Best Art and Design colleges in New York

New York state supports a variety of artists and designers that pursued Bachelor of Arts degrees before entering the professional world. Art and design degrees can vary depending on a chosen specialty, though many require a combination of theory and art and design history with hands-on lab work. Graduates can pursue jobs at museums like MOMA and the Guggenheim, or be employed with a local art gallery as painters or craftsmen. 

Students interested in working in the art and design field should note many schools recommend pursuing a Bachelor in Arts degree, and potentially a master’s if they choose to further their expertise in fields like art history or interior design. Programs typically emphasize sketching and drafting, painting, and sculpting to ensure that students are familiar with a range of artistic mediums.  

Students typically earn their degree in art and design in person due to the tactile nature of the degree. Some of the nation’s largest artist and design employers are located in the New York City metro at galleries, museums, and private boutiques. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports over 1,300 opportunities for art and design graduates in New York.

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Best Art and Design colleges in New York for 2022

New York University
New York, NY

Since 1965, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts has been educating artists and scholars alike on cinema studies, television, dance, drama, photography and more. NYU undoubtedly attracts talented student artists from around the world. The learning opportunities that Tisch provides to budding artists goes beyond New York City. In addition to the school’s six New York City locations—including 721 Broadway, 111 Second Avenue, and 194 Mercer—Tisch has expanded its reach around the globe. In 2007, Tisch School of the Arts Asia opened in Singapore with an inaugural film master’s degree program. Since that time, Tisch Asia has added animation and digital arts, dramatic writing, and international media producing programs. In addition, through the NYU Global Network, students in London, Prague, and Shanghai can enroll in Tisch courses. In 2012, Tisch opened the NYU Game Center to give students interested in becoming game developers, designers, and even critics, the education they need to reach their career goals. Through its bachelor’s and master’s game design program, the Center teaches students how to integrate animation, writing, and audio to create games that can be used for education or entertainment. In addition, NYU hosts the Game Center Student Show, where students show off the projects they created during their studies. Some exhibited projects include 3D animations, multiplayer games, surrealist game art, and card and board games.

The New School
New York, NY

The New School offers 62 Art and Design degree programs. It's a medium sized, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 1,389 Art and Design students graduated with students earning 837 Bachelor's degrees, 308 Master's degrees, 180 Associate's degrees, and 64 Certificates.

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Fashion Institute of Technology offers 23 Art and Design degree programs. It's a medium sized, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 1,357 Art and Design students graduated with students earning 803 Associate's degrees, 511 Bachelor's degrees, 25 Master's degrees, and 18 Certificates.

University of Rochester
Rochester, NY

University of Rochester offers 28 Art and Design degree programs. It's a large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2020, 306 Art and Design students graduated with students earning 149 Bachelor's degrees, 118 Master's degrees, and 39 Doctoral degrees.

SUNY at Purchase College offers 32 Art and Design degree programs. It's a small, public, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2020, 493 Art and Design students graduated with students earning 449 Bachelor's degrees, 42 Master's degrees, and 2 Certificates.

Syracuse University
Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University offers 45 Art and Design degree programs. It's a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2020, 291 Art and Design students graduated with students earning 230 Bachelor's degrees, and 61 Master's degrees.

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Columbia University in the City of New York offers 16 Art and Design degree programs. It's a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 256 Art and Design students graduated with students earning 131 Master's degrees, 98 Bachelor's degrees, 19 Doctoral degrees, and 8 Certificates.

Pratt Institute-Main
Brooklyn, NY

Pratt Institute-Main offers 20 Art and Design degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 530 Art and Design students graduated with students earning 367 Bachelor's degrees, 143 Master's degrees, and 20 Associate's degrees.

University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY

University at Buffalo offers 31 Art and Design degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2020, 224 Art and Design students graduated with students earning 181 Bachelor's degrees, 30 Master's degrees, 12 Doctoral degrees, and 1 Certificate.

Imagine being given one paper coffee cup, a plastic lid, a cardboard cup sleeve, and a wooden stir stick and being told you have three hours to design and produce a scale model of a chair using only these materials. Such challenges keep design students at RIT engaged in their classes while developing creativity, productivity, and other skills they’ll need in their future careers. No wonder IDEO, Fisher Price, and Apple are among the top employers of industrial design graduates. (Not to be outdone, 3D digital design grads have gone on to positions at DreamWorks, and notable ad agency BBDO is fond of RIT’s graphic design majors.) RIT has one of the oldest and most extensive cooperative education programs in the nation, and interested students from design programs are encouraged to take advantage of the institute’s connections to gain real-life experience in their field of study. Also available to students is the Vignelli Center for Design Studies, which opened on campus in 2010 to house the extensive professional archives of Massimo and Lella Vignelli. The center’s annual lecture series provides the opportunity to gain invaluable insight from visiting design professionals.

List of all Art and Design colleges in New York

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
New York University Logo New York University New York, NY
5/5
17 : 1 52,775
The New School Logo The New School New York, NY
5/5
22 : 1 9,047
Fashion Institute of Technology Logo Fashion Institute of Technology New York, NY
2/5
39 : 1 8,191
The Juilliard School Logo The Juilliard School New York, NY
5/5
8 : 1 961
University of Rochester Logo University of Rochester Rochester, NY
5/5
15 : 1 11,741