History, Affiliations and Rankings
The Academy of Art University is a private for-profit Art college located in San Francisco, California which was established in 1929 as a college for advertising art. The founder, Richard S. Stephens, a painter and magazine editor, led it till 1951 when his son Richard A. Stephens took over as the dean, who in 1992 was replaced by his daughter Elisa Stephens. Today, it is one of the largest, private accredited schools for Art and Design in the United States that prepares professional Artists and Designers for the 21st century creative marketplace. The Academy of Art University has a sporting affiliation with NCAA Division II. It ranks between #94-122 in Regional Universities West and #121 in Top Performers on Social Mobility by the US News and World Report 2022.
Infrastructure, Campuses and Courses
There are a number of points that contribute to making the Academy of Art University an ideal institute to start a career in Art and Design. Their urban campus has housing, dining, and academic services, creating a unique college atmosphere in one of the world's most creative capitals, San Francisco. The University offers Associate, Undergraduate, and Postgraduate programs in 20+ academic areas, including, Acting, Advertising, Architecture, Fashion, Game Development, Music Production, Film, Television and Digital Media, Industrial Design and more. In addition, there are short-term courses, foundation courses, a Liberal Arts program, and study abroad opportunities. Courses at Academy of Art University are designed to equip students with a comprehensive toolbox of knowledge and marketable skills through practice-based curriculums. As such, students will "learn by doing" what they will do in their chosen profession.
Accomplishments and Alumni
The Academy of Art University is a fully accredited institution that was awarded regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in 2007. ThoughtCo. ranks Academy of Art University as the #1 among the Best Fashion Schools in America. It is the first Art University that was invited to showcase student artwork at the New York Fashion Week. Besides, artwork created by the University's students and alumni is showcased in 70+ art shows and gallery exhibitions annually. Further, the Academy's Athletics program became the first in the history of the NCAA to win a National Championship (Women's Track & Field) in its first year of eligibility. The University's alumni network is a global community of creatives, who span nearly 112 countries across the globe. It consists of successful graduates, like Victor Wagner, an alumnus of the School of Animation and Visual Effects at the University who was Technical Director and Key FX artist in Disney production, The Lion King. Other notable alumni are - Heidi Montag (American Television Personality), Raven Symone (American Actress), Ashwini Bhave (Indian Actress), Rick Baker (American actor and Academy Award Winner for Best Makeup Effects and Hairstyling) and more.
Student Diversity and Visiting Companies
The Academy of Art University values diversity in all its dimensions. The University has more than 8,900 student enrolments out of which about 6,100 are Undergraduates and about 2,800 are Postgraduates with more than 800 faculty members on its premises. They have 36% of the total students as international students hailing from 115 countries on the campus. The male to female ratio is 43:57 at the Academy of Art University making it a fairly gender-balanced university. Further, there are plenty of exciting student clubs and organizations to get involved in, including, the Anime Club, LGBTQ Club, Jewelry and Metal Arts Club and clubs for Improv, Drama, Comedy, Concept Art and more. Further, graduates from the Academy of Art University have worked on award-winning productions including, Disney's The Lion King, Avengers: End Game, Toy Story 4, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Irishmen and several more. Some of the leading recruiters at this University are Tesla, Forrestperkins, Levi's, Moad, Chanel and others.