3 art colleges inspiring social change through artistic expression
Source: Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

Art colleges offer many benefits to students. They are creative hubs where you can fully explore your artistic passions and talents. One of their most significant advantages are the opportunities they provide for self-expression

These not only encourage you to embrace individuality but to also enhance your artistic voice. It’s an inspiring place to be — which explains why many students are driven to think big and do more for the world we live in. They often develop certain qualities as they pursue the arts. This includes creativity, as they have a knack for thinking outside the box, passion, as they are driven by their love for creating and expressing themselves through their art and attention to detail, as precision is crucial in art.

To gain these skills, start with a degree from the universities listed below:

art colleges

Source: Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design

At Pennsylvania College of Art & Design (PCA&D), students are encouraged to explore their creativity and unleash their inner makers, designers, and entrepreneurs. The college believes that everyone has a unique perspective and way of seeing the world, which unites the diversity of students and teachers alike. This philosophy has helped PCA&D earn the #16 spot on Niche.com’s list of Best Colleges for Design.

PCA&D’s mission is to spark creativity within everyone. This college is the nexus of teaching and learning, innovation and entrepreneurship – where industry partners and the campus community join to ignite imagination, inspire transformation, and reshape the creative economy. Welcoming learners of all kinds in a vibrant, inclusive community, PCA&D provides a comprehensive range of educational opportunities including bachelor’s and associate degrees, certificates, and professional credentials. Each programme leverages creativity to enrich experiences and transform communities, empowering creatives to design the future.

The foundation of PCA&D’s educational offerings are the six career-focused Bachelor of Fine Arts programmes in Animation & Game Design, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, and Photography & Video. The newest BFA offering is Live Experience Design & Production which partners with global industry leaders as the only program of its kind in the U.S..  LiveX will train the next generation of experience designers to use creative technology to engage the senses and stimulate emotional reactions to performers, stories, and environments.

Located in the heart of Lancaster City’s thriving arts community, the college is an easy train ride to New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. As a micro-college, it’s the personal attention and guidance from PCA&D’s faculty of working artists, coupled with internships and hands-on experiences, that set it apart. These are features that lead to big impact – as can be seen in PCA&D’s ranking among the top 5% of colleges for art in the US by Niche.com.

PCA&D was founded by artists like you, so future artists could thrive and grow. Here, you’ll learn from working artists, designers, and creatives, and you’ll have all the support you need to find your own path to career success.

art colleges

Source: Otis College of Art and Design Facebook

Otis College of Art and Design

Located in the vibrant heart of Los Angeles, California, Otis College of Art and Design offers a dynamic and inspiring environment that will ignite your creative spark. Los Angeles is a global hub for the creative industry, with countless art galleries, museums, and design studios. It’s a place where creativity thrives, and you can connect with professional artists, designers, and other experts. This will give you a competitive edge when looking for internships and networking opportunities, which is important to kickstart your career.

Whether you’re into graphic design, fashion, or fine arts, Otis College has got you covered. The opportunities to express yourself are endless, with state-of-the-art facilities, renowned faculty and a diverse community of students who share your passion for creativity.

The college stands out for its specialised programmes catering to various artistic disciplines. For example, the BFA programme in Communication Arts has consistently been ranked among the top programmes in the nation. 

Recently, MaiTae Preece, a rising junior in Fashion Design, was named a recipient of a 2023 Gucci Changemakers Scholarship. It is worth US$20,000 in addition to mentorship and virtual internship opportunities through Gucci America.

“Having my work recognised by Gucci Changemakers has tremendously boosted my appreciation and love for my work. I feel that as a student and young adult, taking steps toward a career path in fashion and art is so nerve-racking — having to be in new spaces, networking, and advocating for yourself as a creative person especially,” Preece says. “I am so thankful for this recognition, and for the Gucci Changemakers programme for giving me new skills to approach my future endeavours and a newfound confidence in what I create.”

art colleges

Source: Emily Carr University of Art & Design Facebook

Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Nestled in the vibrant city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Emily Carr University of Art + Design offers many opportunities, making it an exceptional place to study. Here, you will find various programmes, including the Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Design, and Bachelor of Media Arts. 

The university is known for its innovative and forward-thinking approach to art and design education. The Interaction Design programme has received national recognition for producing graduates who excel in the field. They are now  creating apps, websites, and interactive experiences. 

Situated in the heart of Vancouver, students are immersed in a city known for its artistic culture, with lots of galleries, cultural festivals and design studios. Vancouver is also home to a thriving film and gaming industry, providing many ways for you to connect with professionals and gain real-world experience. The city’s stunning natural surroundings, from the mountains to the ocean, will inspire your creative endeavours further.

With a low student-to-faculty ratio, you’ll benefit from close interactions with experienced professors who are invested in your success. The university’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity also ensures that students from various backgrounds are welcomed and supported. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International