About Pre-College

What is the Pre-College Art Experience?

Geared toward high school students aged 15-18, the Pre-College Art Experience is your chance to take college level art classes, to explore and develop your artistic talents, to live in a culturally rich city all while earning credits towards a college degree at Academy of Art University.

Academy of Art University offers a scholarship based Pre-College program available to all current High School students proficient in English. Scholarships cover tuition costs of up to 2 classes for Fall/Spring and up to 4 classes for Summer semester.

 Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see scholarship opportunities available to you!

As part of the program, you will:

  • Get an introduction to life at a top art and design university
  • Get help in building a solid portfolio (Create pieces for a solid portfolio)
  • Earn college credit towards Academy of Art University for up to 2 undergraduate Elective classes (3 Pre-College classes successfully completed with a grade “C” of higher = 1 undergraduate class) – Excludes B. Arch, Art Education and AA programs.
  • Discover career opportunities in various fields of art and design before enrolling as an undergraduate student

Current high school seniors graduating in 2016 are not eligible for the Summer 2016 Pre-College Art Experience program but are welcome to apply to undergraduate programs.

Apply Now

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Let’s hear what some of our past students have to say!

Here are some testimonials from students who have participated on our Pre-College Program through the Wishbone Grant. For a full list of grant opportunities send us an email at preadmissions@academyart.edu

Jose-Sainz Medina

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The Academy of Art University summer program was an amazing experience. I attended this program because I wanted to know more about future opportunities within the arts. I chose photography, architecture, car and motorcycle design, and acting as my focuses. After attending my classes, I found that I was inspired to learn more about photography and acting. I would like to keep learning more about photography because I truly enjoy taking pictures and telling my own story about what is happening in those pictures. In addition, I enjoy being able to see things that my eye didn’t catch before I took the photo. I want to learn a bit more about acting because I found it to be very enjoyable and interesting. I felt like I could be whoever I wanted to be and it helped me become less shy and more talkative. All in all, this program has inspired me to explore different things I have never explored before. It has also helped me distinguish between the careers that I feel really passionate about and the ones I don’t feel as passionate about.


Pharoah Egbuna

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This summer, I was given the opportunity to explore various forms of art and digital design during a creatively intense pre-college program at the Academy of Art. My storytelling class focused on creating short films, interviewing, and documenting everyday life. A series of community-based assignments encouraged me to interview members of my community, who shared photos and stories of their family’s relocation to the Bay Area during WWII. In my photography class, we were encouraged to be creative and use our imagination. Our class would often venture around the city capturing images highlighting happiness, nature, and social issues. Before attending this program, I was unsure if being a photographer was a feasible career path. In addition, I had very little information regarding art-centered universities. This experience has confirmed that my dreams are possible, while highlighting and introducing me to various mentors, youth artists, and creative/ academic resources. I would encourage students interested in pursuing art as a possible career path to consider attending this program because it is committed to helping students explore a diverse world of art.

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Yair Rojas

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During my time at the Academy of the Art University, I learned many new skills. I
learned how to use Photoshop, how to draw an automobile, and many more new
skills. I attended different classes including Car and Motorcycle Design, Comic Book
Illustration, Character Design, and Animation. This experience has given me more
knowledge of the world of art. I am now sure that I want to spend my life doing
this because of this experience. I would definitely recommended the Academy of
Art summer program to a friend. It is a great experience! Although it takes a lot of
concentration and dedication, this program is worth it all in the end. The advice I
would give upcoming students is to manage your time very well because the
assignments, although few, require time and dedication.


Melissa Hernandez

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Now that my summer program ended and I started school, I realize I have learned so much from my program. My program was summer classes at the Academy of Art University. I took four classes there. My classes were Screenwriting Basics, Multimedia Advertisement, Video Game: 3D Modeling, and Play DJ and Pod casting on the radio. My favorite class overall was the DJ and Podcast class. I not only learned how to use the software that is used in radio stations, but made my own segments that radio stations have. I made commercials, an artist spotlight, a 4 minute talk show segment, and many more. We also had a field trip to a radio station. I got to meet the people who talk on the radio and the people who work on the software. This has helped me in getting interested in working in the radio business. I am interested in doing internships for radio stations next summer. I would recommend this program to a friend because not only do you learn interesting subjects on a college level, but you also have fun learning it. My advice would be to just be yourself and have fun. Any program that you do will not be as fun if you do not have the right mindset.


Apply Now

Have some questions before you apply?

Click here for our FAQ or Ask Us a Question


If you belong to one of these groups or school districts you may be eligible to apply for a summer scholarship. 

Email PreAdmissions@academyart.edu or call 1-415-618-8203 to learn how to connect with these opportunities.

  • Marin School of the Arts (MSA)
  • San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD)
  • Oakland Fund for the Arts (OFFTA)
  • Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese
  • West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD)
  • KIPP King – San Lorenzo
  • KIPP San Jose Collegiate

  • Wishbone.org
  • Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center
  • San Francisco Police Officers Association
  • San Francisco Fire Department
  • Richmond Art Center
  • African American Cultural  Center
  • Narada Michael Walden Foundation
  • San Marin High School
  • Aim High Scholarship
  • Calvary Hill Community Church
  • SF Conservation Corp – John Muir Charter School
  • Foundation for a College Education
  • Mt. Diablo Unified School District
  • Pittsburg Unified School District
  • The Garden Project
  • Young Filipino Professionals Association (YFPA)
  • West Bay Pilipino Center

Apply Now

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