Even before there were schools, study, and practice of art was a very popular activity. Many famous artists from ancient times didn’t have formal education in arts and became some of the greatest painters and sculptors in history thanks to their raw talent.

Formal education in art is a relatively new concept. Education in art begins with hands-on training/experience under the tutelage of competent mentors by learning various skills required to be an artist. However, one can never learn all there is to know about Art; hence Art schools were established that provide theoretical and practical training in various aspects of Art.

With an increase in demand, there has been an increase in the number of Art schools worldwide, but not all Art schools are equally good. That’s why we are here to provide you with a list of the best art schools in the world:

Top Art Schools in the World

1. The Rhode Island School of Design

Located in Providence, Rhode Island, The Rhode Island School of Design is one of the most prestigious art schools. This university has educated many great painters who now work for Disney and Pixar Studios! A library with an extensive collection of books, prints, drawings, and pictures is also located.

Some students even work at notable companies like Google, and Apple! With a tuition fee that’s upwards of $58,000, it seems RI indeed remains one of the best places to study art if you’ve got some financial backing behind you. The duration for most courses offered by RISD is four years.

2. California College of the Arts

  • Study Program
  • Location: USA | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s

The California College of the Arts is another excellent art school located in San Francisco, founded back in 1907. The school’s mission is to create new work and offer artists opportunities to experiment with their craft – painting, printmaking, drawing, photography, or sculpture.

The tuition fee at California College of Arts costs $49,450 per year, making it one of the most expensive places on our list, but if you can afford it (or get a scholarship), then we would certainly recommend that you give this place some serious consideration. Each year the high school enrolls more than 800 students with over 150 different nationalities.

3. Savannah College of Art and Design

Savannah College of Art and Design ranked No. 1 for veterans in the 2019 rankings of the best colleges and universities, according to Military Times’ “Best for Vets: Colleges” list. The university has over 13,000 students studying now, which means it’s one of the biggest on our list! If you’re looking for somewhere that can give you a well-rounded education, then this could well be your place.

This art school is committed to academic excellence encompassing a broad range of disciplines in the arts and design and to providing an interdisciplinary curriculum taught by world-class faculty. The tuition fee here starts from $40,200 per year, making it more expensive than many other options. But if money isn’t an issue, then SCAD might be perfect for you!

4. University of the Arts London

Central Saint Martins at the University of the Arts London is another college that’s been around for over 150 years! This British school was founded in 1854 and has since then taught some of England’s best artists. It even claims to have helped shape the career of one Kate Moss who (despite her lack of formal qualifications) studied here back in 1988.

The tuition fee at this institution starts from £16,850, making it cheaper than other options on our list of top art schools but still more expensive than many American universities.

5. Parsons New School for Design

  • Study Program
  • Location: USA | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s

The Parsons New School for Design is an art school in Manhattan, USA. Since its founding in 1896, this university has helped thousands of students build the abilities they’ll need to succeed in their chosen field. The tuition fee at Parson’s starts from $43,510 per year, making this place one of the most expensive options on our list. However, if you’re able (or lucky enough) to get a scholarship here, this could be well worth considering!

The school offers degree programs in Fashion Design, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Jewelry/Metalsmithing & Watchmaking, Photography, Publishing & Integrated Media Arts, and others!

6. Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute was initially founded in 1887 and has helped many become better artists. Located in Brooklyn, New York, this art school claims to have influenced the artistic career of some big names, including Frank Stella, who graduated here back in 1954.

The tuition fee at Parson’s starts from $42,000 per year, which makes it one of the more expensive options on our list. If you’re able to secure a scholarship, this could be an excellent option for you!

7. École des Beaux-Arts

  • Study Program
  • Location: France | Degree/s Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s, Ph.D.

The École Nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSBA, National Superior School of Fine Arts) is one of the most prestigious French art schools. This institution can boast of having two significant artists as their alumni, Camille Pissarro, who graduated in 1864, and Mary Cassatt, who studied here briefly during her time at the Pennsylvania Academy. The tuition fee for École des Beaux-Arts starts from €4750 per year, making it more affordable than other options on our list. If you’re looking to save money, then this might well be your place.


If you want to be a painter or an illustrator, then the best art schools in the world will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to get your art career off to a flying start. The best art schools also offer the opportunity to meet like-minded people and get involved in an exciting, creative community. Hopefully, our list can help get you closer to your dreams than ever before!


We hope this article on the best art schools in the world was informative and insightful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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