Best Design Schools In The World
What are the best design schools in the world? As you may already know, art’s importance in everyday life cannot be underestimated. However, it is not enough to only appreciate the arts and their significance. You are supposed to participate in the creation of things that are random and meaningless with the use of design principles, knowledge, and creativity. It all boils down to your willingness and passion.
Design is a fundamental aspect of any product or experience; therefore, a good designer must know what they are doing. While many people make the mistake of assuming that creativity is a natural skill, several design schools worldwide have proven this assumption false for decades.
What Are The Most Prestigious Design School Right Now?
These schools aim to provide their students with the theoretical and practical training required for a successful career in design. Unfortunately, people struggle to find and choose design schools, so we created this list containing the best design schools worldwide.
The rankings below are based on a combination of factors: reputation with employers (as reflected by employment statistics and salary surveys), research quality (as measured by citations), average GPA of incoming students, and student opinions (as reported on surveys). Here’s a list of the best design schools right now.
1. Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is one of the best design schools in the world. It was founded in 1877 and served more than 2,500 students from around the globe. RISD offers seven undergraduate programs, four graduate programs, and a five-year dual degree program.
As a result, students come to RISD with an open mind and leave with a wealth of knowledge they are ready to use in any field they choose. To make design education more accessible to women, Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf launched the school as a coeducational institution in 1877.
Today, RISD enrolls over 2,000 undergraduate and 500 graduate students, providing bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in 19 majors. In addition, one of the biggest collegiate art museums in the US is the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, which contains the school’s art and design collections.
The Rhode Island School of Design is connected to Brown University, whose campus is located next to RISDs on College Hill in Providence. Since 1900, the bridge has been allowed between the institutes since they share social and communal resources.
At the graduate and undergraduate levels, RISD and Brown jointly offer dual university courses. Notable alums include Seth MacFarlane, Gus Van Sant, Chris Frant, and Tina Weymouth.
- Graduation rate:89%
- Acceptance rate:27%
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab is one of the best design schools in the world. The school was founded by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte in 1985 as a research group within the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (LCS). Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab is one of the Best Design Schools In The World.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Architecture Machine Group at the Architectural School gave birth to the MIT Media Lab, a research lab.
Its study is not constrained by established academic fields but incorporates technology, media, science, art, and design elements.
In 2014, the research divisions of the Media Lab included neurobiology, physiologically inspired fabrication, emotional computing, bionics, and hyperinstruments.
Today, MIT Media Lab is an interdisciplinary research center that works on projects related to human interaction with technology. It comprises around 100 faculty members and researchers working alongside 750 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
- Graduation rate:88%
- Acceptance rate:5%
3. Carnegie Mellon University School of Design
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie as the Carnegie Technical School. It established the first university-owned industrial research laboratory for students to gain real experience and training in industrial research. In 1967, the Carnegie Institute of Technology merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research to form Carnegie Mellon University.
Carnegie Mellon University School of Design is one of the best design schools in the world. The school offers bachelor’s degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, and urban design; master’s degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning; and a doctoral degree in urban planning. The school also offers an undergraduate minor degree program focusing on architecture and design fields.
Carnegie Institute of Technology was the first academic school to offer an industrial design bachelor’s degree program in the fall of 1934. The Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the School of Applied Art served as the program’s forerunners.
The program’s curriculum was primarily developed by Donald Dohner, known as “The Father of Industrial Design Education in America” and a teaching member at CIT until 1935. He clearly understood what industrial design was and what it might be based on his experience with it at Westinghouse and his knowledge of tools and manufacturing.
Most industrial design programs in America still employ the program he developed. But unfortunately, Westinghouse and the school quickly lost interest in the initiative.
- Graduation rate:86.5%
- Acceptance rate:11%
4. PolyU School of Design
PolyU School of Design School is a public university in Hong Kong and one of the Best Design Schools In The World. Located in Tai Po, New Territories, it was established in 1964 as the first tertiary institution providing design education in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Technical College first provided general certificate courses in 1964. The Department of Design, which provided higher diploma courses, was renamed in 1972 when the Hong Kong Polytechnic was officially founded.
The department changed its name to the Swire School of Design in the 1980s; the institution awarded bachelor’s degrees. When the polytechnic received university status in 1994, it changed its name to the PolyU School of Design and began offering master’s degrees.
The school has a strong emphasis on research and innovation. It collaborates with industry partners to provide students with opportunities to learn from real-life experiences; for example, students can participate in student competitions and receive feedback from industry professionals.
The Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree program includes core classes that provide students with foundational knowledge about art history, visual theory, and aesthetics. Students must also take foundation courses that teach them to work with different mediums. These include drawing, painting, and printmaking courses.
Some Notable alums include Paul Wong, Kitty Yuen, Vivienne Tam, Raman Hui, Henry Lau, Kit Hung, Tony Leung, Gigi Leung, and Alice Mak.
- Graduation rate:87%
- Acceptance rate:2%
5. Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture
Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture is one of the Best Design Schools In The World. Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture was founded in 1871 to educate future generations of designers, researchers, and entrepreneurs through a multidisciplinary approach to design education that emphasizes collaboration between teachers and students, active participation in research projects, and internationalization.
The School’s current facilities include three campuses in Helsinki, Espoo, and Otaniemi (Nokia Campus). The campus at Otaniemi houses all undergraduate programs in the Humanities and Social Sciences and all graduate programs at the Master’s level.
The Espoo campus hosts a wide range of programs from Bachelor’s level upward and pre-masters programs for international students who wish to study English. The Helsinki campus provides facilities for all postgraduate courses taught in Finnish and some courses taught in English.
The Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture was ranked sixth overall and sixth in the field of art and design in the 2021 QS World University Rankings. Aalto placed 42nd in the category of architecture and the built environment.
The Cumulus Network is a global association of higher education institutions in art, design, and media, and Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture is a founding member.
- Graduation rate:91%
- Acceptance rate:10%
6. Institute of Design (Chicago)
The Institute of Design (also known as the Illinois Institute of Design and ID) is a private, not-for-profit, accredited university in Chicago, Illinois. It is located on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Van Buren Street. The school offers bachelor’s degrees in design and business administration, master’s degrees in design and business administration, and a doctorate in design.
The Institute of Design was founded in 1937 as the New Bauhaus by László Moholy-Nagy. It was renamed The School of Design in 1944, then became part of the Institute for Advanced Study from 1945 to 1949.
In 1957 it was renamed The School of Design again when it joined Northwestern University’s School of Education. The school became independent again in 1969 and adopted its present name in 1975. Its campus is 350 N Michigan Avenue in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood.
The school offers degrees in architecture and design, engineering, science, business and technology management, law, and economics. The College of Architecture at IIT is consistently ranked among the top programs in the world. In addition to having top-ranked programs for architecture, IIT also has several highly-ranked graduate programs, including industrial design and urban planning.
- Graduation rate:65.5%
- Acceptance rate:66%
7. California College of the Arts
The California College of the Arts (CCA) is one of the best design schools in the world. It was founded in 1907 as the California Guild of Arts and Crafts (CASAC) School, which became CCA in 1972.
The school offers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees in over 30 disciplines, including architecture, art, industrial design, interior architecture and design, landscape architecture, and urban planning.
The college offers BFA degrees (including BA/BFA double majors) in 17 visual arts disciplines: Animation; Architectural Design; Ceramics; Drawing & Painting; Fashion Design; Fibers; Glass; Graphic Design; Intermedia Art & Design; Jewelry & Metalsmithing; Photography & Imaging; Printmaking & Book Arts; Sculpture; Textile Studies / Fiber Studies / Fiber Arts / Textile Art / Textile Design / Textile Arts / Textiles (Art); Video & New Media Production. The university also offers MFA degrees in six visual arts disciplines: Architecture + Urbanism (MA), Ceramic Arts (MFA); Drawing + Painting (MFA); Fibers (MFA); Glass (MFA); Visual Communications.
CalArts is considered one of the best design schools in the world because of its innovative approach to education. Students are encouraged to take risks and be creative with their projects, often creating fantastic work.
- Graduation rate:66%
- Acceptance rate:85.4%
8. Savannah College of Art and Design
The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is an art, design, and architecture school in Atlanta, Georgia. SCAD is a private university with over 15,000 and 10,000 online students. The main campus is located on a 100-acre lot in Savannah, Georgia.
SCAD offers undergraduate degrees in more than 40 majors and graduate degrees in fine arts and applied arts. SCAD also offers online programs in design studies that can be completed entirely online with no residency requirements.
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree is one such program; it includes two years of full-time study followed by a two-year internship at SCAD or another institution that partners with SCAD for its graduate students. Students who complete their MFA from SCAD can go on to become designers or teachers at other institutions.
- Graduation rate:68%
- Acceptance rate:78%
9. School of Visual Arts – New York City
School of Visual Arts (SVA) is a private, non-profit college for the visual arts located in Manhattan, New York City. It was founded in 1947 by Silas H. Rhodes and Burne Hogarth and is now affiliated with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).
SVA awards the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the following areas: Advertising, Animation, Bookmaking & Writing, Design Management, Illustration, Interactive Media & Game Design, Motion Graphics & Video Production, Photography & Related Media, and Graphic Design. SVA also offers an MFA degree in Art Education.
The school has two main campuses: Chelsea (home to its School of Visual Arts Theatre) and Midtown Manhattan (home to its School of Visual Arts at Columbus Circle). The Chelsea campus is located on West 21st Street between 10th and 11th Avenues; it houses programs such as the School of Fine Art’s Painting Program at Chelsea Studios and the BFA Fashion Design Program at NYC Fashion Incubator.
The Midtown Manhattan campus is on Columbus Circle; it houses programs such as the MFA Art Education Program at Manhattan Studio Lab (MSL), which offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate programs. SVA also has other satellite facilities.
- Graduation rate:72%
- Acceptance rate:72%
10. Parsons The New School for Design
Parsons The New School for Design is one of the best design schools in the world. It has a great history, and it has produced many famous designers. Parsons is located in New York City and offers undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs. Parsons was founded in 1896 by William Merritt Chase, a businessman who had previously worked at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He wanted to create a school that would allow people to study fine arts, industrial design, and architecture. All three areas are still represented at Parsons today.
Over time, Parsons has become known for its focus on technology and innovation. In 2002, it became part of the New School University system and today offers more than 40 majors at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
The school has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art & Design since 1896 and is currently certified by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
- Graduation rate:68.5%
- Acceptance rate:35%
The best design schools in the world combine a creative environment with the latest technology and provide students with real-world experience. Some of the top design schools in the world are located in Europe, Asia and North America.
The best design schools in the world are listed above. It is also good to know that there are also schools that offer a degree in design. If you want to pursue your career as a designer, you will need to go through these schools. In fact, if you want to get a good education and have a great future ahead of you, you should consider going through one of these schools.