10 Best Fine Arts Colleges in the US

A Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts (BFA) is recognized as one of the most impressive and influential degrees in the visual arts sector. Common careers sought after receiving a BFA include acting, art directing, fine art, writing, art teaching, and others. In America alone, there are hundreds of Fine Arts Colleges, and deciding which program is the best for you involves a number of factors.

The location of a school has a huge impact on the opportunities a student will be able to experience. Student life also is impacted by the size of a college, courses offered, faculty experience level, class size, tuition costs and other fees, as well as the average graduation rate.

Some questions you should ask yourself before selecting a Fine Arts college include, but are not limited to:

  • Is the program accredited?
  • Where is the school located?
  • What is the strongest art concentration/What is my desired concentration?
  • What opportunities are provided for enrolled students?
  • What is the graduation percentage?
  • What do they offer for post-grad opportunities?
  • What differentiates this school from others?

Some of the most well-known Fine Arts colleges across the globe include The Royal College of Art in the UK, Politecnico di Milano in Italy, University of the Arts London,  and Parsons School of Design in New York among many others.


Here is our list of the top ten schools in the US:

10. California Institute of the Arts

Tuition & Fees*: $43,986

California Institute of the Arts, also recognized as CalArts, is a globally recognized art college specializing in dance, writing, music, art, film and theater.

CalArts mission statement focuses on helping to drive students toward their goals, as well as challenge them to push themselves to their fullest potential. Niche.com rates the California Institute of Arts with a B+, and its reviews yield 4 out of 5 stars. CalArts graduation rate is approximately 65%.


9. Carnegie Mellon University School of Art

Tuition & Fees: Varies

Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) School of Art is well known for combining art and technology within its programs. CMU’s programs are recognized for its intensity and professional learning stature. CMU focuses on designing its art school to provide one of the most revolutionary learning experiences for its students. Carnegie yields an overall A+ score and an 88% graduation rate.


8. Columbia University School of the Arts

Tuition & Fees: $62,300

Columbia University School of the Arts is most prominently known for its Masters’ programs. Columbia provides focuses in film, visual arts, and writing, theater, film studies, sound arts, and more. This university is recognized for its diversity and globally recognized faculty. Columbia received an overall A+ from Niche.com and College Scorecard reports a 94% graduation rate.

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