Schools with Design Management Programs: How to Choose

Dec 13, 2019

Design management programs teach students to incorporate business management with a career in design. These programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels at colleges and universities across the U.S.

Design management programs prepare students to work in design industries, including fashion, architecture and interior decorating. Design management students can be undergraduates studying for their first degree or working professionals seeking to add management skills to their design training by pursuing graduate degrees.

10 Schools with Design Management Programs

The following ten schools offer programs at various degree levels in the design management field.

College/University Location Institution Type Degree Types Tuition & Fees (2018-2019, In-State)*
Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $50,960 (undergrad), $49,900 (graduate)
Yale University New Haven, CT 4-year, Private Bachelor's $53,430
Maryland Institute College of Art Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $48,630 (undergrad), $46,870 (graduate)
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $55,465 (undergrad), $43,815 (graduate)
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $14,493 (undergraduate), $12,217 (graduate)
Cranbrook Academy of Art Bloomfield Hills, MI 4-year, Private Master's $36,800
Art Center College of Design Pasadena, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $43,416 (undergrad), $45,250 (graduate)
California Institute of the Arts Valencia, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $49,276 (undergrad), $48,660 (graduate)
School of Visual Arts New York, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $39,900 (undergrad), $44,700 (graduate)
The New School - Parsons School of Design New York, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $49,064 (undergrad), $45,669 (graduate)

Sources: *NCES

How to Select a Design Management Program

Graduates of bachelor's degree programs typically find entry-level positions, often as assistants to business professionals, while those who hold master's degrees might become directors of creative teams. The following items should be considered when choosing a design management school:

  • Students familiar with business management can benefit from learning about specific computer technologies used by designers and might look for programs that emphasize practical experience with these technologies.
  • Students who want to concentrate in a certain area of design, such as fashion or architecture, might choose a school where they can complete an additional bachelor's degree.
  • Many design management programs, both graduate and undergraduate, include internships that provide hands-on experience and help students work toward their career goals.
  • The faculty in certain design management programs includes practicing professionals, so students can look for a program whose teachers are currently and directly involved in the field.

Bachelor's Degree in Design Management

Undergraduate programs in design management might confer a Bachelor of Science in Design Management or Interior Design Management, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Design and Management or a related degree. Graduates of these programs should be prepared for entry-level positions as business professionals in creative industries.

Master's Degree in Design Management

Graduate programs in design management might result in a Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts or Master of Professional Studies in Design Management. Master's programs provide continuing education to bachelor's degree holders and working professionals alike who are seeking to partner business practices with creative concepts.

A student's goals regarding their desired career will help them navigate the various degrees available in design management, both at the undergraduate and graduate level.

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