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Admissions FAQs

Admissions FAQs

Get answers to your frequently asked questions below.

How do I study art and design online?

Just like a physical campus, your online class has students, instructors, advisors, and staff. The only difference is that students interact using web-based discussion, email, phone, and fax. Instead of raising your hand, you ask a question in an online discussion. You never have to worry about getting to class on time because the content is available to you whenever you need it. Discussions, lectures, and assignments can all be reviewed online whenever and wherever it is convenient for you, provided you are completing material and assignments within the allocated time frame for each module, or lesson. You will be given clear participation requirements in your course content.

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How long will it take me to complete my degree?

Academy of Art University offers several different degrees, as well as several non-degree seeking programs. Whether you pursue an AA, BFA, BA, BFA2, Online Award of Completion, or a Certificate program, we encourage students to set their own pace with how many classes they take each semester. Visit your department’s page to view graduation requirements per degree.

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What kind of scholarships does Academy of Art University offer?

Since Academy of Art University's art scholarships program was founded over forty years ago, we have helped over 45,000 aspiring artists and designers pursue their educational goals in art and design. We offer a number of innovative and inexpensive ways for first-time Academy students, high school students, and teachers to improve their skills and experience all that Academy of Art University has to offer.

Pre-College Programs

The Pre-College Art Experience Programs are programs that provide intensive art experiences for high school students. All high school students are invited to apply to take advantage of these full-tuition art scholarships (based on availability).

Explore Pre-College

Summer Portfolio

Grants Every year, Academy of Art University awards Portfolio Grants to assist Undergraduate students to pursue their education in the industry of art and design.

Grant Information

Teacher Grants

The Teacher Grant provides high school and community college art teachers an opportunity to practice and improve their skills. These full-tuition art scholarships apply toward any regular undergraduate course and are subject to limited availability.

Grant Information

Will you help me find a job when I graduate?

Academy of Art University prepares its students for successful careers in the industry through professionals teaching professionals, rigorous training, industry on-campus events, and career services. We provide networking opportunities for students completing their degrees both onsite and online:

Annual Spring Show

The Annual Spring Show is an amazing networking and recruiting event for students and industry representatives alike.

Explore the Spring Show

Career Services

Career Services supports students, graduating seniors, and alumni connections to some of the world's top art and design industry leaders. Industry directories, handbooks, magazines, and bulletins are available, as well as individual career counseling and advice regarding industry trends, interview techniques, and portfolio standards.

Explore Career Services

Do I have an opportunity to come onsite if I choose to complete my degree 100% online?

Yes! We encourage our online students to visit San Francisco to meet face-to-face with instructors, directors, and fellow students. Each year, Academy of Art University holds an annual Summer Expo, inviting our online student community to campus.

Hands-on instruction, attending on-campus classes, and other in-person activities can improve your skills dramatically. This will help you to get more out of your Academy of Art University online education and aid in your future success.

Discussing your progress with your studies, your future, and career options with your Directors will help tailor and streamline your program and provide depth to your understanding of your chosen field.

During the Expo, many attendees experience a wonderful “Ah-ha!” moment. After a few days with us on campus, they understand more about why Academy of Art University online classes are so demanding and how our connections to creative industries can help them make the important transition from student to working professional. They leave the Expo energized and inspired. Most have made new friends and important connections with successful alumni.

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Am I able to complete my degree at my own pace?

Academy of Art University runs on a traditional semester system, offering class sessions in Fall, Spring, and Summer, as well as Intersession. We do not currently offer accelerated degree programs.

Visit your department’s page to view available degrees and graduation requirements.

Browse Academic Departments

Do you offer EAP (English for Art Purposes) classes and support?

Yes. The Department of English for Art Purposes provides language support for non-native English speakers at Academy of Art University with a tailored program that integrates the study of art and language.

We are strongly committed to helping students succeed in their art and design classes while working to improve their English throughout their academic careers. International students can receive additional EAP support outside of class, in writing and speaking labs, at no extra cost.

Learn More About EAP

Will EAP credits apply toward my degree?

No. EAP support, if needed, is intended to improve our students' ability to succeed in our art and design classes. We are the only art and design university that allows students to take EAP and art classes concurrently, meaning that students do not have to complete EAP classes before taking art classes.

What is your minimum TOEFL score requirement?

There is no minimum TOEFL requirement for international students because Academy of Art University offers EAP (English for Art Purposes) classes. The Academy invites international students to enroll immediately in art and design classes while learning English as a second language.

What is your minimum GPA (Grade Point Average) requirement?

There is no minimum GPA requirement. Academy of Art University maintains the tradition of an open admission policy. Your high school grades and SAT scores do not always measure your potential to be a successful artist or designer. Undergraduates are accepted with the commitment that they will apply themselves to learning the skills that will prepare them for a rewarding career in their chosen profession and industry.

Is a portfolio required for admission?

A portfolio is not required for undergraduate admission. We believe that aspiring artists and designers have the right to pursue their dreams with or without a portfolio. However, if you have a portfolio, we encourage you to submit it. Department directors may transfer or waive major/foundation classes in their individual departments based upon portfolio review.

A portfolio is required for graduate (MA, MFA, and M.Arch) admission.

Do you offer interviews?

Yes. An admissions interview is not required for admission into Academy of Art University. However, if you believe that an interview would help our admissions representatives better evaluate your strengths as a candidate, we encourage you to set up an interview by contacting the International Admissions Department.

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I earned a Bachelor's degree from another institution; can I apply for a second bachelor's degree?

Yes. Our Second Degree program is designed for students who may have majored in a different subject, but would now like to pursue an education and career in art and design. Admission is guaranteed for Second Degree applicants.

Is there a separate application for international students?

Yes. International students must complete the International Undergraduate Application or International Graduate Application.

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I am U.S. Permanent Resident (Green Card holder); how do I apply?

The Domestic Admissions Department assists all U.S. Permanent Residents (Green Card holders). If you are interested in Undergraduate Admissions, contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office; if you are interested in Graduate Admissions, contact the Graduate Admissions Office. You may call 1-800-544-ARTS to be transferred to the correct Admissions area for further assistance.

Will I be notified if my application has arrived? Will I be notified if something is missing from my application?

Yes. Your Admissions Representative will contact you as soon as we receive your application. You will be notified of any missing documents via phone or email.

What is a transcript?

A transcript is an official record provided by your secondary school or college/university that shows your academic performance during your attendance there, and provides information about your current academic status. The transcript may include grades in various subjects and/or results from internal or external examinations (e.g., GCSE, national examinations in your country, etc.).

Can I submit a photocopy of my transcript?

No. You must submit an official transcript.

Do you accept official transcripts and financial documents in a foreign language?

No. All documents must be in English or have been officially translated.

Can I send photocopies of the bank letter and Affidavit of Support?

No. We require the original bank letter and Affidavit of Support.

Do you accept a digital signature for the Affidavit of Support?

No. We will not accept a digital signature.

What if I have a question that is not answered here?

Please contact us to get all your questions answered – we are happy to help.

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Do international students and U.S. Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) pay more tuition?

No. All students at Academy of Art University pay the same tuition.

I am an international student: am I eligible for U.S. financial aid?

No. U.S. federal and state financial assistance are not available for international students.

What is the international community like at the Academy of Art University?

The international community is diverse, exciting, dynamic, and inspired by the various cultural influences and artistic communities of each student's native country.

How many clubs are there at the Academy of Art University?

There are more than 30 student clubs at the Academy. If you cannot find a club you would like to join, we encourage you to start one of your own.

Explore Clubs & Organizations