Built-In Career Prep Opportunities

Our goal at Academy of Art University is student success—your success—both academically while you’re here, and in your professional career. Which is why the Academy experience is packed with opportunities to work and network with industry partners, and collaborate on projects with your classmates from other departments.

The opportunities give you the knowledge, skills, and professional experience that will help you quickly adapt and contribute to your chosen field, and leave a lasting impression in your profession.

Industry Partners: A Real-world, Interdisciplinary Opportunity

We work with a wide variety of businesses, brands, and organizations to provide you with authentic design projects, feedback and insights about your work, mentoring, internships, job opportunities, and more. Our partners understand that collaborating with young, creative, innovative Academy of Art students gives them a competitive edge. And for Academy students, the opportunity to rub elbows with industry experts in a professional environment is priceless.

Corporate-Sponsored Collaborations

As a student at the Academy, you may have the opportunity to participate in our Corporate Sponsorship design projects, which bring students from diverse majors together with successful companies to collaborate on real projects. Our unique approach to interdisciplinary, real-world learning is woven into all of our degree programs at the course level, providing you with the skills needed to hit the ground running upon graduation.


The challenge? Create a vision for the Subaru brand in the year 2030. Multi-disciplinary teams from the Schools of Industrial Design, Interior Architecture & Design, Advertising, Fashion, and Advertising work together with automobile manufacturer Subaru to create holistic experiences and products—from concept to pitch.

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It is always great to work with real companies and real projects. Our students receive guidance and feedback from professional designers. It gives them a taste of the real world.

Tom Matano / Executive Director, School of Industrial Design

Real-World Projects With Real Clients and Deadlines

How many schools give you an education and job-experience at the same time? In addition to an accredited degree, here are a few examples of the real work, on real projects, for real companies our graduates bring to the first day of their careers:

  • Gallery shows, exhibiting fine art in galleries throughout San Francisco.
  • Experience collaborating with executives from Audi, Jaguar, Volvo, and GM.
  • IMDB credits on hit movies and video games, and credits working on award-winning national ad campaigns for big corporations.
  • Internships at small start-ups in Silicon Valley, big, global corporations, and everything in between.
  • Experience showing their fashion designs at New York Fashion Week

And so much more.

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School of Animation and Visual Effects


Studio X is a student-run, faculty-mentored experience that emulates a real-world animation and VFX production environment. Students work with real clients, films, and games with real deadlines and real problems to solve. The “X” in Studio X stands for the valuable eXperience students gain as they prepare for animation careers. Many students start collecting IMDb credits even before graduating, thanks to Studio X.

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Learn From Working Professionals

Our instructors make a living doing what they teach. They are professional artists and designers who offer valuable insight into industry trends. They understand real-world workflows and challenges and are well versed in industry-standard software, hardware, and practices. Your instructor’s work-related experience and insider’s perspective will give you a competitive edge in your professional career.

Connect With the Pros

Each department hosts events that connect you with the pros, such as industry panels, company presentations, in-class guest speaker lectures, workshops, and portfolio review sessions. These opportunities provide valuable insights into the industry, and a professional network of industry connections.

Industry Exposure

As an Academy student, you have a number of opportunities to get your work noticed by industry professionals. And when industry pros need to hire someone, or when it comes time for you to find a job, this face-time gives you a distinct advantage. For example, industry leaders and recruiters from all over the world attend our annual “Spring Show” exhibition showcases the achievements of more than 1000 students—the next generation of artists and designers—who are eager to show their skills, make career connections, and put their talent and training to work. Then there’s New York Fashion Week. Each year, a select number of student designers from the School of Fashion are chosen to strut their wares on the runway at NYFW and the annual Graduation Fashion Show and Awards Ceremony in San Francisco.

Spring Show
Ideate Conference
Fashion Show
NXT UP Film Fest
Company logo of General Motors
Company logo of Jaguar
Company logo of NASA
Company logo of Walt Disney Animation Studios


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