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ASU's Herberger Institute School of Art jumps into top 20 in US News & World Report rankings

ASU Grant Street Studios exterior. Photo by Craig Smith.

ASU's Grant Street Studios in downtown Phoenix is home to many of the School of Art's graduate facilities. Photo by Craig Smith

March 15, 2016

The ASU School of Art in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts ranked 20th among fine arts graduate schools, up two spots from last year’s No. 22 and from No. 30 in 2012, in the 2016 U.S. News & World Report annual rating of the nation’s best colleges and universities.

The School of Art’s printmaking program once again ranked fifth in the U.S.

The rise in the rankings puts the School of Art ahead of Parsons School of Design, in New York City, and ties it with the School of Visual Arts (SVA), also in New York City, and the Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles. All three — Parsons, SVA and the Art Center College of Design — are located in major art centers and are among the most expensive arts schools in the nation.

“I attribute the rise in ranking 100 percent to our hardworking faculty and staff support, who are model artist/researchers as well as devoted teachers and mentors,” said Adriene Jenik, professor and director of the ASU School of Art. “I am very proud to be associated with such engaged peers.”

The ASU School of Art adds this jump in the rankings to a list of recent accolades that includes alumnus Kade L. Twist being named a 2015 recipient of one of 50 fellowships awarded by United States Artists to the nation’s most accomplished and innovative artists; the fellowship includes an unrestricted $50,000 grant. In addition, alumnus Matt Garcia’s desert ArtLAB was one of 46 projects to receive up to $50,000 in funding in the form of a 2016 grant from Creative Capital, in the Emerging Fields category.

“Our School of Art is a model for outstanding arts education in the 21st century,” says Herberger Institute Dean Steven J. Tepper. “Its exceptional faculty and staff prepare students for the creative and critical challenges of the future in a supportive, genuinely cross-disciplinary environment that values risk-taking, vision, excellence and affordability. The school’s active engagement with ASU-wide research agendas, its comprehensive facilities and multiple galleries, and its ties with the surrounding arts community all create conditions in which students can thrive. That the school’s alumni go on to achieve national and international prominence speaks volumes about the quality of the education they received here at ASU. We’re pleased that U.S. News & World Report has recognized our school’s excellence in its rankings.”

The recent ranking underscores the ASU School of Art’s status as one of the largest and most respected public schools in the country. The comprehensiveness of the program offers a range of specialties equaled by few other institutions.

True to the Herberger Institute spirit of crossing boundaries and transdisciplinary teaching, faculty from different disciplines team-teach some art courses. Course structures encourage students to develop programs of study that explore a range of artistic specialties. This provides the opportunity to grow more freely as an artist, exploring creativity fully while developing artistic identity.

The U.S. News & World Report's latest ranking of fine arts graduate programs is 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.

The ASU School of Art offers programs not only in ceramics, photography and printmaking but in drawing, fibers, metals, digital technology, intermedia, painting, sculpture, wood, art education, art history, museum studies and, beginning in the fall of 2017, fashion.

For more information about the school, visit, and for more information about the Herberger Institute, visit

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