San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco Art Institute, SFAI, traces its roots to the San Francisco Art Association which was established in 1871 and led to the creation of the California School of Design in 1873. The institute was renamed California School of Fine Arts in 1916, and ultimately came to be known as San Francisco Art Institute in 1961. The SFAI campus occupies 4 acres in San Francisco, California.

San Francisco Art Institute confers the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts, and Master of Fine Arts degrees. Several post-baccalaureate certificate programs of study are also available. The different courses are offered through the following 2 divisions:

  • School of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • School of Studio Practice

SFAI students publish a newsletter known as the "Dialogue". The institute is home to an honor society, ad honorem. Students are also involved in other clubs and organizations including the Alternative Media Coalition, Art After Hours, Gamers Club, the Indigenous Arts Coalition, the Productive Publishing Club, the Shaved Apes Motorcycle Club, and SFAI Racquet Club.

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Contacting San Francisco Art Institute

San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut St
San Francisco , CA 94133-2299
General Phone: (415) 771-7020

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San Francisco Art Institute Programs and Degrees (2008-2009)

General CategoryDegreesMost Common Majors [see all]
Fine Arts93art history and criticism, painting, sculpture
Photography and Commercial Art61cinematography, photography, printmaking
Drama and Performing Arts21various performing arts
Design12design and visual communication
Liberal Arts8museum studies, interdisciplinary studies, urban studies

Number of programs and degrees for San Francisco Art Institute in 2008-2009:

Degree LevelTotal
Number of
Master's degree9810
Bachelor's degree7910
Postbaccalaureate certificate187

San Francisco Art Institute Student Body

In 2007-2008, San Francisco Art Institute had a total enrollment of 655 students (646 full-time equivalent).

Students in the Freshman Class:

Group Percent
Men 32%
Women 68%
Full-Time 97%
Part-Time 3%

Students By Class:

Group Percent
Undergraduate 66%
Graduate 34%

Racial Diversity:

Race Percent
White 61%
Black 3%
Hispanic 8%
Asian 8%
American Indian 1%
Unknown 10%
(Foreign Students) 9%

Students by Age:

Age Percent
Under 18 0%
18-19 14%
20-21 13%
22-24 18%
25-29 29%
30-34 11%
35-39 7%
40-49 4%
50-64 3%

San Francisco Art Institute Graduation, Retention, and Transfers

Retention Rates (2007):

Group Returning From
Previous Year
Full-Time 69 %
Part-Time 67 %

San Francisco Art Institute Room and Board (2007)

San Francisco Art Institute offers campus housing for 115 of its 646 (full-time) students. Freshmen are required to live on campus.

(Please refer to our profile of San Francisco, California for details about the area surrounding the campus. Also see our list of other California Colleges).

The school does not offer students a meal plan.

San Francisco Art Institute Admissions and Selectivity


EnrolledPercent of
Accepted Enrolled

Standardized Test Scores:

Test25th Percentile75th Percetile
SAT Verbal470580
SAT Math410550
SAT Writing460580
ACT Verbal2232
ACT Math1724
ACT Composite2027

Application Requirements:

Class Ranknot required
High School Recordrequired
College Prep Programrecommended
Formal Demonstration of Competencerequired
Standardized Tests (SAT and/or ACT)required
Percent of Applicants Submitting SAT71%
Percent of Applicants Submitting ACT13%
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)required
Other Standardized Testsnot required

San Francisco Art Institute Expenses and Financial Aid (2008-2009)

Expenses and Financial Aid:

Expense Amount
In-state tuition and fees $ 30,196
Out-of-state tuition and fees $ 30,196
Room and board $ 9,972
Room charge $ 6,750
Board (meal plan) charge $ 3,222
Books and supplies $ 1,566
Other expenses $ 2,970

Financial Aid:
San Francisco Art Institute participates in Federal Title IV financial aid programs. (The school's OPE ID is 394800)

San Francisco Art Institute Faculty

San Francisco Art Institute has a tenure system for faculty.

Salaries for full-time faculty:

Full-Time Faculty (2008-2009):

Full-Time Faculty LevelContract LengthNumber MenAvg Salary MenNumber WomenAvg Salary Women
Associate professorcalendar year20$60,30513$51,474
Assistant professorcalendar year1*2*
Instructorcalendar year0*1*
All faculty totalcalendar year21$59,96416$53,466

*: salaries are not displayed where there are fewer than 3 professors in the category.

San Francisco Art Institute Degree Programs (2007)

Design and Visual Communications, General

Drama And Performing Arts
Visual and Performing Arts, Other

Fine Arts
Art History, Criticism and Conservation

Liberal Arts
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other
Museology/Museum Studies
Urban Studies/Affairs

Photography And Commercial Art
Cinematography and Film/Video Production

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San Francisco Art Institute Highlights

(Details are provided further down on this page.)

What Sets San Francisco Art Institute Apart:

% of degrees in fine arts
(vs. all colleges)
Top 3%$pretty_college $award_cats{$char}
% of degrees in drama and performing arts
(vs. all colleges)
Top 3%$pretty_college $award_cats{$char}
% of degrees in photography and commercial art
(vs. all colleges)
Top 4%$pretty_college $award_cats{$char}
Selectivity (based on % of applicants accepted)
(vs. all colleges)
Top 4%$pretty_college $award_cats{$char}
Number of degree programs
(vs. colleges of similar size)
Top 13%San Francisco Art Institute Number of degree programs
Faculty/student ratio (full-time)
(vs. all colleges)
Top 15%San Francisco Art Institute Faculty/student ratio (full-time)
Dorm rooms per full-time student
(vs. colleges of similar size)
Top 18%San Francisco Art Institute Dorm rooms per full-time student

checked Accepts some high school credits
checked Grants credits for AP courses
checked Career counseling
checked Career services
checked Student employment services
checked Option to study abroad
checked Offers part-time study
checked On-campus library
checked Offers campus housing
checked Tenure system for quality teaching

Selected Employment Categories of Interest

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(Based on an automated mapping of degrees popular at San Francisco Art Institute with government-defined occupation categories)

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