San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI)

San Francisco, CA

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San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco Art Institute

SFAI Reviews

Overall School Rating:

Rated 4.5 of 5 Stars 5 Review

Job/Career Placement:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
College Life:
Rated 3.5 of 5 Stars
Safety & Security:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Campus Facilities:
Rated 3.5 of 5 Stars
On Campus Dining:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Local Atmosphere:
Rated 4.5 of 5 Stars
Off Campus Dining:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Nightlife:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Housing:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Diversity:
Rated 3.5 of 5 Stars
Academics:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars

Student Ratings

Reviews for San Francisco Art Institute

Student at This School - Grad Year 2015

Overall Rating

Detailed Ratings

Job/Career Placement:
Rated 2 of 5 Stars
College Life:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Safety & Security:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Campus Facilities:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
On Campus Dining:
Rated 1 of 5 Stars
Local Atmosphere:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Off Campus Dining:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Nightlife:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Housing:
Rated 2 of 5 Stars
Greek Life:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
Diversity:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Athletics:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
Academics:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Overall

What I like most about the school is the ability to study sculpture or photography even if one is a painting major. The most memorable experiences I've had have involved the myriad of teachers I've had. Whether they're giving a lecture or we're having a one-on-one discussion on a particular essay I'm writing or a painting I'm working on, these experiences are the ones I find most memorable and helpful at my school. If one really cares about what they're studying in school, the chances of a successful experience are more likely. Hard work is always important but again, it always makes it easier if one is passionate about what they're studying in school.

Academics

Since I've been going to this school, the workload has been stressful. To be considered a full-time student one needs to be enrolled in 4-5 classes. I have been taking five classes each semester and it's been quite a lot of work. Most of the professors are quite helpful and understanding. If one is not feeling well or needs a small extension on an essay, in my experience, the teachers have always understood and been flexible. The classes generally tend to be quite educational, though some are quite hard to get into since the limit to most classes is only fifteen students with absolutely no leniency. This small class size of course makes it so one is allowed more individual time with the teacher, especially in a studio class.

College Life

There are clubs on campus but not very many. It seems to be quite easy to start a club and once one does, they receive the necessary funding to keep it running. The social atmosphere is very tight-knit because the student body is quite miniscule. There are security guards on campus at all times, so if one would like to stay on campus over night, there's always a security guard present. In my experience, I have never felt unsafe at my school even at times when I'm there all night. There is no school mascot nor are there any athletics. Personally, I'm okay with this absence. There are always activities going on at school, whether it's a gallery opening, lecture, school dance, etc. There always seems to be something to do on campus.


Student at This School - Grad Year 2016

Overall Rating

Detailed Ratings

Job/Career Placement:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
College Life:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Safety & Security:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Campus Facilities:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
On Campus Dining:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Local Atmosphere:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Off Campus Dining:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Nightlife:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Housing:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Greek Life:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
Diversity:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Athletics:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
Academics:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Overall

I have never been more comfortable or happy then I am at SFAI. It has unreal resources for students and the public. The facilites are open 24/7, and can always be accessed. The academics incorporate art to make the students more interested. This is by the far the best art school in the world.

Academics

SFAI has a very wide variety of courses in areas of art from screen printing, to painting, to performance art, and so on. Every professor I've had has been very knowledgable and helpful. The work load is doable if you are committed, which you should be if you want to go to a school of this caliber. Because the school is so small (650 students) the classes are very intimate and engaging.

College Life

The dorms are in downtown San Francisco so there is always something to do when you aren't in class. Though there isn't food provided in the dorm there are plenty of good restaurants within walking distance.


Student at This School - Grad Year 2015

Overall Rating

Detailed Ratings

Job/Career Placement:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
College Life:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Safety & Security:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Campus Facilities:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
On Campus Dining:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Local Atmosphere:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Off Campus Dining:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Nightlife:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Housing:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Greek Life:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
Diversity:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Athletics:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
Academics:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Overall

Overall, I really like attending this school. Just about all of the faculty (including instructors in non-studio subjects) and much of the staff are also artists and continue to make art, so their relationship with students is generally very respectful, helpful, and understanding. The school is a non-profit school and their educational philosophy is all about preparing students not only to be masterful in the techniques of their individual artmaking disciplines, but also to engage in thinking critically about how and why we as artists make art and how our work fits contextually with the work of other artists that have come before us. The worst thing about the school is probably the parking situation (parking everywhere in the City is pretty abysmal for that matter)--classes are scheduled in three hours blocks, but there's only 2 hour parking in this neighborhood. Instructors are generally leniant about letting people out of class to move their cars though, and the campus is pretty easily accessible by public transportation.

Academics

If you're a serious student of fine art who is interested in learning more than the techniques and fundamentals of artmaking, you'll appreciate the academics at this school. Classes (except for lecture classes) are usually capped at 15 students meaning you'll get a lot of individualized attention from instructors and be able to participate in meaningful group discussions with other students in class. Non-studio classes are designed with artists in mind, and encourage students to think critically about subjects and theories that relate to and inform our artmaking practices. That being said, there is a lot of reading, essay writing, and taking of lecture notes--even in some of the studio classes. The work doesn't feel superfluous though; I feel like I'm gaining the vocabulary and insight to talk about my work in meaningful ways, that I'm having the right conversations to continue to grow in my art practice, and I that have no lack for inspiration when it comes to intelligent and conceptual subject matter. The instructors are professional, knowledgeable, and most of them continue to have successful careers in the arts, so it's great to be able to meet these outstanding men and women and to be able to pick their brains.

College Life

Other than gallery shows, there's not a lot going on as far as campus life. The school is a small school, however, so there is a general sense of community among the faculty and students. There are no sports teams and not very many active clubs, but Student Affairs occasionally organizes activities on campus or at the dorms (they do a lot during orientation week to ease students' transition into the school and allow them to meet other students before classes start, and I highly encourage new students to attend these events). The school also has a lecture series that's open to students and the public where they invite contemporary artists to talk about their work. The studios are left open for students to work 24 hours a day which is really convenient. Aside from that, San Francisco is a beautiful and vibrant city to live in and I always manage find interesting things to do.


Student at This School - Grad Year 2015

Overall Rating

Detailed Ratings

Job/Career Placement:
Rated 2 of 5 Stars
College Life:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Safety & Security:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Campus Facilities:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
On Campus Dining:
Rated 1 of 5 Stars
Local Atmosphere:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Off Campus Dining:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Nightlife:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Housing:
Rated 2 of 5 Stars
Greek Life:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
Diversity:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Athletics:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
Academics:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars

Overall Rating

Detailed Ratings

Job/Career Placement:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
College Life:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Safety & Security:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Campus Facilities:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
On Campus Dining:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Local Atmosphere:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Off Campus Dining:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Nightlife:
Rated 5 of 5 Stars
Housing:
Rated 3 of 5 Stars
Greek Life:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
Diversity:
Rated 2 of 5 Stars
Athletics:
Rated n/a of 5 Stars
Academics:
Rated 4 of 5 Stars
Overall

This school is in an amazing area in San Francisco. The local food is to die for. The building that SFAI is in is a mix of Old Mission style and a Brutalist update, it just works. The staff is very helpful and nice, they are always willing to answer questions, so never be afraid to ask even if you think that its dumb. The list of alumni is staggering. From Anne Leibovitz to Mark Rothko to Ansel Adams.

Academics

Classes appear to be very small, and there is a LOT of one on one attention. With less than 700 students, the campus is small and intimate. A perfect place to explore what art is. You are allowed to use any of the facilities, so if you are doing painting and feel like you want to go 3D, you have full access to the sculpture lab. I have heard the workload is harder than expected, but that they are pushing you to really be the best at what you do.

College Life

You are in San Francisco, the city is all around you. Weekend activities are endless. There are few clubs and organizations, but they are always willing to start up new ones if there is interest. The Diego Gallery changes every week, so there is an OPENING Every Week. You can sit next to the cafe, drink some coffee, and talk with any of the other students, they are very nice and welcome conversation.


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San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco Art Institute

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