Kansas Design Schools with Degree Program Summaries

Jul 19, 2019

Kansas has more than 20 schools that offer design programs. Learn about the degree programs, tuition info and program options for the ten largest schools to make an informed education decision.

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Essential Information

Kansas students seeking design programs can primarily find associate's and bachelor's degree programs through community colleges and universities. Master's and doctoral degrees in design are also available at 4-year universities throughout the state. Programs are varied, and students can find such options as graphic design, industrial design, interior design and studio art. Profiled below are the ten largest schools with design programs in Kansas.

Allen County Community College

Located in Iola, this 2-year school offers a 24-credit certificate program in Web design and a 4-semester Associate of Arts (AA) in Art program with a Graphic Design degree track. The Web design program contains courses in Flash, JavaScript, Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Some required courses in the associate's degree program are painting, drawing, design and digital photography. Upon completion of the degree program, students may pursue careers in fields such as photography, illustration or graphic design.

Barton County Community College

Barton County Community College is situated in Great Bend. Students can pursue design programs such as an AA or Associate of Science (AS) in Art, an AA or AS in Photography or an AA in Graphic Design. Students in all five degree programs can take electives such as computer graphics, graphic design and drawing.

Hutchinson Community College

Hutchinson Community College is in the city of Hutchinson, and it offers design programs such as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Visual Communication with a specialization in graphic design/Web technologies, an AA in Family and Consumer Sciences with an interior design emphasis and an AA in Graphic Design. Each program requires 64 credit hours and takes about two years to complete. Both the visual communication and graphic design programs require core courses in graphic design, while the interior design program has classes in computer-aided drafting, color and art history.

Johnson County Community College

Another school with design programs is Johnson County Community College in Overland Park. Students interested in design can pursue an AAS in Fashion Merchandising and Design, an AAS in Graphic Design, an AAS in Interior Design and an AAS in Animation-Entertainment and Game Art Design. The 67-credit fashion design program incorporates coursework in apparel construction, pattern development, computer-aided design and industry topics.

Students in the 68-credit graphic design program can study 2-D design, desktop publishing, typography and technical processes. Each program can be completed in approximately four semesters. Space planning, architectural drafting and interior textiles are some of the many classes offered in the 68-credit interior design program. The animation-entertainment and game art program requires 65 credits and covers areas such as game assets, concept art, character animation and 3-D fundamentals.

Kansas City Kansas Community College

This Kansas City-based community college offers a technical certificate in Web applications and design, an Associate in General Studies in Liberal Arts & Sciences in Visual Arts and an AAS in Digital Imaging Design. Students pursuing Web design take 30 credits of courses in areas like JavaScript, Web animation, HTML and webpage design. Some talent grants are available for students pursuing fine arts degrees. The digital imaging design program has classes in Illustrator, Photoshop, print design and more.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University is located in Manhattan, KS. Students seeking a 4-year degree can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art or the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art. Concentrations for the BFA degree include metals and jewelry, ceramics, photography, sculpture, printmaking, painting, graphic design, digital arts and drawing. BA students can specialize in art history or studio arts. A wide variety of university clubs are also available, including the Digital Arts Club, the Potters' Guild and the Painting Society.

The school's Department of Apparel, Textiles, and Interior Design has bachelor's degrees in apparel design and interior design. The department is home to apparel design laboratories, where students in the Bachelor of Science in Apparels and Textiles with a concentration in apparel design have access to industrial sewing equipment, dress forms, pattern-making equipment and computers with design software. There are also interior design studios and a textile museum.

At the graduate level, students can pursue a Master of Interior Architecture and Product Design. This 169-credit program offers classes in furniture design, product design and environmental design. The curriculum also includes a series of design studios and workshops. The program requires about 10 semesters or five years to complete.

Pittsburg State University

Situated in Pittsburg, Pittsburg State University has three relevant degree options including a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Family and Consumer Sciences with an interior design option, a BS in Technology with a graphic communication major and an emphasis in graphic design and a BFA in Art. Design history, textiles and three semesters of design studio are necessary to earn the interior design degree. The graphic design emphasis requires courses in production graphics, vector graphics, raster graphics and page layout software, among others. Students who select the art major can concentrate their studies in commercial art, 2-D studio art or 3-D studio art.

University of Kansas

Multiple departments at the University of Kansas in Lawrence offer design degree programs. Some of them include a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Environmental (Interior) Design, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design. The environmental design program covers such areas as thinking and making designs, environmental design drawing and environmental graphics. Those who select industrial design can study exhibit design, product design, furniture design and package design. The 124-credit program in theatre design requires students to select from concentrations in costume design, lighting design and scene design.

The Department of Design offers a Master of Arts program in design with specializations in design management and interaction design. The 31-credit design management program has core classes in strategic design innovation, designing business services and design strategies, among others. Students who elect to study interaction design are also required to complete 31 credits of coursework. Some of the core and elective classes include design cognition, human factors in design, design scenarios and branding.

Washburn University

Washburn University is located in Topeka. The university's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a BA in Art and a BFA in Studio Arts. The BA program requires 40 credit hours of major courses and the curriculum combines art classes and studio electives. Students who pursue the BFA take 86 credits of major classes in areas such as drawing, design, ceramics and painting. The program is designed for students who intend to pursue careers as professional artists. The school also offers a BFA in Graphic Design and Electronic Art and an AA in Design Technology with an emphasis in technical drafting or design technology.

Wichita State University

Students at Wichita State University in Wichita can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. These programs require 126-127 credit hours. Some required courses for both programs include drawing, design fundamentals, 3-D design and art history.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Design Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)
Allen County Community College 2-year, public; remote town Web Design Certificate,
Associate of Arts in Art in Graphic Design
$3,808*
Barton County Community College 2-year, public; fringe rural Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Art,
Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Photography,
Associate of Arts in Graphic Design
$3,584
Hutchinson Community College 2-year, public; distant town Associate in Applied Science in Visual Media Design with a graphic design/Web technologies emphasis,
Associate in Arts in Family and Consumer Sciences with an interior design emphasis
Associate in Arts in Graphic Design
$3,200* (in-district); $3,520* (in-state); $4,512* (out-of-state)
Johnson County Community College 2-year, public; midsized city Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Merchandising and Design,
Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design,
Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design,
Associate of Applied Science in Animation-Entertainment and Game Art Design
$2,790* (in-district); $3,300* (in-state); $6,600* (out-of-state)
Kansas City Kansas Community College 2-year, public; midsized city Technical Certificate in Web Applications and Design,
Associate in General Studies in Liberal Arts & Sciences in Visual Arts,
Associate in Applied Science in Digital Imaging Design
$3,300* (in-state); $6,510* (out-of-state)
Kansas State University 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art,
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Science in Apparels and Textiles with a concentration in apparel design,
Bachelor of Science in Interior Design,
Master of Interior Architecture and Product Design
$10,383* (in-state); $25,887* (out-of-state)
Pittsburg State University 4-year, public; distant town Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences with an option in interior design,
Bachelor of Science in Technology with an emphasis in graphic design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art
$7,298* (in-state); $18,642* (out-of-state)
University of Kansas 4-year, public; small city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Environmental (Interior) Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Industrial Design,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design,
Master of Arts in Design
$11,148* (in-state); $27,358* (out-of-state)
Washburn University 4-year, public; midsized city Associate of Arts in Design Technology,
Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in General Studio Arts,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Electric Art
$8,312* (in-state); $18,560* (out-of-state)
Wichita State University 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art,
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
$8,270* (in-state); $17,452* (out-of-state)

Source: *NCES College Navigator

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