College Choice Releases 2017 Ranking of the 25 Best MFA Programs

College Choice, a leading authority in college and university rankings and resources, has published its 2017 ranking for the 25 Best MFA Programs.

Though arguments against the degree proliferate, the stigma of the MFA exists solely due to its perceived lack of practicality, despite studies that have proven the MFA not only provides vocational flexibility and adaptability, but it can, in fact, lead to long-term job stability and sustainability.

“In a century marked by code and data, the arts are needed now more than ever, and exponentially expanding graduate programs reflect that need and growth,” Christian Amondson, Managing Editor of College Choice, said of the ranking. “Perhaps the biggest reason to consider the MFA is mentorship. Not only will you have the opportunity to work with renowned artists in your field, you will also develop close working relationships with faculty during your studies, and after.”

College Choice developed the 2017 ranking for the 25 Best MFA Programs by looking at strength across multiple subject areas and disciplines. The ranking was created after examining academic reputation, student satisfaction, affordability, and average annual salary of early career artists from MFA programs across the country. This information was researched using a variety of publicly available resources, including the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA,, individual school websites, and the National Center for Education Statistics.

The College Choice 2017 ranking for the 25 Best MFA Programs finds Carnegie Mellon University in the top spot. Yale University and UCLA round out the top three.

The complete rankings listed alphabetically are as follows:

Bard College, Annadale On Hudson, NY

Boston University, Boston, MA

Brown University, Providence, RI

California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA

California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Columbia University, New York, NY

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI

CUNY Hunter College, New York, NY

Indiana University, Bloomington, Bloomington, IN

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

New York University, New York, NY

Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Tufts University, Medford, MA

UC Irvine, Irvine, CA

UC San Diego, San Diego, CA

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

University of Texas, Michener Center, Austin, TX

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, WI

Yale University, New Haven, CT