Top Schools for Drawing

Learn what a top drawing school can do for you. Find out what the best schools in the country for drawing instruction are, what degree programs they offer, and what you'll study. Schools offering Children`s Book Illustration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top School for Drawing?

You may want to look for schools with great studio facilities for traditional and digital painting, as well as drawing, so that you might have the resources at hand to develop a portfolio. You might also seek out opportunities to live near a world city or study abroad. You will likely also want opportunities to exhibit your work. Guest lectures from professional artists could be helpful. These schools could help you develop your gift.

What Are Three Top Schools for Drawing?

Temple University in Philadelphia, PA

U.S. News & World Report ranked Temple tenth for graduate painting and drawing programs in its 2019 evaluation ( The university was also ranked as one of the top 100 best value colleges by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. Temple's Tyler School of Art offers programs in multiple arts media, including bachelor's and master's degrees in painting and drawing. In 2009, Tyler opened a new 255,000-square-foot facility that includes the Temple and Stella Elkins Tyler Gallery exhibition spaces. You could also pursue teaching certification within Tyler's fine arts program. You could spend all or part of your junior year in Rome, or attend a 4-week studio program for crafts and other media in Scotland. These degrees are available:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Painting and Drawing
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Painting

University of California in Los Angeles

UCLA ranked sixth among graduate schools in 2019 for painting and drawing, according to U.S. News & World Report. It also tied for the second best fine arts programs in 2019. When enrolled in programs at UCLA's Department of Art, you'll have access to studio classrooms with natural and artificial light. Upper division undergraduates get their own studio space for one quarter. Exceptional work could earn you one of six studio spaces for a year. You'd have access to a printmaking studio, a wood shop and a library dedicated to painting. You might exhibit at the New Wight Gallery. These degrees are offered:

  • Bachelor of Art in Art
  • MFA in Painting and Drawing

Yale University in New Haven, CT

The Ivy League's Yale University ranked first in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 evaluation of painting and drawing programs. It was also ranked number one among U.S. News & World Report's 2019 evaluation of best fine arts programs. As an MFA student, you'll have your own studio, with access to a nearby printmaking workshop and the Digital Media Center for the Arts. You might enjoy facilities like the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, the Yale University Art Gallery or student exhibition spaces. You could earn these degrees:

  • B.A. in Art
  • MFA in Painting and Printmaking

Ten Top Painting/Drawing Schools

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Undergraduate In-State Tuition*
Rhode Island School of Design4-year, PrivateProvidence, RI$51,000
School of Art Institute of Chicago4-year, PrivateChicago, IL$49,000
Columbia University4-year, PrivateNew York, NY$59,000
Maryland Institute College of Art4-year, PrivateBaltimore, MD$49,000
CUNY - Hunter College4-year, PublicNew York, NY$7,000
Virginia Commonwealth University4-year, PublicRichmond, VA$14,000
California Institute of the Arts4-year, PrivateValencia, CA$49,000
Cranbrook Academy of Art4-year, PrivateBloomfield Hills, MIN/A
School of Visual Art4-year, PublicNew York, NY$40,000
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick4-year, PublicNew Brunswick, NJ$15,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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