Top Schools for Jewelry Design

Find out which top schools provide formal instruction in jewelry design. Take a look at the degree programs and courses offered by three high-profile institutions, and use the table at the end of the article to see what other schools in the United States offer training in jewelry design and metal work.

School Information

In general, jewelry design programs provide students with training in metal working techniques. They typically include courses in 3-D design, casting, stone setting and art history. Successful completion of a jewelry or metals program can lead to a Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or Master of Fine Arts (MFA). The three schools profiled below include a renowned technology institute and two national universities that offer undergraduate and/or graduate programs in jewelry and metal work.

Top U.S. Schools with Jewelry Design Programs

1. The University of Kansas in Lawrence

The University of Kansas (KU) is a research institution that U.S. News and World Report ranked 46th on its 'Top Public Schools - National Universities' list in 2012. KU offers an MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry through the School of the Arts' Department of Visual Art. Students participate in a weekly seminar to discuss issues in contemporary art. Additionally, students have access to a metal studio, which includes polishing, enameling, casting and soldering areas.

The crafts area at KU is open 24 hours a day and includes a computer lab and a supply store. In addition to Lawrence, KU has campuses in Salina, Kansas City, Overland Park and Wichita.

2. Rochester Institute of Technology, NY

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), a private university that focuses on career education, made the Princeton Review's list of 'Best 376 Colleges' for 2012. RIT offers a BFA and an MFA in Metalcrafts and Jewelry. BFA students take courses in 3-D design and concept drawing, as well as electives in art history. Students in the 2-year MFA program write a thesis, study metal working techniques and have the opportunity to participate in a residency program at the School of American Crafts.

3. San Diego State University, CA

San Diego State University (SDSU) is a public institution that U.S. News and World Report ranked 89th on its 'Top Public Schools - National Universities' list for 2012. SDSU's School of Art, Design and Art History offers a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in Applied Arts and Sciences for art majors specializing in jewelry and metalwork. Once enrolled, students take courses in casting, stone setting and die-forming and conduct art and design research. They also have the opportunity to participate in a foreign exchange program.

The school also offers a 3-year MFA in Art. Program emphasis is on applied design as it pertains to jewelry and metalwork.

List of Ten Good Jewelry Design Schools in the U.S.

School NameDistinctionLocation
California College of the Arts Opportunity to participate in an internship with area metal artists Oakland, CA
Cranbrook Academy of Art U.S.'s only independent art and design graduate school Bloomfield Hills, MI
Indiana University, Bloomington U.S. News and World Report ranked the MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design 10th in the nation in 2008 Bloomington, IN
Rochester Institute of Technology Undergraduate metalcrafts and jewelry program provides instruction in wood, clay, metal and glass Rochester, NY
San Diego State University Among the largest institutions of higher education in the San Diego region San Diego, CA
Temple University Students in the School of Art have access to an art facility with galleries and workshopsPhiladelphia, PA
University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign Art and design program prepares students for careers in studios or academic settings Champaign, IL
University of Kansas Metalsmithing facility with state-of-the-art safety equipment and ventilation Lawrence, KS
University of Wisconsin, Madison One of the oldest metal programs in the nation Madison, WI
Virginia Commonwealth University Students develop strong technical skills in conjunction with a liberal arts education Richmond, VA

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