The San Francisco Art Institute 
800 Chestnut Street 
San Francisco, California 94133
(800) 345-SFAI 

men 213/women 216 
men 38/women 55 
Graduate School: 
men 60/women 68 
men 4/women 10

Number who applied: 
Number accepted: 
Number enrolled: 
Average SAT scores: 
(not tracked) 
Average ACT score: 
(not tracked) 
Average GPA: 
(not tracked) 
Freshman retention rate: 

Supplies & books: 
Personal expenses: 
$1,800 (estimated) 
Municipal transportation: 
$6,400 (estimated) 
$1,800 (estimated) 

Freshmen receiving aid: 
Average financial aid package: 

Student-faculty ratio: 

The regular studio faculty is composed of 64 professional artists all of who have exhibited widely and are recognized in their respective media of expression. An additional 12 faculty members teach courses in letters and science and in art history. The current student-faculty ratio is slightly less than 10:1, conducive to close interaction between students and the faculty members with whom they choose to work. The Institute is committed to a personalized system of learning that emphasizes freedom and experimentation.

Art Institute students range in age from 17 to 70 (the median age is around 27). They represent every region of the United States and some two-dozen countries. Superficially, their ethnic, economic, social and cultural backgrounds would seem to portend little common ground. Yet, every semester, as a result of their shared allegiance to the pursuit of self-expression, they miraculously coalesce into a community much like an "extended family," to use Dean Larry Thomas' phrase.

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The San Francisco Art Institute  
800 Chestnut Street 
San Francisco, California 94133

San Francisco Art Institute
San Francisco Art Institute's tower from the south looking up. 

College Description 
No school is right for everyone. At the San Francisco Art Institute, we are particularly selective for a number of reasons. Of course, there's our size. That means our students enjoy greater access to facilities than at most other schools and a more personalized relationship with faculty. By limiting our numbers we are able to ensure year to year that the unique intimacy and intensity of our community remain intact.

Our exclusivity is also based on our single-minded emphasis on art. We are a unique place, committed to a highly specialized art education for a unique group of individuals. We don't blend the fine arts with commercial and applied studies. This dedication to the fine arts has served us, and our graduates, well.

For more than 125 years, the San Francisco Art Institute has fostered some of the most eminent artists in the world. You come here an artist. We provide you with the skills and experiences you will need for a productive life in the arts.

Academic Life 
The San Francisco Art Institute's Bachelor of Fine Arts Program is designed to provide emerging artists on all levels of experience with the mastery they will need for productive lives in the arts. Students may pursue degrees in Filmmaking, Interdisciplinary Arts — including Digital Media, New Genres — Performance Art & Video, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture — including Ceramic Sculpture.

The programs emphasize vision, skill, intellectual development and hands-on experience.

Whether you decide to study one medium exclusively or take advantage of the Art Institute's flexibility to design a course of study including more than one traditional discipline, you will be challenged and supported in your efforts to create work that is personal and unique. Throughout the curriculum skill courses on all levels help you bring those visions to life. Letters and Science courses, along with an Institute-wide emphasis on critique, provide the intellectual confidence every successful artist needs.

The Art Institute believes in the value of practical experience , students have ample opportunities to exhibit their work and participate in internships. The school's unique position as a vital member of the local, national and international art world is emphasized by innovative classes that expand the artist's visionary role beyond the walls of the studio, encouraging interaction with the larger community. In particular, the school creates a variety of opportunities to take advantage of the Bay Area's thriving art, film, performance, photography and video enclaves.

Campus Life 
All students live off campus in private apartments or studios, and the Institute recommends several local residence clubs for temporary or long-term room and board, in which new students may reserve space before their arrival. The Institute maintains a roommate referral service and housing bulletin boards.

Facilities and Resources 
In filmmaking, there are complete facilities for shooting Super-8 and 16-mm film, silent or with synchronized sound; two studios for lighting and staging; and complete editing facilities.

Painting facilities include four large painting studios with racks, and two spacious drawing studios. For third- and fourth-year students who participate in the honors studio program, there are semiprivate studios on campus.

Photography facilities include a laboratory with eighteen private darkrooms and a group laboratory accommodating up to 10 students. There are two rooms facilitating 8x10 and 5x7 negatives and a mural room for projecting both black-and-white and color.

Printmaking facilities include three Brand presses and an offset press for lithography and an acid-bath sink, transfer of air, and two Brand presses for etching. The Printmaking Department's darkroom serves the photographic needs of the area.

Sculpture facilities include areas for work in plaster, wood, and metal and an area for work in fiberglass, plastic, stone, and cement. The ceramic sculpture studio is equipped for low-fire clay bodies and glazes. There are facilities for slip casting, making ceramic decals, china painting, throwing, building, airbrushing, and spraying.

A large, versatile studio is available for use by New Genres majors seven days and seven evenings per week. In this studio, students can work out pieces with or without the aid of a technician, who is available to help with the operation of video and audio equipment.

An invaluable resource for students is the Anne Bremer Memorial Library with its general collection of more than 25,000 volumes; special collections of rare books, artists' books, international exhibition catalogs, and Institute archives; and subscriptions to more than 200 periodicals. The library's Media Department houses more than 30,000 slides; audio tapes Of poetry readings, experimental music, and visiting artists' lectures; artists videotapes, and the Louis B. Mayer film collection. 

Exhibition spaces at the Art Institute include the Emanuel Walter and Atholl McBean galleries, with a continuous, year-round program of contemporary exhibitions, and the Diego Rivera Gallery reserved for the exhibition of student work.

The Digital Media Center is a Macintosh-based facility. Applications and software are appropriate to support art-making in all fine art disciplines currently offered through the Institute's curriculum. This facility encompasses CD-ROM, multimedia sound, and Internet access, as well as specific applications for printmaking, photography, painting and drawing, sculpture film and video, and other genres.

Financial Aid 
The San Francisco Art institute administers: scholarships, loans, grants, and work-study opportunities. In addition to awards solely on the basis of financial need, each spring merit-based scholarships are awarded to students admitted for undergraduate study beginning in the subsequent fall semester.

Application for all types of financial aid administered by the Institute requires a completed application for admission and the Free Application for Federal Student (FAFSA). Students who apply by April 1 receive priority consideration for available financial aid funds.

Approximately 75 percent of the Institute's students receive some form of financial aid. In addition to applying for aid through the Federal Pell Grant Program, students should write to their state department of education for information about state grant and loan programs. Additional information is available from the Institute's Financial Aid Office.

Admission Requirements 
All applicants are required to submit a portfolio of ten to fifteen slides of original artwork, official transcripts from all secondary and post-secondary institutions, SAT or ACT scores, a statement of purpose, one letter of recommendation, an application form and $50 nonrefundable application fee.

The most important element in the application is the portfolio. Academic grades and test scores are taken into consideration as well. Personal interviews and letters of recommendation may be required in some cases.

Admission decisions are made on an individual basis, taking into account artistic achievement, personal maturity, and dedication to fine art, as well as academic background.

The institute has a rolling admission policy; applicants are notified of the admission decision as soon as their file has been reviewed.

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