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.

1. The University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS

School Highlight: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 KU 50th on its list of 'Top Public Schools - National Universities' list in 2015. 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.

2. Rochester Institute of Technology, NY

School Highlight: Undergraduate metalcrafts and jewelry program at the Rochester Institute of Technology provides instruction in wood, clay, metal and glass.

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

School Highlight: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 78th on its 'Top Public Schools - National Universities' list for 2015. 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.

Top 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 & World Report ranked the MFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design 10th in the nation in 2008 Bloomington, IN
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 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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