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Academy of Art University
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79 New Montgomery
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 274-2200

About the College
Richard S. Stephens and his wife Clara opened the Academy of Art University in 1929 in a loft he and his wife rented at 215 Kearny Street. In the beginning, Richard Stephens, an artist that accepted the position of Creative Director for Sunset Magazine, began the university with his wife to teach advertising art.

Before long, a faculty was assembled as well as the mission and philosophy of the school was written. By 1933, the curriculum included Fashion Illustration and in 1936, a Fine Art Department was started.

In 1951, Dr. Richard A. Stephens took over the Presidency of the school for his parents after he graduated from Stanford University. He expanded the enrollment of the students and by 1966; the school was incorporated and was granted authority to offer a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education of the State of California. The inauguration was in 1977 and was approved in 1983.

In 1992, Dr. Elisa Stephens took over for father as President of the school. The name of the school changed in 2004 to Art University in recognition of the school’s depth, scope, and quality.

Today the Academy of Art University offers both on campus and distance education degree programs as well as certificate programs. The programs offered include Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Architecture. The Academy of Art University offers degree and certificate programs in 14 different majors including Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture, Computer Arts & New Media, Digital Arts & Communications, Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Multimedia Communications, Motion Pictures & Television and Photography.

San Francisco Campus
The campus is not truly a fixed area but classes are held in a various buildings with all building located in downtown San Francisco. Many of the buildings are historical structures which were purchased by the University to preserve their historical significance.

College Type: 4-year, Private for-profit

Offering: Associate's degree, Two but less than 4 years certificate, Bachelor's degree, Master's degree

Campus Setting: City, Large

Campus Housing Available: Yes

Student Population: 11334, 76% undergraduates

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