In today's world, professionals versed in art and design are in high demand, particularly those who can use their skills in both the fine arts and commercial worlds. Those looking to embark on a career in the arts have a huge range of options for their training and education. In a new series, Art & Object delves into the top art schools and programs in the U.S. From public universities with state-of-the-art studios to solely arts-focused colleges with flourishing overseas programs, this list runs the gamut. With this list, we are looking at the Midwest.
The top tier art programs of the Midwest tend to be relatively small, private art and design schools. The average student body size for this top ten is 7,978 and the median is 1,923.
Many of these institutions feature programs in which students can get incredibly specific with their studies. Alumni networks seem tightly-knit and, in many instances, woven into the communities surrounding these schools.
Individuals looking to choose from a variety of arts-focused schools would do well to look to this region. And there are many other perks. From campuses that take a multifaceted approach to prioritizing wellness and sleep to schools with as many as thirteen distinct studio art departments, the top Midwest art schools offer students a wide range of educational environments and experiences.
While one doesn’t traditionally associate bustling urban hubs of arts and culture with the midwest, the area is home to Chicago, Detroit, the Twin Cities, and St. Louis, just to name a few.
In terms of overall gender and racial diversity, these Midwest schools hit an average 33.81 percent male and 59.84 percent white, similar to the other regions we've covered.
To determine its final rankings, Art & Object's editorial staff weighed the following factors: school reputation, tuition, cost of living, scholarship opportunities, fields of study, degrees offered, course diversity, faculty expertise, alumni reputation, student body diversity, student life in general, surrounding art scene, cultural opportunities, and post-graduation career help. While Art & Object ;has strived to craft a list in the most objective manner possible, we recognize that measures of "best" could include many other factors. With that said, here are the Art & Object selections of the best art schools in the Midwest. You can find our rankings for the Southeast, Northeast, West, Southwest, and our overall Top Ten here.
*Note: LGBTQ+ individuals may not always be accurately represented in gender data reported by institutions and organizations.