Design colleges in USA offer some specialised programs such as fashion designing, web designing, interior designing, industrial designing and graphic designing. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 96,800 new jobs in the USA are expected to be created in the arts and design field from 2018 to 2028.
Among various disciplines of designing, interior designing is the most in-demand specialization for studying in the USA. Occupations in this specialization are also projected to have the highest growth rate of 4% till 2028. The payscale of the interior designers and graphic designers is also the highest in this field ie. between 36,629 USD to 51,137 USD and 45,000 USD to 55,000 USD respectively.
Globally Ranked Design Colleges in USA
Approximately 37,428 design and applied arts degrees offered by the design colleges in USA. Over 216 colleges and universities in the USA are specialised in providing design and applied arts programs.
Some of the top ranking and popular colleges in USA for designing are provided below:
|Colleges/ Universities||QS Global Ranking 2020||Design Program Offered|
|Yale University||#17||1 Bachelor|
|Columbia University||#18||2 Bachelor degree|
|University of California||#35||2 Bachelor degree|
|Alfred University||#38||4 bachelor degree|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||#162||4 bachelor degree|
|Ohio University||#185||1 Bachelor in fashion design, 1 Bachelor in industrial design, 2 Bachelor in art.|
Design Colleges in USA: Specialisations and Degrees Offered
The designers of the USA get plenty of opportunities to start their career as a fashion designer, web designer, interior designer, graphic designer or as an industrial designer. A designer as a fresher can earn approximately 35,000 USD per annum whereas an experienced designer can earn 95,135 USD per year.
In the following section, the course curriculum of design, offered by the top ranked universities of the USA is going to be discussed:
|Fashion design and merchandising||Fine arts- ceramic|
|Communication design||System design and development|
|Applied drawing (studio art)||Interactive media design|
|Associate in arts (AA)||Apparel and merchandising- apparel design and production|
|Theatre design and technology||Fashion studies and retail merchandising|
The scholars can acquire the following degrees in their respective courseworks:
- Undergraduate program: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc), Bachelor of Arts (B.A). Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A)
- Postgraduate program: Master of Science (M.Sc), Master of Arts (M.A), Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A)
- Doctoral Program: PhD in design
Undergraduate Programs at Design Colleges in USA
The USA colleges are renowned for offering 143 fashion designing, 70 industrial designing and 441 graphic designing programs for bachelor coursework (as per bachelors portal). Some of the bachelor of design colleges in USA are:
|Program||College/ University||Duration||Course Fees (Annually in USD)|
|Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Interactive Media Design||University of Washington||4 years||36,519|
|Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Apparel and Merchandising- Apparel Design and Production||Colorado State University||4 years||29, 884|
|Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design and Technology||Southern Utah University||4 years||31,136|
|B.Sc in Fashion Studying and Retail Merchandising||South Dakota State University||4 years||18,750|
|Bachelor in Industrial Design||Columbus College of Art and Design||4 years||58,749|
|B.Sc in Residential Environments and Design||Virginia Tech||4 years||61,200|
|Bachelor in Graphic Communication||Carroll University||4 years||53,938|
|B.Sc in Digital Media and Design||University of Kentucky||4 years||29,050|
Certificates Undergraduate Courses at Design Colleges in USA
Since, bachelors in designing in the USA is a four years long coursework, sometimes the international students prefer to opt for duration certified diploma coursework. Some of the popular diploma coursework in USA are:
- Drury University offers a diploma program in graphic design and design arts major in the USA.
- The New School: 2 years certificate program on infographics and data visualisation.
Eligibility for Bachelors in Design in USA Admission
In order to get into the bachelor coursework in US colleges, the students must meet the below mentioned minimum cut off score. Though the required cut off score varies from college to college, the average score is similar for all the institutions.
- Completed 10th and 12th standard
- SAT or ACT score; minimum ACT score required is 33-35
- Proof of English proficiency. Minimum score requirement is:
- TOEFL iBT: 70
- IELTS: 6.0
Required Documents for Bachelors in Design in USA Admission
Do not forget to attach the below mentioned important documents along with the score to the university authority:
- Official transcripts of your prior academic scores
- Bank statement
Fees and Funding for Undergraduate Design Coursework in USA (H3)
The average fees for studying bachelor in design from the USA is between 24,000 to 54,000 USD per year. The course fee seems high for the bachelor students unless they apply for a scholarship program. In addition, the cost of living in the USA is higher compared to otherstudy abroad destinations. Hence, the fellows might find it difficult to bear the survival cost if they do not get concession through scholarship program.
Postgraduate Programs at Design Colleges in USA
The coursework is categorised into 358 masters program in design, Approximately 3050 (approximately) postgraduate programs for graphic and fashion designing programs and 60 industrial design programs are offered in design colleges in USA at postgraduate level. This includes 358 Master of Design programs.
Following table lists the popular universities offering Master of Design in USA:
|Program||University||Duration||Course Fees (Annually in USD)|
|Master in City Design (MCD)||University of Illinois at Chicago||2 years||17,714|
|Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Communication Design||Texas State University||2 years||15,440|
|Master in Graphic Design (MAGD)||Suffolk University||1 year||49,674|
|Master of Science (M.Sc) in Design and Merchandising||Colorado State University||2 years||47,792|
|M.Sc in Textile, Fashion Merchandising and Design||University of Rhode Island||2 years||47,569|
|Master of Arts (M.A) in Costume Design||Academy of Art University||2 years||36,018|
|M.Sc in Fashion and Apparel Studies||University of Delaware||2 years||25,215|
|Master in Industrial Design||Academy of Art University||3 years||36,018|
Certificates Postgraduate Courses at Design Colleges in USA
Despite the full time postgraduate coursework, the colleges and the universities of the USA offer some certificate or diploma programs both for the domestic and international students. Some of the popular certificates or diploma programs are:
- International Career Institute (ICI): Diploma in IT (web design). It is a ½ year program.
- ICI: Executive diploma in graphic design and desktop publishing. It is 8 months of coursework.
- Boston University: M.A in elective graphic design. It is a 6 weeks program.
Eligibility Master of Design in USA Admission
Similar to the undergraduate students, the applicants should have the following eligibility criteria in order to apply for US universities:
- You should have at least a 3.0 GPA score in bachelor course work.
- Bachelor certificate, which is the evidence of completing your undergraduate program
- Proof of English proficiency. Minimum score required are:
- Minimum 6.5 band score in IELTS
- Average cut off score of the TOEFL exam is 78-100.
- Average GRE score: Reading 160, writing 4.5
Required Documents for Master of Design in USA Admission
Irrespective of academic qualification, the students should also submit some essential documents in order to take admission in the masters in design program.
- One identification certificate
- 2 LORs from your teacher
- 4 passport size photographs of the applicants
- Your valid passport
- Recommendation letter (not mandatory)
- Submit the transcripts of your previous studies
- Statement certificate on the purpose of studying.
- Current CV
Fees and Funding for Postgraduate Design Coursework in USA
Average fees for studying master in design from the USA universities is 30,000 USD to 50,000 USD approximately. It is better for the students to apply for a scholarship program to reduce the excessive burden of earning the cost of study and cost of living, being a student.
Doctoral Programs at Design Colleges in USA
PhD coursework from design colleges in USA universities is streamlined into 3 to 4 years. There are 10 different design programs available in this country. However, PhD in fashion designing, interior designing and graphic designing are not offered by any of the USA universities.
Some of the popular PhD programs are discussed in the following table:
|Program||University||Duration||Course Fees (Annually in USD)|
|PhD in Materials Design and Innovation||School of Engineering and Applied Sciences||4 years||22,210|
|PhD in Apparel and Textile Designing||Kansas State University||3 years||24,210|
|PhD in Apparel Design||Cornell University||3 years||34,972|
Eligibility for PhD in Design in USA Admission
Read the following requirements before you plan to take admission in PhD coursework.
- Since, the available seats for PhD courses are less compared to the bachelor and master coursework, therefore, it is advisable to get distinction scores at postgraduate level.
- Proof of English proficiency:
- 7 band score in IELTS.
- 90-100 in TOEFL
Required Documents PhD in Design Admission
Apart from the aforementioned academic qualification and cut off score, the applicants should provide some required documents.
- Transcripts of the previous academic marksheets
- Educational reference letter
- Current CV
- Letter of intent
- Receipt of application fees
Fees and Funding for PhD in Design in USA Admission
The average cost of pursuing PhD coursework in design from the USA universities vary from 25000 USD to 40000 USD per annum (on average). The students get flexibility to opt for the part time PhD coursework. It usually takes more time and more course fees to complete the entire program. Nevertheless, some scholarship programs are also available for the PhD pursuing students, which are helpful to minimise the cost burden of completing the study.
Scholarship Programs for Design Colleges in USA
The course fees for the international students are much higher than the domestic students. Unless the global students apply their scholarship program, it will be troublesome for their survival in the US. In addition, the cost of living in the country is also very high.
The scholarship programs are available not only for the meritorious students, but also everybody can avail this as per their need. Scholarship criteria also differ based on it’s type.
Following are some of the popular scholarships for international students in USA:
|Scholarship||Scholarship is given to||Amount (in USD)|
|Clubs of America Scholarship Award for Career Success||Both US and international meritorious undergraduate students||1000|
|Bienenstock Design Competition||Master pursuing students in design||5000|
|Maine Graphic Arts Association (MGAA) Scholarship||All level of coursework||500|
|UNF Gray Scholarship||All level meritorious students||4000|
|FIDM National Scholarship Competition||Both the undergraduate and postgraduate students, who are pursuing fashion designing program||Up to 30,955|
|Mary Abdoo Fashion Memorial Scholarship||Both the undergraduate and postgraduate students, who are pursuing fashion designing program||1000|
Scope after Pursuing Design Courses in USA
As per the above discussion, it is clearly evident that the growth rate of the designers across the USA has grown sharply.
- Graphic designers in the US can experience 3% growth rate in their career by the year 2028.
- Approximately 266300 people are engaged with graphic designing in the USA. In addition, by the next 10 years, 16,700 more graphic designers will be recruited.
- The most three demanding states in the USA for graphic designers are California, New York and Florida.
- As per BLS, demand for industrial designers in the US will be increased by 4% by the year 2028.
- Approximately 400 more fashion designers will be recruited by the employers of the US within 2028.
Likewise the graphic designers, the fashion designers can also experience a good hike in their pay scale with the booming of the industry in the USA. Being a fresher, a fashion designer can earn 36,420 USD, while an experienced fashion designer can get 72,720 USD (as per the report of BLS). Likewise, the experienced web designer salary in the US is also very lucrative.
Some of the job designations and their respective pay scales of the designers in the USA are described in the following table:
|Job Designation||Pay Scale (Annually in USD)|
|Art production manager: graphic designer||54,088- 86,200|
|Apparel manufacturing consultant||70,000- 117,000|
|Notion merchant wholesalers||58340- 80,000|
|Display designer||35,000- 55,000|
|Layout artist: graphic designer||46,890- 64,090|
|Interaction designer||79,170- 101,648|
|Aircraft interior designer||60,698- 107,688|
|Office space planner||47,500-81,500|
Once the students complete their coursework from the USA, they can get huge opportunities to start their career as a consultant. After five years of experience, they can show their excellence as a manager in respective fields. Hence, design programs from the USA colleges and universities offer you wide options to broaden your career path. So that you can get a handsome return from your jobs.