Best 7 Art Colleges in Chicago in 2021 - Best Value Schools

Best 7 Art Colleges in Chicago in 2021

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

More students are majoring in Art today than ever before. No longer are students being encouraged to seek a major that will get them “a real job” because many of today’s highest-paying fields require an art background. This is a subject that encompasses many disciplines from drawing and painting to photography and graphic design, and many areas in between. Art schools may offer more than visual arts, such as dance or music, but today we are concentrating on schools that offer visual art education. 

In the past, a college degree was only needed if you chose to pursue teaching but today, it is often difficult to get a position with larger animation or graphic art studios without showing you have the benefit of formal training. For all disciplines in the field of art, you can never know everything so the opportunity to study under masters in their field is priceless. Art is only enhanced by experience, both art-related and life in general. Many times people are the subject of art and having the ability to relate to many types of individuals will help you get that essence across to others in your work. This is especially true of painting and photography.

When searching for art colleges in Chicago, we find that many are located in suburbs. For the purpose of this listing, we are concentrating solely on those within the city of Chicago itself. Expanding your search to the suburbs will offer several more opportunities. A word of caution is needed for anyone seeking an education in Art. Beware of schools that boast they are only for artists and ask for one sample of your work. Often these are scams out to make as much money as possible and your degree is basically worthless. Explore, question, and do plenty of research if the program that catches your eye is not a well-established school in its own right. Let’s explore the top art colleges in Chicago.

Art Colleges in Chicago

1. North Park University

At North Park University, students can choose to perfect their art skills in traditional or graphic design. They may choose to apply their knowledge to a teaching degree or use it for art therapy, which is a growing field. The school also offers a program where you can combine your knowledge of art with the business skills necessary for running a non-profit organization or opening your own art gallery. The Chicago area offers many opportunities for artists and attending this school enables you to participate in many of these events.

  • Cost: $44,450
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 10:1

2. Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University offers a wide variety of programs that can help undecided art majors get a taste of graphic design, traditional painting, learning art history, or sculpting. This is only the beginning. This program is designed to be as individualized as possible so each student may follow a different path to their overall degree. An internship is part of the art program. This school boasts that Chicago is their campus because they are located right in the heart of downtown Chicago, giving students access to all the best Chicago has to offer.

  • Cost: $49,699
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 10:1

3. Northeastern Illinois University

Attending an Art program at Northeastern Illinois University allows you to focus on Art History, Art Education, Studio Art, or Graphic Design. Attending this school not only gives students an opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in the art industry but there are excellent chances for connecting with the art world in general. An Art Club offers a chance to build your portfolio, participate in juried art shows, and connect with others who share your passion. In addition, students get the chance to experience art first-hand in countries such as Peru, China, and Italy on organized trips planned by the art department.

  • Cost: $30,689 (resident), $40,388 (non-resident)
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 13:1

4. Columbia College Chicago

Students seeking a degree in Art in areas not normally found at other schools find a home at Columbia College Chicago. In addition to the traditional Fine Arts degree, you may want to pursue a degree that has you working behind the scenes designing record labels, art posters, and more. You may wish instead to enter Fashion Design or Photography or venture into Graphic Design. For those who want to share art with coming generations, you may pursue a degree that allows you to teach your passion. Advanced students may opt to work with after-school programs that bring the arts to children.

  • Cost: $48,212
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 14:1

5. Loyola University Chicago

The Art program at Loyola University Chicago allows students to major or minor in a diverse selection of areas. This makes it possible to combine a major and minor that is unusual and reflects your goals in life more precisely. Being located near the cultural area of Chicago, students have ready access to both the studios on campus as well as the chance to immerse themselves in the world of art, gaining connections that will be invaluable once school is done, and possibly even allowing a chance to get your foot into the water earlier.

  • Cost: $63,123
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 14:1

6. Saint Xavier University

The Studio Art program at Saint Xavier University may not be as diversified as other schools on the list, but graduates are well-respected and prepared for many areas of the art world. You may perfect your art, help design commercial works, open an art gallery, or teach. This 120-hour course will have you feeling your growth from the beginning. During your senior year, you will have the opportunity to undergo a major project based on your largest area of interest.

  • Cost: $49,064
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 16:1

7. DePaul University

DePaul University offers an in-depth art degree program that allows students to experience many aspects of the art world. The labs and studios offer state-of-the-art equipment and there is an emphasis on personal instruction. This isn’t a program meant to hone one skill in particular but instead to give those seeking a well-rounded knowledge of the art world in general, such as those who seek to enter showing or dealing art, knowledge beyond what a focused-program would offer.

  • Cost: $59,406
  • Student: Teacher Ratio: 16:1

Our Ranking Method

Schools made our list of art colleges in Chicago based on the variety of opportunities prospective students could explore in the field of art, the student: teacher ratio, and the overall standing of the school itself. If you are an art school in Chicago and believe you have been overlooked, please let us know. We will gladly take your information and consider it for future lists. We want to bring together schools and students that benefit each other.

If you are a student seeking a particular college program, please reach out and see how we can help you. If you are still exploring your possibilities or seeking a particular school in one area, also let us know and we can help reduce the amount of time and effort you spend researching. You can better use that time and energy on achieving your dream of finding the perfect program from which to launch your future.

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