West Virginia is home to a number of design firsts. Did you know that one of the first suspension bridges in the world was erected in 1849 in Wheeling, WV? The first electric railroad in the world was built in here and the first brick street on the world was laid in Charleston, WV. And talk about art and design — West Virginia is home to the world’s only residence made entirely of coal. Occupied on June 1, 1961, Coal House is located in White Sulphur Springs, WV. With an abundance of unique and innovate design within the borders, it’s no wonder the state is also home to some of the nation’s top design schools.
The Department of Design at West Virginia University and Concord University- Department of Design are the state’s pride and joy when it comes to design programs. Established in 1867 (WVU) and 1872 (Concord), these popular institutions enroll roughly 200 hand-picked design students each year. Overall, the state has a total undergraduate student population of nearly more than 100,000. These students attend the 23 public and 21 private institutions. Across the nation, undergraduate art and design school enrollment is 110,273.
WVU, Concord and other West Virginia design schools offer degree programs ranging from architecture to sculpture. Design students may earn a degree in graphic design, interior design, web design, drawing, illustration, multimedia and film, ceramics, jewelry making, photography, printmaking, metalsmithing, and painting. The costs for these programs vary by school, but on average, design students can expect to shell out around $4,377 per academic year at a public school $15,296 per academic year at a private school.
Fortunately, tuition rates are lower than the national average. The average tuition for public four-year schools across the nation is $5,950. For private schools, students pay $21,588 on average. West Virginia students may pay even less by completing all or part of the degree program online. Online students save a significant amount of money each year by eliminating room and board costs as well as transportation. Room and board costs average around $7,049 per academic year.
To get started on a design career, you should select a school. If you would like to explore options outside of the top schools listed above, you can browse through listings by visiting college directories or college ranking websites such as U.S. News & World Report or Design-schools.us. After you have selected several options, be sure to visit the school’s official website to begin the application process. Most directories and ranking websites feature links to each school’s official website.