Real-World Partnerships

Our goal at Academy of Art University is student success—your success. We want you to get good jobs when you leave here, to get the most out of your career, and to live a purpose-filled life of your own choosing and making. One way we do this is by giving our students opportunities to get real-world work experience working with industry professionals, on real-world projects—all while earning your degree.

In addition to hands-on learning opportunities for our students, these unique partnerships provide partnering organizations the unique opportunity to collaborate with emerging designers.

School of Industrial Design + Students from various majors across the school


The year 2020 was a remarkably extraordinary year for everyone. That’s why for this year’s Corporate Sponsor class with Stellantis, students of Academy of Art University were tasked to create a brand design reflecting on the learnings from that time. The entire course was completely done virtually, a true testament to how well the Academy’s online education is established. Whether onsite or online, Academy students can take advantage of our hands-on curriculum and various opportunities for career-prep. 

School of Industrial Design + Students from various majors across the school


Every semester, students from Academy of Art University’s School of Industrial Design participate in Corporate-Sponsored Projects. These interdisciplinary design projects bring students from diverse programs at the Academy together to collaborate with industry professionals. This type of work mirrors today’s professional work environment and gives students the skills needed to hit the ground running upon graduation. Past corporate sponsors include General Motors, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo & Maserati, NASA, and more.

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School of Animation & Visual Effects


StudioX is a student-run, faculty-mentored experience that emulates a real-world animation and VFX production environment. Students work with real clients on real films and games, with real deadlines, and real problems to solve. The “X” in StudioX stands for the valuable eXperience students gain as they prepare for animation careers. Many students start collecting IMDb credits even before graduating, thanks to StudioX.

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“My experience in StudioX working together with students from other departments has changed everything for me. I found my confidence. I found my voice. I found myself.”

Ranu Shukla, Animation & Visual Effects Student

School of Advertising + Students from various majors across the school

Young & Hungry

Young & Hungry (Y&H) is a student-run advertising agency you can take as a class. Y&H is modeled after a modern advertising agency and students work with real clients, with real deadlines at the dedicated agency style space in the Cannery Building at Fisherman’s Wharf. As a Y&H student, you gain professional experience working in your chosen agency role(s) as part of an interdisciplinary team that includes students from the Schools Fashion, Interior Architecture & Design, Advertising, Interaction & UI/UX Design, Photography, Illustration, Motion Pictures & Television, and more. Y&H’s wide range of real-world clients include Ubisoft and BMW, and social impact clients like Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity.

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Company logo of General Motors
Company logo of Jaguar
Company logo of NASA
Company logo of Walt Disney Animation Studios
Company logo for Blizzard Entertainment


“Being part of collaborative projects at Academy of Art University helped me improve what I consider to be the basic foundation of professionalism: to be part of a team, to communicate well with my co-workers, to follow deadlines, and to be responsible for what I do in a professional working environment.”

Bruna Berford, BFA Fine Art

School of Interior Architecture & Design

Five Keys Home Free Facility

Students from the School of Interior Architecture & Design collaborated with local nonprofit Five Keys Schools and Programs to design transitional housing for wrongfully convicted women who survived domestic violence. In this latest collab, Home Free and Five Keys worked with Academy students to provide stable housing as they re-enter society. Students spent the semester using their design skills for social good—transforming the apartment complex on Treasure Island into a tranquil, comforting place for 12 previously-incarcerated women as they begin their new lives on the outside.

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Norman Rockwell VR Project

Recent Projects


Start Your Career Now

Your dream is within reach. Follow your heart and get started on the career of your choice. Contact our admissions team to learn more about your career path and real-world corporate partnership project opportunities that align with your interests.

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Industry Partners

Tap into our pool of next-generation artists. Academy of Art University invites industry partners to connect with our students through corporate-sponsored projects, guest speaker workshops & lectures, internships, portfolio reviews, and recruiting sessions.

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