While some people see the arts as unprofessional and unproductive, it is passion and life to others. If you are in this second category, you do need to make a career of it and Los Angeles is a place to begin this career. Discover the best schools and Colleges of Art and Design in Los Angeles to get a good arts program to begin your journey to an exciting career.
When people talk about great careers, they often seem to exclude careers in the Arts. But in today’s generation, as in older generations, the arts have been one of the binding and uniting instruments of the world. Artists are people the world can’t do without. Why not proudly carry your profession on your shoulders and attend an art school to grow?
In this post, we will show you schools in Los Angeles which you should attend. We are certain Los Angeles, California is a perfect location to study arts, so you’ll also find out why in this post. Furthermore, you’ll see the opportunities available to you as an artist and how much you can make.
So, hang on with us and discover the best art schools to attend in Los Angeles.
What is Art?
When we talk about art, what comes to mind mostly is beauty. But beauty alone does not really explain what art is and why people go as far as studying it in higher institutions.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, art is the expression or application of human creative skills and imagination. This expression is usually in the form of visuals such as painting and the purpose of the works produced from art is beauty or emotional power.
A simpler definition says that art is the work that human creative skill and imagination produces.
Skills, Creativity, Expression, and Beauty are keywords that come to the discussion of art. Hence, art is simply expressing beauty through the application of skills and creativity.
When we leave the definition this way, several activities come to mind and rightfully. So, arts is not a single activity. There are a good number of creative activities people engage in that you can group into Arts.
The collection of these activities is what students and professionals alike study in schools and colleges as “The Arts.”
So, what are these activities that make up the Arts?
What are the Classifications of Arts?
What are those things that when people do, they call it art? The answer to this question is what makes Medicine, Law, and several other serious professions not art.
According to Wikipedia, the classification of arts are:
Visual Arts are the creative works that you can see the outcome and appreciate the beauty with your eyes. Disciplines in this category include Architecture, Ceramics, Conceptual art, Drawing, Painting, Photography, and Sculpture.
Literary Arts are the category of arts that artists express in letters. Hence comes the word literature, which includes prose, drama, and poetry. While you can see the expression of this art with your eyes, the beauty forms in the mind, through emotions.
Performance Arts, on the other hand, consist of artworks that involve humans performing actions. Hence, you have dance, music, theatre, opera, mime, etc, in this category. What distinguishes performance art from visual art is action. The end product of visual arts is an unmoving product, while the end product of performance art is the humans acting.
Multidisciplinary Artistic Works is simply art that gathers other categories of art together to form a unique piece of art. Film, Opera, and Performance Art falls under this category.
Other Arts include Applied Arts and Video Games. These are arts that are not wholly arts but the application of arts to make the product or service beautiful and entertaining. An example of applied art is industrial design. We all know video games, right? It needs no explanation.
Do I Need to Go to School for Arts?
If you remember the definition of arts above, you will remember creativity and skills. The hot debate about whether people can learn creativity and talent or whether it is inborn never goes cold.
It is true that to become an artist, you need to have a passion for it and be talented. Also, people recognize the fact that even those with talents need to grow these talents and hone it to perfection. But they also believe you don’t need a school to do this.
In our rapidly growing world of science and technology, you can learn anything online, right? Leonardo DaVinci, Van Gogh, Tolouse Lautrec, and Walt Disney didn’t go to school and they are people of renounce. We agree, but here, consider the following things that art schools can do for you.
What are the Educational Requirements for Artists?
So, you’ve decided that yes, you’ll attend an art school, let’s show you the relevant information you need.
To start with, there is no standard educational requirement for you if you wish to become an artist. This is because the field is too broad and all the jobs in the art career do not require the same level of technicality.
Hence, while the minimum educational requirement for some career paths in the art field will require a bachelor’s degree, some will require an associate’s degree. Some others will even need you to take an advanced degree.
But whichever career you take in the art field, you will need at least an associate’s degree. Finishing high school is not enough. Not only will an arts degree help you secure a job, the training it provides is unique and entirely important to your growth as an artist.
So, irrespective of the art concentration you choose, academic coursework for art degree will involve you taking classes in drawing, color theory, and design. While you may as well study critical analysis and art history, the most important aspect of an art degree is that it will help you build a portfolio of your works.
Employers want to see what you have done and not how many certificates you’ve acquired. So, art education is really essential to your success as an artist.
How Much do Arts Graduate Make?
This is the most exciting part of becoming an artist – that you can make a good salary by having fun.
So, how much can you really make from a profession in the arts?
Here is a table by Santa Monica College, California on the salary of various kinds of artists. This will help you decide the art concentration to specialize in.
|Job Title||Typical Education||Median Wage|
|Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary||Bachelor’s Degree||$82,451|
|Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education||Bachelor’s Degree||$79,972|
|Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||Bachelor’s Degree||$72,175|
|Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||Bachelor’s Degree||$80,056|
|Self-Enrichment Education Teachers||Bachelor’s Degree||$42,334|
|Archivists||Master’s or Professional Degree||$43,347|
|Museum Technicians and Conservators||Master’s or Professional Degree||$47,634|
|Art Directors||Bachelor’s Degree||$86,450|
|Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators||Bachelor’s Degree||$33,011|
|Multimedia Artists and Animators||Bachelor’s Degree||$70,103|
|Commercial and Industrial Designers||Bachelor’s Degree||$58,780|
|Graphic Designers||Bachelor’s Degree||$49,082|
|Set and Exhibit Designers||Bachelor’s Degree||$53,615|
|Art Therapists||Master’s or Professional Degree||$68,619|
Why Study the Arts in Los Angeles?
So, down to business, why must you study Arts in Los Angeles?
First, the USA is a perfect location for studying almost any discipline. Not only do they have the number of schools to take you but also the quality you are looking for.
Now let’s narrow it down to the arts and California, where Los Angeles is located.
Here are fast facts you should know about California:
From all indications, if there’s a place in the USA with the biggest opportunities, it is California. With a strong economy and large population, you should expect California to have a good number of schools.
Now, remember that Los Angeles is the county in California with the first motion picture theatre. It interprets that Los Angeles is the very hub of arts, especially as Hollywood, the home of the U.S. film industry is located in Los Angeles.
So, why not study Arts in Los Angeles?
Which Stars Attended Art Schools in Los Angeles?
If you are not convinced enough with the facts above, now let’s show you big stars who made it from attending art schools in Los Angeles.
Art Center College of Design is a popular art college in Los Angeles County. You’ll get more information about this art and design school later in this article but let’s show you some of their huge notable alumni.
These are popular stars in the Art Center College of Design. For Otis College of Art and Design, another Los Angeles Art school, you will find notable architects like Harwell Harris as alumni. Disney Cartoon Director, Wilfred Jackson, and owner of Chaparrel Studio, Bianca D’Amico, are both alumni of Otis College of Art and Design.
So, why not you?
Art Schools in Los Angeles
Now, let’s check out the colleges and schools of Arts in Los Angeles, California.
There are a good number of universities and colleges in Los Angeles, California offering art degrees and programs. It would be long and tedious work writing them all, so we would discuss the top 13 LA schools you should consider attending.
Here is a list of these schools in alphabetic order.
Art Center College of Design
Address: 1700 Lida St, Pasadena, CA 91103
Acceptance Rate: 70%
Art Center College of Design is a private art school in Pasadena in Los Angeles County, California. This LA arts and design school began in 1930 and has a current total enrollment of 2,133 taking bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in various fields of arts.
Being a private school, Art Center College of Design guarantees quality education in small classes while offering a variety of arts programs. The student to faculty ratio at this LA college of arts and design is 10:1.
Furthermore, Arts Center College of Design offers 11 undergraduate, 7 graduate, and 6 interdisciplinary art programs, while charging undergraduates $22,136 and graduate students $23,394 as tuition.
At this Los Angeles School of Arts and Design, you can get the best education for Advertising, Environmental Design, Film, Fine Art, and Illustration.
California Institute of the Arts
Address: 24700 McBean Pkwy, Valencia, CA 91355
Acceptance Rate: 24%
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is another very prominent arts college in Los Angeles, California. Like Arts Center College, it is a private art university located in Santa Clara, Los Angeles. Also, like Arts Center College, it is a small art college with a total enrollment of 1,448 and a student to faculty ratio of 8:1.
So, while you get a guarantee of quality in your art education, you also get to network better as Walt Disney founded the university. Through its 6 schools – Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater – CalArts offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate art programs to its students.
Meanwhile, a typical bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree at CalArts in 2020-2021 will cost $52,850 per year.
California State University-Long Beach
Address: 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840
Acceptance Rate: 28%
California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is a comprehensive public university in Long Beach, California. This LA college is one of the best in California where you can get Arts and Design degrees. It has a total student enrollment of 37,446 and a student to faculty ratio of 27:1.
Through its College of Arts, CSULB offers you innovative and comprehensive arts training. Depending on the kind of Arts degree you want, you will easily fall into either of CSULB’s departments of Art, Dance, Design, Film, Music, Theatre, Carpenter Performing Arts Center, and the Kleefeld Contemporary.
Meanwhile, Full-Time students at CSULB taking art programs of 7 or more units in this LA college will pay $2,871.00 for undergraduate education and$3,588.00 for graduate education.
Address: 1 University Dr, Orange, CA 92866
Acceptance Rate: 57%
Chapman University is a private university in Orange, LA, California. It has affiliation with the Disciples of Christ Christian denomination and began operation in 1861. Furthermore, Chapman University is a small university with a total enrollment of 8,305 students taking undergraduate and postgraduate programs as well as a student to faculty ratio of 14:1.
When it comes to Art at Chapman, you can get an Arts degree through this LA college’s Arts at Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; College of Performing Arts; and Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. At Wilkinson, you can take undergraduate and graduate degrees in arts, Graphics Design, Art History.
However, if you’re looking to get into Dance, Music, Theatre, Chapman’s College of Performing Arts if where to go.
Loyola Marymount University
Address: 1 Loyola Marymount University Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Acceptance Rate: 52%
Loyola Marymount University (LMU) is a Jesuit-affiliated university in Los Angeles, California. It began operation in 1865 and offers some of the best degree programs for both undergraduates and graduates. With a total student enrollment of 9,392, LMU offers you quality education in small classes, with a student to faculty ratio of 13:1.
The College of Communication & Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University offers all the art programs you can take at LMU. There are 9 undergraduate and master’s art degree programs you can take at LMU – 6 bachelor’s program, and 3 MAster’s program.
Some of the popular programs here are the B.A in Communication Studies, B.A in Music, and M.F.A in Theatre Arts: Performance Pedagogy.
Mount Saint Mary’s University
Address: 12001 Chalon Road, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Acceptance Rate: 81%
Mount Saint Mary’s University or The Mount, like Loyola Marymount University, is a Catholic-affiliated university. It is located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, Los Angeles. While the Mount is a comprehensive school in the USA, it offers some of the best art programs in Los Angeles. Also, it is a small LA private school with a total student population of 3,431 and a student to faculty ratio of 14:1.
The Mount offers some of the best art programs in Los Angeles. In this LA art college, you can take undergraduate degree programs in Art; Film, Media and Communications; and Music. If it’s a master’s degree you’re interested in, you can take the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and the Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television at The Mount.
Otis College of Art and Design
Address: 9045 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Acceptance Rate: 91%
If there’s one LA art college that almost everyone will recommend for you when you ask of art schools in Los Angeles, it is the Otis College of Art and Design. This art and design college in Los Angeles began operation as a private university in 1918 and offers some of the best undergraduates and graduate art programs in Los Angeles, California.
With a student to faculty ratio of 8:1, you can get quality BFA degrees in 16 art specializations including Fine Arts, Illustration, Graphics Design, Landscape Design, and Fashion Design. Furthermore, you will get some of the finest MFA in Fine Arts, MFA in Graphics Design, and MFA in Writing at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles.
In addition to a couple of certificate programs in art, Otis College is a hub of art education in Los Angeles and you only need to pay $22,600 as tuition for its bachelor’s or master’s degree in 2020.
Address: 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263
Acceptance Rate: 40%
Pepperdine University is an LA private school located in Malibu, California although, at its inception in 1937, it was located in Pepperdine, Soth Los Angeles. It has affiliation with The Church of Christ, and a total student population of 7,632 undergraduate and graduate students taking its programs.
Through Pepperdine’s Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, this LA college offers 4 undergraduate arts degree programs and 2 graduate degree programs. The undergraduate degree programs are Art Major and Minor, Art History Major and Minor, Communication Major and Minor, and Creative Writing Major and Minor. The graduate-level art programs at this Los Angeles school are Master of Fine Arts in Cinematic Media Production (MFA) and Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Screen and Television (MFA).
Meanwhile, Pepperdine charges a flat tuition rate of $55,640 for its art program. This justifies its quality small class learning of 16:1 student t faculty ratio.
Address: 333 N College Way, Claremont, CA 91711
Acceptance Rate: 7.6%
Pomona College is the college to attend in Los Angeles when you’re looking for an arts degree that will give you greater access to the faculty. This Los Angeles private college in Claremont has a total student enrollment of 1,663 and a student to faculty ratio of 8:1. Meanwhile, Pomona College started in 1887 and offers only undergraduate programs.
To explore Arts at Pomona, you’ll have to enroll in any of this Los Angeles school’s five departments. These are the Art Department, the Art and History Department, The Museum of Art, the Music Department, and the Theatre & Dance Department.
Santa Monica College
Address: 1900 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Acceptance Rate: 100%
Now, if you’re thinking of an Associate’s Degree in Arts in Los Angeles, instead of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, then you surely want to attend Santa Monica College. Santa Monica College (SMC) is a large community college in Santa Monica with a total student enrollment of 30,615, hence a student to faculty ratio of 45:1
Nonetheless, this Los Angeles college of Arts and Design offers some of the best art programs in California which you can complete in two years. Santa Monica’s popular degrees are the Associate in Arts Degree – Art; Associate in Arts Degree for Transfer – Studio Art; and Associate in Art for Transfer – Art History.
Meanwhile, Santa Monica charges a tuition of $46 per credit unit for its Associate Degree Programs. So, where the AA in Art is a 24 unit program, you’ll be paying $1,104 as tuition to study Art at this Los Angeles Community College.
The University of California-Irvine
Address: 501 Aldrich Hall, Irvine, CA 92697
Acceptance Rate: 37%
The University of California, Irvine (UCI) is another Los Angeles school that will give you the right value for your money when it comes to art and design education. This popular LA college began in 1965 as a comprehensive public research university in Irvine, California. It has a total student population of 30,836 students and a student to faculty ratio of 17:1.
While UCI offers undergraduate and postgraduate academic degrees in almost every field of study, its Claire Trevor School of Art is the school responsible for its art degree. This Los Angeles art college comprises of four departments – Art, Dance, Drama, and Music – from which art students from California and around the world can get unmatchable arts education.
University of California-Los Angeles
Address: 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Acceptance Rate: 16%
The List of schools in Los Angeles with good arts and design programs is not complete without the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). UCLA is located in Westwood, Los Angeles and began operating as a public research institution in 1919. Although it has a large student population of 41,908. the student Faculty ratio at UCLA is 12:1.
Now, UCLA offers a comprehensive list of art and design programs in Los Angeles through three schools. These are the School of the Arts and Architecture, Herb Alpert School of Music, and the School of Theater, Film, and Television. Each of these LA colleges of art and design offers quality undergraduate and postgraduate programs towards a degree in degree. You don’t want to miss an experience at UCLA.
Meanwhile, Art students from LA in this LA college of Arts and Design will pay $13,239 as tuition towards an art education while nonresidents will pay $29,754.
University of Southern California
Address: University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Acceptance Rate: 17%
Another USA college you that people would always talk about when it comes to art and design degree programs is the University of Southern California (USC). USC is a private university in Los Angeles but it is one with a large population. This LA college has a total student enrollment of 43,401 students and a student to faculty ratio of 16:1.
When it comes to art at USC, you can get quality education at USC School of Architecture, USC Roski School of Art and Design, USC School of Cinematic Arts, the USC Kaufman School of Dance, USC School of Dramatic Arts, and USC School of Music.
In addition to these art schools at USC Los Angeles, this LA college also offers additional programs in Arts Journalism, Creative Writing, and International Artists Program. From this, you tell us, is there any art or design program you will look for in this Los Angeles school that you won’t find? We think not!
FAQs on Art Schools in Los Angeles
Is Otis a good art school?
Yes, Otis School of Art and Design is one of the best school for Art and Design you can attend in California and the USA as a whole. With a student to faculty ratio of 8:1, you are guaranteed of quality arts education from one of the best faculties in America that are easily accessible. Also, Otis offers 16 undergraduate art degrees in different specialization of arts and 3 master’s degree programs.
What is California Institute of the Arts known for?
California Institute of the Arts is known for several things. One is that it is a popular destination for arts degrees for international students. Two is its popular Walt Disney Modular Theatre which Lillian Disney funded. Three is the “Wild Beast”, an on-campus music pavilion that serves as space for the classroom as well as combined indoor-outdoor performance space. Four is the no-strings-attached Alpert Award in Arts that awards $75,ooo fellowship to five artists in the fields of dance, film and video, music, theatre, and visual arts.
What do art schools do?
Art schools offer arts programs to artists that help them gain the necessary education they need to be professionals in their chosen field of arts as well as hone their skills to be sharp enough to make them competitive in the industry. Also, at art schools, artists build portfolios of their works that enable them to get rewarding jobs after graduation, not to forget the networking opportunities it also offers them.
Where do fashion designers go to school?
Fashion designers go to art schools that offers fashion programs. An example of an art school in Los Angeles California that will suit fashion designers is the Otis College of Art and design.
What colleges offer digital media?
Several art colleges in the USA offer digital media. In Los Angeles, California, some of the best schools for digital media includes:
Mount Saint Mary’s University
What colleges have good art programs?
There are a good number of Colleges in the USA offering art programs. Some of the best in Los Angeles, California include:
Art Center College of Design
California Institute of Arts
Otis College of Arts and Design
University of California-Los Angeles
University of Southern California
University pf California-Irvine
Is Santa Monica college a 4 year college?
No, Santa Monica is not a four-year college. It is a community college that offers associates degree for artists, but it is one of the best Art Schools in Los Angeles county.
What is the hardest art school in Los Angeles to get into?
The hardest Art School to get into in Los Angeles, California is Pomona College. It is a very competitive private art school in Claremont, California with an acceptance rate of 7.6% and a student to faculty ratio of 8:1.
If there’s any location well-suited for studying Arts in the USA, it is Los Angeles, California. This Golden City houses the heart of the USA film Industry – Hollywood – and has graduated some of the best artists in the USA. So, depending on the kind of art specialization you want and the kind of degree programs you wish to pursue, there are arts and design colleges in Los Angeles that will suit your needs.
Some of the best art and design colleges you can attend in Los Angeles for a bachelor’s or Master’s program are Art Center College of Design, California Institute of Arts, and Otis College of Arts and Design. Santa Monica college would be one of the best options for you if you are interested in an associate’s degree in arts.
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