Top Beauty Schools and Colleges: List of Schools

Nov 10, 2019

Several of the best cosmetology schools are available in states like Kentucky and California. Find out more about cosmetology colleges and the different undergraduate programs they offer in the field.

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Cosmetology Colleges

Cosmetology colleges are fairly common and offer undergraduate programs in cosmetology to interested students. Due to the hands-on nature of the field, most of these programs are designed to be on-campus programs, but some online cosmetology courses and online cosmetology degree programs are available.

Best Cosmetology Schools

Below, you can explore a list of some of the best beauty schools and colleges in the country. Although it may be a matter of opinion, these schools may be considered the best for a variety of reasons, including the availability of different program options, accreditation, preparation for licensure, flexible schedule options, and/or accelerated program options.

  • Pamlico Community College
  • Georgia Piedmont Technical College
  • Stanly Community College
  • Southeastern Technical College
  • East Central Community College
  • Clovis Community College
  • Campbellsville University
  • Somerset Community College
  • Laney College
  • Honolulu Community College

Community Colleges That Offer Cosmetology

There are many 2-year colleges, both community and technical schools, that offer diploma, certificate, or associate's degree programs in cosmetology. Most of these programs help prepare students for cosmetology certification in their specific state, so students should consider the location of their school carefully. Here we discuss a few of these colleges and the cosmetology programs they offer in more detail.

Somerset Community College

Somerset Community College in Somerset, Kentucky, could be considered a top cosmetology school for their diversity of degrees and the preparation the school provides for students to take the Apprentice Cosmetology Examination. After passing their state boards, students must complete 6 months as a licensed apprentice cosmetologist.

To prepare for their boards, students at the college can pursue a certificate or diploma program in cosmetology. The certificate program requires 48 credit hours, while the diploma program requires 57 credit hours. Both programs require students to take various levels of cosmetology courses and finish their program with a cosmetology review. Each program can be completed in 4 semesters, but diploma students must also take courses in communication, quantitative reasoning, and/or digital literacy.

Laney College

Laney College in Oakland, California, also provides a couple of different degree options and allows for greater flexibility in students' schedules by offering day or evening classes. Students at the college can pursue a Certificate of Completion, which still qualifies them for the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology licensing exam, or an Associate in Arts (AA) in Cosmetology.

Students in the AA degree program are required to take 19 units of general education courses in addition to the required courses for the program. Students receive hands-on training during laboratories and may take courses in topics like:

  • Manicurist theory
  • Chemical services
  • Hairstyling
  • Facials
  • Cosmetology theory

Honolulu Community College

Honolulu Community College in Honolulu, Hawaii, is an international member school of Pivot Point. Pivot Point is a unique training method in cosmetology that includes art, math, and science. Students at the school can pursue a certificate or associate's degree in cosmetology to prepare for the State Board of Cosmetology Examination, or pursue the school's unique cosmetology instructor program.

The cosmetology instructor program is designed for cosmetologists who are already licensed and have been working for at least 1 year. The program trains students specifically on teaching methods for the field and requires a total of 600 hours of hands-on experience teaching, planning, and studying theory.

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