​​Top 10 Art Schools in the Northeast

March 16, 2022

When it comes to honing your creative skills and expanding your knowledge in arts and design, secondary art education is not something many stray away from. We compiled a list of some of the best art and design schools in the nation based on retention and graduation rate starting in the Northeast.

Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design is a private art and design school founded as a co-educational institution in 1877. It is a prestigious art school, offering a top-notch curriculum and vast career opportunities.

Located in Providence City, the school started as an institution to provide accessible design education for women.

Because of its reputation as one of the best art schools globally, RISD attracts many local and international students. It is also one of the oldest institutions of higher learning devoted exclusively to the visual arts in the United States.

RSID ranked fourth in the QS World University Rankings of Art & Design programs in 2021. The school was also ranked sixth in Design Intelligence’s ranking of the Top Architecture Schools in the US for 2019.

The school’s specialization and good reputation make it one of the most expensive arts and design schools in the US. The total estimated tuition cost for undergraduate programs at RSID is valued at $77,280. Graduate programs cost a little higher at $82,490. These already include tuition, activity, academic and technology fees, books and supplies, housing and meals, and other personal expenses.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/risd1877

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RISD

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Located in downtown Boston, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, or MassArt, is a public visual and applied art school founded in 1873. It is the only publicly-funded independent art school in the US and the first art college to grant an artistic degree.

MassArt offers students an opportunity to study fine art and design in a collaborative, residential program, with classes taught by faculty and students. Its most popular majors are Illustration, Design and Visual Communications, Film/Video and Photographic Arts, and Painting.

With tuition that ranges from $15,000 to $40,000, MassArt offers classes with fewer than 20 students. Its undergraduates complete their degree programs with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, while master’s students can choose between fine arts, architecture, design innovation, and art education courses.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/massartboston

Twitter: https://twitter.com/massart

Parsons School of Design

Parsons School of Design is a private art and design college in New York City. Colloquially known as Parsons, it is one of the five colleges of The New School.

Founded in 1896, the school was meant to provide students with an institution that encourages and nurtures individualistic artistic expression. It was also the first in the US to offer fashion design, advertising, interior design, and graphic design programs.

Offering art students with undergraduate and graduate programs for architectural design, curatorial studies, textiles, and design and urban ecologies, Parsons has been consistently named the top art and design schools in the US and is among the top three globally.

Art students at Parsons are encouraged to engage in real-world learning, developed as critical thinkers makers that are sensitive to the current issues in the world. It emphasizes an artist’s responsibility to engage socially, culturally, and politically. 

A moderately selective school with an admission rate of around 50%, tuition costs at Parsons go as high as $50,000. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/parsonsschoolofdesign

Twitter: https://twitter.com/parsonsdesig

New Hampshire Institute of Art

A private creative arts college in Manchester, the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA), was founded in 1898 to promote the cultivation of the arts and sciences, to give a more general impulse and systematic direction to scientific research, and encourage and stimulate the study of history, literature, and industrial institutions. In 2019, it merged with New England College, a private liberal arts college.

A hidden jewel for art majors, NHIA is one of the leading art colleges in the region and a key player in art education in the country. It aims to educate, engage, and empower students through the arts.

Today, NHIA offers bachelor’s degrees in several artistic disciplines with concentrations in Painting, Photography, Ceramics, and Illustration. NHIA also provides a teaching credential, a master’s degree in art education, and comprehensive art history and theory classes. 

Studying at NHIA costs around $40,000, including boarding, books and supplies, and other expenses.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iad.nec

Twitter: https://twitter.com/iad_nec

The University of the Arts

The oldest school of music in the US, the University of the Arts or UArts is a private art university located in Philadelphia. It is part of the Avenue of the Arts in Center City, Philadelphia.

Offering two colleges–College of Art, Media & Design and the College of Performing Arts–UArts was founded in 1985 through a merger of the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts and the Philadelphia College of Art.

In1987, UArts became the largest institution of its kind in the nation, offering programs in design, fine arts, media arts, crafts, music, dance, theater, and writing.

UArts prides itself as the only art school in America that makes it possible to work and collaborate across traditional boundaries. It has more than 20 minor programs, enabling students to take interdisciplinary art classes. Its tuition costs around $40,000 a year.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/universityofthearts/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/uarts

Moore College of Art & Design

An all-female private art school, Moore College of Art & Design is a Philadelphia-based institution founded in1848. It is the first women’s art school in the US and was originally established to prepare women to work in the new industries post-Industrial Revolution. Moore College has evolved to include co-educational continuing education and graduate studies.

A relatively small college with a tuition cost of about $45,000, Moore College offers a fairly competitive admission rate of 47%. It is best known for students who would like to major in illustration, fashion and apparel design, and graphic design.

Niche rankings positions Moore College as number 17 for Best Colleges for Design in America, number 28 for Best Colleges for Art in America, and number 81 for Best Colleges for Film and Photography in America.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/moorecollegeart/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/moorecollegeart

Maryland Institute College of Art

The Maryland Institute College of Art, a Baltimore-based institution, a private art and design college founded in 1826, was originally meant to promote mechanic’s art in Baltimore.

It offers degrees in graphic design, illustration, multimedia, painting, photography, and sculpture for around $43,000 tuition.

The school is a great choice for students who want to hone and sharpen their skills further as MICA prides itself on turning promising talent into undeniable skill. It also claims to have an incredible painting program and of the best illustration programs in the country.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marylandinstitutecollegeofart/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mica

Tufts University

A private research university in Somerville, Massachusetts, Tufts University was founded in 1852 by Christian universalists that wanted to provide a nonsectarian institution of higher learning.

With many alumni recognized as Nobel laureates, Pulitzer prize winners, Emmy Awards, and Academy Awards winners, Tufts University is a prestigious school that provides top-notch education on par with the Ivy League schools in the country.

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University produces talented graduates that produce arts that provoke thought and inspire change for art students. 

Its Fine Arts program belongs to the top 10% in the US, ranking at 41st place. It also ranks number 9 for the Best College for Arts and 13 in Photography and Film. 

Studying in the Tufts usually costs $61,000 per year. The University is also highly selective in admissions, with only a 15% acceptance rate.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tuftsuniversity/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TuftsUniversity

Wesleyan University

Formerly a men’s college, Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts university located in Middletown, Connecticut. It was founded in 1832 by a Methodist Episcopal Church and was the first institution of higher education to be named after Methodism founder John Wesley. Today, Wesleyan University is a co-education secular institution.

The University is known for its open curriculum system that lets students explore academic interests and passions simultaneously. It also ranks fourth in the Best Colleges for Film and Photography in America, number 21 in performing arts, and 24 in music. In 2022, Wesleyan University will be number 17 among national liberal arts colleges in the US.

With a pretty steep acceptance rate of 16%, studying at Wesleyan University usually costs $60,000 annually.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wesleyan_u/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wesleyan_u

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, also known as PAFA, is a private, non-profit art school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1810 and chartered under the Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862, PAFA is the oldest art school in the United States and one of the oldest in the world. When you consider the school’s long history, it’s no wonder it’s still one of the most respected art schools in the country.

The school is easily underestimated and ignored by people because of its small size, but it is a very cost-effective school to learn Fine art. With tuition around $40,000 a year, PAFA offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts, certificate programs, and continuing education.

For art students who prefer established institutions with rich history and connections with the arts, PAFA is a perfect choice. It ranks number 69 among the Best Art Schools in the US. PAFA Museum is internationally known for its 19th and 20th-century American paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. It has access to important materials to study American art history, museums, and art training.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pafacademy/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PAFAcademy

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