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Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools

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2022 Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools

1,217 Colleges
$29,542 Avg Salary
$27,114 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Design & Applied Arts School for You

In 2019-2020, 36,854 people earned a degree or certificate in design and applied arts, making the major the #35 most popular in the United States.

Today's students have lots of options to pick from when considering higher education opportunities. With more and more schools offering online options, you could even register for a great program on the other side of the country. On top of that, there are a considerable number of trade schools that offer fast-track entry to many fields.

The Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools ranking is one of many tools that Course Advisor has developed to help you make your educational decision. Our analysis looked at 1,217 schools in the United States to see which programs were the most popular for students. To create this ranking we looked at how many students graduated from the Design & Applied Arts program at each school on the list.

The following schools top our list of the Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Colleges.

Our 2022 rankings named Fashion Institute of Technology the most popular school in the United States for design and applied arts students. Located in the large city of New York, FIT SUNY is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

Design majors at FIT SUNY take out an average of $17,639 in student loans while working on their egree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $184, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Design & Applied Arts at Fashion Institute of Technology Report

A rank of #2 on this year’s list means Savannah College of Art and Design is a great place for design and applied arts students. SCAD is a large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Savannah.

While working on their degree, design majors at SCAD accumulate an average of around $44,110 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $497.

Read More…

A rank of #3 on this year’s list means Wake Technical Community College is a great place for design and applied arts students. Wake Technical Community College is a very large public school located in the large suburb of Raleigh.

On average, design graduates from Wake Technical Community College take out $15,313 in student loans while working on their degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $159, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read More…

#4

The New School

New York, NY

A rank of #4 on this year’s list means The New School is a great place for design and applied arts students. New School University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York.

After completing their degree, design graduates from New School University carry an average student debt load of $32,106. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $356, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at The New School

#5

Pratt Institute - Main

Brooklyn, NY

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Pratt Institute - Main. The school came in at #5 on this year’s Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools list. Located in the city of Brooklyn, Pratt Institute is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

After completing their degree, design graduates from Pratt Institute carry an average student debt load of $56,523. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $643, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at Pratt Institute - Main

#6

Full Sail University

Winter Park, FL

Full Sail University ranked #6 on this year’s Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools list. Located in the large suburb of Winter Park, Full Sail University is a private for-profit college with a very large student population.

On average, design graduates from Full Sail University take out $42,160 in student loans while working on their degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $464.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at Full Sail University

Columbus State Community College came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools ranking. Located in the large city of Columbus, Columbus State is a public college with a very large student population.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at Columbus State Community College

With a ranking of #8, FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising - Los Angeles did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for design and applied arts students. Located in the large city of Los Angeles, FIDM Los Angeles is a private for-profit school with a small student population.

On average, design graduates from FIDM Los Angeles take out $19,500 in student loans while working on their degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $203, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Design & Applied Arts at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising - Los Angeles Report

Southern New Hampshire University landed the #9 spot in the 2022 rankings for the most popular design and applied arts programs. Located in the midsize suburb of Manchester, SNHU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that design majors at SNHU take out is $19,419. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $202.

Read More…

With a ranking of #10, Maryland Institute College of Art did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for design and applied arts students. Located in the city of Baltimore, MICA is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

While working on their degree, design majors at MICA accumulate an average of around $36,237 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $405, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Design & Applied Arts at Maryland Institute College of Art Report

Virginia Commonwealth University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for design and applied arts students. It came in at #11 on the list. Located in the city of Richmond, VCU is a public school with a very large student population.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University

#12

Columbia College Chicago

Chicago, IL

Columbia College Chicago ranked #12 on this year’s Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools list. Columbia is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chicago.

On average, design graduates from Columbia take out $26,000 in student loans while working on their degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $270.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at Columbia College Chicago

Art Center College of Design ranked #13 on this year’s Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools list. Located in the medium-sized city of Pasadena, Art Center College of Design is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

On average, design graduates from Art Center College of Design take out $31,000 in student loans while working on their degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $322.

Full Design & Applied Arts at Art Center College of Design Report

Iowa State University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for design and applied arts students. It came in at #13 on the list. Iowa State is a very large public school located in the small city of Ames.

After completing their degree, design graduates from Iowa State carry an average student debt load of $31,609. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $352, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at Iowa State University

#15

School of Visual Arts

New York, NY

School of Visual Arts came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools ranking. Located in the city of New York, SVA is a private for-profit school with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that design majors at SVA take out is $57,193. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $649.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at School of Visual Arts

Kent State University at Kent landed the #16 spot in the 2022 rankings for the most popular design and applied arts programs. Located in the large suburb of Kent, Kent State is a public school with a very large student population.

While working on their degree, design majors at Kent State accumulate an average of around $26,000 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $270.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at Kent State University at Kent

#17

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, CA

Academy of Art University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for design and applied arts students. It came in at #17 on the list. Located in the city of San Francisco, Academy of Art University is a private for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

On average, design graduates from Academy of Art University take out $60,503 in student loans while working on their degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $673, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Design & Applied Arts at Academy of Art University Report

#18

Ivy Tech Community College

Indianapolis, IN

Ivy Tech Community College ranked #18 on this year’s Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools list. Ivy Tech Community College is a very large public school located in the large city of Indianapolis.

While working on their degree, design majors at Ivy Tech Community College accumulate an average of around $12,430 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $129.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at Ivy Tech Community College

University of California - Davis ranked #19 on this year’s Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools list. UC Davis is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Davis.

After completing their degree, design graduates from UC Davis carry an average student debt load of $13,333. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $138, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read More…

Arizona State University - Tempe landed the #20 spot in the 2022 rankings for the most popular design and applied arts programs. ASU - Tempe is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Tempe.

The average amount in student loans that design majors at ASU - Tempe take out is $34,486. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $389.

Full Design & Applied Arts at Arizona State University - Tempe Report

University of Cincinnati - Main Campus did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for design and applied arts students. It came in at #21 on the list. Located in the large city of Cincinnati, UC is a public school with a fairly large student population.

Design majors at UC take out an average of $18,529 in student loans while working on their egree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $193.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at University of Cincinnati - Main Campus

Chattahoochee Technical College ranked #22 on this year’s Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools list. Located in the suburb of Marietta, Chattahoochee Technical College is a public college with a moderately-sized student population.

Read full report on Design & Applied Arts at Chattahoochee Technical College

#23

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Liberty University landed the #23 spot in the 2022 rankings for the most popular design and applied arts programs. Located in the city of Lynchburg, Liberty University is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

Full Design & Applied Arts at Liberty University Report

#24

California College of the Arts

San Francisco, CA

With a ranking of #24, California College of the Arts did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for design and applied arts students. Located in the large city of San Francisco, California College of the Arts is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

After completing their degree, design graduates from California College of the Arts carry an average student debt load of $27,437. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $285.

Full Design & Applied Arts at California College of the Arts Report

#25

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools ranking. Located in the large city of Philadelphia, Drexel is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

After completing their degree, design graduates from Drexel carry an average student debt load of $26,500. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $275.

Full Design & Applied Arts at Drexel University Report

#35

Gwinnett Technical College

Lawrenceville, GA
#36

Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, RI
#38

Auburn University

Auburn, AL
#39

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA
#39

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA
#45

Montclair State University

Montclair, NJ
#46

Portland Community College

Portland, OR
#49

Texas State University

San Marcos, TX

Additional Award Winners

This section represents the rest of the colleges awarded a Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 1217 different United States design and applied arts schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Wayne Community College Goldsboro, NC
52 California State University - Chico Chico, CA
53 Henry Ford College Dearborn, MI
54 Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design Lakewood, CO
55 University of North Texas Denton, TX
56 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
56 AI Miami International University of Art and Design Miami, FL
58 City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
59 Fayetteville Technical Community College Fayetteville, NC
60 Augusta Technical College Augusta, GA
60 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
62 Montgomery College Rockville, MD
62 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
64 Santa Monica College Santa Monica, CA
64 El Centro College Dallas, TX
66 Hinds Community College Raymond, MS
67 New England Institute of Technology East Greenwich, RI
68 Madison Area Technical College Madison, WI
68 Queens College Queens, NY
70 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
71 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
71 Otis College of Art and Design Los Angeles, CA
71 Johnson County Community College Overland Park, KS
71 Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny, IA
75 Tulsa Technology Center Tulsa, OK
76 Boise State University Boise, ID
77 Central Piedmont Community College Charlotte, NC
77 DePaul University Chicago, IL
79 Clemson University Clemson, SC
80 Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design Milwaukee, WI
80 Kean University Union, NJ
82 Saddleback College Mission Viejo, CA
83 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
83 California State Polytechnic University - Pomona Pomona, CA
83 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
86 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA
87 Sierra College Rocklin, CA
87 College of DuPage Glen Ellyn, IL
87 Los Angeles Trade Technical College Los Angeles, CA
90 Laguna College of Art and Design Laguna Beach, CA
91 Portland State University Portland, OR
91 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
91 Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI
94 Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City, UT
95 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
96 Georgia Piedmont Technical College Clarkston, GA
96 Mt. San Antonio College Walnut, CA
98 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
99 University of California - Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA
100 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
100 Century College White Bear Lake, MN
102 Cuyahoga Community College District Cleveland, OH
102 The University of the Arts Philadelphia, PA
102 Platt College - San Diego San Diego, CA
105 Atlanta Technical College Atlanta, GA
105 The Modern College of Design Kettering, OH
105 Bowling Green State University - Main Campus Bowling Green, OH
105 Tidewater Community College Norfolk, VA
109 Austin Community College District Austin, TX
110 SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, NY
110 Minneapolis College of Art and Design Minneapolis, MN
112 Berkeley College - Woodland Park Woodland Park, NJ
113 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
114 Champlain College Burlington, VT
114 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
114 William T McFatter Technical College Davie, FL
117 Bellevue College Bellevue, WA
117 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
117 Lesley University Cambridge, MA
120 Western Washington University Bellingham, WA
121 Sessions College for Professional Design Tempe, AZ
121 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
123 Interior Designers Institute Newport Beach, CA
123 Monroe Community College Rochester, NY
123 Pitt Community College Winterville, NC
123 Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn, NY
123 William Rainey Harper College Palatine, IL
123 Temple University Philadelphia, PA
123 Northeastern University Boston, MA
130 Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus Atlanta, GA
130 Marymount University Arlington, VA
130 St Charles Community College Cottleville, MO
133 Minneapolis Community and Technical College Minneapolis, MN
133 California State University - Sacramento Sacramento, CA
133 San Jacinto Community College Pasadena, TX
136 Northern Virginia Community College Annandale, VA
137 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
137 Cleveland Institute of Art Cleveland, OH
137 Arapahoe Community College Littleton, CO
137 Lanier Technical College Oakwood, GA
137 Belmont University Nashville, TN
142 Wentworth Institute of Technology Boston, MA
142 Oklahoma State University - Main Campus Stillwater, OK
144 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
144 Orange Coast College Costa Mesa, CA
144 Oakland University Rochester Hills, MI
147 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
148 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown, PA
148 University of Bridgeport Bridgeport, CT
150 Shoreline Community College Shoreline, WA
150 Metropolitan Community College Omaha, NE
150 College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV
153 Houston Community College Houston, TX
154 Central Community College Grand Island, NE
154 University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
154 Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO
157 Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa, CA
157 California State University - Fresno Fresno, CA
157 Seattle Central College Seattle, WA
157 The Art Institute of Atlanta Atlanta, GA
157 Universidad del Turabo Gurabo, PR
157 Texas State Technical College Waco, TX
157 Danville Community College Danville, VA
164 University of Oregon Eugene, OR
164 LDS Business College Salt Lake City, UT
164 SOWELA Technical Community College Lake Charles, LA
164 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
168 Mesa Community College Mesa, AZ
168 University of Minnesota - Duluth Duluth, MN
168 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA
168 Nossi College of Art Madison, TN
172 Middlesex Community College Bedford, MA
172 Central Georgia Technical College Warner Robins, GA
174 Boston University Boston, MA
174 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
174 Macomb Community College Warren, MI
174 Independence University Salt Lake City, UT
178 George Washington University Washington, DC
178 Phoenix College Phoenix, AZ
178 West Valley College Saratoga, CA
178 California State University - Monterey Bay Seaside, CA
178 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
178 Front Range Community College Westminster, CO
178 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
178 University of Massachusetts - Lowell Lowell, MA
178 Miami Dade College Miami, FL
178 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional popular schools for Design & Applied Arts students that almost earned our Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools award.

Rank College Location
188 San Antonio College San Antonio, TX
188 Saint Louis Community College Saint Louis, MO
188 Nassau Community College Garden City, NY
191 Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI
191 LaGuardia Community College Long Island City, NY
191 Farmingdale State College Farmingdale, NY
191 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK
191 Metropolitan State University of Denver Denver, CO
196 Maine College of Art Portland, ME
196 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
196 University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth North Dartmouth, MA
196 Chaffey College Rancho Cucamonga, CA
196 Clark Atlanta University Atlanta, GA
196 Guilford Technical Community College Jamestown, NC
196 South Plains College Levelland, TX
203 Fullerton College Fullerton, CA
203 Palomar College San Marcos, CA
203 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
203 Pacific Northwest College of Art Portland, OR
203 Mt. Hood Community College Gresham, OR
203 El Paso Community College El Paso, TX
203 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
210 The Art Institute of San Antonio San Antonio, TX
210 Ball State University Muncie, IN
210 University of Hartford West Hartford, CT
210 Endicott College Beverly, MA
210 Pennsylvania College of Art and Design Lancaster, PA
210 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
210 Western Technical College La Crosse, WI
217 Oklahoma City Community College Oklahoma City, OK
217 Coastal Carolina University Conway, SC
217 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
217 San Diego Mesa College San Diego, CA
217 Flagler College - St Augustine Saint Augustine, FL
222 The Creative Circus Atlanta, GA
222 Adirondack Community College Queensbury, NY
222 The Art Institute of Austin Austin, TX
222 Weber State University Ogden, UT
226 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
226 Hostos Community College Bronx, NY
226 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
226 High Point University High Point, NC
226 Rasmussen University - Florida Ocala, FL
226 Oklahoma Christian University Edmond, OK
226 John Brown University Siloam Springs, AR
226 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL
226 University of Nevada - Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
235 The Art Institute of Dallas Dallas, TX
235 Moore College of Art and Design Philadelphia, PA
235 The Art Institute of Houston Houston, TX
235 Suffolk University Boston, MA
235 Marist College Poughkeepsie, NY
240 Bradley University Peoria, IL
240 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
240 University of Houston Houston, TX
240 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD
240 Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI
240 Spokane Falls Community College Spokane, WA
240 Mohawk Valley Community College Utica, NY
240 Canada College Redwood City, CA

Design & Applied Arts by Region

View the Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 10 majors within the area of study, design and applied arts has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 39,860
Music 27,047
Drama & Theater Arts 18,124
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 17,506
General Visual & Performing Arts 6,359

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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