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The Academy of Art University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA+ Faculty AccessibilityC
Useful SchoolworkA- Excess CompetitionA+
Academic SuccessB+ Creativity/ InnovationC
Individual ValueC University Resource UseC+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyD FriendlinessC+
Campus MaintenanceC+ Social LifeB
Surrounding CityA+ Extra CurricularsA+
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Afraid, Approachable

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful, Arrogant, Condescending, Unhelpful, Self Absorbed

Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty
Highest Rating
Educational Quality
She cares more about Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty than the average student.
Date: Oct 10 2007
Major: Art & Design Department (This Major's Salary over time)
As a second major student (yes, i know it's not advertised anywhere, but there is a special getin-getout fast second degree program at the school) I think the school is fairly decent, if not good, for it's purposes. since this survey doesn't really break down the majors into specific art majors, let me just say that my review is mostly based on my experiences going down the traditional illustraton path.

so without further ado, let's break down the elements :


Like most people have said, this IS a for-profit private school more than anything else, so for those who lack the dough, i really recommend getting all the transferable classes like english, etc done at a community, junior, or city college. (if not, San Jose State has a wonderful and cheap art program, and USC offers another great program with good financial aid.) cost is based on per unit rather than per semester, thus there are no auditable classes, and can lead to expulsion if one tries to grab a few extra classes they're not enrolled in. (the unversity's "solution" to this is their workshop programs which is basically like a study hall offered monday through saturday for several hours at a time where you can spend more time drawing, etc. the good ones are often crowded, so good luck if you want the teacher to help you or try to teach you something.)


First and foremost, the admissions staff are kind, encouraging, understanding, and quite frankly the nicest and most helpful bunch of people i have ever met. compared to the large public university i went to, these people will not treat you like another number and will even e-mail or call you once in a while to ask about how you are doing. (but this is, of course, logical, since they want you to spend your money at this university rather than another university). But sadly, the rest of the the "student services" is where you'll be treated like a number, waiting in line for hours, unsympathic, and very confusing. unfortuneatly, these are the people you have to go to register for your second semester classes on. my recommendation.. become really good friends with your admissions rep and hang on tight, because they will go out of their way to get stuff done for you.


mixed results here. i've been witness to both fantastically good teachers and terribly bad teachers. this is where the not being allowed to audit or sneak into other teachers' classes suck… you're only able to see the teachers in action if you're in their class or by hearing it from other students (or in some cases, models!) there are a lot of TERRIBLE teachers (in my opinion at least. every student has their different preferences and different things they are looking for in a teacher. my own criteria is that they can teach well, they know their material in and out, and are generally nice) what's important to remember here is that you are not only a student at this univeristy, but A CUSTOMER. if you don't llke what you're getting or don't think you're getting a good enough deal, change it. don't be afraid to switch out of classes to get a new teacher. you can generally tell how a teacher teachs after the first class or two. remember to SHOP for your education to get the best deal. HECK, since you're paying them about $180 per class you want to feel like that money is going to good use. as for the bad teachers: there are teachers who love to hear themselves talk about themselves or their achivements more than they teach, there are teachers who take hours explaining a 5 minute subject, there are lazy teachers, there are teachers who can't speak english very well, there are teachers who favor only the good students, there are teachers who WILL INSULT YOU and your work, there are teachers who will embarress you, there are teachers who will forget to tell you certain facts about asignments, etc. the good teachers: will explain to you how to do certain things/skills/projects, explain your tools and materials, will have assignments clearly written out/typed out, will answer your questions, will come by to see if they can give you any advice/help, will push you, will give you a chance to fix your assignments, and will even offer the oppertunity of extra credit, and are approachable.


if you're signed on for the second degree program like i am, hold onto you hat! you're headed for a whirlwind of activity of homework in difficult foundation classes. the teachers are tough graders, it really is based on skill more than effort. if you lack skill, you're going to have to work harder and accept a harsh grading. but ultimately, that's what will drive you to become better. it isn't unsual to spend anywhere between 10-50 hours on an assignment and at least 1 assignment per week if not 2 or 3. like i said, grading is harsh: C+s and B-s are pretty normal. quality of the work must be top-notch and very professional from day 1. Seeing as the classes and work are aimed for proffessional industry jobs, these assignments and work are portfolio based. you're portfolio is basically you're resume, so the harder they grade you, hopefully you'll improve you're work rather than aceept the grade, and improve you're portfolio and chances of getting employed.


there are many many oppertunities to show your portfolio and your work as well as apply for internships, especially for pixar. (the advertising major atcually has to work at and design some stuff for a nonprofit company as a requirement for graduation! :) ) the traditional illustration major seems to shy away from most technological tools such as photoshop, illustrator, etc (although they do try to have 1 or 2 classes required… digital illustration seems to have a stronger advertising angle with courses in caligraphy and ads). the school has a bus system, but the buses have inconsistant times, too many confusing routes, and are often overcrowded to the extent alot of students miss their classes because the bus can't carry them to their classrooms. the president… was filled with cheesy one-liners, i seriously doubt this woman's ablities and smarts. san francisco is a beautiful bustling busy city, the the main building is located a block from the SF Museum of Modern Art, as well as several other museums. security into the buildings is tight. specific equipment (lighttables, knitting machines, computers, green screen room, etc) are up to date and very impressive. the classrooms in some of the buidlings (the ones they don't show you on the tours) are quite literally 4 walls of particle board on wheels. one last thing, if you fail any of your classes you will be put on academic probation for a semester.


personally i think the university is fairly good, and the quality of work coming out of the university is top-notch. If you really know yourself and what you can handle you can choose to persue the best course of action for yourself during and after your education. like any education, it's really what you make of it, but the possibilty for a good art education is obviously there along with possiblity to make many many many powerful, professional, useful, and/or nice connections (social capital!!!!! :) ). If you want to get hired ASAP, this is the place to go. If you want to go at you're own pace or persue your own style, i suggest you look elsewhere or self-educate, since here it's basically my way or the highway at breakneck speeds. grading is super harsh but most of the time accurate. i wouldn't recommend spending all 4 to 5 years here, but as more of a finishing school to hone your skills and to compile a portfolio for the corporate world.

commentThis was really really helpful! =)
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