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Top 15 Best Art Schools in the World


Finding the best internationally recognized art schools in the world to nurture your skills, talent and passion for art is a great place to start as an intending art student. The best art schools in the world provide individuals with the knowledge and resources that will enable them to fulfill their artistic potential and become the best they can be.

This beautiful piece of article will give you a properly researched list of the best art schools in the world. We will also show you how to spot the best global art schools in the world when you see one. All you have to do is read through.

How to know the best art schools in the world

All the schools we have listed are prestigious and highly respected colleges with a great curriculum that is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs in the world of art.

These universities listed as the best art schools in the world offer a variety of majors in artistic disciplines that you can choose from.

Also, they offer their students access to advanced facilities that allow students to take their visions from concepts to reality.

They also often include programs in digital arts because of the growing relevance of the knowledge of design programs and other art-making software in the most recent artistic landscape. This makes it easier for students to develop their practice into a career.

Here are a few features you can use to spot these top art schools in the world:

  • Academic Reputation
  • Employer reputation (Employability)
  • Research impact
  • Curriculum
  • Successful Alumni
  • Facilities.

The best art schools in the world also offer you an opportunity to network, connect and be inspired by great minds and creative individuals in the field of art.

Top 15 Best Global Art Schools in the World

Having passion is not enough. Being able to develop your passion into something admirable requires knowledge. That’s where these best global art schools in the world come in.

If you love art, this is for you! These best and highly rated art schools in the world will help you develop your passion and take it to places you never even thought possible!

Read through as we tell you a thing or two about them below:

1. Royal College of Arts 

Location: London, United Kingdom.

Royal College of Art is the oldest art and design university in world that has been in continuous operation. this top art school was established in 1837 and has always maintained a tradition of innovation and excellence in creative education.

For five consecutive years Royal College of Arts has been ranked as the number one Art and Design university in the world by the QS World University Subject Rankings.

2. University of the Arts, London

Location: London, United Kingdom.

For three straight years now, QS World University Rankings has ranked the University of the Arts London (UAL) the 2nd best Art and Design school in the world.

The University of the Arts, London is Europe’s largest specialist art and design university. It has thousands of students from over 130 countries in the world.

The highly rated university was established in 2004. UAL comprises of six esteemed arts, design, fashion and media Colleges, which includes:

  • Camberwell College of Arts
  • Central Saint Martins
  • Chelsea College of Arts
  • London College of Communication
  • London College of Fashion
  • Wimbledon College of Arts.

3. Parsons School of Design

Location: New York, United States.

Parsons School of Design is located in New York City, a global centre of art, design, and business. In Parsons school of design students collaborate with peers, industry partners, and communities around the world.

This school of art has an interconnected network of design laboratories where students explore global phenomena and engage in research.

4. Rhode Island school of design (RISD) 

Location: Providence, United States.

Rhode Island school of design (RISD) was Founded in 1877 and is ranked amongst the best art schools in the world. Rhode Island School of Design stands elegantly amongst the oldest and well known colleges of art and design in the U.S. You can pursue a creative, studio-based education at RISD.

RISD offers degree programs (bachelor’s and master’s) in over 10 architecture, design, fine arts and art education majors. The college is located in Providence, Rhode Island, where it benefits from the vibrant art scene. The school is situated between Boston and New York; two other major cultural centers.

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Location: Cambridge, United States.

The Massachusetts institute of technology has about 12 museums and galleries on campus. The MIT Museum attracts about 125,000 visitors every year.

Students engage in music, theatre, writing and dance groups. The highly rated school of arts at Massachusetts has faculty members which include Pulitzer Prize winners and Guggenheim fellows.

6. Politecnico di Milano

Location: Milan, Italy.

Politecnico di Milano was established in 1863. Politecnico di Milano is amongst high performing universities in Europe, and the largest Italian university in Engineering, Architecture and Design, with over 45,000 students.

The university is interested in research as it plays a vital role in its mission. It also has about seven campuses situated in Milan and in other nearby Italian cities.

7. Aalto University

Location: Espoo, Finland.

Aalto University has a mission to build a society of Innovation, where breakthrough discoveries are combined with business thinking and design.

This institution of learning was established  through a fusion of three reputed and widely recognised universities in the Helsinki metropolitan area of Finland. This university offers over 50 degree programmes (bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level degrees). These degrees encompasses fields like technology, business, art, design and architecture.

8. School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Location: Chicago, United States.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago was established over 150 years ago. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has a record of producing some influential artists, designers, and scholars in the world.

Its fine arts graduate program has consistently ranked among the top programs in the U.S according to U.S. News and World Report.

SAIC approaches the study of art and design through an interdisciplinary method. This school uses resources, like the Art Institute of Chicago museum, galleries in campus, modern facilities and other world class resources too.

9. The Glasgow School of Art 

Location: Glasgow, United Kingdom.

In 1845, the Glasgow School of Art was established. The Glasgow School of Art is an independent art school in the UK. The Glasgow School of Art has a proven history of producing world-class, influential and successful artists, designers and architects.

Students of this great art school benefits from education which involves practical work in a studio. This form of education is aimed at training talented individuals who have passion for visual culture and arts.

10. Pratt Institute

Location: New York City, United States.

The Institution has a curriculum that keeps evolving while maintaining the founding vision of the institution.

The school is situated in New York. It benefits from the for arts, culture, design, and business which the city is known for. New York City offers Pratt students an exceptional learning experience and environment.

Programs offered by Pratt’s institution are known for their high quality. They have ranked amongst the best consistently. They have also produced some of the best artists, designers, and scholars around the globe.

11. Art Center College of Design 

Location: Pasadena, United States.

The Art Center College of Design teaches students skills which they can apply to the real world to become artists and designers. This prepares these individuals to take up roles in advertising, publishing and even become industrial designers .

Art Center was opened in 1930 with Mr Edward A. “Tink” Adams serving as its director. Art Center College of Design has a mission to teach students to create and influence change. Art Center prepares its students, artists and designers to make a positive impact in their chosen fields which will also benefit the world at large.

12. Delft University of Technology.

Location: Delft, Netherlands.

Delft University of Technology was ranked amongst the best art schools in the world by QS World University Rankings. Delft University of Technology excels in a number of subjects.

The Materials In Art and Archaeology of Delft University of Technology studies objects from cultures using ground breaking and analytical concepts and approach. They support the conservation of artwork and the technical art history through their experience in the elemental and structural characterization of materials.

13. Design Academy Eindhoven

Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Design Academy Eindhoven is involved in lots of research, as it seeks to drive educational innovation, and foster the development of knowledge.

Design Academy Eindhoven is a design school where individuals are educated in what they bring to the world and guided through the process. The school provides new tools, new areas of expertise and a broader set of design and research skills for their students.

14. Tongji University

Location: Shanghai, China (Mainland).

Tongji University’s College of Communication and Arts was established in May, 2002. The College offers bachelor and masters degree programs which students can choose from.

To cater for the needs of post graduate professionals (media and design), the established the following:

  • The Research Centre of Design Arts,
  • The Research Centre of Innovation Thinking,
  • The Research Centre of Chinese Literature,
  • The Centre of Media Arts.

15. Goldsmiths, University of London

Location: London, United Kingdom.

Goldsmiths is located in New Cross. The school has a international reputation built around creativity and innovation. This school is a member of the University of London, and is known for its high educational standards.

The quality art College offers teaching in fields like arts and humanities, social sciences, computing, and entrepreneurial business and management.

Requirements for an Art school

Your question might be, What do I need for an Arts School?

This should help in answering that question.

In the past art school applicants were selected for admission based on their art skills. However, most art schools and university studio art departments presently offer programs requiring their students to be academically knowledgeable.

You should know that fine arts programs could offer a concentration that will cover your specific field of study such as crafts, design, multimedia, visual arts, photography, motion graphics.

Deciding to study arts is great. However, there are some things you need for an art school. And we have some great suggestions for you below:

  • Passion and Creativity is needed.
  • Complete foundational classes in drawing, colour theory and design regardless of your area of personal interest.
  • You may also want to learn about digital design softwares.
  • Develop a professional portfolio. You can create this by compiling the works you have made over time, and during the course of your education.
  • High school transcripts and grade-point averages.
  • Submit SAT or ACT test scores.
  • Letter of recommendation.
  • Some other documents your art school might ask for.

Some Art schools use the Common Application for their application processes, but it is advised to also have a supplement.

Why attend an Art School?

An art school might be a good starting point for your career. As an aspiring artist, it can be a place where you can develop your creative abilities and become a professional.

Many of these top art schools in the world offer several art majors which may include:

  • Animation,
  • Graphic design,
  • Painting,
  • Photography and
  • Sculpture

which you will have to choose from.

Art schools that are members of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) do not only teach art but also offer a curriculum with full liberal arts and science requirements. Some careers in the artistic landscape may not require a formal degree. However, attending art schools offer lots of benefits for your career in arts.

Below are some reasons why attending an art school might be a great idea for your career:

  • Learning from experienced art professors
  • Refining your art skills
  • Access to Professional personal mentors.
  • Building a network/Community of people like you.
  • Structured learning environment
  • Access to State-of-the-art equipment and facilities.
  • Studio spaces for you to produce your art works.
  • Internship and job opportunities.
  • Opportunity to learn other useful skills like how to market your skills, pricing your artwork, business management, public speaking and even writing skills.

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