6 Art Schools in San Francisco | Fees & Details

This post provides a wealth of information on the art schools in San Francisco for those interested in pursuing an art degree this post will expose you to some suitable art schools to earn your degree.

I have always sucked at arts, oh wait, creative writing is a discipline of art, looks like I am not so bad at the arts after all. Growing up, I have always taught drawing and painting are the only forms of art and I completely suck at them, even drawing a straight line with a ruler was a daunting task for me, and still is.

I was in secondary school or high school when I learned that art is a broad discipline and I even practice some of them daily without even knowing it. And this is the thing with art, we practice it every day, like, it is simply a way of life and that is the beauty of it.

There isn’t a form of art that is not beautiful, from music and learning a new language to making sculptures and paintings.

I watch my colleagues who are science students try to learn foreign languages online and I bet they didn’t know they are practicing arts just like I once thought drawing and painting were the only art disciplines. The thing with art is how it cuts across all areas of study and that is why you can find art graduates in almost every industry.

An art student may not enjoy health sciences but a health science student can completely enjoy art. It is a field of study that extends far beyond the physical, it goes up into our subconscious, psychology, mental, and emotion. It affects everyone differently but the results are the same for everyone at the end of the day.

Not to derail from the subject matter but we have a published post on the best music schools in the world for those who want to pursue music, which is also a form of art. Other articles you may also find interesting are the best esthetician schools online and the best massage therapy schools in the world. Many people are clamoring to get an MBA online, you too can get an MBA, merge it with your art education and establish a successful business in the art field.

Back to our discussion…

You don’t have to be talented in the arts before studying for it, well, if you are it is much easier to develop your artistic talents and bring them to maturity. If you are not talented but passionate about art then that is enough to pursue an art education.

The art school you attend also plays a huge role in setting you up for a successful career in the art field. This is why many art students want to get into one of the best art schools in the world to get a reputable art education.

San Francisco houses some of the best art schools in the US and in this post, I have exposed them for you to find one that is right for you. These art schools in San Francisco offer reputable art programs that cut across various art disciplines and offer world-class degrees to domestic and international students.

And if at this point you do not know all the art disciplines nor the one to go for, the list below can help you:

  • Sculpture
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Dance
  • Visual Arts
  • Architecture
  • Fine Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Art History
  • Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Digital Art
  • Aesthetics
  • Ceramics
  • Interior Design
  • Applied Arts
  • Fashion Design
  • Plastic Arts
  • Renaissance Arts

The art schools in San Francisco offer these disciplines at undergraduate and graduate study levels. You can also find some that are offering professional certifications.

How Do I Get Into Art Schools in San Francisco?

You must have completed high school or in your final years in high school before you can start considering applying to an art school in San Francisco. Also, while in high school take core art subjects to get foundational knowledge to study an art discipline. It is also one of the prerequisites by art schools in San Francisco to consider you for admission.

When you want to start your application into one of the art schools in San Francisco, there are eligibility requirements usually set by the school that you need to meet. The general requirements are:

  • SAT/ACT scores
  • High school/university transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Portfolio of your work
  • Excellent academic performance in high school
  • Personal essay
  • Online application
  • Application fee
  • Involvement in extracurricular activities

These requirements are basic and your preferred school or program may require more. Keep reading to find out the specific requirements of each art school in San Francisco and their tuition cost.

art schools in San Francisco

Art Schools in San Francisco and their Costs

The art schools in San Francisco are known for offering reputable art programs through innovative curriculums designed to develop your potential and abilities to prepare you for the future. The schools also have cutting-edge facilities where students can take on hands-on research and get equipped with real-life experience.

Without any further ado, let’s get into the art schools in San Francisco…

1.     San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI)

San Francisco Art Institute, founded in 1871, is one of the oldest higher education in the US in contemporary art. SFAI has held on to its long core philosophy of fostering creativity and critical thinking in an open, experimental, and interdisciplinary environment. There are 9 undergraduate majors here with a couple of minors and 4 master’s degrees with a couple of dual degrees and a post-baccalaureate program.

Programs offered are studio art, art + technology, printmaking, sculpture, history + theory of contemporary art, painting, photography, an exhibition with museum studies, art, place with public studies, film, and new genres.

Students applying to a graduate program are required to submit a statement of purpose, online application, 2 letters of recommendation, official transcripts, artist statement, writing samples, portfolio, and non-refundable application fee of $85.

Application requirements for undergraduates include online application, critical essay (BA applicants only), portfolio and artist statement (BFA applicants only), letter of recommendation, official high school transcripts or their equivalent, and official college transcript. Tuition is $45,664 per year for undergraduates and $47,850 per year for graduates. International students are accepted into SFAI.

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2.     Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University is one of the art schools in San Francisco established in 1929 as a private school for art and design and one of the largest in the US. With its powerful, innovative curriculum, students have developed skills sought by the creative marketplace. The academy delivers excellent undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificate and portfolio programs in the fields of design, communication, and the arts.

Programs offered include art history, art education, fashion, photography, motion pictures & television, landscape architecture, illustration, fine art, game development, acting, and advertising. International students are accepted into the programs. Some of these programs are also offered online allowing you to study from any part of the world.

Undergraduate tuition for domestic students is $29,005 per academic year and $30,486 for international students. For graduates, tuition is $1,171 per unit – 3 units per class for domestic students and $1,227 per unit for international students.

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3.     USF College of Arts and Sciences

The University of San Francisco offers varieties of art disciplines through its College of Arts and Sciences. The college utilizes a rigorous academic curriculum with an urban, global, and urban perspective to develop students and prepare them for any situation ahead of their careers in the creative world. There are more than 100 undergraduate majors and minors and many unique master’s programs to select from.

Undergraduate programs include design, media studies, philosophy, fine arts, architecture, advertising, film studies, theater, music, museum studies, dance, and classical studies. Graduate programs include writing, Asia pacific studies, museum studies, and professional communication. The tuition varies on degree programs, see a breakdown by clicking here.

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4.     City College of Francisco

The City College of Francisco is organized into 8 schools including the School of Fine Applied Communication Arts which imparts education on critical thinking, creativity, artistic expression, and intelligent communication. This school only offers associate degrees preparing students for four-year colleges.

Academic departments within the school are Art, Broadcast Electronic Media Arts, Cinema, Journalism, Music, Photography, Theatre Arts, and Visual Media Design. See a breakdown of the tuition fees here.

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5.     San Francisco State University College of Liberal & Creative Arts

The College of Liberal & Creative Arts at San Francisco State University makes the institution one of the art schools in San Francisco. The college is committed to inspiring the next generation of thinkers, makers, and doers. It is organized into 21 academic departments and schools in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and 9 research centers and institutes.

There are 33 Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees, 27 Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees, and 7,400 majors, minors, and graduate students. The alums of this college are Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony award winners.

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6.     San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM)

Music is one of the popular art disciplines and if you are interested in developing your musical abilities in a school completely focused on music then SFCM is the school for you. It is a private music school established in 1917 and is operating to date. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and admits a small number of students.

SFCM is organized into the following departments and faculty; Brass, Composition, Conduction, Guitar, Historical Performance, Percussion, Piano/Keyboards, Roots, Jazz, and American Music, Strings, String and Piano Chamber Music, Technology and Applied Composition, Woodwinds, and Voice. Through these departments, degree programs are offered at bachelor’s, master’s, and postgraduate study levels, and an artist diploma is also offered.

International students from more than 30 countries are pursing a degree program or the other here. Class sizes are kept small with a student-teacher ratio of 3:1. The tuition t is $51,300 per annum, and about 99% of students receive scholarships.

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This wraps up the list of art schools in San Francisco, they are not many, unfortunately, but there are other prestigious art schools in California that you may want to check out.

Art Schools in San Francisco – FAQs

Is San Francisco good for artists?

Yes, San Francisco is good for artists, coming in right after Los Angeles in the review of America’s leading art centers and scenes for its concentration of working artists. The state, of San Francisco, is also named a vibrant hotbed of art and culture among major urban cities.

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Thaddaeus is a lead content creator at SAN with over 5 years of experience in the field of professional content creation. He has written several helpful articles for Blockchain projects in the past and even recently but since 2020, he has been more active in creating guides for students who want to study abroad.

When he's not writing, he's either watching anime, making a delicious meal, or definitely swimming.

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