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MAR 17, 2020 • 10 min read
Pursuing a creative future is an admirable journey to begin, one which many students shy away from.
However, if art and design are your passions, then you must pursue them! You may regret, as some parents would put it, choosing the “safe option” (but on the flip side that may lead to a mid-life crisis).
Here are the top ten universities in the world to study art & design based on factors such as employer reputation, academic reputation, research citations per paper, and the H-Index (a way of measuring both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar).
The world’s only wholly postgraduate university for art and design, the RCA offers 24 programs across the art and design disciplines, delivered through six schools. The six schools focus on architecture, design, fine art, humanities, communication and material.
The RCA is extremely supportive, welcoming and experienced with accepting international students into their programs, though it can be difficult and competitive to secure financial aid given RCA is a wholly postgraduate school.
Second on this list for a reason, full-time MIT students may take subjects for credit at Harvard University, Wellesley College, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt). Students also have access to The Center for Art, Science & Technology (MIT CAST) facilitates, which is a place on campus for exchange and collaboration among artists, engineers, and scientists.
According to MIT CAST websites, it’s “a place committed to fostering a culture where the arts, science and technology thrive as interrelated, mutually informing modes of exploration, knowledge and discovery.” While admitted applicants gain access to a great deal of world-class resources, gaining admission is highly competitive.
Because RISD and Ivy League school, Brown, have adjacent campuses on College Hill, students at either institution may cross-register for classes at the alternate campus at no extra cost. Typically, RISD students use this opportunity with Brown to study subjects such as foreign languages, advanced sciences or math classes. The most popular undergraduate majors are Illustration, Industrial Design, Graphic Design, Film/Animation/Video, and Painting.
In 2015, Parsons School of Design at The New School was considered number one school in the world for Art & Design and in 2017 remains in the top five having only slipped down to sit at number four in the world.
Located in Greenwich Village, New York City, arguably the most beautiful quarter of Manhattan, The New School is ideal for creatives and international students with all the inspiration and necessities you need on your doorstep.
Parsons offers more than 30 degree programs across five schools: (1) School of Art and Design History and Theory, (2) School of Art, Media and Technology, (3) School of Constructed Environments, (4) School of Design Strategies, and (5) School of Fashion.
Located in the heart of London, UAL has six colleges within the university specialising in different fields of Art & Design including art, design, fashion, media, communication and performing arts. As its name suggests, UAL is located in London, which according to the QS World University Rankings, is considered the third best student city in the world. London's high student city ranking is based on desirability, affordability, graduate employment and student experience.
Offering students a choice of 27 majors and concentrations across four unique schools, including architecture, art, design, and liberal arts and sciences.
Pratt Institute is a highly desirable college for both its courses and its locations in Manhattan, New York City and Brooklyn, New York.
Given the liberal arts degrees available, students have the option to apply to Pratt Institute as "undecided" if they are unsure of their major in the Schools of Art and Design. This gives students with the passion and drive for design the opportunity to explore different fields before committing to a major.
SAIC offer courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels, covering an absolute smorgasbord of fields to study, from theory, to administration, film, design, fashion - the list goes on and on.
Additionally, SAIC also offers a liberal arts program, which emphasises the critical role that humanities, mathematics, and science plays in an artist's development. SAIC would be a great college to choose if you’re passionate about Art & Design, but open to a career in other fields.
You’ve most likely heard of Stanford because of their world-class Computer Science course, however, Stanford is more than just a STEM-focused college.
In fact, Stanford is so adamant that design and creativity plays a vital part in the progression of society that it has opened the Stanford d.school! The d.school is a 100% opt-in course for students and faculty members to explore their creativity and develop their design skills.
Stanford believe indulging your creativity and creative thinking can help you develop in areas such as problem solving, memory, and academia.
An Ivy League school offering a world-class art and design course might surprise you, but Yale is a place for creatives and academics alike.
Yale also offers Liberal Arts programs, allowing students to think and learn across many disciplines, not deciding on a major until their final year at college. This means exploring and uncovering your academic passions can shape your major during the time you study.
The college also is top of many other subject lists, meaning you can experience some of the world’s finest faculties and the world’s best classes - a rare luxury afforded at very few institutions. Attending Yale is ideal for the high achiever with a passion in many fields, not just Art & Design!
Located in Milan, Italy, Politecnico Di Milano is the only university in the top 10 for Art & Design from outside of the US and UK. If fashion is your passion, then Politecnico Di Milano is definitely one to consider, given it’s located in Milan, one of the fashion capitals of the world! While located in Italy, there are several programs taught in English at various levels of education in three areas, Architecture, Design and Engineering.
Now you've had a read about the best art and design colleges and universities in the world, why not take advantage of our free consultation service where we can discuss your options? Getting students placed in the top universities and colleges around the world is our specialty, we've placed thousands of students from all countries.