The master of fine arts program rankings are based solely on the results of a peer assessment survey. These rankings, completed in 2008, are based on a fall 2007 survey of art school deans and other top art school academics, two per school, at 220 master of fine arts programs in art and design. Respondents were asked to rate the academic quality of programs on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (outstanding). Scores for each school were totaled and divided by the number of respondents who rated that school. The response rate was 39 percent. Surveys were conducted by Synovate.
The lists of schools, individuals surveyed at each school, and specialty concentrations were developed in cooperation with the Department of Art and Visual Technology at the College of Visual and Performing Arts at George Mason University in Virginia.
The specialty fine arts rankings are based solely on ratings by educators at peer schools. Art school deans and other top art school academics, two per school, were asked to nominate up to 10 programs noted for their excellence in each specialty. Those receiving the most nominations are listed.