Design Schools in Scottsdale with Degree Program Summaries

There are at least three schools within 15 miles of Scottsdale, AZ, that have design degree programs. Read an overview of programs, requirements and admission info for these three schools, and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Scottsdale Schools with Design Programs

Students have several school options for pursuing a design degree in the Scottsdale, AZ, area. This article looks at three schools that are within a half-hour's drive of downtown and examines the design programs they offer, which are varied. There's also a table listing pertinent facts about the schools, such as size, tuition and graduation rates. A little information about two other Scottsdale area schools that offer design programs is at the end of the article.

  • Arizona State University, seven miles from downtown Scottsdale, offers bachelor's degree programs in several areas of design, including interior design and industrial design as well as a master's program.
  • Phoenix College offers associate's programs in various design specialties, such as fashion design and Web design. This school is 11 miles from the city center.
  • Only three miles from downtown, Scottsdale Community College features a certificate program in sound design and an associate's program in graphic design.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Advertising and Commercial Design
  • Commercial Photography
  • Fashion Design
  • General Visual Communications Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration and Drawing
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Design and Decorating

Comparison of Schools

The following table makes it easy to compare important facts about each school. Prospective students can use this information to make a decision about their education.

Arizona State University Phoenix College Scottsdale Community College
School Type 4-year, public 2-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2014) 50,320 (13,938 in Scottsdale)* 12,107* 9,863*
Campus Setting Midsized city Large city Rural Fringe
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2015-2016) $8,565 for in-state students, $15,529 for out-of-state students* $2,046 for in-state students, $7,830 for out-of-state students* $2,046 for in-state students, $7,830 for out-of-state students*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2013-2014) 78%* 84%* 54%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 84%* N/A - Open admissions* N/A - Open admissions*
Retention Rate (2014) 72% for full-time students; 42% for part-time students* 55% for full-time students; 31% for part-time students* 64% for full-time students; 33% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2014) 63%* 12%* 16%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Arizona State University

The Arizona State University design school features undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of design disciplines. Students receive a broad liberal arts education as well as focused training in a specific specialty.

Bachelor of Science in Design - Graphic Design (Visual Communication)

This design program emphasizes research, analysis and conceptualization, while giving students a wide-ranging foundation in visual communication techniques. Theory and method are integrated throughout the program to prepare students for design challenges related to documents, physical spaces and digital media.

Bachelor of Science in Design - Industrial Design

The Bachelor of Science program in industrial design teaches both traditional and emerging techniques in the field. Students study the design and development of products ranging from electronic devices to healthcare items. Several group projects are included in the curriculum to prepare students for working on industrial design teams.

Bachelor of Science in Design - Interior Design

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredits the interior design program. Only 30 students are admitted each year, and the program emphasizes sustainable design. Students can learn from top professionals and scholars in the field, while taking lecture and studio courses. The curriculum also includes field trips, projects and the opportunity to intern with an architecture or design firm.

Master of Science in Design - Design (Visual Communication Design)

Intended for students who hold an undergraduate degree in design, this research-intensive program centers on methodology and systematic investigation. The focus of the program is on understanding the principles and techniques of design, rather than on developing a body of design work. Students are required to complete a design project or thesis prior to graduation.

Phoenix College

Students in the design programs at Phoenix College have the opportunity to develop new skills and sharpen existing abilities. They can earn degrees in diverse areas of the field including graphic design, Web design, fashion design or interior design.

Associate in Applied Science in Computer Graphic Design

This degree program allows students to develop their skills in design and layout, while also reinforcing fundamental art principles. Required courses focus on color theory, 2-D design, computer-aided graphics and electronic publishing design. The program is not intended for students who want to transfer into a 4-year program.

Associate in Applied Science in Media Arts: Web Design

Students who pursue a degree in the media arts with a Web design focus can study the basics of storyboards, page layout tools and graphic file formats. The program can prepare students for careers in desktop publishing, multimedia art and interface design.

Associate in Applied Science in Fashion Design

This degree is designed for students interested in fashion industry careers, such as apparel designer, clothing constructor or pattern maker. Students study the skills and techniques used in these professions, as well draw and create their own apparel. The program also covers producing designs for clients.

Associate in Applied Science in Interior Design

Individuals interested in working entry-level jobs in the field might consider this program. Students take theoretical and hands-on courses, covering drafting, planning spaces, materials and business practices. They also build a design portfolio and complete a required internship.

Scottsdale Community College

The art department at Scottsdale Community College can prepare students for careers in the design field. Students in design programs receive fundamental lessons in the fine arts as well as hands-on design training.

Certificate of Completion in Sound Design

In this 41-credit program, students take courses in electronic music, music business and studio recording. They also take a series of digital audio workstation courses and complete an internship. Graduates can look for audio careers in multiple industries, including advertising, film and TV, theatre and radio.

Associate of Arts in Fine Arts - Graphic Design

This program emphasizes design principles, color theory and computer illustration. Required coursework focuses on topics like electronic publishing design, typography and 2-D computer design. Students utilize an array of page layout programs and computer illustration methods.

Other School Options

Students in the Scottsdale area with interest in visual merchandising or decorating may want to consider the certificate program in interior merchandising at Glendale Community College, while Mesa Community College offers certificate programs in graphic design and Web design. Both schools are located within 20 miles of downtown Scottsdale.

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