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
26$48,200$97,800

26Wentworth Institute of Technology
Early Career Pay$48,200
Mid-Career Pay$97,800
27$53,400$97,700

27Otis College of Art and Design
Early Career Pay$53,400
Mid-Career Pay$97,700
27$55,700$97,700

27College of the Holy Cross
Early Career Pay$55,700
Mid-Career Pay$97,700
29$51,600$97,200

29University of California-Santa Cruz
Early Career Pay$51,600
Mid-Career Pay$97,200
30$51,200$97,100

30Pratt Institute-Main
Early Career Pay$51,200
Mid-Career Pay$97,100
30$49,500$97,100

30Hampshire College
Early Career Pay$49,500
Mid-Career Pay$97,100
32$55,700$97,000

32Yale University
Early Career Pay$55,700
Mid-Career Pay$97,000
33$48,700$96,900

33University of California-San Diego
Early Career Pay$48,700
Mid-Career Pay$96,900
34$50,900$96,300

34Fashion Institute of Technology
Early Career Pay$50,900
Mid-Career Pay$96,300
34$47,400$96,300

34Brandeis University
Early Career Pay$47,400
Mid-Career Pay$96,300
36$52,700$96,200

36Westmont College
Early Career Pay$52,700
Mid-Career Pay$96,200
36$52,300$96,200

36University of Southern California
Early Career Pay$52,300
Mid-Career Pay$96,200
38$47,500$96,100

38Gustavus Adolphus College
Early Career Pay$47,500
Mid-Career Pay$96,100
39$55,100$95,700

39Santa Clara University
Early Career Pay$55,100
Mid-Career Pay$95,700
40$54,900$95,500

40Denison University
Early Career Pay$54,900
Mid-Career Pay$95,500
41$51,700$95,100

41Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Early Career Pay$51,700
Mid-Career Pay$95,100
42$52,800$95,000

42Emory University
Early Career Pay$52,800
Mid-Career Pay$95,000
43$55,200$94,800

43Carnegie Mellon University
Early Career Pay$55,200
Mid-Career Pay$94,800
44$49,800$94,600

44Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Early Career Pay$49,800
Mid-Career Pay$94,600
44$53,700$94,600

44Trinity College
Early Career Pay$53,700
Mid-Career Pay$94,600
46$53,300$94,500

46San Jose State University
Early Career Pay$53,300
Mid-Career Pay$94,500
47$48,000$94,400

47Boston University
Early Career Pay$48,000
Mid-Career Pay$94,400
47$49,900$94,400

47University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Early Career Pay$49,900
Mid-Career Pay$94,400
49$48,200$94,300

49University of California-Santa Barbara
Early Career Pay$48,200
Mid-Career Pay$94,300
50$56,900$94,200

50California College of the Arts
Early Career Pay$56,900
Mid-Career Pay$94,200
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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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