Top Graphic Design Schools in New Mexico: Your Guide to Choosing the Best Program

Searching for the best graphic design schools in New Mexico? This guide breaks down the top programs, covering everything from course details to facilities and career services.

  • New Mexico offers a variety of graphic design degree programs, ranging from associate’s to master’s degrees, with a strong emphasis on industry-standard software and practical skills.
  • Top institutions like Eastern New Mexico University, New Mexico State University, and New Mexico Highlands University provide comprehensive curricula, modern facilities, and specialized courses to prepare students for diverse careers in the graphic design field.
  • Financial aid and scholarship opportunities, such as those from the American Advertising Federation-New Mexico and PGSF, are available to help students manage the costs of graphic design education in New Mexico.

Choosing the right graphic design school in New Mexico is crucial for aspiring designers looking to develop their creative skills and access state-of-the-art facilities. Fortunately, top graphic design schools in the state offer experienced faculty and robust resources to help build a successful career in graphic design.

Premier graphic design programs in New Mexico provide opportunities to learn industry-standard software and gain real-world skills. Aspiring graphic designers can choose from institutions offering both degrees and certificate programs tailored to digital art, technology, and marketing.

Overview of Graphic Design Degree Programs in New Mexico

New Mexico offers a wide range of graphic design degree programs, from associate’s to bachelor’s and even master’s degrees. These programs are designed to cater to the diverse needs of aspiring graphic designers, providing a strong foundation in the fundamentals of art and design.

Graphic design degree programs in New Mexico are distinguished by their experienced faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, which are essential for building a successful career in the field. Students can expect to learn industry-standard software and gain practical, real-world skills that are highly valued in the job market.

Whether you’re aiming for a career in digital art, technology, or marketing, the graphic design programs offered by New Mexico schools provide a comprehensive education that prepares students for a variety of professional opportunities.

Eastern New Mexico University – Portales

Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) offers a BFA in Art with a specialization in graphic design. The program provides students with:

  • A comprehensive curriculum
  • Access to modern computer labs and software
  • Over 50 hours per week of open studio and lab time, allowing students ample opportunity to work on their projects outside of class.

The curriculum at ENMU is designed to prepare students for careers and advanced study, promoting citizenship and leadership skills. It includes a 2-year art foundation program with classes in digital media, design, art history, and photography. The BFA design degree can typically be completed in four or five years, depending on the student’s pace.

In addition to foundational courses, the program integrates advanced courses such as:

  • Typography
  • Publication design
  • Photography
  • Web design
  • Portfolio assembly and portfolio development

ENMU’s facilities feature state-of-the-art computer labs equipped with the latest Adobe Creative Cloud software, ensuring students are well-prepared for the professional world.

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University (NMSU) offers both BFA and MFA Studio Art degrees with a Graphic Design Emphasis, focusing on digital art, technology, business, and marketing. The graphic design curriculum at NMSU begins with teaching the basic principles of art and design, followed by more specialized courses that cover a wide range of topics relevant to the industry.

Students at NMSU are trained in the use of industry-standard software, ensuring they are equipped with the technical skills needed to excel in their careers. This comprehensive approach prepares graduates for various roles in the graphic design field, including:

  • Advertising and marketing
  • Digital media
  • Web design
  • Print design
  • Branding and identity design

And beyond.

New Mexico Highlands University

New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) offers both a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Media Arts with various concentrations, including graphic design. Students can select an emphasis in:

  • Visual Communication
  • Multimedia and Interactivity
  • Video and Audio
  • Photographic Imaging

within the BFA in Media Arts.

The BFA in Media Arts program at NMHU includes core courses such as:

  • Visual Concepts
  • Color Theory
  • Imaging History and Production
  • Media Arts Seminar

Hands-on opportunities are available through paid internships and a cultural technology immersion program, providing students with practical experience and professional connections.

Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)

The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) offers a graphic design degree program that covers essential skills such as web design, animation, and digital video production. Students at IAIA study industry-standard software programs like Adobe CC in Motionbuilder and Digidesign Pro Tools, ensuring they are well-versed in the tools used by professionals in the field.

The program is designed to equip students with the technical skills needed to excel in various areas of graphic design, including web design, animation, and multimedia production. This comprehensive education prepares graduates for a wide range of career opportunities in the visual arts industry.

Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell Campus

Eastern New Mexico University – Roswell Campus offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program in media arts with three tracks: Graphic Design, Film Technology, and Game Design. The Graphic Design track prepares students for the digital production marketplace by developing artistic mastery in various media arts areas.

Students in the Graphic Design track learn to create visual concepts using hand or computer software, focusing on fundamental, conceptual, and technical development. The graphic design courses covered in the AAS program include:

  • Photoshop
  • Illustration
  • Digital video editing
  • Page layout
  • Concept development

This provides a well-rounded education for a graphic designer in graphic design.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for Graphic Design Students

Financing an education in graphic design can be challenging, but various scholarships and financial assistance programs are available to help students in New Mexico. Eastern New Mexico University is committed to helping students finance their education through various scholarships and financial assistance programs.

One notable scholarship is the American Advertising Federation-New Mexico (AAF-NM) Scholarship Fund, which provides up to $1,400 to New Mexico undergraduate upperclassmen or graduate students studying advertising, communications, or graphic design. Additionally, the PGSF Full-Time Students Scholarship awards up to $5,000 annually to students pursuing degrees in graphic communication or printing.

Other scholarships include:

  • The Workamajig Generative AI + Human Design Scholarship, offering $5,000 to students who create a visual project or write an essay on integrating human designers with AI
  • The Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship, which awards $1,000 to Asian/Pacific Islander students pursuing degrees in visual or performing arts, including graphic design
  • The Scholarships360 $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship, open to all students, including those pursuing graphic design.

Career Opportunities for Graphic Designers in New Mexico

Graduates of graphic design programs in New Mexico can pursue a variety of career paths, including:

  • Web designers
  • Advertising designers
  • Multimedia artists
  • Gallery managers
  • Teachers
  • Positions in animation and multimedia

The diverse skill set gained through these programs opens doors to many careers in the creative industry.

New Mexico graphic design graduates can find employment in fields such as advertising, marketing, and illustration. Some have gone on to work as art directors, animators, and production workers. For instance, graduates from Eastern New Mexico University have been employed by companies like Harvard Business Publishing, Lockheed Martin, and Sodexo Food Services. Others from New Mexico State University have started their own businesses or work as freelance graphic designers.

The career opportunities for graphic designers in New Mexico are vast and varied, offering graduates the chance to apply their skills in numerous professional settings and industries.

High School Preparation for Graphic Design Degrees

High school students interested in pursuing a graphic design degree should focus on taking relevant courses and participating in extracurricular activities. Art and commercial art courses provide a solid foundation, while classes in computer applications and desktop publishing are also beneficial. Drawing and painting classes help develop the foundational skills necessary for graphic design.

Advanced courses such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) can strengthen college applications and better prepare students for the rigorous coursework in graphic design degree programs. Additionally, participating in extracurricular activities related to art and design can help students discover their interests and build their skills.

Web page design classes, graphic arts, and printing courses provide valuable technical skills for modern graphic designers. For students interested in running their own graphic design business, classes in accounting and entrepreneurship are recommended.

Online Courses and Flexible Learning Options

Flexible learning options are an important consideration for many students. Eastern New Mexico University offers select online courses and evening classes for their graphic design degree, providing flexibility for students who may have other commitments. These courses are designed to accommodate different schedules, making it easier for students to balance their studies with work or family responsibilities.

Additionally, online classes at Western New Mexico University offer the following benefits:

  • Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, ensuring a quality education
  • Flexible learning options that make it possible for more students to pursue a graphic design degree
  • Development of the technical skills needed for success in the field

These benefits make online classes at Western New Mexico University a great option for students interested in graphic design.