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BEST Art Schools in USA
BEST Art Schools in USA Today

Discovering the top accredited art schools in the United States is a crucial first step toward developing a successful artistic career. skilled professional artwork. The top art schools in the United States equip their students with the tools they need to develop their unique artistic abilities to their fullest.

You can rely on KnowInsiders to provide you with a comprehensive, well-researched, and compiled list of the top-ranked art schools in the United States.

Get your art chops in order by enrolling in a top-tier art school in the USA. You can get the training and experience you need to make a living as an artist at one of the top art schools in the country. We deliberated long and hard to ensure that everyone could find something of interest on this list.

How to Find out Which US Art Schools are the Best and Most Renowned?

All of the institutions we list below have excellent curricula that are constantly being updated to meet the shifting demands of the art world. They are all prestigious and highly regarded colleges and universities. Currently.

You can choose from a wide range of art majors at these universities, which are recognized as some of the top art schools in the world and the US.

The best art schools must be those that provide students with practical training and real-world experience. The most prestigious art schools, however, must also be at the cutting edge of digital and artificial intelligence.

The top US art schools frequently provide you with the chance to network, network, and be inspired by brilliant minds and creative people in the art world.

All of the aforementioned is meant to make it simpler for students to later translate their practice into a lucrative career.

The top and most prestigious art schools in America today can be identified using the following criteria:

• Academic reputation

• Reputation to Employer (Possibility to be Hired)

• Impact study

• Education program

• Successful Alumni

• Infrastructure.

Top 15+ Best and Most Prestigious Art Schools in the U.S 2023/24

(Compiled and Recommended by KnowInsiders based on updated figures)

1. Harvard University


Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, MA 02138

Top 10+ Most Prestigious Art Schools in the U.S Today
Harvard University


Acceptance Rate: 5%

SAT Range: 1460-1580

ACT Range: 33-35

Application Fee: $75

SAT/ACT: Considered but not required

High School GPA: Recommended

Early Decision/Early Action: Yes

#1 in Best Colleges for Art in America Ranked by Niche in 2023.

The Boston area's premier private university, Harvard, is situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is a mid-sized institution with 5,699 undergraduate students enrolled. Given that Harvard's acceptance rate is only 5%, admissions are incredibly competitive. Computer science, economics, and social science research methods are all well-liked majors. Harvard graduates earn an average starting salary of $70,300. 97% of their students graduate.

2. Rhode Island School of Design


Location: 20 Washington Place, Providence, 02903 Rhode Island

Top Most Prestigious Art Schools in the U.S Today
Rhode Island School of Design


Undergraduate enrollment: 1,736

Acceptance rate: 27%

Average GPA: 3.6

Average SAT score: 1360

Average ACT score: 29

The Rhode Island School of Design is a private institution of higher education for the visual arts located in Providence. About 2,576 students will attend this relatively small college or university in the coming academic year of 2021-2022. Classes in a variety of visual arts are available at the Institute, including illustration, graphic design, painting, and more.

You have a respectable shot at getting into the Institute, with an acceptance rate of around 24% and an average annual cost of USD 55,220. Six years after graduating, RISD alumni continue to earn around $51,000 USD. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, plans are being made for the 2022-2023 school year.

3. Wellesley College


Location: 106 CENTRAL ST, WELLESLEY, MA 02481


Acceptance Rate: 20%

SAT Range: 1350-1520

ACT Range: 31-34

Application Fee: $0


Considered but not required: High School GPA

Recommended: Accepts

Common App: Yes

Wellesley College is committed to ensuring that all employees, students, and applicants have equal access to its programs and campus and that it complies with all relevant nondiscrimination laws.

There shall be no discrimination against or harassment of any employee or student on the basis of their race, religion, color, sex, age, ethnic or national origin or ancestry, veteran status, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, veteran or military status, membership in the Uniformed Services, or any other category protected by applicable state and federal laws.

4. California Institute of the Arts


Location: 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, California 91355


Undergraduate enrollment: 1,027

Acceptance rate: 25%

Average GPA: Not reported

Average SAT score: Not required

Average ACT score: Not required

CalArts is a private university with about 950 students that is located in Santa Clarita, California, in the greater Los Angeles area. Many people apply to the School's art programs, despite the fact that it is best known for its film and videography programs.

With only a 32.2% acceptance rate, getting into the Institute is no easy feat. The average cost of attendance for the 2020-21 school year is estimated to be USD $65,601, including fees and tuition, with a median salary of USD $37,900 six years after graduation.

The complaints of students and alumni about the Institute's outdated technology, heavy drinking, and drug culture may not be in the best interest of the Institute.

The professional art education provided by the California Institute of the Arts is widely recognized as revolutionary. The revolutionary cultural impact of their alums is proof of this institution's success in fostering avant-garde artistic vision. CalArts is a place where people from all walks of life can feel welcome and express themselves freely through the visual, performing, media, and literary arts.

5. School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Location: 36 S. Wabash Ave. Chicago, IL 60603


Undergraduate enrollment: 2,982

Acceptance rate: 57%

Average GPA: 3.6

Average SAT score: 1230

Average ACT score: 25

Since 1866, SAIC has been a pioneer in training and fostering art enthusiasts. According to the QS World University Rankings, SAIC is among the top ten art and design schools in the world. The place to be if you're interested in art is without a doubt SAIC. If the acceptance rate is 59%, you have a good chance of being admitted.

The average salary six years after graduation is about USD 33,000, and the net cost of attendance is around $ 50,801. A variety of studio courses in visual and performing arts, interior design, creative writing, and art history are offered by this institute. The Institute's hallways undoubtedly have a creative energy about them with 3640 students enrolled.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago was established by 35 artists 157 years ago and has long been a haven for generations of creative thinkers, designers, and scholars. It has served as my home since 2010. After more than 45 years in higher education, I'm writing to let you know that I'll be retiring at the end of the 2023–24 academic year. I do so with enthusiasm for all you have done to contribute to the amazing legacy that you, I, and a great number of people before us share. SAIC is a remarkable ecosystem of interconnected friendships, communities, ideas, works of art, teaching, and learning.

6. Yale University School of Art


Location: 1156 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06511

The prestigious Yale School of Art, a division of Yale University, was founded in 1869 and was the nation's first esteemed art school. With an average acceptance rate of only about 6%, Yale University is a prestigious institution where competition among applicants is fierce. The university grants M.F.A. degrees in a variety of fields, including sculpture, painting, photography, and graphic design.

Tuition and fees at the YSA will cost around USD 57,700 in 2020–2021; however, due to the university's well-known national reputation, graduates frequently earn significantly more than their counterparts from many other art schools.

The Yale School of Art is a graduate institution that awards MFAs in Graphic Design, Painting/Printmaking, Photography, and Sculpture in addition to providing Yale College students with undergraduate art courses.

As an ongoing cooperative experiment in digital publishing and information sharing, their website is still active. It works like a wiki; anyone who belongs to the School of Art community can add new content and edit the majority of the already existing content.

7. Pratt Institute: New York, NY


Location: New York City


Undergraduate enrollment: 2,927

Acceptance rate: 60%

Average GPA: 3.85

Average SAT score: 1265

Average ACT score: 28

With Pratt's central location in New York City, you'll have easy access to a wide variety of internships and contacts in the creative industries. The faculty members are active professionals who are also skilled educators. All museums, including the Frick, the MOMA, the Whitney, and many others, offer free admission to students.

Include 12–20 samples of your best work in a portfolio that you submit. In addition, you'll need to show off your drawing skills by submitting anywhere from three to five observational sketches. Check out their admissions page for more details.

8. UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture


Location: 240 Charles E Young Dr N, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Almost all of you have likely heard of UCLA at least once. In Los Angeles, it is a renowned public university. Even though the majority of majors are in the fields of Political Science, Psychology, Economics, and Government, the university does have a department of art that meets the needs of the art enthusiasts who apply to the university. M.F. and BA. The UCLA Department of Arts confers degrees in the fine and performing arts.

You can also visit the department's website for more details. Being a renowned and respected institution, it has a large student body of 31,636 and a 14% admission rate. For those who live in the state, tuition and fees are $13,268; for those who reside outside of it, they are $43,022. Additionally, an alum's typical yearly income is $58,500.

9. Savannah College of Art and Design


Location: 516 Drayton St, Savannah, GA 31401

Top Most Prestigious Art Schools in the U.S Today
Savannah College of Art and Design

At the private university Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia, there are more than 15,000 students. Among art and design universities, the institution has a reputation for providing interactive courses in illustration, special effects, animation, and fashion and clothing design.

You can anticipate to make USD 44,700 six years after graduating, and the net cost of attending SACD is USD 37,575 per year. Students have acknowledged the professors' ability to make learning enjoyable while also providing an exhilarating and enduring experience.

10. Maryland Institute College of Art


Location: 1300 W Mount Royal Ave, Baltimore, Maryland, 21217

Top Most Prestigious Art Schools in the U.S Today
Maryland Institute College of Art


Undergraduate enrollment: 1,309

Acceptance rate: 90%

Average GPA: 3.47

Average SAT score: 1160

Average ACT score: 22

MICA is a tiny private college in Baltimore that was one of the first art schools in the country. Since its founding in 1826, MICA has earned a reputation for providing top-notch instruction and knowledge in the field of art education. Drawing, architectural design, fiber, ceramics, humanistic studies, game design, printing, and print design are just a few of the majors that the Institute offers.

The Institute is a small institution with about 1600 students and an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio. For a full year, the net cost is approximately USD 50,160, translating to an after-college median income of USD.

Top Most Prestigious Art Schools in the U.S Today
Maryland Institute College of Art

To give students a solid foundation for careers in the arts, The Maryland Institute incorporates internships and other professional development activities into its curriculum. Each year, students, faculty, and visitors from Maryland Institute put on more than 150 exhibitions. Students are guided by an effective advising system throughout their four years at MICA.

11. NYU Tisch School of the Arts


Location: 721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

Top Most Prestigious Art Schools in the U.S Today
NYU Tisch School of the Arts

When the School of the Arts at NYU was founded in 1965, it was hailed as a daring endeavor because it promised to be a school unlike any other. The nation's top center for the study of performing, emerging media arts, and cinematic has grown over the past 50 years as a result of their ability to rise to the challenge. You can get an MPS, BA, MA, BFA, MFA, or Ph.D. in a wide range of fields that are effectively combined within one institution.

12. Parsons, The New School for Design


Location: 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011


Undergraduate enrollment: 6,430

Acceptance rate: 68%

Average GPA: 3.42

Average SAT score: 1250

Average ACT score: 28

About 5,100 students attend the private university Parsons, The New School for Design. The New School offers B.F.A., certificate, and even M.F.A. programs in many different fields, such as interior design, visual arts, design history, and many more.

Here, the average tuition is USD 47,000, and there is a 57% acceptance rate, increasing your chances of admission. It also exudes an incredible New York City energy and inventiveness that you're going to adore.

13. VCUarts


Location: New York City

Top Most Prestigious Art Schools in the U.S Today
School of Visual Arts


Undergraduate enrollment: 3,872

Acceptance rate: 71%

Average GPA: 3.34

Average SAT score: N/A

Average ACT score: N/A

The School of Visual Arts is a for-profit university located in NYC. Prospective students can choose from a variety of courses at the small institute in Manhattan. The institution has the benefit of providing a huge selection of special programs, continuing education, postgraduate, and undergraduate degrees.

The institution accepts 72% of applicants. There are 3,529 undergraduates enrolled in total. For this academic year (2022-2023), the estimated tuition and costs are $46,800. Fall 2019 Undergraduate Class Size: 16

Students frequently have the chance to exhibit their work because SVA has three galleries that host more than 50 exhibitions annually. Students at SVA have the opportunity to work with renowned New York City creative agencies through the school's Internship for Credit program. Students studying graphic design and advertising or taking classes at the Center have access to a wealth of technological resources through the Digital Imaging Center and Print Lab.

14. Massachusetts College of Art and Design


Location: Boston, MA


Undergraduate enrollment: 1,770

Acceptance rate: 70%

Average GPA: 3.45

Average SAT score: N/A

Average ACT score: N/A

The first independent public art and design college in the country is MassArt. The college has seven on-campus galleries where faculty, staff, and visiting artists frequently exhibit their work. A wide range of disciplines, including Industrial Design, Animation, and Art Education, offer degrees.

A portfolio containing 15–20 examples of your best and most recent works of art is required. A statement of purpose that describes you as an artist must also be included.

15.ArtCenter College of Design: Pasadena, CA




Undergraduate enrollment: 2,062

Acceptance rate: 71%

Average GPA: 3.42

Average SAT score: 1254

Average ACT score: Not reported

This college is for students who are certain of their career goals: There is no first-year general education program at Art Center, instead students receive a thorough education in their chosen field from day one. However, the Transdisciplinary Studios program also enables cross-major collaboration among students. In their Designmatters program, Art Center College of Design collaborates with businesses and organizations to support student projects that have a real-world impact.

For applicants to fine arts programs, you must submit 15 to 20 pieces of artwork, though the requirements vary depending on your major. For more information, visit the admissions website.

16. California College of the Arts: Oakland, CA


Undergraduate enrollment: 1,239

Acceptance rate: 85%

Average GPA: Not reported

Average SAT score: Not reported

Average ACT score: Not reported

The average student-teacher ratio is 8:1, and the faculty is made up of experts in a variety of artistic fields. Additionally, it is regarded as one of the most diverse colleges in the country. Academically, CCA offers a First Year Program that introduces students to studio practice and includes a portfolio review at the end of the year to determine whether or not students are prepared for the majors. Every year, there is also a first-year student exhibition. CCA provides a wealth of resources for networking and professional development in the arts that will assist students in launching successful careers.

First-year applicants are required to submit a portfolio sample consisting of 10 to 15 images of their finest work.

What Is an Art School?

“A place where students learn about and practice art” is a simple answer. Since most schools offer art classes, this definition would apply to most schools. Thus, "art schools" are higher education institutions where students study a visual art discipline like painting or sculpture.

While traditional colleges and universities emphasize theory and lectures, art schools emphasize hands-on learning. Art schools are not for introverted artists who want to work alone. Fine art students should attend an art school because art is collaborative and requires interaction.

Why Art School?

In art school, you can study your favorite art form. An art school focuses on one artistic discipline and provides a focused arts education, while a traditional four-year college offers a more general education with fewer arts courses.

Art schools are ideal for those who want to focus solely on their artistic career without being distracted by college requirements. This lets prospects focus on mastering artistic skills and, more importantly, networking with instructors and other students. Art schools attract serious artists because of this interaction.

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