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200 W. Madison
Chicago, IL 60606
p. 312-939-4975
w. www.harrington.edu

Harrington College of Design

Harrington College of Design Rating: 3.0/5 (2 votes)

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Harrington College of Design in Chicago was founded in 1931 by Francis Harrington, an interior designer from New York who saw growing interest in the subject when she visited Chicago for a series of lectures. Since then, it has flourished within Chicago’s inspirational Loop district, giving students access to a unique environment in which to learn from and study interior design.

Today, the school offers more than just interior design. Students come here to earn associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in Graphic and Communication Design, Photography, and of course, Interior Design.


There are three semesters in which to enroll during a typical school year here: spring, summer, and fall. However, depending on your curriculum and desired graduation date, you may only need to complete two of the semesters each year. By the time graduation approaches, each student will have amassed a portfolio of their work that can be used to in conjunction with resumes when looking for employment.

Interior Design

Interior designers work to develop homes, offices, and other spaces to meet functional needs as well as aesthetics. Students interested in interior design here can apply for either a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design or an Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree requires four years of study while the Associate degree is a two-year program. Within these programs, students will discover a wide range of interests including Residential and Commercial Interior Design, Hotel and Restaurant Design, even Exhibit and Architectural Firm Consulting.

Digital Photography

The Digital Photography Associate of Applied Science in Digital Photography not only teaches creative aspects of photography but the technical as well as professional aspects as well. In as little as five semesters, you could be working in the professional photography field. As a digital photography student you will be instructed on professional medium format digital capture, photo software like Photoshop, even logistical and ethical applications for the professional photographer.

Communication Design

The third area of study offered is a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Communications Design. This program helps you bring the various aspects of graphic design and advertising together as you create logos, brochures, and web pages while considering your design from a critical aspect.

Most Popular Fields of Study


Whether you’re looking to enroll for Interior Design, Digital Photography, or Communication Design, the admissions process is the same. You must submit these materials in order to be considered for admission:

  • Application for admission
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Request for high school transcript, GED, or equivalent
  • Payment of non-refundable application fee
  • Aptitude for creativity
  • Motivation to pursue and succeed in academic and career goals
  • Financial Aid

    Financial aid representatives are available to help you make smart money choices when it comes to your education. They will work to find not only a payment schedule that fits your needs but a financial aid package as well. The school accepts financial aid from various sources including Federal PLUS loan programs, private loans, Pell Grants, and work-study. The school also offers students scholarship opportunities based on a scholarship application, two letters of recommendation, financial need determined by FAFSA, enrollment in six credit hours, and proof of graduation.

    Student Financial Aid Details

    Ranks 3505th for the average student loan amount.
    Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Illinois.


    Many opportunities are available for students to be just as involved outside of the classroom as they are in. There are various student organizations that capitalize on students’ studies as well as other outlets of involvement like Harrington Student Government.

    The College of Design is a great example of an urban campus. It’s located in what is termed a “six-story vertical campus." Students have full access to their classes, library, galleries, and work spaces in one building.

    Student Enrollment Demographics

    Student Graduation Demographics

    Local Community

    Outside of class and academic explorations, students have the Windy City at their fingertips. Between classes and on the weekends, the city of Chicago is your playground. Hang out at the museums, become a Chicago Cubs or White Sox fan, or relax on Chicago’s lakeside beaches.

    Furthermore, you have one of the country’s most architecturally inspiring cities to look to for stimulation in your studies. Within the city of Chicago, there are plenty of opportunities to get some hands-on, practical experience in your area of interest and further your intended career in Interior Design, Digital Photography, or Communication Design.


    Accreditation is provided by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    Information Summary

    Ranks 133rd in Illinois and 3754th overall
    See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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    College Logo :: Harrington College of Design

    Campus Crime Statistics

      Incidents per 100 Students
    Aggravated assault N/A N/A
    Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
    Rape N/A N/A
    Robbery 1 0.13
    Arson N/A N/A
    Burglary N/A N/A
    Larceny N/A N/A
    Vehicle theft 2 0.26
    Arrest N/A N/A

    Local Crime Statistics

      Incidents per 100 People
    Aggravated assault 12,408 0.46
    Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 431 0.02
    Forcible Rape N/A N/A
    Robbery 13,975 0.52
    Arson N/A N/A
    Burglary 26,420 0.98
    Larceny 72,373 2.68
    Vehicle theft 19,446 0.72

    Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

    Reported area around or near Chicago, IL 60606
    Surrounding communityLarge city (inside urban area, pop. over 250,000)
    Total Population1,682 (1,682 urban / N/A rural)
    Households1,036 (1.61 people per house)
    Median Household Income$100,377
    Families395 (2.33 people per family)

    Carnegie Foundation Classification

    Special Focus Institutions — Schools of art, music, and design
    Undergraduate PopulationN/A
    EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate four-year
    Size & SettingN/A

    General Characteristics

    Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
    Highest offeringMaster's degree
    Calendar SystemSemester
    Years of college work requiredN/A
    Variable Tuition
    Religious AffiliationN/A
    Congressional District1707

    Special Learning Opportunities

    Distance LearningN/A
    ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
    Study Abroad
    Weekend College
    Teacher Certification

    Student Tuition Costs and Fees

    Ranks 1735th for total cost of attendance
      In District In State Out of State
    Effective as of 2014-09-19
    FT Undergraduate Tuition $18,255 $18,255 $18,255
    FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,050 $1,050 $1,050
    PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $774 $774 $774
    FT Graduate Tuition $19,125 $19,125 $19,125
    FT Graduate Required Fees $1,260 $1,260 $1,260
    PT Graduate per Credit Hour $900 $900 $900
    Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $22,393 $22,393 $22,393
    Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $32,689 $32,689 $32,689
    Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $25,945 $25,945 $25,945

    Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

    Prior year cost comparison
      In District In State Out of State
    Published Tuition & Fees $19,300(N/C) $19,300(N/C) $19,300(N/C)
      Cost (regardless of residency)
    Effective as of 2014-09-19
    Books & Supplies $3,900 $3,762
    On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
    On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
    Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $6,536(N/C)
    Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,688 $3,320
    Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,688 $3,320

    Admission Criteria

     = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
    Open Admissions
    Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
    College Prep. CompletionN/A
    Formal competency demoN/A
    Admission test scoresN/A
    Other testsN/A

    Admission Credits Accepted

    Dual Credit
    Life Experience
    Advanced Placement (AP)

    Student Services

    Remedial Services
    Academic / Career Counseling
    PT Cost-defraying Employment
    Career Placement
    On-Campus Day Care
    Library Facility

    Student Living

    First-time Room / Board Required
    Dorm CapacityN/A
    Meals per WeekN/A
    Room FeeN/A
    Board FeeN/A

    Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

    Total 14 23 11 114 6 173
    Commercial Photography 3 3 1 7 1 16
    Design and Visual Communications, General 1 1 1 7 12
    Interior Design 10 19 9 100 5 145
    Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design

    Faculty Compensation / Salaries

    Ranks 1053rd for the average full-time faculty salary.
    Effective as of 2014-09-20
    Tenure system N/A
    Average FT Salary $74,059 ($76,642 male / $50,794 female)
    Number of FT Faculty 12 (9 male / 3 female)
    Number of PT Faculty 96
    FT Faculty Ratio 0.1 : 1
    Total Benefits N/A

    Justine Ventimiglia+

    Justine Ventimiglia graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Currently residing in a 1950’s modest ranch in Metro Detroit, she enjoys researching and writing about Mid Century Modern furniture and decor as she works on restoring her home and documenting the process.

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