Accessory Design Degree Programs in San Diego, CA with Course Info

Sep 29, 2018

The San Diego, CA, area has three schools within a 70-mile radius that offer programs in accessory design. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements for these three schools to make an informed education decision.

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San Diego, CA, Accessory Design Schools

There are three schools in the San Diego, CA, area that offer programs which may be of interest to students who want to study accessory design. Read summaries of the programs below, and use the accompanying table to compare program costs and other key statistics.

  • Students may enroll in a bachelor's or master's degree program at San Diego State University; both programs specifically teach students about making jewelry. At roughly ten miles, this school is the closest to downtown San Diego.
  • The program at Palomar College is an associate's degree program in fashion merchandising that includes accessory classes. The school is located about 37 miles from San Diego.
  • Saddleback College, about 70 miles from San Diego, CA, offers an accessory design skills award. This program deals directly with accessory design in items like hats, shoes and bags.

Comparison of Schools

This table includes undergraduate tuition rates for both in-state and out-of-state students, as well as graduate and retention statistics. Note the high student enrollments at all three schools, as well as the open admissions policies at Palomar and Saddleback colleges.

San Diego State University Palomar College Saddleback College
School Type 4-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (Fall 2017) 35,158* 23,848* 19,783*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $7,460 for in-state students; $19,340 for out-of-state students* $1,338 for in-state students; $7,386 for out-of-state students* $1,328 for in-state students, 10,568 for out-of-state students*
% of Beginning Undergraduate Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 59%* 63%* 40%*
Acceptance Rate 35% (Fall 2017)* N/A - open admissions* N/A - open admissions*
Retention Rate (Fall 2017) 89% of full-time students; 67% of part-time students* 71% of full-time students; 47% of part-time students* 77% of full-time students; 49% of part-time students*
Graduation Rate 74% graduation rate; 3% transfer-out rate (students who started in Fall 2011)* 29% graduation rate; 10% transfer-out rate (students who started in Fall 2014)* 38% graduation rate; 14% transfer-out rate (students who started in Fall 2014)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator

San Diego State University

The applied design programs at San Diego State University have impacted status, which means that students have to meet additional admission requirements, to avoid over-enrollment and secure a productive learning environment for all students. The jewelry and metals program is offered through the School of Art and Design, which, as of 2018, has a total of 57 faculty teaching 927 undergraduate students and 46 graduate students.

Bachelor of Arts in Applied Arts and Sciences, Major in Art, Emphasis in Applied Design, Specialization in Jewelry and Metalsmithing

The jewelry and metals specialization provides students with a solid base in contemporary and traditional techniques that can prepare them to create original accessories. Students may use available facilities to work in enameling, metal forming, stone setting, etching, engraving, chasing, electroforming, die-forming, casting and soldering. Courses also cover 3-D creative design of metal jewelry, specialized metal jewelry techniques and personal design development.

Master of Fine Arts, Major in Art, Emphasis in Applied Design, Specialization in Jewelry and Metalsmithing

This program is designed to hone students' techniques and unique design styles as well as prepare them for professional careers in metal jewelry. This 3-year program requires studio courses, research in jewelry theory and metalwork seminars. In their final year, students create an exhibition and a written report summarizing the concept of their work. This program expects students to enter their work in competitions, sometimes even at the international level. Graduates may become jewelry designers, studio jewelers, jewelry gallery owners or metal jewelry professors.

Palomar College

Palomar College is a two-year community college that enrolls more than 30,000 students. The Career, Technical and Extended Education Division offers fashion programs through its Design and Consumer Education Department.

Associate of Science in Fashion Merchandising

This program can prepare students to become visual merchandisers, fashion coordinators and sales representatives, among other positions. The curriculum requires courses that cover accessories: a fashion presentation course teaches how to organize and coordinate accessories with clothing, and a ready-to-wear fashion course covers design and creation of accessories and other fashion garments. A class in digital fashion design that teaches students how to plan fashion concepts using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop is also required; students could use these programs to represent and develop accessory designs. Students must also complete a field studies course as well as an internship that will give them real-world experience.

Saddleback College

Saddleback College first opened its doors in 1968. The Division of Advanced Technology and Applied Sciences offers degree and certificate programs in 55 areas, including fashion and accessory design. There are over 100 faculty and staff that provide services in this division.

Accessory Design Occupational Skills Award

Graduates of this award program may become designers of pocket squares, ties, shawls, leather goods, jewelry, millinery, bags or shoes. Students develop their technical and design skills. They also learn how to source materials, develop their products and manufacture their goods. Courses include basic sewing, dying fabrics, Apparel Information Management System (AIMS) software certification training, apparel design and accessory design. Students complete a professional work experience in fashion.

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