Academy of Art University: Defining the Future

The year 1929 marked the opening of a unique educational institution dedicated to helping its students reach their greatest creative aspirations. The privately owned Academy of Art University, founded by Richard S. Stephens as the Academy of Advertising, is located in San Francisco, California. The main campus is in the South of Market District with student housing available in 17 facilities throughout the city.

The Academy hosts more than 18,000 diverse students from 112 countries in a supportive environment that encourages creativity and innovation. They major in accredited programs in 25 areas of study including the fields of design, communication and the arts. The school offers Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs at the campus and online.

Through the Academy’s School of Fashion participation in the bi-annual New York Fashion Week, students have been exhibiting their creative talents since 2005. In September, 2017, collections from ten recent BFA and MFA graduates were debuted in the school’s 21st runway showcase. A Huffington Post Article focused on the diversity of the designers’ backgrounds and the range of ideas and techniques being presented. Their favorite looks were shown with a short statement from each designer giving the inspiration for their creations and a description of the materials used to create their distinctive designs.

The Academy fosters a strong creative atmosphere that inspires and encourages students to develop their own style in whatever discipline they choose. Under the present leadership of President Elisa Stephens, the Academy of Art University continues to challenge students, inspiring them to become skilled professional artists and designers. A no-barrier admission policy opens the door for students with a desire to learn and develop their skills. Full and Part-time teachers are career artists with a desire to pass on their knowledge, providing experience, expertise and the understanding of the most recent and advanced trends.


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