Your Guide to Art School Resources and Information

What to look for in an art school

Choose an art school as you would any other school of higher education.
Consider the following:

  • Curriculum - Will the coursework lead you toward your specific goals? Will it be challenging enough to help you grow?
  • Instructors - Are the instructors up to par? Are they industry veterans with years of experience in the areas you are interested in?
  • Setting - Are the studios and classrooms well-maintained and up-to-date? Is the local environment one in which you will thrive creatively?
  • Placement - Does the school have a placement department that will help you in your job search after you graduate?
  • Reputation - What kind of reputation does the school have in the industry? What have their past graduates gone on to accomplish?
  • Cost - Can you afford tuition, books and supplies? What other costs will be involved - moving, housing, food/clothing, entertainment, transportation, etc.
  • Accreditation - This is a biggy, depending on your reasons for attending art school. Accreditation means the school has voluntarily submitted itself to (and passed) an industry-based peer review of its educational standards. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) is the organization that governs art school accreditation, as appointed by the United States Department of Education.

Get to know them

Learn as much as you can about each school that looks promising. Request a brochure or more information and read up on them. Prepare a list of questions or concerns you may have.

Pay them a visit

When you have narrowed down your list of potential art schools, make plans to visit the campuses if you are able. Talk with the instructors, as well as the students. A personal visit will show you things not shown in the brochure and can often be the deciding factor.

Another word of advice

Don't choose an art school simply because you think they will get you a job right out of school. A lot of schools will promise you the world. Take their marketing with a grain of salt. While it is true that companies hire students right out of certain schools upon graduation, that shouldn't be your main consideration when choosing an art college. In the end, getting a job comes down to the quality of your portfolio and strength of your artistic skills.

Accreditation Organizations

Related tags: art school, art schools, placement department, accreditation, accreditation organizations