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Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools

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2021 Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools

143 Colleges
$29,542 Avg Salary
$27,114 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Design & Applied Arts School for You

In 2018-2019, 2,088 people earned a degree or certificate in design and applied arts, making the major the #89 most popular in the United States.

There are so many programs in today's world that it can tough to figure out which one is the right one for you. As online education oppotunities continue to grow, you're not restricted to just schools in your local area anymore. Even some of the 'big name' schools are offering online courses. Also, there are a number of trade schools with offerings that you might find attractive.

To help you arm yourself with the information you need to make your decision, Grad Degree Search has developed this Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools ranking. This report analyzed 143 schools in the United States to see which ones were the most popular programs 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 colleges and universities below are the most popular for design majors pursuing a .

Our 2021 rankings named Savannah College of Art and Design the most popular school in the United States for design and applied arts students. SCAD is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Savannah.

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#2

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, CA

Out of the 143 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Academy of Art University landed the # 2 spot on the list. Located in the large city of San Francisco, Academy of Art University is a private for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

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#3

Pratt Institute - Main

Brooklyn, NY

Out of the 143 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Pratt Institute - Main landed the # 3 spot on the list. Located in the large city of Brooklyn, Pratt Institute is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

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A rank of #4 on this year’s list means California State University - Fullerton is a great place for design and applied arts students. Cal State Fullerton is a very large public school located in the suburb of Fullerton.

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The excellent programs at Maryland Institute College of Art helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best design and applied arts schools in the United States. Located in the city of Baltimore, MICA is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#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 fairly large student population.

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#7

The New School

New York, NY

The New School ranked #7 on this year’s Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools list. New School University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York.

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New York School of Interior Design did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for design and applied arts students. It came in at #8 on the list. NYSID is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York.

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#9

School of Visual Arts

New York, NY

School of Visual Arts came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools ranking. Located in the large city of New York, SVA is a private for-profit college with a small student population.

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#10

California College of the Arts

San Francisco, CA

With a ranking of #10, 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.

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#11

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon 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 large city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

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Arizona State University - Tempe landed the #12 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular design and applied arts programs. ASU - Tempe is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Tempe.

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Arizona State University - Skysong did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for design and applied arts students. It came in at #12 on the list. ASU - Skysong is a very large public school located in the city of Scottsdale.

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Atlantic University College landed the #14 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular design and applied arts programs. Located in the city of Guaynabo, Atlantic University College is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#15

New York University

New York, NY

New York University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular schools for design and applied arts students. It came in at #15 on the list. NYU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York.

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School of the Art Institute of Chicago came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Design & Applied Arts Schools ranking. School of the Art Institute of Chicago is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chicago.

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#17

Boston University

Boston, MA

With a ranking of #17, Boston University did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for design and applied arts students. Boston U is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Boston.

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#18

Auburn University

Auburn, AL

Auburn University landed the #18 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular design and applied arts programs. Located in the city of Auburn, Auburn is a public college with a very large student population.

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With a ranking of #19, Rochester Institute of Technology did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for design and applied arts students. RIT is a large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Rochester.

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With a ranking of #19, North Carolina State University did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for design and applied arts students. NC State is a very large public school located in the city of Raleigh.

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#21

Marymount University

Arlington, VA

With a ranking of #21, Marymount University did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for design and applied arts students. Located in the city of Arlington, Marymount is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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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
22 Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus Atlanta, GA
22 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA
22 College for Creative Studies Detroit, MI
22 AI Miami International University of Art and Design Miami, FL
26 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
27 Iowa State University Ames, IA
28 Bowling Green State University - Main Campus Bowling Green, OH
28 Harvard University Cambridge, MA
28 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
28 Massachusetts College of Art and Design Boston, MA

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

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

Majors Similar to Design

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 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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