You are here

Otis Ranked Top College of Art and Design in the Nation by The Economist

Otis Ranked Top College of Art and Design in the Nation by The Economist

Otis College of Art and Design graduates at the 2015 Ceremony. 

Ranked sixth in the nation out of 1,275 colleges and universities, Otis College of Art and Design comes right after Harvard in The Economist’s new ranking system, focused on the difference an undergraduate education actually makes in graduates’ earning power ten years out.

LOS ANGELES, CA – November 2, 2015 – Otis College of Art and Design is ranked as the top college of art and design, and sixth overall, just after Harvard, in the top 1,275 colleges for best value in the nation, according to new research published by The Economist

In a report published October 29, 2015, The Economist ranked colleges for the first time ever, using a compelling new methodology based on whether a college’s alumni fare better than expected in the labor market, as measured by earnings ten years after graduation. Taking into account a range of variables and statistics -  location, religious affiliation, public or private, SAT scores, the socioeconomic and racial mix of the student body, whether a college has a business school, and more - The Economist predicted what graduates would earn, comparing what students actually ended up earning, according to the U.S. Education Department’s new College Scorecard. The results ranked a college by how much it exceeded the expected earnings.

“This is a pivotal moment for Otis College of Art and Design,” said President Bruce W. Ferguson. “We have always known the value of an art and design education and have focused everything we do on student success, but to have recognition like this strengthens and confirms our convictions. We hope this information will elevate awareness on a national scale that the creative economy is a major force in the new world economy of the 21st century, where original ideas and creative thinkers are highly valued.”

Since 2007, the annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy (Otis Report) has measured and assessed trends of creative fields. The report, commissioned by Otis College of Art and Design and generated by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, describes the economic impact of Los Angeles’ creative industries and examines its role in the overall state business sector. The Otis Report has become a powerful tool for arts advocacy regionally and nationally. The 2014 report revealed that the arts contributed $80 billion to the region’s total gross product and comprised 1 in 7 jobs.

“We’re very excited to see The Economist’s new ranking methodology, which finally seeks to recognize the real difference an undergraduate experience can make in transforming students’ lives,” said Randall Lavender, Provost at Otis College of Art and Design.  “Many of our students are first-generation to attend college and are on financial aid, which makes this research highlighting their accomplishments even more significant. It’s especially gratifying that this also comes at a time when we’re expanding the facilities on the main campus in support of our proactive, success-focused programming. This complements other initiatives, including an emphasis on professional preparation, progressive academic and career advising, robust student services, critical thinking within studio curricula, and support for our distinguished faculty which all contribute to the distinction that this ranking recognizes.” 

As Otis College of Art and Design approaches its centennial, in 2018, a transformative campus expansion project is underway that will add 96,200 square feet of new building construction to its main campus including a new residence hall, a 300-seat forum for public programming, new labs and workshops, and an expanded academic wing.



Established in 1918, Otis College of Art and Design offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a wide variety of visual and applied arts, media, and design. Core programs in liberal arts, business practices, and community-driven projects support the College’s mission to prepare diverse students to enrich our world through their creativity, skill, and vision. As Los Angeles’ first professional art school, visionary alumni and faculty include MacArthur and Guggenheim grant recipients, Oscar awardees, and design stars at Apple, Anthropologie, Pixar, Mattel, and more. The renowned Creative Action program has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for Community Engagement, and the Otis Report on the Creative Economy is a powerful advocacy tool for creative industries. The College serves the Greater Los Angeles Area through compelling public programming, as well as year-round Continuing Education courses for all ages. More information is available at