Craft Classes in NYC with Program and School Options

Nov 12, 2018

New York City Schools with Craft Classes

Students can find opportunities to pursue their interest in crafts at several schools in downtown New York City, including the three institutes profiled below. Unique to the individual schools are casting studios, galleries, museums or visiting artist series. In addition to program summaries, the following resource includes a paragraph about other school options, as well as a comparison table with important information about acceptance rates and tuition, among other figures.

  • The Fashion Institute of Technology, part of the State University of New York (SUNY), is located three miles from the city's downtown in Manhattan's garment district. The school offers classes and degree programs in jewelry and textile/surface design.
  • At the Gemological Institute of America - New York, students can take courses and earn a certificate in jewelry design. The school is located just three-and-a-half miles from downtown New York City.
  • The Pratt Institute is a private institution located just a little over three miles away from the city's downtown. It is the only school in New York City that offers a jewelry and metalsmithing program that leads to a Bachelor of Fine Arts; students also have access to the Pratt Jewelry Club.

Comparison of Schools

Choosing a specialized craft class or program can involve a variety of factors, including how much it will cost to attend and how much financial aid students can expect to receive. Find this information below, along with acceptance, graduate and retention rates.

Fashion Institute of Technology Gemological Institute of America - New York Pratt Institute
School Type 4-year; public Less than 2-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017)* 8,846 164 5,035
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition and Fees $5,483 in-state; $18,148 out-of-state (2017-2018)* Jewelry Design: $6,000; CAD/CAM for Jewelry: $5,750 (2019)** $50,038 (2017-2018)*
% of Full-Time Beginning Undergraduates Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 73% 19% 84%
Acceptance Rate (2017)* 47% N/A - Open admissions 57%
Retention Rate (2014)* 89% full-time; 33% part-time N/A 88% full-time
Graduation Rate* 77%; 12% transfer-out rate (Students beginning in 2011) 85% (Students beginning in 2014) 66%; 4% transfer-out rate (Students beginning 2011)

Sources: *NCES College Navigator, **Gemological Institute of America - New York

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

FIT offers degrees at various levels in addition to continuing education classes that accommodate working schedules. The 1-year associate's degree programs are intended for students who have previously earned a bachelor's degree or have at least 30 transferable credits. Programs combine a hands-on curriculum with a liberal arts foundation.

2-Year Associate in Applied Science in Jewelry Design

Students in this program complete classes in jewelry design and related art topics, as well as fulfilling liberal arts requirements. The curriculum is aimed at individuals who aspire to be designers, jewelry manufacturing executives, or self-employed jewelers. In the final semester, students create a portfolio. Graduates of this 2-year degree program may apply to bachelor's degree programs in design at the school.

1-Year Associate in Applied Science in Textile/Surface Design

Major coursework for this 30-credit degree program includes nature studies, screen printing, woven design, and decorative fabrics. Technology courses are also part of the major and feature topics in computer-aided print design, textile/surface design using Adobe Illustrator, and computer-aided design for woven fabrics. Students also complete three credits in textile fundamentals.

2-Year Associate in Applied Science in Textile/Surface Design

This program requires earning at least 62 credits and includes many of the same courses found in the 1-year program. In addition, students complete classes in studio practices and the liberal arts. They also have the opportunity to take part in prominent annual trade shows. Graduates are eligible to apply for bachelor's degree programs at this school in areas such as textile development/marketing.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textile/Surface Design

This 4-year course of study is a continuation of the 2-year associate's degree program. Major coursework includes include computer graphics and screen printing for scarves in addition to the study of design for jacquard, knitted fabrics, and rugs/carpets. Students also add to their professional portfolios and complete liberal arts requirements. During the last semester, students take part in an internship experience in the apparel, home furnishings, or product design industries.

Gemological Institute of America - New York

This school's programs are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The faculty includes both gemology and jewelry arts instructors.

Jewelry Design Certificate

This targeted program takes just nine weeks to complete. Future jewelry designers develop both technical and creative skills, learning to illustrate rings from five different points-of-view and render both white and yellow metals with drafting tools. Upon completion, graduates will have compiled portfolios displaying their works.

Comprehensive CAD/CAM for Jewelry Certificate

This course provides hands-on instruction in jewelry design using CAD/CAM software programs. Students learn to draw realistic computer renderings of jewelry, make real models using rapid-prototype equipment, and create the actual jewelry. Graduates can consider pursuing a jewelry design or manufacturing career path.

Pratt Institute

Pratt's focus is on interdisciplinary programs that combine art and design with a foundation in science and the liberal arts. It seeks to develop professional leaders who are creative, socially responsible, and collaborative thinkers. The faculty is comprised of designers, historians, artists, and practitioners whose projects and works are recognized worldwide.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jewelry

Foundation courses explore design, light, color, drawing, and art history. The last three years of the program also include an intense focus on jewelry making and metalsmithing. In addition, students complete liberal arts requirements and electives. Art-related seminars are comprised of discussions, field trips, and readings that look at jewelry and art; current jewelry trends and industry developments are important topics. Visits to stores, museums, galleries, and studios are also an integral part of the program.

Other School Options

LaGuardia Community College is located within 20 minutes of downtown. This school's 2-year fine arts programs provide students with the fundamentals of art and design. Situated about 35 miles from downtown New York City, Purchase College offers a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts program that features the craft aspects of a furniture-grade woodshop and a metal shop.

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