Top Graphic Design Schools in Oklahoma for Aspiring Designers

If you’re searching for graphic design schools in Oklahoma, you’re in the right place. In this article, we highlight the top programs available, detailing what makes each one unique and beneficial for your career. From hands-on training to strong industry ties, these schools offer everything you need to succeed in graphic design.

  • Oklahoma offers a diverse range of graphic design programs, including those at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology, University of Central Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State University, each with unique features like hands-on training and portfolio development.
  • The state provides significant benefits for graphic design students, such as high job placement rates, paid internship opportunities, and affordable tuition with various financial aid options.
  • Oklahoma’s graphic design graduates can pursue various career paths, including roles in web and digital media design, print and packaging design, and art direction, supported by strong alumni success stories and extensive student resources.

Oklahoma offers a variety of top-notch graphic design programs, each with unique features catering to different career paths. From small private universities like Oklahoma Baptist University to specialized technology centers such as Southern Oklahoma Technology Center and Pontotoc Technology Center, the state is home to a wide range of educational institutions that provide quality training in graphic design.

These degree program offerings are recognized for their comprehensive curriculums and strong industry partnerships, ensuring that students receive both theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

In addition to these options, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus offers an advanced education pathway with a Master’s degree in Graphic Design, further highlighting the state’s commitment to providing high-quality education in this field. With such a diverse array of programs available, students have the flexibility to choose a path that best suits their career goals and personal interests.

Discover Oklahoma’s Leading Graphic Design Programs

Oklahoma is home to several leading graphic design programs, each offering unique features and benefits for aspiring designers. Among these, the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT), the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), and Oklahoma State University (OSU) stand out for their exceptional curriculums, experienced faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities.

These programs, including Adobe InDesign, are designed to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the dynamic field of graphic design. We will examine what each of these institutions offers in more detail.

Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT)

Founded in 1946, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) has a long-standing tradition of providing quality education. The graphic design program at OSUIT emphasizes hands-on training with state-of-the-art technology, preparing students to tackle the evolving challenges of the industry. The curriculum includes coursework in digital imaging, web design, and multimedia design, all designed to develop students as creative problem solvers.

OSUIT prepares students for various career paths, such as:

  • layout artists
  • designers
  • illustrators
  • art directors

With tuition approximately $5,800, which is nearly half the cost of in-state tuition for many other state universities, OSUIT offers an affordable yet comprehensive education. This program is ideal for students who are eager to dive into the practical aspects of graphic design and gain real-world experience while studying.

University of Central Oklahoma (UCO)

The University of Central Oklahoma’s graphic design program offers:

  • Accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), ensuring a rigorous academic standard
  • A Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
  • A comprehensive education that covers all aspects of visual communication

UCO’s program is the largest graphic design program between Kansas City and North Texas.

One of the standout features of UCO’s program is:

  • The emphasis on portfolio development and mentorship from experienced faculty
  • Students have numerous opportunities to work closely with their professors, who provide valuable feedback and guidance, helping them create impressive portfolios that showcase their skills and creativity
  • This mentorship is crucial for students as they prepare to enter the competitive job market.

Oklahoma State University (OSU)

Oklahoma State University’s graphic design program focuses on providing a comprehensive understanding of design principles across various media. The curriculum integrates:

  • Traditional media
  • Printing processes
  • Industry-standard software
  • Contemporary media such as motion graphics and user experience design

This approach ensures that students are well-versed in both conventional and modern design techniques, as well as problem solving.

OSU’s graphic design program offers:

  • Courses in branding, motion graphics, and user experience design
  • Skills needed to excel in a variety of career paths within the graphic design field
  • A well-rounded education that covers both the artistic and technical aspects of design

This program is designed to adapt to the rapidly changing technology landscape, preparing students to stay ahead in the industry.

Key Benefits of Studying Graphic Design in Oklahoma

Studying graphic design in Oklahoma offers numerous benefits, making it an attractive option for aspiring designers. The state’s graphic design programs boast high job placement rates, paid internship opportunities, and affordable tuition with various financial aid options. These benefits ensure that students receive a quality education while also gaining practical experience and financial support.

We will examine these advantages more thoroughly.

High Job Placement Rates

One of the key advantages of studying graphic design in Oklahoma is the high job placement rates for graduates. For instance, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) boasts nearly 100% job placement for its graphic design graduates within six months of completing their programs. Similarly, Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) also reports high job placement rates for its graphic design graduates.

These impressive statistics indicate that students are well-prepared for their careers and find employment quickly after graduation.

Paid Internship Opportunities

Paid internships are a valuable component of graphic design programs in Oklahoma, providing students with hands-on experience and a competitive edge in the job market. At Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT), the majority of degree programs require paid internships as part of their curriculum, allowing students to gain practical experience while earning an income.

Similarly, students at the University of Central Oklahoma complete at least one internship, ensuring they acquire crucial industry experience before graduation.

Affordable Tuition and Financial Aid Options

Oklahoma graphic design schools offer affordable tuition and various financial aid options, making quality education more accessible to students. For example, OSUIT’s tuition is approximately $5,800, which is about half the in-state tuition for most state universities. Financial aid and scholarships are commonly available for students pursuing graphic design degrees, helping to manage the cost of education,.

Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology offers various federal and state-funded financial aid programs to support students,.

Curriculum Highlights of Oklahoma Graphic Design Programs

Oklahoma graphic design programs feature a mix of core courses, advanced projects, and electives, allowing students to develop a well-rounded skill set. These programs often include studio art, digital media, and design theory courses, providing a comprehensive education in visual communications.

We’ll provide a more in-depth look at the curriculum highlights.

Core Courses and Skills Development

Core courses in Oklahoma graphic design programs cover essential skills such as typography, illustration, and design principles. For example, Oklahoma City Community College offers a course that introduces students to design principles, color, typography, and the design process.

The University of Central Oklahoma’s graphic design program emphasizes foundational courses in two- and three-dimensional design. These core skills are crucial for developing a strong foundation in graphic design.

Advanced Projects and Portfolio Building

Advanced projects and portfolio building opportunities are integral parts of graphic design programs in Oklahoma. Students at the University of Central Oklahoma, for instance, build professional portfolios through practical projects, increasing their employability,. These advanced coursework often includes projects in interaction design, motion design, and brand marketing, helping students showcase their skills and creativity.

Electives and Specializations

Elective courses allow students to explore and specialize in different areas of graphic design, such as web design, packaging, and digital media publication. These electives cover advanced techniques in letterpress, bookmaking, and design entrepreneurship, providing students with the opportunity to hone their skills and pursue their specific interests. This flexibility enables students to tailor their education to their career goals.

Career Paths for Graphic Design Graduates in Oklahoma

Graphic design graduates in Oklahoma have a variety of career paths to choose from, spanning different industries and specializations. Whether you’re interested in web and digital media design, print and packaging design, or art direction, Oklahoma’s graphic design programs prepare you for a successful career in your chosen field.

We will delve deeper into these career paths.

Web and Digital Media Designers

Web and digital media designers create visually appealing and user-friendly websites, online platforms, and digital publications. They work on various elements such as layout, graphics, coding, and user experience. Essential skills for web and digital media designers include proficiency in graphic design software, coding languages like HTML and CSS, and a strong understanding of user experience principles.

Graduates can pursue careers as web designers, UX/UI designers, digital media artists, and many other roles in the digital media industry.

Print and Packaging Designers

Print and packaging designers work in print media, packaging design, and commercial art sectors, creating visual content for physical materials. This role involves the creation of visual content for physical publications, advertisements, posters, and other printed materials.

The versatility and opportunities in print media are showcased by professionals like Kevin Bergquist, who has worked as a screenprinter and freelance designer before joining Fulton Brewing.

Art Directors and Creative Directors

Art directors and creative directors lead design teams and manage visual communications projects across various industries. These roles often require a thorough understanding of both conventional and electronic design applications.

Graduates with experience in graphic design, commercial art, or visual communications can establish successful careers in visual arts as art directors and creative directors for advertising agencies and design studios.

Alumni Success Stories

Alumni success stories highlight the potential for success that comes with studying graphic design in Oklahoma. These stories showcase the skills and opportunities gained from these programs, inspiring current and prospective students.

One such success story is that of Kevin Bergquist, a University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) graduate who has made significant strides in his career.

Kevin Bergquist – Fulton Brewing Company

Kevin Bergquist, a UCO graduate, has leveraged his skills to become a successful designer at Fulton Brewing Company in Minneapolis, MN. His career achievements include substantial recognition in the field of illustration, with his unique illustration process being featured by the British art and design publication ‘It’s Nice That’.

At Fulton Brewing, Bergquist works as a full-time graphic designer, focusing on packaging, web graphics, and posters. His role involves applying the skills and knowledge he gained during his time at UCO, demonstrating the real-world applications of a graphic design education from Oklahoma.

Student Resources and Support

Oklahoma graphic design students have access to a variety of resources and support systems designed to help them succeed, including:

  • Academic advising
  • Career services
  • State-of-the-art facilities
  • Professional mentorship

These resources are crucial for high school students’ development.

The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO), for example, provides experiential learning opportunities that help students gain practical skills and prepare for their careers. We’ll delve deeper into the key resources and support systems available to Oklahoma’s graphic design students.

Mentorship and Faculty Guidance

Mentorship and faculty guidance play a vital role in helping students refine their skills, critique their portfolios, and receive valuable career advice. Experienced faculty members at Oklahoma graphic design programs offer mentorship, providing students with insights and feedback that are essential for their growth. This guidance helps students navigate their educational journey and prepares them for the professional world.

The integration of digital, print tools, and image management into the curriculum further enhances the learning experience, offering students a well-rounded education.

Networking and Professional Organizations

Networking opportunities and involvement in professional organizations are key components of graphic design education in Oklahoma. Many programs offer student chapters of professional organizations like AIGA, which provide numerous networking events, workshops, and industry connections.

At the University of Central Oklahoma, students are encouraged to join the AIGA student chapter, which organizes on-campus activities and helps students build professional connections. These opportunities are invaluable for students looking to establish their careers and connect with industry professionals.

Campus Facilities and Technology

State-of-the-art campus facilities and technology are crucial for providing hands-on learning experiences in graphic design. Oklahoma State University (OSU), for example, provides 24-hour access to advanced design studios and computer labs, ensuring that students can work on their projects at any time. The University of Central Oklahoma’s graphic design program offers access to a simulated studio environment, where students can gain practical experience with industry-standard tools and software.

Many Oklahoma campuses are equipped with cutting-edge technology, including advanced computer labs and state-of-the-art printing facilities such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and large-format printers. These resources enable students to experiment with various media and techniques, enhancing their creative and technical abilities. Partnerships with industry also provide students with access to world-class teaching facilities and opportunities for collaboration on real-world projects.