Makeup Schools in Portland, Oregon with Program Overviews

The Portland area has two colleges that offer makeup-related programs within about 15 miles of the city's center. Learn about the program options and requirements at the schools to decide which one is right for you.

Portland Makeup Programs

Aspiring makeup artists have a few program options located within a 25-minute drive of the downtown Portland area. Read about the focus areas and training requirements at two schools that prepare students for state licensure in the cosmetology field. There is also a table offering additional information about the colleges, including details on costs, student retention rates and more.

  • Mt. Hood Community College, a two-year, public institution, is the larger of the two profiled schools and offers an associate's degree program in cosmetology. The campus is roughly 17 miles from central Portland.
  • For those seeking a more intimate learning environment, Northwest College, a two-year, not-for-profit school located about 13 miles from downtown Portland, enrolls fewer than 60 students and offers training programs in esthetics and cosmetology.

Mt. Hood Community College

Mt. Hood Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science program in cosmetology that can cover some of the skills necessary to become a makeup artist. Although the school has an open admissions policy, the cosmetology program is one of its limited entry programs.

Associate of Applied Science in Cosmetology

The cosmetology program prepares students to take the Oregon State Board of Cosmetology Examination. The curriculum includes courses on hair, esthetics, nails, algebra, business and psychology. The program can be completed in two years and includes the 2,300 contact hours required for licensure.

Northwest College

Northwest College offers two training programs for those who wish to pursue careers in the makeup industry. Both programs prepare students for state licensing exams.

Esthetics Training Program

The esthetics program readies students for the Oregon Board of Barbers and Hairdresser's Examination for an Oregon license in esthetics. Classes focus on skincare and cover topics such as makeup application, hair removal procedures, facials and body wraps. The program is over 500 credit hours and takes about five months to complete.

Cosmetology Training Program

With a focus on creative arts and technical skills, the cosmetology program trains students to take the Oregon State Board of Cosmetology Examination. Course topics include esthetics, hair design, makeup, nail care and career development. The cosmetology program is 2,300 credit hours.

Comparison of Schools

Although one college is public and the other is a private institution, the tuition rates they charge for their cosmetology programs are within around $1500 of each other. This, along with other facts like student enrollment figures and the number of students getting financial aid, may help one school stand out. Review all of these stats in the table below.

Mt. Hood Community College Northwest College
School Type Two-year, public Two-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2011) 9,905* 59*
Campus Setting Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition, Fees & Books (2011-2012) $19,488.50 total program cost for in-state students** $17,948 for the cosmetology program*
% of Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011) 72%* 100%*
Acceptance Rate N/A - open admissions N/A - open admissions
Retention Rate (Fall 2011) 55% of full-time students* 88% of full-time students*
Graduation Rate (Students Beginning in 2008) 18%* N/A

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Mt. Hood Community College

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