3 Best Colleges & Universities With Art Programs in the US

Choosing a college is like getting married. Love and passion should be the key reasons. They will be the basis for your long-term “relationship” with a college and ever-lasting marriage. Only a genuine interest in something or someone can make it last.

Marriage and college have more things in common. Both of them have a romantic aspect. And both of them become routine. University years are fun. But you should also be ready for “household chores”: writing essays, working with different types of in-text citations, and formatting papers. It may not be your favorite thing, but it is a necessity.

If such words as “routine” or “household chores” send shivers down your spine, you are a creative person. You might be keen on photography, theater, or design. The best thing would be to choose a college/university with a corresponding art program then.

Of course, you can “marry for convenience” and enter a law school. Or choose a medical university, and keep writing poems and novels as a hobby. But if expressions such as “Book review template” make your heart beat faster, why not make it your dream job? Just check out colleges with art programs. Perhaps, they have something to offer for writers.

Art is not always the easiest path. It needs inspiration. But if it makes you happy and alive, you will find it. We made a selection of the best American universities with art programs. Read on and get excited.

1. Rhode Island School of Design


Girls will understand this comparison. When you are going to get your nails done by a new technician, the first thing you look at is their nails. A website is the same litmus paper for a college of design. Rhode Island School of Design has it right.

You can practice hands-on learning and experimentation in the following areas:

  • Architecture
  • Furniture Design
  • Film/Animation/Video
  • Illustration
  • Industrial Design
  • Sculpture
  • Printmaking
  • Painting
  • Textiles etc

Join this community of critical thinkers and makers. Then, one day, you might be able to become part of the alumni community and continue your creative path together.

2. RICE University


You may wonder why the founders chose such a name for their institution. It is an abbreviation of key values of this university:

  • Responsibility (for happiness and success, for actions, words, and mistakes)
  • Integrity (in the classroom, lab, field, office, or play)
  • Community (another abbreviation reflects it: HICH? – How Can I Help?)
  • Excellence (never satisfied with a good result)

If your and RICE’s values coincide, it is the first step to considering their programs. You will find the following art schools within RICE University:

  • School of Architecture
  • School of Humanities
  • Art history
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Visual and Dramatic Arts
  • The Shepherd School of Music
  • Cello
  • Clarinet
  • Flute
  • Horn
  • Organ
  • Piano
  • Trombone
  • Trumpet
  • Tuba
  • Viola
  • Violin

The School of Architecture and the School of Music are global leaders in their fields. The commitment to creativity dates back to 1891, the founding year. Take a virtual tour of their website and fall in love with this majestic building and what it offers.

3. Brown University


Curiosity, the intellectual joy of students, and creativity drive academic excellence here. If a deep sense of purpose is something very familiar and close to you, join one of the art programs here and have an impact on the world.

Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Develop a critical understanding of how cultures differ and study both ancient and modern literary works in the Department of Comparative Literature.
  • The Visual Art Department teaches one to appreciate both contemporary and historical art.
  • Theater, performance art, dance, speech – all of that you can find at Theater Arts & Performance Studies.
  • The Department of Music advances the understanding of music as both cultural practice and creative expression.
  • Become sophisticated and knowledgeable about media and cultural forms through studying at Modern Culture and Media.
  • Study the History of Art and Architecture and join the renowned alumni who become:
  • museum curators;
  • intellectual property lawyers;
  • art administrators;
  • educators;
  • scholars.

A Dancing Dentist or a Dancer?


Of course, the list is not limited to these three options. The purpose of this article was more to give you a direction. These institutions approach art with due respect and can give you the wings to fly.

There is nothing wrong if you decide to become a lawyer who spends your free time playing the violin. I personally know a bank worker who is brilliant at painting and an orthodontist who confidently stands on pointe shoes. But they are equally good at servicing customers and correcting the occlusion.

The main thing is to be honest with yourself. If you imagine yourself in a “normal job” with art being a hobby – fine. But if you envision yourself as a designer, an architect, or a musician, make sure you check out Rhode Island, RICE, or Brown universities.

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