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Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor's Degree Schools

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2021 Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor's Degree Schools

296 Colleges
$25,086 Avg Salary
$25,898 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor's Degree School for You

In 2018-2019, 153,295 visual and performing arts students received their degrees and certificates, making the major the #10 most popular in the country.

Today's students have lots of options to pick from when considering higher education opportunities. With more and more schools offering online options, you could even register for a great program on the other side of the country. On top of that, there are a considerable number of trade schools that offer fast-track entry to many fields.

The Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor's Degree Schools ranking is one of many tools that Course Advisor has developed to help you make your educational decision. Our analysis looked at 296 schools in the United States to see which bachelor's degree programs offered the best educational experiences for students. To come up with a school's ranking, we analyzed numerous factors related to post-graduation wages, the quality of education offered by the school, average accumulated student debt, and more.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for visual and performing arts majors pursuing a bachelor's degree.

Top 25 Top Schools for a Bachelor's in Visual & Performing Arts

#1

Duke University

Durham, NC

Our 2021 rankings named Duke University the best school in the United States for visual and performing arts students working on their bachelor’s degree. Duke is a large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Durham.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend University of Delaware. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. U of Delaware is a very large public school located in the suburb of Newark.

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#3

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Out of the 296 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Carnegie Mellon University landed the # 3 spot on the list. Located in the city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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#4

American University

Washington, DC

A rank of #4 on this year’s list means American University is a great place for visual and performing arts students working on their bachelor’s degree. The American University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Washington.

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Out of the 296 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Northeastern University landed the # 5 spot on the list. Located in the large city of Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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University of Wisconsin - Madison came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools ranking. Wisconsin is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Madison.

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University of Michigan - Ann Arbor ranked #7 on this year’s Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Ann Arbor, U of Michigan is a public school with a fairly large student population.

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#8

Emerson College

Boston, MA

With a ranking of #8, Emerson College did quite well on this year’s best schools for visual and performing arts students working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in the large city of Boston, Emerson is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#9

Taylor University

Upland, IN

With a ranking of #9, Taylor University did quite well on this year’s best schools for visual and performing arts students working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in the town of Upland, Taylor U is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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#10

University of Houston

Houston, TX

With a ranking of #10, University of Houston did quite well on this year’s best schools for visual and performing arts students working on their bachelor’s degree. U of H is a fairly large public school located in the city of Houston.

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#11

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA

Loyola Marymount University came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the large city of Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

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University of Maryland - College Park came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the large suburb of College Park, UMCP is a public school with a fairly large student population.

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University of Southern California did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for visual and performing arts students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #13 on the list. Located in the city of Los Angeles, USC is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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#14

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Northwestern University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for visual and performing arts students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #14 on the list. Located in the small city of Evanston, Northwestern U is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

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Southern Methodist University ranked #15 on this year’s Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. SMU is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Dallas.

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#16

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

University of Florida did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for visual and performing arts students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #16 on the list. U of F is a fairly large public school located in the city of Gainesville.

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#17

Ithaca College

Ithaca, NY

Ithaca College landed the #17 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best bachelor’s degree visual and performing arts programs. Located in the small suburb of Ithaca, Ithaca is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population.

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Iowa State University ranked #18 on this year’s Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Iowa State is a fairly large public school located in the small city of Ames.

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With a ranking of #19, University of California - Santa Barbara did quite well on this year’s best schools for visual and performing arts students working on their bachelor’s degree. UCSB is a fairly large public school located in the midsize suburb of Santa Barbara.

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#20

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa ranked #20 on this year’s Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Iowa City, Iowa is a public college with a very large student population.

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College for Creative Studies ranked #21 on this year’s Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. CCS is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Detroit.

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Illinois State University ranked #22 on this year’s Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Located in the medium-sized suburb of Normal, Illinois State is a public school with a very large student population.

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University of Wisconsin - Stout came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the town of Menomonie, UW - Stout is a public school with a medium-sized student population.

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#24

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University - Main Campus landed the #24 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best bachelor’s degree visual and performing arts programs. Purdue is a very large public school located in the small city of West Lafayette.

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University of Washington - Seattle Campus did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for visual and performing arts students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #25 on the list. Located in the city of Seattle, UW Seattle is a public school with a very large student population.

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Rest of the Top Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor's Degree Schools

#26

Chapman University

Orange, CA
#27

Lindenwood University

Saint Charles, MO
#28

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
#29

Rice University

Houston, TX
#32

New York University

New York, NY
#33

Towson University

Towson, MD
#34

Truman State University

Kirksville, MO
#35

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
#37

Belmont University

Nashville, TN
#40

Bradley University

Peoria, IL
#43

Boston University

Boston, MA
#44

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA

Honorable Mentions

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
45 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
46 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
47 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
48 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
49 Seattle Pacific University Seattle, WA
50 St Olaf College Northfield, MN
51 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
52 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
53 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
54 Texas A&M University - Commerce Commerce, TX
55 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
56 SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, NY
57 Susquehanna University Selinsgrove, PA
58 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
59 University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Champaign, IL

Visual & Performing Arts by Region

View the Best Visual & Performing Arts Bachelor's Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Visual & Performing Arts Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 40,751
Design & Applied Arts 36,179
Music 26,968
Drama & Theater Arts 17,726
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 16,756
General Visual & Performing Arts 5,720
Arts & Media Management 4,766
Dance 3,234
Other Visual Art 1,071
Crafts, Folk Art & Artisanry 124

Related Major Annual Graduates
Liberal Arts / Sciences & Humanities 547,539
English Language & Literature 59,299
Foreign Languages & Linguistics 34,386
Theology & Religious Vocations 32,172
Philosophy & Religious Studies 16,252

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Bonnielou2013.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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