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Harrington College of Design: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Read about Harrington College of Design. Learn about its admission info, tuition and degree programs to make an informed education decision.

About Harrington College of Design

Harrington College, founded in 1931, grew out of a lecture series offered by practicing interior designer Frances Harrington. Mrs. Harrington retired in 1959, and the school's leadership was turned over to former student Roberts Marks. Under Marks' leadership, degree programs were added, and in 2003 Harrington Institute became Harrington College of Design. The college's mission is to create the next generation of design professionals. They bring real-world experiences to the classroom, which aligns with their practitioner-educator model.


Harrington College of Design is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Faculty, including department chairs, totals 20 across all programs. Profiles of each faculty member are available on the school website.

Harrington offers programs in Photography, Graphic/Communication Design, Interior Design, and Web Design and Development. The school offers one Associate of Applied Science degree program in digital photography. It offers one Bachelor of Science program in web design and development, and three Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in graphic design, interior design, and commercial photography. Harrington also offers Masters of Arts programs in either communication design or interior design. Both majors are also available in Masters of Fine Arts degree programs.


Along with the application, admission into Harrington College requires proof of high school graduation, GED or equivalent. Official transcripts are required. A non-refundable application fee is charged ($50 as of September 2011). An aptitude for creativity and a commitment to achieving professional and personal goals are criteria for admissions into Harrington College of Design. Previous design training is not required. New and transfer students may begin fall, spring or summer semester. Fall semester 2012 begins on September 4.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition rates for undergraduate students range from $500 - $825 per credit hour depending upon the total number of credit hours for which a student is registered in a given semester. Students enrolled for less than 6 credit hours pay $825 per credit. Students registered for 12-15.5 credit hours pay a flat fee of $9,125, and credits of 16 or more are charged at $500 per credit hour.

All students will also pay the following additional mandatory fees every semester: Student Life Fee ($10), CTA U-Pass Fee ($115), and Library & Resource Fee ($100). Other additional mandatory fees may be applicable as well. These fees range from $100 to $300 depending upon the program, and some programs, such as graphic design and communication design, may require more than one additional fee.

Several financial aid options are available to students attending Harrington College. These include grants and scholarships, state aid programs, private loans and tuition reimbursement programs. For the 2010-2011 academic year, students receiving grants or scholarship aid received an average of $3,281. Students receiving Federal student loans received an average of $6,882.

Harrington College of Design QUICK FACTS
School Type 4-year, Private for-profit**
Degrees Offered Associate's degree, Bachelor's degree, Master's degree**
Religious Affiliation N/A***
Academic Calendar Semester*
School Setting City: Large**
Student Body 773 (645 undergraduate)**
Schools and Programs 4 Fields of Study, 9 Programs (1 Associate's, 4 Bachelor's, 4 Master's)*
Student-Faculty Ratio 13 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011: Interior Design (Associate's 47, Bachelor's 147, Master's 7)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 28% in 4 years, 41% in 6 years, 13% in 8 years**
Admission Rate Open admission policy**
Enrollment 773 Total Enrollment Fall 2011**
First-Year Retention Rates 68% Full-time (17% Part-time)**
ACT and SAT Score Requirements Not required*
Application Due Date NA*
Decision Notification Date 2-4 week of meeting admissions requirements*
Tuition (2011-2012) $19,300**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-11: Federal grants (42%), Pell grants (42%), other federal grants (22%), state and local grants/scholarships (0%), institutional grants/scholarships (18%), federal loans (84%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 87%**

Sources: *Harrington College of Design, **IPEDS Data Center for Education, ***US News and World Reports.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Harrington College of Design, 200 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60606
  • Phone: (312) 939-4975
  • Website:

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