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Founded by Richard S. Stephens, an established artist and art educator, in 1929, this renowned university draws its inspiration from its vibrant city surroundings - providing a focal point for creatively inclined individuals looking for education in the visual arts. Academy of Art University (AAU) boasts a diverse student population that encompasses both undergraduate and graduate students. Operating on a semester basis and offering an array of academic programs, its dedicated approach ensures personalized attention, especially with its 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Academy of Art University takes great pride in its faculty of full-time instructional teachers who offer expertise and industry experience in each classroom session.

Overview of Academy of Art University (AAU)

Academy of Art University (AAU) is exactly what it sounds like, an art-focused institution offering various degrees in fields like design, multimedia, apparel and textile manufacture, and costume design. Students at this renowned art university have the chance to explore exciting creative fields with the aim of entering art and design industries. Their commitment to excellence has earned them consistent recognition from National Center for Education Statistics, offering students the ideal learning environment to hone their artistic talents and pursue their passions. This institution provides a transformative educational experience, which propels its graduates toward successful careers in their chosen fields.

General Information

School Type Private for-profit
Campus Setting City: Large
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 15:1
Graduation Rate 44%
Year Founded 1929

Student Enrollment

Total Students6,786


Undergraduate Student

Male 1,959
Female 2,596

Graduate Student

Male 959
Female 1,272

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Top Rankings For Academy of Art University

AAU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male NA
Female NA


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Female NA

Acceptance RateNA

Male NA
Female NA

Enrollment NA

Male NA
Female NA
Application Fee $50
High School GPA NA
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts NA
College Prep Courses NA
Recommendations NA
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) NA
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted No

AAU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Enrolling at the Academy of Art University can incur numerous expenses, such as the cost of tuition, books and supplies, on-campus room and board, class fees, transportation, and any miscellaneous or personal costs. Tuition costs can vary based on your program and degree level, but undergraduate tuition for the 2022-23 academic year was estimated at $55,579 for those living on campus. Please be aware that tuition rates may change; it's always advisable to visit the official website to stay informed.

Off-campus living offers students a more flexible option for meeting expenses than on campus living, depending on location and individual choices. Room and board expenses will depend upon these aspects as well as transportation, personal expenses and entertainment costs that might be incurred during off-campus stays.

However, there are ways to mitigate the costs of a college education. Academy of Art University offers access to financial aid for students who need help paying for their education. Over 80% of students received financial aid in a recent year. This aid includes scholarships, grants, federal aid, and private loans. After financial aid was applied in 2021-22, students paid an average net price of $35,616.

Average net price 2021-2022
Net Price $35,616
Average Total Aid $8,868
Students Receiving Financial Aid 83%
Room & Board $23,746

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $28,024
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $28,024
  • Books and Supplies - $938
  • Room & Board - $23,746
  • Other - $2,871

Popular Academic Programs at AAU

Academy of Art University provides a diverse selection of academic offerings within art and design. Students have access to degrees in fields like graphic design, illustration, fashion design, cinematography, animation photography, advertising, industrial design, interior architecture design, game development, and many more.

Academy of Art University provides degrees and tailored programs that cater to its students' specific interests and career goals. This includes online degree programs, which give individuals who cannot attend classes directly the flexibility of participating from wherever they are. Certificate programs provide in-depth skills development in specific fields, with focused courses that will prepare graduates to jump right into their chosen roles and meet their career goals.

The school’s retention rate is high at 70%, and the graduation rate doesn’t fall too far below the average, with a 44% overall graduation rate. There is also a 17% transfer-out rate, suggesting that a portion of those students who do not graduate from this institution may go on to graduate from another educational institution instead.

Student Population Total

Student Population 6,786

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Visual and Performing Arts 265 Total Graduates / 39%
Cinematography and Film/Video Production 42 Graduates
Digital Arts 42 Graduates
Fashion/Apparel Design 40 Graduates
Illustration 37 Graduates
All Computer and Information Sciences Majors 149 Total Graduates / 22%
Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation 65 Graduates
Computer Graphics 40 Graduates
Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design 23 Graduates
Computer Software and Media Applications, Other 18 Graduates
Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services 100 Total Graduates / 15%
Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics, and Special Effects 95 Graduates
Recording Arts Technology/Technician 5 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 71 Total Graduates / 10%
Drafting and Design Technology/Technician, General 34 Graduates
Architectural Drafting and Architectural CAD/CADD 19 Graduates
CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician 18 Graduates
All Family and Consumer Sciences Majors 48 Total Graduates / 7%
Apparel and Textile Marketing Management 17 Graduates
Apparel and Textile Manufacture 15 Graduates
Fashion and Fabric Consultant 10 Graduates
Apparel and Textiles, General 3 Graduates
Consumer Merchandising/Retailing Management 3 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 7%

Outcome & Salary

Academy of Art University graduates have enjoyed outstanding results in their careers, with high job placement rates and impressive average salaries. The university takes great pride in the success stories of its alumni who have made an impression on the art and design industries. The school’s graduates consistently experience excellent job placement rates. A significant number of them secure employment within six months after graduating due to the Academy's network of industry connections and career development resources. This impressive record reflects the university’s dedication to equipping its graduates with all of the knowledge and tools required for success in their chosen fields.

Graduates of the Academy of Art University can look forward to receiving competitive salaries both immediately and later in their careers. Starting salaries tend to be impressive for alumni; after 10 years in their industry, they often experience a substantial increase in earnings. Notable alumni from the Academy of Art University have achieved incredible success across various creative industries, further demonstrating the institution's ability to foster talent and support career growth. These individuals serve as examples for current and prospective students about all that await them after graduating.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary NA
College Grads Average Salary $72,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary NA
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $720,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential NA
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $142,464
10 Year Projected ROI $577,536
20 Year Projected ROI NA
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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