Of the thousands of art schools in America, a few stand out in the art world as the best schools based on academic value. Some are dedicated art schools and some are colleges of general education with outstanding departments.
Rhode Island School of Design invites the highest profile in art and design, and superlative respect among experts in the art world. A student with a degree from RISD will have their resume 'moved to the top of the pile. It is, however, not without substantial investment. At an average cost of over 100,000.00 per year, only the very serious artist major need apply. That may, in fact, be a large part of the respect given to graduates of this school.
Yale University, already one of the most respected centers of education in America, also enjoys the status of having one of the best art schools in America for undergraduate work. Yale offers courses for several areas of visual art and techniques, as well as art history – a firm foundation for more intense graduate work.
The Art Institute of Chicago offers one of the most unique opportunities for interpolation of art education and history to be found. AIC is actually located INSIDE one of America's finest museums offering an outstanding experience for those who relish saturation in their passion and discipline.
Cranbrook Academy of Art, located in southeast Michigan north of Detroit, has developed its reputation for modernism in architecture as well as many other genres in the field.
At Maryland Institute College of Art the primary focus (no pun intended), is on visual arts such as graphic design, illustration, animation, and video film. A graduate from MICA applying at Pixar or Disney would be well positioned for serious consideration.
Virginia Commonwealth University, a public college, offers some eighteen undergraduate majors from fine arts to many of the modern forms of digital and design. This is a quality education at a more affordable price. But, it's not a shoe-in. Entrance is moderately difficult, so this is not for the student tenuous about a career in this field.
California Institute of the Arts is well-known as the first academy to offer programs in both visual and performing arts. This only makes sense since Hollywood is the entertainment industry's capital. Majors are offered in fine arts, theater, dance and music.
Carnegie Melon University College of Art offers a well-rounded choice in schools of Art, Architecture, Design, Drama, and Music commensurate with CMU's overall reputation.
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) offers possibly the most interesting variety in majors at their School of Arts and Architecture. Majors in World Arts and Cultures, Ethnomusicology, and Urban Design are definitely for out-of-the-box thinkers looking for highly specialized careers.
Art Center College of Design, a private college located in Pasadena, CA, originally built its reputation as a voluntary school. It still maintains a real-world focus on craftsmanship, technique and professionalism. If practical skills and abilities are your goals, Art Center's roads to real-life clients such as Nike and Disney have earned it a position as one of the 11 best design schools in America.