Make-Up Artist Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

In a make-up artist program, students learn to assist clients with skin care techniques and the application of facial cosmetics. Certificate and diploma programs can typically be earned in a year, while an associate's degree may take up to two years to complete. A state-issued license exam is required for employment in this field.

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Programs for aspiring make-up artists can be found at community colleges, technical schools and some universities. Make-up artistry classes are often offered as part of a school's summer intensive or continuing education program.

Schools with Make-Up Artistry Programs

The following schools offer make-up artistry programs.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
Montclair State University Montclair, NJ 4-year, Public Certificate $12,112 in-state, $20,004 out-of-state (2016-2017)
Santa Monica College Santa Monica, CA 2-year, Public Associate's $1,136 in-state, $8,078 out-of-state
Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry Oakland Park, FL <2-year, Private-for-profit Certificate $9,550
Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI 2-year, Public Certificate $4,360 in-state, $6,286 out-of-state
Augusta Technical College Augusta, GA 2-year, Public Certificate $373/credit hour (2016-2017)
Emerson College Boston, MA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Courses $1,800/course
Boca Beauty Academy Boca Raton, FL <2-year, Private-for-profit Certificate $17,110
Cameo College of Essential Beauty Murray, UT 2-year, Private-for-profit Courses $15,744
Empire Beauty School - Brooklyn Brooklyn, NY <2-year, Private-for-profit Certificate $12,000

*Sources: NCES, school websites

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Aesthetician and Skin Care
  • Barber and Hair Cutting Services
  • Beauty Salon Management
  • Cosmetology, Hair, and Nail Instructor
  • Electrolysis
  • Facial Treatment Specialist
  • Hair Design
  • Make-Up Artist
  • Nail Technician - Manicurist
  • Permanent Cosmetics and Tattooing

School Selection Criteria

When selecting colleges and schools that offer make-up artistry consider the following:

  • Some public and private institutions offer certificate programs that focus solely on the application of make-up, while other schools include make-up artistry courses as part of cosmetology diploma or associate's degree programs.
  • Programs accredited by the National Accrediting Commission of Career Arts and Sciences (NACCAS) or state-licensed beauty schools often provide the highest quality training.
  • A state-issued exam is required in order to obtain a cosmetology license, so students should look for programs that prepare them for licensure.
  • Schools located in commercial cities, such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston may provide greater networking opportunities and invaluable training.

Certificate in Make-Up Artistry

Participants may meet the qualifications for a certificate after completing as few as six courses. Students take both theoretical and practical courses in preparation for careers as make-up artists.

Some vocational or technical schools may have their own salons in which students can work under supervision to gain additional experience. Some programs incorporate an internship into the curriculum.

Diploma in Cosmetology

At the diploma level, prospective make-up artists typically complete courses within the broader cosmetology field as well as within their specialization. Diploma programs commonly involve both coursework and externship opportunities at salons.

Associate's Degree in Cosmetology

An associate's degree program in cosmetology involves extensive coursework and training; students fulfill general education course requirements in addition to specialized courses. Practical training is also common at this level of schooling. These programs may also focus on state licensing preparation. They may result in an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science.

Aspiring make-up artists can choose between certificate, diploma and associate's degree programs at a number of different institutions. Some schools may offer professional courses that do not lead to a degree or certificate.

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    • Makeup Artistry and Skin Care

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