creative juice / ux + design

top 5 design schools


It’s that time of year where high school seniors are hearing back from the colleges—getting acceptance or rejection letters. And it’s also that time of year when high school juniors start thinking about which schools they want to apply to in their senior year. So, if you or your child is in that boat and are interested in a design career path, here is a list of the top 5 design schools in the country.

1.  Rhode Island School of Design

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (or “RIZ-dee” for the acronym RISD) is one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design in the U.S. Each year approximately 2,300 students from around the world pursue a creative, studio-based education at RISD, which offers rigorous bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in 19 architecture, design, fine arts and art education majors. The college is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which offers its own vibrant art scene and is conveniently located between two other major cultural centers: Boston and New York.

Cost: $44,284 (2014-15 year)

2.  Yale University School of Art

The School of Art offers professional instruction in four interrelated areas of study: graphic design, painting/printmaking, photography, and sculpture.

Cost: $33,500 (2013-14 year)

3.  Maryland Institute College of Art

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has become the leader in the education of artists and designers by fostering a community of talented, creative individuals committed to redefining the boundaries of art and design and to expanding their own vision and perspective through rigorous study.

Cost: $39,400 (2013-14 year)

4.  Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon’s School of Design is one of the oldest and most respected programs in North America, with a rich history in product, communication, and interaction design. It is one of only a few design schools to offer education across the full spectrum of learning – from pre-college to doctoral degrees – in a research setting renowned for its teaching innovations. One of its advantages is its relatively small size; the School of Design houses approximately 250 students within a vibrant, international, private university in one of America’s “most livable cities.”

Cost: $36,000 (2013-14 year)

5.  Virginia Commonwealth University

The Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees in design, fine and performing arts, with a unique emphasis on creative immersion. Far more than simply an education or preparation for a career, students leave VCUarts with the practical, professional and personal skills needed to make a life in the arts, no matter how they define it. That’s why their programs emphasize both doing and knowing.

Cost: $22,549 (2013-14 year)

For a list of the top 50 design schools, visit:



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