Resources › For Students and Parents Top Art Schools in the United States If Art Is Your Passion, These Schools Are Some of the Best in the Country Share Flipboard Email Print Creating Your College Wish List Introduction Understanding the Different Kinds of Colleges 15 Things to Consider When Choosing a School Faculty to Student Ratio What Is a Liberal Arts College? The Pros and Cons of Big and Small Colleges The Most Selective Schools Most Selective Colleges and Universities The Top Universities Top Liberal Arts Colleges Top Public Liberal Arts Colleges Top Public Universities Ivy League Schools Best Schools by Major or Interest Top Engineering Schools Top Business Schools Top Art Schools Best Equestrian Colleges Top Colleges for Skiers Colleges and Universities for Beach Lovers Known for Something Special Top Historically Black Colleges and Universities Top Women's Colleges Best Catholic Colleges and Universities Best Colleges by Region Top West Coast Colleges and Universities Mid-Atlantic Colleges The Best Southeastern Colleges and Universities The Top 25 New England Colleges and Universities Top 30 Midwest Colleges 20 Great College Towns Great Schools for Mere Mortals Colleges for Students With Low SAT and ACT Scores Great Colleges for Students With 'B' Averages Test Optional Colleges Finalize Your College List How Many Colleges Should I Apply To? What Is a Reach School? What Is a Match School? What Is a Safety School? By Molly Mayfield Updated February 01, 2020 When choosing an art school, you should consider three options: attend a specialized arts institute, a large university with a visual arts department, or a university with a strong art school. The list below consists mostly of the best art institutes in the country, but it also includes a few universities and colleges with strong art programs. Each school is home to impressive studio spaces and art faculty. Rather then force the schools into an artificial ranking, they are presented here in alphabetical order. Alfred University School of Art and Design Alumni Hall at Alfred University. Denise J Kirschner / Wikimedia Commons Alfred University is a small comprehensive university located in the town of Alfred, New York. AU has one of the best art schools in the country not located in a major city. At Alfred University, undergraduates in the arts program do not declare a major. Instead, students are all working towards earning their bachelors of fine arts degree. This allows students to mingle easily with other young artists to broaden their skills in various art mediums all four years of studying. Alfred University is known around the world for its ceramic art program, which has helped Alfred’s School of Art and Design earn its high position on many national ranking. AU is not just an arts school; it’s a university with other strong programs in engineering, business, and the liberal arts and sciences. If you’re searching for a strong arts community but also the breadth of a traditional university, Alfred is worth a look. Learn more in the Alfred University profile. California College of the Arts California College of the Arts. Edward Blake / Flickr CCA, California College of the Arts, is an art school located in the San Francisco Bay area. It’s a small school of about 2,000 students. The average class size is 13, and academic programs are supported by a faculty to student ratio of 8 to 1. CCA takes pride in its slogan: We Make Art That Matters. A main focus of CCA is to push boundaries in the art world, not only by creating artwork, but also by creating a better world through art. Some of CCA’s most popular majors are Illustration, Graphic Design, Industrial Design and Animation. Learn more in the CCA profile. Parsons, the New School for Design Persons, the New School for Design. René Spitz / Flickr Parsons, the New School for Design, has created programs for its students that emphasize the importance of working through collaboration. While Parsons offers the tools to master specific art forms and disciplines, its programs also teach students the value of combining multiple skill sets. Parsons is a part of The New Schools program, which means that it holds the legacy of a nontraditional academic community, focusing on keeping up with new advancements in the technical and economical world. Parsons also has an amazing study abroad program, and in the fall of 2013, Parsons opened its Paris campus to many undergraduate art degrees with additional graduate programs on the way. Learn more in the New School profile. Pratt Institute Pratt Institute Library. bormang2 / Flickr With campuses in both Brooklyn and Manhattan, students at Pratt are never short of new and exciting ways to explore the cultural and social dimensions of living as a young artist. Programs at Pratt are consistently ranked top in the country, and the school offers multiple degrees in various art forms including architecture, communications design, and construction management. Pratt also offers over 20 programs for students to study abroad in cities such as London, Florence, and Tokyo. Pratt’s prestigious name in the art world creates a very competitive community. Learn more in the Pratt Institute profile. Otis College of Art and Design Otis College of Art and Design. Maberry / Wikipedia Otis College of Art and Design was established in 1918 and is located in Los Angeles. Otis holds a lot of pride for its faulty and alumni, individuals who are Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar Awardees, and design stars at Apple, Disney, DreamWorks and Pixar. Otis College is a small school, enrolling about 1,100 students and offering only 11 BFA degrees. Otis is distinguished by being among the top 1% of the most diverse schools in the country. Otis student come from 40 different states and 28 countries. Learn more in the Otis College profile. RISD, Rhode Island School of Design RISD, Rhode Island School of Design. Allen Grove Founded in 1877, RISD, the Rhode Island School of Design, is one of the oldest and most well-known art schools in the United States, offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees in the arts. Don’t let the title of “design” throw you; RISD is in fact a full art school. Some of the most popular majors include Illustration, Painting, Animation/Film/ Video, Graphic Design and Industrial Design. RISD is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which is conveniently located between New York City and Boston. Brown University is just steps away. RISD also does a wonderful job of preparing its students for jobs after graduation, and according to an annual study conducted by its very own Career Center, about 96% of students are employed one year after graduation (with an additional 2% enrolled in a full-time educational programs to pursue an advanced degree). Learn more in the RISD profile. School of the Art Institute of Chicago Art Institute of Chicago. jcarbaugh / Flickr Located in the heart of Chicago, SAIC, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in strong interdisciplinary programs that give young artists the well-needed freedom needed to thrive creatively. SAIC has been consistently ranked among the top three graduate fine art programs by U.S. News and World Report. The award-winning faculty members are one of the great resources for the students of SAIC, and many famous artists have trained at SAIC over the years including Georgia O’Keefe. Learn more in the SAIC profile. Yale University School of Art Yale University. Photo Credit: Allen Grove Yale University is one of the eight prestigious Ivy League schools. The university has achieved top rankings in the country for not only art, but also its medical, business and law programs. Yale offers both BFA and MFA programs in the arts, with degrees in print-making, theater management, painting and much more. Yale University is one of the most selective colleges in the country, and art students have to meet the same admission requirements as other students at the university. But art students who attend Yale tend to be very successful, finding positions after school with an average starting salary of $40,000 a year and an average mid-career salary of $70,000.Learn more in the Yale University profile.