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Some schools have emphasis on graphic design, others on fine art, and others have a strong program on web design. Know what you want to study before you register. If you aren't sure, register with a school with confirmed accreditation and a solid first-year program of basic skills in the elements and principles of design.
Considering applying to graphic design schools? The best way to make sure you go to a reputable graphic design school is to do your research. Start by examining programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, also known as NASAD (www.nasad.arts-accredit.org). NASAD is the national accrediting agency for schools in the areas of art and design in the United States. The American Institute of Graphic Arts, more commonly known as the AIGA is the professional organization supporting those in the design field. The AIGA is currently working with NASAD to maintain a level of standards in accredited graphic design programs. After you have examined a list of NASAD accredited graphic design programs, you can start considering the following when applying to graphic design schools:
• Location – Will you commute or move to attend the school of your choice?
• Cost – How much will a graphic design education cost you?
• Specialization – Does the program offer coursework or specialization that interests you?
• Faculty – Who will you get your graphic design education from and what are their backgrounds and credentials?
• Rankings – Some publications such as U.S. News & World Report ranks graphic design programs. Always check the criteria that a ranking system uses to rate their schools to determine if their parameters apply to your particular situation.
• Reputation – How does the school rate among its graduates and members of the professional graphic design community?
Career opportunities in graphic design include positions with digital/interactive media firms, corporations, institutions, museums, graphic design firms, publishing firms and media development offices. Many graphic designers are expected to have skills in a computer publishing or art program to accommodate the accelerated needs of publishing today.