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How To Choose An Art School

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The school’s reputation is obviously important when it comes to choosing an art school, like, although several other factors should help determine your decision too. And of course, if the cost of attending classes is a part of your decision making, as the schools with the best reputation are going to cost more. Many universities and colleges offer art degrees, although an art school will be more specialized and generally offer more comprehensive instruction, although at a higher cost. The least expensive option for study is probably at your local community college; most offer a foundation course in art, the completion of which will help you get into another art college to further your career.

Another deciding factor is what you are attending art school for. Is it to get a broad introduction to the various art mediums, or do you intend to specialize in a particular discipline, such as ceramics, photography or oil painting? Whether you actually want to pursue a career as an artist or whether you want to teach art will help to determine the ideal curriculum, as well as the actual school. Check out the professors to see how well connected they are in the art world, or whether they are skilled artists in their own right. It’s also worth looking at the success rate of any art school you are thinking of attending; in other words how many graduates have gone on to secure good jobs or be successful artist. The quality of the school can also be determined to some extent by the number of art awards, prizes or exhibitions awarded to graduates.

Another factor to consider when choosing an art school is the location. You may prefer to attend classes in the middle of a large town or city, somewhere that has a definite student vibe and making friends is perhaps easier. And of course, attending art school in New York, Chicago or Washington means you will have plenty of great art within easy reach to inspire you. On the other hand, you may prefer a school that’s more isolated and quieter. The cost of living including food and accommodation and commuting costs should also be considered; in short, you should go about choosing an art school as you would choose any other school or college, as you’ll be there for the next few years.

When choosing an art school, you’ll probably find yourself doing plenty of research online. However, there is no substitute for actually visiting a potential art school in person and checking out the campus, the accommodation and facilities and anything else you feel is important. Are the studios and other facilities clean, well maintained, widely available and will they suit your specific needs? When you visit, try to talk to as many staff members and students as possible to get a candid opinion, and ask about student / teacher ratios if that’s important to you. Most schools welcome prospective students, and although any tour will focus on the school’s achievements and positives, it’s an excellent way to get an overall feel for whether it’s the right choice for you.

You should talk to the school’s financial aid staff too; almost all art schools offer some sort of financial assistance, and having some idea in advance what you may qualify for can be a deciding factor. And of course, once you graduate from art school, you’ll need to look for a job. For many people choosing an art school, having an active placement department is useful and it can make it a lot easier to secure a job after you graduate.