career paths in the design industry.

The program emphasizes real-world experience, offering students numerous opportunities to apply their knowledge in practical settings. This includes creating posters for school events, designing layouts for the college’s award-winning student-run newspaper, and securing internships with local advertising agencies. Such experiences are invaluable, as they allow students to build a professional portfolio that showcases their talent and creativity, a crucial asset for job placement after graduation.

Goshen College’s graphic design program also integrates business courses such as entrepreneurship, marketing, and advertising, providing students with a competitive edge and very essential skills to thrive in the workplace. By the time students graduates, they have a unique and professional portfolio, ready to present to potential employers and clients.

With a focus on nurturing creativity and providing a comprehensive education, Goshen College stands out as an institution that not only teaches students how to design but also how to think like designers, ensuring they are well-prepared to enter the dynamic and evolving graphic design field.

Colleges in Indiana for Graphic Design

Bethel University

Bethel University in Indiana offers a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design that is both rigorous and comprehensive, providing students with a solid foundation in design skills, theory, and processes. The program is structured to challenge students to consider their roles as creators within the broader contexts of the industry and society.

The curriculum combines studio arts experiences with a strong emphasis on design fundamentals, ensuring that students are well-prepared to tackle complex design problems and create meaningful work. Students at Bethel University engage in a variety of courses that cover visual inquiry, type, image and graphic design histories, research and process development, professional practices, branding and identity, and the interaction of social innovation, information and data visualization.

The first two years of the program focus on traditional hand methods, while the latter two years emphasize computer-aided design, grounded in theoretical design basics. This approach allows students to communicate effectively, both visually and verbally, across a range of hand techniques and software programs.

Bethel’s graphic design major highlights the omnipresence of design in our lives and the power it has to connect people, exchange ideas, and facilitate change. Students are encouraged to become creative problem solvers and influencers through design, with the program fostering growth in artistic skills and creative energy.

The university’s facilities provide students with the space and resources they need to focus their creative energy and develop their craft. Additionally, students have the opportunity to engage with faculty members trained in their area of interest, connect with other creative-minded students, and receive mentorship from professional artists and designers.

Bethel University’s graphic design program is well-suited for students who are strategizers, innovators, creative thinkers, dreamers, doers, and makers. It pairs well with business, communications, journalism, and more, allowing students to apply their design practice across disciplines and address real-world problems with visual and strategic communication skills. Graduates of the program are equipped with a polished portfolio and an original body of work, ready to make a difference in the world as corporate communicators, editorial designers, publishers, advertisers, brand specialists, museum curators, and more.

Oakland City University

Oakland City University in Indiana offers a distinctive Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design program that merges classical art training with modern professional know-how. This program is designed to transform students into visual storytellers, equipping them with more than just the ability to create images; it instills the visual language necessary to inspire and motivate audiences.

The curriculum includes a required course sequence in art foundations and art history, ensuring that students receive a well-rounded education in the visual arts. The core major consists of nine graphic design courses, including two electives, which culminate in a senior thesis and an accompanying exhibition. This structure allows students to develop a strong portfolio of work that showcases their artistic ability and professional polish.

One of the standout features of Oakland City University’s program is its industry orientation. Students learn to work on teams, handle critiques, present to clients, and execute projects on time and on budget. By the time they complete the program, they are not only creatively talented but also professionally disciplined.

Real-world experience is a key component of the education here. While a graphic design internship is not mandatory, most students opt to participate in one. The university’s location in a region with a dynamic economy means there’s a high demand for graphic designers, providing students with ample opportunities to find internships that match their career interests.

The faculty at Oakland City University are experienced professionals with notable achievements in graphic design. They bring practical insights, tricks of the trade, and career guidance to the classroom, teaching from first-hand experience. This mentorship is invaluable as students navigate their educational journey and prepare for a successful career in graphic design.

In summary, Oakland City University’s Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design program is a comprehensive and supportive environment that encourages creativity and prepares students for the professional world of graphic design. With a curriculum that stays current with industry trends and a culture that promotes exhibition and collaboration, students are well-positioned to jump-start their careers as graphic designers upon graduation.

Grace College

Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, offers a Visual Communication Design – Graphic Design Concentration within its Bachelor of Arts program that is tailored to blend art skills with technical knowledge of graphic software. This program is designed for those who are serious about making an impact in the field of visual communication design.

The curriculum at Grace College is comprehensive, focusing on developing basic art and design skills, increasing knowledge of technical production processes in the graphic arts industry, and providing functional training on graphics software. Students are required to gain real-world experience, ensuring they are well-equipped for jobs in graphic design, web design, advertisement, and other areas.

The Graphic Design Concentration at Grace College aims to create workable connections between art skills and the technical knowledge required in a professional setting, all within a Christian college context. This approach prepares students to engage in meaningful conversations and address questions that arise in the intersection of faith and design.

Faculty members at Grace College, such as Aaron Winey, M.F.A., and Kim M. Reiff, Ph.D., M.F.A., M.B.A., bring practical, professional knowledge to the classroom, serving to encourage and challenge students to be competent in communicating visually and to develop a mature, Christ-centered worldview. The program’s emphasis on hands-on learning opportunities, both on campus and in the community, provides students with a platform to apply their learning in tangible ways.

With a commitment to fostering character, competence, and service within the hearts and minds of students, Grace College’s Graphic Design concentration develops skills in a Visual Communication Major, preparing graduates for a successful career in visual communication design.


As we conclude our exploration of Indiana’s graphic design colleges, it’s evident that the state is a vibrant hub for design education. Each institution we’ve discussed offers a unique blend of creativity, technical prowess, and real-world experience, preparing students to leave a lasting mark in the field of visual communication. Whether it’s the comprehensive curriculum at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, the specialized concentrations at the University of Saint Francis, or the community engagement at Goshen College, Indiana’s colleges provide a fertile ground for budding designers to grow and thrive.

In the heartland of America, where innovation meets tradition, these colleges stand as testaments to the transformative power of education. They are not just teaching students how to create; they are inspiring them to envision and shape the future of design. As students embark on their journeys, armed with knowledge, skill, and passion, they are poised to become the next generation of designers who will no doubt elevate the art of graphic design to new heights. Indiana, with its rich educational offerings, continues to be a beacon for those who seek to blend artistry with utility, and its graphic design programs are at the forefront of this creative quest.

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