Washington Art Schools

Washington Art Schools – 12 Best Art Colleges in Washington State (Ranked for 2024)

Washington State, known for its stunning natural landscapes and technological innovation, has gradually emerged as a nexus for the arts. Aspiring artists seeking a dynamic environment to cultivate their talents need look no further than the Evergreen State.

From the bustling, cosmopolitan canvas of Seattle to the charming arts communities in Tacoma, Spokane, Bellingham, and Olympia, Washington offers a variety of locales that are ripe for artistic exploration and education.

The following list will guide you through the 12 best art schools in the state, detailing each institution’s unique offerings in terms of degrees, enrollment, and their role in the broader artistic community.

What Is The Best Art School In Washington?

1. Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle

  • Degrees Offered: BFA in Fine Arts, Visual Communication, Design, Performance Production
  • Enrollment: Approx. 700 students
  • Community: Cornish students contribute to Seattle’s vibrant arts scene with frequent exhibitions and collaborations with local theatres and galleries.

Full Sail University – Sponsored

Online College

Areas of Study: Music & Recording, Technology, Games, Art & Design, Film & Television, Media & Communications, Business, Sports
Enrollment: 15,500
Student Life: Digital interaction
Annual Tuition (after aid): $28,000

2. University of Washington, Seattle

  • Degrees Offered: BA, BFA, MFA in Art, Design, Art History
  • Enrollment: Approx. 48,000 students (all departments)
  • Community: UW hosts the Henry Art Gallery and connects students with art opportunities throughout Seattle.

3. DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond

  • Degrees Offered: BS in Digital Art and Animation, Game Design
  • Enrollment: Approx. 1,100 students
  • Community: DigiPen students collaborate with tech companies in Redmond, bridging the gap between art and technology.

4. Seattle University, Seattle

  • Degrees Offered: BA in Visual Arts, Art History
  • Enrollment: Approx. 7,300 students
  • Community: Seattle University’s campus art installations and collaborations enrich the Capitol Hill arts scene.

5. Washington State University, Pullman

  • Degrees Offered: BFA, MFA in Fine Arts, Digital Technology and Culture
  • Enrollment: Approx. 20,000 students
  • Community: WSU art students regularly engage with the local community through exhibitions and art festivals in Pullman.

6. Western Washington University, Bellingham

  • Degrees Offered: BA, BFA in Art, Design, Art Education
  • Enrollment: Approx. 16,000 students
  • Community: Western students are an integral part of Bellingham’s arts community, participating in First Friday Art Walks and local exhibitions.

7. Eastern Washington University, Cheney

  • Degrees Offered: BA in Visual Communication Design, Studio Art
  • Enrollment: Approx. 12,600 students
  • Community: EWU plays a key role in Spokane’s emerging art scene with student exhibitions and community projects.

8. Evergreen State College, Olympia

  • Degrees Offered: BA in Media Arts, Visual Arts
  • Enrollment: Approx. 4,300 students
  • Community: Evergreen students actively participate in Olympia’s art scene, collaborating on public art projects and exhibitions.

9. Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma

  • Degrees Offered: BA in Art & Design, Studio Arts
  • Enrollment: Approx. 3,100 students
  • Community: PLU students are often involved in Tacoma Art Museum exhibitions and contribute to the local arts scene.

10. Seattle Pacific University, Seattle

  • Degrees Offered: BA in Visual Communication, Illustration, Studio Arts
  • Enrollment: Approx. 4,000 students
  • Community: SPU engages with Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood through community art projects and partnerships with local schools.

11. Bellevue College, Bellevue

  • Degrees Offered: AA in Fine Arts, Digital Media Arts
  • Enrollment: Approx. 13,500 students
  • Community: Bellevue College hosts the annual Bellevue Arts Fair, offering students an opportunity to showcase their work to the community.

12. Gonzaga University, Spokane

  • Degrees Offered: BA in Art, Visual Art
  • Enrollment: Approx. 7,500 students
  • Community: Gonzaga students contribute to the artistic life of Spokane through partnerships with local galleries and participation in art festivals.


The landscape of art education in Washington is as diverse as the state itself, offering a broad array of disciplines that span from the traditional to the cutting-edge. Students keen on fine arts can delve into classic concentrations such as painting, sculpture, drawing, and ceramics.

Meanwhile, those with an eye toward the future can explore burgeoning fields within digital arts. From game design and 3D modeling to digital illustration and graphic design, schools are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of digital artistry.

Whether you’re an emerging fine artist eager to master traditional techniques or a digital native looking to make your mark in new media, Washington State’s art schools provide a rich tapestry of options.

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