Art school rankings are oftentimes the first source of information that an aspiring student goes to. People love lists, after all-they quantify and organize all the mess and confusion of comparison, streamlining hundreds of schools into clean numbers and orderly lists. Yet there are so many of them out there nowadays, and it seems that every conceivable organization releases a new one each week. So which art school rankings should you put your faith in?
The answer is none. Well, at least, not absolutely. While the convenience that art school rankings provide is appealing, the fact remains that you shouldn’t take their words (and numbers) as the final say. Creators of the lists try to weight in factors such as graduation rate, retention rate, faculty-student ratio, graduate or postgraduate school acceptance rate, faculty, financial aid, and a whole host of other variables that seem very important-but that’s a lot of “rates,” isn’t it? And in the end, those rates, those numbers, may not be what matter the most to you. What about the student body, for example, or the weather, or whether or not there’s a place to get a good burrito near campus? These are all extremely personal factors that vary from student to student, and, try as they might, ranking lists simply aren’t able to take them into consideration.
Yet these lists live on because, though they aren’t the end-all solution to choosing your ideal art school, they can help you along the way. While the fact that School A is #8 and School B is #12 shouldn’t make your decision for you if you’re struggling to choose between the two, you might still note that School A consistently places among the top ten for architecture students. You can glean a good deal of information about the way that your school is perceived by the world at large, which can affect the value that future employers place on a diploma from said college.
“Somewhere in the world is the world’s worst doctor. And someone has an appointment with him tomorrow.” – George Carlin
George had a point about that – somewhere there IS the worst doctor. What makes that person so bad? Probably has to do with education. Find Your Art School is in the business of helping you find the best education for you. Going to one of the best photography degree programs will pay off in dividends within 5 years, as you’ll start in a position that has more upside. We know the top interior design classes are not always the ones you were expecting, and that the best fashion design colleges to go to if you want more art schools than trade schools. We can tell you what to consider about location when it comes to our list of top film degree programs. We’ve dated and had long, messy break-ups with people in both California fashion schools and best graphic design schools. Location plays a surprising role for the top performing arts colleges. What does it take to get into the best architecture degree programs? Gaming designers are the new rock stars. Go to one of the top game design schools and be at the top of the game.
Rankings are a way to keep colleges honest as well. Lower ranked institutions might be willing to spend a bit more on student supplies and facilities if they think it’ll help them move up the list, and a higher ranked one might take the areas for which they’ve received to most praise and try to improve them even further. It’s the kind of behind-the-scenes struggle that benefits the student in most cases.
With those words of warning, take art school rankings with a grain of salt. But you should still take a look at them. Here we’ve picked out some of the most reliable and most popular.
Popular Ranking Sites
- US News & World Report: Unranked Specialty Schools for Fine Arts and Performing Arts
Other Informative Resources
Hopefully, a quick look into some of the ranking trends and consistent top-placing art schools will have given you a general feel for what education opportunities are out there for you. Now it’s time to really roll up your sleeves and starting taking an in-depth look into individual institutions, and what better way than to request information directly from the schools and see what they have to say in their own defense?