VCU’s School of the Arts tied with the University of California at Los Angeles for the No. 2 spot in the Best Fine Arts Graduate Program in the nation, right behind Yale University’s number one position, according to the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings.
New rankings for specialty areas (both public and private) include: The VCU Department of Sculpture + Extended Media (No. 1), Glass (tied for No. 3), Graphic Design (No. 7), Painting (No. 7), Ceramics (tied for No. 9) and Printmaking (No. 10).
“Our accomplishments are amazing,” said Dean of the School of the Arts Joseph Seipel. “If you look at all our Guggenheim recipients we have — we have three MacArthur genius award winners amongst our alumni.”
Seipel said many alumni are also showing in galleries in New York City and Los Angeles, in addition to theatre graduates starring in major plays around New York.
More than a decade ago, the Sculpture Department first gained its top ranking under Seipel’s leadership as department chair. Last week, the School of the Arts announced Seipel would be retiring June 30, 2016 after five years as Dean of VCUarts and 42 years in higher education.
“He creates an atmosphere where all ideas are entertained and open debate is encouraged,” said Department Chair of the Sculpture Department Matt King. “This gives the faculty and administration license to ‘think big’ and work together toward making our school a vital, exciting place to work.”
King took the helm of the sculpture department in 2015, following the retirement of Elizabeth King — who had been a faculty member for more than 30 years.
“We are always looking for new opportunities for our students, seeking fresh voices to join our conversations,” King said. “I’m proud to be leading the way, and thrilled to have our hard work recognized.”
The U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on a peer assessment survey. Deans and other top academics at 229 Master of Fine Arts programs in art and design were surveyed in fall 2015 by Ipsos Public Affairs.
Staff Writer, Sophia Belletti
Sophia is a sophomore print/online journalism major with a minor in gender, sexuality and women’s studies. She enjoys writing about current events and sports and hopes to one day be a sports reporter, covering soccer, basketball and baseball. You can usually find Sophia drinking way too much coffee and laughing at her own jokes. // Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn