Graphic Design Degrees in Connecticut

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Considering graphic design degrees in Connecticut? Don’t let the Constitution State’s small size—it’s the third least extensive state in the U.S.—fool you! The Nutmeg State forms part of the Tri-State area, which includes New York and New Jersey. So, Nutmeggers enjoy all of the excitement of big city living combined with the rustic tranquility of New England. Named for the Algonquin word for the long tidal river that divides the state into eastern and western halves, Connecticut has long been dominant in maritime trades. Now, Connecticut’s institutions of higher education are leading the way in graphic design, offering a variety of degree programs. From small, intimate settings to large universities with state-of-the-art facilities, Connecticut’s graphic design programs can’t be beat!

Norwalk Community College

Department of Art, Architecture, and Design

Norwalk Community College is the second largest of the 12 Connecticut Community Colleges, boasting 6,000 full- and part-time students attending classes at the school’s East and West Campuses. The Art, Architecture, and Design Department’s CADD and Mac labs offer access to a large format printer and up-to-date software meeting industry standards in a well-lit lab with ergonomic seating, respectively. The College’s Cooperative Education Program/Internship offers students nearing graduation the unique opportunity to work with local employers and receive academic credit for work experience, streamlining the transition from education to employment.

Graphic Design A.S. Career Program

The Graphic Design A.S. Career Program is designed to provide a solid foundation in the history of graphic design and help students develop essential skills in their field while also emphasizing a diverse liberal arts education. Students take a minimum of 22 course credits, selecting electives and preparing a portfolio of their design work in consultation with their faculty advisor. Program outcomes include competency in the industry’s standard tools (both digital and manual), the ability to identify and execute appropriate design elements for effective visual communication, and an understanding of design history and contemporary trends in graphic design as well as field-specific, technical vocabulary. The portfolio of graphic design work showcases the student’s visual artistry, skill, and mastery of design techniques, creating a solid foundation for seeking employment after graduation. Students may also gain first-hand experience in the industry as part of an optional internship.

Accreditations
– New England Association of Schools and Colleges
– CT Board of Governors for Higher Education
– Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.

Contact
Norwalk Community College
188 Richards Ave, Norwalk, CT 06854
(203) 857-7000
jalvord@norwalk.edu
Website

Paier College of Art

Paier College of Art is a small, private four-year college offering certificates, diplomas, and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. With just 300 undergraduates and 40 full-time faculty, the professor to student ratio will appeal to those wishing to make the most of the personalized education opportunities offered by small, private schools. Moreover, students are encouraged to get back to basics during their first year of school, known as the Foundation Year. While modern technology and practices are emphasized throughout the course of study, the Foundation Year encourages students to develop traditional skills involving the use of ink, pencil, paint, and print film. In order to mold well-rounded, literate artists, the College encourages students to complement their fine arts studies with liberal arts courses.

Diploma in Graphic Design

The Paier College of Art, Inc.’s Diploma in Graphic Design is a four-year course of study involving 104 semester hours. The Foundation Year begins with Drawing I and II, Painting I and II, English, History of Western Art, Color/Design, Lettering, and 3D Design. During the second year, students delve into Advertising, Concept Rendering, Typography, Computer Graphics, and Graphic Production. Students can look forward to spending their third year immersed in classes that include Computer Page Layout, Package Design: Materials, and Business Practices. By the fourth and final year, students further hone their skills in classes like Advertising Portfolio I and II, Computer Drawing Publication, Web Page Design, and Art Direction I and II. The diploma course is focused on graphic design, with fewer liberal arts requirements than the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design at Paier College of Art, Inc. requires the completion of 130 semester hours over the course of four years of study. In addition to Painting I and II, Drawing I and II, Color/Design, Lettering, and English I and II, BFA students will also take a social science elective and an academic elective during their first, or Foundation, year. During the following year, students will enjoy the Intro to Computer Graphics, Advertising Design I and II, Graphic Design I and II, and Black and White Photography I and II course offerings alongside Mathematical Ideas and Philosophy. During the third year, BFA students will examine Photo Digital Imaging, General Psychology, and Business Practices, along with two electives: one in the History of Modern Art and the other in Effective Speaking. Seniors will further refine their skills in the Multimedia, Publication Design I and II, and Computer Drawing courses, while broadening their horizons in Intro to Biology, the Physical Science elective, and History of Contemporary Art.

Program outcomes include the option to pursue a career as freelance graphic designers or opt for salaried work at design studios, publishers, corporate, government, and industry settings.

Accreditations
– CT Board of Governors for Higher Education
– Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges of Technology
– Member, International Council of Design Schools

Contact
Paier College of Art, Inc.
20 Gorham Avenue
Hamden, CT 06514
203-287-3031
admissions@paiercollegeofart.edu
Website 

University of Bridgeport

Shintaro Akatsu School of Design

The University of Bridgeport was recently ranked 11th most diverse national university by the U.S. News and World Report, with students hailing from 46 U.S. states and 80 different countries. The independent, private university currently has nearly 2,500 enrolled undergraduates and over 3,000 graduate students with a full-time faculty that consists of 117 members. One of the University of Bridgeport’s 13 colleges, the Shintaro Akatsu School of Design (SASD) is composed of 200 undergraduate students enrolled in the school’s four specialties: BFAs in Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and Interior Design, as well as the MPS in Design Management.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design

The SASD Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design Degree is career-oriented. During the first year of this four-year program, BFA students tackle 2D and 3D Design Principles, Drawing I and II, Intro to Computer Applications I and II, Survey of Art History I and II, as well as Composition & Rhetoric and Intermediate Algebra to round out the school’s trademark interdisciplinary approach. During the second year, students will perfect their skills in Graphic Design Studio I and II (Print), History of Modern Design, Typography, Illustration Studio, and History of Graphic Design, complemented by Social Science and Humanities Core Courses. During the penultimate year, graphic design BFA students will explore Video, Complete their Graphic Design Studio (Print) trilogy and complete the Graphic Design Studio (Web) course, while also considering Business Practices, Introduction to Advertising, Introduction to Mass Communications, and Introduction to Visual Semiotics. Two core courses during the third year fulfill the Natural Science requirements. During the final year, students will focus on their Thesis/Portfolio, a self-guided culminating project meant to highlight the student’s abilities. During the final year students will also consider PR & Advertising Campaigns and Business Communications, select two Design Program Electives, and participate in Independent Study and Internship/Practicum courses for hands on experience in preparation for graduation and future employment.

With a print and new media portfolio under their belts, graduates are uniquely poised for a career in graphic design, with specialized knowledge of advertising campaigns, typography, motion, branding, and publications.

Master of Professional Studies in Design Management

The Master of Professional Studies in Design Management from the University of Bridgeport’s Shintaro Akatsu School of Design focuses on three aspects: the socio-cultural, or people-oriented; the environmental, with a focus on sustainability; and profitability. Considering that design managers bridge the gap between business and design, the MPS program encompasses both business-related courses and design-focused guest lectures from leading professionals in the field. The program’s six core principles include a focus on Legal, Strategy, Operations, Marketing, Leadership, and Finance. In line with the School’s focus on career-oriented professional programs, the MPS in Design Management is a two-year program that includes four semesters of Collaborative Design Studio and two semesters of Design Management. The program culminates in an elective between Small Business & Entrepreneurship or New Product Commercialization to prepare graduates for the transition to employment. Students in their fourth semester will present an independent paper contributing to the field of design management.

Graduates will be singularly prepared to face common design management situations, integrating knowledge of human resources, markets, distributors, and suppliers to create adaptive solutions to challenges.

Accreditations
– New England Association of Schools and Colleges
– CT Board of Governors for Higher Education

Contact
University of Bridgeport
Arnold Bernhard Center (ABC)
84 Iranistan Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
1-203-576-4222
sasd@bridgeport.edu
Website 

University of Hartford

Hartford Art School

The University of Hartford has a long history in art, receiving its charter in 1958 with the merging of three local colleges: Hillyer College, The Hartt School, and the Hartford Art School. The latter had been founded in 1877 by several notable women, including Mark Twain’s wife Olivia Langdon Clemens and abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. The school was originally located at the Wadsworth Atheneum, the U.S.’s first public art museum. The Hartford Art School features several facilities that will nurture any aspiring graphic designer, including the Visual Communication Design Facilities, Printmaking Facilities, Painting and Drawing Facilities, Media Arts Facilities, and Illustration Facilities.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communication Design

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communication fits within the Hartford Art School’s vision of offering vocational training along with a solid educational foundation that emphasizes history, method, practice, and theory. The four-year BFA program allows students to focus on visual communication starting in their sophomore year, when they will enroll in Type, Image Making & Meaning, Illustration or Printmaking, Painting or Drawing, Sculpture or Ceramics, and several Studio Electives. During their third year, VCD students begin to explore design as part of the Issues in Design and Design Systems courses. Type II and Experimental Typography round out the course offerings, along with Intro to Photography. During their final year, seniors focus on their Senior Project and Senior Portfolio. The final year of study also introduces Problem Solving and allows students to put their skills to use as part of the Special Topics in Design, Design Internship, or Masterclass course offerings. Students also fulfill several general academic requirements in science, technology, math, art history, social context, Western heritage, and other cultures. This highly selective program involves two reviews —during sophomore and junior years, respectively— which students must pass in order to continue with further course study.

Master of Fine Arts Degree in Illustration

The University of Hartford’s Low Residency MFA in Illustration is the only one of its kind in the country, offering students outstanding educational and networking opportunities while permitting working professionals to meet their professional and personal responsibilities. The 60-credit MFA is designed to offer the basis for a career in an academic setting as well as setting the stage for further development and growth among established professionals. The low residency program includes two-weeks in residence in Hartford during three consecutive summers when students will participate in intensive studio classes and attend presentations by renowned designers and illustrators. Other contact periods during March and November permit students to travel to New York, Pasadena, San Francisco, and Fort Worth in order to meet with illustration professionals from across the country. During the final summer residency, graduating MFA students will present their thesis and exhibit up to eight pieces from their culminating project at the Hartford Art School’s Joseloff Gallery. The thesis will highlight marketing and business planning as well as the creative process, and students can invite family, friends, and current or prospective clients to the Thesis Exhibition Artists Reception.

Accreditations
– New England Association of Schools and Colleges- Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (University of Hartford)
– Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
– National Association of Schools of Art and Design (Hartford Art School)

Contact
Hartford Art School
University of Hartford
200 Bloomfield Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117
860.768.4393
artschool@hartford.edu

WebsiteFrom diplomas to associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees, Connecticut’s top graphic design programs offer a variety of educational options for those wishing to broaden their horizons, pursue a career in the industry, or enjoy continuing education and networking opportunities. Moreover, with both large liberal arts universities and smaller specialized art schools offering accredited programs, the options are truly endless. With everything the state of Connecticut and its top graphic design programs have to offer, now is the best time to consider graphic design degrees in Connecticut!

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