What if you can’t get through NID/NIFT?

NID (National Institute of Design) and NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) are two of the most reputed and most prestigious design colleges in India. Their entrance exams are quite difficult and most people do not make it through in the first attempt due to the massive competition. This is advocated by the fact that more than one lakh people apply every year for about 100 seats.

Therefore, a lot of people end up in a situation where they studied extremely hard, but still couldn’t get through NID or NIFT. So what happens after that? Some prepare and wait for a year to be able to give the entrance exams for NID and NIFT again. But most aspiring Designers are not willing to drop a year to be able to learn the craft of design. So then, what do they do?

Even though NID and NIFT are two of the best design based institutes we have, there are many other regional and private colleges that offer excellent courses in the field of design. These colleges and institutes are great in terms of their educational standards and are found in every major city of the country. For example, in Delhi, apart from the NIFT, the Pearl Academy of Fashion is a well known designing institute. In Mumbai, the J.D Institute of Fashion Technology is known for its design based courses. Like this, every major city in India has a vast number of design based colleges and institutes that can prove to be good prospects if you do not manage to get through the NID or the NIFT entrance exams.


Delhi has a wide variety of colleges and institutes that offer great courses in the field of design and are comparatively easier to get into than NIDs or the NIFTs. Institutes like the Pearl Academy of Fashion, Delhi Institute of Fashion Technology, Wigan and Leigh College and the Apeejay Institute of Design are well known for their courses in design and related fields. Even though all such institutes have their separate eligibility criteria, most of them require candidates to have at least completed their Class 12th in any stream.

Such colleges normally provide a greater range of courses than the NIDs and the NIFTs. You have more scope to specialize and get individual attention. Most of these institutes provide students with a lot of practical training and exposure. Students get to learn about the fundamentals and details of design. It is to be kept in mind that not all of these institutes offer degree courses. Some offer diplomas and some offer certificates. Therefore, it is wise to go through the prospectus of each institute and then take a decision regarding the one you want to join.


Mumbai, being the glamour capital of the country has a number of colleges that provide students with the opportunities to join courses in the field of design. A lot of the premier design colleges of Delhi have their branches in Mumbai as well, like the Wigan and Leigh College and J.D Institute of Fashion Technology. The Sophia SBKM Polytechnic is widely known for its courses in Dress designing and Textile Design. IITC (India International Trade Center) is very popular for its courses in the field of Design including Fashion Design, Jewelry Design and Interior Design. Apart from these institutes, the Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune and the Liberty Institute, Pune offer great courses in the field of Design.

Colleges and Institutes in Mumbai offer Degree courses as well as Non – Degree courses in design. It is to be kept in mind that there are a lot of opportunities for students studying Fashion Designing in Mumbai as it is the hub of the entertainment industry. Students can get a lot of practical exposure from their colleges and can also take up opportunities that come their way otherwise. Most of these colleges require candidates to have passed their Class 12th exams. Some colleges also require students to pass an entrance exam or a personal interview. Please go through the prospectus and website of all the above colleges if you want to pursue a course related to Design in Mumbai.


Kolkata also has a wide variety of institutes who provide quality education in the field of design. Institutes like Raffles Millennium International and Exterior Interior provide excellent courses in Fashion Design, Textile Design and Interior Design. Colleges like Wigan and Leigh have their branch in Kolkata as well. Most of these institutes offer Diplomas and ‘Advanced’ Diplomas but some institutes also offer a Bachelor’s degree in your specified field of design.

Most of these colleges require a candidate to have completed their 12th Class exams. They provide students with a lot of practical exposure and project based assignments. This helps students not only learn but build a portfolio at the same time. It is to be kept in mind that all of these institutes have their separate entrance procedures that can include an entrance examination and/or a personal interview. After completing your course from these institutes, you can choose to do independent work or take up internships/jobs under bigger and established Designers.


Like all other major cities in India, Bangalore also has a large number of institutes that provide quality education in the different fields of design. Colleges like the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore Institute of Fashion Technology and the Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology offer great Diploma and Degree level courses in Interior Design, Fashion Design and Textile Design apart from other specific disciplines of design. Some colleges like the Wigan and Leigh College have their branches in Bangalore as well.

These institutes provide students with a great opportunity to gain necessary practical training and exposure. Most of them admit students on the basis of their marks in the Class 12th. Some also conduct private entrance tests and personal interviews to judge students. It is advisable to go through the prospectus and website of each college before making a decision regarding the course and college you want to join.

So it is essential to not panic just because you didn’t get through the NID or the NIFT. There are many, many more institutes that offer great courses in the field of design. Such regional and private colleges provide students with the opportunity to learn the aesthetics of design and develop a creative bent of mind. A lot of colleges focus on individual development and look to build on the skills present in an individual.

Such colleges also provide a greater degree of flexibility in terms of the course you want to choose. They can be a good option for students who are very sure of the exact field they want to get into. On the other hand, a lot of these institutes choose to offer courses that are more general in nature and focus on a lot of aspects of design. Such courses help students figure out the field they want to get into through practical exposure and training.

The biggest advantage of these colleges and institutes is that they are comparatively much easier to get into. Even though a lot of them conduct their own entrance examinations, the competition is not as much it is for the NIDs and the NIFTs. But it is important to understand that this is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of education they provide but is rather due to a very simple fact and that is that there are a lot of private institutes in every major city. Therefore, people choose to join an institute near their hometown, which mostly leads to competition among students on a local and regional level rather than on a national level.

It is important to not just prepare for the NIDs or the NIFTs. Do not limit your options to only these institutes and seriously consider established private and regional design based colleges and institutes. Keep a track of their entrance exams and admission procedure and apply to as many colleges and institutes as possible as per your choice of course and convenience.

One very important fact that you should keep in mind is that a lot of these private colleges consider your scores in the NID – DAT exam and the NIFT entrance exam. Therefore, it will be wise to attempt those two examinations even if you feel that you do not have a chance of getting through. But also apply to other private and regional colleges as these are also capable of providing you excellent education.

Always keep in mind that your success majorly depends on your talent, your passion and your determination rather than on the institute you studied from. 

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