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Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University, formerly Academy of Art College, is a privately owned for-profit art school in San Francisco, California, in the United States. It was founded as the Academy of Advertising Art by Richard S. Stephens in 1929.It has 283 full-time teachers and 1154 part-time teaching staff, and about 12,600 students. It claims to be the largest privately owned art and design school in the United States.

For nearly 90 years, artists and designers have called Academy of Art University their home. Founded in San Francisco and family owned since 1929, it is the largest private art and design university in the nation.

We are first and foremost a professional school—a specialized place that helps you master your craft as you prepare for professional roles as artists and designers. Our hands-on, no-nonsense curriculum is taught by some of the finest minds working in today’s creative and innovative industries. They will help you develop your talent and acquire skills sought by the creative marketplace.

The school has open admissions and an admission acceptance rate of 100%. In 2016, its accredit or expressed concern over low graduation rates;approximately 7% of students then completed a four-year degree within the allotted time.As of 2016, the school has not published job placement rates since 2006, and disagrees with the US Department of Education over whether it is required to do so.

The school is one of the largest property owners in San Francisco, with the main campus located on New Montgomery Street in the South of Market district.

Student Life at the Academy

Academy of Art University is an absolutely amazing place to be a college student. One of the world’s great creative capitals, San Francisco has been our home since 1929. Our neighbors include giants in everything from advertising, animation, and architecture to communications, game development, and web design.

Our Vision and Mission

Our Vision: To be the first choice for students seeking a world-class education in the arts and the first choice for those seeking to employ artists globally.

Our Mission: Academy of Art University prepares aspiring professionals in the fields of design, communication, and the arts by delivering excellent undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate and portfolio programs.

Campus Location:

79 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA

Language Requirements


You may submit your application for admission before taking the test.

Our institutional code for TOEFL is 4207

While we do not require these scores and do not have a minimum score requirement, you will be evaluated for English language proficiency upon arrival at Academy of Art University.

Costs per year*

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