Academic Overview

What is the school’s accreditation?

  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
  • The BFA Interior Architecture and Design program is accredited by the The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (formerly FIDER)
  • The School of Architecture has been accredited by the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) to offer a two-year Master of Architecture degree

Learn more about our Accreditations

What is the student course load?

  • Full-time: 12+ semester units/semester
  • Three quarter time: 9 semester credits units/semester
  • Half-time: 6 semester credit units/semester
  • Less than half time: 3 semester credit units/semester

How much homework is expected?

  • 3-6 hours per class, per week, maybe more depending if class has labs vs. studio courses
  • Workload and homework load also depends on student’s time management
  • Color and Design class can have up to 30 hours of homework per week

What study aids, special needs, and academic support are provided?

Academic Resource Center (ARC), study halls, one-on-one tutorials, Academic coaching, writing labs, speaking labs, classroom services, ESL study groups.

Learn more about the Academic Resource Center (ARC)

What is the average class size?

  • Art History/US History lecture up to 30 students
  • General Education courses cap at 20-30 students
  • Foundation courses cap at 18-25 students
  • Core classes cap from 16-20, depending on class
  • Higher level classes (computer user classes) may have as few as 5-10 students

What is the average age of your freshman student?

19-26 years old

How does a student take a class online?

Students get lots of help and support in online classes.

Learn more about Online Education at the Academy of Art University

Does the Academy offer any classes for high school students?

Yes, the Academy offers Saturday Art Experience and Summer Art Experience for high school students. For more information check out our Pre-College Programs .
Financial Programs

What types of financial help are available?

  • FAFSA (Pell Grant, SEOG, Federal Direct Stafford loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized), Direct Parent Plus loans, Federal Work Study and GI Bill)
  • Payment Plan: pay tuition in four installments throughout the Fall and Spring semesters ($50 charge)

Learn more about Finances

When should students apply to the University?

  • Students can apply up to two years in advance. Students should apply and register at least six months before each semester in order to be guaranteed classes and specific class times.
  • Students should first apply to the Academy to receive a Financial Aid Award.

Learn more about the Admissions process

Should a student work while in school?

This depends on a student’s time management. It is not recommended for students to work over 15-20 hours per week when taking a full course load (4 classes or 12 units). In addition, it is not recommended for students working 40 hours per week to take more than 2 classes (6 units).

Can students get help with part time work while in school?

The Career Services Department offers internships and part-time job opportunities. Financial Aid also offers work-study programs for those who qualify.
Student Support

What kind of on-campus housing is available?

We have residence halls for students under 21 yrs old and apartments for students over 21 yrs old. Housing is guaranteed to all full-time students.

Learn more about Housing

What security is provided for students?

All Academy buildings are secure buildings. The Academy also has four patrol units that continuously patrol the campus.

Learn more about Campus Safety

Is there a meal plan provided?

Academy of Art University offers a restaurant-quality dining program. The 19-Meal Plan offers students the flexibility of 19 “all-you-can-eat” meals per week. The plan offers three meals a day, Monday through Friday, and brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. The meal plan is required for all residents assigned to the Auguste Rodin and International House dormitories.

Learn more about Dining

What campus transportation is provided?

The Academy provides a free shuttle service to all of our buildings. The hours of operation reflect the hours the buildings are open.

Learn more about the Shuttles

What personal support is provided?

  • Most new BFA students have a Student Advocate. Advocates are the Support System for Academy students. Advocates act as liaisons to help resolve a variety of adjustment issues, including academic, financial, personal, or social through one-on-one communication and support.
  • A full-time professional Resident Manager staffs each Residence. In addition, residential communities have Resident Assistants who are students who live in housing and are familiar with what it takes to make the most of your experience here at the Academy. These leaders are skilled in advising, resource referral, administrative management, activities, and group facilitating.
Social Life

How do students meet each other?

Students meet through various aspects of student life beginning with housing check in, orientation, Campus Life activities, in the classroom, during group projects, and through shared experiences.

What Student Organizations are available?

All students are welcome to join Academy clubs, which are social/professional by nature. The Academy has approximately 30 clubs that focus on a wide range of interests including academics, networking, hobbies, diverse cultures and ethnicities, and much more.

What social activities are provided?

Campus Life and Leadership provides ample student activities and events throughout each semester. There were nearly 250 opportunities for students to socialize this past year, not including clubs and organizations or separate housing activities. Students living in dorms have even more activities. Some of the highlights include: Classic hot dog socials, ice cream socials, Jamba Juice days, trips to Yosemite, skiing in Tahoe, nature hikes, Napa tours, and various student parties, artist receptions and special events.

What sports teams are there?

The Academy has intramural sports classes for basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer and a Division 2 Men's League San Francisco soccer team. Other athletic opportunities this semester include a new rowing club, fencing team, and intramural badminton and tennis.

Learn more about Athletics