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Top Universities for Fine Arts in USA

ByPriyanka Baruah - Study Abroad Expert
Top Universities for Fine Arts in USA
May 29, 2019

Top universities for Fine Arts in USA

Bachelor of Fine Arts or BFA is a program which deals mainly with the study of Visual or Performing Arts. This program is also referred to as Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) as it comprises of subjects like painting, sculpture, photography, literature, animation, etc. Apart from this, the coursework of Performing Arts involves subjects like dance, theatre and music. Moreover, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree often entails an area of specialization to be preferred by the applicant as per his/her interest.

The BFA program, apart from educating the student provides ample assistance to develop their skills in order to enable them in becoming artists in their chosen field. Also, career opportunities for fine arts graduates are plentiful wherein they can prefer to be an art teacher, writer, fine artist, actor, art director, etc. At this stage, a lot of students are opting for a career in Fine Arts not only to earn high remuneration but also to achieve reputation and stature.    

Skill-set for earning a BFA degree

Below is a list of the basic skills which Top universities for Fine Arts in the USA look for in undergraduate aspirants seeking for admission:

  •         Sketching
  •         Drawing
  •         Visualization
  •         Artistic
  •         Presentation
  •         Communication
  •         Problem-solving
  •         Imaginative

List of Top 20 Universities for Fine Arts


University Name



Yale University

New Haven, CT


University of California--Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA


Virginia Commonwealth University

Richmond, VA


Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, RI


School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, IL


Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh , PA


Columbia University

New York, NY


Cranbrook Academy of Art

Bloomfield Hills, MI


Alfred University--New York State College of Ceramics

Alfred, NY


California Institute of the Arts

Valencia, CA


Maryland Institute College of Art

Baltimore, MD


Washington University in St. Louis

Saint Louis, MO


Bard College

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY


University of California--San Diego

La Jolla, CA


California College of the Arts

San Francisco, CA


Pratt Institute

Brooklyn, NY


Stanford University

Stanford, CA


Temple University

Philadelphia, PA


University of Wisconsin--Madison

Madison, WI


Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Source: US News

Job opportunities for a Fine Arts Graduate

Fine art graduates build a wide range of realistic and artistic skills as well as gain valuable knowledge of participating in exhibitions, competitions and building up a portfolio of work.

Jobs options related to the field are:

  •         Commercial art gallery manager
  •         Community arts worker
  •         Exhibition designer
  •         Fine artist
  •         Graphic designer
  •         Higher education lecturer
  •         Illustrator
  •         Printmaker
  •         Secondary school teacher

The average salary bracket of a Fine Arts graduate is often in between the range of $36,236 - $77,086. Reputed companies that hire graduates from Top Universities for Fine Arts in USA are: BrandMuscle, Inc., American Crafts, LC, International Business Machines (IBM) Corp., Amazon.com Inc and Civicplus.

Application Process to get into Top Universities for Fine Arts in USA

Undergraduate aspirants, who are eager to apply in USA, should prepare themselves for applications at least one year prior to applying. This includes shortlisting universities as per the requirements (ranking, location, budget etc.). Different schools have different guidelines for application submission. Once the universities are finalized and the application period starts the students are required to submit their secondary school report that is the 9th, 10th, 11th mark sheets and 12th  transcript (in case if the student is yet to appear for 12th board exams) or mark sheet (if cleared 12th already). Along with this, the student needs to share their letter of recommendations, essays (if any), resume and financial support letter. Also, the students have to submit their test scores SAT/ACT, IELTS/TOEFL etc. Some universities also organize interviews in order to judge the students’ abilities. Majority of the Top Universities for Fine Arts in the USA requires a portfolio to be submitted along with the application in order to judge the students skill-set in the field of art. Documents required for the application process are:

  1.   Scores and Transcripts
  2.   Test scores: SAT/ACT
  3.   English Proficiency report: IELTS/TOEFL/PTE
  4.   Letter of Financial Support
  5.   Essays: Common App or individual essays
  6.   Resume
  7.   Letter of recommendations
  8.   Portfolio

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