The College for Creative Studies (CCS) is a nonprofit, private college authorized by the Michigan Education Department to grant Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. CCS, located in midtown Detroit, strives to provide students with the tools needed for successful careers in the dynamic and growing creative industries. CCS fosters students’ resolve to pursue excellence, act ethically, engage their responsibilities as citizens, and learn throughout their lives. With world-class faculty and unsurpassed facilities, students learn to be visual communicators who actively use art and design toward the betterment of society. The College is a major supplier of talent to numerous industries, such as transportation, film and animation, advertising and communications, consumer electronics, athletic apparel, and many more. Its graduates are exhibiting artists and teachers, design problem solvers and innovators, as well as creative leaders in business.
Founded in 1906 as the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts, CCS plays a key role in Detroit’s cultural and educational communities. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls more than 1,400 students, pursuing Master of Fine Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Art Education, Color and Materials Design, Design for Climate Action, Motion Design, Transportation Design and User Experience Design and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Advertising Design, Art Education, Art Practice, Communication Design, Craft and Material Studies, Entertainment Arts, Fashion Design, Film, Illustration, Interior Design, Interdisciplinary Art & Design, Photography, Product Design and Transportation Design. The College also offers free art education for more than 4,000 Detroit youth annually through its Community Arts Partnerships program. In addition, the College’s University Prep: Art & Design is a public charter middle and high school enrolling more than 800 students in a high-performance academic curriculum with a special focus on art and design.
PENSOLE Design Academy and the College for Creative Studies collaborated in 2021 to reopen Lewis College of Business, Michigan’s first and only HBCU, as Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design (PLC). PLC resides at The Icon Detroit with a satellite working space in CCS’s Taubman Center for Design Education, offering tuition-free career education and professional development in the product creation industry.
The BFA degree requires completion of 126 credit hours: 84 in studio areas and 42 in general studies courses. In addition to coursework in their chosen major, first-year students take courses in the Foundation Department, where they study drawing, color theory and basic design. Students in all majors also take courses in the Liberal Arts Department, designed to provide them with an understanding of the larger social and cultural context in which they live. Typical weekly schedules for full-time students comprise 24 studio hours and six academic hours.
The College’s MFA degrees in Color and Materials Design, Design for Climate Action, Motion Design, Transportation Design and User Experience Design are terminal degrees that prepare students for leadership in industries that rely on design. The MFA degree programs share core curricula, with variations in technology components, and the focus and content of industry sponsored projects. The MFA degree requires completion of 60 credit hours.
The 30-credit MA (initial degree) is the first year of the 60-credit MFA (terminal degree), with classes focusing on professional and technical skills and knowledge.
CCS is located in Detroit’s Midtown, where students will find a variety of activities near campus to enrich their studies and provide entertainment. The Detroit Film Theatre and the Detroit Institute of Arts, one of the largest art museums in the country, are both located next to CCS’s Walter and Josephine Ford campus. Admission to the DIA is free for CCS students. The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the largest of its kind in the country, is also located next to campus. University and public libraries, galleries, great restaurants, and live music venues showcasing indie rock, hip hop, techno, folk, jazz and blues also can be found close by.
While Detroit offers all the advantages you would expect from a big city, it is unique in many ways. For one, it‘s affordable. The city is also one of the largest markets in the country for advertising, industrial design and publishing – which means students have access to internships, jobs, and faculty mentors who are active in their fields. Ultimately, Detroit has been known for making things – this combination of craftsmanship and technology makes it a perfect place for an art and design school.
Undergraduate Fast Facts
Undergraduate Enrollment – 1317
46% reside in campus housing
54% reside off campus
76% from Michigan
24% from 34 states and 16 countries
Enrollment by Department
Advertising: Design – 40
Art Education (post-degree only) – 9
Art Practice – 69
Communication Design – 99
Craft and Material Studies – 39
Entertainment Arts – 316
Fashion Accessories Design – 49
Film – 54
Illustration – 269
Interior Design – 48
Photography – 60
Product Design – 100
Transportation Design – 128
Undeclared – 20
12% Black or African American
<1% American Indian or Alaska Native
56% White (Non-Hispanic)
6% Two or more races
8% Race/ethnicity unknown
<1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2022-2023 Tuition & Fees
Tuition – $46, 030
Required fees – $1,405
Housing – $7,200 – $8,300
Meal plans – $1,450 – $2,900
First to Second Year
Retention – 75%
National Average – 75.7%
Graduation Rate (per 2022/23 IPEDS) – 62%
National Average – 60.1%
Average GPA of Incoming Freshmen – 3.41
Average Age – 21
Student-to-Faculty Ratio – 10:1
98% of CCS students receive some form of institutional, State or Federal financial assistance.
Graduate Fast Facts
Graduate Enrollment – 66
35% reside in campus housing
65% reside off campus
24% from Michigan
76% from 4 states/US Territories and 9 countries
Enrollment by Department
Color and Materials Design – 21
User Experience Design – 14
Transportation Design – 31
1.5% Black or African American
0% American Indian or Alaska Native
4.5% Two or more races
4.5% Race/ethnicity unknown
0% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2022-2023 Annual Tuition and Fees
Tuition – $50,160
Required Fees – $1,405
Housing – $7,200 – $8,300
Meal Plan – $1,450 – $2,900
Average Age – 26