Bachelor's Degree in Cosmetology

Bachelor's degrees in cosmetology aren't available, but other undergraduate options are offered by many schools. Find out what you'd learn in one of these programs, and review the typical curriculum in a 1-year or 2-year cosmetology program. Check out the licensure requirements for cosmetologists, and get info on the job outlook for the field. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Degrees Are Available in Cosmetology?

Cosmetology programs generally grant certificates, diplomas or associate's degrees. Currently, there are no bachelor's degree programs in cosmetology. However, you can complete an associate degree program in two years if you attend school full-time. Cosmetology programs also tend to offer part-time day or evening classes. You might even find individual courses online; however, complete cosmetology programs seldom are offered via the Internet.

Program Levels Certificate, diploma, associate's degree
Common Courses Hair design, chemical safety, salon management, sociology, skin care
Licensure Requirements vary by state, but typically include high school diploma/equivalent, cosmetology instruction and examinations
Careers Hairdresser, skin care specialist, nail care technician
Job Outlook Expected to increase by 10% between 2014-24* (for all cosmetologists, hairdressers, hair stylists and barbers)

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Your curriculum likely will include all aspects of cosmetology, including hair design, nail care and skin care. You'll become experienced in giving permanent waves, manicures, pedicures and facials, as well as in hair lightening, coloring, styling and maintenance. In addition to your classroom courses, you'll need to complete an internship on campus or at a salon. Your courses might include the following:

  • Concepts in cosmetology
  • Introduction to sociology
  • Contemporary designs
  • Makeup application
  • Safe chemical processes
  • Product knowledge
  • Business principles
  • Professional imaging
  • Salon management

How Do I Become Licensed?

Upon successful completion of a cosmetology diploma, certificate or associate's degree program, you'll likely be eligible to sit for your state's cosmetology licensing exam, which might consist of an oral, written or practical test of your skills or a combination of these options. Licensure requirements vary by state, but most states require you to be a high school graduate or the equivalent, in addition to completing a designated number of hours of cosmetology instruction. If you're planning to move to a different state, you might want to check that state's laws regarding cosmetology practice prior to choosing a training program.

What Are My Career Options?

The field of cosmetology includes many specialties, so earning a diploma, certificate or associate's degree can lead to various employment opportunities, including hairdresser, shampooer, nail care technician or skin care specialist. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a growing trend for advanced treatments, such as hair coloring, hair extensions and artificial nails, should lead to increased employment opportunities for cosmetologists ( Specifically, the BLS stated that employment was expected to rise by up to 10% between 2014 and 2024.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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