Design Schools and Degree Programs

Learn about design schools and degree programs, including those related to fashion, graphic and interior design. Find information on education levels, curriculum and design facilities here. Schools offering Art degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

There are various fields where people with training in design can find work. Most design programs offer certificates or associate's degrees, but bachelor's and master's programs are also available. In these programs, students learn the principles behind design as well as the role of design in business, merchandising, and other fields.

Degrees Certificates and associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs are available in design
Courses Fundamental principles of design, digital media design, software design, merchandising, business fundamentals
School Considerations Campus facilities with specialized design software and design machinery

What Areas of Design Study Can I Pursue?

As a design student, you may enroll in a program in one of many areas of design, including interior design, fashion design, software design, jewelry design, service design or graphic design, to name only a few. Many areas offer specific concentrations within a program of study. For example, in a graphic design program, you may focus on digital media/website design, illustration or video game/software development.

What Undergraduate Degree Programs are Available?

If you are interested in studying design as an undergraduate, you can complete certificate programs, associate's degree or bachelor degree programs in various areas of the field. Design program levels may feature coursework that begins with basic design techniques, such as drafting or illustration, space planning, layout design and fabrication techniques. While certificate programs will likely focus on those courses related strictly to design, degree programs will generally require you to complete general education classes as well. Some examples include a Web Design Associate Degree, an Associate of Science in Graphic Design, a Bachelor of Science in Digital Design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design Technology.

What About Graduate Programs?

In master's degree programs, more advanced courses might focus on practical uses of design elements, including business aspects of design, merchandising, authorship and intellectual properties of design. In many areas of design, you may also be asked to produce a portfolio displaying proficiency in your field of study.

Master's level courses typically require you to take your studies one step further, focusing on theories of design and research in the field. Some may require you to complete a capstone project or thesis paper. Some unique programs can be found at the master's level, such as a Master of Arts in Exhibition Design or Interaction Design. These courses may be covered in graduate design programs:

  • Narrative media design
  • Prototyping interaction
  • Human-centered design
  • Design leadership
  • Design research

What Type of Facilities and Resources Will Assist Me?

Campus facilities can assist you in developing and actualizing your designs. When selecting a school, you'll want to check out what kinds of equipment and facilities are available to you in your preferred area of design. For example, fashion design programs may feature presses and seam-welding machinery. Graphic design facilities may include computer labs, and interior design programs may provide you textile presses or photography and video studios or laboratories. Certain programs may provide you with prototype machines to help you develop a finished marketable product.

Design programs are widely available at all types of schools, including traditional 4-year universities, 2-year colleges and technical schools, and art and design schools. The following are just a few schools with programs in design:

  • George Washington University (Washington, D.C.)
  • Academy of Art University (San Francisco, CA)
  • California College of the Arts (Oakland/San Francisco)
  • University of Denver-University College (CO)
  • Savannah College of Art and Design (GA)

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Full Sail University

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    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Liberty University

    Liberty University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Liberty University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Universal Technical Institute

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    Popular programs at Universal Technical Institute:

    • Certificates

    Campus-Based Programs Available:

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    • California: Long Beach, Sacramento
    • Texas: Long Beach, Sacramento, Houston
  • Regent University

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    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Howard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Columbia (D.C.): Washington
  • Duke University

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Durham