San Francisco Art Institute

2014 Quick Stats
800 Chestnut Street

San Francisco, CA 94133

Phone: (415) 749-4519
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
rolling admission

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San Francisco Art Institute is a private institution that was founded in 1871. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 453, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 4 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Its tuition and fees are $38,406 (2013-14).

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Founded in 1871, the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) is one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious schools of higher education in contemporary art. A small school with global impact, SFAI has been central to some of the most important art movements of the last century (fine art photography, Abstract Expressionism, Bay Area Figuration, Funk art, avant-garde film, Conceptualism, video and performance art), and notable past faculty and students include Richard Diebenkorn, Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Enrique Chagoya, Kathryn Bigelow, Peter Pau, Paul Kos, George Kuchar, Lance Acord, and Kehinde Wiley. SFAI is dedicated to the intrinsic value of art and its vital role in shaping and enriching society and the individual. As a diverse community of working artists and scholars, the Institute provides its students with a rigorous education in the fine arts and preparation for a life in the arts through an immersive studio environment, an integrated liberal arts curriculum, and critical engagement with the world. Programs in Design and Technology, Film, New Genres, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Urban Studies, History and Theory of Contemporary Art, and Exhibition and Museum Studies emphasize creativity and critical thinking in an open, experimental, and interdisciplinary environment. SFAI enrolls more than 650 students in undergraduate and graduate programs, and offers a wide range of continuing education courses and public programs. The historic Chestnut Street campus is located in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood, and the Graduate Center is located in San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood. The culmination of the studio art programs at the graduate level is the MFA Exhibition, which attracts thousands of visitors and is noted for its diverse, cutting-edge creative outlook. The current faculty includes leading contemporary artists, and the school hosts dozens of internationally acclaimed visiting artists and scholars each year. SFAI also fosters partnerships with cultural organizations including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Headlands Center for the Arts, and Kadist Art Foundation. Students and alumni benefit from the culturally rich, socially progressive, and diverse Bay Area--a center of art, design, and technological innovation. At SFAI, the focus is on educating artists who will become the creative leaders of their generation.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1871
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $7,649,040


When applying to San Francisco Art Institute, it's important to note the application deadline is rolling. The application fee at San Francisco Art Institute is $65. It has an an acceptance rate of 62.8 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity N/A
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 62.8%
Application deadline rolling
SAT/ACT scores must be received by N/A

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at San Francisco Art Institute is 11:1, and the school has 93.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at San Francisco Art Institute include: Photography; Painting; Visual and Performing Arts, Other; Printmaking; and Design and Visual Communications, General. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 56 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 11:1
4-year graduation rate 21%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Photography 33%
Painting 32%
Visual and Performing Arts, Other 10%
Printmaking 8%
Design and Visual Communications, General 5%

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Student Life

San Francisco Art Institute has a total undergraduate enrollment of 453, with a gender distribution of 40.8 percent male students and 59.2 percent female students. At this school, 29 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 71 percent of students live off campus.

Total enrollment 670
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association N/A

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Campus Info & Services

San Francisco Art Institute offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring and health insurance. San Francisco Art Institute also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at San Francisco Art Institute.

Students who have cars on campus N/A
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At San Francisco Art Institute, 92.4 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $5,434.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $38,406 (2013-14)
Room and board $11,200 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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