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. Santa Susana High School

    • Simi Valley Unified School District, CA
    • 9-12
    • 328
    32 Best High Schools for the Arts in America

    Niche User: Santa Susana High School is a really diverse, artsy school where kids can be themselves without being judged or bullied which is a wonderful asset to any school, definitely a high school where many issues happen with fellow students at most other schools.

    I absolutely love how accepting everyone is to the different cultures, ethnicity's, religions, and sexual orientation of each student and teacher.

    In a school it is so integral for students to work well together and Santa Susana is perfect for hands-on experiences in the students' chosen field of interest.

    Some of my most favorite experiences were Halloween because of seeing the whole school dress up in unique and fun costumes, the different Santa Susana music groups that perform every Friday at lunch, and the beautiful musical theater shows that have been played in our wonderful performing arts center on the campus itself!

    What makes Santa Susana such a unique school is not offering athletics, so this school is dedicated to the performing, visual, and technological arts so each student can fit in and learn what they want to pursue in their future. Senior projects are incredibly different from the norm high school because at Santa Susana each senior is required to complete a senior project throughout the year in their major. So this accumulates everything we have learned and experienced into our own thesis with new ideas and interesting research. At the end of the year, the seniors have to present their project in front of a panel of judges.

    I would most definitely choose Santa Susana again for the hands-on learning, and just to be around a great artsy environment with great kids that make Santa Susana its unique and special self.
    Read 328 Reviews

    • A+
      Overall Niche Grade
    • 1,275 Students
    • 25:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
  2. Pilgrim School

    • Private School
    • Los Angeles, CA
    • PK, K-12
    • 22
    33 Best High Schools for the Arts in America

    Parent: Our experience has been terrific. My son spent 7-9 grades at a highly regarded west side school, and had an absolutely awful experience. He has an IQ of 165-170, but he also has ADD. He was undiagnosed when he attended the first school, and teachers and administrators at his former school told him over and over again that he was "lazy", "not working up to his potential", and finally "not up to the academic rigor" of the school. Not one of them noticed or remarked that his test scores were consistently high, his ability to deliver oral presentations and extemporaneous analyses was brilliant, but his ability to organize and turn in homework on a regular basis was shoddy--this is, I've subsequently learned, the first red flag of ADD. My son left that school feeling bitter and completely lacking in self-confidence. Pilgrim has been a Godsend for my son. Dr. Brooks and the teachers have been relentlessly positive with him and helped him rebuild his self-confidence as a student. Before Pilgrim, my son disliked math and science. Pilgrim's innovative math program and excellent teachers have changed his idea of his own strengths, and he now plans to major in engineering. Additionally, he's had a computer science teacher, Ms. Bacon, at Pilgrim who has inspired him and encouraged him to be a leader in in his comp. sci. classes. The small class sizes, individual attention, and caring teachers have made a huge difference for our son and his outlook on school.
    Read 22 Reviews

    • A+
      Overall Niche Grade
    • 374 Students
    • 7:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
  3. Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts Middle/High School

    • Public School
    • Fort Worth, TX
    • 7-12
    • 96
    47 Best High Schools for the Arts in America

    High School Senior: There is simply no other school in Fort Worth Texas quite like my school FWAFA. The academic rigor and everyone's desire to be great, makes me want to strive to be great. It has been such a positive learning experience and I get to go to school and dance and do musical theater and sing! Meanwhile I'm being challenged to be the best student possible. Everyone is so hardworking, the parents put in extra hours to make sure everything is going smoothly in the classroom and on stage, while get ready to put on productions. We carry ourselves with the utmost integrity, and while we advance in the Academic UIL, I got the chance to advance in the UIL One Act Play we did at the same time, and acquired Best Actress at the Bi-District Meet. They recognize your gifts and magnify it, so they can cultivate it and bring forth the best out of us. Our teachers are so amazing! Their kindness is overwhelming and their dedication to us as students because they recognize that the arts are so important to us leaves me so unbelievably grateful that I go to this school. The school musical is our state championship, and the cabarets are our homecomings! The way every student expressed their love for the arts whether it's through art or singing a Latin piece or playing the trumpet and guitar or just performing on stage, it's all magnificent in its own way. Every single person has a place at FWAFA, and I am so fortunate and blesses that I occupy one of them!
    Read 96 Reviews

    • A+
      Overall Niche Grade
    • 349 Students
    • 11:1 Student-Teacher Ratio
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2018 Best Schools for the Arts in America