Special Effects Make-Up Schools and Training Programs

Special effects make-up training may be offered through individual continuing education courses or workshops or through certificate programs in theater make-up or make-up art. Read on to learn more about what you can learn in a training program and how to choose a school. Schools offering Culinary Arts degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Professional make-up artists gain skills in special effects make-up through certificate programs at community colleges and vocational schools. Schools with active theater programs usually offer a range of theatrical and movie special effects courses like hairstyling, masks, silicone molds and latex.

Schools Community college, vocational school, university
Programs Make-up artistry certificate, theater arts certificate, theater make-up and special effects
Classes Special-effects make-up, hair styling, costumes, color schemes and lighting, molding techniques, masks, simulated gore, shading, blending, latex prosthetics, make-up application, sanitation and skin care.

What Special Effects Make-up Training Programs Are Available?

Several community colleges and vocational schools offer certificate programs in make-up artistry or theater make-up and special effects that familiarize you with professional make-up application. Certificate programs usually take a semester or less to complete and can prepare you for entry-level positions in television, movie or theater as a make-up artist.

You might also find single classes or workshop experiences that are offered specifically in special effects make-up. These courses can be taken as stand-alone options or as part of a longer, broader program in make-up and theater special effects. These types of courses might be appropriate for you if you're a professional make-up artist in need of specialization or an aspiring special-effects artist just starting out.

What Kind of School Will I Attend?

Due to the hands-on nature of the instruction, the use of models and the extensive materials used during practical training, online programs or courses aren't usually offered. You will find the greatest selection of classes in or near New York City and Los Angeles. Some schools that offer courses or specialized training in make-up design and special effects include:

  • New York University Tisch School of the Arts
  • Make-up Designory
  • The Hollywood Makeup Academy
  • Santa Rosa Junior College
  • Montclair State University

How Will I Choose a School?

You might consider a school that has an active theater department so you can gain hands-on experience working in a real-life setting. If you're interested in other aspects of the field, like costuming or acting, consider programs that incorporate these elements into a field of study, such as theater, film or media arts, drama, stage management or fashion. If you have a specific interest in theater make-up or movie make-up, you can choose elective courses or a concentration that places more emphasis in these areas.

You might find it useful to complete a course or program that culminates in the completion of a final project or portfolio of work that you can use to demonstrate your skills to future employers. If you want to gain additional skills outside of special effects make-up, like bridal make-up or standard stage make-up techniques, schools also offer classes or additional certificate programs in special occasion make-up.

What Will I Study?

Through a make-up artistry or theater arts certificate program, you can expect to study special-effects make-up in addition to fashion, clothing, hair styling, costumes, color schemes and lighting. You might also take classes in sanitation and skin care.

Courses and workshops in special-effects make-up also include study in the following:

  • Silicone Molds
  • Safe Molding Techniques
  • Masks
  • Simulated Gore
  • Shading
  • Blending
  • Latex Prosthetics
  • Application of Stage Make-up

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

  • Empire Beauty School

    Empire Beauty School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Empire Beauty School:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • La Belle Beauty School

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Hialeah
  • La Belle Beauty Academy

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Miami
  • Joe Blasco Makeup Artist Training Center

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Los Angeles
  • Elegance International

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Hollywood
  • Avi Career Training

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Great Falls
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas

    Campus Locations:

    • Arkansas: Helena
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge