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WORLD's TOP DESIGN SCHOOLS

Established in 1837, the Royal College of Art is the world’s oldest art and design university in continuous operation, with a tradition of innovation and excellence in creative education.
In 2019, the RCA was ranked as the number one Art and Design university in the world – for the fifth consecutive year – by the QS World University Subject Rankings. 

The RCA is wholly postgraduate, offering a Graduate Diploma conversion programme and Master’s, MPhil, MRes and PhD degrees. Based around the four Schools of Architecture, Arts & Humanities, Communication and Design, the broad range of disciplines on offer is based on a strong foundation of practice-based research and integrates STEAM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics – providing a unique and transformative experience. 

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (or “RIZ-dee” for the acronym RISD) is one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design in the U.S. Each year approximately 2,300 students from around the world pursue a creative, studio-based education at RISD, which offers rigorous bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in 19 architecture, design, fine arts and art education majors. The college is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which offers its own vibrant art scene and is conveniently located between two other major cultural centers: Boston and New York. From its incorporation on March 22, 1877, Rhode Island School of Design has stood out as a leader in art and design education, attracting extraordinary people who thrive in its creative culture. As one of the first colleges of its kind in the country – founded simultaneously with the RISD Museum of Art – it has always been something of a maverick.

At Aalto University science and art meet technology and business. Aalto University’s mission is to build an innovative society where breakthrough discoveries deeply integrated with design and business thinking enable systemic solutions and accelerate innovation. Aalto University was established in 2010 through a merger of three renowned universities in the Helsinki metropolitan area in Finland. Aalto University is about cross-disciplinary projects and learning in practice. Students are encouraged and supported to excel both in their studies and their future careers. Many of them already have a vast work experience by the time they graduate. Aalto University offers more than 90 degree programmes at bachelor, master and doctoral level, leading to degrees in the fields of technology, business, art, design and architecture. The combination of fields brings a whole new dimension to studying: in addition to the traditional degree options, you can tailor a unique study experience to meet your interests and career goals. Aalto University encourages its students to engage in multidisciplinary projects and practice-oriented learning. The inspiring atmosphere stems from passionate, student-oriented learning that emphasises creativity as well as critical thinking. Aalto University’s graduates are provided with a wide range of skills, valued in positions requiring high-level expertise with 83% of those with a master’s degree finding employment in their field immediately after graduation.

From the first day of classes in October 1887, Pratt Institute has offered students and faculty members the opportunity to make a tangible difference on a local, national, and international scale. While the Institute’s curriculum and scope have evolved in the decades since its founding, its programs remain true to the founder’s vision. As one of the world’s multicultural epicenters for arts, culture, design, and business, New York City provides Pratt students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the Pratt campuses in Brooklyn and Manhattan. With a 25-acre campus in Brooklyn, a creative hub in the midst of a renaissance, and another in Manhattan, Pratt is a living lab of craft and culture. The Institute’s campus in the historic Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn is adjacent to the emerging Brooklyn Tech Triangle, a nexus for innovation and entrepreneurship. Pratt’s programs are consistently ranked among the best in the country, and its faculty and alumni include the most renowned artists, designers, and scholars in their fields. Its interdisciplinary curriculum promotes collaborative and creative strategies for design thinking and provides students with unparalleled training facilities.

University of the Arts London (UAL) is ranked 2nd in the world for Art and Design according to the 2020 QS World University Rankings®, for the second year in a row. It is Europe’s largest specialist art and design university, with over 19,000 students from more than 130 countries. Established in 2004, UAL brings together six esteemed arts, design, fashion and media Colleges, which were founded in the 19th and early 20th centuries:

  • Camberwell College of Arts
  • Central Saint Martins
  • Chelsea College of Arts 
  • London College of Communication
  • London College of Fashion
  • Wimbledon College of Arts

“Mind and Hand” is the thought-provoking motto of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, known also as MIT. This motto enigmatically encapsulates this famous institution’s mission to advance knowledge in science, technology and areas of scholarship that can help to make the world a better place. 

At its founding in 1861, MIT was initially a small community of problem-solvers and science lovers eager to bring their knowledge to bear on the world. Today, MIT has evolved into an educational behemoth, with some 1,000 faculty members and more than 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students. 

MIT is now an independent, coeducational, privately endowed university organized into five schools (architecture and planning; engineering; humanities, arts, and social sciences; management; science). Yet the principle of educational innovation remains at the core of MIT’s educational philosophy. 

MIT researchers are at the forefront of developments in artificial intelligence, climate adaptation, HIV, cancer, and poverty alleviation, while in the past MIT research has fuelled scientific breakthroughs such as the development of radar, the invention of magnetic core memory and the concept of the expanding universe. 

Founded in 1845, The Glasgow School of Art is one of the few remaining independent art schools in the UK. With a proven history of producing some of the world’s most influential and successful artists, designers and architects, the GSA’s studio-based specialist, practice-led education draws talented individuals with a shared passion and concern for visual culture from all over the world. Many graduates have chosen to stay in Glasgow so that today the city is home to one of the UK’s largest and most vibrant creative communities. 

Parsons School of Design enables students to develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a rapidly changing society. Students collaborate with peers, industry partners, and communities around the world and in New York City, a global centre of art, design, and business. At Parsons, a diverse community of students develop critical thinking skills and apply them to challenges ranging from environmental degradation to physical accessibility and humanitarian crises. Through a network of interconnected design laboratories, students explore global phenomena at multiple sites and scales of engagement, from on-campus research initiatives to partnerships that effect change in New York and around the world.In fall 2013, Parsons began offering undergraduate degree programs at our new Paris campus — visit Parsons Paris to learn more.

Established in 1863, Politecnico di Milano is one the most outstanding technical universities in Europe, and the largest Italian university in Engineering, Architecture and Design, with nearly 45,000 students.
The university has seven campuses located in Milan and in other nearby Italian cities: Lecco, Cremona, Mantova and Piacenza. It is organized in 12 Departments and in 4 Schools, respectively devoted to research and education.


Research plays a central role in the university mission, aiming at providing the best standards in education. It is fueled by strong links to corporate research, considerable European funds, and a set of well-equipped laboratories.
Politecnico di Milano offers innovative programmes at all academic levels. Almost the entire postgraduate academic offer is taught in English, thus attracting an ever-increasing number of international students, coming from more than 100 countries.


The list of Politecnico di Milano notable alumni is considerable and includes renown professionals, such as Renzo Piano and Aldo Rossi, both Pritzker Price, and Giulio Natta, Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


Politecnico di Milano is proudly member of IDEA League, a strategic alliance among five leading European universities of technology that aims to educate a new generation of Engineers with extra-curricular activities for selected, highly talented students.

For over 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program consistently ranking among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, Jeff Koons, and LeRoy Neiman.