Studying Art and Design at a U.S. University

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Studying Art and Design at a U.S. University

Artistic people may not look the same, understand each other’s language or culture, but they share a common instinct—the desire to create. This desire begins in their imagination, but their tools for design can differ dramatically. While a painter uses brushes and paint, a digital animator uses computers and advanced software. If you have a passion to design and create the United States has excellent fine arts and design programs, some of the best in the world.

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You can find a wide variety of arts programs to suit your interests in many regions of the United States. For example, the USA is at the forefront of the digital arts revolution. Digital media and the expanding entertainment industry are creating a strong market for new technology, creative concepts and fresh talent. This has given way to many more career opportunities for graphic designers, 3D animators, digital editors and the like, all of whom need a foundation in the fine arts.

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The global success of special effects films has bolstered the position of the USA, California in particular, as a leader in digital arts, while New York City is at the center of the theatre arts scene. Why not study right near the pulse of the film industry?


“We can look at artwork from ancient antiquity to contemporary times in every corner of the world. Art is what we can use to get a glimpse of what beliefs, values, and ideals have been formed or challenged by societies. How amazing is that?”

“I think International students are wonderful because they are open to trying new things, which is crucial in working in the arts. You have to be willing to take chances and work hard for long periods of time often without success or compensation for your efforts.”

The school you choose should employ many practicing, successful artists and designers. You need a mentor who can not only teach you the theory of your discipline, but also help you gain the practical, real-world experience necessary for any career in the arts. Who better to learn from than professionals who are already established and recognized for their accomplishments?

Research the credentials of faculty members and read about their professional experience. You may even ask to speak with some of the professors or current international students. Gaining insight from those already in the program can be very helpful. The school should also have a commitment to investing in new equipment, programs, and technology to keep up with the industry’s lightning-fast pace. Having knowledge and experience with the most current technical programs and equipment will make you more appealing to employers.

Internships, work experience and job placement are also important factors to consider. The school should have contacts within the industry and assist its graduates with placement through recruitment drives, portfolio reviews and workshops. Find out where the graduates are working and ask about the placement rate for recent graduates. Is there an alumni network in place to help new graduates find positions?


Admission to arts programs varies widely. Some schools require portfolios with examples of artwork or performance auditions, while others do not. You should also check whether TOEFL scores are necessary. Most schools greatly appreciate the diversity and unique dimensions that international students bring to campus.

Consider conducting informational interviews to learn more about the field. Interview someone who has a career in your chosen field. What steps do they recommend to obtain this goal? What do they wish they would have known when they were your age?

No matter what the admission requirements are, take the time to select the program that is right for you. As schools in the USA embrace new technology and ideas it has made the United States a uniquely creative place to study. If you have a passion for art and design, couple it with show-stopping professionalism and training, and the sky is the limit.

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