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Schools with Quilting Programs: How to Choose

For-credit quilting programs are rare among U.S. colleges and universities; however, some quilting instruction may be found in other programs such as those dealing with home and family sciences; fiber arts; and textiles. Non-credit quilting courses, on the other hand, are easier to find on post-secondary campuses and in a variety of venues.

Quilting programs are found in varying levels, and courses may be included within related programs, such as textiles. Students will want to consider whether they want a full formal education that involves areas other than quilting, such as a Bachelor of Fine Arts program, or training that is more hobbyist in nature.

Schools with For-credit Quilting Instruction

These schools offer programs that include quilting instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees 2015-2016*
Kansas City Art Institute Kansas City, MO 4-year private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $35,270
Maryland Institute College of Art Baltimore, MD 4-year private, not-for-profit Bachelor's $43,870
University of Nebraska--Lincoln Lincoln, NE 4-year public Master's, Graduate Certificate $8,556 in-state, $21,510 out-of-state
UMass Dartmouth North Dartmouth, MA 4-year public Bachelor's $12,588 in-state, $26,173 out-of-state
Ventura College Ventura, CA 2-year public Certificate, Associate's $1,388 in-state, $7,050 out-of-state

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

In deciding where to learn the art of quilting, here are some things to consider:

  • Students may enroll in a bachelor's or even a master's degree program in which they learn quilting and other skills; earning a degree provides an individual with a broader skill set.
  • Some for-credit courses may not meet the students' needs or interests; for example, a class may cover the history and fabrication of quilts but offer no hands-on training in constructing them.
  • Students may learn outside of the traditional classroom; quilting guilds and societies like the American Quilt Study Group (AQSG) offer lessons, scholarships and grants.
  • Folk schools are dedicated to preserving traditional handicrafts-manship including the art of quilting.

Technical School Quilting Classes

There are a few technical schools nationally that offer courses in quilting. Those who complete these classes don't receive certificates or degrees, but rather participate in continuing education or personal enrichment. Students gain experience with the different tools and machines associated with cutting, measuring and sewing.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textiles or Bachelor of Arts in Design or Fiber Arts

These programs introduce students to sewing, weaving and printing. Some textile programs offer textile history courses, in which students can learn about quilting traditions. Students will be expected to fulfill art requirements such as drawing and general education courses. Those interested in using studio time and electives to expand on quilting should contact the prospective programs for approval. The Studio Art Quilt Associates (www.saqa.com) provides a list of fiber art degree programs for prospective quilt artists.

Master of Arts in Textile History

A master's program in textile history with an emphasis in quilt studies is rare; but the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers a couple of options. Generally, though, graduate students pursue additional internships and advanced courses in fiber arts and textile design. These students may also work with faculty in tailoring a graduate program to revolve around quilting.

Students who are interested in learning to quilt may look for programs that offer quilting instruction along with other skills. Other considerations include whether or not a program provides hand-on instruction, and whether or not to pursue a program that doesn't offer college credit.


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