New Student To-Do List

1. 1. Get your Student ID Card (required to attend all events)

  • Onsite students: Stop by the Atelier at 79 New Montgomery August 24th-28th 9:00am-6:00pm to pick up your new student ID card.
  • Online students: Log into and click “Student ID” under “Other Tools.”

2. Learn How to Use Campus Shuttles

  • View the Academy of Art University campus shuttle schedules by logging in at the following locations using your Academy email address ( and your student ID number:

3. Select a Refund Preference with Your Academy of Art U Card

  • Make sure your Academy of Art U card arrives in the mail! Update your “Home” address on “Student Self Service” and look out for the bright green envelope from Higher One.
  • Once you have the card, visit to enter your unique 16-digit card number and select a refund preference. Read through the FAQ for more information!

4. Get Involved in Campus Life & Explore San Francisco!

  • Campus Life is your connection to everything happening on campus. Learn about upcoming events, weekend trips, things to do in the city, and the many student clubs and organizations you can join.
  • Explore your new San Francisco home! Get started with: 100 Things to do in San Francisco.

5. Tap into Your Academic Resources

  • Visit the Academy of Art University Library. Thousands of inspirational art & design books and a massive library of images are at your fingertips.
  • Introduce yourself to the Academy Resource Center (ARC). Sign up for free tutoring, academic coaching, writing assistance, English as a Second Language support, and a wealth of other services to help you succeed.

6. Complete Your Checklist for a Successful Semester


New Applicants should pre-register for classes here:

Orientation Gallery


New Student Orientations

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Join us for your first glimpse into life at the Academy. Attendance is required for all on-campus students.

Fall 2015 Orientation Materials

Fall 2015 Orientation Dates

Financial Aid Workshop

9:00am / Location: 79 New Montgomery Theater

Wednesday, August 26th

Parent Orientation

10:30am / Location: Morgan Auditorium - 491 Post Street

Watch the live feed HERE

Wednesday, August 26th

President’s Welcome

1:00pm/Location: Morgan Auditorium, 491 Post Street

Watch the live feed HERE

Wednesday, August 26th

Meet Your Department Director

Click here for times and locations.

Thursday, August 27th


10:30am / Location: Morgan Auditorium - 491 Post Street

Friday, August 28th

Trivia Mania

1:00pm / Location: Morgan Auditorium - 491 Post Street

Friday, August 28th

Luxury City Tour

Choose 12:00pm - 1:30pm or 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Departing 79 New Montgomery Street (Jessie Street)

Saturday, August 29th

Beach Day at Crissy Field

11:00am - 3:00pm / Departing 620 Sutter Street

Sunday, August 30th

Club Mixer

12:00pm - 2:00pm / 601 Brannan Street

Saturday, September 5th

New International Student Check-In and Orientations

2015 Fall Semester

New International Student Check-In (Mandatory)

9:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Check In Location: 79 New Montgomery Street 

IMPORTANT: Bring your I-20 and passport.

It is essential for all new students to choose a day (August  11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, or 25) to check-in with the International Admissions Specialists. There are limited personnel and space for each check-in day, so reserve your day as soon as possible. We want to provide excellent customer service to you and look forward to welcoming you to Academy of Art University.

Check-in with International Admissions – if your flight will arrive after check-in, please notify your advisor right away. You may also check-in for housing if you have applied. HOUSING CHECK-IN begins August 11. Please send your arrival date and time to – be sure to include your full name and student ID number.

At check-in, you will receive your student ID card and can pay tuition, sign up for the English Placement Test, and receive detailed information about International Student Orientation (mandatory) and the President's Welcome & Graduate Orientation and Reception (mandatory)

Financial Aid Workshop

9:00am / Location: 79 New Montgomery Theater

Wednesday, August 26th

Parent Orientation

10:30am / Location: Morgan Auditorium - 491 Post Street

Wednesday, August 26th

President's Welcome

1:00pm / Location: Morgan Auditorium - 491 Post Street

Wednesday, August 26th

Tuition Deadline

- Pay by Visa/Master Credit Card

- Pay through Peer Transfer

- Pay cash, bank check, traveler’s check in person

Saturday, August 29th
Meet Your Department Director: Click here for times and locations
Thursday, August 27th
Classes Begin Thursday, September 3rd

International Student Handbook:


New International Student Instructions

Step 1: When you receive your I-20

  • Make sure your personal and program information on the first page of your I-20 is correct. Any correction must be reported to your advisor immediately—we’ll make the correction and mail you a new one.
  • Print your name, sign, and date the I-20 on the bottom of page one.
  • There are strict regulations to which you agree when you sign the I-20 and enter the U.S as an F-1 student. Read these regulations on page 2 of your I-20 carefully—you are responsible for knowing them.
  • Send an email to your advisor to confirm you received your I-20.

Step 2: Pay the Sevis I-901 Fee (must be paid within 30 days from the day you receive the I-20)

  • You are required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee of $200 by mail or over the Internet. Please see the SEVIS I-901 Fee instructions in the I-20 package. Academy of Art School Code is SFR 214F 00500000
  • Your SEVIS ID number can be found on page one of your I-20 (upper right corner).

Step 3: Obtain an F-1 Student Visa

  • To apply for an F-1 Student Visa, contact the U.S Embassy/Consulate in your home country for details. Some U.S. Embassies/Consulates will accept your visa application at any time, while others will require you to make an appointment in advance, so be sure you plan ahead. It can take more than a month to process a student visa.
  • If you are from a country that is participating in the visa waiver program, Do not enter the U.S on a visa waiver—you must apply for an F-1 Student Visa. After you've obtained your F-1 visa you are required to send an email to let your advisor know.

Class Registration

You can register for your classes after receiving your F-1 student visa and speaking with your advisor. After class registration is completed, you can log on to Student Self Service to:

  • View your class schedule
  • Sign the Enrollment Agreement (mandatory)
  • Make tuition payments
  • Submit your U.S. address and phone number, if you have them
  • Choose your own room assignment after you've applied for on campus housing.

Note: If you have not received your username and password, please contact your advisor.

• After you receive your F-1 Student Visa, book your flight to San Francisco (SFO). You can enter the U.S no earlier than 30 days before the I-20 program start date.

Step 4: Book your flight

Step 5: Email your arrival date and time to your Admissions Specialist


Useful Things to Know:

Transportation from the airport

Airport shuttles to downtown San Francisco cost about $20, while taxis are around $40. The Academy of Art University does not provide airport pickup.


For the summer semester, you should have at least $6,000. For fall or spring semester, you should have at least $10,000 available to pay for tuition, books, and materials (does not include campus housing fees).

Health Examination/Vaccination.

There is no health form to fill out. You should visit your local doctor and have a health examination and receive the necessary vaccination before traveling to the U.S., and receive a doctor’s note after the examination is completed.

Bank accounts.

It can take several days to open a U.S. bank account, so please have a credit card as backup.

Paying Tuition.

You can pay your tuition online through Student Self Service or in person when you arrive. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and traveler's checks—personal checks, money orders and/or bank drafts should be made payable to Academy of Art University. Wire transfers are also accepted but can take several days to process.

Campus Housing & Payment.

If you've applied for on campus housing, you should do the following:

  1. Email your arrival date and time to and your advisor.
  2. Log on to your Student Self Service and choose your own room assignment.
  3. Pay your housing balance when you move into campus housing. For any questions regarding your housing, please contact the Housing Department directly at 1-415-618-6335, or fax us at 1-415-618-6276.

Health Insurance.

If you are living in campus housing, you must have health insurance that covers you in the US. We recommend having health insurance even if you are not living in campus housing–pick up an insurance brochure upon arrival.

It is important that all visitors to the U.S have adequate health insurance coverage during their stay here. As a result, all F-1 visa holders are required to maintain health insurance during their studies at the Academy. We encourage students to contact the International Student Office if they have any questions or problems relating to health insurance.

United Health Care has a student injury and sickness insurance plan designed especially for our students. For more information please visit their website at

International Student Office

Contact International Students Office
We have language support

Orientation Materials

Fall 2015 President’s Welcome Live Feed

President's Welcome

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 – 1:00PM PT - ONLINE

Fall 2015 Parent Orientation Live Feed

Parent Orientation – This event is for parents of ArtU Students

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 – 10:30AM PT - ONLINE

Summer 2015 Orientation Highlights

Parent Orientation

Thursday, June 4, 2015 – 2:00PM PT – ONLINE

Spring 2015 Orientation Highlights

President's Welcome

Wednesday, January 21, 2015 – 1:00PM PT - ONLINE

Get to Know Us

Get to know our world-class staff and see why we’re one of the top arts universities in the country.

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