Academy of Art University Online

Founded in 1929, this San Francisco university was originally purposed to teach advertising art. Today, it is the largest art and design school in the country, and provides an art-based education in everything from multimedia communications to industrial design. In 2002, the university began to offer online education options along with traditional courses on its San Francisco campus. With its dedication to innovative learning and wide range of study areas, it’s not surprising that graduates have gone on to work for creative companies such as Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Louis Vuitton, and Sony Computer Entertainment America.

Programs Offered

This institution gives creative-minded students the opportunity to study one of 18 areas of art and design the school offers. AAU is known for providing online art classes and degree programs that allow students across the country to obtain the skills and learn the techniques necessary to succeed in creative industries. Program curriculum utilizes a disciplined approach, combining art principles, practical industry knowledge, and advanced technology. Students have the option to earn a variety of undergraduate or graduate degrees through schools dedicated to the following areas: advertising, animation, architecture, fashion design, fine art, game design, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, interior design, motion pictures and television, multimedia communications, music production and sound for visual media, photography, and Web design and new media.


The Academy of Art University, both on campus and online, is regionally accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It also holds a national accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, as well as program accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.


For undergraduate admissions, the university has rolling admissions where students can apply year-round for upcoming semesters. Applications are accepted through the first week of each fall, spring, or summer semesters. While there is a no-barrier admissions policy, those who wish to apply to a Bachelor of Fine Arts program must submit official high school transcripts and provide proof of high school graduation in the form of a diploma or GED/CHSPE certificate. For graduate admissions, those applying for a Master of Fine Arts program must submit proof of graduation from a bachelor’s program, a letter of intent, a resume, letters of recommendation, and a portfolio that demonstrates work in a relevant area.

Admissions Contact

Academy of Art University Online
Academy of Art University Admissions Office
79 New Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

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