Top Art & Design Colleges

Top Art & Design Colleges for Undergraduates

This is a list for my daughter, Grasshopper and Sensei, who wants to go to Art School but does NOT want to be a fine artist. I suspect she will end up doing commercial art, mostly because she dislikes working alone but, on the flip side, is amazing working collaboratively.

A Fairly Comprehensive List of Top Art and Design Colleges (but not Fine Art Schools)

So … I am not including Fine Arts programs that focus on students who want to exhibit in a museum or art gallery. My daughter also wants to go to Art School where she is pretty much in studio all day as opposed to liberal arts classes, so I have also not included liberal art colleges with great art and design departments.

We will use this page for our notes, updating and adding photos as we visit some of these art schools. We’d love your feedback as well!

 

Massachusetts Art and Design Colleges

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Summer Programs for High School Students (United States high school students who have finished their sophomore year and who are 16 to 18 years old). My daughter’s experience at the RISD Pre-College Summer Program 2016 (6 weeks, intense, great instructors, learned a lot!).

Tuition: $45,530

Acceptance Rate: 27.3%

Total Enrollment: 2,406

Location: Urban in upscale area in Providence, Rhode Island.

Notes: Great joint program with Brown University. Students there seem to sleep less than 4 hours a night. Ouch! Zoe’s Art and Design College counselor, Jeanette of Tiny Rotten Peanuts went here. Also Ann of Doodles and Jots went here. Both are helping her.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Summer Programs for High School Students (A pre-college studio art program for students entering grades 11 and 12)

Tuition: $11,900 for MA in-state

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Total Enrollment: 2,098

Location: Boston near Museum of Fine Arts, Northeastern University and Wentworth College. In a safe, urban envioronment accessible by Green Line subway.

Notes: My daughter did a vacation program there and loved it. Great faculty! My freshman dormmate is a faculty professor in the Graphic Arts department.
Massachusetts College of Art and Design

 

New York Art  and Design Colleges

School of Visual Arts

Summer Programs for High School Students (Pre-College is open to all students who will be enrolled in high school fall 2015.The summer program is scheduled for three weeks in July and classes are taught Monday through Friday from 9 am – 4 pm.)

Tuition: $33,560

Acceptance Rate: 76%

Total Enrollment: 4,195

Location: 209 E 23rd St near Baruch College in Manhattan.

Notes: My friend, the artist Jenny Brown, did her MFA here.

School of Visual Arts

 

Cooper Union

Summer Programs for High School Students (The Cooper Union Summer Art Intensive accepts resident and non-resident students, ages 15-18, who will be living in New York City or surrounding areas this summer during the course of the program.)

Tuition: Starting in the Fall of 2014, all students enrolling for the first time at Cooper Union receive a half-tuition scholarship currently worth $20,400 per year ($10,200 per semester). $40,800 is the value but $20,400 is actual cost.

Acceptance Rate: 8%

Total Enrollment: 939

Location: Cooper Union, is a privately funded college located in Cooper Square in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

Notes: My brother’s high school friend went here for architecture. He is amazingly talented and it was his first choice because it was 100% free when he went.

Cooper Union

 

New School—Parsons School of Design

Summer Programs for High School Students (Parsons offers summer programs for students from grade 3 through graduate school. Pre-college students can enroll in Summer Intensive Studies New York, Summer Intensive Studies Paris, or Parsons Pre-College Academy. College-age and adult students can choose from Summer Intensive Studies New York, Summer Intensive Studies Paris, and Summer Studies in Constructed Environments. )

Tuition: $43,560

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Total Enrollment: About 5,000

Location: 209 E 23rd St near Baruch College in Manhattan.

Notes: My neighbor, Tracy Coughlan, went here.

New School—Parsons School of Design

Pratt Institute

Summer Programs for High School Students (Every summer, Pratt sponsors a college-level program for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors at its Brooklyn campus. It is an intensive immersion experience; approximately 400 high school students, ages 16–18, seize the opportunity to experience college-level study in Pratt Institute’s PreCollege program.)

Tuition: $44,580

Acceptance Rate: 67%

Total Enrollment: 4,627

Location: Pratt Institute is a private, nonsectarian, non-profit institution of higher learning located in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, United States, with a satellite campus located at 14th Street in Manhattan.

Notes:

Pratt Institute

Canadian Art and Design Colleges

Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Summer Programs for High School Students (The Summer Institute for Teens at Emily Carr is a pre-university program that helps teens aged 15 to 18 ready themselves for an education at an art + design university with an immersive one-month experience that engages them through intensive studio practice and visual culture.)

Tuition: $17,900 (international student)

Acceptance Rate: not reported

Total Enrollment: 1,828

Location: Emily Carr University of Art and Design is a public post-secondary University located on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Notes:

Emily Carr University of Art and Design

 

California Art and Design Colleges

California Institute of the Arts

Summer Programs for High School Students (CalArts is the site of the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA), held from early July to early August. High school students, grades 8-12, may apply for admission to CSSSA and they do not have to be residents of California to attend.)

Tuition: $43,400

Acceptance Rate: 27.5%

Total Enrollment: 1,489

Location:The California Institute of the Arts, colloquially called CalArts, is a private university located in Valencia, in Los Angeles County, California.

Notes:

California Institute of the Arts

Art Center College of Design

Summer Programs for High School Students (Saturday High introduces a four-week intensive summer program for students seeking a rigorous in-depth experience in a chosen area of concentration. In addition to studio classes, weekly guest speakers (practicing artists and designers) will share their stories and career paths. Lectures about art and design will familiarize students with design history, cultural icons and design trends. The program will conclude with a final exhibition and celebration of student work open to friends, family and educators.

Classes meet weekdays at the South Campus from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.)

Tuition: $37,330

Acceptance Rate: 63%

Total Enrollment: 1,489

Location: Art Center College of Design is a private college located in Pasadena, California.

Notes:
Accdp1

Otis College of Art and Design

Summer Programs for High School Students (This intensive, four-week, pre-college program is for individuals 15 and older who wish to study at one of the top art and design colleges in the country.)

Tuition: $39,430

Acceptance Rate: 51%

Total Enrollment: 1,032

Location: Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design is L.A.’s first independent professional school of art. The main campus is located in the former IBM Aerospace Headquarters at 9045 Lincoln Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.

Notes:

Otis College of Art and Design

Laguna College of Art & Design

Summer Programs for High School Students (Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) offers summer courses that give aspiring art and design students opportunities to sample foundation courses while earning college credits. And what’s even better is that LCAD’s Pre-college courses are offered at a fraction of the cost of standard tuition. Just classes not sleepaway.)

Tuition: $27,300

Acceptance Rate: 39%

Total Enrollment: 448

Location: Laguna College of Art and Design, or LCAD, is a small private college located in Laguna Beach, California. With an enrollment of approximately 450 students, LCAD focuses on a fine arts program.

Notes: My mother-in-Law lives in Laguna Niguel.

Laguna College of Art & Design

Academy of Art University

Summer Programs for High School Students (Just classes not sleepaway.)

Tuition: $19,130

Acceptance Rate: not reported

Total Enrollment: 10,508

Location: The Academy of Art University, formerly Academy of Art College, is a privately owned for-profit art school in San Francisco, California, USA.

Notes:

 

Academy of Art University

 

Other U.S. Art and Design Schools

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

Summer Programs for High School Students: (This summer, experience one of the most challenging and rewarding opportunities for young artists and designers. Collaborate with MICA expert faculty, visit working professionals, earn college credit, learn how to put together an application portfolio that stands out, and dramatically expand your creative skills. Live, learn, and socialize on campus with other creative-minded students like you from all over the world. In addition, travel to the global centers of art and design: New York, Washington, DC, and even Italy—the birthplace of the renaissance.) My daughter’s friends did the summer program and are now at MICA.

Tuition: $43,760

Acceptance Rate: 47%

Total Enrollment: 1,872

Location: Maryland Institute College of Art is an art and design college in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. 1300 W. Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217

Notes:

MICA

School of the Art Institute Chicago (SAIC)

Summer Program for High School: The Early College Program (ECP) provides high school students with the necessary creative freedom to develop a sustained, structured dialogue between ideas and process. Mirroring the methods and practices of the contemporary artists and designers, students choose courses within focused disciplines, yet retain opportunities to freely explore across media in order to build strong skills and a portfolio that reflects their personal interests.

Tuition: $45,750

Acceptance Rate: 66%

Total Enrollment: 2,843

Location: Urban setting in Chicago

Notes:

SAIC

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Summer Programs for High School Students (This three-week, studio-intensive, residential program provides high school sophomores through seniors the opportunity to complete rigorous coursework and learn critical skills to prepare them for college. Students leave with three college credits and the confidence and experience necessary for any aspiring art student.)

Tuition: $34,876

Acceptance Rate: 64%

Total Enrollment: 688

Location: Minneapolis College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit four-year and postgraduate college specializing in the visual arts

Notes:

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

University of Cincinnati (College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning)

Summer Programs for High School Students (This camp designed for high school students grade 9-12 begins June 21–27, 2015)

Tuition: $26,334 (out of state)

Acceptance Rate: ?

Total Enrollment: 2,438

Location: The University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, commonly referred to as DAAP, is a college of the University of Cincinnati.

Notes:

University of Cincinnati (College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning)

Columbus College of Art and Design

Summer Programs for High School Students (Spend three weeks taking classes with our faculty, meeting professional artists, exhibiting your work, and exploring Columbus and its art scene. You’ll live on campus and take classes at one of the country’s best art and design colleges.You’ll leave campus ready to drive your colle
ge search. Grades 10-12)

Tuition: $30,840

Acceptance Rate: 69%

Total Enrollment: 1,486

Location: Columbus College of Art & Design is a private college of art and design located in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Originally founded in 1879 as the Columbus Art School, CCAD is one of the oldest private art and design colleges in the United States.

Notes:

Columbus College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design

Summer Programs for High School Students (SCAD Summer Seminars offer workshops for high school students who have completed their freshman, sophomore or junior years. Students gain valuable educational experience while developing their creative vision through exciting art and design assignments and projects.)

Tuition: $34,295

Acceptance Rate: 49%

Total Enrollment: 10,826

Location: Savannah College of Art and Design, is a private, nonprofit university with locations in Savannah, Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France.

Notes:

Savannah College of Art and Design

Maine College of Art

Summer Programs for High School Students (Pre-College is open to students who have completed their sophomore, junior or senior year of high school.)

Tuition: $31,560

Acceptance Rate: 95%

Total Enrollment: 352

Location: The Maine College of Art is a fully accredited, degree-granting art college in the city of Portland, Maine. Founded in 1882, the Maine College of Art is the oldest arts educational institution in Maine.

Notes:

Maine College of Art

* All images from Wikipedia or school website unless watermarked.

Top Art & Design Colleges

 

p.s. Related posts:

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

How to Draw Hands and Feet

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

25 Comments

  1. This is such a great list, Mia–thank you! My daughter is an aspiring artist, and I’d love to see her go to art school. Thanks for including links to summer programs. She’s only in 7th grade now, but I’ll keep this info handy for later!

  2. Ann

    I went to RISD for Industrial Design and loved it! Great list, of course MassArt is such a smart choice for Mass residents. And also I should say we hired a lot of grads from Art Center where they really prepare them for jobs.
    Ann recently posted…Fun Gardening Book and CraftMy Profile

    • Hi Ann,
      Thanks for your help too! My daughter is going to visit Continuum which is right near my house and hopefully they will tell her more about Industrial Design which she is very interested in! Thanks for your info about Art Center — that’s the one in Pasadena? We will be sure to visit it. My daughter wants to do a west coast sweep to check out art schools next year.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Our New Aquent Office is So Cool … (aka Can You Nap Here?)My Profile

  3. Ann

    Just saw Cooper Union is not totally free anymore that is a bummer. I applied there and didn’t get in, it is so competitive.
    Ann recently posted…Fun Gardening Book and CraftMy Profile

  4. Wow, what a list! So helpful for those seeking art and design schools. So much more available than when I was in college. Thanks for sharing. I know someone who will be interested in your post.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…Juneteenth for MazieMy Profile

  5. Awesome list, and it’s crazy to see the prices of these schools now!!! And the difference in prices. I loved RISD as well. I was initially going to go to Parsons, and I’m really glad I decided to stay out of NYC for undergrad; I think it would have been a big stressor on top of the college experience. It will be fun to follow which way G and S leans when she gets closer to making a decision!
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…TONS of Coloring Pages For AdultsMy Profile

    • Hi Jeanette,
      Thanks so much for all your help with her. She’s a typical teen and not really taking advantage of all the support she’s getting. I was surprised to learn that Cooper Union is no longer free. Half price though. But that art school in Canada is the same price and in such a great location. My daughter wants to do a west coast swing next year and will do a summer session at RISD. She loved the week at Mass College of Art which solidified her interest in Art and Design School (and wants to go there right now instead of high school LOL!).
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…How to Draw Hands and FeetMy Profile

  6. These sound like great programs!
    maryanne recently posted…Teacher Thank You Cards for Kids to MakeMy Profile

  7. Mia, this is a great list of art and design colleges! I am hoping to go to an art school as well. The Canadian school seems pretty cool. I have heard that Canada is a nice place. Going to school there might be fun!

  8. This is a great list but this is of no use for me as I am from India, Plz do suggest for the same.

  9. Sam

    Mia, this is a great list of art and design colleges! All the colleges information you shared will be very beneficial for every student. Thanks for sharing this amazing blog.

  10. Its such a nice post. Keep it up.
    nikita yadav recently posted…NEWS AND EVENTSMy Profile

  11. Great list! Some of these schools make me want to go back in studying again. I’ll forward this to my brother since he’s looking to get into a good art school next year.Cheers!

  12. Great schools! Thanks for listing them. All I need to do is choose which suits me best.
    Aldyn recently posted…Top 10 Pet Peeves of Game DesignersMy Profile

  13. Thanks for the list of this useful arts resources for studies. My niece likes anything art and Most of these books helped her really much. Though, she is till in artschool and you can recommend more useful art books for her if there is any for improvement.
    Micheal A recently posted…What Is The Meaning Of University Direct Entry, Who Can Apply, How And If Its Currently AvailableMy Profile

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