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Academic FAQs

Academic FAQs

Get answers to your frequently asked questions below.

I am an international student. Can I get English help in my classes?

In order to get English help, you must currently be enrolled in—or have taken within the past semester—an English for Art Purposes (EAP) language class through the EAP Department at the Academy. All international students are tested in English when they first arrive at the school, and some students have to take EAP class(es) depending on their placement on this test.

For more information, see the EAP Support Qualifications Policy

What is the best way to get English help?

Enroll in an EAP designated section of the class. This means that when you register, you should look for classes that have the word "EAP" in the title. For example, if you want to take Color & Design, you should try to register for "EAP/Color & Design" so that you will get all the language help you need from the EAP teacher who is assigned to that class. The EAP teacher will attend the class every day, take notes, and help students with their English during the class. Depending on the class, EAP support teachers will also hold study groups outside of class so that you can prepare for quizzes and exams, review and ask questions about the class content, and learn new vocabulary.

Find EAP Classes

What if I am in a class without English support, and I have trouble understanding the instructor?

You should attend the first or second class and see how difficult it is. Sometimes, a class that seems difficult in the first week may become easier after another week or two. If you still think you need help, you must qualify for in-class EAP support. If you do, speak to your instructor after class. Tell your instructor that you need EAP support. The instructor can contact the EAP Department and get you the help you need.

What if I don’t qualify for English support in my class? How can I get help with my English?

If you do not qualify for ESL language support in your class, here is what we suggest:

  • Speak to the instructor and ask if you can record lectures and demos.
  • Log in to the LMS and download the class syllabus and handouts so that you have a written copy of class materials.
  • Watch the videos of class demonstrations on the LMS.
  • Use the Language Support Lab for help with written assignments and presentations specific to your major, especially if you are a graduate student working on your Midpoint Review or Final Thesis Project.
  • Use the Writing Lab for help on written assignments and grammar.

What if I need writing help?

Students who need help with their writing should visit the Writing Lab onsite at 79 New Montgomery St., Room 316, or the Online Writing Lab (OWL) for one-on-one assistance with their papers, essays, and written assignments.

Language Support Lab provides individualized, language-based assistance to domestic and international students, both graduate and undergraduate, by appointment or drop-in. Tutors are ESL support professionals who specialize in course content for specific majors.

How do I contact the EAP Department?

The EAP Department is located in 79NM, Room 344.

Phone: 415-618-3903


What is the English for Art Purposes program, and how are these classes different from ESL programs at other schools?

Our program is designed specifically for art & design university students and provides students with practice in field-specific vocabulary and giving/receiving art critiques.

What if my TOEFL or Accuplacer scores do not meet the minimum requirements?

You will be required to take EAP class(es) until you have finished through the EAP track.

I am not happy with my TOEFL scores. Can I take Accuplacer to try to score into another EAP level?

Yes. You can take Accuplacer on campus before you start your first semester of classes. Talk to your admissions advisor to sign up for this test.

Can I submit multiple TOEFL scores, and use the test with the highest results?

You will be placed into EAP classes based on the most recent test scores you submit, regardless if the latest scores are higher or lower than previous ones.

How much does Accuplacer cost?

The test is free for new students.

Can I retake Accuplacer if I am not happy with my scores?

No. You are only allowed to take the test once. However, if you receive an A or A- as a final grade in an EAP class, you will be allowed to retake Accuplacer in the following semester.

How long are the Accuplacer test scores valid for?

Six months (or two semesters) for new students.

What if I take TOEFL and Accuplacer. Which scores will be used for placement?

Accuplacer scores will be used for placement over TOEFL.

Will I be required to take EAP classes each semester until I complete the highest level in the EAP program?

Yes. EAP classes are required until you receive a passing grade in the highest level.

Can I take other art & design classes and EAP classes in the same semester?

Yes, if you place into a low intermediate or higher EAP class (EAP 2/602, 3/603, 4/604).

I want to know more about the parts of the Accuplacer test.

This test includes four parts: ESL Listening, ESL Reading, ESL Sentence Meaning, and ESL Write Placer. You have 2.5 hours to complete the test, and your class placement will be available 24-48 hours after you take the test. For sample questions, visit

Where and when is Accuplacer offered, and how can I sign up for it?

Accuplacer is offered on-campus in San Francisco. We offer the test to new students most weeks throughout the year.

I am an online student, who is planning to move to San Francisco and take classes onsite. Do I need to take an English proficiency exam?

Yes. All onsite students need to prove English proficiency in order to take classes in San Francisco.

I left Academy of Art in a previous semester but am planning on returning to take classes. Can I retake Accuplacer to place into a higher EAP class level?

You may retake our Accuplacer only after six months from the date you took the last test. If you return to Academy of Art in less than six months, however, you will be required to take the classes you were placed into.

How long is the program?

This depends on the program. Different graduate programs have different program lengths—visit your department page to view specific requirements.

Browse Academic Departments

How much does the program cost?

This depends on the program. Different graduate programs have different program lengths and therefore have different costs. We encourage students to call their admissions representative.

Browse Tuition & Aid

When should I apply to the program?

As soon as possible, we encourage you to call Admissions to go over options.

Admissions Directory

Is a portfolio required for admission?

Graduate applicants are required to submit a portfolio for placement into the program. For more information, visit our "How to Apply" page.

How to Apply

What do I need to apply to the program?

A full description of what you’ll need to apply for Graduate Admissions is on our “How to Apply” page.

How to Apply

Do you have grants or fellowships?

No. Eligible students may apply for financial aid through FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Learn About Financial Aid

How much financial aid can I get and when do I get my refund?

Once your FAFSA application is complete, your full refund amount will be displayed. Financial Aid refunds happen during the 3rd & 4th week of school generally.

Learn About Financial Aid

Is the program available online?

Most departments offer online graduate degrees—visit your department’s page to see what degrees are offered.

Browse Academic Departments

What programs do you have available?

Academy of Art University offers a wide variety of creative programs. Explore our departments and discover the programs it offers.

Browse Academic Departments

When can I start?

We offer start terms in Spring, Summer and Fall. Visit the Academic Calendar for a full list of dates.

View Academic Calendar

How much time is required in my online classes?

Each 3-unit graduate class will require 10-15 hours of work throughout the week.

Is there housing available for Graduate students?

Yes, there is student housing available for Graduate Students.

View Graduate Housing

Can I transfer credits?

Yes, upon academic director approval, graduate students may transfer in up to six units from another accredited graduate program.

How do I change majors?

Students must submit required materials through Change of Major portal.

Change Your Major

What do I need to waive out of a class?

Students must submit a portfolio for the director to review.

Submit Your Portfolio

When do I sign up for Midpoint/Final Review and what do I need?

Login to view the review guidelines.


When can I drop or add a class?

You can drop during the first week without any fees, and you can add a class as long as the class has only met once

What happens if I don’t pass my Midpoint/Final Review?

Your director will give you instructions to revise your project.

Do I have to take the classes in my degree breakdown?

Yes, your degree is accredited as is. Any changes to the curriculum must be approved by the director.

How do I find out who my advisor is?

Your advisor is listed in your online self-service and LMS profile.


How do I make an appointment with my advisor?

Contact the Graduate Services Desk at 415-618-8617

How do I contact my Department Director?

You should contact the department assistant/office to get in touch with the department director.

View the Directory