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Student FAQs

Student FAQs

Get answers to your frequently asked questions below.

International Office

What is the International Office?

The International Office will help you with all your questions related to your F1 non-immigrant status, such as working; travel; visa renewal; etc. We are here to support you in achieving your professional goals and provide solutions for problems or refer you to the appropriate departments.

Where can I find the International Office?

The International Office is located at 79 New Montgomery Street, 4th floor in San Francisco. Our office hours are Monday – Friday from 9 a.m.–7 p.m.; on Saturday we are open from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

How can I contact the International Office?

Phone: 415-274-2208
Fax: 415-618-6278

When can I speak to an International Student Advisor?

We offer Drop In Hours every week, Monday; Wednesday; Friday from 3 p.m.–5:30 p.m and Tuesday; Thursday from 9:30 am to 12 pm. You do not need an appointment and we will see students on a first come first serve base.

Is the International Office open during semester breaks?

Yes, the International Office is always open and we always offer Drop In Hours.


What is SEVIS?

SEVIS is the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System that allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to track and monitor schools, exchange visitor programs, and F non-immigrants while they visit the United States and participate in the U.S. education system.

Who pays the SEVIS fee?

Every student who receives a new Initial Attendance Form I-20 with a new SEVIS ID number is required to pay the SEVIS fee in order to validate the SEVIS record. If your SEVIS ID does not change throughout your studies in the United States you only pay the SEVIS fee once.

When do I pay the SEVIS fee?

You should pay the SEVIS fee after you received your "initial" attendance Form I-20. The SEVIS fee must be paid before your F1 visa interview and before you enter the U.S.; or before you submit your change of status application to USCIS.

How do I pay the fee?

You can pay the SEVIS fee online here . Alternatively you may pay the SEVIS fee by check, money order or bank draft. For more information, please watch the I-901 SEVIS Fee Payment Tutorial online.

Where can I find more information about the SEVIS fee?

Please visit the following website:

Form I-20

What is Form I-20?

The Form I-20 is the "Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status". The Form I-20 indicates the school you are attending and your program of study. It also verifies your legal status in the United States.

You will receive your Form I-20 after you have been admitted to the Academy and provided financial support documents.

Where do I find the SEVIS ID on my Form I-20?

The SEVIS ID is located on the first page of your Form I-20 in the upper right corner above the bar code.

When do I need the Form I-20?

You will need your Form I-20 when applying for; or renewing; your F1 visa, entering the United States, filing applications with USCIS, applying for a Social Security Number or Driver’s License.

I changed my major. Where do I get a new Form I-20?

You will receive an email from the International Office to let you know that your new Form I-20 is ready for pick up. If you changed your major and do not receive this email, please contact the International Office.

I lost my Form I-20. Where do I go to get a new one?

If you lost your Form I-20, please contact the International Office via email at . Please provide your full name and student ID and we will work with you to get a new Form I-20.

My personal information on the Form I-20 is incorrect. Where do I get new one?

Please contact the International Office and provide a copy of your passport so that we can verify your information and update your Form I-20 accordingly.

I changed my legal name and need a new Form I-20. What should I do?

Please contact the International Office and provide a copy of your passport or marriage license so that we can verify your new legal name and update your Form I-20 accordingly.

My Form I-20 program end date is expiring, but I need more time to complete my degree. What should I do?

You should contact your academic advisor and ask him or her to send an email to the International Office requesting the extension of your Form I-20 program end date. The email from your academic advisor must indicate the reason for the extension.

F1 Visa

What is the F1 visa?

The F1 visa is a nonimmigrant student visa that allows you to enter the United States and pursue an educational objective (academic studies and/or language training programs). The F1 visa is an entry document that must be valid when entering the US.

What documents do I need to renew my F1 visa?

Please review the F1 Visa Renewal Information Sheet

Can I renew my F1 visa in the United States?

No, you cannot renew your F1 visa in the United States. The F1 visa is an entry document and can only renewed at a U.S. consulate or embassy outside the United States.

Can I renew my F1 visa in a country that is not my home country?

Yes, you can renew your F1 visa as a third country national in countries that are not your home country. However, you must check with the U.S. consulate or embassy whether or not they will accept F1 visa (renewal) applications from third country nationals.

You will not be eligible to apply for a new F1 visa in a country other than your home country when USCIS denied your application for reinstatement.

Do I have to renew my F1 visa after it expired?

You are not required to renew your F1 visa as long as your Form I-20 is valid and you are not planning to re-enter the United States in F1 status after traveling abroad.

If you are traveling abroad and are planning to re-enter the U.S. in F1 status, you are required to have a valid F1 visa.

How long does it take to get a new F1 visa?

Please visit the U.S. Department of State website to find out how long it will take to get the F1 visa.

My F1 visa was denied. What should I do?

Please contact the International Office about your F1 visa denial and we will work with you regarding next possible steps.


What documents do I need to re-enter the United States?

You will need the following documents to re-enter the United States:

  1. Valid Form I-20 with a valid travel signature that is not older than 12 months when re-entering the U.S.
  2. Valid passport – must be valid for at least 6 months into the future upon re-entry to the U.S.
  3. Valid F1 visa

My F1 visa expired. Do I qualify for automatic visa revalidation?

F1 students who are planning to travel to Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island for 30 days or less and have a valid Form I-20 and Form I-94 may qualify for the automatic visa revalidation. F1 students from Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan will not qualify for the automatic visa revalidation. For more information, please review the Automatic Revalidation Fact Sheet or visit the U.S. Department of State page

I returned home and forgot my Form I-20. What should I do?

Please contact the International Office immediately via email at .

When I returned to the United States I did not have my I-20 form with me and I received Form I-515A. What should I do now?

Receiving Form I-515A will allow you to stay in the United States for 30 days. During this time you must come to the International Office and we will submit Form I-515A and other required documents to SEVP. Failure to comply will put you at risk of losing your legal status.

I received a new passport, but my F1 visa is in my old passport. Do I need to apply for a new F1 visa for my new passport?

No, you do not need to apply for a new F1 visa for your new passport. However, you will need to travel with both passports, your old and new one. If your F1 visa is invalid, you will need to apply for a new one.

Academic Dismissal

What does academic dismissal mean?

If your cumulative GPA does not meet the required minimum standards for two consecutive semesters, you will be dismissed from the University. Your student record will become inactive and a notation of "Academic Dismissal" will be noted on the transcript.

What should I do after I was academically dismissed?

If you have been academically dismissed, please contact the International Office immediately. You can either come to our Drop In Hours or send us an email to .

Can I return to the Academy?

You may apply for re-admission to the Academy with the Grievance committee after waiting a period of one 15 week semester.

If you received a permanent academic dismissal from the Academy, you will not be eligible to enroll in any classes and you do not qualify to apply for re-admission.

Out of Status

Do I have to return home or can I apply for Reinstatement with USCIS?

This will depend on your situation. Please review our Reinstatement Information Sheet and contact the International Office to review your situation with one of our International Student Advisors.

Can I enroll in classes while my application for Reinstatement is still pending with USCIS?

Yes, you can enroll in classes while your application is pending.

Can I transfer out while my application for Reinstatement is pending with USCIS?

You may transfer out while your application for Reinstatement is pending with USCIS. However, we strongly discourage you from doing so until USCIS approved your application. Should you decide to transfer out while your application is pending, we must withdraw your application with USCIS and you must work with your new school and file a new application with USCIS.

Can I travel while my application for Reinstatement is pending with USCIS?

No, you should not travel while your application is pending. Otherwise it will be considered "abandoned" and will be automatically denied.

Can I re-obtain valid F1 status through traveling outside the U.S.?

Yes, you can. In order to re-obtain valid F1 status through traveling, you must receive a new Form I-20, pay the SEVIS fee and apply for a new F1 visa.

For more detailed information, please visit the International Office and review your situation with one of our International Student Advisors.

Leave of Absence

I have to return home for one or two semesters. How do I apply for a Leave of Absence?

Please review the Leave of Absence Information Sheet and complete the online form and submit it to the International Office.

I took a Leave of Absence and want to return to the Academy. What should I do?

Please review our Return to the Academy Information Sheet.

Additional Form: Affidavit of Support

Can I take a Leave of Absence and stay in the United States?

No, you cannot take a Leave of Absence and stay in the U.S. If you would like to take a break in your studies for one or two semesters, you must depart the United States.

Do I lose my eligibility for OPT when I take a Leave of Absence?

In order to qualify for any off campus work authorization, you must be in valid F1 status for one academic year prior to applying for the work authorization. The academic year will be determined by the program start date on your most current Form I-20.

If you are taking a Leave of Absence and you are very close to completing your program, please talk to your academic advisor and make sure that you have enough units left to complete one academic year onsite.

Transfer Out

I want to attend another US school. What transfer out documents should I submit?

You must submit a copy of your Acceptance Letter and the Transfer Request Form. Both documents should be from your new school and can be submitted to the Academy International Office either in person or via email.

How long does it take to transfer my SEVIS record from Academy of Art University to my new school?

The International Office will process your Transfer Out Request within 2 business days (this is too short a time frame when we are very busy). We will complete the Transfer Request Form and submit it to your new school either via email or fax.

I transferred to another school and want to return to Academy Art University. What documents should I submit to the Academy?

Complete Request for Re-Entry Form and upload additional documents (Affidavit of Support and Transfer I-20 Request )

I am a returning student and my school is asking for an Acceptance Letter from Academy of Art University. How can I get that?

The International Office does not issue an Acceptance Letter for returning students. However, we can confirm your eligibility to return via email. If your school requires a confirmation of your re-acceptance to Academy of Art University, please provide us with the email address of the International Office and we will contact your school.

Employment Authorizations

What is USCIS?

USCIS stands for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and is part of the Department of Homeland Security. USCIS is the government agency processing your visa petitions, work authorizations, etc. For more detailed information about USCIS, please visit .

Can I work in the United States?

F1 students are eligible to work on campus for 20 hours per week while school is in session and 40 hours per week during school breaks; only if the school has an on campus job program available. The Academy of Art University offers on campus job programs with the Housing Department and AAU Dining Services .

Where can I find information about CPT?

Please review our CPT Information Sheet

How can I apply for CPT?

Please contact your academic advisor. She or he will guide you through the next steps.

Where can I find information about OPT?

Please review our OPT Information Sheet

What is EAD?

EAD stands for Employment Authorization Document and is issued by USCIS. The EAD looks like a Driver’s License and provides you with a legal right to work for a certain amount of time.

How do I apply for pre-completion OPT?

Please contact the International Office, if you are interested in applying for pre-completion OPT.

How do I apply for post-completion OPT?

Please review the online tutorial here.

I applied for OPT and did not receive my USCIS receipt notice. What should I do?

Please contact the International Office immediately.

I applied for OPT and did not receive my EAD. What should I do?

Please contact the International Office and review the OPT tutorial, page 47.

I applied for OPT and received a Denial Notice from USCIS. What should I do?

Please contact the International Office and provide a copy of your Denial Notice.

I lost my EAD. Do I have apply for a new EAD?

Yes, you will need to apply for a replacement EAD. The International Office will assist you with this process.

Can I travel outside the U.S. on OPT?

Please review the OPT tutorial, page 53 and contact the International Office for any follow up questions or to request a current travel signature on your Form I-20.

Does my major qualify for the 24 Months STEM Extension?

The following Academy majors qualify for the 24-month STEM Extension: Advanced Architectural Design; Advertising; Advertising & Branded Media Technology; Animation & Visual Effects; Architecture; Architectural Design; Art Education; Communications & Media Technologies; Game Development; Game Programming; Graphic Design; Graphic Design & Digital Media; Industrial Design; Interior Architecture & Design; New Media & Web Design

Where can I find more information about Economic Hardship?

Please review our EH Information Sheet

How can I know if I qualify for Economic Hardship?

We recommend meeting with one of our International Student Advisors to discuss your situation. Our advisors are trained to determine whether or not your situation qualifies for Economic Hardship.

How can I apply for Economic Hardship?

One of our International Student Advisors will guide you through the application process. In the meantime, please review the EH Information Sheet.

I was approved for Economic Hardship and want to apply again. Do I need to submit the same application?

Yes, you will need to re-apply and submit a new application with up to date information and current documents to USCIS. The International Office will assist you with this process.

I was approved for Economic Hardship and want to transfer from Academy of Art University to another school. Will I lose my work authorization?

Yes, you will lose your EH work authorization with the completion of the transfer of your SEVIS record.


Do I have to file taxes?

International Students may have to file taxes. For more detailed information, please visit the International Student Resources page.

Can the International Office help me to file my taxes?

Unfortunately, the International Office is unable to assist you with any questions related to filing taxes.

Social Security Number (SSN)

I need a Social Security Number. How can I get one?

You will not be eligible for the SSN, unless you have a valid work authorization.

Where can I apply for my Social Security Number?

If you have a valid work authorization, you may apply for the SSN at the Social Security Administration Office closest to your apartment.

When can I apply for my Social Security Number?

You may apply for the SSN after you have received your work authorization. Please be aware that you cannot apply for earlier than 30 days before the start date of your work authorization.

What documents do I need to apply for the Social Security Number?

Please review the Information Sheet on how to apply for the Social Security Number .

How long does it take to receive the Social Security Number?

It usually takes approximately 2 weeks to receive your SSN.

I lost my Social Security Number. What should I do?

You should contact the nearest Social Security Administration Office immediately to report the loss of your SSN and request a new one.

Letter Requests

I want to invite my parents for my graduation. Where can I request an Invitation Letter for my parents?

You can request an Invitation Letter for your parents online here .

Can the Academy mail the Invitation Letter to my parents?

Yes. Please indicate your parents complete mailing address; including any postal code and telephone number with international dialing code; when completing the Letter Request Form.

I need an Enrollment Verification Letter. Where can I request it?

You can request an Enrollment Verification Letter online here .

I receive financial aid from my government and need to fill out a government funding form. What office can help me with that?

Please contact the Office of the Registrar and submit your government funding form either via email or in person. You can reach the Office of the Registrar via email at or stop by their office in person at 79 New Montgomery Street (basement).

How long does it take to receive any letter?

Letters are being processed within 5 business days.

Change of Status

Can the International Office help with my application for Change of Status?

Yes, the International Office can help you with your change of status to F1. However; we cannot assist you with changing your status from F1 to another type of status.

How can I change my status to F1?

You may obtain valid F1 status either through filing a change of status application with USCIS or through traveling outside the US and applying for an F1 visa at the U.S. consulate.

What documents do I need to change my status to F1 in the United States?

This will depend on your current status. Please review the information sheet that applies to your situation.

Change of Status from F1 to F2
Change of Status from F2 or B1/B2 to F1
Change of Status H4 to F1
Additional Form: Affidavit of Support

What documents do I need to change my status to F1 outside the United States?

Please review the Change of Status to F1 via Travel Information Sheet

Additional Form: Affidavit of Support

USCIS approved my application for a change of status to F1. Do I need to apply for the F1 visa when I travel outside the United States?

Yes, you must apply for an F1 visa before re-entering the United States. USCIS only approved your change of status and allowed you to legally remain in the U.S. in F1 status. However, having a valid F1 visa is one of the required documents when re-entering the United States as an F1 student.


How can I get an I-20 for my spouse/child and apply for the F2 visa?

Please review the F2 Dependent Information Sheet . If you have any follow up questions, feel free to contact the International Office via email at

Additional Form: Affidavit of Support

Can my spouse work in the United States?

Unfortunately, F2 dependents are not eligible to work in the United States.

Can my dependent study in the United States?

  • F2 adult dependents can engage in study as long as they are enrolled in less than a full course of study. F2 dependents may file for a change of status from F2 to F1 with USCIS, if the F2 adult dependent would like to study full-time and become eligible for work authorization benefits.
  • F2 minor dependents are required to attend kindergarten through 12th grade full-time. The school the minor attends does not need to be SEVP certified.
  • F2 dependents may enroll in a combination of online and in person classes that is less than a full course of study.

How do I apply for housing?

All housing applications are processed online. In order to be eligible for housing, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled as a full time student (Fall/Spring: 12 units Undergrad, 9 units Grad; Summer: 6 units). The majority of courses must be on-site for eligibility. Resident students are limited to one online course per semester if residing in campus housing.
  • Fill out the housing application form online
  • Review the Housing License Agreement
  • Pay $500 deposit online
  • Must have health insurance. (All housing students are required to have health insurance.)

Learn More About Housing

What is the Housing License Agreement?

The Housing License Agreement (HLA) is the contract you must sign before moving into campus housing. The HLA covers the Academic Term of License, Terms and Conditions, and Community Policies.

How long is my Housing License Agreement?

All students who sign up for campus housing for the Fall semester sign a binding License Agreement for an academic year, or two semesters (Fall and Spring) with winter break in between. Students who sign up for Spring, Summer, or the Pre College Summer Program sign individual License Agreements only for that semester. If a student signed up for Fall then they also must sign up for Spring. We do not offer Fall only license agreements.

I signed a Housing License Agreement for the Academic Year and will move-in in the Fall; can I move off campus for the Spring semester?

No, you cannot move off campus for the Spring semester if your Housing License Agreement is for the Academic Year. In the event that you experience extenuating circumstances, you may appeal to terminate your License Agreement for Spring by submitting a Petition for Release from Housing. Requests will be considered by the Director of Housing on a case-by-case basis and the student may be placed on a waiting list to have their bed-space reassigned for Spring semester.

Does my health insurance have to cover my medical needs in California or do I just simply need insurance?

Your health insurance must cover your unexpected and expected health needs during the time you are residing in San Francisco, CA.

I just found out that I am assigned to Bed Space A. What does this mean? Are the desks assigned as well?

Bed Space A is the lower bunk and B is the top bunk. If you are in a triple, Bed Space C is the third, single bed. If you are living in a quad, Bed Space C is the lower bunk and D is the top bunk. The desks are not assigned so you will need to coordinate this with your roommate(s).

How can I change my room assignment?

The Room Transfer Request (RTR) period takes place ten days after the start of the academic semester and is available through an application process through your Resident Director. Students are not guaranteed a room change as there are several factors to consider:

  • Is a preferred space available?
  • What is the reason for the request?
  • Can you cover the potential increase in cost associated if it is an upgrade?

Submitting an RTR is not a guarantee that you will be moved, approval is based on the criteria listed above.

Does rent need to be paid before I move-in?

If you are paying for housing out of pocket, rent is due in full for the semester before you may move into campus housing. If you plan to pay for housing with Financial Aid , you must work with directly with the Financial Aid Department to ensure the cost of housing will be covered. Financial Aid will then verify your coverage with the Housing Department before you may move into campus housing.

How can I make a rent payment?

In order to make a rent payment, you will need to log on to your Student Self Service portal with your username and password. You may also make a rent payment by calling the Accounts Receivable office at 1-800-544-2787 or 1-415-274-2200 (from outside the USA).

I am using financial aid to pay for my campus housing, but I have been informed that the aid will not be dispersed until a few weeks after school begins. Can I still move into campus housing?

As long as the Financial Aid Office has deemed that you will have enough financial aid to cover your housing rent, and this information has been confirmed with the Housing Department, you will be able to move into campus housing. However, if your financial aid allocation will only cover a partial amount of your housing rent, then you must pay the remaining balance in full prior to moving into your room.

What happens if I cancel my housing?

All students who choose to live in campus housing have signed the legally binding Housing License Agreement (HLA) which outlines the semester dates. Per the Housing License Agreement, students who terminate their HLA early are not eligible for any refund of the deposit or of rent and will be financially responsible for future payments required by the original HLA.


What is the address we can ship packages to if we are moving in from out of state?

The address to ship your packages depends on what building you're moving into (please see below). Make sure to use the following format as an example when sending mail to your residence hall or apartment:

  • First Name & Last Name
    1916 Octavia (use your building address), Room #410 (use your specific room number)
    San Francisco, CA 94109 (use your specific zip code)

Below are the addresses and zip codes for the various buildings:

Residence HallStreet AddressZip Code
Leonardo da Vinci1080 Bush94109
Frank Lloyd Wright1153 Bush94109
Bluxome Lofts168 Bluxome94107
Star Hall1727 Lombard St.94123
John Singer Sargent1900 Jackson St.94109
Johannes Vermeer736 Jones St.94109
Coco Chanel1916 Octavia St.94109
Auguste Rodin1055 Pine St.94109
Fritz Lang560 Powell St.94109
Half Moon Lofts575 Harrison Ave.94105
Howard Brodie655 Sutter St.94102
Edgar Degas680 Sutter St.94102
International House860 Sutter St.94102
Clara Gil Stephens620 Sutter St.94102
Commodore825 Sutter St.94109
Mary Cassatt2209 Van Ness Ave.94109

Packages will not be accepted in the buildings prior to the official move in dates. Please make sure to send packages to your residence hall building AFTER arriving to campus.

Will I need my student ID card before I move into my residential building?

You will want to make obtaining your photo student ID card a top priority on the day that you arrive to move on campus; however, you can go directly to your residential building first to move-in. Afterward, head to 79 New Montgomery where you will be able to obtain your student ID. All residential buildings and academic buildings require a student ID for entry; therefore, it is imperative that you have your ID card with you at all times.

When I move into my residential building on move-in day, will there be handcarts or furniture dollies available?

There are no carts or dollies available at move-in. With a little patience, you should be able to get moved into your room in no time. If someone is driving you to campus and you do have a handcart that you can use during the move, it would not be a bad idea to bring it. It is also advisable that you make every effort to schedule your arrival for late morning/afternoon, as most residents tend to arrive early causing the first few hours to be congested.

What types of security measures are taken to protect students at night?

Our student's safety is of primary concern to everyone at the Academy. Academy of Art University is an urban campus and each student must be mindful of their surroundings, try to travel in groups and maintain an awareness of their surroundings at all times. All on-campus, residential facilities have a Resident Assistant on duty at all times, as well as 24-hour roving security officers provided by Campus Safety. Our first year student residence halls have on-site Campus Hosts posted in the lobby 24/7 and many of the other buildings have night security coverage. If there is ever a concern regarding a student's safety, please call the Campus Safety communication center at 415-618-3896.

Who will be notified in case of an emergency?

The emergency contact listed in the Housing License Agreement will be contacted in the event of an emergency.

Can I bring a vehicle to campus?

The Housing Department highly recommends that you do not bring a vehicle to San Francisco. There is no parking available in any housing facility or anywhere on-campus. Academy shuttles provide free, convenient transportation between housing and academic buildings. Additionally, you do not need a car when you live in San Francisco; the city has one of the best and most efficient transportation systems in the U.S. For more information on public transportation in San Francisco, visit or .

What size bed will I have?

With few exceptions, we provide twin extra-long (XL) beds in our rooms and apartments.

Can I have my own room?

You may request a private room during the application process, but these room types are very limited. Placement is based on availability and is not guaranteed.

Can I bring my own furniture?

The Academy fully furnishes all of the units on campus. The use of additional furniture is not permitted. In the event that there is enough space in your room to accommodate additional furniture, pre-approval must be obtained by your Resident Director before bringing in any outside furniture. For sanitation and pest control reasons, no second hand, outside furniture will be allowed (purchased from thrift stores, garage sales, found or given away).

Are pets allowed in campus housing?

Campus Housing does not permit pets of any sort (this includes fish and reptiles). Service Animals assisting students with disabilities are allowed. Emotional Support Animals are permitted with supporting documentation from a diagnosing professional. Please contact the Department of Housing in order to obtain a copy of the Academy's Service and Support Animal Policy and to initiate the process of bringing your animal into Campus Housing prior to finalizing your plans.

What is the alcohol/smoking policy?

Alcohol is not permitted in any Academy of Art University housing, leased or owned, regardless of age. Students who are over 21 may consume alcohol off campus, but must return to campus in a calm and coherent manner. Smoking is not permitted inside any Academy of Art University building, leased or owned. Students who choose to smoke must do so 15 feet away from any building entrance, in accordance with California state law.

Do you offer housing to students with a family?

We do not provide family housing for students at this time.

Can I live in campus housing with someone who is not a student of Academy of Art University (i.e. children, relatives, boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, etc.)?

Only Academy of Art University students assigned to a particular room may live in that room. Cohabitation is strictly prohibited. Only students assigned by the Housing Office are allowed to reside in the apartments or residence halls.


Who accepts my packages?

For students living in the First Year community buildings, 24-hour security is provided during regular semester hours and will be able to accept packages. The rest of our residence halls handle mail as any other apartment complex would. Students are encouraged to track their packages online and make arrangements with their carrier to ensure the delivery of their package.

Is my room cable ready?

Most rooms within campus housing are cable-ready, but this is a service that you will have to order and pay for on your own. We suggest that you have a conversation with your roommate(s) regarding cable service and television use within your room prior to signing up for cable service.

Something in my room isn't working properly; who should I ask to fix it?

You can discuss any concerns about your room with your Resident Director or Resident Assistant. They can assist you in filing the appropriate Maintenance Requests. Maintenance requests can also be called in to the Housing Help Line at 415-618-6592.

What do I do if my roommate and I are not getting along?

Campus Housing seeks to create a positive living and learning environment for all students, and to help students develop critical life skills. College is a great time to develop effective communication skills. We encourage the student to work out problems with their roommate and, if necessary, reach out to the Resident Assistant or Resident Director who are trained in roommate mediation. Room transfers are only authorized as a last resort.

There has been a family emergency/death in the family and as a result my son/daughter will need to miss class. How can I make sure that his/her professors are informed?

Please contact Student Services at 415-618-6508.

Can I stay in the residence halls between semesters?

Residents who wish to stay in the residence halls between semesters (known as intersession) must apply to do so in advance. Resident students must meet prerequisites and be approved to stay. The cost for intersession housing is $70.00 per day and must be paid prior to the start of intersession. Approved students may be temporarily relocated during the intersession period if their building is closed during the break period.

I won't be staying in my room over the break, but do I have to move-out?

During Winter Intersession (between the Fall and Spring semester), you may store your items free of charge provided that you are already registered for the Spring semester. Although you will be allowed to store your belongings in your room over winter break, we encourage you to take home any items of particular value. Your belongings must be boxed up, inventoried and left neatly on your bed so that preventative maintenance and building upkeep (shampooing carpet and deep cleaning bathrooms) can be performed during the break. It's important to also be mindful that if there is a vacant space in your unit, a student may be assigned to your room during Winter Intersession.

For any other Intersession period, students must find their own resources for storage. There are many companies in San Francisco that offer storage at an affordable rate.


What should I do if I require accommodation for a medical condition or disability?

All requests for disability-related accommodations must be submitted to the Department of Housing. Please call the Department of Housing at (415) 618–6335. If you are also seeking academic accommodations, you may submit your requests for both academic and housing accommodations to the Classroom Services department. They can be reached at or at 1-415-618-3775. Recent documentation from a professional who is qualified to diagnose in the area of the named disability is required. Early applications are encouraged and should be submitted as early as possible.

Does Academy of Art University have a medical clinic on-campus?

No, the Academy does not have a medical clinic on-campus. For this reason, all students are required to provide proof of medical insurance and emergency contact information. If a student needs help in one of our Campus Housing facilities then he or she should reach out to their Resident Director or Resident Assistant.

Can you refer me to a doctor in the area?

For assistance and resources, please contact Anne Steckler, Student Academic Support Coordinator, at: or 415-618-3879. To locate free or low cost medical services you can search this link . If you are need of urgent care, you can go to GoHealth Urgent Care by Dignity Health around San Francisco.


I chose to live off-campus and now I am facing loss of my housing; what are my options?

You may contact Campus Housing at 415-618–6335. If we have space in housing and you would like to sign a Housing License Agreement for the term, we will be happy to accommodate you. If you are seeking only a short-term solution, Campus Housing will not be able to assist you as we do not have any short-term housing available.

If I'm planning to visit my son/daughter for the weekend; what hotels do you recommend?

The city of San Francisco offers a plethora of amazing accommodations. Please check out for numerous hotel suggestions. Hotels in the Union Square area of San Francisco are the closet accommodations to the majority of our residence hall communities.

Please watch this video to answer some of your questions:

Who do I contact for questions about the Aetna Student Health Insurance?

Is the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan for international and domestic students?

  • The Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan is available to F1 students, domestic student athletes and domestic housing students.

Where can I find more information about the plan coverage?

How do I enroll in the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan?

  • All F1 students with active SEVIS record and enrolled in 6 units or more will be automatically enrolled

How do I pay for the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan?

  • The Health Insurance fee is posted on your student account every semester
  • You can pay the fee along with your tuition and fees

What are the coverage periods?

  • Fall 2023 Semester: 08/21/2023 – 12/31/2023
  • Spring/Summer 2024 Semesters: 01/01/2024 – 08/20/2024

How much does the plan cost?

  • Fall 2023 Semester: $962
  • Spring/Summer 2024 Semesters: $1,695

Am I billed per year or per semester?

  • You will be billed for Fall and Spring/Summer.

Am I covered during winter intersession?

  • Yes, you are covered during the winter intersession.

Can I sign up my dependents?

  • The Aetna Student Health Insurance is only for enrolled F1 students
  • Dependents will need to find a separate plan

Can I sign up, if I am enrolled in 3 units with an approved reduced course load?

Can I sign up while I am on post-completion OPT?

  • Yes, you can enroll directly with JCB Insurance Solutions.
  • Keep in mind that you must be enrolled for coverage during your last semester to qualify for continued coverage while on OPT

Can I sign up, if I hold a visa status other than F1?

  • The Aetna Student Health Insurance is only for enrolled F1 students
  • International students who are holding a visa status other than F1, such as H4/L/O/J/etc. will not qualify for this plan

When do I get my medical ID card?

What should I do, if I have problems downloading my medical ID card?

What should I do, if Anthem does not have a record of me?

What should I do, if I need to see a Doctor?

  • One Medical will be your first point of contact for non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses. You can find a clinic close to you here. You can check in online 24/7 or go in person. Please make sure to have your medical ID card with you.

How do I provide proof of health insurance to Housing?

  • If you are an F1 student, please let them know that you are in F1 status and automatically enrolled in the Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan.

Can I waive out of the Aetna Student Health Insurance?

  • The Aetna Student Health Insurance is mandatory for all F1 students enrolled in 6 units or more.
  • This is a University policy and there are no exceptions to this policy, except:
    • F1 students enrolled in only 3 units and are approved for reduced course load by the International Student Office have the option to waive out

Can I waive out, if I am an international athlete in F1 status?

  • No

How can I qualify for a refund?

  • You will be eligible for a full refund within 31 days of the semester start date.
  • A full refund will be granted, if you are approved for a leave of absence by the International Student Office or were approved for a change of status by USCIS within 31 days of semester begin.

Does this plan include dental and vision coverage?

  • No. This plan does not include dental and vision coverage, unless it is related to an accident.

Does this plan cover me outside the SF Bay Area and during my travels outside the U.S.?

  • Yes, the Aetna Student Insurance Plan will cover you outside the SF Bay Area and outside the U.S.

Who do I contact about a claim?

  • If you visit an In-Network (PPO) provider (doctor/clinic) and you remember to provide your insurance ID number to them, then they should submit your bills to the insurance company for you.
  • Some doctors may not bill for you. In this case, it is your responsibility to make sure the insurance company gets your bill.
  • Any questions about claims/bills should be directed to JCB Insurance.

How do I find a preferred provider?

  • If you log into your JCB account you will find links to your insurance company PPO list. Alternatively, you can also go to Aetna to find In-Network providers (doctor/clinic).
  • Check the list frequently and ensure that doctors are still accepting your insurance coverage before you have your appointment.

What should I do, if I received a letter from Aetna Health Insurance requesting I provide a SSN or TIN?

  • If you have a SSN or TIN, respond to the letter and provide the requested information.
  • If you do not have a SSN or TIN you can ignore the request.

How can I cancel my insurance with another company?

  • If you have already purchased an alternative health insurance plan with another company, please contact them to see if you can cancel it. If canceling is an option and the health insurance company requires you to provide them with additional information, please contact the International Office.

How much is a meal plan?

Visit our Meal Plans page for the most current pricing options. Meal plans are also required for all residents living in The Commodore, International House, Howard Brodie, Auguste Rodin, and Clara Gil Stephens.

Learn More About Dining

Are vegetarian menus available?

Yes, the dining hall provides a vegetarian option at every meal. The café at Clara Gil Stephens offers a cook-to-order menu. Rodin & Ihouse Cafés both offer a vegetarian option on the daily menu. All cafés provide a salad bar station. Students are encouraged to speak with a dining hall staff member for specific questions regarding the available food options.

How do I select which meal plan I prefer?

First year students and those assigned to mandatory meal plan buildings will be automatically enrolled in the Platinum meal plan for 19 Meals a week and $100 Knight Kash. If you would prefer to switch your plan to the Gold or Silver, you must email the Department of Housing & Residence Life to request a meal plan change. If you are residing in a building that does not require a meal plan but you would like to enroll in a voluntary election, you may also contact the Department of Housing & Residence Life to have a meal plan assigned to your account. Contact Housing at . If you are seeking only to utilize Knight Kash, you may set up your account directly or by telephone at 415.931.7525.

Can I order meals to go?

Yes. Click on the Mobile Eats link at to order yours today. (Please Note: Orders must be received by 7PM the night before the order date or they will not be filled.)

Why can't I get into the cafeteria with my ID card?

Both Sutter Street Cafeterias (I-House Café and 620 Café) are accessible via front entrance to the building. Students with meal plans are also granted access to the Auguste Rodin cafeteria through an exterior entrance.

I have classes during Cafe hours, can I still get a meal?

Absolutely! Submit a to go order online using our Mobile Eats program. It will be ready for pick up at your convenience at the café of your choice. Please feel free to also contact the Café should you have any specific dietary and religious requirements. The staff will be happy to work with you to accommodate your needs.

Can I cancel my meal plan?

Freshman first-year students and residents of are required to have a meal plan and may not cancel their meal plan. If a student does not fall under these criteria they may cancel their meal plan in writing by either email, fax, or an in-person written submission at the housing office. Refunds will be pro-rated from the day the student cancels. Students may not keep the Knight Kash portion of their meal plan once they cancel and have the option to purchase Knight Kash individually by calling 415.931.7525.

What kind of career resources does Academy of Art University offer students and graduates?

The Academy of Art University offers multiple resources for finding creative careers:

- The Career Toolkit

The Career Toolkit answers many of your basic questions on job research, internships, professional correspondence, networking, resumes, thank you’s and more.

Download the Career Toolkit

- Academy of Art University Job Board

Top companies hiring for interns and entry level jobs, galleries looking for new artists to represent, freelance gigs, and paid projects post new opportunities daily. Exclusively for students and graduates.

Visit Our Job Board

- Career Workshops and Online Chats

With our career workshops and online chats, we cover a wide variety of new topics each semester. Past titles include: Getting in to a Gallery, Financing for Games, How to Network and Teaching with you Art Degree. We include industry panelists and alumni panelists to share their breadth of knowledge and experience.

Explore the Workshop Archives

- Industry on Campus

The Academy of Art hosts top industry partners year round for lectures, recruiting, information sessions, portfolio reviews and more.

Learn About Industry on Campus

- One-on-One Assistance

Personal assistance is available in person, via email or on the phone with your advisor.

Where do I look for a job or internship?

The best place to start is the Academy of Art University Job Board–use your student or alumni ID number to create a profile. Check often as new opportunities are posted daily.

Visit Our Job Board

Visit your department’s blog or on-campus bulletin board.

Ask your classmates, instructors and department director–your network is the best resource for finding a job.

Think about the companies, galleries, artists and designers of interest to you. Online research will yield their blogs, social media pages and web sites. Here you will find information on career opportunities, including open job positions, call for artists and internship guidelines.

Where can I get help with my resume?

Academy of Art University’s Career Portal is free to all students and recent graduates of the school. Here you can look at resume samples for multiple art and design disciplines, and upload your own resume for critique and comment.

Visit Our Job Board

Self-help is available in the resume section of our Career Toolkit

Download the Career Toolkit

Personal assistance is available by contacting:

What opportunities do online students have to get career help or job leads in my area?

The Academy of Art University Job Board attracts opportunities nationwide, and is an ideal place to start your job search. We also target the top employers in each major region to give all students the opportunity to explore a career path in a location of interest to them. Additionally, Industry Online events bring students together with our regional industry partners for company presentations.

Visit Our Job Board

What opportunities does Academy of Art University offer to meet directly with employers?

We host our industry partners at on campus and online events throughout the year. You’ll have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with recruiters and hiring managers looking to hire Academy of Art University talent. Check the online campus calendar, campus screens, and your email for announcements.

Find Career Development Events

Check with your department for special events and shows where industry talent will visit campus for portfolio review sessions and lectures.

We broadcast many events live so if you’re off site for an event or an online student you can still participate and interact with industry panelists. Whenever possible we record events for future viewing.

Visit the Video Archive

What companies hire Academy of Art graduates?

The Academy of Art has partnered with the leading art and design employers across the nation, and around the world. Companies like Apple, MATTEL, Disney, Adidas, Blizzard, BBDO, Nissan and Nordstrom routinely visit campus to recruit and network with students and new graduates.

Explore the career paths in your department to see who’s hired past graduates.

Browse Academic Departments

As an international student — what jobs/internships am I eligible for?

Contact the international department for complete information:

Can I work at the Academy while in school?

Current students qualified for financial aid can apply for work study positions. Contact for more information.

How do I make an appointment to speak with someone?

Contact us at

How many books am I allowed to check out? How long can I have them for?

Undergraduate students can have:

  • Seven books for 14 days, with two renewals allowed.
  • Two movies for two days, and cannot be renewed.
  • Flash drives for two days, with one renewal allowed.
  • 25 pictures per envelope and seven envelopes total.

Graduate students can have:

  • 10 books for 14 days, with two renewals allowed.
  • Two movies for two days, and cannot be renewed.
  • Flash drives for two days, with one renewal allowed.
  • 25 pictures per envelope and 10 envelopes total.

Students will be fined the following if items are not returned on time:

  • $0.25 a day per book
  • $3.00 a day per movie
  • $0.25 a day per sound or music CD
  • $1.00 a day per flash drive
  • $0.25 a day per picture file envelope

The following are items that are only to be used in the Library:

  • Company annual reports
  • Course reserve materials
  • Desk reference
  • Fashion files
  • Magazines
  • MFA theses
  • Reference books
  • Rare books

Can I renew my library materials online?

You can log into your library account by clicking on the “Log in to your library account” link on the top right of the library page, and then entering your student information. From this page you can renew circulating books up to two times if other patrons have not requested them. Some items, such as movies and course reserve books, cannot be renewed.

Login to the Library

What happens if I lose or damage an item?

You may either pay a $55.00 charge for lost or damaged items, or replace the item yourself (with an item in comparable or improved condition). All lost or damaged items will also be charged a $10.00 processing fee.

Can I request items for the library to purchase?

Yes, the library welcomes suggestions for purchasing of relevant items. You can request items via the New Materials Suggestion form . Magazines can be requested by using the Magazine Request form .

I am having trouble finding information on my research topic. How can I ask a librarian for help?

There are a number of ways that you can ask a librarian for assistance. You can email your question, or set up a one-on-one consultation, using the Ask a Librarian form. We will reply to you within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. You can also call us at 415-618-3842 or you can ask us in person at the library's Reference Desk.

How can I reserve the Group Study Room or the Theater Room?

To reserve these rooms, call us at 415-618-3842, email us at, or speak to a library staff member. You can use the group study room for up to two hours at a time. Since we want the rooms to be available to all of our patrons as needed, we do not allow recurring teacher-led study groups or classes to book this room as a weekly meeting spot. For more information on our room use policies, see our Group Study Room, Theater Room, and Library Classroom Policy page.

View Library Policies

What is Accessibility Resources?

Accessibility Resources ensures equal access to university curriculum, programs, and facilities for students with disabilities and health conditions by facilitating reasonable accommodations, providing support services, and collaborating with the greater community to meet students’ individual needs. We are located at 79 New Montgomery St., San Francisco, CA 94105 and can be reached at 415.618.3775 or .

How can I register with Accessibility Resources and obtain accommodations?

To obtain accommodations, students must submit recent documentation from a licensed professional, such as a doctor or mental health provider. If you do not have documentation, or are unsure about documentation you do have, please reach out to us for assistance.

Once your documentation is approved, you will activate your accommodations each semester to receive an accommodation letter that you may share with your instructors. Accessibility Resources is also here to support students with using their accommodations, as well as offer academic coaching from the Academy Resource Center (ARC).

You may be interested in the U.S. Department of Education’s website, which provides more information regarding preparation for college, as well as students with disabilities’ rights and responsibilities.

I'm not sure what to say, can my mom, dad or guardian talk to you instead?

Accessibility Resources is happy to work with guardians in order to help students obtain accommodations. However, we recommend including students as much as possible in the process so when they’re ready, they can transition towards managing their own accessibility-related needs as independently as possible. Please note that we will not provide information about students to other parties, including guardians, without a signed release form.

Once I disclose that I have a disability, will others at Academy of Art University find out about it? Will my documents become part of my file with the university?

All documentation kept by the Accessibility Resources office is confidential and not shared with anyone outside our team of professionals. Accommodation letters state that you are registered with our office and list your accommodations, but do not contain information about your specific disability. Students are in complete control of whom they choose to inform about their disability.

I think I have a disability but I don't have official paperwork. Can I get assessed here?

Accessibility Resources does not have doctors or licensed diagnosticians on staff. If you have health insurance, we suggest you consult with a licensed professional covered under your plan. If you do not have health insurance, we can recommend resources that may be able to help. Please call or email us for more information. Students are ultimately responsible for obtaining and submitting any needed documentation.

I was in the hospital last week and missed all of my classes. Does that count as a disability? Can you call my instructors so I won't be penalized for late work?

If your illness is not due to a disability previously established with our office, the best thing to do is work directly with your instructors. Even if you are too ill to do your work, we suggest letting them know as soon as possible that you are ill. If you don’t have the contact information of your instructor, ask their department for assistance. If your illness results in a newly diagnosed disability, we suggest that you still follow this advice and also contact our office to set up any future accommodations you may need.

Contact Us:

Accessibility Resources
79 New Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
Phone: 415.618.3775

Do I need to wear my badge at all times on campus?

Yes, it allows you access to all buildings on campus. Visitors are not allowed on campus without an escort.

If I lose my ID what should I do?

First contact Campus safety at 1-415-618-3911 and report the badge lost. A new ID can be purchased at 150 Hayes St.

Contact Campus Safety

How do I use my ID?

Swipe your ID at small black boxes on the walls next to the front doors at our Academy of Art University buildings. You will hear the door open and you can enter.

How else can I use my ID?

Your ID can be used for Knight Cash at restaurants and vendors near Academy of Art University properties.

Learn About Dining

Can I change my picture on my ID?

Yes, at 180 New Montgomery St., in the Campus Safety office.

Who do I call if my ID stops working?

Call Campus Safety at 1-415-618-3911.

Contact Campus Safety

How can I…?

Get a locker

Lockers are rented on a single semester basis only and must be cleared out by the last day of each term. The current rates are:

  • Undergraduate Students – $20 per semester locker rental.
  • Graduate Students – 1 locker FREE of charge, additional rentals $20 per rental
  • The university does not provide locks.

Students renting with a credit card may now login to their online account to rent lockers using a computer or mobile device. Graduate students may also rent their first locker online without payment. If paying with cash or check rentals must be paid at Accounts Receivable located at 150 Hayes on the 4th floor. All successful rentals will appear in a student's online account. Once a locker has been rented students may proceed to the building where they must provide proof of the rental to the campus host prior to use of the locker.

Add/Drop classes

All Add/Drop forms must be signed by an Admissions Representative or Student Services Advisor.

Contact an Admissions Representative if mine is absent

Any available Admissions Representative should be able to help you with any questions you may have. Call the Academy operator at 1-415-274-2200 and ask for an Admissions Representative.

How much does a bus ride cost in San Francisco?

Information on BART fares and Schedules can be found at any BART station, or at . Information on MUNI schedules and fares can be found at .

Who do I talk to if I have a housing issue?

The Housing Department is located at 79 New Montgomery on the 1st Floor, 1-415-618-6335. Office hours are Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Saturday – 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Please email with questions.

Admissions Contacts

  • International: 1-415-274-2208
  • Graduate: 1-415-618-6326
  • Undergraduate: 1-415-274-2219

Change of Name, Address and SSN

Records Office 79 New Montgomery, 4th Floor, Room 435: 415-618-6454

Alumni Relations:

Contact or 1-415-618-8350 or visit .

Campus Activities (Campus Life & Leadership):

Contact Campus Life at 1-415-618-8400 or visit Campus Life .


Events on Campus

Online Education

How to Reach your Instructor

Contact your department’s administrative assistant. See department pages for detailed information.

Emergency Contact

For Emergencies dial 911

ESL Support

When and where will commencement be held?

An email will be sent out with the commencement details, and you may also check the calendar to see details.

View Commencement Details

How do I get my cap and gown?

Events are held approximately a month prior to commencement and two weeks prior to commencement. Located at the Atelier between 9am-4pm, you will also be given tickets with your cap and gown packs. A photographer will be on site—announcements, class rings, and frame orders may also be placed at this time.

Are tickets available for family or friends to attend commencement?

Yes, each graduate will receive a set numbers of tickets for family or friends to attend the ceremony. The number of available tickets for each graduate will be emailed along with commencement details.

When will I receive my diploma?

Your diploma will be mailed to you 4 months after the Registrar has confirmed that you have met all academic requirements and settled all financial obligations.

When will the Graduation Ceremony be held?

Spring Commencement is in late May.

Summer Commencement is in late May.

Fall Commencement is in late May.

How can I find the specific dates for the Graduation Ceremony?

Students who have declared their final semester will be emailed information about:

  • Graduation dates
  • Ordering graduation announcements
  • Professional photography services

The commencement pack:

  • Cap
  • Gown
  • A limited number of guest tickets
  • A limited number of invitations
  • Rehearsal
  • Graduation Day Check-in

Is there a fee for the cap and gown?

Caps and gowns are required to participate in the Commencement Exercises and Academy of Art University provides cap and gown at no charge. Students residing outside the San Francisco Bay Area may contact the Office of the Registrar at to make alternative arrangements to pick up their caps and gowns, tickets, and invitations.

When will the Graduation Ceremony be held?

Check the Academic Calendar for updated dates and information.

View Commencement Details