For the creative student, art school is a great choice, but first you need to be sure that the school you choose fits your style. US News and World Report ranks art schools each year, but each school has different strengths. It's a good idea to investigate them to find the one that's best for you.

Rhode Island School of Design

The graduate program of RISD is ranked number one by US News and World Report, and its undergraduate program made the magazine's specialty schools list. If you're looking for great facilities and a range of studio classes from furniture making to game design, RISD may be your best choice. Admission is very competitive.

Rhodes Island School of Design 2 College Street Providence, RI 02903 (401) 454-6100 www.risd.edu

Yale University

Yale's studio MFA program is perhaps the most prestigious of its kind in the country, and the hottest galleries flock to student shows to find the latest art stars. For a career in the fine arts, Yale is an excellent choice. Students can only apply to the undergraduate program in their second year of college and must submit a portfolio of their work.

Yale University School of Art 1156 Chapel Street, New Haven, Connecticut (203) 432-2600 www.yale.edu

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Affiliated with a leading museum, the Art Institute of Chicago offers an array of multidisciplinary programs. You can earn a BA or BFA degree in visual and critical studies, interior architecture, art education, art history, theory and criticism and writing. The graduate school also offers an extensive choice of courses. Programs are rigorous but the institute takes pride in the professionalism of its graduates.

School of the Art Institute of Chicago Master of Fine Arts Program 37 S. Wabash Avenue Chicago, IL 60603-3103 Admissions Phone : (312) 629-6100

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Cranbrook Academy of Art is a graduate degree institution focusing on the intersection of design and art. The unfettered curriculum allows you to structure your studies around your individual artistic practice. If you value small classes and personal attention from faculty, Cranbrook may be the art school for you.

Cranbrook Academy of Art Fine Arts Program 39221 Woodward Avenue, Box 801 Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801 (248) 645-3300 Admissions E-Mail: www.cranbrook.edu

Maryland Institute College of Art

The Maryland Institute College of Art stresses mastery of core skills in its curriculum. It offers bachelor's, master's and certificate-level degrees in a range of specialties that includes environmental design, art therapy and interaction design. The MFA program has separate schools for painting and sculpture. Maryland might be right for you if you're interested in studio practice in a specialized discipline.

Maryland Institute College of Art Master of Fine Arts Program 1300 Mount Royal Avenue Baltimore, MD 21217 (415) 225-2256 www.mica.edu

Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University is US News and World Report's top-ranked public university for art. Virginia Commonwealth can rightfully boast of its faculty, who consistently win prestigious grants and fellowships. With more than 3,000 students, you need to be aware that the university is not as intimate as a small art school.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts 325 North Harrison Street Richmond, VA 23284-2519 (866) 534-3201 www.vcu.edu

California Institute of the Arts

With connections to Disney and the Los Angeles film world, Cal Arts is an excellent choice for someone interested in film or digital animation. Besides BFA and MFA degrees, Cal Arts offers a doctorate of music. It is also known for its respected dance department.

California Institute of the Arts Master of Fine Arts Program 24700 McBean Parkway Valencia, CA 91355 Admissions Phone : (661) 255-1050 www.calarts.edu

Carnegie Mellon University

The College of Fine Arts of Carnegie Mellon University offers a variety of interdisciplinary arts classes and degrees. Its Institute for the Management of Creative Enterprises combines training in business and management and an arts curriculum. The Entertainment Technology Center features labs for interactive and game design students, and the university's Center for Arts and Society partners with humanities faculty to study the place of art in society.

Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts 5000 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh , PA 15213-3890 (412) 268-2409 www.cmu.edu

Univerisity of California Los Angeles

UCLA's art department allows students to integrate studio practice with a solid curriculum in the liberal arts. The department's faculty, made up of accomplished working artists, and the university's West Coast location are strong attractions for the student who also wants a balanced curriculum.

University of California--Los Angeles Department of Art Broad Art Center, Suite 2275 Los Angeles, CA 90095-1615 (310) 825-3281 www.ucla.edu

Alfred University

The art department of New York's Alfred University is listed among U.S. News & World Report's 10 best art schools. Originally for artists working in ceramics or glass, it has expanded its curriculum to include several other media through its Inamori School of Engineering. Alfred University is the ideal choice for those who want to explore the potential of their chosen medium.

Alfred University--New York State College of Ceramics School of Art and Design 2 Pine Street Alfred, NY 14802 (800) 541-9229 www@alfred.edu