The U.S. News magazine offers a ranking order for the various art programs offered. The rankings are the result of a survey through peer assessment. The survey was conducted during the fall of 2007, involved deans and top academics from art schools. Each school was expected to contribute with two completed surveys. The survey evaluated 220 fine art programs (masters only). The respondents were required to evaluate the programs with rankings 1-5 where 1 was marginal and 5 correlated with outstanding.
Synoyate conducted the surveys. The Department of Art and Visual Technology at George Mason University, Virginia helped to put together the lists of specialty concentrations, art schools and the individuals approached in each school. The survey received a 39% response. A part of the survey involved specialty ranking too. The nominations provided by the academicians at peer schools determined the rankings received by each art school. Each of the academicians (2 from each participating school) nominated 10 art schools they considered excellent. The programs with most mentions formed a part of the list.
Some of the art programs or schools were remarked with Rank Not Published. This would mean that a numeral ranking was calculated for the school but was considered below the cut off set by the magazine and thus did not figure in the ranking list. U.S. News may supply the schools with their rankings, if a request is put in by the concerned schools through the About the Rankings section on their website usnews.com. The schools would have to follow the procedures prescribed in the Information for School Officials section.
Art Programs/Schools that did not warrant a ranking are listed separately using the alphabetic order. Schools that were a part of the peer ranking 1-5 survey, are a part of the Ranks not Published list if the average score was lesser than 2.0. This list also includes art schools that received less than seven nominations in the specialty rankings.