The 10 Best Art Schools in Maryland

There’s no doubt about it: Maryland is one of the most beautiful states in the nation.

From the slopes of Sugarhill Mountain to the wild horses running across Assateague Island, the views here are unlike quite any other. 

Whether sunbathing on the beaches or hiking through the trails, stepping into this state is like walking through another world, one where beauty and serenity are the purest possible goals. 

It is no wonder, then, that this state is home to some of the most prestigious art schools in the nation. 

Though one of the northernmost states in the nation, Maryland carries a unique culture most similar to that of Southern America. The result is a rich cultural background that has driven many of the most renowned artists in the nation.

With its colonial influences, Maryland offers artists the chance to seep inspiration from the rich history of their surroundings, writing the story of the United States with every brushstroke. 

The dedication to preserving the abundance of national parks ensures that even city-bound students have access to the natural world, allowing them the widest possible range of artistic scenery. 

Wherever an art student chooses to take their career, they are in good hands in any of these amazing art schools. Here are 10 of the best art schools in Maryland.

Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore, MD)

Maryland Institute College of Art
MICA – Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Maryland Insitute College of Art offers its students the broadest possible range of artistic events and activities, ensuring they never have a dull moment on this campus. 

Through MICA’s annual Art Market, students have the chance to put their education to work, presenting and selling their art to the city of Baltimore. 

Through this process, students gain the confidence that comes from showcasing their art, skills in negotiation and sales, and the financial benefits that officially allow them to call themselves “professional artists.”

Similarly, the annual MICA Grad Show allows an average of 150 students every year the chance to showcase their art in a professional setting. In doing so, it provides the opportunity for these students to experience the life of a “true” artist, seeing their work admired by all manner of like-minded individuals in the city of Baltimore.  

Towson University (Towson, MD)

While enrolled in the Townson University Department of Art and Design, students have access to a range of different galleries where they can study new and unique stylings firsthand. 

None of these galleries is as unique as the Asian Arts and Cultural Center

Initially formed in the 1970s in response to a rise in anti-Asian sentiments, this center provides students the rare opportunity to study the unique stylings of Asian art in detail. 

In addition to hosting a variety of traditional Asian art pieces– from paintings to pottery– this gallery holds regular demonstrations of this art form in action. 

Through the intimate environment of its cozy campus, students have the opportunity to experience a global, culturally valuable education. 

University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, MD)

University of Maryland
Wispeye, University of Maryland, CC BY-SA 4.0

The art school at the University of Maryland takes pride in offering students the chance to study art in a new way as they diligently research the relationship between tradition and new media. 

Through respect for both ancient and modern art, this school elevates the form to a new level, teaching students the value of visual design across all disciplines. 

This take on visual media led alumni Sed Gedra into her thriving career as a set designer and professional artist. When not arranging the background of shows like “World Beyond,” the most recent spinoff of “The Walking Dead,” Gedra is honing her skills by creating eye-popping costume pieces. 

Art education at the University of Maryland is about more than just painting; it is about truly examining all the possibilities within this field, helping students emerge into their own version of successful artistic and career fulfillment. 

Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD)

The visual arts program at Morgan State University offers students the chance to study in one of four areas of the arts: art history, graphic design, illustration, or the multi-media studio track. 

Regardless of their chosen field, each student is given the same access to the expansive, professional education they need to succeed.

Not only that, but this university’s location in the heart of Baltimore means students are only a few blocks away from some of the most excellent art museums in the nation, allowing them to learn from the greats without straying too far from the comfort of their dorms.

Future illustrators are guaranteed to feel at home within the Baltimore Museum of Art environment, where a constant rotation of new and exciting exhibits promises stimulating opportunities to study the latest forms of painting and sketching. 

Likewise, the American Visionary Art Museum provides chances for multi-media students to study their favorite form of art in all its unique creativity, with a seemingly endless blend of sculptures, paintings, and cut-outs to study. 

Salisbury University (Salisbury, MD)

Within the last twenty years, the Salisbury University Art Department has doubled. 

This is primarily due to this program’s dedication to providing young artists the freedom to focus on their chosen field with dedicated, well-respected intensity.

Whereas many programs offer just three credits per art course, this one provides four. In doing so, they allow their artists to spend more time focusing on fewer classes, respecting the additional time that this major requires students to spend in their studios.

As they focus on their art, students are privy to a constant stream of visiting artists. These exhibitions– covering every style from Matt Motel’s multimedia performance to Alexander Rosenburg’s glass blowing– give every student equal access to inspiration from across the artistic spectrum, regardless of what area they hope to study specifically.  

Goucher College (Baltimore, MD)

Goucher College
Wikieditor19920, PagliaroSelzHall, CC BY-SA 4.0

Goucher College is dedicated to ensuring that every student in their art program leaves with a full portfolio of works they can use to propel their future career. 

What better way to do so than by inspiring others who have successfully done so?

This campus is home to four dedicated art galleries, where students can imitate the works of others as they endeavor to hone their own unique stylings.  

While three of these galleries are preserved for visiting artists, the Corrin Student Gallery remains a blank space for students to fill with their own work, allowing them to learn from one another and practice professionally exhibiting their own work.

This school utilizes partnerships with local museums to further students’ networking possibilities to offer rewarding internship opportunities

While gaining course credit, students in this program can work directly with museum officials to practice the possibilities of a career protecting the arts. 

McDaniel College (Westminster, MD)

The art department at McDaniel College proves the notion that, in today’s progressive world, there truly are thriving career opportunities available for a passionate artist.

Nothing proves that dedication more than a glance at their inspirational alumni

After going on to study art therapy, Stephanie Kurtya became a leader in this field as the art therapist coordinator at The Child and Adolescent Center. 

Here, she puts her degree to work helping others emotionally heal and strengthen their connections through the power of art.

Betty Japinga chose a similar route, advocating for the arts as the Communications and Development Coordinator at Arts Everyday in Baltimore, where she continues her passion by encouraging the growth of other Baltimore artists.

Possibly the most inspirational of all, Tim Snyder followed his passion for arts education all the way to the state capitol when he was awarded the teacher of the year position in 2018. 

Frostburg State University (Frostburg, MD)

Frostburg State University
KilgoreandJosy, FrostburgState-LowerQuad, CC BY-SA 4.0

While enrolled in the art school of Frostburg State University, students have access to some of the top facilities in the state, including studios, darkrooms, and state-of-the-art computer labs. 

Empowered by the most up-to-date technology and modern art forms, students have every chance to explore the most intricate facets of their own artistic possibilities.

In their state-of-the-art computer labs, students have access to two separate Macintosh computer labs, specifically dedicated to the graphic design and visual arts program. 

Here, every student can take advantage of colored printers, laser engravers, and 3D printers to bring their projects to life.

In addition to a complete analog darkroom, a professionally equipped lighting studio ensures that photography students can maintain the utmost control over their projects, from start to finish. 

While on this campus, professors encourage students to “play” in this expansive space as much as possible, experimenting across different disciplines to push their skills to the next level and test their artistic limits. 

St. Mary’s College of Maryland (St. Mary’s City, MD)

St. Mary’s College of Maryland Art Department recognizes that the best art does not happen in a vacuum; it is inspired by all the unique, alternative passions of the artist responsible.

In the endeavor of encouraging this line of thought in all its art students, St. Mary’s pulls artists and specialists from all around the globe, empowering students to learn from their worldwide experience.

A prime example of this lesson lies in none other than recent guest speaker Heesoo Kwon.

After restationing in the United States to receive her arts education, this South Korean artist found national success. She has participated in exhibitions all over the world, from San Francisco to her home nation of South Korea. 

In 2012, Kwon received the female inventor of the year award, after which her fame and career continued to rise, leading to the Roselyn Schneider Eisner Prize for Photos and Art Practice. 

By pulling from professional artists like Kwon, St. Mary’s allows its students big educational opportunities all from within the safe, encouraging environment of their gorgeous campus. 

Hood College (Frederick, MD)

By encouraging students to draw inspiration from the past, the Hood College Department of Art and Archaeology works specifically to prepare their graduates for careers in museums, galleries, or art restoration. 

This intersection of art and history combines to create their renowned ceramics program. Like all areas of the Hood College art education, this program thrives by teaching students to draw inspiration not only from their current world but the world of the past. 

Recently, participants of this program took their skills to another level by studying the ancient Japanese pottery form to create their own tea bowls, a central element of the Japanese tea ceremony. 

In doing so, they also practiced their own sense of Wabi Sabi, finding beauty in the imperfections of their work. 

In a world that perpetually rushes into the future, Hood College encourages its art students to linger, teaching them to skills of mindfulness and patience as they pursue their chosen careers.