Academy of Art University

Hopefully someone can give me some insight about this school. AAU seems like a good choice for me right now, so I am thinking of applying there for Industrial Design. Is anyone currently attending this school? Has anyone been educated through the AAU Online ID program? Tips, costs, anything you can give me that the school’s brochure hasn’t, personal experiences are wonderful and I’d love to hear from anyone who knows anything about this school.


Apart from the school itself spending money on useless things (like the digital sign that they just put up in front of the IDS building which costs 100k usd and then the Skateboard park) the IDS program, for me, seems strong. But this is my first semester :smiley:

The teachers that I currently have really work us out, but are willing to help if you ask for it. And the classes are intense! No kidding, and it’s like they want to kick you out the first semester, haha. I like the fact that we have our own separate building from the rest of the majors and to top it off it’s in San Francisco. As for the building itself, it’s a converted warehouse that used to be a car dealership or something. The workshop has most everything that you would need to work with on your projects.

As for the school itself. The library is horribly small for the size of the student body. But it’s not like you would have time to go there because you will be busy with work. The Campus Recreation people do some events but not really fun ones. The student housing is sub-par… but worth it so you can meet people from different majors. Don’t expect a lot from though. The tuition for Fall '08 is around 9k usd for full time. It’s really cheap compared to other art schools and that’s the reason why I went here.

Well, I don’t know what else to say. But being here is an experience and I’m liking it. So you should probably visit the place and ask questions :slight_smile:

Frankly, I know very little about AAU,but it isn’t well-known in the Id community. It is geting a bit better known for animation,but that is about it.

It is also a “for-profit” school,which always makes me a bit nervous. Generally for profit schools have an incentive to cut back on costs in order to pocket the difference in tuition. I would recommend very few “for profit” art schools… I won’t say none are good ( such as SVA),but most of their goals are to make a profit…Duh.

Why on god’s green earth would you pick a school that has no or very little reputation among employers for a subject? You are stacking the odds against you. Notice, I am NOT saying that AAU gives a bad education in art and design. It just isn’t well-recognized among employers.

Wow. Ok, how did you hear that it pockets your money? I’d like to know to tell the difference between schools. From what I knew, it’s a known private school for ID in San Fran…

I went to AAC, but not for ID. Yes, it’s expensive and sometimes you feel like they constantly have a hand in your pocket. The instructors I had were a mixed bag from great to crap, but generally ok. I will say that the school had very good facilities and resources available to students, which is great if you’re the type to really take your education in your own hands instead of some prof spoon feeding you.

But for ID in SF, I’d probably recommend CCA instead. Some dude named Yves is the Chair for the ID department there and I’ve heard he knows a thing or two about design.

Click the link to see notes and pics from my visit there:

Ehv, I never said that they pocket your money. I simply said that they are a “for profit” vs a “non- profit” organization. Thus, any profit generated is kept by them for their unlimited use. At least Non-profits have limits on how much the founds can take out. Most of the money in a non-profit must inure to the benefit of the non-profit.

Also, as I have said, I don’t know much about their ID program other than that they take almost everyone and have no admission standards that I am aware of. They could be a good school for ID for all I know. Certainly, they are supposed to have a decent transportation design program,but I don’t know anything about their program other than hearsay.

Oh, alright. Thanks just a little unsure of what you meant there. :slight_smile:

I’m currently a first semester IDS student at AAU and I can tell you this. It’s hard! :open_mouth: The teachers that I have are very well read and understand their respective subjects very well. They WILL help you if you don’t even ask for it, so that’s a plus if you think you know what you’re doing but have no idea how you got there, they question you. The building itself is nicknamed “The Warehouse” because it use to be a car dealership building and it’s pretty big and cool because we have our own building. The workshop is fine with all the machines that you need for the projects.
I wanted to go to this school because it was the cheapest of all the design schools that had the IDS program. But, I didn’t really expect much when I got here, although I’m really excited that “The Warehouse” will be my third home for the next couple of years :smiley:
So just come here and do that student tour and visit to see if you really want to spend your life in SF… it’s really different.

Great tips everyone. Rawr, it’s only 9k a year? I read in their info they sent me it’s 600 a credit hour (which would total about 74K by graduation I believe) Can you tell me anything about that? From personal experience, does AAU focus mainly on automotive design? I’m interested as mainly a product designer. And again, if anyone has experience with the ID online program, or if you know someone who is, let me know. Because I don’t think I can move out to San Fran yet, but would like to start school. Thanks

No, it’s 8k-9k a semester, including registration fees, class fees and stuff, but now the tuition rate for this coming Fall is 670usd a unit.
And if you walk around the Warehouse, you will definitely see an abundance of Transportation design work being displayed. And there’s only one display box for Product design work, only because Product design work is smaller compared to Transportation design work. But they do separate the majors in separate rooms once you are in those designated courses.
I’m also a product design major, but I don’t see any bias toward any major because I’m currently taking core classes that both majors have to take.
And as for the online program, I don’t know anything about it, but I’m taking online courses during Summer semester so that I can go back home.
And if you plan to take online courses and are following the recommended class schedule for each semester, then I would advise that you take the classes in person. The classes that I’m currently taking are hands on classes, except for CAD. And I don’t think Perspective, Modelmaking, and Design Problem Solving have online classes? But then again, I think it would be good to take Liberal Arts courses (ie. History, English) online.
So, hopefully this helps yout out a bit. You’ll definitely have fun being an IDS major, but it’s demanding.