The world of art is constantly changing. New artists are emerging, new styles are being invented, and we’re discovering new ways to express ourselves. As the art world continues to evolve, so do your options for learning about it.
The Best Art Schools in the World (as ranked by Quacquarelli Symmonds) in this article shows an increasing number of schools offering degrees and certificates in various art disciplines such as painting, sculpture, and graphic design—allowing students from all over the world to experience an education that prepares them for careers as professional artists or curators.
If you have a passion for pursuing a career in any form or expression of art, and you wish to get the best training possible, the following schools in this article are the only schools that should be on your shortlist.
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Don’t let the name fool you—art schools come in all shapes and sizes. Some offer a traditional undergraduate degree, while others offer one or two-year certificate programs. There are also art schools where students can pursue their craft within a career-oriented environment, such as advertising art schools or graphic design colleges.
Whether you’re looking for an intensive summer program or an accredited bachelor’s degree program, there is an art school out there that fits your needs and interests perfectly.
Careers in the Art Profession
The art profession can be rewarding and varied. Some people find it to be the perfect career, while others consider it a nice hobby or side gig. Regardless of how you feel about art, it’s important to understand that the profession is not for everyone. If you are considering entering the field of fine art, here are some things that you should consider:
- Art is a good career choice for many people because it offers individual freedom in terms of expression and creativity. It also provides opportunities for self-expression and personal fulfillment through various types of media (drawing, painting, etc.).
- However, art careers can be lucrative; therefore there may be significant competition for jobs in this sector if demand remains high in future years due to growing interest among consumers worldwide.
- Networking: Art is a career that thrives on the number of people that you meet and those that know you. So, when you go about your career, always make it an important point to try to become part of elite artist groups and talk about your work often.
- Be creative: Artists are in an ever-constant state of creativity influx. You will need the inspiration to find new ideas daily and keep producing the best work.
- Your work will get criticized a lot. If you don’t like being criticized for your work, then art is probably not for you. As much as artists receive commendation and admiration for their works, they also get criticized because art is a form of visual expression, and not everyone will always be in tune with their style of this expression. So, if this is a problem for you, then you might as well choose a different path.
Salary of Artists: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, artists make up to a median pay of $49,960 per year. Note that this sum can be significantly higher depending on the industry and niche.
Popular Art Degrees
Art degrees can be divided into three main categories: fine art, visual arts, and graphic design.
- Fine art focuses on the creation of original works of art. Students typically learn how to create sculptures, paintings, prints, or drawings.
- Visual arts cover all aspects of graphic design and photography but also include other genres like animation and digital media.
- Graphic design is another type of fine art degree that focuses on using computer software programs for printed materials such as flyers and brochures as well as websites and mobile apps.
According to these core aspects of art, you can study any of the following degrees in arts:
- Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
- Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History
- Master of Arts (MA) in Art History
- Bachelor of Design (BDes)
- Master of Design (MDes)
- Bachelor of Architecture (BArch)
- Master of Architecture (MArch)
- Bachelor of Science (BS) in Graphic Design
- Master of Science (MS) in Graphic Design
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Photography
- Master of Arts (MA) in Photography
- Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Studio Art
- Master of Arts (MA) in Studio Art
And these are not all. However, these degrees cover a wide range of subjects, including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, graphic design, web design, photography, art history, architecture, and more.
The List of 20 Best Art Schools in the World
In this list, we’ll be taking a look at the top 20 art schools from around the world, according to the latest rankings for 2023 that our sources have gathered.
- Royal College of Art
- University of the Arts, London
- The New School, New York
- Rhode Island School of Design
- Politecnico di Milano
- Aalto University
- Pratt Institute
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Design Academy Eindhoven
- School of the Art Institute of Chicago
- The Glasgow School of Art
- Tongji University
- Delft University of Technology
- Art Centre College of Design
- RMIT University
- The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Goldsmiths, University of London
- The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
- Konstfack University of Arts.
20 Best Art Schools in the World
Art school is a great place to learn how to make art, but it can also be an amazing place to meet people and have some fun. We’ve compiled a list of what we believe are the best schools in the world for you to choose from, so read on.
1. Royal College of Art, London
The Royal College of Art is a world-class art school that was founded in 1837.
The college offers three undergraduate degree programs: Design Products; Fashion & Textiles; Image & Sonics (sound). They also have postgraduate courses including MA in Fashion Communication; MFA Illustration; MArch Architecture; MDes Design Interaction.
Tuition fee: £13,000 to £14,200 for international students. Please note that the tuition fee for domestic students in public UK universities is a flat £9,250 per year (due to government subsidies).
2. University of the Arts, London
The University of the Arts London is a public university in London, United Kingdom.
This school is a popular destination for art students from all over the world as they offer many courses that students will find valuable.
Tuition Fee: £20,940
3. The New School, New York
The New School is a private research university in Lower Manhattan, New York City. By far the most reputable art school in the United States, The New York School makes learning art easy and you will come to appreciate the meticulous education style that is prevalent in America.
4. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
The Rhode Island School of Design is an art and design college located in Providence, Rhode Island. It is the oldest art and design school in the United States and offers several degree programs: architecture, fine arts, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, environmental studies & preservation studies as well as media + performance, example.
Tuition fee: $56,435
5. Politecnico di Milano
The Politecnico di Milano is a public university founded in 1863 and is one of the biggest universities in Europe.
The main campus of the university is located in central Milan and includes several buildings such as Auditorium Gio Ponti (see picture above), Palazzo della Ragione, and what was once a Franciscan monastery.
Tuition fee: Tuition fees for EEA students and Non-EEA students resident in Italy range from about 888,59 € to 3.891,59 € per year.
6. Aalto University
Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture is a school of higher education in the fields of art, design, architecture, and media. The school is located in Otaniemi (Helsinki) on the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University.
The purpose of this school was to provide education for creative professionals at all levels by using interdisciplinary approaches. It offers master’s programs for those pursuing graduate studies in art and other related professional studies.
Tuition fee: €12,000
7. Pratt Institute, New York
Pratt Institute is a private university in New York City. It was founded in 1887 by Charles Pratt and Andrew Carnegie. It is one of the oldest private art and design universities in the United States.
In addition to its undergraduate programs, Pratt offers an MFA program for fine arts students and a Master of Architecture degree through its School of Architecture.
Tuition fee: $1611 per credit.
8. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Founded in 1861, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It’s one of the country’s oldest institutions, and it has been ranked as one of the best universities in America for more than a century. MIT focuses on science and engineering, with some of its graduates working in these fields after graduation.
The school has five schools: architecture and planning; engineering; humanities; management; science; technology; and arts and design. There are also undergraduate programs in economics/finance, political science/international relations, and computer science/information systems management.
Tuition fee: $28,795 per term.
9. Design Academy Eindhoven
A design school with a global reputation, Design Academy Eindhoven has attracted students from around the world for over 30 years. The school is strong in both design and technology, with a focus on innovation in its approach to teaching.
The international nature of this institution helps to foster an environment where students can learn from one another as well as their tutors; this creates an atmosphere of collaboration rather than competition.
Tuition fee: €2,209
10. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is a private art school located in downtown Chicago. It was founded in 1866 and is one of the oldest art schools in America, and one of the largest in terms of student population.
SAIC offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs through its six academic divisions: Design, Fine Arts & Architecture; Fashion Design; Game Design; Graphic Design; Media Arts + Practice; New Media Studio; Photography—in addition to master’s degrees in Professional Studies, Digital Cinema Production/Visual Effects, Interactive Sports Media and Systems Engineering Technology Management (MS).
Tuition fee: $1,785 per credit hour.
11. The Glasgow School of Art
The Glasgow School of Art is a public school located in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 1845, the university has been at the heart and center of art education since its inception. It offers a variety of undergraduate degrees as well as postgraduate programs.
The GSA also offers several online options for students who wish to pursue their degree without having to relocate or leave their current job.
Among these are: Bachelor’s degrees with majors in:
- Architecture and Design
- Fine Art
- Illustration & Animation
Tuition fee: £21,360
12. Tongji University
Tongji University is a public research university located in Shanghai, China. Founded in 1907, Tongji University is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China. It has an international student population from over 100 countries and regions including the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Korea.
Tuition fee: RMB 68,000 per year.
13. Delft University of Technology
Located in the Netherlands, Delft University of Technology is a public university. It’s ranked as one of the top universities in the Netherlands and has about 26,000 students.
Delft is not popular for its art courses; it is more of an engineering school. But it is widely praised too, for its art programs, as evident in QS listing it among the top 20 art schools in the world.
Tuition fee: €15,950
14. Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
The Art Center College of Design is a private university in Pasadena, California. In addition to its undergraduate program, the college also offers master’s degrees in several areas of study and plans to expand its graduate offerings further down the road.
Tuition fee: $24,471
15. RMIT University
RMIT University has its main campus located at City Campus and its three other campuses are located in the Melbourne metropolitan area; Brunswick, Bundoora, and Waurn Ponds. RMIT also has an education center in Dandenong North, Victoria.
RMIT offers art and art-related programs in visual art and photography, to mention a few.
Tuition fee: AUD 22080 – AUD 27840.
16. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong Polytechnic University is a public research university in Hong Kong. It is one of Asia’s best art schools and students who have passed through this school have reviewed its art programs as “engaging and interesting.”
PolyU, as it is nicknamed, is a decent choice for anybody who wants to study in a low-priced, but quality art school. They offer several art programs in core areas like animation, art and design, interior design, communications, and product design.
The courses are more media-related programs, however. People wanting to study art history and the likes won’t find what they are looking for here.
Tuition fee: HK$532,800
17. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is a private research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The university is known for its leading programs in computer science, robotics, and business communication for undergraduate students, fine arts for undergraduates, music composition for undergraduates, and computer science for graduate students.
Tuition fee: $35,240
18. Goldsmiths, University of London
London might not seem like the first place you’d go to look for an art school, but that’s exactly what makes Goldsmiths, University of London so special. For one thing, it is one of the most prestigious art schools in the world.
The school has a postgraduate program that attracts students from all over Europe as well as Asia.
Tuition fee: £17,560
19. The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts is an art school in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is the oldest art academy in Scandinavia and is a part of the University of Copenhagen with an education structure that allows students to attend both university and art academy at the same time.
Tuition fee: €7,000 – €8,500
20. Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts & Design
Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts & Design is a university in Stockholm, Sweden.
This school has a strong approach to teaching, as it prioritizes hands-on learning for its students. Many of its graduate students go on to have successful careers in arts and design; some popular courses offered include fine arts, textile, ceramics, glass, product design, communications, and architecture, to name a few.
Tuition fee: 297,000 SEK.
FAQs About Best Art Schools in the World
Which art school is the best in the world?
This is a common question, and it’s one that can be difficult to answer. There are thousands of different art schools across the globe and each one has its own unique features. However, there are some schools that consistently rank among the best in terms of student experience and graduate employment prospects. These include:
- Royal College of Art
- University of the Arts, London
- Rhode Island School of Design
How are the best art schools in the world ranked?
There are several methods and criteria used to rank the best art schools in the world. These may include factors such as academic reputation, quality of faculty and resources, student satisfaction, and job placement rates for graduates. Rankings may be based on data and surveys from a variety of sources, including educational organizations, industry professionals, and alumni.
Are scholarships or financial aid available for students attending the best art schools?
Many art schools offer financial aid and scholarship opportunities for students.
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Wrapping It Up
Well, that’s it for today. We hope you enjoyed reading about the best art schools in the world and their rankings. If there are any other questions you have, please let us know in the comments below.Share and Help us Reach out to Other Students