Academy of Art University


Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University was established in San Francisco in 1929 by Richard S. Stephens, a fine art painter who had accepted the position of Creative Director for Sunset Magazine.Academy of Art University transforms aspiring students into professional artists and designers. Building a strong foundation, instructors at the art school guide students to cultivate their individual style and prepare them to do what they love for a living.



Recognized for its state-of-the-art facilities, Academy of Art University fosters innovation through a faculty of industry professionals. Together students, faculty and staff create a vibrant community within the art school, enriched by the progressive urban culture of San Francisco and more than 80 years of inspiration.

Today the University has more than 18,000 students, making it the largest private school of art and design in the country.  Students now have the opportunity to pursue a  Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Associate of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Architecture, Certificate Programs or Continuing Art Education courses, with over 30 areas of academic emphasis.



The Academy of Art University offers both on-campus (traditional instructor-led) and distance education (online) degrees and certificate programs in its fine arts programs. The university offers Associate of Arts (AA), Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) for undergraduate degree programs, Master of Arts (MA), Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Master of Architecture (M.Arch) for graduate degree programs, and certificate programs for personal enrichment. The Academy of Art University offers degree and certificate programs in 18 majors:

  • Acting
  • Advertising
  • Animation and Visual Effects
  • Architecture
  • Art Education
  • Fashion
  • Fine Art
  • Game Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Illustration
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Architecture and Design
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Motion Pictures and Television
  • Multimedia Communications
  • Music Production and Sound Design for Visual Media
  • Photography
  • Web Design and New Media

With over 25,000 alumni in the United States and across the world, our goal is to keep our graduates connected to each other and the University both socially and professionally. Through the Alumni Association we strive to provide programs and events that bring our alumni together as a community, wherever they may be located.