Best Schools For Art Majors by Salary Potential

Want to make a career out of your passion for art, but afraid of being a starving artist once you graduate? Check out design college rankings by graduate salary.

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RankSchool NameEarly Career Pay
Mid-Career Pay
Rank:1School Name:Stanford UniversityEarly Career Pay:$77,800Mid-Career Pay:$127,000
Rank:2School Name:Dartmouth CollegeEarly Career Pay:$59,600Mid-Career Pay:$111,800
Rank:3School Name:The New SchoolEarly Career Pay:$57,800Mid-Career Pay:$111,300
Rank:4School Name:Cornell UniversityEarly Career Pay:$58,200Mid-Career Pay:$110,500
Rank:5School Name:University of Notre DameEarly Career Pay:$58,700Mid-Career Pay:$109,700
Rank:6School Name:Colgate UniversityEarly Career Pay:$61,100Mid-Career Pay:$109,000
Rank:7School Name:Georgia Institute of Technology-Main CampusEarly Career Pay:$59,600Mid-Career Pay:$108,200
Rank:8School Name:Brown UniversityEarly Career Pay:$57,800Mid-Career Pay:$108,000
Rank:9School Name:Rhode Island School of DesignEarly Career Pay:$57,300Mid-Career Pay:$106,400
Rank:10School Name:Art Center College of DesignEarly Career Pay:$64,400Mid-Career Pay:$105,400
Rank:11School Name:New York UniversityEarly Career Pay:$54,700Mid-Career Pay:$104,600
Rank:12School Name:University of California-DavisEarly Career Pay:$57,300Mid-Career Pay:$104,100
Rank:13School Name:California College of the ArtsEarly Career Pay:$62,800Mid-Career Pay:$103,400
Rank:14School Name:Carnegie Mellon UniversityEarly Career Pay:$61,400Mid-Career Pay:$103,200
Rank:15School Name:Columbia University in the City of New YorkEarly Career Pay:$62,400Mid-Career Pay:$103,100
Rank:16School Name:Yale UniversityEarly Career Pay:$59,700Mid-Career Pay:$102,800
Rank:17School Name:University of PennsylvaniaEarly Career Pay:$57,300Mid-Career Pay:$102,500
Rank:18School Name:University of California-Santa CruzEarly Career Pay:$53,800Mid-Career Pay:$101,400
Rank:19School Name:Ithaca CollegeEarly Career Pay:$51,400Mid-Career Pay:$101,100
Rank:20School Name:Trinity CollegeEarly Career Pay:$58,900Mid-Career Pay:$100,700
Rank:21School Name:Fashion Institute of TechnologyEarly Career Pay:$52,800Mid-Career Pay:$100,600
Rank:22School Name:Occidental CollegeEarly Career Pay:$55,700Mid-Career Pay:$100,300
Rank:23School Name:University of Southern CaliforniaEarly Career Pay:$56,600Mid-Career Pay:$100,200
Rank:24School Name:University of California-BerkeleyEarly Career Pay:$58,900Mid-Career Pay:$100,100
Rank:25School Name:Pratt Institute-MainEarly Career Pay:$52,900Mid-Career Pay:$99,800

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College Student

If you have a passion for the arts but don’t want to live as a starving artist for the rest of your life, make a smart decision about where you earn your bachelor’s degree in art. You don’t have to go to an art school to embark on a successful career in art.

Art school has a bad reputation for leaving heavily indebted grads with low-paying jobs, but some art and design school alumni fare pretty well in terms of post-grad salaries. There are more than 100 colleges and universities included in PayScale’s list of highest-earning colleges for art majors, and many of the schools on this list prove that art majors can earn high salaries – you just have to be smart about which school you choose and what you study.