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International Admissions: Online Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I earn a degree and/or certificate online?

Academy of Art University offers degrees, online awards of completion, and individual classes online for art and design students. Courses are highly focused, flexible and interactive.

New online degrees, awards of completion, and classes are added on a continuing basis, so please check the website each semester. For more information about current course offerings, degrees, and awards of completion, please visit the following:

Watch a demonstration of how online classes work.

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Will I be able to interact with my classmates?

Students are able to interact with their classmates and instructors. Online classes encourage communication through discussion, video conferencing, multimedia feedback and small class sizes. Students participate in flexible discussions, allowing them to ask questions and receive constructive feedback.

Watch a demonstration of how online classes work.

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Can I contact an instructor if I need help?

Instructors are accessible via e-mail, phone, or through the online discussion forum.

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Can I get academic or language help in my online classes?

Academic Support

Academy of Art University's Online Academic Support team provides personalized assistance, guiding you to:

  • manage your time effectively
  • communicate with your instructors and classmates
  • participate in discussions successfully

To request academic support, click on the Online Academic Support link on the right side of your student homepage or visit the Academy Resource Center.

Writing Support

Students can e-mail the Online Writing Lab (OWL) to receive feedback on their writing. The Online Writing Lab is available for all students enrolled in classes at Academy of Art University. Students can also use the Writing Lab on campus to work with a tutor in-person.

English Language Support

English language support is available to all online students and provides individual tutoring to international students at all levels and in all majors. English instructors are available in some online courses to answer questions. Students can request help by clicking on the English as a Second Language link on the right side of their online homepage. For more information about these services, visit the Academy Resource Center.

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What are the online classes like, and how do I participate?

Similar to on-campus classes, your online classes have students, instructors and advisors. Students communicate and ask questions using interactive online discussion forums, e-mail, phone, and fax, enabling them to upload images and work, as well as provide and receive feedback. Online classes are flexible and work with your schedule. Discussions, lectures, and assignments can all be reviewed online at any time. However, assignments do have specific deadlines.

Watch a demonstration of how online classes work.

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What class materials will I need and where will I purchase them?

Many classes require books and other materials. These should be ordered before your first day of class. Each class provides clear instructions listing any books and materials you will need to order, as well as how to order them. To access class web pages, visit the Class Search & Registration.

Books can be purchased online through, or locally through Alexander Bookstore ( 415.495.2992.

To order software, first check to see if there is an education version at You will need to confirm your registration in certain classes to purchase discounted education versions.

Email for all other questions about purchasing textbooks or software.

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What are the prerequisites for each class? How do I know if I qualify?

Prerequisites are listed in the Academy of Art University catalog and class bulletins. For online programs, this information is also provided in the Class Search & Registration.

For more information regarding prerequisites, please speak with your advisor.

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What kind of computer should I have (Mac or PC)?

Most online classes can be completed on a Mac or PC. Some online classes require computer software that is only available on one or the other. These specific requirements can be found in the Class Search & Registration. Students should refer to the catalog prior to purchasing a new computer.

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Which Internet browser should I use?

Your computer must have Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Safari to participate in online classes. Please click here to see internet browser requirements.

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What are the system requirements for my computer?

Please click here to see the most current system requirements.

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How much are tuition and fees?

Application fees and tuition deposit:

  • Application fee: $100 (non-refundable and non-deferrable)
  • Registration fee: $20 (non-refundable and non-deferrable)
  • Tuition deposit: $100 (non-refundable and non-deferrable)

Online Degrees/Classes Tuition:

  • Tuition is paid on a semester basis, and students pay only for those classes they are enrolled in for that semester. Each course is three units.
  • Undergraduate Courses: $785 per unit $2,310 per course for Summer 2014. $810 per unit and $2,430 per course starting Fall 2014.
  • Graduate Courses: $885 per unit $2,655 per course. $910 per unit and $2,730 per course starting Fall 2014.

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Do you have financial aid or scholarships?

Currently there is no financial aid available for International Students.

Other financial aid resources:

For more information about studying in the United States, please visit eduPASS: The SmartStudent Guide to Studying in the USA

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Can I get a Visa as an online student?

Students attending online classes are not eligible for a Visa.

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What are your admissions requirements?

For Undergraduate International Online Applications Only
The following items MUST be submitted in order to process your application:

  • APPLICATION FORM - Must be filled out completely, signed, and dated.
  • APPLICATION FEE ($100) - Please make a check/money order payable to Academy of Art University. Visa, MasterCard and Discover payments are also acceptable. The $100 application fee is non-refundable.
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS - Undergraduate applicants must submit official high school transcripts and diploma verifying graduation, a declaration form, or other accepted form of verification (see undergraduate admissions requirements for more information). College transcripts (if applicable) are required if you would like to transfer credits. See the transfer page for more information about transferring credits.
    ** All applicants seeking a Second Bachelor's Degree must submit official college transcripts to verify their prior Bachelor's degree
  • PORTFOLIO - Undergraduate applicants are not required to submit a portfolio, but may do so for possible waiver of foundation or major classes.
    **Before you register for classes, you will also be asked to submit a $20 registration fee (non-refundable) and a $100 tuition deposit (non-refundable).
  • (optional, no minimum requirement):TOEFL OR TOEIC SCORE. Please visit these websites if you have not taken either of these tests: for TOEFL (; TOEIC ( Academy of Art University's institutional code is 4207.

For Graduate International Online Applications Only
The following items MUST be submitted in order to process your application:

  • APPLICATION FORM - Complete the online application clearly indicating chosen discipline. A non‐refundable and non‐deferrable $100 application fee is required.
  • PORTFOLIO - You will be registered for the appropriate program based on the skills demonstrated in your portfolio. If you hold a Bachelor's Degree and do not have a portfolio, we encourage you to contact Graduate Admissions. **Before you register for classes, you will also be asked to submit a $20 registration fee (non-refundable) and a $100 tuition deposit (non-refundable).
  • OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS - Graduate applicants must submit an official college transcript, verifying prior Bachelor’s degree. Foreign transcripts and diploma must have a Bachelor's degree stated on them. Photocopy is unacceptable. Additional information on foreign transcripts (PDF).
  • FOREIGN TRANSCRIPT REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL APPLICANTS - If your transcripts are not in English, they must be translated and notarized by a translation service. If you are not sure if your diploma is equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma or Bachelor's degree, the following agencies can evaluate your transcripts for a fee:, (these agencies are only suggested, not affiliated with the Academy).
  • STATEMENT OF INTENT - Outline your goals and intentions for graduate school (700 word limit).
  • RESUME - Should describe your education background, work experience, and skill set.
  • LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION - Required for Art Education, Motion Pictures & Television, and Fine Art: Sculpture. Optional for all other majors. Please have your recommenders email their letters directly to your admissions advisor.
  • TOEFL OR TOEIC SCORE (optional, no minimum requirement) - Please visit these websites if you have not taken either of these tests: for TOEFL (; TOEIC ( Academy of Art University's institutional code is 4207.

Learn more about accreditation for Academy of Art University's online programs.