woman working on a models hair

Cosmetology Program

The Cosmetology program at College of DuPage provides professional level skills in the field of personal beauty. Gain knowledge and skills in a broad range of disciplines including aesthetics, business, chemical processes, hair design, nail technology, safety, salon operations and sanitation.

Offered at the Addison Regional Center, located at 301 S. Swift Road in Addison, students can choose to earn an Associate of Applied Science degree or a certificate in Cosmetology. Take courses on salon operations, nail technology, hair styling, chemical services and more. Both part-time and full-time formats are available. Once you complete the program, you will be awarded a certificate as well as transcripts needed to test for state certification through the Illinois Cosmetology License from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Apply to the Cosmetology Program

The first step to getting started in the Cosmetology program is to apply for admission.

The application process for the coming term is now closed. Check back for future application dates.

Determine Your Path

There is a diverse range of opportunity in the cosmetology field, including entrepreneurship, salon owner, makeup artist, and distribution and sales for major cosmetic and salon chains.

Whether you are preparing for a career in cosmetology, planning to transfer to a four-year baccalaureate-granting institution or updating your skills, College of DuPage has the right program for you. We offer:

  • Dedicated instructors with years of practical industry experience, certification and licensing.
  • Instruction in top-notch facilities and on cutting-edge equipment.
  • Practical, hands-on experience as well as classroom-based studies.
  • Affordable tuition that gets you on the fast track to success without breaking the bank. 
  • An on-site, professional salon where students gain vital hands-on experience.
  • An excellent reputation among prestigious salons in the area that facilitates professional networking and expands career opportunities for graduates.
  • Convenient class times offered in full and part-time formats. View the cosmetology course schedule.

Cosmetology, Associate in Applied Science

Learn professional level techniques in hair design, chemical processes, esthetics, and nail technology in the Cosmetology, Associate in Applied Science program. This pathway will prepare you for state certification for the Illinois Cosmetology License from the Department of Professional and Financial Regulations.


Students who successfully complete the Cosmetology certificate which includes 50 credits of coursework, are eligible to receive a Cosmetology certificate from College of DuPage. Students who successfully complete the Cosmetology course requirements will receive the necessary transcripts needed to test with the state of Illinois.

Nail Technology

The Nail Technology certificate provides students with skills and knowledge for employment in this exciting, growing industry. Designed to be completed in one semester, this 16-credit hour program includes lab and theory. Upon successful completion, students are eligible to apply for a cosmetology license through the Department of Financial and Federal Regulation and test through the state of Illinois. Note: This program is currently on hold.

The Salon at College of DuPage offers a full range of salon services to members of the community at a fraction of the cost of professional salons. Under the supervision of licensed instructors, students perform beauty services, such as cuts, styling, color, manicures, pedicures, facial waxing and more. 


COD Stories

Zee Gustafson

"Had I not been in COD’s Cosmetology program, I would not have been able to create the characters needed. Looking back, it was crucial to my success and had I not had the guidance I did, my life would be very different today – not to mention my business acumen thanks to the additional courses!" - Zee Gustafson

Zee's COD Story

COD Stories

Gina Steiner headshot

"By offering both a degree and a certificate, COD enabled me to satisfy my desire for a stronger educational foundation by pursuing the degree." - Gina Steiner

Gina's COD Story

Get Started Today

The first step to getting started in the Cosmetology program is to apply for admission.

The application process for the coming term is now closed. Check back for future application dates.

Academic and Career Pathways give you a roadmap to achieving your career goals. Follow a pathway based on your degree that outlines which classes you need to take and when so you graduate on time or move on to the next phase in your career.

Cosmetology program graduates will:

  • Complete 50 credit hours, which is equivalent to 1500 hours, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
  • Be prepared to successfully pass the Illinois State Board Exam in Cosmetology.
  • Perform services in hair designing, hair cutting, hair styling, chemical texture, hair coloring, nail technology, and skin care.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in salon equipment and tools usage.
  • Practice safety, sanitation, and infection control procedures.
  • Develop business management skills.
  • Present a portfolio designed for job seeking.
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Cosmetologists provide a full range of beauty services, including coloring, cutting and styling hair, as well as nail care, skin care, makeup and advice. They also must know the rules and regulations that govern their industry, the sanitation and safety requirements, and chemical formulations.

Career Information


Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your frequently asked questions regarding the Cosmetology program.

The Cosmetology program is offered in two formats: 

  1. The full-time format is a fast-paced, three semester program. Courses during the first semester are offered Mondays to Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 3:50 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. During the second semester, students attend Tuesdays to Fridays from 8 a.m. to approximately 3:20 or 3:50 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. Students will complete the program the third semester in a shortened schedule to prepare for the state licensing exam.
  2. The part-time program is offered over five semesters. Students generally attend Mondays to Thursdays from 5 to approximately 9:50 p.m. Students will complete the program the fifth semester in a shortened schedule to prepare for the state licensing exam. 

Students must register for all cosmetology courses that are offered each term. Browse the course schedule and see estimated course fees. 

  1. Apply to College of DuPage by completing the online admissions application and paying the application fee. 
  2. Set up your myACCESS account and COD email after you have been accepted.
  3. Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you are using financial aid. This following list of fees can help you determine the cost of the Cosmetology program. 
  4. Take your placement tests. You must have a high school grade point average of 2.6 or higher; or Category 1 or 2 on the reading Accuplacer placement test; or a composite score of 20 or higher on the ACT test; or SAT score of 950 or higher; or 500 on the verbal/critical reading of the SAT. All scores must be submitted to the Record’s office.
  5. Complete the application for the Cosmetology program. To be considered for the program, all steps must be complete before submitting the application. If you are transferring from TCD, you will need to complete the TCD application in lieu of the Cosmetology program application. Seats are limited. If the program is full, you will be put on a wait list. The application process for the coming term is now closed. Check back for future application dates.
  6. Once you are accepted into the Cosmetology program, you will be notified that a permit has been submitted and you may register for classes.
  7. You are required to attend an orientation before classes begin. Orientation dates will be sent to you through your COD email account. You will also receive notification of when and where to pick up your supply kit.

First-year students will be required to purchase an all-inclusive supply kit to use in class. The kit includes books and equipment. The fee for this kit is approximately $1650. One book is used for the entire duration of the program. The kit must be purchased at the Bookstore prior to class. This is not part of tuition and fees. Left-handed kits are slightly higher due to left-handed shears. 

If you have leftover financial aid after your tuition and fees have been paid, you can use your remaining funds to cover the cost of the kit. 

Professional and proper-fitting attire in solid black is required. Pants cannot be sheer, torn, have holes or frayed bottoms. All clothing and aprons must be kept clean.