Resources for Ranking Art Schools

From time to time, students ask us “What are the best art schools?”

It’s an obvious question that most art students ask in the course of seeking an education – but it’s also a loaded question without an easy answer.

Generally, we agree with the many “reasonable” critiques of such rankings in that we feel that every student has individual needs, and any attempt to distill these needs into a one-size-fits-all list of “The Very Best Art Colleges in the World!” is probably a disservice to the real needs of the student, whether they realize that themselves or not.

But, since it is a question that is asked so frequently, we feel that we must offer a response for our readers, so here it is (insert drum roll here):

There is no one best art school for everyone.

Now (after your heavy sigh at reading another non-specific response), to continue our discussion of this critical subject, we would like to acknowledge that rankings of art schools and colleges do provide an excellent starting point for those in the hunt for the best art education and the best art degree that they can find.

The key is for you to bring along an open mind and for you to consider as many of the possibilities and circumstances as necessary for your unique situation.

If you have taken a look around the Web, you have already noticed lots of material written on the subject of college and university rankings, school ratings and reviews, and critiques of education providers from current and former students. Some of these are specific to art schools, some are specific to business schools, others are specific to other disciplines or aspects of college life that you may want to consider (for example, “party schools rankings” and “best parking”). There are a great many sources, each with their own perspective and importance.

Below, we present some of these resources to you, and you may do with it what you will. But please also accept our caveat: “Beware of art school rankings! They can be misleading to you in your pursuit for finding the best art education.”

Rankings of Art Schools and Colleges

America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools (2009)

US News & World Report: Fine Arts Rankings, Tools, and Articles

StudentsReview.com: Top Creative Schools

PhDs.org – Rank Art History programs based on your own criteria

US News & World Report: Unranked Specialty Schools for Fine Arts and Performing Arts (2009)

Information about School Rankings in General

California State University at Chico, Miriam Research Library

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Education and Social Science Library

The Princeton Review: Best 351 College Rankings

US News & World Report: Education Guide

Rankings Articles

How to Get Into America’s Best Art Schools

Rankings Caution and Controversy