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Academy of Art University Students Benefit from Top College City in the U.S.

San Francisco has long inspired art, technology and culture, making the city a perfect backdrop for Academy of Art University’s state-of-the-art urban campus.

Students Outside Academy of Art University’s 180 New Montgomery Building in San Francisco

According to the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), San Francisco is also the best major metropolitan area in the U.S. to attend college. The rankings were based on 12 criteria, including:

  • Number of cultural and entertainment venues
  • Entrepreneurial activity
  • Earning potential
  • Percentage of residents working in the arts, education, knowledge industries, science and engineering, management and other fields

San Francisco’s creative industries, a thriving art scene and proximity to the high-tech innovation center of Silicon Valley offer students a world of possibilities. In AIER’s rankings, San Francisco beat out New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and other top college destinations.

Academy of Art University has long encouraged students to take full advantage of their rich location. Campus Life & Leadership organizes student events and outings to offer students a wide variety of experiences in San Francisco and its surrounding areas.

From going to see local theater productions such as Wicked and West Side Story to group trips to root for San Francisco sports teams, students have a wide variety of events to choose from. “Halloweek” festivities included a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a Psychic Fair and the extremely popular Halloweek Ball.

Academy of Art University’s 540 Powell Building in San Francisco

Campus Life & Leadership aims not just to involve students in their community but also to guide them in their artistic pursuits. “We want the students’ art to be enriched by all of these things,” said Laura Walker, Director of Campus Life & Leadership.

Spaces for a recent excursion to Yosemite National Park filled up quickly. “The students want to live their life and experience the world,” Walker said. “That’s one of the reasons they love Yosemite, especially our Photography students and Fine Art students who are interested in sketching and painting.”

The beauty of the park inspired many of the students. Within an hour of returning from the trip, hundreds of pictures of the event were uploaded to Facebook.

In addition to encouraging students to explore the city and its surroundings, Academy of Art University draws creative professionals from around the world to San Francisco. The Annual Spring Show exhibits the top talent from across the school, attracting recruiters from companies like Mazda, Dark Horse Comics, Apple, Facebook and more.

San Francisco’s Castro Theatre, Site of Academy of Art University’s Epidemic Film Festival

With the historic Castro Theatre as a venue, Academy of Art University’s Annual Epidemic Film Festival, held by the School of Motion Pictures & Television/Acting, regularly brings Hollywood elite to San Francisco for its gala awards ceremony. Respected actors, directors and cinematographers such as Tippi Hedren, Barrie Osborne, Randal Kleiser and more have attended the event.

San Francisco’s long cultural heritage and forward-thinking, entrepreneurial spirit have inspired Academy of Art University’s students for more than 80 years. The AIER rankings confirm what Academy students have always known: San Francisco’s rich and vibrant urban center is a perfect setting for artists and designers preparing to do what they love for a living.


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