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Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California

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2021 Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California

10 Colleges
$30,196 Avg Salary
$27,472 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Design & Applied Arts School for You

With 379 degrees and certificates handed out in 2018-2019, design and applied arts is the #65 most popular major in California.

Today's students have lots of options to pick from when considering higher education opportunities. You're no longer limited to schools in your local area, either, since online programs are becoming more prevalent. Or you may find the programs at a trade school to be a better alternative for you.

To help you arm yourself with the information you need to make your decision, Grad Degree Search has developed this Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California ranking. Our analysis looked at 10 schools in California to see which programs offered the best educational experiences for students.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California

The colleges and universities below are the best for design majors pursuing a .

Top 10 Best Design & Applied Arts Schools

Our 2021 rankings named Art Center College of Design the best school in California for design and applied arts students. Located in the midsize city of Pasadena, Art Center College of Design is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Southern California. It ranked #2 on our 2021 Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California list. Located in the large city of Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

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Out of the 10 schools in California that were part of this year’s ranking, University of California - Los Angeles landed the # 3 spot on the list. UCLA is a very large public school located in the large city of Los Angeles.

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#4

California College of the Arts

San Francisco, CA

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend California College of the Arts. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California list. Located in the city of San Francisco, California College of the Arts is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend California State University - Fullerton. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California list. Cal State Fullerton is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Fullerton.

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Otis College of Art and Design came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California ranking. Otis Art Institute is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Los Angeles.

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#7

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California ranking. Located in the large city of San Francisco, SFSU is a public school with a fairly large student population.

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#8

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, CA

With a ranking of #8, Academy of Art University did quite well on this year’s best schools for design and applied arts students. Located in the city of San Francisco, Academy of Art University is a private for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

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Laguna College of Art and Design came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California ranking. Located in the rural area of Laguna Beach, LCAD is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#10

New York Film Academy

Burbank, CA

New York Film Academy came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California ranking. New York Film Academy is a small private for-profit school located in the midsize city of Burbank.

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Best Design & Applied Arts Colleges in the Far Western US Region

Explore all the Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in the Far Western US Area or other specific states within that region.

State Degrees Awarded
Washington 16
Oregon 11

Design & Applied Arts is one of 9 different types of programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Music 8,012
Fine & Studio Arts 3,854
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 2,066
Drama & Theater Arts 1,884
Arts & Media Management 1,166

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 10 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • 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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