ASU School of Art Ranked Among America's Best Graduate Schools

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The ASU School of Art now ranks 20th in the country among fine arts graduate schools, according to the 2016 U.S. News & World Report rating of best colleges and universities in the U.S. Last year, it ranked 22nd.

Based on the 2016 report, ASU School of Art now ranks equal to or higher than several esteemed — and some of the most expensive — art schools located in major metropolitan areas. They include Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts in New York City, as well as the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. 

Rankings are based on a 2015 peer assessment survey of art school deans or department chairs at 229 master of fine arts programs in art and design from across the nation. 

Adriene Jenik, professor and director of the ASU School of Art, attributes the rise in ranking to “hardworking faculty and staff support,” describing them as “model artist/researchers as well as devoted teachers and mentors.”

Specific ASU School of Art programs, all part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, were ranked highly in the report, too. This year, the printmaking program ranked fifth, the ceramics program ranked seventh, and the photography program ranked ninth.

These high rankings are likely no surprise to those who’ve spent time exploring ASU’s many student art galleries, or graduate student studios located at Grant Street Studios, which opened in January 2014 in the Phoenix warehouse district.

Several ASU graduate students working in photography and other media have studios there, and the site also houses two ASU galleries. Step Gallery routinely presents MFA thesis exhibitions, and Northlight Gallery exhibits photographic works by current and former students and faculty. (For an inside look, don't miss Grant Street's open studios event on Saturday and Sunday, March 19 and 20.)

This raised national profile is just the latest accolade for ASU School of Art.

Last year, alumnus Kade L. Twist, one of three artists in the Postcommodity collective whose Repellent Fence installation bisected the U.S. and Mexico border, received one of 50 fellowships presented by United States Artists to the nation’s most accomplished and innovative artists. And alumnus Matt Garcia’s desert ArtLAB was one of 48 projects to receive a 2016 grant from Creative Capital. 

Steven J. Tepper, who joined ASU as dean of the Herberger Institute in July of 2014, is quick to praise the School of Art. Tepper says, “Our School of Art is a model for outstanding arts education in the 21st century."

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