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Academy of Art University

San Francisco, CA


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Academy of Art School Overview

Established in 1929, Academy of Art University is the largest private accredited art and design school in the nation. Located in San Francisco, the epicenter of culture and technology, Academy of Art University has a diverse population of approximately 14,000 students from around the world. Offering an art school experience like no other, their faculty of professional artists help thousands of students develop a unique combination of artistic ability and business savvy to succeed in careers they love.

Academic Programs

The Academy has over thirty facilities that house classrooms, studios, galleries, and residence halls. The students, who are admitted through an open-enrollment policy, aspire to earn A.A., B.A., B.S., B.F.A., B.Arch., M.A., M.F.A., or M.Arch. degrees in more than 30 areas of study; as well as continuing art education and certificate programs for those wishing to tailor programs to meet their specific goals; pre-college art experience programs for high school students; and teacher grants. Classes are available in Acting, Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architectural Design, Architecture, Art Education, Art History, Art Teaching Credential, Automotive Restoration, Costume Design, Fashion, Fashion Journalism, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Merchandising, Fashion Product Development, Fashion Styling, Fashion Visual Merchandising, Fine Art, Game Development, Game Programming, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design (Transportation, Toy and Product Design), Interior Architecture & Design, Jewelry & Metal Arts, Landscape Architecture, Motion Pictures & Television, Multimedia Communications, Music Production for Sound Design & Visual Media, Photography, Social Media, Studio Production for Advertising & Design, Visual Development, Web Design & New Media, Web Development Intensive, and Writing for Film, Television & Digital Media. Students can study on-site in San Francisco or through the Academy's flexible online programs (in most areas of study).

Visit to learn more about total costs, median student loan debt, potential occupations and other information. Accredited member WSCUC, NASAD, CIDA (BFA-IAD, MFA-IAD), NAAB (B.ARCH, M.ARCH), CTC (California Teacher Credential).

Flexible Online Learning

Academy of Art University's accredited online degree programs offer the same high level, hands-on education as the San Francisco campus. The Academy's professional instructors have created flexible, cutting-edge online classes to help students achieve their art and design dreams.

Priming for the Perfect Career

Students study in a professional environment from day one at Academy of Art University, with instructors who are working professionals at the top of their industry. The Academy's career services team works tirelessly to assist students in career development. Graduates go on to work at big name companies like Pixar, Disney, Tesla, Adobe, Apple, Blizzard, DreamWorks, Missoni, EA Games, and many more.

Every year, the Academy goes above and beyond to connect students with industry giants in their fields. Industry leaders are flown in to view student work during the school's annual Spring Show. Twice a year, School of Fashion students showcase their collections at New York Fashion Week. Academy of Art University is the only school invited to this prestigious event. Advertising students win record-breaking numbers of awards including the ADDYs, ANDYs, and Clios, catching the attention of top firms.

Campus Facilities and Equipment

Academy of Art University takes its facilities beyond the typical art school. From two green screens for filmmakers and visual effects artists to a bronze-casting foundry for sculptors and jewelry makers to, to Cintiq labs and the Oculus Rift System, students have the very best at their fingertips to prepare them for dream careers beyond the Academy.

A Creative Haven - Campus Housing

Students making their homes in Academy of Art University residence halls live in some of the most unique buildings in San Francisco, but more importantly, they become part of a tightly knit artist community. Making friends with students from other countries and other disciplines is part of becoming a whole artist. Being exposed to different cultures opens students' minds to new perspectives, while working with students in other departments broadens practical skills and knowledge.

Tuition, Room, Board, and Fees

Academy students benefit from a curriculum that offers an unprecedented 30 areas of study, a faculty of practicing professional artists and designers who bring their industry success into the classroom, and state-of-the-art facilities and resources.

Tuition is structured to give students the best value and most flexibility during their academic studies. Tuition is calculated on a per unit basis, and lab fees and course fees are assessed per individual class.

The undergraduate tuition rate is $873 per unit (three units per class). The graduate tuition rate is $982 per unit (three units per class). For example, starting in the Fall of 2016, a typical undergraduate tuition for an academic year would be $873 for each unit, over 24 units, which is a total yearly tuition of $20,952.

Estimated expenses per year (Fall '16/Spring '17 undergraduate)

-Tuition ($873/unit) = $20,952
-Tuition Deposit = $100
-Course Fees* (average) = $900
-Materials/Supplies (average) = $1,500

Total = $23,352

*Online courses do not have course fees.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for those students who qualify. The Academy offers a number of scholarships and grants. Interested students can visit the Academy online or contact a financial aid representative at to learn more. Financial aid representatives are committed to helping students achieve their dreams.

Student Organizations and Activities

Academy of Art University hosts over 40 official student chartered clubs, cultural organizations, and intramural club sports. It is one of the few art and design schools that believe in nurturing the whole artist; this includes developing athletic ability along with artistic talent. The Academy is proud to be the only higher arts education institution in the U.S. to have an NCAA athletics program, with over 16 NCAA Division II sports teams competing in the Pacific West Conference. The Academy has an active international student population, and it also embraces the military by transforming aspiring Servicemembers into professional artists and designers, now boasting a large number of military Servicemembers scholars.

Admissions Process

Academy of Art University believes that all students interested in studying art and design should have the opportunity to do so, and its no-barrier admissions policy makes this possible.

Academy of Art University welcomes:

- Students with All Levels of Experience
- Transfer Students
- International Students
- Continuing Art Education Students
- High School Students for the Pre-college Art Experience Program
- Undergraduate, Graduate, Certificate, and Continuing Education Students (Personal Enrichment)


- AA, BA, BFA, BS, and Portfolio Development Programs: High School Diploma or Equivalent. No Portfolio Required.
- MA and MFA Degree Programs: Bachelor's Degree, Submission of Portfolio, and Statement of Intent.

Students who do not speak English as their first language must be tested on their written and spoken proficiency in order to place them in the appropriate ESL courses, if necessary. ESL requirements can be completed concurrently with regular art and design coursework. Each of the foundation classes runs sections specifically for ESL students, led by instructors who are experienced in language assistance. Applicants may begin classes at the Academy at the start of the spring, fall, or summer sessions. Undergraduate applicants pay a $50 application fee. *Students should be advised that details provided in this profile may change at any time and may be different for international students. In order to receive the most current information, interested students should visit the website ( or use the contact information provided below.

Academy of Art University
79 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
Telephone: 415-274-2219
(Toll Free):800-544-ARTS (2787)

Location & Contact

Address 79 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA  94105-3410
United States
Contact Phone: 415-274-2200

Majors & Degrees

Architecture And Related Services Associate Bachelors
Architecture Checkmark
Landscape Architecture Checkmark Checkmark
Business, Management, Marketing, And Related Support Services Associate Bachelors
Fashion Merchandising Checkmark Checkmark
Communication, Journalism And Related Programs Associate Bachelors
Advertising Checkmark
Communication And Media Studies, Other Checkmark
Digital Communication And Media/multimedia Checkmark
Journalism Checkmark Checkmark
Communications Technologies/Technicians And Support Services Associate Bachelors
Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics, And Special Effects Checkmark Checkmark
Recording Arts Technology/technician Checkmark Checkmark
Computer And Information Sciences And Support Services Associate Bachelors
Computer Graphics Checkmark Checkmark
Computer Programming, Specific Applications Checkmark Checkmark
Computer Software And Media Applications, Other Checkmark Checkmark
Modeling, Virtual Environments And Simulation Checkmark
Web Page, Digital/multimedia And Information Resources Design Checkmark Checkmark
Education Associate Bachelors
Art Teacher Education Checkmark
Educational/instructional Technology Checkmark
Engineering Technologies/Technicians Associate Bachelors
Architectural Drafting And Architectural Cad/cadd Checkmark Checkmark
Cad/cadd Drafting And/or Design Technology/technician Checkmark Checkmark
Drafting And Design Technology/technician, General Checkmark Checkmark
Family And Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences Associate Bachelors
Apparel And Textile Manufacture Checkmark Checkmark
Apparel And Textile Marketing Management Checkmark Checkmark
Apparel And Textiles, General Checkmark Checkmark
Consumer Merchandising/retailing Management Checkmark Checkmark
Fashion And Fabric Consultant Checkmark
Mechanic And Repair Technologies/Technicians Associate Bachelors
Autobody/collision And Repair Technology/technician Checkmark
Visual And Performing Arts Associate Bachelors
Acting Checkmark Checkmark
Art History, Criticism And Conservation Checkmark
Cinematography And Film/video Production Checkmark Checkmark
Commercial And Advertising Art Checkmark Checkmark
Costume Design Checkmark
Digital Arts Checkmark Checkmark
Fashion/apparel Design Checkmark Checkmark
Fine Arts And Art Studies, Other Checkmark Checkmark
Fine/studio Arts, General Checkmark Checkmark
Game And Interactive Media Design Checkmark Checkmark
Graphic Design Checkmark Checkmark
Illustration Checkmark Checkmark
Industrial And Product Design Checkmark Checkmark
Interior Design Checkmark Checkmark
Jewelry Arts Checkmark Checkmark
Music Theory And Composition Checkmark
Music, Other Checkmark Checkmark
Photography Checkmark Checkmark
Playwriting And Screenwriting Checkmark


Acceptance Rate

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Female Admissions

Females Applied
Females Accepted
Acceptance Rate
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Male Admissions

Males Applied
Males Accepted
Acceptance Rate


Application Fee
Admission Requirements
Required Transcript of high school record
Recommended Interview

Application Deadlines

Type Application Closing Notification Date Rolling Admissions
Fall freshmen Not reported Not reported Yes
Other early decision plan Not reported Not reported
Transfer Not reported Not reported Yes

Tuition & Fees

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Fees icon


Full-time student fees
Room & board
Room only
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Other Payment Considerations

Guaranteed tuition plan offered No
Tuition pre-payment plan No
Tuition payment plans offered Yes

Financial Aid

Avg. Financial Aid Package
Avg. Freshman Financial Aid Package
Avg. International Student Financial Aid Package
Avg. Loan Aid
Avg. Grant Aid
Avg. Scholarship and/or Grant Aid awarded
98% Percentage of students with need who receive financial aid
Avg. Percentage of Financial Need Met
Percentage of Students Who Had Their Need Fully Met

Student Body

Total Undergrad students
International Students
Out-of-state students


Hispanic/Latino 10.82%
Black or African American 6.32%
White or Caucasian 15.11%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.46%
Asian 5.28%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.53%
Two or more races 2.83%
Other 33.01%


Male (43.29%)
Female (56.71%)

Campus Life


College-owned housing Yes
Housing requirements None
Housing options Co-ed housing
Men-only housing
Women-only housing
% of undergrad students who live in college housing 14%

Student Activities

Student-run campus newspaper Checkmark
Drama/theatre group Checkmark
Student-run radio station Checkmark
Student-run television station Checkmark
Marching band Checkmark
Choral groups Checkmark
Campus events:
Spring Show, Industry on Campus Series and Halloweek, Club Mixer

Student Services

Legal services Checkmark
Health clinic Checkmark
Personal/psychological counseling Checkmark
Women's center Checkmark
International students advisor Checkmark

Student Organizations

Greek fraternities Checkmark
Greek sororities Checkmark
Local fraternities
Local sororities
Most popular organizations:
Tea Time Animation, Beyond the Front Row, Drawaholics Anonymous Crew, Comics and Concept Art Club and Chinese Student Association

Campus Security & Safety

24-hour emergency telephone/alarm services Checkmark
24-hour patrols by trained officers Checkmark
Student patrols Checkmark
Late-night transport/escort services Checkmark
Electronically-operated dormitory entrances Checkmark


Male icon

Men's Sports

Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
Baseball No Division 2 Checkmark
Basketball No Division 2 Checkmark
Cross-country Running No Division 2 Checkmark
Golf No Division 2 Checkmark
Soccer No Division 2 Checkmark
Softball No No No
Tennis No No No
Track And Field No Division 2 Checkmark
Volleyball No No No
Female icon

Women's Sports

Sport Intramural Intercollegiate Scholarship
Baseball No No No
Basketball No Division 2 Checkmark
Cross-country Running No Division 2 Checkmark
Golf No Division 1 Checkmark
Soccer No Division 2 Checkmark
Softball No Division 2 Checkmark
Tennis No Division 2 Checkmark
Track And Field No Division 2 Checkmark
Volleyball No Division 2 Checkmark


Total Faculty
Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-time - 219
Part-time - 840
Male - 597
Female - 461
Academy of Art University