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.
The top art programs of the Northeast, especially private and specialized schools, are some of the most expensive in the nation. On average, these schools cost almost $45,000 in-state and just above $48,000 out-of-state. At the same time, the average art graduate’s salary for all schools listed is at least $9,000 more than the national average. Nearly all of these schools are on the small side, especially when compared to the national average. The median student body of this top ten list is 4,495 and the average is 7,005.
Many of these institutions offer relatively traditional artistic training, teaching skills most suitable to an artist who will end up in galleries or auction houses. While these venues may not currently be open, many of these schools have the resources to set up online exhibitions and to continue to offer career services without much, if any, delay.
Often located in or near centers of vibrant cultural and artistic life, these art schools offer invaluable exposure and enrichment opportunities to their students. Faculty members are often still actively working in the art scene and showing in prestigious gallery spaces. And yet, despite this wealth of cultural exposure, the degree of diversity at these schools often pales compared to regions like the Southeast. On average, white students make up about 62% of the student bodies at these Northeast schools and art programs.
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 Northeast. You can find our rankings for the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, West, and our overall Top Ten here.
*Note: LGBTQ+ individuals may not always be accurately represented in gender data reported by institutions and organizations.