What are the top 10 art schools in US?

Whenever there is a top 10 list, it’s important to understand what criteria are used to determine rank. For example US News & World Report is a source that is constantly quoted. In 2008 and also 2012 they released a report on the top art schools in the nation. US News & World Report stated they used a peer assessment survey. What that means is they would mail out surveys to the deans and other important faculty members of art schools, 2 surveys per school, asking them to rate a list of schools. They were asked to rate the academic quality of these schools and would then crunch the numbers and come out with a report of the best art schools in the nation.

Other criteria used to rate schools, were:

Tuition costs and availability of financial aid
Teacher Assistantships
Prestigious faculty
Cutting-edge curricula
Impressive facilities
And other criteria

There are plenty of guides out there that give their own top 10 reports, and others collect these guides, combing through all the information they can get, and put it through their own algorithm, with the end result being a new and improved guide, listing the best schools in the nation. Whether they are really any more accurate, is hard to tell. It would take a large research project to follow graduates through their life to see how successful they have become and determine if going to one of the top ten schools really made a difference.

After collecting an enormous amount of data and doing our own number crunching we have come up with a list of the top 10 art schools in us, and the rankings are:

Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD),one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design is consistently ranked the top art school in the nation. Located in Providence, Rhode Island the school offers several degrees, including a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Master of Arts (M.A.) in fields like apparel design, painting, art history, ceramics, film and video, photography, printmaking, sculpture, graphic design, as well as in other areas. Read more at www.risd.edu. Address: 2 College Street, Providence, RI 02903

Yale School of Art

The Yale School of Art is one of twelve constituent schools of Yale University. It is a professional art school, granting only Masters of Fine Arts degrees to those completing studies in graphic design, painting/printmaking, photography, or sculpture. For more info visit http://art.yale.edu. Address: 1156 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06520

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Cranbrook Academy of Art is a coeducational institution of higher learning in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Cranbrook is a graduate school and offers Master of Architecture and Master of Fine Art degrees. Areas of study include architecture, ceramics, design, fibre arts, metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. More info at www.cranbrookart.edu . Address: 39221 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

Virginia Commonwealth University

The School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University, located in Richmond, Virginia, is comprised of sixteen programs and more than 3,000 students. At Virginia, students can pursue advanced study in interior design, photography, fashion design and painting and printmaking, among other subjects. For more info visit http://arts.vcu.edu.
Address: 325 North Harrison Street, Richmond, VA 23284-2519

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), is considered one of the most historically significant and influential school of art and design in the nation. SAIC offers nationally accredited undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate programs to over 3,200 students from across the globe. The programs include art education, fashion design, fiber and material studies, historical preservation, art and technology studies, performance art, print media, sound arts and art therapy. Read more at www.saic.edu
Address: 37 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603

Maryland Institute College of Art

The Maryland Institute College of Art, one of the oldest art schools in America was founded in 1826. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,834. For more info visit www.mica.edu
Address: 1300 Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217

University of California-Los Angeles

University of California – Los Angeles(UCLA) is a public institution that was founded in 1919. UCLA’s undergraduate and graduate programs include ceramics, photography and sculpture as well as new art genres.
Address: 240 Charles E. Young Drive, 2275 Broad Art Center, Los Angeles, CA 90095

California Institute of the Arts

California Institute of the Arts(CalArts) is a private institution that was founded in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney. Featured in the recent book “Seven Days in the Art World,” CalArts is famous for encouraging students to explore experimental art-making. Admission to CalArts is competitive and considered mainly on the basis of demonstrated artistic merit, as assessed by the faculty of the individual programs.Visit calarts.edu for more info
Address: 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355

Carnegie Mellon University

College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University is organized into five schools, Architecture, Art, Design, Drama and Music; and its associated centers and programs. The College of Fine Arts offers a wide range of courses including Drawing/ Digital media, Architectural Drawing and Modern Architecture. Visit www.cfa.cmu.edu for more.
Address: 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh , PA 15213-3890

Columbia University

Columbia University is a private institution that was founded in 1754. The School of the Arts at Columbia University offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre Arts, Visual Arts and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, and a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature and Theory. Visit arts.columbia.edu for more info.
Address: 305 Dodge Hall, Mail Code 1808, New York, NY 10027

All these top 10 art schools have at least four art specialty fields and some as many as eight. These specialty fields include:

Ceramics
Graphic Design
Painting & Drawing
Sculpture
Printmaking
Photography
Multimedia & Visual Communications
Interior Design

When looking for an art school, you may have no interest at all in the things that help propel a school to the upper region of the top 10 list. That’s OK. You’ll just need to know what is important to you, and research which school is the leader in that criterion. That’s the way to get your dream education.

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