Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. With a current enrollment of approximately 2,319 students (58% female and 42% male, representing more than 50 countries), the College has a student/faculty ratio of 8 to 1. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and 10 graduate degrees in a wide array of industrial design, visual and applied arts disciplines, as well as minors for undergraduate students in Business, Creative Writing, Material Science, Research, and Social Innovation. The Industrial Design Program offers a joint MS/MBA in partnership with the Drucker School of Management, and the Integrated Studies department offers a First-Year Immersion program that supports students’ transition to undergraduate-level majors with a specialized two-semester course of study.
In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves residents of the Greater Los Angeles region through its ArtCenter Extension programs - a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience.
ArtCenter is a private nonprofit fully accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Renowned for both its ties to industry and social impact initiatives, the College is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status.
Yearly Undergrad Tuition and Fees: $48,044 (2 semesters, 2021-2022)
Yearly Graduate Tuition and Fees: $49,652 (2 semesters, 2021-2022)
Annual Operating Budget: $114 million (FY 2021)
$31 million Board-designated endowment (as of 6/30/20, FY 2021)
$102 million Donor-restricted endowment (as of 6/30/20, FY 2021)
Calendar Year (CY) 2021 unless noted9
Aid processed: $52.2 million
Students with Financial Need10: 59%
Students who Received Financial Aid11: 72%
Students who Received ACCD Scholarship12: 56%
Average Amount of Scholarship13: $6,453
Undergraduates who received a Pell Grant14: 30%
New full-time first-time degree/certificate seeking students who received a Pell Grant12: 18%
Undergraduate Enrollment by Major15
Fall 2021 HC
Entertainment Design: 395
Environmental Design: 65
Fine Art: 52
Graphic Design: 221
Interaction Design: 94
Product Design: 249
Graduate Enrollment by Major
Fall 2021 HC
Broadcast Cinema/Grad Film: 45
Grad Environmental Design: 23
Grad Graphic Design: 84
Grad Transportation Design: 26
Industrial Design: 30
Media Design: 47
Academic Programs and Distinctions
Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Science offered in 11 undergraduate programs. Master of Fine Arts or Master of Science offered in seven graduate programs
Minors offered in Business, Creative Writing, Material Science, Research, and Social Innovation
Joint MS/MBA degree offered in conjunction with Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Management
Included in Graphic Design USA’s 2022 GDUSA Top Graphic Design Schools
Included in The Princeton Review’s 2022 list of the Top 50 Game Design programs
ArtCenter appears in Variety’s 2022 feature Top 50 Films Schools and Instructors From Around the World, The Hollywood Reporter’s list of 2021's Top 25 Film Schools in America, TheWrap’s Top 50 Film Schools of 2021, and MovieMaker’s Best Film Schools in the U.S. & Canada 2021
ArtCenter rounds out College Magazine’s 2020 list of Top 10 Colleges for the New Generation of Web Designers
Ranked #1 in GradDegree.com’s 2021 Best Design & Applied Arts Schools in California
Ranked #3 in Graphic Design and #15 in Best Fine Arts Program in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 list of Best Graduate School Rankings
Ranked #12 among private schools in California for the Best Colleges in America of 2022 in Money magazine
Ranked #13 in Animation Career Review’s 2022 Top 50 Animations Schools and Colleges in the U.S.
Ranked #14 in the QS World University Rankings 2022 according to TopUniversities.com
Ranked #18 in the Top 50 Graphic Design Degree Programs, #34 in the Top 50 Film Degree Programs, and Top 46 Game Design programs in Intelligent's 2022 Rankings
Ranked #20 in Best Colleges for Design, #40 in Best Colleges for Art and #41 in Best Colleges for Film and Photography in Niche.com’s 2022 national rankings
Ranked #129 in the 2019 World University Rankings by Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal out of more than 1,000 colleges of all types, including large universities, public state schools and other specialized and private colleges
Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 figures17
79%: Job Placement Rate for Classes of 2020 Bachelor’s (One-Year Out Graduates, 44% survey response rate)
81%: Job Placement Rate for the Classes of 2020 Masters (One-Year Out Graduates, 35% survey response rate)
84%: Percent of Classes of 2020 Bachelor’s Graduates that indicated Post-Graduation Occupation was Somewhat or Very Related to their Program/Area of Study (One-Year Out Graduates, 44% survey response rate)
87%: Percent of the Classes of 2020 Master’s Graduates that indicated Post-Graduation Occupation was Somewhat or Very Related to their Program/Area of Study (One-Year Out Graduates, 35% survey response rate)
$68,000: Median salary for Classes of 2020 Bachelor’s (One-Year Out Graduates, 44% survey response rate)
$68,000: Median salary for Classes of 2020 Master’s (One-Year Out Graduates, 35% survey response rate)
Post Graduate Studies 18
Less than 1% of Bachelor’s recipients who graduated between Jan 2020 and August 2020 indicated that they were subsequently enrolled fulltime in graduate level education within one year of graduation (43% survey response rate)
Calendar Year (CY) 2021 figures
Year-round open enrollment programs for students of all ages. Courses offered at both campuses. ArtCenter Extension consists of four programs: ArtCenter Extension (ACX), ArtCenter Teens (ACT), ArtCenter Kids (ACK), and ArtCenter Teachers (ACD)
Course Enrollment in ArtCenter Extension: 1,902
Many of the same faculty members teach in the College’s degree programs
Total ACX faculty: 101
ACX-only faculty: 28
Faculty Shared with Degree Program: 53
Course tuition is individually priced
Typical tuition for one course in ACX $830, ACT $300, ACK $300, ACD $760
Scholarship applications: 263
Scholarships awarded: 239
Calendar Year (CY) 2021 figures
Online year-round open enrollment program for teens and adults. Courses offered online only in synchronous and a synchronous modalities.
Course Enrollment in ArtCenter Extension: 294
Total ACO faculty: 6
ACO-only faculty: 2
Faculty Shared with Degree Program: 4
Course tuition is individually priced
Typical tuition for one online course is: Synchronous $499; Asynchronous for full course: $189; Asynchronous Workshops: $69
7 First-Time Freshmen and New Transfers are coded according to IPEDS definitions.
8 Part-time faculty who do not teach courses but who may serve as advisors in particular programs are included in count.
9 Total aid processed by Financial Aid. This model historically uses Calendar Year 1/1-12/31.
10 Percentage = number of students with need/number of students receiving financial aid in Calendar Year.
11 Percentage = students receiving financial aid/unduplicated enrollment count from IPEDS in Calendar Year.
12 Percentage = students receiving ArtCenter scholarship in Calendar Year/unduplicated enrollment count from IPEDS.
13 Average Institutional scholarship received in Fall 2021 term. For CY21 average aid per term was used.
14 Pell Grant reported to IPEDS uses Fall 2021 data. Category sourced from IPEDS reporting
15 Advertising became Creative Direction and Undergraduate Environmental Design became Spatial Experience Design in Spring 2022
16 Rankings include what is currently available to the public.
17 Data from Annual Graduate Employment Survey distributed to One-Year Out Graduates (graduates from Spring 2020 and Summer 2020). Job Placement Rates are calculated by graduates indicating a primary status of “Working full-time”, “Working part-time”, or “Enrolled in additional education” one-year post-graduation. Median Salary is used as opposed to average to provide a more robust figure.
18 Data from Annual Graduate Employment Survey distributed to One-Year Out graduates (graduates from Spring 2020 and Summer 2020). Post-graduation studies rates are calculated by graduates indicating they were “Enrolling in additional education” one-year post-graduation (not necessarily their primary status).
19 ArtCenter Extension was rebranded as ArtCenter Extension and Online in CY 2021.
20 ArtCenter Teachers was inactive in CY 2021.
21 Prior to 2021, data was reported for all ArtCenter Galleries and exhibition spaces.
22 A zine is a small-edition, self-published work of original or appropriated texts, comics, collages, stories and/or images, usually reproduced via photocopier or risograph.
23 All ethnicities and gender reflect IPEDS definitions.
24 Executive Management is made up of President/CEO, Provost, Senior Vice President/CFAO, Senior Vice President of Development, Senior Vice President of Admissions and Enrollment Management, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer.