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2021 Highest Paid Visual & Performing Arts Graduates

94,501 Bachelor's Degrees
$25,086 Avg Salary
$25,898 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Visual & Performing Arts School for You

Highest Paid Visual & Performing Arts GraduatesWith 94,501 bachelor's degrees handed out in 2018-2019, visual and performing arts is the #8 most popular major in the United States. Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Highest Paid Visual & Performing Arts Graduates ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision.

For this year's Highest Paid Visual & Performing Arts Graduates ranking, we looked at 547 colleges that offer a bachelor's in visual and performing arts.

The numbers used in this ranking are early career salaries, which we define to be 10 years after a student started college. This is the salary typically earned 4-6 years after graduation, but may be different depending on how long a person takes to complete their degree.

Salaries of Visual & Performing Arts Majors After Graduation

After graduation, visual and performing arts majors from schools in the United States earn an average salary of $25,086 per year. That's not so great, since it is 37% less than the national average salary of a typical bachelor's degree holder. However, graduates from the schools in this list may make more.

Average Salary for Visual & Performing Arts Graduates from Schools Nationwide  25,086
0K
50,200
National Average Salary for All College Grads (Regardless of Major)  39,802
0K
50,200

College Combat

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

2021 Highest Paid Visual & Performing Arts Grads in United States

The following colleges produce the highest paid visual and performing arts graduates.

Top 25 Best Schools for Highly Paid Visual & Performing Arts Graduates

#1

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University comes in at #1 in this year's ranking. Located in the city of Cambridge, Harvard is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

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Northeastern University Professional Advancement Network earned the #1 spot in our 2021 rankings. Northeastern University Professional Advancement Network is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Boston.

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The #2 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Lawrence Technological University. Lawrence Tech is a small private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Southfield.

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#2

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

The #2 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Princeton University. Princeton is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Princeton.

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Wentworth Institute of Technology comes in at #3 in this year's ranking. WIT is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Boston.

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#4

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University comes in at #4 in this year's ranking. Carnegie Mellon is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Pittsburgh.

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Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus comes in at #5 in this year's ranking. Georgia Tech is a very large public school located in the city of Atlanta.

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#5

Yale University

New Haven, CT

The #5 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Yale University. Located in the city of New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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Lake Washington Institute of Technology comes in at #6 in this year's ranking. Located in the suburb of Kirkland, LWTech is a public school with a small student population.

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University of Delaware landed the #7 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid visual and performing arts school. Located in the suburb of Newark, U of Delaware is a public college with a very large student population.

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St Lawrence University comes in at #8 in this year's ranking. Located in the remote town of Canton, St. Lawrence is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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Our rankings recognize Art Center College of Design as the #8 school in this year's rankings. Art Center College of Design is a small private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Pasadena.

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Northeastern University comes in at #9 in this year's ranking. Northeastern is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Boston.

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Our rankings recognize Seattle Pacific University as the #10 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Seattle, SPU is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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The #10 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT is a large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Cambridge.

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#11

Endicott College

Beverly, MA

Endicott College comes in at #11 in this year's ranking. Located in the large suburb of Beverly, Endicott is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#12

Clemson University

Clemson, SC

The #12 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Clemson University. Located in the large suburb of Clemson, Clemson is a public school with a fairly large student population.

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#13

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Stanford University comes in at #13 in this year's ranking. Stanford is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Stanford.

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The #13 spot in this year's ranking belongs to California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo. Located in the suburb of San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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Texas A&M University - Commerce comes in at #14 in this year's ranking. Texas A&M Commerce is a large public school located in the town of Commerce.

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#14

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

Georgetown University earned the #14 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large city of Washington, Georgetown is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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#15

Kenyon College

Gambier, OH

Kenyon College landed the #15 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid visual and performing arts school. Kenyon is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Gambier.

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#15

Bellevue University

Bellevue, NE

Bellevue University earned the #15 spot in our 2021 rankings. Bellevue University is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Bellevue.

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The #16 spot in this year's ranking belongs to West Texas A&M University. Located in the fringe town of Canyon, West Texas A&M University is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

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#16

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA

College of the Holy Cross earned the #16 spot in our 2021 rankings. Holy Cross is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Worcester.

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Rest of the Top 50 Schools for Highest Paid Visual & Performing Arts Graduates

#27

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
#27

Bradley University

Peoria, IL
#28

New York Institute of Technology

Old Westbury, NY
#29

Duke University

Durham, NC
#29

Marist College

Poughkeepsie, NY
#30

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY
#31

Franklin University

Columbus, OH
#32

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA
#33

College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA
#35

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA
#36

Marymount University

Arlington, VA
#38

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA
#40

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA
#40

Grand View University

Des Moines, IA
#41

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX
#43

Susquehanna University

Selinsgrove, PA
#44

Bemidji State University

Bemidji, MN

Remaining Award Winners

This section shows the rest of the colleges awarded a Highest Paid Visual & Performing Arts Graduates badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 547 different United States visual and performing arts schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
46 Arcadia University Glenside, PA
47 Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA
48 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
48 Southern Connecticut State University New Haven, CT
49 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
49 University of the Pacific Stockton, CA
50 Hartwick College Oneonta, NY
50 West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
51 Washington State University Pullman, WA
52 Weber State University Ogden, UT
53 University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth North Dartmouth, MA
54 Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA
54 John Brown University Siloam Springs, AR
55 Wake Forest University Winston-Salem, NC
55 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
56 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
57 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
57 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
58 Oral Roberts University Tulsa, OK
59 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
60 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
61 Otis College of Art and Design Los Angeles, CA
61 Washington University in St Louis Saint Louis, MO
62 American University Washington, DC
62 Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA
63 Farmingdale State College Farmingdale, NY
64 Anderson University Indiana Anderson, IN
64 Marywood University Scranton, PA
65 Auburn University Auburn, AL
66 Bay State College Boston, MA
66 Washington and Lee University Lexington, VA
67 St John’s University - New York Queens, NY
68 Herzing University - Madison Madison, WI
68 Wesleyan University Middletown, CT
69 Meredith College Raleigh, NC
70 Brown University Providence, RI
71 Bates College Lewiston, ME
71 California State University - Monterey Bay Seaside, CA
72 Kean University Union, NJ
73 University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign, IL
74 Oklahoma Christian University Edmond, OK
75 University of Houston - Clear Lake Houston, TX
75 DePauw University Greencastle, IN
76 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
77 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
78 Arizona State University - West Glendale, AZ
79 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
80 Pepperdine University Malibu, CA
80 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
81 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
82 Pratt Institute - Main Brooklyn, NY
84 Whitman College Walla Walla, WA
87 Denison University Granville, OH
88 La Salle University Philadelphia, PA
89 Rice University Houston, TX
92 Providence College Providence, RI
93 Saint Joseph’s University Philadelphia, PA
97 Lenoir - Rhyne University Hickory, NC
100 Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
104 Saint Mary’s College of California Moraga, CA
106 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
109 University of Denver Denver, CO
110 CUNY Bernard M Baruch College New York, NY
112 College of Saint Benedict Saint Joseph, MN
121 Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus Teaneck, NJ
123 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
124 St. Mary’s University San Antonio, TX

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Visual & Performing Arts students seeking high pay that almost earned our Highest Paid Visual & Performing Arts Graduates award.

Rank College Location
83 Interior Designers Institute Newport Beach, CA
84 University of North Texas Denton, TX
85 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD
86 Stephen F Austin State University Nacogdoches, TX
87 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
88 University of Missouri - St Louis Saint Louis, MO
89 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Whitewater, WI
90 California College of the Arts San Francisco, CA
91 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown, PA
92 Carthage College Kenosha, WI
93 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
94 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Fargo, ND
95 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
96 Kent State University at Kent Kent, OH
97 Williams College Williamstown, MA
98 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS
99 Western Illinois University Macomb, IL
100 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
101 Cedarville University Cedarville, OH
102 University of Wyoming Laramie, WY
103 Luther College Decorah, IA
104 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
105 Metropolitan State University of Denver Denver, CO
106 The New School New York, NY
107 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
108 Taylor University Upland, IN
109 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
130 Lafayette College Easton, PA
135 Colby College Waterville, ME
137 Lamar University Beaumont, TX
139 Wartburg College Waverly, IA
140 The College of Wooster Wooster, OH
141 Hobart and William Smith Colleges Geneva, NY
143 Connecticut College New London, CT
145 Trinity University San Antonio, TX
146 Gettysburg College Gettysburg, PA
147 Emory University Atlanta, GA
149 Grove City College Grove City, PA
152 University of St Francis Joliet, IL
153 Salve Regina University Newport, RI
154 Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA
159 Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA
162 Union College New York Schenectady, NY
167 Trinity College Hartford, CT
168 Augustana University Sioux Falls, SD

Visual & Performing Arts by Region

View the Highest Paid Visual & Performing Arts Graduates for a specific region near you.

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

Visual & Performing Arts Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 25,815
Design & Applied Arts 19,137
Music 15,747
Drama & Theater Arts 12,791
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 11,308

View All Visual & Performing Arts Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities 45,514
English Language & Literature 42,686
Foreign Languages & Linguistics 24,008
Philosophy & Religious Studies 12,372
Theology & Religious Vocations 10,962

View All Visual & Performing Arts Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • 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 Bonnielou2013.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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