Gyanberry > Course > top universities for creative arts in 2022 2023

Top Universities for Creative Arts in 2022-2023

May 5, 2022

Best Global Colleges and Universities for Creative Arts programs

About Creative Arts

Creative arts is an umbrella term covering the disciplines of design, art, and performance. Courses in creative arts enable students to pursue arts professionally.  Students learn about the history of their field and gain theoretical insights. Practical coaching, group activities, and mentorship can enhance students’ technical skills. An education in creative arts requires emotional intelligence and imaginative skills. 

The study of art and design is linked to society and culture. Multicultural interaction can broaden artistic perspectives. The best-ranking colleges and universities for creative arts can provide students with the right environment for a fulfilling artistic career.

Creative Arts Specializations

Creative Arts can be split into three broad branches: visual arts, literary arts, and performance arts. There are several subdisciplines within each branch. Students can choose to study any of the following areas

  • Painting
  • Sculpting
  • Photography
  • Drawing
  • Animation
  • Architecture
  • Graphic Design
  • Drama
  • Creative Writing
  • Scriptwriting
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Fashion Designing
  • Culinary Arts

Creativity is an essential element in any profession. Many of the areas of creative arts are interdisciplinary. For example, courses in graphics communications or game design and development use computing and mathematical knowledge besides creativity.

Popular Creative Arts programs

Undergraduate level 

  • Bachelor of Arts Major in Creative Writing
  • Bachelor of Creative Arts
  • Bachelor of Communication (Media Arts and Production)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Photography
  • Bachelor of Creative Arts (Music)

Graduate level

  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
  • Master of Creative Arts
  • Master of Musical Arts
  • Master of Theatre
  • Master of Photography

Doctoral level

  • Doctor of Philosophy – Media, Culture and Creative Arts
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Arts)
  • Ph.D. in Creative Arts and Media

Duration of Creative Arts programs

Students who wish to do a bachelors and masters in creative arts can complete their study in four to six years. Some accelerated programs help students graduate with a master’s degree in five years.

Country Bachelor’s level Master’s level
United States 4 years 2 years
United Kingdom 3 years 1-2 years
Australia 3 years 2 years
Canada 4 years 2 years

Top ranking universities for Creative Arts programs in the world

This list mentions all the best universities worldwide which offer degrees in writing. music, theatre. and other creative arts. These universities have been ranked per QS World University Rankings 2022, Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities 2021, and US News Best Global Universities 2022.

QS Ranking Shanghai Rankings US News Ranking University Country Bachelor’s program Master’s program
1 7 5 University of Oxford United Kingdom Click here Click here
2 3 8 University of Cambridge United Kingdom Click here Click here
3 1 1 Harvard University United States Click here Click here
4 5 4 University of California, Berkeley United States Click here Click here
5 2 3 Stanford University United States Click here Click here
6 11 12 Yale University United States Click here Click here
7 8 6 Columbia University United States Click here Click here
8 27 30 New York University United States Click here Click here
9 38 32 The University of Edinburgh United Kingdom Click here Click here
10 14 14 University of California, Los Angeles United States Click here Click here
11 17 16 University College London United Kingdom Click here Click here
12 75 29 National University of Singapore Singapore Click here Click here
13 4 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States Click here Click here
14 10 15 University of Chicago United States Click here Click here
15 6 16 Princeton University United States Click here Click here
16 33 25 The University of Melbourne Australia Click here Click here
17 22 16 University of Toronto Canada Click here Click here
19 NA 78 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Germany Click here Click here
20 101-150 76 The University of Hong Kong Hong Kong Click here Click here
21 NA 38 University of Amsterdam Netherlands Click here Click here
22 101-150 28 The University of Sydney Australia Click here Click here
23 35 46 Sorbonne University France Click here Click here
24 24 77 University of Tokyo Japan Click here Click here
25 78 56 The Australian National University Australia Click here Click here
26 NA NA Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne France Click here Click here
27 47 33 King’s College London United Kingdom Click here Click here
28 NA 95 Freie Universitaet Berlin Germany Click here Click here
29 26 19 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor United States Click here Click here
30 42 35 University of British Columbia Canada Click here Click here

Creative Arts programs in the US

The United States can be an ideal location for artists and creative professionals. The country offers a huge range of opportunities for creative arts graduates. The average annual salary of a creative arts undergraduate in the US is USD 56,000.

There are several universities in the US dedicated to teaching creative arts. The New School, Rhode Island School of Design, and the Pratt Institute are some of the many such institutes.

Some of the popular programs in creative arts are-

Bachelor’s programs

Most bachelor’s programs in creative arts are offered as a bachelor of art or a bachelor of fine art degree. Undergraduate courses in the US are usually four years long. 

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Photography
  • Bachelor of Arts in English – Creative Writing
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Media Arts and Design -Creative Advertising
  • BA in Theatre Arts

Master’s programs

Universities in the US cover a wide range of disciplines for a master’s degree in creative arts

Some of the programs being offered at the top universities are

  • Master of Fine Arts in Visual Arts
  • Masters of Fine Arts in Acting and Directing
  • Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art
  • Master of Interior Design
  • MDes Graphic Design

Best universities for Creative Arts programs in the US

QS Ranking Shanghai Rankings US News Ranking University Bachelor’s program Master’s program
3 1 1 Harvard University Click here Click here
4 5 4 University of California, Berkeley Click here Click here
5 2 3 Stanford University Click here Click here
6 11 12 Yale University Click here Click here
7 8 6 Columbia University Click here Click here

Creative Arts programs in the UK

The UK is a hub for several national and multinational marketing and advertising agencies. The region can provide ample opportunities for creative personnel in the corporate world. Several prestigious universities in the UK offer a range of creative art programs. Some of the popular ones at undergraduate and graduate levels are

Bachelor’s level

  • Bachelor of Art in Fine Art
  • BSc Fashion Technology
  • BA Games Design and Art
  • BA Textile Design

Master’s level

  • Master of Fine Art (MFA)
  • MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture
  • MFA Creative Documentary by Practice
  • MA Film Directing
  • MA Illustration

A creative arts undergraduate can expect an average annual salary of GBP 27,000.

Top universities for Creative Arts programs in the UK

QS Ranking Shanghai Rankings US News Ranking University Bachelor’s program Master’s program
1 7 5 University of Oxford Click here Click here
2 3 8 University of Cambridge Click here Click here
9 38 32 The University of Edinburgh Click here Click here
11 17 16 University College London Click here Click here
27 47 33 King’s College London Click here Click here

Creative Arts programs in Canada

The arts industry has been on the rise in recent years in Canada. The Canadian government has been putting efforts to uplift the industry to pre-pandemic levels. 

These efforts mean new career avenues for creative professionals. Canada, like the US, has several prestigious universities offering diversified bachelor’s programs in creative arts. 

With a bachelor’s degree in creative arts, a graduate can earn an average annual salary CAD 52,000. Master’s programs usually are two years in length. Some popular programs are

Bachelor’s level

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual Art)
  • Bachelor of Design
  • Bachelor of Art (Creative Writing)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Theatre & Film Studies
  • Bachelor of Music (Honours)

Master’s level 

  • Master of Visual Studies in Studio Art
  • Master of Music in Performance
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) Music Theory (Thesis)
  • Master of Urban Design
  • Master of Fine Arts

Best universities for Creative Arts in Canada

QS Ranking Shanghai Rankings US News Ranking University Bachelor’s program Master’s program
17 22 16 University of Toronto Click here Click here
30 42 35 University of British Columbia Click here Click here
37 67 51 McGill University Click here Click here
120 101-150 151 University of Montreal Click here Click here
159 301-400 456 York University Click here Click here

Creative Arts programs in Australia

Creative arts education in Australia imparts historical and modern ideologies of creativity. A typical bachelor’s in creative arts degree is three years long. Australia offers many options for a regular Bachelor of Creative Arts degree, unlike other countries where creative art degrees are given as B.A, B.FA, or a B.Des. Students can choose their preferred specialization according to their interests.

A creative arts undergraduate draws an average annual salary of AUD 54,000.

Some of the well-known bachelor’s programs are

  • Bachelor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing)
  • Bachelor of Creative Arts (Photography)
  • Bachelor of Creative Arts (Drama)
  • Bachelor of Creative Arts (Enterprise)
  • Bachelor of Creative Arts (Fashion)

Master’s programs for creative arts in Australia are two years in duration. Among a wide range of disciplines, visual arts and creative writing are quite popular and widely available. The interdisciplinary nature of the creative arts programs in Australia ensures students are eligible for jobs across various industries.

  • Master of Arts in Visual Arts
  • Master of Creative Arts
  • Master of Philosophy (Creative Arts)
  • Master of Arts in Creative and Cultural Futures
  • Master of Arts in Literature and Creative Writing

Best universities for Creative Arts in Australia

QS Ranking Shanghai Rankings US News Ranking University Bachelor’s program Master’s program
16 33 25 The University of Melbourne Click here Click here
22 101-150 28 The University of Sydney Click here Click here
25 78 56 The Australian National University Click here Click here
42 80 40 Monash University Click here Click here
46 65 41 The University of New South Wales Click here Click here

Academic requirements for Creative Arts programs

Entry requirements for Bachelor of Creative Arts

  • Completion of 12th standard with at least 60-65% aggregate percentage
  • Proof of English proficiency with an IELTS score of 6.5 and no component below 6.0
  • Standards exam scores, such as SAT, ACT, or STAT, if applicable

Documents like a statement of purpose, recommendation letters, or a resume may be required depending on the university.

Entry requirements for Master of Creative Arts

  • A bachelor’s degree in a related discipline
  • Sufficient English language requirements
  • Portfolio of applicant’s writings/designs/other relevant material
  • Recommendation letters
  • Resume

Please note that entry requirements for specialized programs may be different. Applicants should check their preferred course requirements from the university page.

Careers in Creative Arts

Careers in creative arts are dynamic and highly competitive. They can get hectic and irregular. Success in the arts industry is dependent on a person’s self-motivation abilities. Needless to say, it is quite difficult to succeed in creative arts without talent.

There are several career options in this area. Some of the well-known ones are

  • Animator
  • Actor/Director
  • Choreographer/Dancer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Art Therapist
  • Game developer
  • Jewelry Designer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Musician/Producer/Composer
  • Singer/Songwriter
  • Interior Designer
  • Artist/Painter
  • Photographer
  • Museum Curator
  • Make-up Artist
  • Author/Writer
  • Advertiser
  • Copywriter
  • Teacher

Professionals in this field can freelance, and work as full-time employees for a public or private organization. They may even be hired on a contract basis. Job and salary growth increases with experience and quality of projects.

Average Salary of Creative Artists

Country Average Annual Salary in USD *
United States 41,000-65,000
United Kingdom 27,600-62,800
Australia 31,100-57,800
Canada 31,100-72,300

The salaries listed in the table above are for a graduate with a bachelor of creative arts degree. Professions in the creative industry can draw higher salaries beyond the mentioned figures. Some professionals earn well even without any undergraduate degree in creative arts. This field is very diverse and success is dependent on various personal factors.

* Salaries mentioned in USD have been converted from each country’s currency at the current exchange rates. Please note that exchange rates are subject to periodic change and hence, these figures may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

The total cost of a bachelor’s degree in creative arts can cost anywhere between USD 30,900 to 40,000. Actual fees may depend on college and other special fees.

Yes. Besides bachelor’s and master’s programs at top global universities, there are many institutes specifically designed for creative arts education. Some of them are the Royal College of Art (UK), The New School (US), Aalto University (Finland), and Politecnico di Milano (Italy).

Some master’s programs in creative arts (such as the one offered at Deakin University, Australia) do not specify work experience requirements. But some specializations (such as Film studies or creative writing) may need applicants to have at least two years of prior work experience. 

Still have questions?Contact us