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:$73,600Mid-Career Pay:$123,700
Rank:2School Name:Colgate UniversityEarly Career Pay:$60,700Mid-Career Pay:$111,800
Rank:3School Name:Dartmouth CollegeEarly Career Pay:$57,900Mid-Career Pay:$110,000
Rank:4School Name:The New SchoolEarly Career Pay:$55,300Mid-Career Pay:$107,000
Rank:5School Name:Rhode Island School of DesignEarly Career Pay:$55,400Mid-Career Pay:$104,900
Rank:6School Name:Brown UniversityEarly Career Pay:$56,200Mid-Career Pay:$104,600
Rank:7School Name:Georgia Institute of Technology-Main CampusEarly Career Pay:$56,200Mid-Career Pay:$103,900
Rank:8School Name:University of Notre DameEarly Career Pay:$54,300Mid-Career Pay:$103,800
Rank:9School Name:Cornell UniversityEarly Career Pay:$55,200Mid-Career Pay:$103,700
Rank:10School Name:Yale UniversityEarly Career Pay:$59,200Mid-Career Pay:$102,600
Rank:11School Name:Art Center College of DesignEarly Career Pay:$63,000Mid-Career Pay:$101,600
Rank:12School Name:Columbia University in the City of New YorkEarly Career Pay:$60,200Mid-Career Pay:$101,100
Rank:13School Name:New York UniversityEarly Career Pay:$53,500Mid-Career Pay:$101,000
Rank:14School Name:Fashion Institute of TechnologyEarly Career Pay:$51,800Mid-Career Pay:$100,800
Rank:15School Name:University of Virginia-Main CampusEarly Career Pay:$52,400Mid-Career Pay:$100,600
Rank:16School Name:California College of the ArtsEarly Career Pay:$59,900Mid-Career Pay:$100,000
Rank:17School Name:Otis College of Art and DesignEarly Career Pay:$54,500Mid-Career Pay:$99,600
Rank:18School Name:The Juilliard SchoolEarly Career Pay:$54,900Mid-Career Pay:$99,500
Rank:19School Name:University of California-Santa CruzEarly Career Pay:$53,000Mid-Career Pay:$99,400
Rank:20School Name:Pratt Institute-MainEarly Career Pay:$51,800Mid-Career Pay:$98,900
Rank:21School Name:University of California-San DiegoEarly Career Pay:$50,100Mid-Career Pay:$98,300
Rank:22School Name:Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and ArtEarly Career Pay:$54,600Mid-Career Pay:$98,200
Rank:23School Name:University of Southern CaliforniaEarly Career Pay:$53,600Mid-Career Pay:$97,200
Rank:24School Name:San Jose State UniversityEarly Career Pay:$56,000Mid-Career Pay:$96,900
Rank:24School Name:University of California-Santa BarbaraEarly Career Pay:$49,400Mid-Career Pay:$96,900

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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.