StudentsReview :: San Francisco Art Institute - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings
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San Francisco Art Institute

Total Grad Surveys 4
Females 3
Males 1
Avg years at University 1.8
Research Quality C+ (5.6)
Research Availability B (6.8)
Research Funding C (4.7)
Graduate Politics C (4.7)
Errand Runners C+ (5.7)
Degree Completion
Alternative pay [ta/gsi] C (4.2)
Sufficient Pay D+ (2.8)
Competitiveness C+ (5.0)
Education Quality B- (6.2)
Faculty Accessibility B- (5.8)
Useful Research D+ (3.3)
"Individual" treatment C+ (5.2)
Friendliness B (6.6)
Safety C+ (5.5)
Campus Beauty B (6.7)
Campus Maintenance C+ (5.3)
University Resource/spending C (4.8)
Extracurriculars C- (3.6)
Success-Understanding C+ (5.2)
Surrounding City B (6.9)
Social Life/Environment B (6.9)
Sufficient PayD+
Surrounding CityB

Program is a bit of mess

Jul 12 2014Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
Program is a bit of mess. There is a new president at the school from a few years back. He's good at raising money but is poor at actual administration. For example as of class sign up for fall 2014 there were no tenured photo faculty so the classes that normally would be taught by them are left without a listed faculty. Since many of the graduate courses are based on direct interaction with the faculty rather than course content this is pretty horrendous.

Campus safety is also an issue. The current graduate campus is part of a second floor of a manufacturing warehouse. They do not keep security guards there during the day and are only present weekdays for a handful of hours at night. Multiple students were mugged while I was there a few of which were literally at the door to school. Parking is similarly unwatched. If you drive your car will be broken into. One student had her broken into 5 times.

Facilities there are also poor with inconsistent hours, monitors who wander off or don't show up, and with equipment that is either too poor to be worth your time or broken.

The faculty are good but who will be there next year is unknown due to a recent visiting faculty (read as adjuncts) unionization and the schools highly negative response to it.Last semester of school in the month of March they dropped a random 300$ bill on all the graduating students. The bill was for the mfa exhibition (which the school makes quite a bit of money on) and was supposed to be included in the bill at the start of the semester (leaked from accounting that someone screwed up). At that point in the semester none of the student have spare money because of the impending MFA show. Students who still haven't paid currently owe ~$400 with late fees.


SFAI is a great place

Apr 07 2012Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
SFAI is a great place. Don't expect to be babied. You will learn and accomplish a lot if you listen, work hard, and pay attention. This is a competitive school, but it is friendly competition. I am thrilled with the faculty. The fine arts and academic courses are high caliber and professors are more than willing to go above and beyond duty, meeting with you outside of class to discuss your work etc. Most of my colleagues are doing excellent work and there is a fun contingent of foreign students. My only beef is with the cost, but this is not an SFAI issue, it is an issue of all higher education, particularly art schools.

SFAI is a huge joke

Oct 29 2011Other
SFAI is a huge joke. I knew it from the first 2 weeks of class, where something HUGE was missing from the curriculum, the organization, the facilities, and the availability of the teachers. All the (obviously) wealthy kids are always walking around with their noses in the air and complaining and dressed fashionably 'artsy'- whereas the other 90% of grad students are working their ass off for no reason. The AV room always unorganized, equipment is always missing, or misplaces, not labeled- and not turned in on time, or is broken. They also waited until the last 3 weeks of my 3rd semester, to tell me that i 'owed them' $4,000, and that they sent me emails and letters for the last 3 months. LIARS! I got one phone call 3 days before I received the notice stating that ; i was not allowed to complete this term'- which came 4 days before that deadline on the notice! SCAM FRAUD - The teachers are oblivious and unavailable, and the few that are awesome are so busy catching up with students who aren't getting anything from the other 80% of the staff (that 80% are complete hacks and lazy and uneducated). I can go on for days on end. I was even warned by 2 different Teachers who used to work there in the last few years, and of course I didn't listen to them, because I was out of work and thought a MFA would allow me to work toward my PHD so I could start teaching. DO NOT GO TO THIS SCHOOL. Do NOT give them your money, they will SUCK YOU DRY and leave you with NOTHING to apply toward your future. I am in the Photo & Film industry, and I am doing fine now that I have left SFAI.
Research Topic(s): N/A

This is an expensive school that once had

May 08 2010Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
This is an expensive school that once had a great reputation. However, in the past ten years the focus has been changed from providing exceptional education in art to one based on revenue. Money problems have plagued this school for these ten years and they had a choice to continue to improve and be unique with regards to art schools, but instead chose to create an atmosphere of fear and greed and so the results are teachers that do not care about the students experience and work, but only about their own survival. Attitude is very poor.

Amazing equipment, for film, printmaking and "new genres

May 01 2008Fine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
Amazing equipment, for film, printmaking and "new genres." Some deeply savvy teachers mixed in with possibly nuts ones. A lot is a question of personality. The film staff was very helpful, and the film students really friendly. For other departments a thick skin is required. The administration was appalling while I was there, but I've heard it has since improved.

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