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The Academy of Art University

Total Grad Surveys 25
Females 18
Males 7
Avg years at University 1.9
Research Quality D- (1.8)
Research Availability C- (4.2)
Research Funding D (2.1)
Graduate Politics D (2.4)
Not Errand Runners C+ (5.6)
Degree Completion C- (4.2)
Alternative pay [ta/gsi] D- (1.7)
Sufficient Pay D (2.5)
Competitiveness C (4.8)
Education Quality C+ (5.0)
Faculty Accessibility C+ (5.1)
Useful Research C (4.5)
"Individual" treatment C- (3.9)
Friendliness C+ (5.1)
Safety C+ (5.1)
Campus Beauty C- (3.6)
Campus Maintenance C (4.5)
University Spending C- (3.6)
Extracurriculars C (4.7)
Scholastic Success C+ (5.3)
Surrounding City A (9.2)
Social Life/ Environment B- (6.0)
Alternative pay [ta/gsi]D-
Surrounding CityA
This school is a high class TRASHFeb 13 2020Art & Design Department
This school is a high class TRASH.
My advise to all the International students is do not choose this school if you're dream is to achieve something. i would recommend to go for better state university than a private school where you can experience more diversity and meet actual Americans who are amazing.

first few weeks of my class being the only Indian, i was an easy target to all my Fashion instructors. they gave me insane assignments making me re do everything every week and nothing was enough for them. there were no Americans in my class we were all international. i was independently doing my work and cause i am a silent person teachers picked on me crazy and gave bad grades on purpose.

some of elective classes like fashion drawing was great where i met actual artists and felt like i did learn something.

All these people care about is your money.
FIDM or SFSU or any other states please don't waste your time and money here. university with more diversity has more better opportunities and understanding.

To all the instructors who helped me like David, english teachers, thank you and i'm sorry you have to work for these horrible people.

To all the Instructors who mistreated me, i would say this - people if international or not they are all human beings too, they all come here investing a lot of their time, money and energy believing and dreaming to achieve something don't break it to make your business work.

this may not be a huge loss for you. but breaking someone's dream and career is a huge loss for students. God bless you all.

I wrote an honest review and AAU demandedApr 18 2016Art & Design Department
I wrote an honest review and AAU demanded that Yelp take it down. In brief, my daughter was attending AAU's graduate program and she was murdered. AAU's Vice President (Sue Rowley), was completely callous and disrespectful and demanded that Security throw us out of our daughter's dorm room when we came to pick up her personal effects. The university's president (Elisa Stephens), who inherited her job, showed no interest in our daughter's tragic death, refused to come to the phone to discuss the loss of our daughter or pay respects.

We believe that it is important to understand that the campus is spread out across hundreds of building throughout the San Francisco Bay with most of them in some of the most dangerous parts of the city. Campus security is unable to protect students because there is no real campus and the school's Clery Report doesn't honestly reflect the dangers that students face on a daily basis. Our experience confirmed that the University is staffed, from top to bottom, with inept personnel who show no interest in the well being of their students.If your are contemplating sending your child to this institution we recommend that you reconsider as there are much safer places to send your child that offer far better academics.

Research Topic(s): Hare Today Goon Tomorrow
The teachers at theMar 15 2014Interior Design
The teachers at the interior design department are not good and they don't have engh information. Very weak . All the teachers do not teach you what the course has. Believe it or not some teachers don't hold any a bachelor or master degree in the major.
Most instructors in AAU are still active inFeb 18 2014Communications
Most instructors in AAU are still active in their field. That's good because this is an art university. You know art is not objective. If these successful artists think your works are good then there must be many clients like his or hers would come and buy it. Otherwise, if the professors are professional teachers in school, how would you expect them to teach you how to be a good artist? I love most of the instructors here, especially in School of Multimedia Communications. Most of them have several Emmy Awards on their hands. I'm gonna catch one if any instructor drops some. Lol
The university and faculty will provide an environmentApr 26 2011Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
The university and faculty will provide an environment and a framework for you to be creative. They will not spoon feed you; you have to really make an investment in your studies and your thesis project (Graduate School). You get what you put into the program and you will be surrounded by supportive students who are all eager to learn from each other.
hD in Leadership for Higher EducationMar 01 2011Education
hD in Leadership for Higher Education. Not worth the paper it?s written on?
Four years ago all the rave was a study, in which Capella bought into and advertised for recruitment into this program, a study by AACC (American Association of Community Colleges) declaring a "critical shortage of community college leadership." Unfortunately this can't be further from the truth, but also through my own research has never been the case, nor is there any outlook of any kind pointing to a shortage of personnel, especially here in California. Speaking directly to a researcher who took part in the study with AACC, he said (and I paraphrase here) ?we looked only at a few states and looked only at the numbers of retiring administrators. We did not compare that against the applicant pool applying for such positions.? In other words, AACC?s research premise was thus: there are 750 Major League professional baseball players in the world and 90% will be retired in 10 years. Therefore there is a critical shortage of Major League professional baseball players!

AACC even said, and I quote: ?We did not look at California, would you like to do that for us?? Well, I did. Calling into 22 of 71 community college districts throughout California, polling from metropolitan, suburban, and remote districts, not one HR administrator agreed with AACC, with one even stating ?AACC is from Mars if they think there is any kind of shortage with administrative personnel.? One district administrator commented that their big problem is sorting through the tons of qualified applications for each position open. One position, a Dean at Santa Barbara Community College, received over 150 qualified applications.

Calling into five other states, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Utah and Arizona, I found the same response from HR administrators: no critical shortage of leadership personnel predicted. One HR administrator from Arizona, jokingly but half serious, replied (and I quote): ?AACC is not from Mars if they think there?s any type of leadership shortage?they are from Pluto!? Another HR administrator from New Jersey commented: ?There is always a shortage of leaders with more talent than God and more money than Bill Gates.?

I work at a university and currently in higher education. Unfortunately it?s a faith-based institution where you had better be a life-long member of the church if you apply for any administrative position. In California, as with my friend currently in the this PhD program who got a promotion to President of San Jacinto College, Roger Schultz, these degrees in Leadership for Higher Education might get you a promotion. It will not open the door to an outsider. Go do something of real value before you think about this worthless program.

After 12 years of adjunct for three California community college districts I have recently stopped doing that (oh how many times I?ve heard the carrot before the stick? ?well, we MIGHT have some tenure-track positions open soon!?) There are two things I used to do weekly: 1) apply to a California community college, and 2) play the California lottery. There is now one thing I do every week: 1) play the California lottery. And I?m damn glad I do! I?m up $62 bucks this year!

I graduated from the Academy in 2009Jan 28 2011Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I graduated from the Academy in 2009. My major was sculpture, I graduated with honors. So ask yourself "why would this guy slander his department? wouldn't that hurt him?"

Let me be clear, I would rather ruin the reputation of my alma mater, than be associated with that place.

The San Francisco Academy Of Art University's sculpture department just fired the only redeeming quality they had. They just fired Erik Blome over email, with no notice.

For 3 years I put up with intimidation and emotional abuse from Peter Schifrin. He even openly mocked my religion in front of a class of students (I have 2 statements from students of the class to prove this).I was disgusted at the time that most of my gradshool professors in the sculpture dept had less experience, and less resume than I did. The claim that the school is run by "artists for artist" that "professional" teach there, was not true in the sculpture dept.

I'm an online only student, so I didn'tDec 01 2010Other
I'm an online only student, so I didn't have a lot to say about the campus itself, but my experience has been awesome. It's taken me a little over three years to get my master's, but man have I learned a lot. It's not easy, especially the online classes. People always assume they will be and then get frustrated when they have to actually work in their classes.
Graphic Design Department should have informed students thatOct 22 2010Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
Graphic Design Department should have informed students that this program is open to students of all majors not just those with design background. I feel that I have wasted my time and money, paying high price for little returns. Some class that is said to be difficult is not really academically challenged but what makes it difficult is the inadequate instructor.

At this level of higher education, I find it rather irritating that the instructor still focuses on basic fonts, poster design, how to write heading, what subhead is, page tiling, even how to set margins.

Most instructors are not helpful and often tell students to get help elsewhere be it the ESL lab, the type lab, and other fellow students.

The school takes too many advantages from students. Everything is about business.
Academic advisor is not well-informed and not willing to help. When asking something outside of their scope of responsibility, I was told that it wasn?t their job. I had to fumble my way through various departments to get an answer I wanted.

Whether or not you go is up toFeb 26 2010Other
Whether or not you go is up to you, but watch your back. I had some work stolen and plagiarized by some girl on the net, and now the school is giving ME an 'F' in the class because they say _I_ copied it and they are giving me ZERO CHANCE to defend myself (and this is at the GRADUATE level, mind you). Oh, and they are gladly keeping my tuition for the class too, because they won't let me drop it so I will have to retake and pay for it twice.

And in my experience, this school really doesn't care about anything else other than money. Both my alma mater and several other private schools around me are cheaper - by hundreds of dollars per credit hour in some cases - than AAU, even at the graduate level. I initially chose AAU for the online flexibility, but I think now that it was a HUGE mistake. I have had only ONE teacher that I would call very good to excellent at this point, and she was a general Liberal Arts/Art History teacher. Totally unsatisfactory for the expense.

Between the terrible treatment as a person/red tape/inflated tuition/poor instruction quality, I will not be staying and I will never recommend them to anyone at any level.

If you have no skill whatsoever, you areJan 22 2010Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
If you have no skill whatsoever, you are basically on your own here at the Academy. There is no student, no instructor, no faculty that will help you. Period. All the school cares about is your money. They don't care if you succeed or fail. As long as you keep giving them money. I tried socializing with students, but everyone is arrogant. I tried getting information from faculty, but they are arrogant. Those who are successful coming out of the school are so because they were successful prior to coming to the school and have millions and time to throw away. If this is you, then try it out, otherwise, not only would you have wasted a lot of time taking classes that won't teach you a dime, but you would be poor and out of job. I'm a student who has gone for three years now and I have never had a good experience. NEVER. Each semester I hope to meet and learn anew, but nope. I get robbed of my money and time. I make an effort to put my all into the education, but it's a one way street. Students end up doing their own research to do assignments. The academy also pours on a TON of work on you lasting more than 60+ hours of work. You cannot work parttime or have a life outside of doing the assignments. And the school thinks these assignments will teach you about the real worlds. Believe me. It doesn't. It's just busy work. I cannot stress how much I hate this school and what it has done to worsen my motivation on my chosen career. When its their way of singling out students, but that would only be singling out those who have money, not talent. Those who do stay are treated only like an assembly line. Think twice before coming here. I can only warn you.
I have been to the school for aboutJan 22 2010Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
I have been to the school for about 3 years now, both in the undergraduate and graduate programs and nothing has changed. I still get the same ignorant, and stupid(yes stupid) advisors whom students know better how to steer their career than the school does. The professors are never consistent and are just adjunct temporarily while they are laid off from their real jobs and looking for work elsewhere. Half of the time they don't have students' goals in mind. They pass everyone and accept everyone. While this gives most people an opportunity, it degrades the true people with talent and they become among the group instead of the stars that should shine.
Not worth it if you have any creativeDec 05 2009Industrial Design
Not worth it if you have any creative or technical background, or better choices, or a brain. You will take undergrad-level classes, do undergrad-level projects, and be treated as an un-motivated and un-self-directed student (though the school doesn't actually direct you). The school is full of contradictions and full of lies. I was told a lot of great things before I came here, and have found only disappointment after disappointment. I am not staying.
I am in my first semester in theMar 24 2009Art & Design Department
I am in my first semester in the online MFA program for film, focusing on screenwriting. I graduated May 2008 with a B.A. in Film from Emerson College with barely any skills. This was my own fault, I just didn't put enough effort into it. This time around, I am 100% focused and dedicated to my craft.

The online program can be tricky at first; it starts out slow and then you are bombarded with hours upon hours of homework. But if you put in the effort, you are guaranteed to see visible improvements in your work. Going into my editing class, I had very minimal experience with final cut pro. Now, half way through the semester, I can edit, organize clips, apply transitions, correct audio, and so much more. I got off to a rough start with my story development class, in large part to unclear instructions from my professor. After having a dialog with the entire class about his teaching style, he took that information and made some key changes that make the assignments much more clear. Now THAT is a teacher. From what I have noticed from reading other posts, online students seem to have a much better experience with AAU. I have never felt like I was just another number or dollar sign, especially with my advisors who have been so friendly and helpful through this whole transition to grad school. I have wonderful discussions with classmates because everyone is dedicated to their work and open to sharing their thoughts and opinions. It's truly the best learning experience I have ever had. Period.

I'm doing the online MFA program, which isJul 09 2008Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I'm doing the online MFA program, which is great. I also know many many grad students feel the same. Sometimes we are asked to talk about it in the discussion forum, and so many have great reviews (at least the ones I have encountered). Like everything, it is not perfect, but it is a great school. I would recommend this school, especially their online program, which is what I have experienced. I have learned alot, compared to my undergraduate BA in fine arts from another school.
There are so many negative reviews about thisJun 30 2008Design Arts - Industrial Design/Graphic Design/etc
There are so many negative reviews about this school and i'm not really sure why. I am currently taking my graduate courses online and i have learn so much in just a short period of time. You really have to manage your time well here because there is a lot of work given to the student. All in all i am really learning a lot and i can't wait to take more courses in the fall!
I've attended the academy for years and haveMay 20 2008Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I've attended the academy for years and have spent time in a few departments. I have to say, it's true what other's say about students being a number and more importantly, a dollar sign. Like most educations, it's what you make of it. I worked hard, but most of my greatest learning has been done outside of the Academy. I got the feeling in the Fine Art department that the instructors really didn't expect much from the students. I've overheard teachers making inappropriate comments about students private life, which is completely uncalled for.

After completing most of my BFA, I felt hopeless because of the amount of debt I had and struggled through to finish. It was a horrible experience, though I graduated with honors. After finishing I fought to get my work together and my skill level up (outside of AAU).

Just recently I got word (from an instructor) that my personal life was a topic of discussion in a FA meeting at the academy. I guess things haven't changed much. I feel sad for a lot of the faculty there. I hope they can try to be better people.

I try not to mention that I went to AAU and will never endorse the Academy in my professional life. I have affiliations with other learning institutions that I can proudly claim.

For those of you that are still in your degree there, work hard and focus on standards that are in your field - not your class, grades don't matter. Good luck.

this place is aApr 13 2008Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
this place is a joke, the instructors are literally stupid, don't know how to comminicate, play 'favorites', and are a huge disappointment. Do they read what they assign?
If you are asian,Mar 20 2008Art & Design Department
If you are asian, you should go here
If you are male, you should go here
If you are able to put up, shut up, and pay high $'s you should go here
If you are female, don't go here, you would be better off at St. Mary's in Oakland.
If you want to advance your vision, don't go here
Jan 13 2008Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
This newly accredited UniversityDec 12 2007Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
This newly accredited University should be more appropriately called "Academy of Asian Art University" because anyone else other then of Asian heritage is ignored. It is a great place for Asians to be catered to and babied. And, yes it is true, it's all about the money.
Just started at aau in Sept 07 andOct 18 2007Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
Just started at aau in Sept 07 and I love it. I was so confused reading some negative comments about the school. I have to say I am glad I am going here. I have learned so much it's unbelievable. I am in the MFA program and I am surprised how much you learn. I'm an online student and it is extremely hard. You have to put in alot (let me stress, ALOT) of time into it, but it's worth it. It also is not as expensive as other schools. If you want to learn the arts then this is the place to go to learn.
I have been attending the AAU graduate schoolFeb 25 2007Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
I have been attending the AAU graduate school - online - and have been surprised how much I have learned and how much I enjoy discussions with other students from all over the country. The grading is tough, many talented people get C's, and when you get an A you really earned it. I think it is great to study long distance because we are not at all caught up in campus politics or issues that would distract from the focus of our studies. In addition, I probably chat more with my classmates online than I would in person. I think people are more likely to critique online, and you have a chance to think through your points carefully. So far it has been a positive experience and I am looking forward to my next semester.
I had a great experience here doing aOct 29 2006Art & Design Department
I had a great experience here doing a Masters in Fine Art Sculpture (MFA). The facilities are as good or better than any other art school in the country. Aditionally, the emphasis is placed on learning new skills more than pure talk which is what I was looking for in a school. The conceptual side of the work is left mostly to the students which can be good or bad depending on what you need. If you're smart and motivated this school puts you in a position where the tools and the know-how are available. I was accepted to several grad programs with better reputations. However, the S.F. location and the facilities at the Academy when compaired to everywhere else sold me. Some students get a poor education here but the blame is theirs. I have no regrets and I would do it again. My work improved, I mastered new materials, and was supported in making well crafted conceptual driven work. The faculty taught me great new skills and techniques and I was encouraged to seek extracurricular advisors for the intellectual side of things. This school teaches you the craft extremely well and it will serve you as long as you don't need your school to teach you how to think.
The Academy's program is new and offers anFeb 26 2006Architecture
The Academy's program is new and offers an independent individual the free reign to explore and determine their own interests. The faculty is interesting and very helpful and the class sizes make for some in depth explorations. The department is interested in providing and continues to provide new resourses for the department. Because it is a new program and because it is a program with few entrants there can be scheduling conflicts and some confusion with the administrtion. This program is for people who don't want to be breastfed information from their esteemed highers, this is about rolling up your own damn sleeves and making the best you can out of yourself and your future.
I graduated from here with a 3D AnimationNov 30 2005Art & Design Department
I graduated from here with a 3D Animation degree in June 2005. I am still job hunting, had small contract gigs here and there but am looking for something more stable.

At the time of joining this school, not many other schools had access to the expensive 3D animation equipment that I needed. What brought me here is that they had Game Design advertised as a major choice. I wanted to learn every aspect about creating video games and chose to specialize in the art side since I was not cut out to be a programmer/engineer.

So about the school. I was surprized to find how few of my classes where focused on games. It seemed as if I was lumped in with the Visual Effects Students who mostly wanted to work for Pixar and ILM.

Still I managed to do what I thought that I needed to do to get a good portfolio together. Often times I felt that, to the schools administration, I was just another opening cash register. I did however manage make the best out of the situation and worked at my craft. I stayed home many a weekend and forsake going out to allow my art skill to grow. I was blessed with having instructors who genuinely did care that students get better, and where honest about the whether the quality of their work was good enough to be considered professional.

As other people described, I was one of those kids who was well off and had the full loving support of my parents paying for everything. While I don't feel guilty at all for taking advantage of it, It did wise me up to the reality that if you have to work many hours to go here, you won't get as much out of school because instead of mastering your art you will be at your part time job. I spent all my possible energy into my artwork and still feel that I am mediocre.

If you are planning on comming here, make sure you can afford it.
A 3 Unit class cost's about $1700 in tuition fees, and if you are a full time student you will be taking 4 of those in a semester. Add in $0-500 lab fee per class depending on if it is a computer or film or expensive equiptment.

I wouldn't reccomend going into debt to come here. Don't believe that the job placement assistance people will find you jobs or have any contacts for you. You have about 100 other students competing for the jobs they have listed, so you better be damn good if you hope to land it.(Still, try you must)

I was fortunate to have knowledgable teachers most of the time, but every educational instutute has it's share of hacks.

Here is what I would do knowing what I know.
Go to community college and take some Photoshop, Illustrator, Drawing and all the art classes relating to what you want to major in you can take before going there. Be sure you are dead set in your major before you attend the Academy, because changing majors is a co$tly decision.

I would then take one class per semester for the specialty software classes not available at other schools.

Now the advisors will try to get you taking 4 classes and have you go through all the prerequisites. Resist at all costs! Make something up that you cannot afford 4 classes.

To bypass taking prerequisites, get to know some of the faculty while you are taking that one class and learn who is teaching what classes and who is the best for what you want to learn. Talk to the instructors teaching those classes and they will permit you to add thier class if you have the neccesary knowledge to be in that class, (you may have to show some artwork from community college). You may be able to bypass the salesmen *ahem* I mean advisors to get in those classes.

Go to all the workshops in your major. They are like free classes. Take advantage.
That way you would have access to the equipment and the computer lab at AAU. So you can work on a body of artwork to get you a job. The equipment and highly specialized classes (something like combustion or shake) are the best things about that school.While you are taking that one class at the Academy, go to a more affordable school for your degree.

I came from a well known fortune 500Sep 29 2005Art & Design Department
I came from a well known fortune 500 to get my Masters in Advertising. The quality of the instructors is a joke. Some are not even working in the field they are teaching in and almost all are Academy graduates as they cannot get work anywhere else.

For the cost of tuition the school should be at least above average. AAU takes advantage of International students (no TOFEL requirements) and gets other students because it is located in San Francisco.

In short, you will NOT get your money's worth and will graduate with LOTS of debt and NO skills.If you want an art school go to the California College of Art (was CCAC) or to the SF Art Institute (it is NOT the chain - it is the other one)

I came to the AAU with a wealthJun 22 2005Other
I came to the AAU with a wealth of photography experience and a degree in computer information science. I do not plan to finish the masters program at the AAU. For me I would have been better served to have taken the money and invested in some additional equipment and started shooting short films around my hometown. Which is what I plan to do soon, as I am returning to my hometown in a matter of weeks. I had to weigh out what I was learning, what I was paying for this knowledge, and being away from my family. In the near future I plan on taking some summer courses at NYU. The equipment at the AAU for the most part was good or so it seemed to me (I had some of my own equipment I brought with me). I have not been to any other schools to make a valid comparison. As far the instructors are concerned a few are great, one should be fired (our class wrote and signed a letter concerning the teaching methods of one instructor), and the rest are okay. My advice to you is to think about what you want to do with your life. If you really, really,really want to get into motion pictures go to UCLA. If your grades aren't that good take some core classes (undergrads) at your local college first to show that you make them. If you want something bad enough you'll figure it out. Check out the other schools throughly. Most of all get a video camera and start shooting. Watch films and try to figure out how things were shot then you go out and try to shoot something simular with your friends.
This is a for profit school only concernedAug 08 2004Art & Design Department
This is a for profit school only concerned about making money to further the president's real estate empire. The instructors suck and fail to teach you the skills necessary to succeed. They tend to focus on abstract crap and the courses lack practical application. In fact, may of the instructors don't even really know how to use the programs they are supposed to be teaching you. I had instructors admit I knew more than they did. That is pretty sad. The alumni job office also is totally unhelpful. They have no connections like they advertise, unless you call minimum wage or internships jobs connections. RUN FAR FROM THIS SCHOOL. IT IS A TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY. GO TO A STATE SCHOOL AND SAVE YOUR MONEY. At AAC, they pay the teachers about $30/hr for class time but don't pay for preparation time. You pay over $1500 per class. Does this add up correctly? The pay differential demonstrates how the quality of education is lacking, but the president of the school chooses to profit from her unsuspecting students. Good designers make more than $30/hr easy, take it from experience. If you are in school, transfer please. You can find more affordable and practical education at San Francisco State. When applying for jobs, AAC does not make you look good, it only makes you look like a rich fool, buying your education. I hope my critique was helpful. I have no ill will toward the school, I just want to be honest.
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• Boston Apartment lease: Watch out!

Are you a student and about to sign the very first lease in your li... more→

• What college is right for you?
When thinking about their choices for colleges, many students and pare... more→