Best Art Schools in the World

7 minute read
Best Art Schools in the World

Are you an aspiring painter ready to fill the world with the colours of your creativity? Do you find yourself at home amongst brushes, colours and canvas? Arts courses are designed to help passionate artists hone and nurture their talent. A part of the domain of fine arts, these courses help students practically materialise their potential. Through these courses and the constant exchange of ideas between students, one can witness their ideas taking shape in different forms. There are top-notch institutions and universities around the world that provide and offer various courses in arts. In this blog, we will explore the best art schools in the world and the vibrant courses and curriculum they have in store for budding artists around the world.

Top Art Schools in the World

The top universities in the world offer an array of art courses across multifarious specialisations and disciplines. For a student aiming to pursue a degree or diploma in art, being aware of the esteemed universities facilitates in making the disconcerting decision of choosing one a smooth process. Some of the best-ranked universities having venerated art schools are tabulated below include:

Sno.List of UniversitiesCountries
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)USA
2Stanford UniversityUSA
3Harvard UniversityUSA
4University of OxfordUK
5ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologySwitzerland
6University of CambridgeUK
7Imperial College LondonUK
8University of ChicagoUSA
9National University of Singapore (NUS)Singapore
10Princeton UniversityUSA
11Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)Singapore
12EPFL – Swiss Federal Institute of LausanneSwitzerland
13Tsinghua UniversityChina
14University of PennsylvaniaUSA
15Yale UniversityUSA
16Royal College of ArtUnited Kingdom
17University of the Arts LondonUnited Kingdom
18Parsons School of Design at The New SchoolUnited States
19Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)United States
20Politecnico di MilanoItaly
21Aalto UniversityFinland
22Glasgow School of Art (GSA)United Kingdom
23Universitat de Barcelona Spain
24The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts – The School of DesignDenmark
25School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)United States

Mentioned below is an overview of some of the top-notch art schools with their prospective courses and curriculum.

The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, UK

One of the most famous art schools in the world, it offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts to students coming from different parts of the world. This is a 3-year studio-based program in which students actively work with each other in close collaboration. These art courses are taught in studios organized to foster an environment conducive to learning and are exclusively designed for art and design. The students of Ruskin school are consistently in contact with their peers engaged in different courses in the university expanding their horizon of learning. The first year is designed in a way to let students familiarise themselves with one another and over the years they learn to collaborate to create pieces that are one-of-a-kind. The students have access to a variety of resources of the school and in the course of their study learn about the history of art, theory and criticism. 

The Yale School Of Art, Yale University, US

This is one of the most reputed art schools in the United States offering Fine Arts courses in various disciplines, such as graphic design, painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture. Artists and those showing strong inclination, talent and strong motivation for arts are provided with advanced courses in which they can find their potential and mould their talents into spellbinding creations through intense and extensive programs. The skills of the scholars are enhanced through dialogues and the exchange of thoughts and creative ideas. These ideas are critically reviewed, analysed by contemporaries, visitors and the faculty comprising of professional artists who have made their mark in this field. This healthy approach of interaction and suggestions help every individual work to the best of their potential.

Arts School, Imperial College London, UK

Located in one of the best students cities in the world, this is also among the top-rated art schools and universities in London. The art programs offered by Imperial College London encompasses a wide variety of fine art classes that are designed to provide advanced approaches and the best learning environment to the art students. During different art workshops and global art workshops, the university invites many distinguished professional artists to mentor students and provide them with different perspectives and dimensions of different artworks. Every art class includes up to 10 students allowing students to develop their skills and get individual attention. Themes of the workshops conducted include acrylics, block textile printing, chalks, charcoal, clay, collage, drawing, inks, mono-printing, plaster casting, three-dimensional textiles and watercolours allowing the students to try their hand in different forms and techniques of art.

Stuart Weitzman School of Design, University of Pennsylvania, US

The University of Pennsylvania offers a high-class undergraduate program in Fine Arts and design. The primary purpose of this course is to offer students an opportunity to learn about different art and design disciplines. The School offers an interdisciplinary major in fine arts and an integrative major in design. Both majors comprise delivering studio instruction, engaging seminar courses and interactions with visiting artists and designers. This aims to provide an intellectual framework to develop critical thinking and inculcate methods of research in students of art. The curriculum is designed to foster an understanding of art and design. The bachelor’s program in fine arts and design offers a series of student engagement programs that help students understand the practical world of art and engage in it.

Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton University, US

Being one of the renowned art schools, it offers a high standard program in Visual Arts. It aims at introducing students to the studio arts to imbibe an understanding of liberal arts education. It offers a wide range of courses, including painting, drawing, graphic design, photography, digital photography, film, video, and sculpture designing. The program offers students direct contact with accomplished faculty who have made a niche for themselves in the field. It also provides easy access to state-of-the-art technical, analogue, and digital labs, including darkrooms, ceramics facilities, welding, mould-making areas, a letterpress studio, film editing bays, and a renovated theatre for 35 mm and 16 mm film projections. This course is an interdisciplinary and multi-media approach to this field of study. The visual arts program helps general students to acquaint themselves with a rich learning environment and allows them to develop their skills in an environment that is creative, open and considerate.

  • Fine Arts
  • Graphic Design
  • Arts of Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Illustration
  • Animation
  • Painting
  • Sculpting  
  • Digital Communication Arts
  • Interior and Environmental Design 
  • Interior Architecture 
  • Design Innovation 
  • Animation and Visual Effects
  • Visual Communication- Photography
  • Architectural Studies
  • Film and Television
  • Master in Fine Arts
  • Interior Design
  • Architecture
  • Photography
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Planning
  • Sustainable Design
  • Built Heritage
  • Architecture
  • Museums
  • Cultural Heritage

Also Read: Best Art Schools in Australia

Best Art Schools in India

  1. Faculty of Visual Arts, Banaras Hindu University
  2. College of Art – Delhi
  3. Faculty of Fine Arts, Jamia Millia Islamia
  4. Sir J J School of Art,Mumbai
  5. Visva-Bharati, Kala Bhavan (Institute of Fine Arts) – Santiniketan –
  6. Department of Fine Arts, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra
  7. Department of Fine Arts, Stella Maris College, Chennai
  8. Bharati Vidyapeeth’s KalaMahavidyalaya College of Fine Arts,Pune –
  9. Department of Fine Arts,Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith
  10. L S Raheja School of Art, Mumbai

Must Read: Best Performing Art Schools in India

Best Art Schools in Europe

  1. Glasgow School of Art, Scotland
  2. École cantonale d’art de Lausanne, Switzerland
  3. Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland
  4. Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, Scotland
  5. Gray’s School of Art, University of Aberdeen, Scotland
  6. Paris College of Art, France
  7. Accademia di Belle Arti di Napoli, University of Naples, Italy
  8. Amsterdam School of the Arts, Netherlands
  9. Leith School of Art, Scotland
  10. LUCA School of Arts, Belgium
  11. Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK
  12. Jonava Janina Miščiukaitė School of Art, Lithuania
  13. Academy of Fine Arts, Umeå, Sweden
  14. Coventry School of Art and Design, UK
  15. Polytechnic School of Design, Italy

Best Art Schools in Canada

  1. Ottawa School of Art
  2. University of Alberta 
  3. University of British Columbia
  4. Ryerson University
  5. Ontario College of Art and Design University 
  6.  Nova Scotia College of Art and Design 
  7. George Brown College Center for Arts and Design
  8. Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design 
  9. Concordia University 
  10. Vancouver Institute of Media Arts

Must Read: Art Schools in New Zealand


What is the most prestigious art school in the world?

Some of the best art schools in the world are-
MIT or Massachusetts Institute of Technology
EPFL – Swiss Federal Institute of Lausanne, Switzerland
Tsinghua University, China
University of Pennsylvania, USA
Yale University, USA
Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
University of the Arts London, United Kingdom
Parsons School of Design at The New School, United States
Rhode Island School of Design, United States
Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Aalto University, Finland
Glasgow School of Art, United Kingdom

What is the hardest art school to get into?

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the hardest art and design school with the lowest acceptance rate in the world.

Are there any scholarships for fine arts?

Yes, there are several scholarships for fine art students-
Cultural Talent Search Scholarship Scheme Centre
Saryu Doshi Graduate Fellowships in Liberal Arts & Sciences
Inlaks Shivdasani Scholarship
Scheme for Scholarships to Young Artistes
Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship Program
Global Korean Scholarship

What are the best courses?

The most popular courses in art schools are-
Fine Arts
Graphic Design
Arts of Theatre and Performance Studies
Digital Communication Arts
Interior and Environmental Design
Interior Architecture
Design Innovation

Click here to Know More About Scholarships for Fine Arts in 2021!

We hope this blog has provided extensive details about prominent art schools and the courses they offer students to enrich their experience. Want to pursue a degree or diploma in Arts at one of the best art schools in the world? Let the professionals at Leverage Edu assist you in exploring the best course and university combinations and finding an ideal one that can equip you with the skills and exposure to build an amazing career in Arts! Sign up for a free career counselling session with us today!

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