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Top Schools for Visual and Performing Arts

Find out which Ivy League universities offer degree programs in the visual or performing arts. Read about program offerings at three high-profile schools, and use the easy-to-read table to discover other colleges and universities in the U.S. that offer programs for fine arts or theatrical arts students.

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School Overview

Two of the schools highlighted below are Ivy league institutions and national universities that have enjoyed high rankings from U.S. News and World Report. The first school on the list offers programs in both performance studies and the visual arts; graduate programs in the fine arts are available at Yale University.

Top U.S. Schools with Visual and Performing Arts Programs

1. Brown University in Providence, RI

Brown University is an Ivy League college that U.S. News and World Report ranked as the 15th best national university in 2011. The Department of Visual Arts offers programs in painting, sculpture, digital imaging and photography. Through the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, aspiring professionals can study performance art and theory, dance, dramatic texts and writing, among other related subjects.

2. DePaul University in Chicago, IL

DePaul University is a private research university that was ranked among the Best Midwestern Colleges by the Princeton Review in 2011. Undergraduate majors at DePaul's Theatre School are designed especially for aspiring actors and scriptwriters. These include a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program that prepares them for stage and screen work. Every semester focuses on a variety of theatre-related topics, such as body movement, technique and production.

3. Yale University in New Haven, CT

Yale University is a private Ivy League school that ranked as the third-best national university by U.S. News and World Report in 2011. At the Yale University School of Art, students can pursue bachelor's degree programs in printmaking, painting and graphic design. Majors in film, video and photography are also available. Similar courses of study can be found at the graduate level and can lead to a Master of Fine Arts (MFA). In addition to classroom instruction, individual programs may provide students with job training.

Ten Good Universities with Visual and Performing Arts Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Brown University Majors in theater and visual arts Providence, RI
DePaul University School of Theater devoted to both majors Chicago, IL
Yale University Visual arts programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels New Haven, CT
Cameron University Facilities include a Theatre Arts Complex Lawton, OK
Cerritos College Associate's degree in visual arts offered Norwalk, CA
Clemson University Features a Center for Visual Arts Clemson, SC
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania Majors offered in theater and drama East Stroudsburg, PA
George Mason University Opportunities given to students to study abroad Fairfax, VA
Longwood University Distance learning available Farmville, VA
MiraCosta College Certificates and associate's degree programs offered in visual arts Oceanside, CA
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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BFA - Fine Art
        • BFA in Art Education
        • BFA in Undeclared
        • BFA in Art Education - Sculpture
        • BFA in Fine Art - Painting

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Florida (1 campus)

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts

Popular Schools

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