2018 Best Schools for the Arts in AmericaAbout this List

The 2018 Best Schools for the Arts ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking based on alumni interest in arts majors and colleges, school diversity, and class size. Read more on how this ranking was calculated.

  1. Idyllwild Arts Academy

    • Private School
    • Idyllwild, CA
    • 9-12
    • 34
    4 Best High Schools for the Arts in America

    High School Senior: Overall, it is a good school. Stronger academics than most arts high school. Very open and concept based curriculums. Humanities teachers are very good! You can choose to take easier classes or you can challenge yourself with honors classes in most subjects. I would say the science department is the weakest.

    Arts departments are varied. Dance and theatre are very time consuming and rigorous. Other majors are not as stressful. You have to push yourself to really succeed and get the most out of your education. A lot have changes in faculty has happened the last two years. There are new department heads for theatre, music, inter arts, and film. Theatre has had the hardest time adjusting to the new head. The MT program is not very good anymore and the program emphasizes classical theatre now.

    There is a very unbalanced female/male ratio at the school in general. This gives boy advantages for casting in dance and theatre but disadvantages girls. There are not very many attractive straight boys and most of them feel entitled. The hookup culture is a big deal but leads to lots of jealousy and gossip.

    Plenty of students smoke/ drink.

    Asian students are very divided from the rest of the school.

    There are plenty of fun field trips to museums, concerts, plays, shopping, the beach, skiing, and ,theme parks in cities like Los Angeles and San Diego.

    Students are very friendly for the most part and very accepting. It is a very liberal campus and you will rarely meet someone who is conservative. Students are unique, hipsters, and very talanted.

    Overall I am glad I attended Idyllwild and would recommend it.
    Read 34 Reviews

    • A
      Overall Niche Grade
    • 310 Students
    • 6:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
  2. St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists

    • Public School
    • Saint Paul, MN
    • 9-12
    • 149
    18 Best High Schools for the Arts in America

    Parent: St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists is a unique school in that it trains high school students in the performing arts as well as gives them a good overall high school education. Students come from all over the Twin Cities and surrounding areas- many of them by city bus. There is great diversity ethnically and economically. It give students a real-life cross section of the population as well as an excellent education in their fields of artistic expression. The school has continued to improve academically over the years to the point that it is quite competitive with other traditional high schools. Because of the nature of the school and it's urban setting, there are no sports teams or extra-curricular activities other than student council and the yearbook staff. Many of the students pursue their art forms with private lessons or classes after school, so would not be able to stay for after-school activities. Also, due to the dual nature of the education, the school day is an hour longer than most traditional high schools. They do have several showcase performances for family throughout the year to show what they have been working on, so we do get the opportunity to see their work, but by and large, there are not many opportunities for parents to become involved in the school. However, the staff is always working on ways to keep lines of communication open with parents- especially as they approach the time to start applying for colleges.

    The faculty, in my experience, has been very easy to approach. The format for teacher conferences is very conducive to frank conversations and I have not been disappointed with any of the faculty.
    Read 149 Reviews

    • A-
      Overall Niche Grade
    • 620 Students
    • 15:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
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2018 Best Schools for the Arts in America