Important decision: Academy of Art University or SCAD.


I have a really important decision to make concerning the school I’ll be attending this fall and I was hoping anyone with knowledge about the Academy of Art University and The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) could help me out. I have applied for both and I would really appreciate if anyone could share their thoughts about these schools:

Which one do you think is better?

Do you know someone in there? Do you study there? What are the experiences do you know?

Which one has more connections to important design industries?

Which one is more recognized for its IDS Undergraduate Program?

Does the surrounding city (San Francisco or Savannah) have an importance in the studying experience? Do you believe it does? For example, San Francisco is one of the most important cities in the country and has more museums, shows, galleries and events that could add to the studying experience (especially talking about Industrial Design, since big companies such as Apple are in California).

This is really important for me and I have to take a decision soon. I will deeply appreciate any useful comments. Please write everything you think I should know about both universities and the experience they offer as a whole.

Thank you.


Both are great schools. I’ve seen a lot of great work coming out of SCAD students recently thats both rich in style and substance.

Ultimately it’s YOUR decision where you want to live for 4 years. Does the idea of living in Georgia for 4 years appeal to you? Both schools will give you the education and connections you need to get a good job - it’s as simple as that.

You should visit each school and form your own opinion - this is the first real decision of your adult life, and you won’t be able to get a feel for the towns if you’re asking people online. Theres a big culture difference, and if you don’t feel comfortable living somewhere you shouldn’t go to the school just because someone says they have better drawing classes.

Visit them both.

You shouldn’t invest in a $100,000+ education without spending $200 on a plane ticket to visit them both ( for cheap flights). Never buy a car from seeing the commercial, the same applies for college.

SanFran is - so beautiful, big city, rainy, foggy, cold, beach town, very expensive

SAV is - so beautiful, small city, warm, humid, sunny, beach town, very cheap

I went to SCAD, and I enjoyed it/loved it.
I’m actually flying to SanFran tomorrow for a mini-vation, sort of.

Academy for me, personally, is a great school. I am originally from the Bay Area, and love the atmosphere and diversity of the city itself.

As for curriculum, it is a pretty intense courseload, as with all ID programs. You spend the first year gaining/improving visualization and modeling skills. Pretty much for the first 2 semesters, you will be modeling in 3d, learning some digital CAD, analog Perspective drawing, and rapid sketching. This foundation year will set you up for success in the Product or Transportation Design courses you take the rest of your time at the school. I heard SCAD is good too, but you should probably visit both schools to see what fits for you.

I agree with Taylor. You should go visit each one before making your decision. I love Sanfran and I love Savannah. Both are great towns and both schools are great for different reasons.

I personally when to SCAD and got a great education and now have a great job. It was a fun town I had a lot of fun in my 4 years there. Although I went to SAnFran a couple years back and had an amazing time.

Hope this helps.

Without knowing much about the curriculum of both schools (except that I’ve heard good things about both), I would go to San Francisco if you can…

I’ve lived in the Bay Area and the South (a little north of Savannah). I found there was a lot more worldly culture to soak up in San Francisco, and there were great designers and firms within a 50 mile radius. As a life experience, you probably wouldn’t regret SF…

there is the other side about so much cool stuff outside of school that you might get distracted and the higher costs of everything. Too bad you can’t do both for a couple years


I wanted to thank you for posting your advice. I got accepted into both schools with the difference that SCAD is giving me an $8K scholarship. SCAD has also scholarships for continuing students, which is great since I could get a bigger one on my second year. Ultimately, I decided to choose SCAD for this, for its reputation as a great school and for the opportunities it offers to IDS students (I recently learned about the vTech project in Hong Kong and I think is great to be offered an experience like this one to students). I’m sure I won’t regret this choice. I’ll be visiting SCAD this month. If anyone wants to share some comments or give me some advice I will apreciate it.


Congrats and good luck!! I think you will be very happy with you decision.


one of the most beautiful cities in the US, and one of the best ID colleges in the US.

You definitely won’t regret your decision. I’m enrolled at SCAD right now and have been thoroughly impressed with the ID department and the quality of work that comes out of the place.
Just get ready for some hot spring/fall quarters :stuck_out_tongue: