15 Best Art Schools In The World

While there are actually no standard educational requirements for artists in general, most artists regardless of the nature of their profession, prefer to complete formal training through a community college or university.

The formal education for a career in the arts field is available from associates to doctoral levels. Many artists choose to complete a certified art program to enhance their skill set and give their careers a boost.

The art education programs are designed based on your area of personal interests, including fine arts, graphic design, multimedia or animation. Most art or fine arts programs offer a concentration that will cover your specific field of study such as crafts, design, multimedia, visual arts, photography, motion graphics.

Art as a profession involves a lot of passion and creativity and if you notice this passion and love for the arts in you, it is a great choice to pursue your passion. These are the best art schools you can attend in the world and what makes them and the job outlook.

What Makes a Great Art School?

All over the world, the institutions that teach students to think creatively across disciplines and provide them with the instruction and resources that will enable them to fulfil their artistic potential are considered to be the best art schools.

These schools are considered the best because they are forward-thinking, well-respected with constantly evolving curricula that always keep pace with changes in the art world. They are also recognized internationally due to the successes of their alumni.

These schools offer a variety of majors in the arts disciplines that usually leads to fulfilling careers. They also have cutting edge facilities that allow students to train and exercise their unique individual creativity, which may involve wielding a giant metal sculpture or creating realistic 3D animations and experiences.

Programs in the digital arts are prominent features of most of these schools because knowledge of design programs and other art-making software is essential in the current artistic landscape for the students who will want to pursue a related career.

The best art schools also contribute to the life of their students in many important ways through their excellent career counselling services to make the transition from student to professional as smooth as possible for their students. Many even go the extra step to provide their students with the opportunity to work at internships or in other professional development contexts while in school so that they can build their experience and be prepared to kick off their professional life.

At a great art school, if you really love art, you will find yourself consistently inspired through interactions with some of the most interesting and creative people you’ll ever meet which will help you develop your passion and become a very competent professional.

What do I need for an Arts School?

The majority of the arts programs will require you to complete the foundational classes in drawing, colour theory and design regardless of your area of personal interest. You may also decide to dig deep into digital design software. You also will get the opportunity to develop a professional portfolio that will be crafted from the works you have created in the process of your education.

Advanced art degree programs may be of great leverage to you to migrate into another arts-related career while improving your skills. The advanced art degree programs may include visual and critical studies, design and art education. Admission into these graduate degree programs will require you to submit a portfolio of your original work.

The art world houses a lot of media which include painting, drawing, sculpture, crafts and multimedia. Typically, artists are self-employed professionals and they can practice their crafts as art directors, in-house artists such as animators, illustrators, graphic designers, interaction designers, fine artists. Fine artists might have a personal studio where they produce their art and display it in galleries or museums.

Why attend an Art School?

As an aspiring artist, an art school might be a good starting point for your career. At art school, you will have to choose from the art majors offered at many art schools which include animation, graphic design, painting, photography and sculpture etc. Art schools that are members of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) not only teach art but also offer a curriculum with full liberal arts and science requirements.

While some artistic careers do not require a formal degree, it doesn’t mean that the time spent to acquire one is useless because art schools offer a ton of benefits for future career artists, even if they already have some of the skills they need to thrive in their career.

Some of the major reasons to consider attending a great art school include:

  1. Learning from experienced art professors: Most of the professors that will teach you at art school are artists themselves with relevant experience. These professors can help students refine their skills and avoid some popular difficulties young artists might face in the field.
  2. Professional personal mentors: Students at art schools get the opportunity to be mentored by their professors and also from a large network of school alumni, helping them to discover their strengths, weaknesses and learn how to market their skills
  3. Structured environment: Art schools provide an environment to keep the students motivated. Learning these skills on your own could take a you a lot of years but art schools provide an environment that students learn much quicker.
  4. Access to equipment: State-of-the-art equipment which students would not easily access on their own are provided for students so they are able to use them during their academic career.
  5. Studio space: there are spaces for all over the campus for students to produce their art works, no matter the kind of art. Art schools may also provide individual studios for students as well as group studio areas that allow the students to focus on their work.
  6. Community: artists find it useful to be among a group of like-minded artists so they can stay motivated. Students at art schools enjoy the luxury of being surrounded by people who are passionate their craft as this creates opportunity to exchange ideas, constructive criticism and a great camaraderie among classmates.
  7. Internship and job opportunities: most professional artists, corporate art-related departments, art-related organizations seek out art students when looking to fill positions. Many art schools offer career centers that can help students find employment after graduation.
  8. Learn other useful skills: students at art schools don’t just learn about art, they also get to learn other great skills that can be very useful in their careers like how to market their skills, pricing their work, business management, public speaking and even writing skills. These skills also prove to be very useful in the business world.

What is the Job Outlook after attending an Art School?

In the year 2019, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 0% increase in employment opportunities for craft and fine artists. Multimedia artists and animators could see a growth of about 4% during the decade while graphic designers will experience an employment decline of 4%.

Multimedia artists and animators earned $77,700 in a year, graphic designers earned an average of $53,380 per year while crafts and fine artists earned an average income of $49,120.

The Best Art Schools in The World

The top art schools compiled in this list will equip you with the relevant skills, methods and techniques you need to develop your talents and will also help bring your creativity to the light.

The list of these best art schools in the world that will help you as an aspiring artist develop and strengthen your passion and creativity in the art field are as follows:

Berlin University of The Arts, Germany:

This university was established in 1696 and is the largest art school in Europe and among the top art schools in Germany specializing in architecture, music, design, fine arts and performing arts. This university offers quality education and is equipped with the latest infrastructure to keep up to date with the ever-evolving world of art.

Admissions into the school is open to both citizens and foreigners. If you are eager to pursue a career or develop their talents in the arts then, you should consider pursuing admission into this school. You can apply in person or online.

Visit their website at http://www.udk-berlin.de/

School of the Arts Institute of Chicago, USA:

This art school was established in 1866. It is situated at Illinois, Chicago, USA. It is one of the best art schools and globally recognized as ‘The most influential art school’. It has the world’s third largest museum filled with different art collections which would help your educational experience at the school.

The School of the Arts Institute of Chicago adopts the ‘interdisciplinary curriculum’ which means that you don’t necessarily need to strictly follow only your major at school as you can choose from the variety of media to fulfill your vision.

Any path you decide to take will teach and prepare you with variety of skills and knowledge to become successful in your area of preference.

Visit their website at https://www.saic.edu/

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London:

Popularly known as ‘Central Saint Martins (CSM)’, this school was established in 1898 and is one of the best art schools in the world but it is affiliated to the University of the Arts, London. CSM offers full-time courses at foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. It is well designed and conducive for students learning.

CSM is well recognized for bringing together a diverse range of creative practices for students to choose based on their personal choices and anyone you choose you will taught to become successful at it with the help of cutting edge facilities provided by the school.

Visit their official website at https://www.arts.ac.uk/colleges/central-saint-martins

Banhaus University, Germany:

Banhaus University was established in 1860 and is globally recognized as one of the best art schools in the world. This school is has created lots of popular domestic and international alumni who have made major contributions in the art world.

The school offers a variety of art courses for students to choose their majors and be trained to be a master in their major. They offer an international oriented range of bachelor, master and doctoral degree program.

Visit the official school website at https://www.uni-weimar.de/en/university/start

ArtCentre College of Design, USA:

ArtCentre was established in 1930, located in Pasadena, California USA and ranked as one of the best art schools in the world.

Students in this school get to be trained both theoretically and practically by practicing artists and designers who guide and teach them the step by step process of how to design and create their kind of artistry.

Visit the school website at http://www.artcenter.edu/

Glasgow School of Art, Scotland:

Glasgow school of art was established in 1845 and situated at Scotland, United Kingdom. It is ranked the third best art school in the United Kingdom and one of the best in the world.

It is known for its world-class specialist research in all forms of art. The school has the biggest art and design community in Scotland and has contributed generously to the art field. Students in this school, are trained on how to bring creativity to life through research with the right amenities provided by the school.

Visit their website at http://www.gsa.ac.uk/

Bremen University of The Arts, Germany:

Established in 1873, Bremen University is regarded as one of the best art schools in the world with both domestic and global reputation in all kinds of art and is also counted as one of the most successful art institutions.

The institute brings both music and fine arts under one roof and offers different degree programs which include undergraduate, postgraduate, masters etc in a wide variety of courses in fine art, digital design and music.

Visit their website at https://www.hfk-bremen.de/en

Braunschweig University of Arts, Germany:

This school was established in 1952 and is the second largest college of arts in Germany and one of the best in the world. It specializes in the arts and oriented internationally to award doctoral and professional degrees.

The school offers a wide variety of art courses in undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs. The students in the school also enjoy the access to the school’s sophisticated laboratories and workshops provide by the school.

Visit their website at https://www.hbk-bs.de/en/

Pratt Institute, USA:

Pratt Institute was established in 1887 and located in New York City, USA. It is known as one of the world’s multicultural epicenter for design, culture, arts and business.

The school adopts an interdisciplinary curriculum style to promote collaborative and creative strategies for design thinking. Students of the school enjoy access to state-of-the-art facilities provided by the school.

Pratt institute also offers a wide variety of courses in architecture, art, design and liberal arts and science in undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs.

Visit their website at https://www.pratt.edu/

Central Academy of Fine Arts, China:

The Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) was established in 1918 and located in Beijing, China. It is managed by China’s ministry of education and known as the most prestigious and renowned art institution in China and is recognized as one of the best art schools in the world.

Students here are thoroughly trained to become professionals in any field they venture into with creative thinking and competency.

The school has a museum which includes precious collections and thousands of Chinese painting scrolls dating to Ming dynasty which may be a source of inspiration and experience to the students.

Visit their website at http://www.cafa.edu.cn/en/

Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design, Germany:

Established in 1761, It stands to be one of the oldest art schools and has been contributing to the art space for a long time which has earned them global recognition as one of the largest art schools in Germany and in the world at large.

The school has over thirty state-of-the-art workshops where students are equipped with technical, practical and job-specific knowledge and also given the opportunity to implement their ideas and concepts using analogue and digital techniques.

Visit their website at https://www.artandeducation.net/directory/79684/stuttgart-state-academy-of-art-and-design

ECAL, Switzerland:

Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL) is an art school known for its excellence in art projects, innovations and collaborations and has earned its place in the list of the best art schools in the world.

The school offers six Bachelor degree program in fine arts, Graphic design, Industrial design, Cinema, Photography and Media and Interaction design. The school has world-class research facilities for students to express their creativity and develop their full potentials.

Visit their website at https://www.lausanne-tourisme.ch/en/P8703/lausanne-university-of-art-and-design-ecal

ArtEZ University of the Arts, The Netherlands:

This art school offers bachelor and master degree programs in music, design, fine arts, fashion, theatre, creative writing, architecture and interior and dance which you can study in any of the branches.

ArtEZ University trains students for professions which art, knowledge and creativity plays a major role.

Visit their website at https://www.artez.nl/en/home

California Institute of the Arts, USA:

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) was founded by Walt Disney in 1961 and it has since then earned itself the recognition as one of the best art schools in the world due to its excellence and contributions to the art world.

The school is specifically for students who want to pursue a career in both visual and performing art.

To learn more about this school visit their website at https://calarts.edu/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do grades matter for art school?

Generally, art schools do not care about grades but having a strong portfolio is a requirement. Grades can often be used as a determining factor between two applicants of equal artistic ability.


While going through a formal education may not be necessary to become an artist, It is important to become a professional in your field of study which you stay ahead of the competition.

As a professional artist, you easily contribute to the art space, go to places that you never dreamed of, make a name for yourself and money as well. The art schools mentioned above with their unique advantages will help you grow as an artist and launch your professional career as an artist.



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