Top Art & Design Schools in 2019 | Top Universities

Top Art & Design Schools in 2019

User Image

Sabrina Collier

Updated Dec 22, 2021



Top Art & Design Schools in 2019 main image

Discover the top arts and design schools based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

Released today, the QS World University Rankings by Subject includes a ranking of 200 of the world’s top universities for art and design, based on a methodology which assesses each school on factors such as academic and employer reputations.

Read on for a look at the 10 top art schools and an overview of the top art schools in each world region, or click here for the full ranking table.

Top 10 Universities for Art & Design

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019


Name of Institution Location


Royal College of Art

United Kingdom


University of the Arts London



Parsons School of Design at The New School

United States


Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)



Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 



Politecnico di Milano



Aalto University



Glasgow School of Art (GSA)



School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)



Pratt Institute


See the full art school ranking >

Top universities for art and design in the US & Canada 

The US is one of the most dominant locations in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, and the art school ranking is no exception. It’s home to 41 of the world’s top art schools, including five of the top 10. Outside the top 10 above, other strong universities for this subject include Art Center College of Design (ranked 13th), Stanford University (joint 14th) and Carnegie Mellon University (17th).

Heading north, seven more top universities for art and design can be found in Canada, 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

There are 80 top European art schools featured in the ranking, including 17 in the global top 50.  The UK has 28 entrants in the art school ranking – outside its three in the top 10, other impressively ranked institutions include Goldsmiths, University of London (ranked 11th), Loughborough University (28th) and UCL (University College London) (36th).

Looking elsewhere in Europe, 17 top universities for art and design can be found in the Nordic study destinations, with Denmark, Finland and Sweden all boasting a top-50 ranked art school – outside of Finland’s Aalto University in the top 10, Denmark’s Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK) is placed 20th, while Sweden’s Umeå University climbed from 51-100 to 26th place in this year’s art school ranking.

The other European schools featured within the global top 50 for art and design are the Netherlands’ Design Academy Eindhoven (up five places to rank 19th), France’s École Nationale Supérieure de Création Industrielle (ENSCI Les Ateliers) (up from joint 49th to joint 24th), Switzerland’s Haute Ecole d'art et de design de Genève (HEAD) (up from 101-150 to 48th) and Germany’s Universität der Künste Berlin (ranked joint 49th). And outside of Politecnico di Milano in the top 10, Italy is home to four more high-ranking universities for art, including Politecnico di Torino (ranked in the 51-100 range).

Seven top art schools can be found in Spain, led by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in the 51-100 range, while four are located in Austria, including the University of Applied Arts Vienna (101-150).

Belgium, Ireland and Portugal have two entries each, with the Portuguese University of Lisbon ranked in the 51-100 range for art. Finally, Russia and the Czech Republic have one entrant in each, with the latter’s Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design Prague climbing from 151-200 to 51-100 in this year’s art school ranking.

Top universities for art and design in Australia & New Zealand

Heading down under, there are 15 top universities for art and design in Australia, including eight in the global top 50. RMIT University continues to be the strongest Australian university for art and design at 12th place, and is followed by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) (up five places to rank 23rd), the University of Melbourne (34th), and the University of Sydney (up nine places to rank 40th).

Meanwhile, New Zealand is home to three more of the world’s top art schools, all of which are ranked in the 51-100 range: Auckland University of TechnologyMassey University and the University of Auckland.

Top universities for art and design in Asia

There are 39 top art and design schools in Asia, seven of which are ranked within the top 50. China has one of the largest presences of any Asian location in the ranking, with 11 representatives, including Tongji University, the highest ranked in both China and Asia as a whole at joint 14th (up four places from last year). The two other top-50 art schools in China are Tsinghua University (18th) and China Central Academy of Fine Arts (27th, up from 51-100).

South Korea is home to nine entrants in the art school ranking, led by Seoul National University in joint 38th place, while Sungkyunkwan University is in the 51-100 range. Meanwhile Taiwan has six representatives, half of which are in the 51-100 range, including National Cheng Kung University (NCKU).

Japan has four top art schools, while Hong Kong and India each have three. Of these destinations, the highest-ranked institution is Hong Kong’s Hong Kong Polytechnic University at 16th, up eight places this year.

Singapore’s two top universities for art are both placed in the top 50 - National University of Singapore (NUS) (up 10 places to rank 30th) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) (up eight places to rank joint 31st). Lastly, Indonesia has one entrant, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), ranked 151-200.

Top universities for art and design in Latin America & elsewhere

15 more of the world’s top art schools are located in Latin America, including four in Mexico. Mexico’s top entrant is once again Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), which shares 45th place with Argentina’s Universidad de Palermo. However, it’s the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) which has the distinction of coming number one in Latin America for art and design, with a rank of 35th.

Meanwhile, Brazil, Chile and Colombia each have three universities in the art school ranking, including one each in the 51-100 range: Brazil’s Universidade de São Paulo, Chile’s Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and Colombia’s Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

Elsewhere in the world, South Africa is home to one top art school: the University of Cape Town, ranked 151-200 in 2019.

Want more content like this? Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.

+ 11 others
saved this article

+ 12 others saved this article