Shillington is the Original Graphic Design Bootcamp Graphic Design Bootcamp

9 Best Graphic Design Schools in Arizona for 2023

Looking to become a graphic designer in Arizona? The Copper State is an amazing place to study graphic design. Arizona is home to some of the most amazing scenery in the USA with 22 National Parks across the state including the world famous Grand Canyon. Though, it’s not just about the outdoors, Arizona is also home to some great cities. Most notably the city of Phoenix which boasts year round sunshine and some of the best pizza in the world. On top of this, there’s also some excellent places to study graphic design

We’re going to take you through 11 great options for studying graphic design in Arizona to help you make the best decision to start your career in graphic design

1. Shillington Education

Location: Online (including an US West Coast option—perfect for students in Arizona)

Course Duration: 9 months

Shillington’s graphic design bootcamp was founded in Sydney, Australia in 1997 and has been providing high quality graphic design education ever since. Shillington’s online graphic design course is unlike any other. Over three nights a week for nine months, Shillington’s dedicated, experienced teachers (who are also working graphic designers!) guide you through Shillington’s unique course in real time. With Shillington’s online graphic design course, you’ll learn all the essential skills and programs—Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop and Figma—used by graphic designers, as well as an in depth understanding of how to work as a designer, in l online studios that perfectly replicate a working studio environment. 

Shillington online students graduate as talented, well-rounded graphic designers ready to work in a design studio or take on the world of freelance graphic design. What’s best is that the Shillington online graphic design course is offered live in four different time zones—UK (GMT/BST), US East Coast (EST), US West Coast (PST) and Australian East Coast (AEST)—with the US West Coast offering ideal for budding designers in Arizona!

2. Phoenix College

Location: Phoenix

Course Duration: 2 years

One of the oldest community colleges in the USA, Phoenix College was founded over 100 years ago in 1920. PC, as it is known, is located in Encanto, a neighborhood in central Phoenix. PC offers its 12,000 students over 200 degree and certificate programs, including an Associate Degree (to be specific an Associate in Applied Science or AAS) in Graphic Design making it one of the best schools in Arizona for graphic design.

The graphic design offering at Phoenix College, which is part of their Visual and Performing Arts department, gives students an overview of graphic design, photography and digital imaging to help prepare them for employment.  Phoenix College graduates go on to become graphic designers or work in a related field, such as art directors or production artists. 

3. Arizona State University

Location: Tempe

Course Duration: 4 years

Arizona State University, or ASU as it is known, is a public research university founded in Tempe in 1885. With over 100,000 undergraduate students on its campuses and online, ASU is one of the largest universities in the country. The college is made up of 16 different colleges including, most importantly for us, the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. Herberger (as we’ll call it for short) is home to six different units, including the ASU Art Museum. It also offers a BSD (Bachelor of Science Degree) in Graphic Design, which makes ASU one of the best Arizona graphic design colleges.

Part of The Design School, the ASU graphic design program teaches students a strong foundation of design principles early on, before building on this through their degrees. Later in the course, the students get the opportunity to collaborate with their peers and work on projects across the graphic design spectrum—including information design, animation and motion graphics, exhibition design, branding and lots more. 

4. Mesa Community College

Location: Mesa

Course Duration: 2 years

Founded in 1965, Mesa Community College (MCC) is a public community college in Mesa, a city in the Eastern part of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Home to over 25,000 students, MCC offers over 200 degree programs across its two campuses. MCC offers two different options for students wanting to study graphic design: a Certificate of Completion (CCL) or Associate in Applied Science (AAS). 

Whether students want to study for a certificate in graphic design or an associates’ degree in graphic design is totally up to them. The graphic design courses at MCC give students the chance to learn how to design to project specifications, critical thinking and problem solving, how to analyze their designs, how to collaborate and lots more. All this produces well rounded graphic design graduates, making MCC one of the best colleges for graphic design in Arizona.

5. Eastern Arizona College

Location: Thatcher (Graham County)

Course Duration: 2 years

The oldest community college in Arizona, Eastern Arizona College (EAC) was founded in Thatcher, Graham County, in 1888. It’s also the only community college in Arizona that is able to boast its own marching band. Nowadays, the college is home to around 6,500 students across its nine academic divisions, which as a whole offer a whole host of degrees and certificates programs. One of these is a graphic design program—which EAC offers both a certificate and an associates’ degree in.

As one of the best graphic design schools in Arizona, EAC gives its students the proper training and credentials that they need to learn to leave college as a working graphic designer. EAC students are taught the fundamentals of color, design and drawing before taking a deeper dive into digital tools and website development. The college always makes sure it’s teaching its students the latest design software to give them the best start in the industry.

6. Northern Arizona University

Location: Flagstaff

Course Duration: 4 years

A public research university based in Flagstaff, Northern Arizona University (NAU) is one of the best colleges for graphic design in Arizona. Founded in 1899, it was the first public university established in what was then the Arizona territory (13 years before it became a state). NAU is home to just over 28,000 students who study on its 130 undergraduate and 100 graduate programs. Amongst these is a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Visual Communication (another name for graphic design) offered by NAU’s School of Communication.

NAU Visual Communication students have the choice to take emphasis on either graphic design or motion design—allowing them to tailor their degree to their own interests. With either emphasis, students at NAU are taught a strong design foundation in small studio classes and, later in the course, get to work in the university’s VisualDESIGNLab or Advanced Media Lab. Graduates leave with in-demand skills to be able to work across the design spectrum.

7. School of Art, University of Arizona

Location: Tucson

Course Duration: 4 years

University of Arizona (aka UA or UArizona) was founded in 1885 in Tucson, the second largest city in the state. Its year of foundation means it just tips NAU as the oldest university in Arizona. As well as close to 50,000 students, UA is also home to a prestigious School of Art, which makes it one of the best schools for graphic design in Arizona. UA students are able to study on a course in Illustration, Design and Animation and specialize in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Design Arts & Practices.

AU’s Design Arts & Practices (DAP) degree program equips its students with a solid design foundation, before diving deeper into different design disciplines, including user interface (UI) design, industrial design, product design and, most importantly, graphic design. This allows AU DAP students to find and forge their own path in the design industry, whilst also learning paramount core conceptual and technical skills. 

8. Grand Canyon University

Location: Phoenix

Course Duration: 4 years

Founded as Grand Canyon College in 1949, Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a private university based in the state capital Phoenix. GCU has over 100,000 students—around 30,000 on their Phoenix and 70,000 online. These students study across over 200 degree programs across the university’s nine different colleges. One of these colleges is the College of Arts and Media, which offers a Bachelor’s degree in Advertising & Graphic Design.

One of the best colleges for graphic design in Arizona, GCU Advertising & Graphic Design students develop an understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to work as a graphic designer or advertising professional. Students are encouraged to work with and collaborate with their fellow students and GCU emphasizes a hands-on approach to learning—with students working in a dedicated studio.

9. Glendale Community College

Location: Glendale

Course Duration: 2 years

Glendale Community College, simply known as GCC or Glendale, was opened in Glendale, just outside of Phoenix, in 1965. The college also opened a satellite campus, GCC North, in Phoenix in late 2000. Home to just under 20,000 students, GCC offers 111 degree and certificate programs across its dual campuses. One of these programs is an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Digital Media Arts, which helps to make GCC one of the best graphic design schools in Arizona.

GCC’s Digital Media Arts offering is for students who want to develop their skills in graphic design, imaging, photography, animation and media production. GCC students are encouraged to use critical thinking, written communication and teamwork skills. They are also encouraged to develop their own personal work methods, in particular their own design method and production workflow. GCC graduates go on to work in graphic design, animation, web design and video production. 

Learn more about the Shillington Graphic Design Course now or chat to one of our dedicated Course Advisors to hear more about studying with us. 

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