Great Colleges for Visual Arts in the West and Midwest

Start your visual arts college search with this list of colleges and universities in the Midwestern and Western US that are looking for students like you!

Visual arts fields are for the most passionate people of all—those driven by the idea of creating something out of nothing, of finding beauty in anything. Creative students deserve the best of the best when it comes to visual arts higher education. If you’re an artistically driven individual, these schools are a great place to start (or continue) your college search. 

All the colleges and universities on this list are located in the Midwestern and Western US and offer fantastic visual arts programs in varying disciples—and you can connect with all of them quickly and easily on CollegeXpress! You’ll find a green “Connect me” button underneath each featured school. If you’re interested in learning more, just click the button—then they'll reach out to you with more info. This could be your launching point to a great art career! 

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State UniversityCleveland State University is a public university on an 85-acre campus in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The University offers creative students the Department of Theatre & Dance, the School of Music, the Department of Art & Design, and the School of Film & Media Arts. Visual arts undergraduates can major in Art History, Design, or Studio Art and can declare a minor in Art History, Graphic Design, Studio Art, or Visual Studies.

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Miami University

Miami UniversityMiami University is a public coeducational university with a 2,100-acre in Oxford, Ohio, plus two additional campuses in Middletown and Hamilton. Visual arts students can major in Art (with a concentration in Ceramics, Metals, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture), Architecture, Art Education, Fashion, Games & Simulation, Interior Design, and more. 

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Ohio University

Ohio UniversityOhio University is a comprehensive public university in Athens, Ohio—75 miles southeast of Columbus. With 17,000 undergraduates and a 16:1 student-faculty ratio, students can choose from more than 250 academic programs, including Studio Art, Art History, Interior Architecture, and more. Students can pursue their passions through exhibition opportunities, various funding for creative projects, innovative programs with contemporary practices, and more.

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Sierra Nevada University

Sierra Nevada UniversitySierra Nevada University is a private liberal arts university on an 18-acre campus in Incline Village, Nevada—31 miles from Reno. Students can choose from majors in 2D or 3D Practices, Digital Arts, Psychology & Art or Music, and much more. They also have the opportunity to exhibit work in the Midway Art Portfolio Review and annual group Student Show, while BFA students finish their degrees with a solo show in one of the main galleries. 

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Trinity International University

Trinity International UniversityTrinity International University is a private church-affiliated university with a 111-acre campus in Deerfield, Illinois—only 25 miles north of downtown Chicago. Visual Arts students can major or minor in Graphic Design and take courses in photography, digital storytelling, calligraphy, and art. The School also offers opportunities to work with professional designers in the Chicago area. 

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University of Cincinnati

The University of CincinnatiUniversity of Cincinnati is a public research institution with a 250-acre campus just two miles from downtown Cincinnati. Visual arts students can apply to programs in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). Majors include Fashion Design, Industrial Design, Fine Arts, and more. The College also offers other programs such as a Game Art Certificate and Art History, among others. 

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University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado BoulderUniversity of Colorado Boulder is a comprehensive public university with a 600-acre campus in Boulder, Colorado—just 27 miles northwest of Denver. Nearly 1,000 undergraduate Art students and 50 Art graduate students learn from 18 full-time Studio Arts faculty members in programs including Ceramics, Foundations, IMAP (Photography, Digital Media, Video, and Integrated Arts), Painting & Drawing, Printmaking, and Sculpture & Post-studio Practice.

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University of Iowa

The University of IowaUniversity of Iowa is the state’s first public institution of higher education, with a 1,700-acre campus directly adjacent to downtown Iowa City, Iowa. Art undergraduate areas of study include Art, Art History, Cinema, Communication Studies, Comparative Literature, Dance, English, English & Creative Writing, Journalism & Mass Communication, Music, and Theater Arts. 

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Wayne State University

Wayne State UniversityWayne State University is a comprehensive public university on a 194-acre campus in Detroit, Michigan, with satellite campuses in Clinton Township, Farmington Hills, Jackson, Livonia, and Warren. Art students can major in Art, Art History, Dance, Design, Design & Merchandising, Film, Journalism, Media Arts, and more through the College of Fine, Performing & Communication Arts.

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Interested in earning a visual arts degree somewhere else? You can check out our Visual Arts School Profiles page to find more options!

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