Best Colleges for Art in America

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Talent will always find a way to blossom. But as the competition grows higher each year, you might have to go the extra mile to earn the audience’s respect and recognition and get a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree.

If you are picking up the college right now, you might have already realized that the options are infinite! So make sure you check out this list of the top seven universities that offer the best art programs in the country.

Yale University

Yale University

Yale University

For years now, Yale University has been stealing everyone’s thunder as the best MFA programs college, which is no surprise as it is Yale – one of the oldest and most reputable schools in the country. But along with its impressive history and medieval campus style, it’s anything but outdated. Yale’s neoteric classrooms and studios are up and running to fuel creativity and action.

The choice of fine arts is endless! They have a School of Architecture, Music, Art, and Drama with dozens of specialties to choose from, where painting and photography deserve special attention.

Along with that, there is a vibrant arts and cultural life with hundreds of exhibits hosted each year, museums and galleries with a wealth of content, and over 200 annual concerts, many of which you can enjoy for free. The competition is high, and so are the tuition costs. Quality comes at a price, right?

Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design

RISD has deep faith that practice makes perfect and implements this principle in their art and design studies. Here, you won’t be bored with tons of theoretic assignments but rather encourages you to spend hours in a studio bringing your ideas to life and polishing your techniques.

The number of specialties is rich. The school offers degrees in architecture, photography, painting, sculpture, glass, and different areas of design. And as the classes don’t usually exceed 1o individuals, every student of the group can have valuable time with their classmates and teachers.

As far as tuition costs go, studying here will cost you a good dollar but figures speak for themselves: 9 of 10 graduates get employed within the first three years of graduating.

California Institute for the Arts

California Institute for the Arts

California Institute of the Arts

Not without vanity, CalArts is one of the best schools to become a professional artist. Housing sic separate arts schools, it offers over 70 comprehensive degree programs in visual, performing, media, and literary arts of both bachelor and master level. There’s even a doctorate program, so if you see yourself as a Performer-Composer, you can get a Doctorate of Music Arts degree here.

For itchy feet, there are plenty of opportunities to go abroad on an exchange program, participate in international festivals and seminars, or get an internship. Current destinations include France, Taiwan, Mexico, Portugal, Scotland, and Italy, among others.

Maryland Institute College of Art

Maryland Institute College of Art

Maryland Institute College of Art

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art is the oldest American art college with quite a mystical history. While it survived two huge fires (surprisingly, both happened on the same day and month – February 7) it never lost its former greatness and continued training students and hosting art-specific events.

Today, the College of Art hosts an array of pre-college, post-bachelor, BFA, and MFA programs, as well as studio art courses for young people, where some of them are partially or fully online.

The list of specialties is huge; here, you’ll find programs on graphic design, photography, architecture, ceramics, painting, filmmaking, game design, theatre, and more. Its gem, however, is the UX design program, which focuses on the intersection between art and technology. Plus, the program is fully online, so you can enjoy both art and studies from the comfort of your cozy room.

Massachusettes Institute of Technology

Massachusettes Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is not usually associated with art studies and training, but it turns out they have something to impress young artists. Introduced in 2009, its Art, Culture, and Technology program was born from the merger of the Visual Arts Program and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, the latter of which has been operating since the end of the 1960s and has brought up many interdisciplinary artists.

It’s not an art program in the traditional sense. Each year, it enrolls as little as six individuals and looks rather like a combination of visual art studies and experimentation, where students are encouraged to participate in other MIT programs and use the benefits of its laboratories. In the end, graduates receive a Master of Science degree, so this might not be the option for everyone. But if you’re looking for an art and tech mix background, getting a diploma from one of the best technical universities in the country is a great way to jumpstart your career.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

As one of the top three art schools in the US, this private university grew up from an art students’ cooperative into today’s museum and school with comprehensive artistic education. The courses of study include art technology, administration, theory and criticism, art therapy, as well as many hands-on specialties, such as architecture, painting and drawing, photography, sculpture, animation, fiber, and writing among others. 

The SAIC campus includes seven buildings and is located in the immediate vicinity of the Art Institute of Chicago. It also owns a few additional buildings that serve as student galleries. In a 2002 survey carried out by Columbia University’s National Arts Journalism Program, the School was called the most influential art school in the nation. 

Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design

Founded in 1978 to grant degrees that were yet unavailable in the southeast of the US, the SCAD grew, and its expansion now includes two schools in Georgia, an online degree educational program, and another school abroad in Lacoste, France. The College has all the necessary accreditations, and each year it enrolls over 14,000 students from home and internationally.

As much as it can brag about its student diversity, it offers a truckload of different specialties. Along with more traditional programs in architecture, filmmaking, painting, photography, and performing arts, there is a good selection of IT specialties on user experience design, game development, and immersive reality. However, if you are more into creating tangible objects that have practical value, you should appreciate their BFA and MFA programs on furniture design, jewelry, or fibers. 

Its message can’t be ignored either: SCAD works closely with local authorities and puts a lot of effort to preserve Savannah’s architectural heritage by restoring old buildings and using them as their facilities. Today, the campus includes 67 buildings, a good number of which has kept that Southern Gothic feel and antique beauty, which can be one of the best sources of inspiration for an art student.

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About the Author:

Floyd Colon was born March 12, 1990, and grew up in Texas, USA, learning about courses of art. Floyd now lives in Colorado with his wife and son. Floyd enjoys writing as a freelancer for Pro-papers. When not writing bestselling novels, he likes to breed domestic rabbits.

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