1. Art Center College of Design (ArtCenter)
Established in 1930 and located in California, ArtCenter is an international leader aiming to shape a new model in creative education. This college is the first design school which receives the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) status, offering 11 undergraduate and 10 graduate degrees, accommodating over 2,000 students***.
ArtCenter’s two campuses aim to provide a rich and intercultural learning experience to its students. Also, the school values innovation significantly. Departments collaborate with students to develop new elective courses, further improving their experiences. Its alumni have achieved great successes in film directing and editing, fine art, industrial design, photography and more.
2.California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
Founded by Walt Disney in 1961, CalArts is a globally renowned school for nurturing professional artists in both visual and performing arts. The school aims to equip their students with distinctive and independent thinking. Its generations of alumni have proved to be very successful in the creative industry especially in film directing and animation. Notable alumni include Dustin Hoffman, Tim Burton and more.
CalArts aims to be a creative community, where the faculties can exchange ideas and methods to innovate, so they can discover new opportunities. Students can benefit from the school’s faculty mentoring, where they can receive professional trainings, getting well-prepared for their career pathways.
3. Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
Based in New York City, FIT’s campus gives students an exciting and rewarding study experience. Its urban experience and facilities will let you gain new perspectives and opportunities that you may never expect.
FIT focuses on educating talents of design, fashion, art communication and business. Specialised in Fashion Design, it produced some well-known names in the industry, such as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and Carolina Herrera. Although FIT does not feature in the popular university ranking lists, but you should consider it if you plan to study fashion related courses. Given it is highly specialised, you will benefit from the updated industry information.
4. Parsons School of Design at The New School
Situated in the heart of New York City, you will get to experience a diverse and vibrant community. Currently ranked third in the world for Art and Design*, Parsons is offering an extensive range of undergraduate and graduate programmes are available from these schools:
Parsons School of Design
Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts
College of Performing Arts
The New School of Social Research
School of Public Engagement
The school has great connections with the industry, in fact the first several seasons of the popular reality tv show “Project Runway”, were filmed at Parsons New York. Since Parsons is located at the business hub of USA, you will have opportunities to work with some of the greatest Art & Design companies. The school has nurtured numerous notable alumni especially in fashion design such as Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and Alexander Wang.
5. Pratt Institute
Established in 1887, Pratt Institute’s campuses are located in Brooklyn, Manhattan and New York. As a global leader in higher education, Pratt is dedicated to train its undergraduate and graduate students for future careers in art, design, architecture and more. A lot of its graduates excel in fine art, illustration and architecture. Notable alumni include Gertrude Käsebier, Norman Norell and Keith Michael.
Pratt currently excels in architecture, interior design and industrial design. You will be working with some of the world’s most creative and inspiring minds in these fields. Its curriculum uses a collaborative and creative approach, committed to train and support their students with exceptional facilities.
6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Founded in 1861, MIT is dedicated to make a better world through education, research and innovation. Located at a global innovation hub, students experience a welcoming life. They can choose from a range of extracurricular activities along with their studies.
MIT is currently ranked as the top institute globally**. Although MIT is generally recognised for its engineering and scientific achievements, but it has a renowned architecture department which also ranks number one in the world*. For example, I. M. Pei is one of the most recognised alumni and he is a pioneer in architecture.
As a top research university, it also excels many areas such as business, political science and music. If you want to build your own career in Art & Design, MIT is a great place for entrepreneurship and building connections.
7. Otis College of Art and Design
Established for over a century, Otis is a non-profit institution and highly regarded in the Art and Design field. All faculty members are practicing professionals, aiming to educate a diverse community of students, empowering them to shape the world. From 1978 to 1991, Otis merged with Parsons School of Design and to date, Otis remains to be one of the top Fashion Design schools in the U.S.
The school offers academic advising and academic mentoring. Otis has carried out a survey, showing 92% of the recent graduates are employed in the creative field***.
8. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)
RISD is one of the first art and design schools in the USA and was founded in 1877. It encourages artists to be curious, adaptive, empathetic and creative. The school offers diversified programmes at undergraduate and graduate levels, notable alumni are often recognised to be successful in these fields; Animation, Interior Architecture, Film and television, Illustration, Multimedia, mixed media and installation, and Painting.
RISD is collaborating with Brown University, offering a dual degree course so you can integrate your art and design study with other subjects offered by Brown University. Rhode Island is known for its dynamic art scene. It has its own museum that focuses on Art & Design archives and provides opportunities to students to exhibit artworks to the public.
9. Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
Founded in 1978, SCAD is globally recognised in art education. It is a private, non-profit and accredited institution. In 2021, more than 15,000 students from more than 100 countries enrolled***.
SCAD is culturally diverse and it provides over 40 majors and over 75 minors to its students***. Among the extensive selection of undergraduate majors, here are some of the most popular choices: Animation, Fashion, Film and Television, Graphic Design and Illustration. The school strives to provide excellent art education and prepare students for their creative careers. Its graduates are employed by some of the most reputable companies in various fields, such as 3M,
Google and Pixar.
10. School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
Founded in 1866, SAIC is part of the Art Institute of Chicago, a world-class museum. SAIC provides excellent education in studio arts and exhibition opportunities for its students. It has nurtured numerous leaders in the Art & Design field, influencing the world to great extents. Graduates found successful careers as fine art artists, sculptors and more. Some of the most notable artists were trained at SAIC, such as Georgia O’Keeffe, LeRoy Neiman and Walt Disney.
SAIC is known for its faculty. All facilities and resources create an exceptional learning environment; the curriculum applies an open structure and it promotes critical thinking, investigation and creativity. All parties who contributed towards designing the curriculum, are helping you to become a professional in the industry.
11. School of Visual Arts (SVA)
Located in New York City and being established for over 70 years, SVA is a very reputable art institute. Currently offering over 30 programmes across pre-college, undergraduate and postgraduate levels, the school emphasise on critical thinking, innovation and social responsibility. It maintains a flat organisational structure, allowing a degree of freedom for faculties to develop their courses.
SVA encourages its students to explore their creative ideas and to take risks when needed. The school is particularly well-known for its Animation, Film and Fine Art courses. Notable alumni include Bill Plympton, Harris Savides and James Jean. Its 41,000 graduates include Academy-Award, Emmy-Award and Grammy winners.
*According to QS World University Subject Rankings 2022.
**According to QS World University Rankings 2023.
***Facts and statistics of universities are available from their official websites.