Arts education is delivered in arts conservatories and academies as well as colleges and universities. Across the country, the number of institutions granting associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees grew to 2,219 from 1,809 between 2002 and 2013. Of these, 1,256 are accredited by the National Office for Arts Accreditation. This includes schools of music, art and design, theatre, and dance.

This indicator measures the number of accredited schools in each community using the schools’ zip code location data, which we aggregated in counties using the “zip-to-FIPS” procedure described in the Methodology section. There are accredited programs in 508 counties. The indicator describes the number of accredited degree-granting programs for every 100,000 county residents.


Additional Information: Average county indicator value = 1.97. Median county indicator value = 1.12.


Fast Facts from the Arts Index

Demand for arts in education by college-bound students is up!

According to data published by The College Board, the share of SAT test-takers with 4 years of arts or music classes in high school has grown over the past decade from 15% to 20%. The number of college arts degrees conferred annually have risen steadily from 75,000 to 129,000 over the past dozen years.