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By VCU News staff

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brandcenter has been ranked the No. 1 graduate program in the United States (tied with Boston University) and the No. 2 graduate program globally by the One Club for Creativity, an international nonprofit whose new 2024 Global Creative College Rankings highlight creative excellence on campus.  

Among all programs — including graduate, undergraduate, certificate programs and portfolio schools — Brandcenter, renowned for it graduate program in advertising and branding, is ranked No. 9 nationally and No. 16 globally.

Vann Graves., Ed.D., executive director of Brandcenter, cited its emphasis on nurturing creative thinking and craft in an evolving industry.

“Brandcenter is focused on brands and their impact on culture. As businesses change, our direction will change,” Graves said. “Creativity and innovation were once perceived to sit separately from the core focus of business, but they have since been recognized as a fundamental part of it. Everything is inextricably linked.”

He noted how these connections have influenced Brandcenter’s evolution, too.

“The Brandcenter program trains students to be polymathic and to consider the whole equation when solving complex business problems,” Graves said. “We are preparing students to be the next generation of creative business leaders. Our faculty work hard to ensure our curriculum is constantly evolving to parallel what’s happening in the world of brands and business today.”

The One Club recognition substantiates Brandcenter’s innovative approach to education.

The Global Creative College Rankings are based on results of winning schools and students from around the world in the recent Young Ones Student Awards competition. Young Ones recognizes students and recent graduates across creative disciplines for excellence in the creative advertising industry, and the awards are a badge of honor for young creatives and professionals alike. 

Fifteen Brandcenter students placed as finalists across seven projects this year. Brandcenter faculty Jess Collins, who teaches strategy, and Tom Scharpf, who teaches art direction, led the effort to bring Brandcenter to the competition.

 “This remarkable accomplishment underscores the talent and passion of our students, alumni, faculty and staff,” Graves said. “It has been made possible by collective hard work, a commitment to excellence and a dedication to the craft.”

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