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2020 Best Colleges for General Visual & Performing Arts

Approximately 5,302 general visual and performing arts degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a challenge finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for General Visual & Performing Arts ranking analyzed 50 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in general visual and performing arts. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 7 schools for General Visual & Performing Arts students.

Choosing a Great General Visual & Performing Arts School

Best Colleges for General Visual & Performing Arts The visual arts program you select can have a big impact on your future. Important measures of a quality visual arts program can vary widely even among the top schools. Below we explain some of the most important factors to consider before making your choice:

Quality Overall is Important

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a quality education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To take this into account we consider a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a combination of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 13% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 8%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 104 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Graduates Earn More After College

General Visual & Performing Arts graduates from schools on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. A general visual and performing arts bachelors degree from a school in the United States helped students who graduated in 2015-2017 make $25,004 a couple years later.

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on General Visual & Performing Arts students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other general visual and performing arts students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized general visual and performing arts related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best colleges for General Visual & Performing Arts students.

Best Schools to Study General Visual & Performing Arts in United States

The following list ranks the best colleges and universities in the U.S. for a General Visual & Performing Arts degree.

Top 10 Best Visual Arts Colleges

#1

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA
Master Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MA
31.5% Growth in Graduates

It is hard to beat Harvard University if you want to study general visual and performing arts. Harvard is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 5 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Harvard is a great school overall.

In addition to its bachelor's programs, Harvard offers a Master's Degree in general visual and performing arts.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In CA
17.4% Growth in Graduates

It's difficult to beat University of California - San Diego if you wish to pursue general visual and performing arts as a major. Located in the city La Jolla, UCSD is a public school with a very large student population. This college ranks 72nd out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

There are about 115 general visual and performing arts undergrads enrolled in this degree at UCSD. Graduates of the visual arts program make about $12,700 for their early career.

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Master Highest Degree Type
8th Most Popular In CA

Every student pursuing a degree in general visual and performing arts has to look into University of Southern California. USC is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Los Angeles. This school ranks 40th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

A popular major for general visual and performing arts undergrads, there are roughly 33 students enrolled in this degree at USC.

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#4

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
6th Most Popular In PA

It is difficult to beat University of Pennsylvania if you wish to study general visual and performing arts. UPenn is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Philadelphia. A Best Colleges rank of 3 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means UPenn is a great college overall.

A preferred choice for general visual and performing arts undergrads, there are approximately 11 learners enrolled in this program at UPenn.

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#5

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA
2nd Most Popular In MA
40.0% Growth in Graduates

Holy Cross is a small private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Worcester. This college ranks 24th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There are approximately 20 general visual and performing arts undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Holy Cross.

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#6

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA
Master Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In VA
6.1% Growth in Graduates

GMU is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Fairfax. This school ranks 230th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, GMU also offers a Master's Degree in general visual and performing arts. Students from the general visual and performing arts major at George Mason University make $5,100 more than the standard college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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#7

Rice University

Houston, TX
5th Most Popular In TX

Located in the city Houston, Rice is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 15 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Rice is a great school overall.

Rice University is a fairly popular college to study visual arts in United States with over 20 graduates last year.

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#8

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
Master Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In FL
12.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Gainesville, U of F is a public school with a very large student population. This college ranks 73rd out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Florida.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, U of F also offers a Master's Degree in general visual and performing arts. General Visual & Performing Arts students from University of Florida get a earnings boost of about $14,900 above the average income of general visual and performing arts graduates.

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3rd Most Popular In TX
19.0% Growth in Graduates
$21,900 Median Starting Salary

UT Austin is a very large public school located in the city of Austin. This college ranks 78th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

The University of Texas at Austin is one of the most popular college to study visual arts in United States exceeding 58 graduations last year. Grads of the visual arts program state that they receive average early career earnings of $21,900.

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#10

Stonehill College

Easton, MA
7th Most Popular In MA

Stonehill is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Easton. This college ranks 190th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

With 8 undergraduates, Stonehill College is one of most popular schools to study visual arts in United States.

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General Visual & Performing Arts by Region

View the Best Colleges for General Visual & Performing Arts for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

General Visual & Performing Arts is one of 9 different types of Visual & Performing Arts programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 41,431
Design & Applied Arts 37,428
Music 27,188
Drama & Theater Arts 17,242
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 16,684

View All Visual Arts Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Sven Mandel / CC-BY-SA-4.0.

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