Academy of Art University, San Francisco

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by viciousone8688, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. viciousone8688 macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2006
    Western Michigan
    Currently I am attending a small liberal arts college in western Michigan, majoring in photograpy. I don't like the school much because it's not that much of a change from my hometown, small and isolated. I would like to transfer to an art school to get away for a few years, and explore a little bit. Does anyone know anything about this school? It's hard to bring up information about the photography program around the net. Anything would be appreciated!
  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    My understanding is that overall it's a decent, but not great school. Don't know anything about the photography program in particular. Their "campus" is literally 10-15 different groups of buildings scattered all over the city...I don't know how much students in a single program have to travel around to other buildings, but if they have to do it a lot, it would be a big pain, even with their shuttle system.
  3. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Although WildCowboy is right that their buildings are scattered, I had a few friends studying there and none of them complained about that, so I assume they arrange similar classes to take place in buildings close by.

    One of your major reasons to leave your present school seems to be the location. Then it would be hard to beat San Francisco for a nice big city to live in. It's got very good public transportation, so you would not need a car for awhile unless you want to travel far. However, rents are very high, so make sure you can afford the living expenses.
  4. milozauckerman macrumors 6502

    Jun 25, 2005
    They've got a bit of a reputation as a diploma mill or feeder for commercial photography/design, depending on who you ask. Maybe the latter is just art snobbery, but the accreditation issues and so on make me wonder about the former.

    When I was scouting art schools once upon a time (before I decided that paying $35k a year for undergrad was probably a bad idea if I was going back to grad school for another two), the then-Academy of Art College was the only one I saw that required absolutely no portfolio review for incoming art students.

    In the same area, you could look at the San Francisco Art Institute, which has AICAD accreditation. AICAD is the name brand for art schools. (of that list, I paid the most attention to the Pacific Northwest College of Art).
  5. irmongoose macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2001
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    I have heard good things about CalArts. Their program incorporates for a broad overview of Art as a whole while allowing students to concentrate on their area of choice. While it's not in San Francisco, it might be worth taking a look at.

  6. redbandit macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2006
    CCA is another school in San Francisco/Oakland that is very well known, however, I am not sure about their reputation for photography.
  7. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    CCA is also pretty well-known and I think highly regarded, and their San Francisco campus is right down the street from where I work. They're right near SF's "design district." But I think the photography program is located on the Oakland campus.
  8. 3dit3r macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2005
    No to AoA

    I would highly advise AGAINST attending Academy of Art University. I taught there briefly and was dismayed at how the students were treated by the University. Basically, the university treats their students like customers. Even though you have access to good equipment, you pay for it as well in lab fees, etc., on top of the outrageous registration fees. Plus, I found that many of the faculty were not professionals with substantial experience. They gear their students towards jobs in their area of study which is good, but I didn't find students getting any more work than students from other schools. As others have said, the accredidation issue is a big one if you want to get an MFA. Not worth it, in my opionion, for the money...

    I would suggest you transfer to a college that has a good art program. Don't concentrate on an art school. In the end, you will be glad that you graduated with a well-rounded education. AFter, get your MFA. Besides, you'll need an MFA to reach the next level (in most cases).
  9. shecky Guest


    May 24, 2003
    Obviously you're not a golfer.
    any art/design school you can go to without having to show a portfolio is a waste of your time and money.

    CCA and SFAI are the only schools in SF worth looking at, and only CCA is what i would consider to be a top-tier art/design school.
  10. extraextra macrumors 68000


    Jun 29, 2006
    If you're interested in LA, Otis School of Art and Design is pretty nice.
  11. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

    Jul 8, 2005
    Santa Rosa, California
    What about this school?

    The Ohio Institute of Photography and Technology (OIPT)?

    Great school, program, and well, cheap rent in Ohio, lol. Not to mention all of the teachers are great and the student friendly!

    Just a thought.


    P.S. I also turned down the Academy of Arts because I felt that they couldn't provide exactly what I wanted and thought was necessary. Digital is the way of the future. I know a lot of people won't agree with that, but that's them, not the industry. The industry is moving to digital and OIPT is teaching their student *both* digital and film so you get the best of both worlds for the price of one.
  12. dockrol macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    academy of art information please

    my daughter is trying to go to the academy. currently has one sallie mae loan and we don't have any money and neither does she. note the word "trying" i am not liking the school, seems snobby to me. any information anyone can give would be greatly appreciated. yesterday my daughter decided to drop a class because the homework is 60+ hours a week... and in the summer this is obviously not going to work. on top of the fact she has to work to support the college.. she called me from the school saying that they would not allow her to drop the class unless she paid the $1800 for the class. this makes like it even less.
    someone out there give me some information that would make my daughter not want to go there any more!

  13. filmdp2219 macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2008
    the school is actually pretty good.

    I have to say as a recent graduate of the school that it is really good. I will admit that the school is also set up like a business but if you stick with the program until you graduate it pays off. They have a high tuition and they let anyone in. Most the people that I started off with in my freshman year left. The positive to that is the money they spent afforded equipment that you don't get to touch at many other schools. I studied in their motion pictures and television department and if you want to make a great portfolio this is the school to go to.
  14. pinktank macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2005
    I'm in Rochester Institute of Technology which is pretty much one of the standards in photographye ducation but I find it going a little downhill, what is it that makes you want to study photography as a degree as opposed to a non-bachelaureate institute?
  15. brendanryder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    what did you learn?
    what do you do now?
    can i see your pictures?


    i wanted to go to this school, but after much investigation i found they just want your cash and the profs suck and you dont learn anything.
  16. Photography macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2007
    You should check out the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City as they have a very reputable photography program with excellent photo facilities.
  17. dockrol macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    My daughter is liking the school, she does not care for the business end of it. they are rude and uncaring. she has had a number of profs so far that are really trying to give her a lot of help. she is going for photo journalism and someday hopes to work for national geographic. Personally as her mother I still think her writing is by far better than her photo although she is really good in photo too. I just wish there was more money for "students". we don't have the money to give her much and because we "make too much" the gov is not willing to give her much either, her dad lost his job recently and we figured that would give her money but no.

    she travels an hour each way and likes it so far. racking up the loans and such. she works as well, and recently they got a new supervisor and she is really not willing to work around her schedule much, so that is makeing things difficult too.

    from what I have read on here the school sounds decent, with a crappy business end. so if this is where she wants to go I find that nothing I say is going to change her mind.
    thank you to all
  18. brendanryder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    ya thats what i hear, the school is okay but the business sucks and your taking a big chance at getting bad profs. some i hear are excellent, but others are......... horrible. people have seen ads on craigslist days before the school opens looking for profs.
    since i am canadian i would have to stay at the internation house which requires a meal plan and a room, and this is like 4000 a MONTH!!!!! so 18 grand per year for 3 years plus 4000 a month for around 30 months is like
    100,000$$$$$$$$ and thats alot for me because i have to pay for most of it.
    so i am looking at other schools that wont cost me $$$$$$$.
    thanks for your reply.
  19. hotsnuglemonstr macrumors newbie


    Nov 30, 2004
    San Francisco
    I've heard the same thing from many who've attended there. I would definitely check out OTIS in LA.
  20. rayray1022 macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    academy art university San Fran.

    I attend the university online. I have to say, yes it is a little pricey, but I have LEARNED sooo much. I love the profs. and everyone I have dealt with there has just been wonderful. I already have my Associate's and I have learned things I should have learned when I went to a traditional college for 2 years.
  21. brendanryder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    Wow this thread brings back memories from my first year of high school haha
  22. angelikared macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2013
    Rayray 1022
    you said that you were an online student at university of art!
    So I want to know how did it work for you cause I might start at that school online very soon!
  23. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Don't want to get your hopes up but that was the only post that Rayray1022 made on this site and it was over 3 years ago!
  24. definitive macrumors 68000


    Aug 4, 2008
    if their photography program is as "reputable" as their other programs, then i'd recommend against it. not worth paying that much money for a photo degree.

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