Top MFA in Graphic Design Programs

In the field of graphic design, although most practitioners hold at the very least a secondary degree, truth be told, no degree is required—simply a great portfolio. With that said, in recent years there has been a wellspring of new graphic design MFA programs in addition to those already in place. In part, this is the result of universities adopting the MFA as the terminal degree for teaching. There are two main models, residency and low-residency/independent study.

In the August issue of Print, contributor Steven Brower presents 11 of the many MFA programs across the country, selected for various distinctions, including the unique draw of what they have to offer to today’s designers, broken down by Print’s six regions of the U.S. as presented in the Regional Design Annual. Brower dives into plenty of other distinguished MFA programs below.


About Steven Brower:
Steven Brower is a former creative director of Print, as well as a designer, author and educator. He’s been teaching at the grad level since 1995 at Marywood University in Scranton, PA, in the “Get Your Masters With the Masters” MFA program for Working Professionals. In 2011, he was promoted to director of the program.


One thought on “Top MFA in Graphic Design Programs

  1. PhillyTransplant

    First, I find the lack of objectivity in this article to be unconscionable. How can the head of the program at Marywood list his own program among the other elite schools listed here? If you’re writing an article that highlights MFA programs around the country, and you head an MFA program, you need to recuse your own program from the article, otherwise it’s shameless advertising. Nonetheless, it works out that Marywood is the first school listed in the article. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Second, Marywood is just not on par with the other programs listed here, furthering the shameless plug theory. I was a Philly resident for 35 years (Philly is a few hours south of Marywood), attended Tyler in Philly for my MFA, and now I’m a GD professor on the west coast, so I know the programs around the country pretty well. So, sorry, but Marywood is not thought of in the same breath as the other schools listed.

    I’ve been looking for another reason to drop my Print mag subscription, and I think I finally found it. Sorry Print, but this, along with the ever-shrinking size of the editorial content, and increasing advertising content, is just too much for me to stay around anymore.