Academy of Art students

Resolve to Go “All In” on the Academy Experience: The No Regrets Approach

Happy New Year, and welcome to Spring semester. The beginning of a new art school year is now upon us, and what started as a hum in campus activity during Orientation Week has now become a full-on buzz.

We extend a special welcome to students and faculty who are new here. Welcome to our highly creative, collaborative, academically rigorous community of thinkers, makers, and doers. We’re glad you are here.


Students are the lifeblood of this place. If you’ve ever been here during break, it becomes painfully clear that the Academy isn’t quite the Academy until the students are back on campus. It’s so quiet. It’s so empty. (Hold me.)

A co-worker recently described it quite well: “The first day of class is the last day of boring.”

OK “boring” is probably the wrong word; we haven’t been just sitting around idle while you were on break. We have been planning and preparing for your return. We plan to make sure that the first weeks of the semester are worry free. We work to make sure your semester is great in every way. We strive to help make your year amazing. We do all this because we want your overall “Academy Experience” to be unforgettable.

To help make sure you don’t miss out on some of the sometimes overlooked opportunities we’ve planned for you, we’ve put together a short list of ways you can get the most out of your Academy Experience.


The best way to know what’s going on across campus is to visit and bookmark the following awesome resources:

In addition to the all-important events calendar, we highlight success stories, club and student-run events, and opportunities to participate on a weekly basis. So you’ll want to visit often. You can also check out events, photos, and other campus life on social media:


One of the best ways to enjoy college (and to put all our planning to good use) is to choose to make it great. Implement a “no regrets” policy. Choose to go all in. Participate. Get out there and experience all that this city and university has to offer.  Never taking time for fun is no way to live at all. As long as you’re still in college, it’s not too late for you to capitalize on your situation by taking on the best of student life while you can.


If you’re new here, and even if you’ve been here for fifty years, you’re just in time to be a part of our 90th anniversary festivities. That’s right. We’ve been helping artists and designers launch their creative careers since 1929.

Planning for our 90th celebration is well underway. And while it’s important to tip our hats to our pioneering predecessors, we’ll spend more time looking to our future. So be on the lookout for opportunities to raise our glasses to the next 90 years. Check the blog and website often for details on coming events.


Yes, this is a “must-do.”  Why?  Because it’s free, it’s fun, and our athletes are impressive bunch of NCAA Division 2 monsters (who also do art and design).  There are even free shuttles to the home games.

Online students can participate by watching the games live online. So check the schedule, get some of your friends together, and go check out a game. The only thing you have to lose is your voice from cheering your Urban Knights on to victory.

We also have an app for Athletics, so download here if you’re on iOS, and here if you’re using Android.


Sporting events aren’t the only affordable benefits students have access to. Did you know that Academy students can enjoy discounts and perks from places like the Apple Store, Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate shops, Blick art supplies, Lu Lu Lemon, and Subway Sandwiches? This is a small sampling of discounts available. Find the full list here.


One of the best ways to get involved, try something new, and meet new people is to join a club on campus. There are clubs for sports, games, and social issues, so you’re sure to find something that intrigues you. Not only will joining a club expand your social circle, but it will allow you to give back to your community on campus by becoming a part of it.

Academy of Art students enjoying San Francisco


One thing that makes the Academy great is our location in the heart of San Francisco, a center of creative enterprise. Studying art and design at the Academy is a truly immersive experience, in the sense that the city itself becomes a learning laboratory. Get up and go explore the city. There is a positive correlation between early career earnings and social engagement for students who participated in community service and cultural events. It’s true.

Online students are not excused from this suggestion. Go to a play. Attend a summer festival. Visit the opera. Travel. There is inspiration to be found in every part of the world. No matter where you are, you can find amazing things by getting up and going out. 


With the Academy of Art University’s expansive network of academic services and support, students can get the help they need to succeed. For example, Online Student Communities & Resources helps online students connect with students from around the world and in San Francisco. International Students can get help with immigration, taxes, identification, and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes that are readily available for students who wish to improve their English language skills.


Remember, this list is just the tip of the Academy Experience iceberg. For those willing to dive in, it’s safe to say that 2019 will provide Academy-ites unprecedented opportunities to get—and stay—engaged in the vibrant life of our university.

In this new year, we invite you to devote your energy, passion, and creativity to your Academy experience. After all, energy, passion, and creativity are the qualities that have made us successful for all these many years. We encourage you to stay engaged with the university, the city, and the world beyond. Make the most of the myriad opportunities available to you at the Academy.


Students and Alumni: we want to hear from you. Share your “Academy Moment” with the world. Was there a classmate, instructor, or course that affected you in a positive way? Do you have an educational or personal epiphany, or “AHA! moment” that impacted your life for good? Tell us about it at . We will publish some of the best moments on our blog, website, or social media.