Cosmetology programs are intended to train students to work in and run salons that offer cosmetology services. Many colleges and schools offer both one-year certificate and two-year associate's degree programs in cosmetology, so prospective students may want to consider which better suits their goals.
Ten Schools with Cosmetology Programs
Many two-year schools offer cosmetology programs, giving students a lot of choice about where to study. These are just some of the schools across the country that offer relevant programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Certificates, Associate's||$1,632 in-district, $3,360 in-state, $3,756 out-of-state|
|Lone Star Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Certificates, Associate's||$1,504 in-district, $3,184 in-state, $3,544 out-of-state|
|Riverside City College||Riverside, CA||2-year, Public||Certificates, Associate's||$1,426 in-state, $7,366 out-of-state|
|Santa Monica College||Santa Monica, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,136 in-state, $8,078 out-of-state|
|Spokane Community College||Spokane, WA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$3,388 in-state, $8,726 out-of-state|
|Everett Community College||Everett, WA||2-year, Public||Associate's, Certificate||$3,643 in-state, $8,981 out-of-state|
|El Paso Community College||El Paso, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,386 in-state, $4,042 out-of-state|
|Cerritos College||Norwalk, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,346 in-state, $7,926 out-of-state|
|San Diego City College||San Diego, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,142 in-state, $4,670 out-of-state|
|Pitt Community College||Winterville, NC||2-year, Public||Certificate||$2,317 in-state, $8,376 out-of-state|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Some of the considerations students should bear in mind when looking for a cosmetology school are:
- Students should consider program length. Certificate programs can take less than a year to complete whereas an associate's degree program takes two years of full-time study to complete.
- Students should consider a school that provides an approved educational program that is recognized for state licensing requirements.
- Cosmetology encompasses many different possible careers, like hair coloring, manicuring, and hair styling, so prospective students should look for a school that offers a program with a focus that matches his or her professional goals.
- Students interested in opening their own salon should seek out programs with strong business courses.
Certificates in cosmetology can take less than one year to complete, and even the longer cosmetology certificate programs ready students for careers with less than two years of classes. Certificate programs can be less expensive than associate's degree programs in cosmetology, due in part to their shorter length.
An associate's degree in cosmetology takes two years of full-time study to complete, but covers more general education and cosmetology areas. Courses cover topics such as the principles of cosmetology, skin care, hairstyling, chemical services and haircutting. Some associate's degree programs may also cover business practices and basic accounting to prepare graduates to open their own salons.
Whether students choose to enroll in a certificate or associate's degree program in cosmetology, there are many different options to choose from. Before choosing a school, students should consider program length, program focus, tuition costs and more.