In the United States, art schools are considered to be any type of degree-granting institution that confers either bachelor's degrees or master's degrees in fine arts. The curriculum typically focuses on the visual arts, and often students choose a specialty such a sculpture, painting or even graphic design. Many art schools also require students to take courses in other areas in order to provide the students with a well-rounded university experience. While students will sit through many lecture courses, most art schools are hands-on learning institutions where students will be practicing their craft while they study there.
The Yale School of Art at Yale University is the top-rated graduate art school in the United States according to U.S. News and World Report. It is an extremely selective university that accepts just more than 50 students per year. On average, the graduate school can receive more than 1,200 applications for the school year. Students who graduate from the school earn a Master in Fine Arts, and there are four specialties to choose from: sculpture, painting, photography and graphic design. Only students with the best academic records as well as quality portfolios are accepted to this elite art school.
Many of the art schools within the United States partner with major universities in order to provide a unique education for its students. Examples of such partnerships in the United States include the Rhode Island School of Design, which has a long-standing partnership with Brown University, the Maryland Institute College of Art and Johns Hopkins University; School of the Art Institute of Chicago which partners with Roosevelt University; and Parsons the New School for Design which has a partnership with The New School.
The Massachusetts College of Art and Design is the only independent art school in the United States which is supported with state funding. The school is located in Boston, and was founded in 1873, making it not only the only public independent art school but also one of the oldest art schools in the country. The art school with the distinction of being the first established in the United States is the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Located in Philadelphia, this school was established in 1805. It is not only an art school but also a museum school, and the school itself is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is also considered to be a U.S. National Landmark.