Art class standing at easels drawing live model in draped white dress

Great Colleges and Universities for Visual Arts in the Midwest and West

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. 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. The University also offers an Arts Campus that includes over 120,000 square feet of studios, rehearsal space, classrooms, and production shops, with faculty from the top arts institutions in town, including the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

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Grace College

Grace College logoGrace College is an evangelical Christian community of higher education located in Winona Lake, Indiana. The College offers more than 100 majors, minors, and concentrations, including Visual Communication Design, Art & Visual Culture, Eco-Art, Media Arts, and Photography. Grace guides students to produce excellent creative work, use relevant tools and technology, and articulate analytical perceptions in theoretical, cultural, and stylistic contexts through hands-on and faith-centered experiences.

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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. 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. The College of Creative Arts' #thrivingartist network provides a supportive group of arts alumni in major US cities—including New York City and Los Angeles—plus mentorship for new graduates and collaboration among arts alumni in key metropolitan areas.

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Moody Bible Institute

Moody Bible Institute logoMoody Bible Institute is a private church-affiliated institution in Chicago, Illinois. Students can choose from more than 20 areas of study, including a Bachelor of Arts in Music Ministry which leads Moody graduates to become graphic designers, photographers, writers, radio hosts, videographers, actors, media firm managers, and more. Prepare to influence the future of ministry media with opportunities such as six practicum teams including the Moody Media Lab, a professional student-led creative agency for anyone on campus who wants to join.

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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, OHIO offers 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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University of Chicago

University of Chicago logoThe University of Chicago is a private comprehensive university located seven miles south of downtown Chicago, Illinois. Approximately 6,800 undergraduates pursue over 50 majors and more than 40 minors, including the specialized Visual Arts concentration, which emphasizes critical thinking and perception in a world dominated by visuals and our day-to-day interactions with them. Students also get to work closely with artists, scholars, and community members through the Logan Center Exhibitions, which supports emerging and established artists, ambitious new commissions and research projects, information access via publications, speaking events, and other public programs.

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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, Ohio. Students can apply to programs in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) and pursue majors in Fashion Design, Industrial Design, Fine Arts, and Art History, plus a certificate in Game Art. Established partnerships with regional, national, and international clients provide opportunities for students to engage in real-world projects.

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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. At the heart of campus, the 170,000-sq. ft., state-of-the-art Visual Arts Complex houses both the University of Colorado Boulder Department of Art & Art History and the CU Art Museum.

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University of Idaho

University of Idaho logoThe University of Idaho is a public comprehensive land-grant research institution in Moscow, Idaho—90 miles southeast of Spokane, Washington. The University offers its 10,000+ students more than 100 programs from the associate to doctoral level, including Interior Architecture & Design, Art, Studio Art & Design, Architecture, Environmental Design, and Virtual Technology & Design through the College of Art & Architecture. The newly reimagined Environmental Design program allows students to access versatile design opportunities for land planning and management, environmental consulting fields, and the architecture of landscapes.

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University of Michigan, Stamps School of Art & Design

University of Michigan, Stamps School of Art & Design logoThe Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan is a visual arts college within a comprehensive university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. With Stamps School unique transdisciplinary curriculum all students uniquely pursue their education within the framework of the Art & Design major, and upon graduation will receive a BA, BFA, BFA in Interarts Performance, or a Dual Degree. Career preparation, engaged practice coursework, and required study abroad credits are vital hallmarks of the Stamps undergraduate experience.

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Interested in earning an arts degree somewhere else? Check out our featured visual arts school profiles page to find more options!

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