10 of the Best Fine Arts Colleges in the World

Sunday, December 31, 2023
10 Best Fine Art Schools In The World

Students passionate in fine arts know how much commitment, sacrifice, and hard work their degree will require. It is not an easy or forgiving career path, but the rewards are often more enriching than a typical career choice. With fields of study ranging from filmmaking, acting, and directing to painting, sculpture, photography, and dance, the fine arts challenge human beings to think creatively, commit fully to their vision, and go boldly in the direction of their dreams.

Luckily, some schools understand this issue and work hard to cultivate environments to help you achieve your dreams. And so, without further ado, here is the low-down on ten of the best fine arts colleges in the world and why attending one of them would help bolster any student’s start to a fine arts career.


Royal College of Art (RCA)

The Royal College of Art in London has been ranked the number one college for art and design for the past six years for a reason. Students at RCA can expect an international experience focused on quality art education and innovation. RCA encourages students to make art for the sake of the future.

University of the Arts London (UAL)

UAL offers a wide variety of subjects for art and design students to explore and does so with the utmost prestige and respect. With innovation in mind, students at UAL are also connecting the arts with STEAM-related fields, providing students with many reasons to pursue an education at UAL.

Parsons School of Design at The New School

Parsons in New York City allows students of art and design to collaborate with other booming industries in one of the busiest cities in the world. Students also get to focus on sustainability and innovation as they pursue and refine their creative careers.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Founded as early as 1877, RISD in Providence, Rhode Island is another top art and design school that allows students to merge their passions with their visions for the future. Students can focus on concentrations like nature, culture, and sustainability or computation, technology, and culture – just to name a few.  

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences offers interdisciplinary programs for students interested in the arts to merge those interests with innovative visions of the future. Studying art at such a tech-focused college allows students to use their passions to change the world for the better in a lasting and collaborative way.

Politecno di Milano

Politecno di Milano is perhaps best known for its architecture and design programs. Located in a city with a rich history of artistic vision, Milan, Italy, this school also allows students to pursue their artistic dreams while applying them to a better future for humanity as a whole. 

Aalto University

Espoo, Finland’s Aalto University, boasts an internationally renowned program for arts, architecture, and design. Like many of the colleges on this list, Aalto seems to have hyper-focused programs in which students are encouraged to help solve major world issues like climate change.

Glasgow School of Art (GSA)

The Glasgow School of Art in the United Kingdom is one of Europe’s leading higher education institutions, preparing students for lifelong careers in visually creative disciplines. GSA focuses heavily on student research as well, opening the doors for many possibilities as students decide how they want to focus their studies.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)

In Chicago, SAIC welcomes students interested in making art meaningful through exploration, scholarly creation, and bravery. With a diverse and determined student population, SAIC provides a global fine arts education and ensures students not only know the history behind their medium, including those that helped shape it, but also the history they hope to make themselves.

Pratt Institute

New York’s Pratt Institute, with campuses in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, fosters a learning environment focused on making positive changes in society. Students at Pratt learn to be responsible, ethical, and expert leaders in their fields. Not only is Pratt a diverse institution, but its location in New York City allows students access to a variety of inspiration from which to create. 


As you can see, every single one of these fine arts colleges would provide a superb education for fine arts students. They are highly valued programs complete with the resources, networking opportunities, and intense training necessary for success. They take the artistic route seriously and have produced some of the most influential artists of their generation. 

Any hopeful fine arts student should take a look at these colleges and more as they search for an artistic and educational home. 

And, for students worried about the financial commitment of a top fine arts college, there are specific fine arts-related scholarships, like the NSHSS Visual Arts Scholarship to help students just like you. Apply for as many as you can to help finance your journey toward a career in the fine arts.