Areas of Interest



About the Cosmetology Program

Enjoy the freedom, flexibility, and creativity that come with a career in cosmetology. Work hands-on, build a portfolio and advance your career in the in-demand beauty industry. You will take classes specifically designed to help you pass both the practical and written portions of the California State Board of Cosmetology licensing examination.

Licensed cosmetologists can perform hair care, skin care, and nail care services in salon or spa settings including:

  • Hairstyling
  • Hair cutting
  • Scalp and hair treatments
  • Hair coloring and bleaching
  • Permanent Waving
  • Chemical straightening
  • Facials
  • Tweezing
  • Waxing
  • Makeup application
  • Manicures
  • Acrylics, nail tips, and nail wraps
  • Pedicures

All students who complete the cosmetology program at SMC earn a Certificate of Achievement and become eligible to take the California State Board of Cosmetology licensing exam. To qualify to take the California State Board of Cosmetology exam, you must complete a minimum of 1,600 hours of training. Santa Monica College offers many opportunities to fulfill your training hours as you work toward your cosmetology license.

Degrees and Certificates

Associate in Science Degree - Cosmetology

25.5 units + General Education

Certificate of Achievement - Cosmetology

25.5 units

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to demonstrate professional level skill in hair cutting, hair coloring, hair styling, nail care, and skin care. Additionally, the student will be proficient in health and safety procedures in common use in salons. Upon completion, the student will be eligible to take the California State Board of Cosmetology and Barbering licensure exam.

View Requirements

Other Programs You Might Be Interested In

SMC Resources

Potential Career Options

Click on any job title to learn more.

Job Title Typical Education Median Wage
Vocational Education Teachers, Postsecondary Certificate $84,335
First-Line Supervisors of Personal Service Workers Bachelor Degree $40,944
Spa Managers Certificate $40,944
Skincare Specialists Certificate $27,644

Learn more about becoming a cosmetology instructor, cosmetologist, hair stylist, hairdresser, or a beautician.