Tell us some basic information, and we’ll send you the information you need to get started at Academy of Art University
We have graduates working at these respected companies, among others:
Students will develop strong problem-solving skills, learn to write efficient code, and collaborate with artists and designers to provided optimized solutions for game design. The BS in Game Programming curriculum emphasizes the data structures, algorithms, and software architecture techniques used by the industry to create cutting edge games.
The Game Programming BS curriculum integrates the engineering and programming techniques used in game creation. With an emphasis on math and objective-oriented programming through the use of complex algorithms, students will develop strong problem-solving skills, learn to write efficient code, and collaborate with artists and designers to provide optimized solutions for game design.
Academy of Art University's School of Acting is rooted in developing craft, individual process, and truthful storytelling. By training well-rounded actors, we offer a unique professional environment in classes taught by working professionals. From stage to camera, voiceovers to commercials, The School of Acting is much more than a school—it’s your opportunity to bring your passion to life.
Academy of Art University’s BFA Acting program is a comprehensive and diverse curriculum that provides a strong foundation in performance fundamentals, including acting technique, acting for camera, improvisation, singing, and speech. Courses in audition technique, stage production, musical theatre, and stage combat help prepare our graduating students to enter the professional world.
Study acting, improvisation, singing, and other fundamental components of performing in the Academy of Art University’s AA Acting program. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for a seamless transition into our BFA Acting program.
|Major Electives||3 units|
|Graduate Liberal Arts||3 units|
Academy of Art University’s MFA Acting program blends a conservatory approach with a contemporary eye towards the demands of the professional world. Beginning with a rigorous immersion in the Meisner Technique, students are trained in voice, speech, body, script analysis, audition technique, and camera. Taught by an esteemed faculty of working professionals and equipped with a polished demo reel and a unique resume, graduates leave the university fully prepared to embrace the unlimited possibilities of the working actor.
As a principal actor for feature films, television, commercials, and industrials, you’ll bring characters to life through technique, emotion, and presence. Use physicality, reaction, reflex, and listening skills to engage audiences and fully embody any character.
As an on-camera narrator or spokesman, you’ll give context and life to commercials and industrials. Bring your unique presence and ability for delivering impactful and engaging messages to the commercial world with this exciting career.
As a stunt performer, you’ll bring excitement and tension to the screen with combat and implausible physicality. Learn about safety, weapons training, and certification with the Academy of Art University’s diverse and experienced faculty.
As a voiceover artist, you’ll apply your acting skills to animation, video games, commercials, narration, radio, TV and character work. Find your vocal signature, learn accents, and bring characters to life.
Connect your craft to performance and become a theatre actor, singer, or dancer. You’ll use technical proficiency, script analysis, and character research to deliver engaging and emotional performances for live audiences.
As a performer for interactive media, you’ll learn to use physicality and performance techniques to engage a digital audience across the globe. Acting in web series or commercials, you’ll learn to bring characters to life in cutting edge interactive media.
School of Advertising alumnus, Jason Sperling, led the creative team at Media Arts Lab that created the iconic "Mac vs. PC" ad campaign, which won numerous industry awards, including Adweek's "Campaign of the Decade" and a Cannes Gold Lion.
Develop the artistic and technical skills you need to enjoy a career in advertising as an art director, copywriter, or creative strategist. Work independently and collaboratively to create a dynamic portfolio.
The Associate of Arts degree in Studio Production for Advertising & Design provides students the skills needed to perform the role of Production Artist in the studio production environment of advertising and design. The curriculum is structured to ensure that students acquire the essential competencies, and develop a common body of knowledge and skills in studio work.
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Advertising. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Advertising. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
Drawing on your life experiences, coupled with the artistic and technical skills you gain, you’ll be prepared for a career as an art director, copywriter, or creative strategist. A mastery of advanced advertising principles and concepts are brought to life by working independently and collaboratively on your unique portfolio.
If you love to come up with ideas and tell stories visually, you’ll enjoy working as an art director. You’ll learn to combine art with concepts that are interesting to people. Art directors work with copywriters to produce compelling communication for print, radio, TV, web, social media and branded content.
If you love to come up with ideas and tell stories with words, you’ll enjoy working as a copywriter. You’ll learn to combine words with concepts that are interesting to people. Copywriters work with art directors to produce compelling communication for print, radio, TV, web, social media and branded content.
As an advertising strategist, you’ll learn to conduct research-focused projects and help make communication tools to inform and inspire the creative teams.
If you appreciate project diversity, and working with many people, you’ll enjoy working as a production artist. As part of the extended creative team, you’ll work closely with art directors and copywriters to execute physical and virtual designs and layouts for print, TV, web, social media and branded content.
School of Animation & Visual Effects alumnus, Diego Galtieri, won a visual effects Emmy for his work on NBC's Heroes.
The School of Animation & Visual Effects BFA program provides students with the skills necessary to master today’s digital technology. Students choose one primary area of emphasis between visual effects, 3D modeling, 3D animation, 2D animation and stop motion, and storyboarding.
The School of Animation & Visual Effects AA program offers students a strong introduction to the core principles of animation production. Course offerings include visual effects, 3D animation, 3D modeling, 2D animation and stop motion, and storyboarding.
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Animation & Visual Effects. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Animation & Visual Effects. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
The MFA in Animation & Visual Effects program focuses on developing skills in any one of the many areas of expertise within the animation and visual effects industry. The program educates students in all aspects of animation and visual effects, from ideation to post production. Communication, collaboration, and time management skills are emphasized throughout the program to ensure graduates are acclimated to the intense professional culture that awaits them.
A 3D animator is concerned with the movement in computer graphic imagery including characters, inanimate objects such as robots or cars, cameras for television, feature films, or games.
A 2D animator is concerned with creating 2D images by either hand-drawing each frame or digitally manipulating flat media for games, television, the web, or feature films.
A character animator in traditional, 3D, or stop motion is concerned with the performance on screen. An understanding of timing, movement of humans and animals, and acting is essential to bringing characters to life.
A dynamics technical director uses particles and fluid simulation to create moving elements such as fire, water, and explosions. These elements might be combined with live action elements or used in a fully CG project.
The lighting technical director determines the look of a film using light and color to tell the viewer what to see and how to feel. Duties might include lighting a 3D scene, rendering the scene, and rough compositing.
A compositor uses digital software to combine separately created elements into one image. They must have the ability to judge color, lens effects, film artifacts, atmospheric effects, scale, perspective, and parallax.
Modelers digitally build objects, such as characters, animals, plants, buildings, and cars, for manipulation in a 3D environment. Models must be built so they can be moved, painted and lit properly for use in CG imagery.
The storyboard artist translates the printed word into cinematic images. They must be able to draw quickly with attention to draftsmanship and perspective, and they provide the first look at what the final film or video game might look like.
With frame-by-frame manipulation, a stop motion artist uses poseable puppets to create a performance that might be used in television, film, or advertising.
The producer ensures the director’s creative vision is realized and is responsible for all aspects of production including financials and schedule, technological innovations, and administrative processes.
The School of Architecture is dedicated to advancing the art and practice of architecture by offering academic programs that foster critical thinking, artistic vision, and responsible leadership. Explore our Architecture School Daily blog.
Offered as a first professional degree, the Bachelor of Architecture program provides an intense design education by developing each student's capacity to synthesize critical thought, artistic vision, and responsible leadership. With passionate professional faculty, diverse collaboration teams, emerging technologies and fabrication labs, and sensitivity to sustainable methods – together we will participate in shaping our physical world.
Grounded in environmental design, the Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Design (BA-ARH-D) degree provides a strong undergraduate education while allowing students to experience and gain skills in architectural art, architectural design, urban history and theory, fundamentals of sustainability, materials, building construction and structures, as well as advanced design representation tools. To study the world through the architectural lens is an opportunity to examine our culture through the spaces and buildings that we create.
The NAAB accredited Master of Architecture is a holistic professional program offered in two tracks. Dedicated to the relationship of theory, up to date technical developments, advanced architectural design and the practice of making and building, the program has an exceptional profile. Through knowledgeable and practicing faculty, we enable our students to become responsible leaders in their field, who have the skills to envision, design and construct a desirable and viable future, and therefore actively contribute towards the evolution of society.
The Master of Arts in Advanced Architectural Design (MA-ARH I and MA-ARH II) program allows students to specialize in a particular area of interest. Dedicated to advanced architectural design investigations immersed inside a large and vibrant art and design university, the program has an exceptional profile. Students develop their own interest covering diverse fields that mediate between contemporary architectural developments, design theory, and emerging technology. Through a curriculum lead by inspiring faculty, we enable our students to become responsible leaders in their field, possessing the skills to envision, design and construct a desirable and viable future, and therefore actively contribute towards the evolution of society and culture.
Self employed architects typically organize and maintain their own professional practice in architectural design. Firm principals are typically sole practitioners, or run small offices of less than 10 people sometimes in partnership with other principals. Architects may choose to specialize in a specific market segment, or they may promote a specific skill set within a particular area of architecture. Firm principals are responsible for signing and stamping construction documentation sets, and must be licensed in the state in which a project is being built.
Project architects are the team design leaders in medium to large architectural design firms. Working with other members of the architectural staff in a firm, you’ll coordinate and lead design decisions on projects. Depending upon the scope and complexity of a project, there may be a lead project architect, technical project architects, interior design architects, and other specialists. Project architects usually hold an architectural license in one or more states.
As an Architect you can be part of an urban or master planning design team that is responsible for environmental design decisions at the scale of a neighborhood, district, city, or region. Architects are necessary within larger planning groups to contribute their specific knowledge of building morphology to the contributions and effects of the built environment upon larger scale planning activities. Architects may hold dual degrees in architecture and planning, or they can be part of a planning group within the public or private sector.
Specialize in sustainability-driven design projects such as net zero energy design, active and passive energy systems, experts in materials, assembly, life-cycle costing, developing world economics and growth, or sustainable healthcare specialists. Work within a design project team or become an independent consulting practice serving a wide range of private and institutional clients.
As a graduate from an architectural school, you will have a broad range of design skills that may be used in a wide range of design activities outside of architectural practice, ranging from building envelope design, historical preservation, industrial design, furniture design, color, branding, business and product consulting, among other possibilities. These design consultants may work within a larger non-architectural design organization, or they may act as specialized consultants for design firms.
Become an art educator and inspire a new generation of artists. Tap unparalleled creative resources at the Academy of Art University’s School of Art Education—studio space, workshops, diverse design courses, field training, and more. You’ll graduate with the ability to guide others to artistic fulfillment.
The School of Art Education’s philosophy is that every educator should be skilled in and passionate about what they teach. Our students develop a broad range of their own visual art skills as well as a deep understanding of pedagogy – the art and science of teaching. Our graduates bring artistry to their classrooms that inspires and teaching abilities that succeed.
Students create a dynamic arts advocacy presentation to educate the public as to the importance of Arts Education for the 21st century creative economy.
The School of Art Education recognizes that students interested in pursuing graduate work and art education careers have various backgrounds, interests, and goals; therefore, the School offers two options for the MA degree.
Inspire the next generation of artists as a museum educator. You’ll lead hands-on tours and activities for a range of audiences, as well as contribute to the educational growth of your community.
As an arts leader in community settings you’ll plan, organize, and implement programs as well as activities for a wide range of audiences and settings. Help bring the arts to communities around the world or in your backyard and bring the joy of arts to everyone.
As an art teacher in a private, public, or charter school, you’ll help inspire the artists of tomorrow directly in the classroom. You’ll prepare and implement lesson plans, address various learning styles and needs, and analyze qualitative and quantitative student data.
As an art education instructor at a university, you’ll contribute to the higher education of tomorrow’s artists. Explore complex subjects, lead class discussions, and encourage critical thinking as you guide students through various subjects.
As a teaching artist, you’ll instruct artists of the future in a variety of settings. You’ll develop curriculum and syllabi with Program Directors, coordinators, as well as lead teachers and establish lines of communication with students and their families.
Learn to analyze and discuss art and artistic methods at Academy of Art University’s School of Art History. Here you will understand form and expression in our fine art studios, while gaining a deep and rich knowledge of history and cultural context in the art history classroom. Turn your passion for art history into a career.
The School of Art History's BFA program blends academic inquiry and practice with one of the most extensive studio art and design programs in the world. Merging the classical tradition of studying western art with the skills and practice of a fine art education, our students gain the unique perspective and ability to discuss broad themes around history's most enduring and inspiring works of art.
As an art researcher, you'll work in a publishing house, museum, gallery, or institution studying and compiling information on a specific subject to be used in publications, presentations, or exhibitions.
As a corporate art consultant, you'll work with private corporations as an art buyer, assessor, and art investor to assess potential additions to the collection. Understanding works of art as both a financial investment and as part of a growing collection, you'll help create a portfolio of art that speaks to a specific message.
Work in an auction house appraising a variety of art pieces, and help collectors and galleries grow their collection as an art appraiser. With your knowledge of historical and artistic significance, you’ll set the pace for the art world and its value in the cultural landscape.
As an art history teacher, you'll teach a variety of topics including everything from survey courses to focused seminars at the high school or university level.
As an art writer/reviewer, you'll work in a publishing house reading and reviewing art-related materials. Working in teams, you'll fact check, revise, and edit everything from articles to books.
As a museum or gallery curator, you'll work as the content specialist in charge of the institution's collection. Interpret the material, organize its exhibition, and provide historical context through materials, catalogs, and labels.
School of Fashion alumna, Cristina Palomo Nelson, (Fashion, '10) is the co-founder of the shoe label Freda Salvadore.
The School of Fashion’s BFA program offers two types of degrees: Fashion and Fashion Styling. Students in the BFA Fashion program may choose an emphasis in fashion design, textile design, knitwear design, merchandising, or visual merchandising. Coursework combines excellence in design, artistic vision, and innovative technology to provide students with the skills necessary to fully realize their creative visions.
In addition to emphasizing the principles and practice of the written journalistic form, the BA Fashion Journalism program offers coursework in fashion design to afford journalism students a broader appreciation of the craft.
The School of Fashion’s AA program offers three types of degrees: Fashion, Fashion Journalism, and Fashion Styling. Course offerings include fashion design, menswear, costume design, textiles, knitwear, fashion journalism, merchandising, visual merchandising, styling, fashion marketing, product development and much more.
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Fashion. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Fashion. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
The MFA Fashion curriculum refines and focuses your individual artistic vision with advanced coursework in design, merchandising, textiles, and knitwear. Studio courses hone your knowledge of industry standards, combining design excellence with the mastery of the latest digital tools. Graduate candidates are guided through a Directed Study which culminates in the production of a fashion collection and portfolio, or merchandising project.
The MA Fashion Journalism program is designed to give students advanced training in the mastery of journalism for print, web, and other platforms. The 42-unit program concludes with a final thesis project and students will graduate with a robust portfolio of writing samples reflective of the voice and perspective they are ready to bring into this exciting industry.
Oversee trends, color, and fabric direction for upcoming seasons across all product lines as a design director for a fashion label. Manage design teams, oversee manufacturing and marketing, and set the direction for a brand voice.
Research, draw, and design prints for seasonal fashion with both hand-drawing and computer skills as a textile designer. Create and inspire the next wave of textiles including engineered and repeat pattern prints.
As a technical designer of knitwear, you’ll contribute to the technical design process from development to commercialization. You'll work closely with designers to maintain fit, silhouette, and design to preserve fit specifications and brand aesthetic.
As a fashion director, you’ll navigate between market trends, marketing and branding, and the retail experience. You’ll craft a strategy, attend seasonal shows, and guide the company to profitability and improved brand equity.
As a visual merchandising director, you’ll help promote the image, products, and services of retail and wholesale businesses. You’ll create eye-catching displays using visual and graphic elements, and organize brand-related special events.
Supervise the process of creating, developing, and presenting content for a fashion magazine as a fashion editor. You’ll supervise teams, conceptualize and style photo shoots, curate photography, research trends, and choose items for publication.
Responsible for overseeing, planning, and directing all content, the executive editor is the voice of any fashion publication. You’ll develop budgets, manage staff and contractors, oversee quality, and innovate in the print and digital spaces.
Turn a designer’s vision into a finished garment as a patternmaker. You’ll break down garment designs into workable patterns, transfer them onto fabric, and create the design blueprints for manufacturing.
As a fashion stylist, you’ll provide on-set art direction for editorial and catalog fashion shoots and support merchandising strategy with brand and theme-based shoots.
Join Academy of Art University’s globally acclaimed School of Fine Art to tap your true potential as a painter, sculptor, or printmaker. Explore your creativity. Define your vision. Share your talent with the world.
The BFA program teaches students the creative and technical skills needed to thrive as career artists. Advanced instruction is offered in non-figurative and figurative fine art, including painting, sculpting, and printmaking. Our Sculpture department has one of the largest and most advanced facilities of its kind in North America, and our state-of-the-art printmaking facilities merge traditional tools with cutting edge technology.
The AA program offers a strong introduction to the core principles of creating fine art. Students choose an area of emphasis from drawing and painting, printmaking, or sculpture. The Associate of Arts degree can be used as a stepping stone to the BFA program.
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Fine Art. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Fine Art. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
The Master of Fine Art program provides students a framework for advanced study in drawing and painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Students are focused on technical and conceptual development in figurative, abstract or landscape work. The School of Fine Art provides graduate students with studio space, exhibition galleries, and world class facilities.
As a museum or gallery curator, you’ll work as the content specialist in charge of the institution’s collection. Interpret the material, organize its exhibition, and provide historical context through materials, catalogs, and labels.
Express yourself and contribute to the discourse of culture as a gallery artist. You’ll create, show, and sell your work in commercial galleries, museums and express a unique point of view.
Inspire the next generation of artists as a university art professor. You’ll teach students historical, aesthetic, and technical details of developing their unique voice, and help them inspire and engage with the art community.
Print editions as a master printer at a fine arts press or print house. You'll oversee the production and execution of fine art editions and collaborate with artists, printers, and publishers.
Create custom art for clients and collectors as a commission artist. You’ll interpret your clients’ direction into one-of-a-kind works of art, and express yourself in a highly marketable way.
As a museum or gallery curator, you'll work as the content specialist in charge of the institution's collection. Interpret the material, organize its exhibition, and provide historical context through materials, catalogs, and labels.
Show your talent off on a large scale as a professional muralist. You’ll work with clients to interpret their direction, budget supplies and materials, and execute a work of art that satisfies everyone’s goals.
The School of Game Development provides students with the array of skills required in this exciting industry. Whether pursuing a career as a game designer, game programmer, 3D modeler, concept artist, or UI/UX designer, you will get hands-on experience creating a professional-quality art and game design or programming portfolio, as well as opportunities to collaborate with other students to produce fun and memorable video games.
The Game Development BFA gives a well-rounded education in the arts with an emphasis on understanding and applying techniques including 3D modeling, animation and lighting in video game production. Students graduate with a solid grasp of the fundamental game art principles, including knowledge of game engine technology and pre-production and production environments.
The Game Programming BS curriculum integrates the engineering and programming techniques used in game creation. With an emphasis on math and objective-oriented programming through the use of complex algorithms, students will develop strong problem-solving skills, learn to write efficient code, and collaborate with artists and designers to provide optimized solutions for game design.
The Associate of Arts degree provides Game Development students with an introduction to the fundamental concepts of game construction and game engine technology. Once earned, the Associate’s degree can also be used as a stepping stone to a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Fine Arts degree as it provides a foundation for advanced game development coursework.
The MFA Game Development program allows students to further their careers by synthesizing traditional art and design fundamentals with today’s groundbreaking technologies. Students level up their skill through hands-on prototyping of game mechanics and art creation, followed by creating a thesis project and an industry-quality portfolio.
As a game designer, you’ll balance gameplay elements and in-game economy to keep games engaging. You will also improve systems, contribute to features, as well as participate in testing to create immersive worlds and evoke emotions.
As a user interface/user experience designer, you’ll create the interfaces and mechanisms for a user to directly interact with a game. Use your knowledge of game features, design, motion graphics, and user paths to create an immersive experience.
Design and create characters for interactive games as a character concept artist. Working with art directors and designers, you’ll imagine the visual look of interactive characters with contextual details to bring them to life.
As an environment concept artist for games, you’ll combine a playful imagination with a high degree of artistic skill. Concept and flush out all aspects of environmental design, from small props to full culture kits.
Bring characters to life as a 3D character modeler. You’ll build complex character models, organic meshes, and work across teams to rig, light, texture, and animate your creations.
As a 3D environment modeler, you’ll help develop levels, architecture, vehicles, objects, textures and materials for gameplay. Work with other teams to bring the story to life and create immersive worlds for interactive media.
Located at the intersection of art and commerce, our Graphic Design program integrates practice, theory, and inquiry, while refining and encouraging innovation, critical thinking, visual literacy and conceptual problem solving. Students learn to influence marketing strategies, raise awareness of critical issues, and facilitate cultural change.
The School of Graphic Design’s BFA program guides students through the nuanced skill-development process required to achieve excellence in typography, print, packaging, branding, user experience, and motion graphics. The faculty is comprised of nationally recognized professionals who challenge their students to reach their personal creative potential.
The Graphic Design AA program provides students a core understanding of the fundamentals of design including the basics of design thinking, typography, layout, packaging, interactive, and branding. Graduates with an Associate of Arts degree are well equipped for a seamless transition into the Academy of Art University's BFA Graphic Design program.
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Graphic Design. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Graphic Design. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
With its focused thesis development process, the School of Graphic Design’s MFA program emphasizes advanced study of the field and encourages students to extend their design skills into content creation, authorship, entrepreneurialism, and social innovation.
An intensely collaborative role, a designer is critical to almost every organization. Tasked with maintaining brand consistency and voice across mediums, the designer’s role will vary by organization but will always be tasked with creating effective and elegant graphic solutions to a myriad of problems.
As an visual designer, you’ll be responsible for the visual and emotional impact of a communications piece. Working with other teams, you’ll oversee the direction and emotional response of a project and enhance the brand’s voice.
Working with visual designers, interactive designers are responsible for the structure and frameworks for design elements. Utilizing research, user testing, and brand voice, interactive designers establish groundwork for structural success.
As a senior designer, you’ll take a more active role in concepting, leading, and managing projects independently. Manage junior teams, establish a consistent visual language, and drive brand and experience values.
As a creative director, you’ll guide and direct junior teams to set a high bar for creativity within your organization. You’ll be responsible for setting a high-level vision for projects, and managing teams to achieve brand and client success.
Working closely with clients to develop brand strategies and business futures, a brand manager/strategist is usually a senior level creative in large organizations. Set the tone and direction for creative work with insights, brand management, and trend analysis.
You’ve been drawing your entire life and you like to tell stories in pictures. Are you ready to go pro? Learn the skills to pursue a career as a graphic novelist or comic book artist, storyboard artist, concept artist, interactive illustrator, children’s book illustrator, editorial or advertising illustrator or any number of positions that require the boundless imagination and skills of an illustrator.
The School of Illustration's BFA program embraces the art of visual and conceptual storytelling in any medium. Students develop the skills necessary to transform themselves into skilled, distinctive, professional illustrators able meet the marketplace’s growing need for artists trained in visual problem solving in both traditional and digital media. Exciting career paths await in comics and graphic novels, children's books, advertising, editorial illustration, and interactive illustration.
The School of Illustration's AA program emphasizes the fundamentals of illustration and offers a balanced approach to classical and digital illustration techniques and ideation skills. Foundational illustration courses focus on figure drawing, anatomy, rendering, and traditional media including charcoal and paint. Digital media courses focus on imagery using both vector and bitmap tools.
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Illustration. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Illustration. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
The School of Illustration's MFA program provides advanced study in the illustrative arts with an emphasis on personal style using the most appropriate tools. Art skills and the development of oral, written, and visual presentation skills play a daily role throughout the program. Students graduate with a vibrant portfolio and are well equipped to perform at a high level as they embark on professional careers as illustrators.
Illustrators solve visual problems and tell stories in formats that range from infographics to comic books. You can make 3D visualizations, book covers, posters, cards, graphic novels, collectibles, and more, and are responsible for managing and maintaining their own business.
Create preproduction art from rough ideation to model packets as a concept artist. You’ll create environments, character designs, and concepts for games or films, and work with a variety of teams to create new worlds and stories.
With the vibrant children’s book market, you’ll be able to create illustrations for a wide range of audiences and story styles as a children’s book illustrator. With an emphasis on storytelling, a diversity in approaches and styles make this a flexible and exciting career path.
Create narrative art for book covers as a book cover artist. You’ll conceptualize and execute eye-catching imagery for cover layouts, and communicate story notes in a single image.
Create and sell your own stories as a comics artist. Layout artists draw pages for comics, inkers create line art for comics, colorists and lettering artists fill them in, and writers provide the story framework.
As a storyboard artist, you’ll break down and draw shots for commercials, film, games, cartoons, and more. Set the tempo and timing of key shots to interpret the director’s vision under tight deadlines.
In the emerging market of interaction design, the interactive illustrator creates art for inclusion in digital mediums such as smartphones, computers, and tablets. Understand and influence user behavior with a strong illustrative style and give life to interactive experiences.
As a reportage illustrator, you’ll be tasked with documenting moments for TV, the Internet, sketchbooks and specialty publications. Courtroom, combat, and corporate presentation artists must work efficiently and accurately to define a moment in time.
Create the illusion of being inside a heart, sitting in an ancient temple, or explaining disease vectors as a medical or scientific illustrator. Combining meticulous research and execution skills with artistic vision, you’ll distill complex concepts into simple and beautiful illustrations.
Students from the School of Industrial Design created a user interface for NASA so astronauts in space can remotely operate land-based robots.
The School of Industrial Design's BFA program gives students the freedom to pursue their personal design visions within a structured and supportive academic environment. Led by a faculty of industry veterans, students are taught to approach their work with equal regard for aesthetic, business, and societal considerations.
The School of Industrial Design's AA program affords students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the fundamentals of physical design. Graduates with an Associate of Arts degree are prepared for a seamless transition into the BFA program.
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Industrial Design. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Industrial Design. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
The School of Industrial Design's MFA program provides advanced study within focused fields of physical design. In addition to classroom and collaborative coursework, each student works toward producing a final thesis project.
Create initial designs for the senior design team as a junior designer. You’ll be responsible for concept mockups, study models, and sketches.
As a clay modeler in transportation design, you’ll develop clay models based on design direction and physical properties.
As a digital modeler, you’ll create a digital 3D model based on design direction as a digital modeler. You’ll also take 2D and visual concepts and bring them to life in 3D software to help visualize the final transportation and product design piece.
As a user experience/user interface designer, you’ll develop scenario-based digital and physical user interaction design. Craft every touchpoint in a digital or physical product to ensure brand consistency and emotional appeal.
School of Interior Architecture & Design alumna, Denise Cherry, was the principal designer of Facebook's award-winning corporate HQ remodeling project.
The School of Interior Architecture & Design's BFA curriculum integrates theory, design, and technology in tandem with the standards of the industry. Our students develop the requisite intellectual, artistic, and ethical abilities necessary for professional practice.
The School of Interior Architecture & Design's AA program is designed to provide students with a foundation in design theory, technique, and technical skill in line with today's industry standards. Graduates of the program are equipped for a seamless transition into the school's BFA program.
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Interior Architecture & Design. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Interior Architecture & Design. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
The MFA program focuses on advanced techniques and theory of interior architecture and design. The curriculum—designed and taught by industry professionals—focuses on research, concept and design development, traditional and digital media, innovative ideas, and global issues.
As a furniture, fixtures, and equipment designer, you’ll focus on color and material selections, specifications, and material sourcing. You’ll contribute to the chosen design concept in a supporting role.
A building information management designer focuses on planning, programming, and generating documents such as plans, details, elevations and schedules to represent the design intent and ensure it’s carried through to construction.
As a project designer, you’ll coordinate with both FF&E and BIM designers to ensure the design is feasible and up to industry standards. Collaborate and contribute to the creative process, and help bring the team's vision to life.
As a job captain, you’ll collaborate with project managers to develop solutions to problems and coordinate the design through the entire process. Work with fabricators, contractors, and regulatory agencies to bring the project to life on time.
A visualization specialist works with the design team to create representations of project development. You’ll use hand renderings, sketches, or 3D renderings to communicate design concepts in this creative field.
Turn your love of wearable artwork into a profession. The Jewelry & Metal Arts program is designed to nurture your personal creative visions and give you the skills to bring them to life. Collaborate with your peers from the Fashion department and learn to tell larger stories through integration.
The School of Jewelry & Metal Arts BFA program exposes students to an array of metal design principles and techniques. Curriculum covers sketching, imaging, soldering, stone-setting, welding vacuum casting, mixed-media, and more.
The School of Jewelry & Metal Arts AA program provides a strong introduction to the field of creative metal works. Coursework emphasizes technical theory and core metal design principles.
The MFA Jewelry & Metal Arts program emphasizes advanced studio coursework and concept development. Students focus on learning fabrication skills, modular casting, laser cutting techniques, and exploring cross-cultural themes before embarking on individual Directed Study paths.
As a digital jewelry designer, you'll create unique and inspired designs using C&C machines, milling, 3D modeling, and laser cutting for use with modern jewelry production techniques.
Teach students in the uses of technology for modern jewelry production techniques as a jewelry instructor. You will instruct the next generation of designers in the latest aesthetic and technical techniques used by industry leading jewelry designers.
As a technical jewelry designer, you’ll assist the design team in creating drawings and digital files for use on the laser cutter. Plan, iterate, and create maquettes for rapid prototyping in this exciting career path.
Create jewelry designs using software for 3D printing as a 3D jewelry designer. Realize designs using print wax and plastic models, and work with production teams to ensure manufacturing consistency in this dynamic career path.
Landscape Architecture is the perfect combination of art and science, urban and rural, living systems and sculptural form, historical precedent and innovative vision. It is the profession of the future.
The School of Landscape Architecture BFA program focuses on the development of flexible design processes for landscape and urban design, an understanding of ecological systems, sustainable practices and use of materials, site planning, and advanced drafting and rendering techniques. By graduation, each student will have a portfolio that reflects his or her unique creative vision within this rapidly expanding and evolving profession.
|Liberal Arts||18 units|
The MFA program provides advanced study for students pursuing a career in Landscape Architecture. Track I is available to students who have already obtained an undergraduate professional degree, such as a BLA or BArch. Coursework emphasizes theories of open urban spaces, collaborative and interdisciplinary methods of design and implementation, sustainability, and advanced digital rendering techniques. Track II is available to students with a BA or BS degree, who have limited or no experience with art and design. Coursework focuses on establishing the fundamentals of drafting, site engineering, planting design, ecological systems, site analysis and site design, and regional planning and analysis.
As a landscape architect, you’ll analyze, plan, design, and implement natural as well as built environments of all scales. Design and plan the restoration of disturbed natural places and systems such as stream corridors, wetlands, forested areas, and mines.
Working with the landscape architect, the designer helps with planning, design, management, and stewardship of natural and built environments
As a garden designer, you’ll be responsible for planting, irrigation, and some hardscape design for residences and estates. Work with other designers and staff to create a holistic vision of urban spaces in this exciting career.
Responsible for the design or redesign of existing urban spaces, the urban designer crafts unique and usable spaces for the public. Revitalize existing amenities, or create new physical connections in this unique and inspiring career path.
Abstract an idea into spatial forms as a master planner. You’ll envision and design large-scale communities and lead the design process from conception to final construction.
As a regional and environmental planner, you’ll be responsible for land use analysis, planning, zoning, and infrastructure as well as the analysis, design, and restoration of ecological systems. Help improve our parks and recreation areas in this important and fulfilling career path.
As an urban strategist, you’ll develop strategies to improve underutilized urban sites to improve social impact. Urban strategists are typically landscape architects, designers, or urban designers looking to create a behavioral and social impact in urban environments.
Create planting designs based on site analysis, concept, and horticultural possibilities as a planting designer. You’ll use plants in a creative and sustainable way to design projects at various scales.
Landscape renderers are responsible for the creation of drawings, plans, elevations, perspectives and axonometrics to communicate design intent and the spatial experience.
School of Motion Pictures & Television alumnus, Chris Milk, has directed videos for Kanye West, U2, and Modest Mouse, among others.
The School of Motion Pictures & Television's BFA program offers six areas of emphasis—cinematography, directing, editing, producing, production design, and screenwriting. Each path is designed to equip students with specialized, employable skills and create the storytellers of tomorrow.
The School of Motion Pictures & Television's AA program offers six areas of emphasis—cinematography, directing, editing, producing, production design, and screenwriting. Each path is designed to provide students with solid fundamentals in their chosen field, as well as prepare them for a seamless transition into the BFA program
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Motion Pictures & Television. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Motion Pictures & Television. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
The School of Motion Pictures & Television's MFA program offers advanced, multifaceted study of the film arts. Areas of emphasis include story structure, cinematography, directing, editing, and various producing aspects. Students produce a reel of work that reflects their refined talent and professional readiness.
Working with the editorial team, you’ll be responsible for creating the pulse of a number of broadcast pieces, including motion pictures, television series, and corporate and music videos.
Together with the production designer and assistant art director, the art director is responsible for consistency across a piece. The art director works with set design, construction, script, and production teams to execute the director’s vision.
Supporting the complex tasks of producing a film, the production office coordinator works with department heads to ensure adherence to production and studio policies.
As the glue that holds a production together, the production assistant completes any and all tasks that need to happen on a production team.
The second assistant camera person supports the first assistant camera person on the production team. You’ll get your feet wet in the technical aspects of camera and gear management and help gather data for use by the production teams.
The script reader provides script coverage for production companies. You’ll be reading and analyzing scripts to provide recommendations on development opportunities, and providing valuable feedback to the production and creative teams.
A degree in Multimedia Communications opens the door to the future of media and entrepreneurship. Keep pace with an ever changing media landscape – from broadcast to streaming, from mobile to social. Multiplatform. Cutting edge. Hands-On. Start your career now.
The School of Multimedia Communications BA program provides a dynamic education of essential modern media skills including foundations in storytelling, broadcasting, journalism, and mobile platforms. Under the guidance of industry experts, students learn to shoot, edit, write, and host their own productions, and use the latest technologies to stream and broadcast them.
The MA program provides advanced study for students pursuing careers in multimedia communications. Coursework focuses on short-form production, on-camera performance, multimedia writing, and journalism for broadcast as well as for streaming mobile devices, and entrepreneurship. Students graduate from the program with a comprehensive portfolio or reel that showcases their talents refined through a concentrated curriculum.
As a digital content producer, you’ll be the team leader in preparing and completing project action plans for a variety of media platforms.
Responsible for storytelling across broadcast and digital mediums, the multimedia journalist writes, produces, edits, and promotes stories with empathy and emotion.
As an entertainment/sports host/anchor of scripted and ad-libbed storytelling, you’ll work both in-studio and on-location. Conduct interview, write copy, and help with the scripting and producing of programming in this exciting career path.
As a social media manager, you’ll develop and implement social media marketing strategies that engage, excite, and promote a brand audience
As a video producer/editor, you’ll assemble raw recorded material into a finished media story. Utilizing timing, compositing, and storytelling, you’ll be responsible for quality control and the execution of the director’s vision.
As an on-air and online presenter of audio content, the radio/podcast personality introduces and discusses topics like music, news, and sports.
Turn your appreciation of great music and sound into a brilliant career. Learn about harmony, orchestration, composition and scoring, as well as sound design, editing, and mixing techniques from industry professionals, and apply these skills in film and video game production. Join us today and take the first step toward this exciting and rapidly evolving field.
The BFA program provides specialized training across many interdisciplinary aspects of music and sound design. Curriculum focuses on advanced music and sound production techniques, creating sound for video games, music notation, and film score preparation.
The AA program provides a strong introduction to the fundamentals of music and sound design for visual media. Coursework emphasizes the basics of audio and music production, how to score for the screen, film music appreciation, and theory training. Graduates with an AA degree are well equipped to move into the more nuanced BFA program.
|Graduate Liberal Arts||3 units|
The MFA program provides advanced training in music and sound design. Students are guided through the completion of a final thesis project that reflects their breadth of music and audio expertise.
As a composer, you’ll write the musical score for film, games, or other visual media.
The orchestrator translates a musical score from a composer and arranges it for the final set of instruments and players.
As a music editor, you’ll compile, edit, and syncing music during the production of the soundtrack.
In the film and visual media industries, the musical supervisor is responsible for sourcing musical content that is not original to the project.
As a re-recording mixer, you’ll balance all elements of a film’s soundtrack on a mixing stage to produce the desired emotional responses from the audience
As a sound designer, you’ll be responsible for the overall aural concept of a film or video game.
Using digital audio workstations, the sound editor creates edited reels for all elements of the soundtrack.
As a foley artist, you’ll perform in-sync sound effects with picture on a foley stage for inclusion in the final soundtrack. Create unique and unforgettable custom sounds and use your creativity to associate moods with cues in the story.
Working with the production mixer, a production recordist manages the set and location sound recordings.
School of Photography alumna, Deanne Fitzmaurice, won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for her photo essay on an Iraqi child's war-torn experience.
The BFA degree builds on the core curriculum of fundamental principles by emphasizing the aesthetic and conceptual skills necessary for a professional portfolio. After completing the core curriculum, students choose to focus on commercial or editorial, fine art, or documentary courses. Upon graduation, students will be required to demonstrate an individual style and a unique approach to their chosen area of study.
The AA degree provides students with an education in the fundamental skills of photography. Coursework ensures technical competence for digital capture, lighting, post-production, and a solid understanding of photography as a visual language.
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Photography. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Photography. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
The MFA program provides advanced practice and intensive study of the photographic medium. Core curriculum covers historical perspective, advanced theoretical and conceptual development in traditional, experimental and digital photography capture, post-production and output. The program culminates with a formal thesis project and complete body of work that supports the thesis and showcases each student's unique vision and talent.
As a commercial photographer, you’ll create works for advertising, editorial, fashion, and assignment work for a variety of fields and industries.
As a fine art photographer, you’ll create original works of art—from concept to exhibition.
Working as a photojournalist, you’ll capture a complete set of images to accurately and objectively showcase the subject matter.
As a high-end retoucher/compositor, you’ll assist photographers, photo studios, or corporate clients in creating a unique digital composition after shooting.
Have you ever wondered how elaborate scenes and characters are imagined for movies or how fantastical worlds are realized in video games? That’s the job of the visual development artist. Study composition, perspective, environment design, figure drawing and character design—everything you’ll need to embark on a creatively rewarding visual development career.
The School of Visual Development's BFA program provides a dynamic education in the art of scene setting. Core curriculum emphasizes photography, figure modeling, form analysis, figure drawing, narrative principles, visual development for animation, character design, concept paintings, advanced exploration of perspective for video game design, and various other critical design disciplines.
The School of Visual Development's AA program provides a strong introduction to the art of scene setting. Core curriculum emphasizes photography, figure modeling, form analysis, figure drawing, and various other design disciplines. Graduates with an AA degree in Visual Development are prepared for a seamless transition into the school's BFA program.
The Visual Development MFA program provides advanced coursework in still life painting, figure drawing, character design, concept painting, layout design for animation, and other core skills of professional visual developers. The goal of each graduate student is the completion of a signature thesis book showcasing design work for a story-based project.
The job of the art director is to oversee and unify the visual look of a project. You’ll control the overall look of the project, and make creative decisions based on mood, style, and target audience
As a character and creature designer, you’ll help create the standard appearance for a character including poses and gestures.
Working with art directors and designers, production artists are responsible for creating assets across various marketing initiatives in keeping with the visual style of the product.
Using standard tools, a vector artist recreates images for high-resolution output such as for billboards, printing, and 3D modeling.
As a matte painter, you’ll create paintings to be used in photography and special effects to combine disparate elements into a single final image.
Creating visual representations of images, the concept artist is responsible for creating and realizing ideas to be used in films, comics, animated movies, and video games.
The School of Web Design & New Media prepares students for cutting-edge careers in experiential design and digital media. We teach an integrated approach based on four fundamentals: design thinking, visual communication, technology, and user experience. Our graduates are strategic thinkers, producers, and technologists poised to lead innovation on a global level.
The BFA program provides students with a comprehensive education in the principles of modern web design and new media. Taught by a faculty that works in the San Francisco Bay Area creative industry, our students are provided a unique opportunity to learn from teachers immersed in the field. The curriculum focuses on visual design, user experience, design strategies, web design, and motion graphics.
The School of Web Design & New Media's AA program guides students through the fundamentals of design for digital media. Students are introduced to core visual and user experience principles, web design, motion graphics, and the latest software and technology. Graduates will be well prepared to continue their education in the school's BFA program.
The four year certificate program provides students with a disciplined approach to the study of Web Design & New Media. Student portfolios will demonstrate the variety of skills and creativity developed. Graduates enter the field prepared for professional opportunities in Web Design & New Media. Students take electives and art history courses to round out their experience. Unlike the BFA program, students pursuing the Certificate program do not take liberal arts coursework.
The MFA program provides advanced study for students pursuing a career in web design and new media. Progress in the MFA degree is measured through a rigorous process, both at the midpoint and final reviews. Studio courses develop creative and technical acumen, with attention to mastering user experience design, while advanced courses provide a focused learning environment for building final thesis projects. Students will graduate with a portfolio and comprehensive thesis project showcasing their talent.
An interactive designer is responsible for designing and building microsites, landing pages, and banner ads. Combining strong interactive and user-experience thinking with exceptional visual design talent, you’ll create digital products to drive successful campaigns.
Responsible for discovery, ideation, user-needs analysis, wireframes, design concepts, and specifications, the user-experience designer aims to improve the overall experience of users through structure and visual appeal.
As a user-interface designer, you’ll work with user-experience designers and developers to create mockups, prototypes, and layouts for web applications and dashboards.
As a mobile designer, you’ll create new and engaging experiences for emerging mobile devices and screens.
Working with the design and technology staff, the visual designer is responsible for creating high-quality, user-centric design solutions.
The art director is responsible for the overall brand concept, design, and execution of digital products and campaigns.
As a motion designer, you’ll concept user interfaces, interaction animations, and design for emerging devices and platforms.
As a front-end developer, you’ll realize the creative vision of the production teams in code. Utilizing the newest technologies and frameworks, come create the future of interfaces in this challenging career.
With a strong background in both design and web programming languages, you’ll create working prototypes from visual designs and wireframes as a web designer.
Tap into your imagination. Come up with great ideas. Find your unique voice. Take your writing skills to a new level.
The BFA in Writing for Film, Television & Digital Media prepares aspiring writers to meet the creative and business challenges of the entertainment industry. By the time you graduate, you will have written two screenplays, three spec TV scripts, one pilot and three short film scripts. You will also work as a staff writer on two web series. So if your goal is to create a body of work that could launch your professional writing career, our program will give you the competitive edge you need.
The MFA in Writing for Film, Television & Digital Media is an intensive program that concentrates exclusively on writing, pitching and the business side of being a professional writer. In this highly collaborative environment, you will write two screenplays, three spec television scripts and a spec pilot. You will also be a staff writer on two web series. So if your goal is to complete a marketable body of work that is ready for literary representation, script sales or options, open writing assignments and staff positions, our program will give you the creative edge you need.
A staff writer works on the writing staff of a television show to break stories and write/rewrite scripts. Staff writers deliver a negotiated number of individual scripts for a given television series. They also make notes at table reads and run-throughs and then work with the Writers’ Room staff on additional rewrites.
A screenwriter writes scripts for feature films. Screenwriters work as freelancers, selling ideas or spec scripts. They may also be hired for an open writing assignment.
The reader is responsible for providing script coverage for production companies. You’ll be reading and analyzing scripts to provide recommendations on development opportunities, and providing valuable feedback to the production and creative teams.
All that's required is a passion for learning and developing your skills as an artist.
We challenge our students to reach their full creative potential in an atmosphere of support and deep collaboration.
We hold ourselves to—and strive to instill in our students—the highest ethical standards of personal and professional integrity.
We believe that the best teachers are actual working creatives. Our faculty is comprised of art and design experts who maintain careers on the leading edge of industry trends.
Informed by our home in San Francisco, we aim to give back to the culture in the spirit of generosity and compassion.
Find out what makes Academy of Art University unique in every way.
We've been offering an innovative online arts education since 2002.Apply Now
We hold over 70 student and alumni art shows and gallery exhibitions in San Francisco each year.Apply Now
Our diverse student and alumni community represent over 112 countries.Apply Now
Students thrive in 17 housing facilities throughout San Francisco.Apply Now
Our NCAA sports program has 16 fierce intercollegiate teams.Apply Now