Academy of Art University Graduate Program Reviews

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91%
of students recommend
(3.91 out of 5.0)
School rating based on 108 respondents

School Highlights

Most
Affordable
Regionally
Accredited
Non
Profit
High
Grad. Rate
Has Online
Degrees
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School Ratings

Quality of Instruction
Student Financial Services
Satisfaction With Degree
Earning Potential
Prepared for Career

School Information

  • Website: Visit College Website
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
  • Programmatic Accreditation: NAAB and NASAD
  • Campus Setting: City: Large
  • Student Population: 13,800 (9,117 undergrad)
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 15 to 1
  • Graduate Attendance Status: 37% part-time, 63% full-time
  • Annual Tuition: $23,868
Source: NCES

Student & Graduate Reviews

2.83 out of 5.0
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Degree: Graphic Design
Graduation Year: 2015

So far the MFA in Graphic Design program has a good level and teachers are ok. The internationals office support kind of sucks though, they don't offer actual help rather than collecting papers.
3.17 out of 5.0
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Degree: Liberal Arts
Graduation Year: 2015

Pro: I love the professors and they do actually teach a lot. I've gotten so much better with my chosen skill and they are really helpful with what you should know about what to do after graduation. It's a great school if you're serious about what you do. Con: It's too expensive. Just thinking about it gives me anxiety and at one time I even had an anxiety attack about it. They mismanage money and the equipment for my program is a joke. Most things that are wrong with this school are financial.
4.25 out of 5.0
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Degree: Art & Design
Graduation Year: 2016

It is a very tough school. There is much expected from you, but it is all to help you become a better artist. They really prepare you for what is to come, knowing that the art field is a tough industry to get involved in, they make sure you develop your own unique style to be that different artist. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for, and you are paying for top education from top artists n the industry. Therefore, affordability is an issue, especially for individuals like me who want a great education, but have to receive it through the climbing loan debt.
3.33 out of 5.0
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Degree: Art & Design
Graduation Year: 2014

The school provides a great foundation programs for artists to build the skills they need to make a portfolio. Classes after foundation and final thesis are structured to create an optimized portfolio to a specialized market. The school stresses graduates looking to become working professionals in their industry. Housing can be expensive in the Bay area. The workload is challenging.
2.92 out of 5.0
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Degree: Film Production
Graduation Year: 2015

Having only been here a while, this is what I feel. They don't really help Grads. in settling more focused on the under grads.
3.92 out of 5.0
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Degree: Art & Design
Graduation Year: 2015

It's a great program... Very challenging but a bit on the expensive side.
4.17 out of 5.0
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Degree: Art & Design
Graduation Year: 2015

The Academy offers a unique educational experience in that the instructors are all working artists who teach, as opposed to teachers who also happen to be artists. The online program is definitely strong for anyone interested in going back to school for art but has other obligations such as work and family. There is no substitute for being in a studio environment, but AAU manages to create a strong online class system. The only downside is that the overall competition and skill level is lower online. On campus, however, the competition is fierce but friendly. We all support and help each other, drawing on the strengths of others to better ourselves and further push our abilities. The education on campus is fantastic! There is no other way to describe the experience of being in class with some of my favorite artists. With long class time we are able to soak in the demos and lectures with gusto. After this we can immediately jump into our own assignments with the information still fresh. They really offer top quality art education. It can get confusing with the administration and registrar offices because no one seems to be in communication with the other. Often time one needs to make several calls and be put on hold just to get a simple answer. I reckon this is a truth shared by most schools, but having had a fairly straightforward undergrad experience I find this tasking and a waste of time. The student body is incredibly diverse and has people from all walks of life and from all over the globe. This cultural melting pot is the most beautiful aspect of the school. Not only are we learning from each other within the artistic community, but we are learning from each other's vastly diverse backgrounds. As artists this is important because it inspires us, but as people it increases our empathy and understanding of the rest of the world.
4.58 out of 5.0
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Degree: Healthcare Management
Graduation Year: 2014

It is awarded as the best program. Convenient hours and commute.Class limit is 16 students which is very important for me.
2.92 out of 5.0
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Degree: Fine Arts
Graduation Year: 2016

The most important point is that you will need to take 21 classes in order to graduate, and due to the workload (20-30 hours per class per week), you can never take more than 2 studio classes per semester and still hope to produce passable work. If you plan to work and study, one or the other will suffer, or you will not graduate for a very very very long time. The good news is that it is very effective in improving the quality of your art. The other problem is: the cost - which rises every year. There is NO financial aid for graduate students, except for high interest loans. You should also bear in mind that they will take money from anyone. It seems that they will accept anyone as a MFA student, with no regard for their skill. About 30% of the students taking these classes are drawing/ painting at an elementary school level. On the other hand, 10% are shockingly good, and you wonder why they even feel any need to study. The school's servers and the online class environment are excellent quality and well maintained. Their technical support team is very very good, so technical difficulties are almost unheard of. Many of the teachers are accomplished/ skilled artists. Some of them are competent teachers. A few of them are able to do both well. But you will also get stuck with professors that can neither make, nor teach. It sounds horrible, but it isn't that common, and the teachers aren't as important in the online environment anyway. You're expected to contribute to discussions on other student's works, and a lot of the best/ most helpful advice comes there. The text/ reading portions of most classes is well put together, though not necessarily as thorough as one might hope. Spelling and grammatical errors are far more common than one would expect when paying so much for classes that purport to help place you into the publishing industry. I don't mean for this to sound overly negative, but I would like to give people an honest appraisal before going in. It's the only school I was able to find that teaches Illustration at the graduate level.
4.83 out of 5.0
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Degree: Fine Arts
Graduation Year: 2016

I feel that my school offers an incredible professional learning program that will definitely be giving us a leg up in the industry compared to those who haven't joined this program. Every class is up to date with the latest trends and technology and will help mold us into amazing thinkers. The only con is that everyone who graduates with me will be at the same level, creating some real tough competition.
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