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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Rank 
School Name 
Early Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 0-5 years experience
Mid-Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 10+ years experience
1$68,000$124,700

1Stanford University
Early Career Pay$68,000
Mid-Career Pay$124,700
2$54,800$121,600

2Dartmouth College
Early Career Pay$54,800
Mid-Career Pay$121,600
3$55,900$119,500

3Colgate University
Early Career Pay$55,900
Mid-Career Pay$119,500
4$60,000$113,200

4Harvard University
Early Career Pay$60,000
Mid-Career Pay$113,200
5$54,300$106,600

5Brown University
Early Career Pay$54,300
Mid-Career Pay$106,600
6$54,600$106,000

6Wellesley College
Early Career Pay$54,600
Mid-Career Pay$106,000
7$52,300$105,100

7Occidental College
Early Career Pay$52,300
Mid-Career Pay$105,100
8$52,700$105,000

8Cornell University
Early Career Pay$52,700
Mid-Career Pay$105,000
9$52,000$104,900

9The Juilliard School
Early Career Pay$52,000
Mid-Career Pay$104,900
10$46,300$104,000

10DePaul University
Early Career Pay$46,300
Mid-Career Pay$104,000
11$53,300$103,700

11Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Early Career Pay$53,300
Mid-Career Pay$103,700
12$53,200$102,100

12Duke University
Early Career Pay$53,200
Mid-Career Pay$102,100
13$52,200$101,900

13New York University
Early Career Pay$52,200
Mid-Career Pay$101,900
14$53,700$101,600

14Rhode Island School of Design
Early Career Pay$53,700
Mid-Career Pay$101,600
15$53,400$101,500

15The New School
Early Career Pay$53,400
Mid-Career Pay$101,500
16$57,800$101,300

16Columbia University in the City of New York
Early Career Pay$57,800
Mid-Career Pay$101,300
17$60,200$101,200

17Art Center College of Design
Early Career Pay$60,200
Mid-Career Pay$101,200
18$44,600$100,500

18University of California-Riverside
Early Career Pay$44,600
Mid-Career Pay$100,500
19$52,900$99,700

19Seattle University
Early Career Pay$52,900
Mid-Career Pay$99,700
20$46,200$99,500

20Emerson College
Early Career Pay$46,200
Mid-Career Pay$99,500
21$50,200$99,200

21University of Virginia-Main Campus
Early Career Pay$50,200
Mid-Career Pay$99,200
22$52,100$99,100

22Case Western Reserve University
Early Career Pay$52,100
Mid-Career Pay$99,100
23$49,800$98,600

23Oberlin College
Early Career Pay$49,800
Mid-Career Pay$98,600
24$51,300$98,400

24University of Notre Dame
Early Career Pay$51,300
Mid-Career Pay$98,400
25$53,800$98,100

25Williams College
Early Career Pay$53,800
Mid-Career Pay$98,100
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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.


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