Academy of Art University

When you choose to study at this respected school you first have to choose from more than 30 academic areas. The Academy of Art University is recognized as one of the major art-education institutions in the world! In addition, the school is located in the heart of one of the nation's great cities.

If you're not sure which major area of study you wish to pursue, rest assured that a visit with one of the knowledgeable admissions representatives will help guide you in the right direction. A variety of academic buildings, housing facilities, galleries and offices are connected by free shuttle service, making it quite efficient for the busy, focused student.

If you have decided to follow your passion for photography, you've come to the right place. The Academy of Art University offers one of the best photography programs in the United States.

Expert photographers instruct students in traditional film photography as well as in digital photography. Not only do they help you develop technical skills in your chosen field, they also gently train your artistic eye.

Degree Variety

Program categories

Programs at the school are divided into two main categories:

1. Photography Schools & College Degree Programs
2. Online Photography Schools & College Degree Programs

The online path offers an Associate of Arts degree as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Master of Fine Arts degree.

Students who study in San Francisco may choose from a

Classes offered include:

  • Digital Photography

  • Documentary Photography

  • Photojournalism

  • Fashion Photography

  • Advertising Photography

  • Illustration Photography

  • Fine Art Photography (Nature, Black-and-White)

One of the most attractive features about The Academy of Art University is the range of careers and the successful placements for graduates. Career opportunities include fashion photographer, advertising photographer, editorial photographer, fine-art photographer, journalism, portrait professional, photo technician and many more.

Companies that have hired graduates include:

  • Adbusters Magazine

  • Alison Wright Photography

  • Apple

  • Carter Dow Photography

  • Museum of Children's Art

  • Oakland Tribune

  • Ruby Bird Productions

  • Sharpe & Associates

Professional Photography Education

While The Academy of Art University gives students some wonderful degree opportunities in the photography field, the non-traditional student also has several choices.

If you aren't in the position to pursue a college degree you may want to look into the school's Professional Development & Continuing Art Education programs.

These courses are considered non-prerequisite classes that will help you reach your individual goals in the world of photography. Students work with top photography experts in both the degree programs and the continuing-education programs.

As the school emphasizes,

"The Academy actively recruits the top names of the art and design industries to teach here, choosing renowned professionals who also have a passion for teaching.

The Academy is committed to making sure that you are being taught and mentored by the best talent your chosen field has to offer. We guarantee you've never had teachers like this."

Select from day, evening and weekend courses...

At The Academy of Art University students may select from a list of day, evening and weekend courses designed to fit most schedules. In addition, classes are offered for every level of expertise, from beginner to the advanced professional, with or without art, design or photography experience.


One of the best-equipped art and design schools in the U.S.!

Students will also find a campus with the finest in art and design facilities. In fact, the school is known as "one of the best-equipped art and design schools" in the U.S." It would difficult to imagine a resource or facility that isn't provided for the serious student.

With the top-quality instructors and facilities available at the school you might think only the most affluent students and those with financial assistance would be able to attend.

The Academy of Art University offers tuition rates "40% lower than other major private art and design schools."

This opens the doors to a lot of students who might otherwise decide against the school. Since Richard S. Stephens founded the school in 1929, administration has remained in family hands. Dr. Richard A. Stephens led the institution from 1951 until Dr. Elisa Stephens succeeded her father in 1992.

Through the years, the family and the university staff have endeavored to offer educational excellence in art and design.

Contact Details

Academy of Art University
P.O. Box 193844
San Francisco, CA 94119-3844

How to apply? Please see "Admission page"