Art Market Blog – The Worlds Top Art Schools

art school Art Market Blog   The Worlds Top Art SchoolsWhen looking at an artists cv to determine whether their work would be a good investment there are several things you should look for (which I have outlined in previous posts) one of which is the art school that they attended. Having attended a top art school is a sign of talent, commitment and desire to achieve. Listed below are some of the worlds top art schools which all art investors and collectors should become familiar with so that you know which schools to look for on an artist’s cv.

The Slade School of Fine Art is concerned with contemporary art and the practice, history and theories that inform it. It approaches the study and practice of art in an enquiring, investigative, experimental and research-minded way, consciously contributing to the lively discourses of contemporary art, nationally and internationally. The Slade’s foundation in 1871 was the result of a bequest from Felix Slade who envisaged a school where fine art would be studied within a liberal arts university. The School’s location in UCL and in the centre of London, provides excellent opportunities for students to access a wide range of learning resources and research opportunities.

Goldsmiths is all about the freedom to experiment, to think differently, to be an individual. We bring creative and unconventional approaches to all of our subjects, but everything we do is based on the highest academic standards of teaching and research.

Royal Academy
The RA Schools are founded upon the disciplines of painting, sculpture and printmaking. These disciplines are fundamental to the traditions that the Schools are proud to uphold.
The Schools offer students of exceptional ability and promise the opportunity to develop their ideas and working practices and provide a foundation to their careers as professional artists

Pratt Institute
The mission of Pratt Institute is to educate artists and creative professionals to be responsible contributors to society. Pratt seeks to instill in all graduates aesthetic judgment, professional knowledge, collaborative skills, and technical expertise.

Camberwell College of Arts
Camberwell is one of the world’s foremost art and design institutions and we’ve welcomed students to South London for over a century, many of whom have stayed on in the area making it the place for artists to live and work.

Rhode Island School of Design
Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), founded in 1877 in Providence, RI, is a vibrant community of artists and designers that includes 2,200 students from around the world, approximately 350 faculty and curators, and 400 staff members. Each year more than 200 prominent artists, critics, authors and philosophers visit our historic College Hill campus.

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design
Central Saint Martins provides specialist education and research in the fields of fine art, fashion & textiles, film, video and photography, graphics & communication design, three dimensional design, theatre & performance and interdisciplinary art & design.

The Art Institute of Chicago
As a leader in art education for more than 140 years, SAIC provides the inspiration for those who grasp the complexity of our culture and strive to make a contribution of their own. Our students, faculty, and alumni are the makers of images, words, objects, and sounds that forever shape and alter our world

Yale University
Yale University comprises three major academic components: Yale College (the undergraduate program), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools. In addition, Yale encompasses a wide array of centers and programs, libraries, museums, and administrative support offices

California Institute of the Arts
The nation’s first art institute to offer BFAs and MFAs in both the visual and performing arts, CalArts is dedicated to training and nurturing the next generation of professional artists, fostering brilliance and innovation within the broadest context possible. Emphasis is placed on new and experimental work and students are admitted solely on the basis of artistic ability

University of Art and Design Helsinki
The University of Art and Design Helsinki is an international university dedicated to
design, audiovisual communication, art education and art. It is the largest university
of its kind in Scandinavia and has a strong and active international presence.
The University founded in 1871 is a pioneer in research and education.

Oslo National Academy of the Arts
The Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO) is no ordinary institution. It is a creative meeting place of varied disciplines in the arts – from the stage to the studios and workshops. It is an academy where the personal as well as the collective expression is explored and tested

Parsons the New School for Design
Parsons focuses on creating engaged citizens and outstanding artists, designers, scholars and business leaders through a design-based professional and liberal education.
Parsons students learn to rise to the challenges of living, working and creative decision making in a world where human experience is increasingly designed. The school embraces curricular innovation, pioneering uses of technology, collaborative methods and global perspectives on the future of design.

I am sure that there are plenty of other fantastic art schools but the ones that I have listed are the most prestigious and art considered to offer the best visual art programs.

 Art Market Blog   The Worlds Top Art Schools**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

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    • AST

      First, one should only buy art they really like. Second, if you are going to “invest,” do some research because not all art schools have programs in all disciplines or programs of equal quality.
      Example: Yale, Parsons and Pratt either don’t have ceramics at all or no MFA program. CAL Arts may be great for my MFA in ceramic sculpture and mixed media sculpture but my potter friend is better at Alfred University, undeniably the best school for ceramics. However, they don’t do large scale sculptures which I want and like their mixed media comprised of glass and lighting which I don’t.
      It’s not so cut and dry. Should have at least broken down the categories. US News / World Report does for US but it is the school that submits info. so money talks.

      • Marcela Lanna

        hi, i was wondering if you could help me on good art colleges, universities or institutes concerning art management, entertraiment management courses.

  • Jen Hagen

    How about Studio Incamminati, Philadelphia, PA or Grand Central Academy
    NYC, NY

  • Adam

    Don’t forget the now defunct Black Mountain College! It boasts an alumni including Twombly, Rauschenberg, Chamberlain, Noland, and DeNiro Sr.

    Now that is some talent!

  • Geraldine Cosentino

    I’m surprosed that you haven’t metioned The Cooper Union in NYC. This is a prestigious arts and engineering school whose students attend on scholarships. Founded by Peter Cooper it is genarally ranked as one of the very top schools in the US.

  • Pallavi Chopra

    Hi Nicholas, awesome blog. I want to do a short tae term course in Art appreciation and I am based out of Hong Kong. Do you know of any in this part of the world?

  • Mike


    It’s for a good cause, it’s fun, it’s free to enter, and you could


    In order to raise awareness about its campaigns to save animals, IFAW, The International Fund for Animal Welfare is hosting a design competition.

    Entrants are asked to draw a new animal over the London Underground map using only the tube lines & intersections.

    Full Ts&Cs & rules can be found at under the competition section.

    Entries can be submitted until mid-May!

  • artforprofits

    Hi Mike,
    Great competition, thanks for posting

    Nicholas Forrest

  • createmo

    Thank you for your site :-)
    I made with photoshop backgrounds for myspace,youtube and ect..
    my backgrounds:
    all the best and thank you again!

  • Chris

    What about the Savannah College of Art and Design?

  • Nil

    I’d like your site,impressive and useful.I wonder if you know about scholarships for art school.I don’t want to use my parents’ money for study

  • Liza

    Thanks for the sites. These sites have great information. Getting the perfect art performance requires the ability to promote your work. But if you’re considering online colleges and universities I would recommend for SchoolPursuit(dot)com. provides valuable information to users that are researching schools, colleges, and universities.


  • Braylon


  • Leon

    What school did Picasso go to?

    Or shall we decide an artist’s merit on their artwork rather than the school they attended?

  • olgaistefan

    Northwestern, UIC, and U of C are also great schools! – art blog about art and culture in Switzerland

  • Scott Carruthers

    There are some things art schools can’t teach you, and that’s how to be original.

    A pompous art academic can preach all he/she wants!

    You either have your own ideas in your head or you dont, and if you do, who needs art school!

  • ESM

    Ok, I doubt Nicholas Forrest will answer but I have an important question for anyone who has some answers.

    I want to attend an art school in Australia. So, where is the best place (location and specific art school) to study art in Australia? I want to focus on drawing/painting. I want a school that will allow me to get an excellent education and make contacts that might help me succeed in the industry.

    Is it best to study art in Melbourne? I live in Sydney but I’ll move to Melbourne if it’ll make any significant difference.

    I want a really solid, excellent education so no fad kinda schools. Also, I’d like to know about anywhere that’d let me finish my BA in English lit while I study visual art.

    I know of most of the big art schools (i.e. sca, cofa, nas, vca, rmit). All of these schools say they’re great but I can’t find any objective information about any of them. Also none of them seem to allow students to complete a BA in the humanities at the same time.

    Please give me your advice…

    • Anonymous

      Lol. Probably way too late to reply to this, but just in case anyone else comes along who had your dilema: Monash University offers a BA/BVA (Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Visual Arts), Tasmania University offers a BA/BFA (Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Fine Arts) and COFA, through the University of New South Wales, offers a BA/BFA. For a solid art education at the foundation level (so a BFA, BVA or BCA-Bachelor of Creative Arts)-you’d be fine with either UNSW or Monash, both have a strong academic standing so you’d be well taken care of for your English degree as well as art theory components (they both have good reputations as far as practical work goes as well).

  • Ali

    Are the pieces from the Mesopotamian era priceless because the artists went to art school ? Obviously not. I’m insulted by your comment that someone would choose to buy art as a “good investment”. Artists put their heart into their work. When someone buys a piece of art, it should be because they fell in love with it, regardless of where the artist attended school. Many artists have produced beautiful work, and they have never been educated at all. And if you get into a good art school, that’s great. Just don’t let an artist’s education be the reason for choosing the piece of art, because there are surely people who would appreciate that piece of art more.

  • centennialcollege12

    Don’t forgot about Centennial College of Arts and Education. Here is the Link:

  • Marion

    Nicholas, thank you, very helpful. In fact, I am also very interested in Europe’s leading art schools. I came across the ZHdK Zürcher Hoschule der Künste and found their comprehensive, inter-disciplinary courses, the entire offerings, infrastructure etc. very interesting. The university as it is today is young, only two years, but it roots back a couple of hundred years since it is a merger of two other Swss universities. What is your opinion on this?

    Are you familiar with any other art school rankings of credibility?

  • Nature Photography

    thanks for your links guys. i like them all. thanks also for this blog. i appreciate it.

  • JSS

    We at the Jerusalem Studio School are quite proud of our efforts:

    and of our new summer program in Italy, open internationally to artists and students:

    We may be small, but we insist on excellence in art training!

  • Mr. Thumpton

    Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, IN. I went there, it was fabulous! It’s all about art, you don’t have to take one math or english class!

  • Wildstyles

    Graffiti artists forum, check the photo gallery, competition and news. WildStyles is the community for the Hip Hop Nation.

  • financial spreadbetting

    Think you capture most of the big ones.

  • Guest

    What about Beaux-Arts….probably one of the most prominent schools

  • Chris

    You should take into account that this list is out of the entire worlds Art and Design schools, they couldn’t just put every single A&D school on could they? I’m not really sure about some of the American schools though, especially seeing as there’s very little good art coming out of the US at the moment.

  • Martin … a progressive school for visual arts … maybe not as big as some of the others mentioned … but innovative in terms of connecting art students to personal, community and corporate outcomes.

  • Mishia

    Anyone can appreciate art; it does not take a college degree or someone explaining what you are looking at. True art conveys emotions and is able to tell a story without words, it allows the individual to interact without words. Americans are very egocentric always thinking the best schools are here, the most talented people are here. If one travel around the world one will see that the United States for all its greatness is third rate when it comes to art. Students do not learn basic drawing, professional artist are judging other artist at schools and competitions when they themselves do not have basic foundation. I am sure there are many talented people in America who could be great artist, but without proper schooling this will not happen.

  • theartist

    It funny to me that in the beginning of this article you suggest art collectors and in investor should check where an artist attended school. From what I’ve seen ,though a good school is important, The quality and beauty of the art work is far more important than where an artist attended school. Talent in this regard is not always measured by academic experience.

  • brett

    hi, im interested in programs in interactive arts, multimedia and visual communications….anyone got any good recommendations?

  • Colenso

    What school did Picasso go to?

    Or shall we decide an artist’s merit on their artwork rather than the school they attended?

    An interesting, and valid, rhetorical question.

    Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso was born in 1881. From 1888, when he was seven, Picasso received his early formal training in figure drawing and painting from his fifty-year old father Jose Ruiz y Blasco (1838-1913).

    Jose Ruiz y Blasco was a teacher of drawing at the Escuela Provincial de Bellas Artes in Malaga. He specialised in images of doves and pigeons.

    In 1891, when Picasso was ten, Ruiz y Blasco moved his family to La Coruna and taught at the Escuela de Bellas Artes, where his son attended his ornamental drawing classes.

    In 1895, when Picasso was fourteen, following the death of Picasso’s seven-year-old sister Concita from diphtheria, Ruiz y Blasco moved his family to Barcelona and taught classes, which Picasso also attended, at the Escuela de Bellas Artes (“La Lonja”).

    When Picasso was sixteen, at the urging of his father and uncle, he entered Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando, Spain’s foremost art school, but, by now disliking formal instruction, soon withdrew from the program, preferring to learn from his observations of the collections of the likes of El Greco housed at Madrid’s Museo del Prado.

    Thereafter, it seems that Picasso was entirely self-taught.

  • Pele

    How could you have missed off the Glasgow school of art – 3 turner prize winners, 28% of nominees since 2005, virtually all of the artist chosen to represent Scotland at the venice biennale – massive international community and studio space in the mackintosh building – fantastic

  • Eddy

    The right art school can not only enable you to learn and improve upon existing artistic ability and techniques, but it can also prepare you for an exciting career doing something you love.

  • Jovio

    Welll, I guess there is a reason for not mentioning the Royal College of Art.
    I have been thinking about applying for this school as it looked as the best one in many places.
    Could you give your opinion, please?

  • Dan

    Are any of these schools based in Australia? If not, would you have any recommendations for the best art schools within Australia?
    Thanks, Dan.

    • S14091988

      1. Victorian college of the art, University of  Melbourne
      2. College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales

       Sydney Uni, Monash Uni, RMIT Uni and Tasmania Uni all provide regular fine art course, but I personally believe VCA and COFA are two best college in Au

      • RichardMahony

        Just to be finickity, it’s in fact the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). As you say, VCA is part of the University of Melbourne. See

      • Brooklyn 2013

        So, do you think that VCA is the best? If so, why is it better than COFA? I am interested because I am trying to decide which one to go to and would love your opinion and help.
        Also, What about RMIT? What do you think of it?

  • Artschools

    I’m also interested in an answer to Dan’s question?!

  • S14091988

     Actually I think that ‘ École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts’ in Paris and ‘Royal Academy of Arts’ in London ought to be the two best art schools in the world, but it is such a pity that accessing these two schools are even more difficult than entering ‘Ruskin, Oxford’ and ‘School of Art, Yale’

  • Dominic Newman

    Central Saint Martins is without doubt the worlds top Art & Design institute. Just look at the list of their Alumni, it is staggering and encompasses a wide range of creative industries. Though I hear it is an incredibly competitive environment and you will have to be pretty special to get in. Our agency will invite applicants in to view there portfolios just because they have St Martins on their CV!.. crazy I know, but I guess it’s this level of clout that makes so many people want to study there.

  • Feagh

    I went to Central Saint Martins to do fine art and I thought it was rubbish. 

    • S14091988

      CSM is the best institute of fashion design instead of fine art

    • Think Results

      And why?  Overall dustbin-worthy?  Not a good fit for you?  

    • Claire

      I think Central Saint Martins is the type of course that works for some people and doesn’t for others. I study there, and it’s brilliant for me. And I know people who have transferred from other art schools to ‘CSM’ as their original course didn’t work for them. I think the most important part of the application process is choosing a program that works for the individual and not just choosing a college based on it’s prestige.

  • Wrencheralex

    RISD and Pratt are know in american for being the best art school NOT YALE. From a american art student prospective. So if your thinking about going to art school over here consider Pratt or RISD….

    • Guest

      Yale Art school is consistently ranked within the top three in the USA — especially its graduate program. I would say that overall Yale is a little better than Pratt but a little worse than RISD.

  • Beth

    You also should include the Florence Art Academy.

    • RichardMahony

      I assume you mean The Florence Academy of Art, “founded in 1991 by Daniel Graves to provide the highest level of instruction in classical drawing, painting and sculpture.” See

      • S14091988

        No,I guess what he mentioned, is ‘Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze ‘ (National Academy of Fine Arts in Florence), which  was founded in 1563 by Cosimo I de’ Medici under the influence of Giorgio Vasari. It is supposed to be most influential and oldest artistic academy since Renaissance. however, at the stage of modernism, its influence was greatly marginalized.

  • RichardMahony

    Die Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna), which “has been a leading European training centre for artists for more than 300 years”, ought to be in this list. See

  • Devyani Deshmukh

    Hi Nic, I’m planning to get into a fine art school, for painting most probably. but i also want to get in in the 2013-14 academic year. i will also need atleast 2 months to complete my portfolio. could you suggest some good schools for me, please. also, how good is the Paris American Academy?

  • stern

    Meh, I find all these rankings bullshit because:
    (a) They never mention great art schools outside the anglosphere, such as Repin Institute
    (b) This Helsinki university seems pure crap, I see the work of the students and teachers and everything seems very amateurish/weak
    (c) People graduated in Yale art school doesn’t end working with art 

    I understand that Royal Academy and California Institute are great, but the rest? There is a serious lack of criteria for these rankings.

  • Jacubs.

    CSM Is by far one of the world top art and design colleges for modern art . It excels in arts, performance and fashion! Wish I’d got in!

  • Maria

    Do you know anything about the Iceland Academy of the Arts?

  • Dot

    Hey…just wondering if collectors view any value in fine art pieces coming from a graduate of CSM, if they were on a design course instead of the Fine arts course?

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