Academy of Art University
|Motto||Built by artists for artists|
|Campus||Urban and online|
|Colors||Black and Red|
|Athletics||NCAA Division II|
The Academy of Art University, formerly Academy of Art College and Richard Stephens Academy of Art, is a privately owned for-profit art school in San Francisco, California, in the United States. It was founded as the Academy of Advertising Art by Richard S. Stephens in 1929.  It has 283 full-time teachers and 1154 part-time teaching staff, and about 11,000 students;  it claims to be the largest privately owned art and design school in the United States. 
The school has open admissions and an admission acceptance rate of 100%.   In 2016, its accreditor expressed concern over low graduation rates;  approximately 7% of students then completed a four-year degree within the allotted time.  As of 2015, the school has not published job placement rates since 2006, and disagrees with the US Department of Education over whether it is required to do so. 
It was founded in 1929 as a school for advertising art.  The founder, Richard S. Stephens, a painter and magazine editor, led it until 1951 when his son Richard A. Stephens took over, who 1992 was replaced by his daughter Elisa Stephens.  Under her presidency, student numbers increased from around 2000 to 18,000 by 2012, but have since fallen to under 12,000.  The school has been participating in the NY Fashion Week event bi-annually since 2005.   
Starting in 2007, the San Francisco city planning commission held more than twenty hearings relating to possible violations of city land-use laws, including the unauthorized conversion of rent-controlled housing to academic use;   in May 2016, the city brought a lawsuit against the school.  In December 2016, an agreement was reached whereby the Academy agreed to pay the city $20 million in fees, $7 million of which will go to purchasing low-income housing. The school will also provide additional low-income housing for seniors as part of the deal.  The University failed to meet the terms of the 2016 agreement and in January 2020 the agreement was amended, requiring the Academy of Art University to pay $37.6 million to the city to build affordable housing. 
As of January 2018, it is fighting a 2009 lawsuit alleging that it defrauded the federal government of student aid through illegal recruitment practices. 
Academy of Art University received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 2007.  The school is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.  In interior architecture and design, the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (taught or online) and Master of Fine Arts degree are accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.  The Master of Architecture degree has, since January 1, 2006, been accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board while the Bachelor of Architecture program was granted as of January 1, 2015.  
In 2016, approximately 7% of students completed a four-year degree within the allotted time.  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 31% of students complete a four-year degree within 150% of that time (the "6-year graduation rate").  For online-only students, the 6-year graduation rate is much lower, at 6%; in mid-2015, about 35% of all students were online-only.  For part-time students the 6-year graduation rate is 3%.  About 58% of students are female. 
In the 2014–2015 season, the men's cross country team had a second-place finish and the women's team had a record fourth-place finish, earned at the Pacific West Conference Championships. Valentin Pepiot, their third NCAA Nationals individual qualifier, was one of the top finishers from the PacWest in the postseason finale.  Academy of Art earned a record 10 PacWest postseason honors. For the 2015, indoor and outdoor track and field seasons, they had seven All-Americans honors and one NCAA individual champion in Jordan Edwards. 
- Mobolade Ajomale, Canadian Olympic sprinter 
- Henry Asencio, figurative painter 
- Margaux Avedisian, comedian and bitcoin entrepreneur
- Rick Baker, winner of an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling and special effects for An American Werewolf in London 
- Lauren Conrad, actress, fashion designer and author 
- Deanne Fitzmaurice, photographer and photojournalist, winner of a 2005 Pulitzer Prize  
- Vicky Jenson, film director 
- Kara Laricks, fashion designer  
- Bilal Lashari, Pakistani film director and cinematographer
- Cheol-ha Lee, film director 
- Chris Milk, music video director and photographer  
- Heidi Montag, actress, singer and fashion designer 
- Rodrigo Prieto, cinematographer 
- Jolene Marie Cholock-Rotinsulu, Indonesian actress, TV Commercial Model, singer, Puteri Indonesia 2019 and Miss International Indonesia 2019 
- Rudianto Soedjarwo, Indonesian film director, film and television movie producer, cinematographer, graphic designer and film maker 
- Raven-Symoné, actress and singer
Past and present staff of the school include:
- Diane Baker, actress 
- Tom Bertino, animator  
- Michael Brandt, co-founder of Nootrobox  
- James Claussen, lithographer and abstract painter 
- Richard Hart, journalist 
- Kamshad Kooshan, movie writer & director 
- Tim McGovern, Academy Award-winning visual effects director 
- Adam Savage, creator of Myth Busters 
- Peter Schifrin (born 1958), Olympic fencer and sculptor
- Art Spiegelman, cartoonist 
- Terryl Whitlatch, illustrator 
- Lindsey Yamasaki, basketball player 
- Jan Yanehiro, television journalist 
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- Vicky Jenson. ACME Film Works. Accessed June 2016.
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- "Jolene Marie Cholock Rotinsulu Kumparan Facts". Kumparan Magazine. June 20, 2019.
- "Guess What?: Rudi Soedjarwo: Leaving the old rules of movie making behind". Retrieved September 21, 2015.
- Susan King (August 26, 2009). "For Diane Baker, one scene leads to 50 years". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- "Tom Bertino". Nova Online. 1997. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "The Animated Side of Star Wars: An Interview With Rob Coleman, The Film's Animation Director". Animated World Network. August 1999. Archived from the original on September 5, 2014. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "A Pair of Entrepreneurs Focuses on 'Nutrients for Your Brain'". WeWork. June 18, 2015. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
- "This Twenty-Something Ditched His Dream Job At Google And Now He Has A Startup That Sells Brain-Enhancing Pills". Business Insider. August 6, 2014. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
- . Academy of Art University, Board of Directors, Administrators and Faculty, accessed January 25, 2019 https://www.academyart.edu/wp-content/uploads/board-of-directors-administrators-faculty.pdf
- "Q&A: "Evening Magazine" co-hosts Jan Yanehiro and Richard Hart". San Francisco Chronicle. July 22, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Sony Pictures to produce "Tehranis" by Director Kamshad Kushan". Payvand Iran News. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
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- "Witzend - groundbreaking 1960s indy comic with art by Wallace Wood, Art Spiegelman, and Frank Frazetta". BoingBoing. August 13, 2014. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
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