See what students say:


If you dream of “becoming a more thoughtful and skillful artist or designer,” you’ll find a good match at Cleveland Institute of Art, a tiny urban school with more than 100 years in operation. Students come to CIA for its “wonderful art programs” and reputed design departments, but also note that there is “flexibility in exploring other fields of study while pursuing a focused major.” Academically, liberal arts are emphasized, especially in the first year, and even fine art majors are expected to take “academic courses and a lot of art history.” Across all nineteen major disciplines, students “learn through hands-on experience, experimentation, and self exploration,” and they are expected to put serious time into their creative projects. A signature of the program is the “availability of personal studio space” for undergraduates—every student gets their own private workspace after the first year. In terms of classroom experience, “professors vary widely,” but most are “actual working professionals” who are capable of “teaching you skills to apply to life after graduation, no matter which route you choose to take.” With just 500 undergraduates, “The student to faculty ratio is surprisingly low, which allows for a large amount of input from staff.” In the classroom or during critiques, “Discussion is always encouraged.”

Student Body

Within CIA’s “eclectic” student body, you’ll find “diversity in terms of personalities and interests,” from “geeky” animation designers to “smart dressers” in the industrial design program to the stereotypical “hipster” in the painting studio. Appearances aside, CIA students are generally “friendly, outspoken, and imaginative,” united by a “strong drive and enthusiasm towards their work.” A student elaborates, “The common denominator is an interest in art, but the student body varies so much I couldn’t even begin to describe a typical student.” With a lot of social diversity, “Birds of a feather flock together” at CIA, and “Each department is like a clique.” At the same time, “Most students here are open to each others opinions,” and are usually “very accepting and eager to help you grow as an artist and as a person.”

Campus Life

There are no sports teams, no Greek organizations, and no student clubs at CIA. Art and design are the number one priority for this school’s serious undergraduates, who spend as much time in the studio as they do eating, sleeping, or socializing. A student describes the typical routine like so: “You wake up, go to class, go to the studios, go home to sleep, and then wake up and start again.” In fact, many students are “used to staying up all night some nights to go the extra mile and get work done.” When they do find a spare moment, “There are some great places on the West Side of Cleveland, and there are usually events or parties going on somewhere.” As one student explains, “We all work pretty hard, so plenty of us don’t feel guilty about taking some time to party.” In addition to the party scene, you’ll find CIA students at the movies, at museums, and at “gallery openings almost every weekend” in Cleveland.

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Arlene Thomas
Admissions Office

11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
University Coffee Shop
Frank Gehry and Peter B. Lewis Building
Live music at Barking Spider
Cleveland Museum of Art
Reinberger Galleries
Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Cleveland

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Cleveland Botanical Gardens
Crawford Auto Museum
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland Institute of Music Gund School of Law Cleveland Clinic Severence Hall (home of the Cleveland Orchestra) Coventry Shopping District/Neighborhood Rock and Roll Hall of Fame House of Blues Browns/Indians Stadium CAVS/Arena Legacy Village Shopping Center Nottingham Spirk Design Firm Playhouse Square East 4th Corneralley CIA is located in the University Circle area of Cleveland. The nation's most concentrated cultural district after NYC.

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: Varies

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions
Not Available


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available

Contact Admissions Office


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Closest airport - Cleveland Hopkins Taxis and shuttles available from airport Buses and rapid transit available from downtown to campus

Driving Instructions to Campus
From Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport take I-71 North to I-90 East. Follow the directions from I-90 East and West. Or take the RTA Red Line Rapid Transit to University Circle stop. Take a free University Circle LINK bus to the Institute of Art. A taxi from the airport is also an option. It will cost approximately $60. From downtown Cleveland follow Chester Avenue east for three miles to University Circle. Turn left on Euclid Avenue. Turn left on East Boulevard.

Local Accommodations
The Glidden House The Intercontinental Hotel Marriott Hotel


Applicants: 963
Acceptance Rate: 56%
Average HS GPA: 3.43



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Campus Life

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