Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design is a national leader in art and design education. The College mission is to prepare diverse students of art and design to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. Alumni and faculty are Fulbright, MacArthur, and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, legendary costume designers, leaders of contemporary art movements, entrepreneurs, and design stars at Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch, Pixar, DreamWorks, Mattel, Nike, and Disney.
L.A. has it all—diversity, industry, and culture. It’s known as the creative capital of the 21st century. Students receive an international education in an international city full of opportunities. Some of the most influential artists and designers in the world live in L.A.
The five-acre main campus is located on L.A.’s Westside near the beach and LAX and the Graduate Studios are in the Creative Corridor in nearby Culver City. Find Us.
"Every time someone graduates from Otis, art evolves and design gets better." —Mark Parker, CEO, Nike.
Creativity is serious business at Otis. Otis debunks the myth of the starving artist by demonstrating the profound economic impact of art and design. Students study, intern, and work in a global center of art and design. Graduates lead some of the world's most prestigious firms, display their work at major galleries and museums, and start their own businesses. In today's innovation-driven economy, careers are flexible, adaptable paths into the unknown rather than strictly mapped routes. Otis alumni grasp the big picture, find inventive solutions to complex problems, and express their own voices through various media. From museum and exhibition design to the Hollywood screen, from the clothes we wear to the toys with which our children play, alumni shape the world. Otis graduates span the globe, pursuing unprecedented opportunities in our increasingly multicultural society.
Otis enrolls approximately 1,100 full-time students, and offers eleven Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees: Architecture/Landscape/Interiors, Digital Media (Animation, Game and Entertainment Design, and Motion Design), Fashion Design, Communication Arts (Graphic Design, and Illustration), Fine Arts (Painting, Photography, and Sculpture/New Genres), Product Design, and Toy Design. Otis also awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Public Practice, and Writing.
36% of students are from outside California, representing 38 states.
26% are international students, representing 24 countries.
Otis is among the most culturally diverse colleges of art and design in the U.S.
Otis’ interdisciplinary curriculum combines longtime strengths in fine arts and design with new technologies and emerging disciplines. The college prepares students to imagine the new, create real-world solutions, and connect to professional opportunities around the globe. Undergraduates spend their first year in Foundation, where they study art and design basics such as life drawing, color, composition, and form and space. They select a major in the sophomore year.
Otis’ graduate programs provide rigorous, practice-based studies with distinguished faculty. Students learn an interdisciplinary approach to developing an artistic vision and become emerging professionals within the regional, national, and international scenes of art, design, and creative writing.
2015 – 16 Cost of Attendance
Undergraduate full-time tuition and fees: $43,680 per year
Graduate full-time tuition and fees: $43,314 per year
Tuition and Fees
87% of degree students receive scholarships and financial aid
All 404 faculty members are practicing professionals in their fields. They include award-winning artists, animators, web designers, architects, illustrators, filmmakers, graphic designers, fashion designers, community artists, toy designers, writers, and poets.
Otis is a warm, collegial community that supports and promotes students’ development as artists and designers. Meaningful campus experiences allow each student to learn and grow as a whole person and create a rich, fulfilling life.
The Otis Student Housing Program, invites students to immerse themselves in a living and learning environment under the supervision of a highly trained staff. Events and services bring students together within a community that honors diversity and values artistic identity.
Student Activities and Involvement
Campus life is teeming with activities that stimulate creativity and refresh the spirit. Screenings, lectures, parties, contests, and outings, are supported by the Student Voice Association (SVA) and the Campus Activities Board (CAB). Student Activities Page
Student success is supported at every step along the Otis journey. The Academic Advising Coordinator is available to help students navigate graduation requirements and select appropriate courses prior to Registration each semester. Each student has an Academic Mentor, who encourages reflection on her/his educational and career pathways. First-year students also have a Peer Mentor, who provides invaluable support and guidance. The tutoring staff of the Student Resources Center works with students to develop the skills needed to be successful in English, art history, and math/logic. Comprehensive psychological counseling services and wellness support provide resources that strengthen and nourish students, and help them recover from illness or injury.
See also data on Otis College Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System graduation and retention rates.
Travel Study and Exchange
Students have recently traveled to Paris, Rome, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, and Rio. They have also designed projects in China and Palau. All students can spend a semester or a year on exchange at partner art and design colleges in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Travel Study Programs
Professional preparation and career counseling are offered through the Career Services. From self-assessment to résumé and portfolio review and job search strategies, Career Services prepares students for employment in professions that sustain and support their creative passions.
Students intern at art galleries and museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Getty Museum, and intern at creative companies such as LEGO; Deutsch Advertising; Fox Searchlight Pictures; Gap, Inc; Nike; Univision; Warnaco; and WB Television Network.
More than 1,500 employers post jobs annually at the online Career Services job board.
Otis Report on the Creative Economy
Since 2007, Otis has commissioned the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) to produce an annual Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region. This report has been an invaluable tool to assess the tremendous impact and influence of the area's creative sector on the region’s economy. In 2013, the California Arts Council (CAC) awarded Otis funds to expand the report to show how the state's economy is affected by jobs in the arts, design, education, entertainment, nonprofits, and independent creative professions.
Extension offers a wide range of beginning, intermediate, and advanced art and design courses for all ages, including children and teens. Participants pursue artistic and professional development, as well as personal and intellectual growth. Extension also offers Certificate Programs (Computer Graphics, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Textile Surface Design, Fine Arts, and Photography), Children's Courses, College Preparation, and Summer of Art.
2,700 adults and children participate in Extension art and design classes and workshops.
#4 in Value
#4 on Money Magazine's "the 50 colleges that add the most value."
#6 in the Nation
Otis Ranked 6th in the Nation by The Economist for post-graduation median earnings.
Top 1% in Diversity
Otis ranked in the top 1% of all colleges and universities in the nation in diversity by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Community Engagement Classification
Otis College of Art and Design is honored to be among the select group of colleges and universities in the United States designated to receive the Carnegie Foundation’s prestigious 2015 Community Engagement Classification.
Best in the West
The Princeton Review ranked Otis among the “2014 Best Colleges: Region by Region/Best in the West."
Best US Design Schools
Graphic Design USA Magazine ranked Otis among the best design schools in the country.
Biz Bash Event of Year
Biz Bash.com selected the 2014 Fashion Scholarship and Fashion Show as #5 of the year's top events in Southern California.
Selected as #1 on the West Coast for fashion design by fashionschools.com.
Animation (Digital Media)
Animation Career Review ranked Otis #11 of its top 20 animation programs in the West.
Animation Career Review recognized Otis' Graphic Design program as #3 in the West Coast and #16 nationally.
College Choice has ranked Otis College #8 nationally on the list of 50 Best Graphic Design Degrees.