Academy of Art University

Photo: Courtesy of Academy of Art University

Photo: Courtesy of Academy of Art University

Location: San Francisco, California, USA


Undergraduate & Graduate: Costume Design; Fashion Design; Fashion Journalism; Fashion Marketing; Fashion Merchandising; Fashion Product Development; Footwear & Accessory Design; Knitwear Design; Textile Design

Undergraduate Only: Fashion Styling; Fashion Visual Merchandising 

Graduate Only: Fashion Art Direction; Fashion Marketing & Brand Management; Fashion Merchandising & Management

Annual Tuition: $26,399

Famous Alumni: Ryan Roche, Munsoo Kwon, Brandon Kee, Kara, Laricks, Camilla Olsen, Kenneth Ning, Jenny Swan.

Companies that recruit from this school, according to the school: Y-3, Alexander McQueen, Adidas, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Celine, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Saint Laurent.

New programs and partnerships of note: Industry partnerships with CDFA Fashion Future.

Graduation rate: 44% 

Acceptance rate: 65%

Average class size: 12

Student/teacher ratio: 20:1

Classes are taught in: English

Percentage of international students: 37%

What the Students Say: 

"This school is the best place for collaboration and working with students of different majors like photography, design, journalism etc. It's THE school for aspiring stylists!"

"This school is great for learning techniques and professionalism as the teachers are industry members.  The financial aid is a joke though with very minimum financial support."

"The fashion product development major specifically has been a great program that has helped me find a job before even graduating. The faculty is great at recognizing passionate students and helps them excel in their career and goals. They are a very caring group of administrators. I have not seen any other program at our school care so much about the students."

"It's a good school for designers that want a hands on experience in designing and producing actual garments by themselves, and are prepared for a challenge."

Spring 2019 show. Photo: Randy Brooke/Getty Images

Spring 2019 show. Photo: Randy Brooke/Getty Images

The Bottom Line: This school in the heart of San Francisco has an impressively wide range of fashion concentrations from design to journalism to styling at both the undergraduate and graduate level. It also offers online courses and has a big graduate fashion show. Students tended not to be as satisfied with financial aid advising as they were at some other schools on this list, and said the workload could be overwhelming at times. But generally they were happy and satisfied with things like resources, career preparedness and student-teacher ratios.

More Info:

The 25 Best Fashion Schools in the World in 2019: See the full list.

Last updated December 2019.