Academy of Art University

School Summary

About Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University was founded in 1929 in San Francisco, California. It is now the largest private school of art and design in the country. The campus is set in the heart of the city and connected with a morning-to-night free shuttle service, providing access to all of the sites San Francisco has to offer. From the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to Fishermans Wharf and Chinatown, this city is ideal for emerging artists and designers.

The University offers the degrees Bachelor of Fine Arts, Associate of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Architecture. All degree programs include a base liberal arts education curriculum with a focus on art history and English. Graduation in any undergraduate degree requires completion of a Liberal Arts course called Designing Careers that "exposes students to the expectations of the professional environment in relation to their intended careers." This course helps students develop resumes, cover letters, and interview skills, in hopes of preparing graduates for future careers.

The available majors in which students may earn BFA and AA undergraduate degrees are advertising, animation and visual effects, architecture, computer arts, digital arts and communication, fashion, fine art, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, interior architecture and design, motion pictures and television, and photography. Most of these study programs are also available as online courses, allowing students the freedom to complete a degree from home. BFA degrees are typically completed within four years, while AA degrees can generally be completed within two years. Completion of a graduate degree program varies by course of study.

AAU offers a portfolio grant to all first-time Academy students enrolling in at least two on campus or online classes during a Summer Semester. Students submit portfolios for consideration, and could be awarded up to 100% of tuition costs. AAU also offers assistance to students applying for financial aid, and a four-month interest-free installment plan for tuition payment is available to all students.

AAU is a fully accredited institution. It was built "by Artists for Artists." The faculty is made up of working artists and designers, renowned professionals who also have a passion for teaching. The campus offers state-of-the-art facilities with guaranteed housing for full-time students. AAU also prides itself on being an affordable private institution, with tuition rates 40% lower than other major private art and design schools. The university offers students a professional reputation that carries over into the marketplace with a list of companies hiring AAU graduates reading "like a who's who list of art and design," including Pixar, DreamWorks, and Alexander McQueen.

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