The Most Difficult Art School to Get into, Ranked

Choose the art school you think is the most difficult!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jul 23, 2024 06:28
Choosing the right art school can be a pivotal decision for aspiring artists, shaping their future careers and artistic development. The complexity and competitiveness of admissions vary widely among institutions, often leaving applicants puzzled about their chances and what each school uniquely offers. Having a ranked list of the most challenging art schools to gain entry into can provide clarity and assist in setting realistic expectations. By participating in our live ranking system, users contribute to a collective understanding of each art school's selectiveness and reputation. This interactive process not only informs prospective students but also creates a dynamic community dialogue about the quality and demands of top art institutions. Your vote matters in helping us paint a clearer picture of the art education landscape.

What Is the Most Difficult Art School to Get into?

  1. 1

    Rhode Island School of Design

    Renowned for its rigorous approach to art and design education, emphasizing both technical skills and creative exploration.
    • Acceptance Rate: 20%
    • Location: Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  2. 2

    School of the Art Institute of Chicago

    One of the leading art and design schools in the USA, offering a comprehensive range of programs.
    • Acceptance Rate: 57%
    • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  3. 3
    California Institute of the Arts

    California Institute of the Arts

    Known for its avant-garde approach and interdisciplinary programs in visual and performing arts.
    • Acceptance Rate: 23%
    • Location: Valencia, California, USA
  4. 4

    Pratt Institute

    A prestigious college that offers programs in architecture, design, and liberal arts, known for its urban campus and creative community.
    • Acceptance Rate: 39%
    • Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
  5. 5
    Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

    Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

    One of the oldest of its kind in Europe, it has a significant influence on the development of contemporary art education.
    • Acceptance Rate: Not publicly available
    • Location: Antwerp, Belgium
  6. 6

    The Juilliard School

    One of the world's leading music schools, also offering programs in dance and drama, known for its extremely competitive admission process.
    • Acceptance Rate: 7%
    • Location: New York, New York, USA
  7. 7
    Cooper Union

    Cooper Union

    Famous for its selective architecture, art, and engineering programs, offering a full-tuition scholarship to every admitted student.
    • Acceptance Rate: 13%
    • Location: New York, New York, USA
  8. 8
    Parsons School of Design

    Parsons School of Design

    A pioneer in art and design education, it offers innovative interdisciplinary programs and a commitment to creativity and social engagement.
    • Acceptance Rate: 35%
    • Location: New York, New York, USA
  9. 9

    Berklee College of Music

    Renowned for its study of jazz and modern American music, it also offers college-level courses in a wide range of contemporary and historic styles.
    • Acceptance Rate: 51%
    • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  10. 10
    Royal College of Art

    Royal College of Art

    The world's only wholly postgraduate art and design institution, offering unparalleled expertise in the field.
    • Acceptance Rate: 15%
    • Location: London, United Kingdom

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most difficult art school to get into. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or academy is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 83 votes
  • 10 ranked items

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Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each academy once every 24 hours. The rank of each academy is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


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More about the Most Difficult Art School to Get into

Art schools vary in prestige and difficulty of admission. Among them, some stand out as particularly challenging to get into. These schools often have rigorous admission processes, high standards, and a limited number of spots available for new students each year.

Applicants face multiple hurdles. First, they must submit a portfolio. This portfolio showcases their best work and must reflect a high level of skill and creativity. It is not enough to have talent; applicants need to demonstrate a unique vision and a strong grasp of various techniques. The portfolio often includes drawings, paintings, sculptures, or digital art, depending on the program.

In addition to the portfolio, many schools require a written statement. This statement explains the applicant's artistic journey, goals, and why they want to attend the school. It needs to be clear, compelling, and free of errors. It should also reflect the applicant's passion for art and their commitment to developing their skills.

Interviews are another common part of the process. During these interviews, applicants discuss their work and their artistic influences. They must articulate their thoughts clearly and show a deep understanding of their own art. The interviewers look for students who are not only talented but also thoughtful and reflective about their work.

Academic performance can also play a role. While art schools focus on artistic ability, they also consider grades and test scores. Applicants need to show they can handle the academic side of the program. This means maintaining good grades in high school or previous college courses.

The competition is fierce. Many talented artists apply, but only a few are accepted. This means that even highly skilled applicants may not get in. Rejection does not necessarily reflect a lack of talent, but rather the high level of competition.

Once admitted, students face a demanding curriculum. They spend long hours in the studio, often working late into the night. They receive critiques from their peers and professors, which can be both challenging and rewarding. The feedback helps them grow as artists, but it also requires them to be open to criticism and willing to make changes to their work.

Graduates of these schools often go on to have successful careers in the art world. They may become well-known artists, work in galleries, or teach at other institutions. The education they receive prepares them for the challenges of the art world and helps them develop a strong professional network.

The most difficult art schools to get into are not just about talent. They look for students who are passionate, dedicated, and willing to push themselves. The process is tough, but for those who make it, the rewards can be significant. They gain access to top-tier education, resources, and connections that can help them succeed in their artistic careers.

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