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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 four high-profile institutions, and see what other schools in the United States offer training in jewelry design and metal work. View article »

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  • 0:00 School Overviews
  • 1:05 The University of Kansas
  • 1:45 Rochester Institute of…
  • 2:29 San Diego State University
  • 3:22 California College of the Arts
  • 3:49 Top Jewelry Design Schools

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Video Transcript

School Overviews

Jewelry design programs are typically offered at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Some of the top schools in the country that offer these programs include the University of Kansas, Rochester Institute of Technology, California College of the Arts, and San Diego State University. 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 four schools profiled include a renowned technology institute and three national universities that offer undergraduate and/or graduate programs in jewelry and metal work. Three are highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and California College of the Arts offers an internship to students.

The University of Kansas

The University of Kansas has a metalsmithing facility with state-of-the-art safety equipment and ventilation. The University of Kansas (KU) is a research institution that U.S. News & World Report ranked tied at 56ths on its list of top public schools for 2017. KU offers a BFA 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.

Rochester Institute of Technology

At the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the undergraduate metalcrafts and jewelry program provides instruction in wood, clay, metal, and glass.

Rochester Institute of Technology was ranked #33 on U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list of the best value schools in the country. 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.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Art
  • Art History
  • Arts Management
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing
  • Metal and Jewelry Art
  • Multimedia Arts
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Weaving and Textile Arts

San Diego State University

San Diego State University is among the largest institutions of higher education in the San Diego region. San Diego State University (SDSU) is a public institution that U.S. News & World Report ranked tied at 74th on its top public schools list for 2017. SDSU's School of Art, Design and Art History offers a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in Applied Arts and Sciences for applied design students 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 applied design. Program emphasis is on applied design as it pertains to jewelry and metalwork.

California College of the Arts

At the California College of the Arts students have the opportunity to participate in an internship with area metal artists. California College of the Arts offers a BFA in jewelry/metal arts. Students take courses in craft theory, digital tools, and special techniques. The program's facilities include three studios that include professional jewelers equipment. Students may have the opportunity to show their work in a local gallery.

Top Jewelry Design Schools

In addition to the schools already covered, several other institutions offer jewelry design programs.

School Name Distinction Location
Cranbrook Academy of Art U.S.'s only independent art and design graduate school Bloomfield Hills, MI
Indiana University, Bloomington The university's MFA program was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as tied at #33 in the nation in 2016 Bloomington, IN
Temple University Students in the School of Art have access to an art facility with galleries and workshops Philadelphia, PA
University of Illinois Art and design program prepares students for careers in studios or academic settings Champaign, IL
University of Wisconsin Has 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

When choosing a jewelry design program, students may take a school's ranking into consideration. They may also consider internship and study abroad opportunities, as well as what facilities a school offers.

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