San Francisco Art Institute is a higher education institution focused in contemporary art and is located in San Francisco, California. The institute is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. At SFAI, education isn’t just about art, it is about inspiring creative and critical thinking in an open atmosphere of expression.
At the core of SFAI academics is the central principle of art education: practice and critique. This type of learning addresses the student through their own experience and motivates them to break social conventions, revise, reform, and grow. In this sense, learning at SFAI is not as compartmentalized as in a typical college and allows students to explore their own creativity without as many boundaries.
This is what contributes to the colleges academic design. There are more general majors rather than training students for a particular arts. Art is free flowing. It is best when not divided and mechanized. On the other hand, there are programs in Contemporary Practice, Design & Technology, Film, Liberal Arts, New Genres, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, History & Theory of Contemporary Art, and Urban Studies. These are available in undergraduate courses.
Graduate students can earn a Summer Master of Fine Arts, a standard Master of Fine Arts, a Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Fine Arts, and a Master of Arts in Exhibition & Museum Studies, Urban Studies, and History & Theory of Contemporary Art. What is unique about the graduate portion of the institute is the relationship between research and art. In a time of accelerated paradigm shifts, graduate programs explore the dynamic between inquiry and practice as well as integrate knowledge to affirm these studies. In this sense, a Master of Fine Arts is truly a master.
As an art institute, it is rather difficult to extend education over the Internet. Distance learning is not a current capability of SFAI, although, there are some art schools that have incorporated innovative and effective programs disseminating art education. It is possible that San Francisco Art Institute will offer distance learning in the future, but, a program of that nature will take much time and deliberation to form.
The institute is ripe with financial aid, on the fortunate side. To start with 1 in 4 students receives federal aid as an approximate marker for each year. 5% of the student body receives financial aid directly from the state of California in the form of a grant. The institute itself awards 92% of the student population with an annual grant, based on a variety of factors. The average grant size for this group of recipients is $8,344. For a school that demands over $30,000 per year for graduates and undergraduates alike, this is a crucial source of aid for many students. This leaves just about half of the student body to take out student loans.