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Top Art and Design Schools in 2017

Top Art and Design Schools in 2017 main image

This article is based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017. Click here to view the latest version of this article.

Released annually, the QS World University Rankings by Subject lists the top 200 universities for art and design across the globe, based upon their academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact.

Read on for an overview of the top art schools in each region of the world, or click here to view the full table.

Top 10 Universities for Art & Design

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017



















Top universities for art and design in the US & Canada 

The US continues to dominate both the top 10 and the complete art school ranking. 42 of the top 200 art schools are American. Outside the top 10, strong positions are held by Yale University (12th), Carnegie Mellon University (14th), Art Center College of Design (16th) and University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) (18th).

Canada is home to seven of the world’s top art schools, including the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto, both of which are ranked in the 51-100 range.

Top universities for art and design in Europe

A total of 61 European institutions feature in the 2017 art school ranking, including 25 from the United Kingdom. As well as those universities in the top 10, the UK has five other entrants in the top 50, including the University of Oxford (11th), Goldsmiths, University of London (15th) and Glasgow School of Art (GSA) (19th).

Elsewhere, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden each have one art school ranked in the world’s top 50 – Finland’s Aalto University (13th), the Netherlands’ Design Academy Eindhoven (=31st) and Sweden’s Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (47th). Sweden’s other two universities in this list are in the top 100 overall, while the Netherlands’ other two are in the top 150.

Spain also performs well in the art school ranking with six representatives this year including Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) and Universitat de Barcelona (UB) both in the 51-100 range. Meanwhile, Denmark has five entrants this year including two in the top 100, while Germany has three, all of which are ranked in the top 150.

Austria enters the art school ranking this year with two new entries, led by the University of Applied Arts Vienna at 51-100. Also new to the ranking with two entries is Portugal, with the University of Lisbon their highest-ranked with a place in the top 100.

France is home to two of the world’s top universities for art and design, with both École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI Les Ateliers) and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne ranked in the 101-150 range.

Finally, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland each have one top art school each, with Belgium’s KU Leuven and Norway’s Oslo National Academy of the Arts the highest ranked at 101-150.

Top universities for art and design in Australia & New Zealand

Australia is home to 18 institutions featured in the 2017 art school ranking, eight of which are in the top 50. Its four highest ranked universities for art and design are: RMIT University (17th), the University of Melbourne (28th), University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) (=29th) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) (33rd).

Meanwhile nearby New Zealand is home to six of the world’s top art schools, half of which are ranked 51-100: Auckland University of Technology, Massey University and the University of Auckland.

Top universities for art and design in Asia

41 of the world’s top art schools are found in Asia, including seven in the top 50. China has a strong presence in the art school ranking, with nine institutions featured, including three in the top 50: Tsinghua University (25th), Tongji University (26th) and Peking University (37th).

Next up is South Korea with seven representatives, including Seoul National University at joint 29th and Sungkyunkwan University at 51-100.

Taiwan is home to six of the world’s top art schools, including National Taiwan University and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, both ranked 51-100.

India lays claim to four more of the top universities for art and design, led by Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB) at 51-100.

Elsewhere, Hong Kong has three entrants in the art school ranking, all of which are ranked in the top 100. The most notable of which is the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which is ranked 27th. Singapore has two entries in the top 50 - National University of Singapore (NUS) (35th) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) (40th).

Four Asian nations enter the art school ranking this year, with Japan claiming the most entries (five). Elsewhere, Malaysia has three, and Thailand and Indonesia have one each. Of these four nations, the highest ranked art school is found in Indonesia, where you’ll find Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), ranked 51-100.

Top universities for art and design in Latin America and elsewhere

Heading to Latin America, and 24 of the world’s top art schools are located here in five countries. Mexico is home to the highest number (eight) – including the highest-ranked institution in the region - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) at 24th.  Also in the top 50 from Mexico is the Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) at 46th.

Brazil has seven entrants in the art school ranking, including Universidade de São Paulo (USP) at joint 42nd and Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro - PUC – Rio in the top 100.

Elsewhere, Argentina’s two representatives are both featured in the global top 50 for art and design - Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) (=31st) and Universidad de Palermo (39th), both of which improve upon their position from last year. Chile has four entrants, led by Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile at 38th, while Colombia’s three representatives are all ranked 51-100.

Finally, back across the Atlantic, South Africa enters the art school ranking this year with one representative – the University of Cape Town, ranked 151-200. 

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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