Cosmetology Diploma

Program Description

The Cosmetology curriculum is designed to provide competency-based knowledge, scientific/artistic principles, and hands-on fundamentals associated with the cosmetology industry. Cosmetologists offer a wide range of beauty services, such as shampooing, cutting, coloring, and styling of hair. They may advise clients on how to care for their hair at home. In addition, cosmetologists may be trained to give manicures, pedicures, and scalp and facial treatments; provide makeup analysis; and clean and style wigs and hairpieces.

Coursework in both the 1500 clock hour diploma and 1200 clock hour certificate program includes instruction in all phases of professional imaging, hair design, chemical processes, skin care, nail care, multicultural practices, business/computer principles, product knowledge, and other selected topics. The program is fully approved by the North Carolina State Board of Cosmetic Arts, and it provides a simulated salon environment that enables students to develop manipulative skills. Students may begin in fall or spring semesters.

Coursework in the 48 SHC diploma program includes all required cosmetology classes, live model performances required by the State Board of Cosmetic Arts, and three additional courses. A study skills course promotes personal development essential for success, an English course enhances writing and speaking skills for the workplace, and a psychology course introduces basic principles of the subject as they apply to daily life and the job. Upon passing the State Board licensing exam, a graduate is a fully-licensed cosmetologist.

The 32 SHC certificate program includes all required cosmetology classes and live model performances required by the State Board of Cosmetic Arts. Upon passing the State Board licensing exam, students completing the certificate are licensed as apprentices and must complete 960 clock hours (equivalent to six months of working 40 hours per week) within a year in a professional salon working under the direct supervision of a (one) licensed cosmetologist.

Admission Criteria

Admission to this program requires that students be high school graduates or have a recognized equivalency. In addition, students must have satisfactory placement test scores or coursework verifying that they have completed ENG-002 in order to begin cosmetology courses.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to design and restructure hair within a safe, sanitized, and multicultural environment.
  • Demonstrate an ability to recall cosmetology theory and clinical information in order to successfully complete the North Carolina State Board of Cosmetic Arts Licensure Exam. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding with regard to increasing sales and customer volume within a salon.

Career Opportunities

Upon successfully passing the State Board exam, graduates will be issued a license. Employment is available in:

  • beauty salons
  • barber shops
  • nail salons
  • day and resort spas
  • nursing and other residential care homes.
  • Almost one-half of all cosmetologists are self-employed.

Contact Information

Executive Director of Career Programs
252-638-7372

Admissions Office
252-638-7430

Diploma Requirements

The following suggested schedule is based on full-time enrollment. For information about prerequisites and corequisites, please refer to the catalog.

Courses in this program

First Semester

Semester Credit Hours: 13

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course introduces the college's physical, academic, and social environment and promotes the personal development essential for success. Topics include campus facilities and resources; policies, procedures, and programs; study skills; and life management issues such as health, self-esteem, motivation, goal-setting, diversity, and communication. Upon completion, students should be able to function effectively within the college environment to meet their educational objectives.

Lecture Hours: 1  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 1 
  • Prerequisites:
    None
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course introduces basic cosmetology concepts. Topics include safety, first aid, sanitation, bacteriology, anatomy, diseases and disorders, hygiene, product knowledge, chemistry, ethics, manicures, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to safely and competently apply cosmetology concepts in the salon setting.

Lecture Hours: 4  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 4 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One:, DRE-097, ENG-002, BSP-4002, ENG-111
  • Corequisites:
    Take COS-112

This course introduces basic salon services. Topics include scalp treatments, shampooing, rinsing, hair color, design, haircutting, permanent waving, pressing, relaxing, wigs, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to safely and competently demonstrate salon services.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 24  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 8 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One:, DRE-097, ENG-002, BSP-4002, ENG-111
  • Corequisites:
    Take COS-111

Second Semester

Semester Credit Hours: 16

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course covers more comprehensive cosmetology concepts. Topics include safety, product knowledge, chemistry, manicuring, chemical restructuring, and hair coloring. Upon completion, students should be able to safely and competently apply these cosmetology concepts in the salon setting.

Lecture Hours: 4  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 4 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take All: COS-111 and COS-112
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides experience in a simulated salon setting. Topics include basic skin care, manicuring, nail application, scalp treatments, shampooing, rinsing, hair color, design, haircutting, chemical restructuring, pressing, wigs, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to safely and competently demonstrate these salon services.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 24  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 8 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take All: COS-111 and COS-112
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course covers more comprehensive cosmetology concepts. Topics include safety, product knowledge, salon management, salesmanship, skin care, electricity/light therapy, wigs, thermal hair styling, lash and brow tinting, superfluous hair removal, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to safely and competently apply these cosmetology concepts in the salon setting.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take All: COS-111 and COS-112
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides comprehensive experience in a simulated salon setting. Emphasis is placed on intermediate-level of skin care, manicuring, scalp, treatments, shampooing, hair color, design, haircutting, chemical restructuring, pressing, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to safely and competently demonstrate these salon services.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 6  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take All: COS-111 and COS-112
  • Corequisites:
    None

Third Semester

Semester Credit Hours: 6

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course is designed to develop the ability to produce clear writing in a variety of genres and formats using a recursive process. Emphasis includes inquiry, analysis, effective use of rhetorical strategies, thesis development, audience awareness, and revision. Upon completion, students should be able to produce unified, coherent, well-developed essays using standard written English.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One Set:,Set 1: DRE-097,Set 2: ENG-002,Set 3: BSP-4002
  • Corequisites:
    Take ENG-011

This course provides an overview of the scientific study of human behavior. Topics include history, methodology, biopsychology, sensation, perception, learning, motivation, cognition, abnormal behavior, personality theory, social psychology, and other relevant topics. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the science of psychology.

Lecture Hours: 3  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 3 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take One from:, DRE-097, ENG-002, BSP-4002
  • Corequisites:
    None

Fourth Semester

Semester Credit Hours: 13

Course Course Code Credit Hours Link to course details

This course covers advanced cosmetology concepts. Topics include chemistry and hair structure, advanced cutting and design, and an overview of all cosmetology concepts in preparation for the licensing examination. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of these cosmetology concepts and meet program completion requirements.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take All: COS-111 and COS-112
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course provides advanced experience in a simulated salon setting. Emphasis is placed on efficient and competent delivery of all salon services in preparation for the licensing examination and employment. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate competence in program requirements and the areas covered on the Cosmetology Licensing Examination and meet entry-level employment requirements.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 21  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 7 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take All: COS-111 and COS-112
  • Corequisites:
    None

This course covers more comprehensive cosmetology concepts. Topics include safety, product knowledge, salon management, salesmanship, skin care, electricity/light therapy, wigs, thermal hair styling, lash and brow tinting, superfluous hair removal, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to safely and competently apply these cosmetology concepts in the salon setting.

Lecture Hours: 2  Lab Hours: 0  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take All: COS-111 and COS-112
  • Corequisites:
    Take COS-115AB

This course provides comprehensive experience in a simulated salon setting. Emphasis is placed on intermediate-level of skin care, manicuring, scalp treatments, shampooing, hair color, design, haircutting, chemical restructuring, pressing, and other related topics. Upon completion, students should be able to safely and competently demonstrate these salon services.

Lecture Hours: 0  Lab Hours: 6  Clinical Hours: 0  Credit Hours: 2 
  • Prerequisites:
    Take All: COS-111 and COS-112
  • Corequisites:
    Take COS-116AB