Top 14 Design Courses for Students

Design has become a highly popular, trendy profession. Thousands of students-to-be consider the spectrum of design education opportunities available for them online and offline. Here is a brief guide on the popular courses teaching design today, both on-campus and online. This guide will be especially useful for future students.

Types of Design Courses You Can Explore 

First, let’s find out what types of design you can learn and practice today. Design is an extensive term applicable to anything, from clothing and buildings to industrial constructions. Thus, it would be best if you determined your interest and specialization first to see what speaks to you:

  • Fashion design (shoes, clothing, accessories) 
  • Interior design 
  • Graphic/web design (websites, UI/UX) 
  • Communication design 
  • Industrial design 

Top 10 Offline Design Courses 

Design can be learned in many ways, both online and offline. If you wish to know all the ins and outs of design courses, contact experts of paper writing on PaperWriter for more details. Still, many students choose offline design schools to study there. Typically, those are students wishing to get the feel of the design community, to have face-to-face interactions with teachers and peers, and to immerse into the physical atmosphere of creative art. Such education is quite costly, so you should consider a brick-and-mortar design school if you have enough money to afford tuition.  

The top 10 schools enjoying popularity and good fame among students worldwide are: 

1. Rhode Island School of Design

The conservative fleur and atmosphere of creativity flood one of the most traditional American design schools. The establishment has functioned since 1877 and hosts a student population of 2,400 persons. This school is top-rated among students with a creative approach and thirst for top-notch design education.

2. MIT Media Lab

The impact of MIT on education can hardly be overestimated. Created in 1985, it has quickly gained fame among design students seeking exclusive educational experiences. It focuses on high-tech design. Which makes the school popular among contemporary, forward-looking designers.

3. Cincinnati College of Design 

A school with two centuries of history. The Cincinnati College of Design offers a universal curriculum fitting all student interests and a diversity of extracurricular activities for vibrant college life.

4. The New School for Design (Parsons)

The school has been in operation since 1896 and welcomes a total student population of 5,000 people. It’s considered one of the best institutions delivering education in conceptual design, visualization, and management across the USA.  

5. Pratt Institute

This school is located in Brooklyn, NY. It offers life-changing education and unique perspectives at design to students attending it since the 1880s. To date, the total enrollment to Pratt Institute doesn’t exceed 4,400 students.

6. Royal College of Art (London)

This design school is on the top of reputable, famous UK educational institutions offering design education services. It attracts students from all corners of the world and has almost two centuries of glorious history (founded in 1837). Still, only a few can get a spot there as the College of Art welcomes only 500+ students. 

7. The D School at Stanford University

This is one of the oldest design schools in the USA operating since 1891. It currently serves over 15,000 students and offers various design courses to all tastes. 

8. Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design 

This design school is comparatively new, founded only in 2008. But its specialization is unique. Students can learn interaction design by combining traditional design forms with high-tech trends.

9. Hong Kong Polytechnic University 

The Polytechnic University of Hong Kong is generally the only higher educational establishment in this location that offers premium-level design education. The school has been functioning for almost a century by now, open since 1937, and the average student population it hosts reaches 1,200. 

10. Georgia Institute of Technology

Here you can learn many industrial design specialties. From engineering and manufacturing to general design. The institution was founded in 1885 and now hosts 20,000 students.

Top 4 Free Online Sources of Courses in Design

Some people may have no money to study design offline. Others may want to take a preliminary glimpse at this professional area to make the final choice. Such students can make use of numerous free design courses available online. Some of the most practical and valuable study lessons can be found here:

1. Coursera 

Here, you can find tons of valuable materials on design free of charge. Some of the noteworthy courses include an introduction to design by CalArts, David Underwood’s course “Learn Graphic Design Online,” or the typography course from CalArts. 

2. Udemy 

Udemy also hosts many free lessons and complete courses from professionals. So, you can access the unique knowledge and expertise of design professionals, such as Logo Design Fundamentals and Adobe Illustration courses there. 

3. Skillshare 

This is another valuable resource for everyone interested in design and looking for free resources. For instance, a 35-minute introductory course by the tutors of the Graphic Design MFA program at the MIT Design Lab is a unique material giving you a glimpse of what a designer’s profession means. Besides this course, you can find many super valuable materials here during a 2-week free trial. 

4. Domestika 

This website is a relatively new platform offering graphic design courses. Still, it has already won a loyal audience and continues expanding with new materials and courses available free of charge. Students find the user-friendly and narrowly specialized courses convenient and valuable. 

Free or Paid? 

Many students considering design education face the challenge of proper course selection. On the one hand, there are so many courses online offered free of charge or for a modest fee. You may even start doubting the reasonability of spending a fortune on offline education. On the other hand, how can a self-paced course with pre-recorded materials give you personalized feedback, scaffolding, inspiration, and polishing your unique creative style?

These are the challenges modern students face at the threshold of starting their higher education. Online courses are much more affordable, and some even come with live study sessions and personalized feedback. Still, nothing can substitute the creative atmosphere of working in a class of fellow thinkers under the command of a renowned, genius practitioner. So, it’s up to you what design course to opt for, but keep in mind that practice makes you stronger. Thus, always try several educational possibilities and challenge yourself. Only in this way can you grow to become a talented designer with a unique approach. 

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