Best Undergraduate Art Schools 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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Bachelor's Only
Salary data for alumni who earned a bachelor's degree and did not go on to earn any additional degrees.
All Alumni
Salary data for all alumni who earned a bachelor's degree, including but not limited to those who went on to earn additional degrees from any school.
Rank 
School Name 
School Type
Degree Type 
School Sector
Early Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 0-5 years experience
Mid-Career Pay
 
Median salary for alumni with 10+ years experience
% High Meaning
 
% alumni who say their work makes the world a better place
% STEM Degrees
 
% degrees awarded in science, technology, engineering or math subjects
26Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$47,400$80,30041%0%

26Maryland Institute College of Art
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$47,400
Mid-Career Pay$80,300
% High Meaning41%
% STEM Degrees0%
27Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$43,500$79,40032%0%

27Columbus College of Art and Design
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$43,500
Mid-Career Pay$79,400
% High Meaning32%
% STEM Degrees0%
28Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$46,700$78,300N/A0%

28Columbia College Hollywood
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$46,700
Mid-Career Pay$78,300
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
29Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$40,400$78,20039%0%

29Moore College of Art and Design
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$40,400
Mid-Career Pay$78,200
% High Meaning39%
% STEM Degrees0%
30Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$41,500$77,30039%0%

30Kansas City Art Institute
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$41,500
Mid-Career Pay$77,300
% High Meaning39%
% STEM Degrees0%
31Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$40,900$73,000N/A0%

31O'More College of Design
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$40,900
Mid-Career Pay$73,000
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
32Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$43,500$72,40036%0%

32Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$43,500
Mid-Career Pay$72,400
% High Meaning36%
% STEM Degrees0%
33Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$38,000$72,300N/A0%

33Art Academy of Cincinnati
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$38,000
Mid-Career Pay$72,300
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
34Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$38,200$70,700N/A0%

34Watkins College of Art Design & Film
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$38,200
Mid-Career Pay$70,700
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
35Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$36,200$67,000N/A0%

35Pennsylvania College of Art and Design
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$36,200
Mid-Career Pay$67,000
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
36Art, Private SchoolBachelorsAndHigherPrivate not-for-profit$36,500$53,600N/A0%

36Maine College of Art
Degree TypeBachelorsAndHigher
School SectorPrivate not-for-profit
Early Career Pay$36,500
Mid-Career Pay$53,600
% High MeaningN/A
% STEM Degrees0%
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Good news – you can study art without ending up as a starving artist. Just pay careful attention to PayScale’s ranking of art colleges by graduate earnings for alumni who received their bachelor’s degrees at the art and design schools listed above. 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.

The Art Center, a design-focused private not-for-profit university in Pasadena, California, often produces alumni with high early career salaries, and the Pratt Institute frequently produces alumni with high median mid-career salaries.

In general, private not-for-profit art schools rank better in PayScale’s College Salary Report than private for-profit art schools.


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