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Best Art Schools In the US | See Details

If you anticipate to study art in the United States but yet to identify the art school that will be comfortable for your study, you don’t need to worry because we are here for you.

In this article, we will be discussing the top 10 best art schools in the United States, to help you in your choice of school selection.


The United States provides a wealth of choices for studying art in its many forms. Students can opt for beach settings or vibrant downtown spaces in major cities or quaint towns.

Majors from arts education to automobile design offer endless career paths. School facilities can have students smithing precious metals, 3D printing shoes, or exploring velocity in a wind tunnel.

Many factors separate each of the excellent schools in this list. Some institutions enroll fewer than 500 students at one time, while others are part of a campus of over 30,000.

Many campuses here focus on art or are solely arts schools, with liberal arts and science requirements represented in arts-related forms.

Other programs fit within a broader university context, offering interdisciplinary degrees and requiring admission first to the parent university.

Depending on a student’s needs and circumstances, the perfect fit can be found among the diverse ten represented here.

From corporate internships to semesters painting, these programs offer many student experiences.

Mixed media, fashion, book arts, furniture design, curation, experimental animation, toy design—these schools cover the spectrum of arts careers.

Here is the list of the best art schools in the United States

  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • University of California, Los Angeles 
  • The New School Parsons School of Design
  • Pratt Institute
  • Carnegie-Mellon University
  • California College of the Arts
  • Columbia University
  • University of Southern California
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Yale University

1. Rhode Island School of Design

Consistently regarded on most lists as the very best art school in the country, RISD has produced some of the most successful alumni of any art school in the world.

These alumni include actor James Franco, businessman Brian Chesky (CEO of AirBnB), Seth MacFarlane, creator of the Family Guy television series, Robert Richardson, Academy-award winning cinematographer, and thousands more.

The average alum of Rhode Island School of Design is handsomely paid; accordingly to Payscale, their average BFA student earns about $64,000 a year after graduation.

Based in Providence, Rhode Island, Rhode Island School of Design is adjacent to Brown University. As a result, many of the social interactions of students at the school take place not only among the Rhode Island School of Design community but also with students of the contiguous Ivy league campus.

Unlike some art departments throughout the country, Rhode Island School of Design’s focus is on intensive, hands-on studio work in combination with a liberal arts curriculum.

Thirty-thousand people call themselves alumni of Rhode Island School of Design. Serious arts applicant should consider applying.

2. University of California, Los Angeles 

Although widely known as one of the most academically prestigious schools in the world, University of California, Los Angeles’s artistic side comes with a history of tremendous accomplishment and merit.

The faculty at University of California, Los Angeles is among the most decorated at any American school.

They include theatre director Peter Sellars, a MacArthur “Genius” award winner who has known for his unique approach to staging contemporary opera. American painter Lari Pittman is also on the faculty at University of California, Los Angeles, whose work is included in many of the world’s most prominent museums, including Los Angeles’ very own The Broad.

Unlike some university arts departments, University of California, Los Angeles is open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

For students seeking art education in a liberal arts education and context, perhaps no school ranks higher.

3). The New School Parsons School of Design

Many consider the New School to be perhaps New York City’s finest college arts program. It is easy to see why; alumni of Parsons are among today’s top fashion designers, illustrators, designers, and more.

Some of these alumni are practically household names in the world of fashion and beyond, including Tom Ford, Anna Sui, Donna Karan (of DKNY brand), and Marc Jacobs, who was named, in 2010, on the Time 100 “most influential” list.

Founded over a century ago in 1896, the purpose of the school was to stand out and create an education suitable for a contemporary artist.

Because of this, it was one of the first schools in the world to offer programs in graphics, fashion, and interior design.

Parsons has a satellite campus outside of the United States in Paris, known as Parsons Paris. While Parsons Paris is a degree-granting institution, students from The New School in NYC can do study abroad there.

4. Pratt Institute

If The New School is known as NYC’s fashion design school, Pratt is perhaps best known as NYC’s highest-ranked architecture & industrial design program.

The faculty at Pratt consists of New York City’s most respected fine arts scholars. They include Guggenheim, Fulbright, and Tiffany award winners.

Pratt is divided into an undergraduate and graduate school for arts. Digital Arts, Photography, Filmmaking, and even Creative Arts Therapy are just a handful of their flagship offerings.

Although the school has a special focus on the arts, Pratt is a comprehensive academic university as well.

For students who want the best of both a private arts college as well as academics, Pratt represents a top-tier option.

5. Carnegie-Mellon University

Carnegie-Mellon is known for housing both traditional art as well as avant-garde work. Regarding the latter, Carnegie-Mellon is home to the Studio For Creative Inquiry, one of the most unique centers in all of fine arts academia.

In the Studio for Creative Inquiry, students are encouraged to create work that is, according to their own website, “atypical, anti-disciplinary, and inter-institutional research at the intersection of arts, science, technology, and culture.”

However, Carnegie-Mellon’s most unique “claim-to-fame” as an art school, besides graduating Andy Warhol, is its Electronic and Time-Based Media program.

Ranked #1 in 2016 by US News, the program embraces the artistic intersection of film, video, sound, and other technology elements viewed over a given period of time.


That was all you need to know in this article that laid emphasis on the best art schools in the United States. Thank you for reading!

Last Updated on December 4, 2022 by Admin

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