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:$85,200Mid-Career Pay:$138,700
Rank:2School Name:Dartmouth CollegeEarly Career Pay:$65,600Mid-Career Pay:$125,700
Rank:3School Name:The New SchoolEarly Career Pay:$61,600Mid-Career Pay:$120,000
Rank:4School Name:Cornell UniversityEarly Career Pay:$62,100Mid-Career Pay:$119,200
Rank:5School Name:Colgate UniversityEarly Career Pay:$65,500Mid-Career Pay:$117,400
Rank:6School Name:University of Notre DameEarly Career Pay:$63,900Mid-Career Pay:$116,300
Rank:7School Name:Brown UniversityEarly Career Pay:$60,600Mid-Career Pay:$113,700
Rank:8School Name:Georgia Institute of Technology-Main CampusEarly Career Pay:$63,700Mid-Career Pay:$113,100
Rank:9School Name:University of PennsylvaniaEarly Career Pay:$60,500Mid-Career Pay:$111,800
Rank:9School Name:Art Center College of DesignEarly Career Pay:$67,400Mid-Career Pay:$111,800
Rank:11School Name:Rhode Island School of DesignEarly Career Pay:$61,100Mid-Career Pay:$111,700
Rank:12School Name:University of California-DavisEarly Career Pay:$61,200Mid-Career Pay:$111,300
Rank:13School Name:University of California-Santa CruzEarly Career Pay:$56,900Mid-Career Pay:$110,100
Rank:14School Name:New York UniversityEarly Career Pay:$57,700Mid-Career Pay:$109,500
Rank:15School Name:Occidental CollegeEarly Career Pay:$59,900Mid-Career Pay:$109,200
Rank:16School Name:Yale UniversityEarly Career Pay:$65,200Mid-Career Pay:$108,900
Rank:16School Name:California College of the ArtsEarly Career Pay:$67,000Mid-Career Pay:$108,900
Rank:18School Name:Fashion Institute of TechnologyEarly Career Pay:$56,300Mid-Career Pay:$108,700
Rank:19School Name:University of Southern CaliforniaEarly Career Pay:$60,100Mid-Career Pay:$108,200
Rank:20School Name:Carnegie Mellon UniversityEarly Career Pay:$66,600Mid-Career Pay:$107,200
Rank:21School Name:University of Virginia-Main CampusEarly Career Pay:$57,300Mid-Career Pay:$107,000
Rank:22School Name:Ithaca CollegeEarly Career Pay:$54,000Mid-Career Pay:$106,700
Rank:23School Name:Boston UniversityEarly Career Pay:$53,900Mid-Career Pay:$106,200
Rank:24School Name:University of California-BerkeleyEarly Career Pay:$62,900Mid-Career Pay:$106,000
Rank:25School Name:Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityEarly Career Pay:$56,800Mid-Career Pay:$105,900

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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.