About the School of Art + Design

poster saying we make stuff
The School of Art and Design is in the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA) at SDSU and is home to approximately 927 undergraduate and 46 graduate candidates in a variety of disciplines. SDSU is the largest university in San Diego and the third largest in California. Our larger campus community is home to more than 34,000 students and approximately 6,400 faculty and staff.

We are currently comprised of 23 tenured and tenure track faculty prominent in scholarship and creativity nationally and internationally. The full-time faculty is complemented by 31 lecturers and 3 teaching associates. The School’s enrollment has placed some of its programs in full impacted status since Fall 2002. The School expects that these control measures will ensure consistent quality among students and an appropriate enrollment in courses with unmet demand. The School is currently developing ways to monitor and assess the affects of impaction.

Some distinctions earned are as follows:

  • SDSU’s School of Art and Design is one of the top fine arts programs in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2012.”
  • SDSU’s graduate program in jewelry and metalwork is ranked No. 5 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2012.”
  • SDSU ranked No. 6 among visual and performing arts programs nationwide for bachelor’s degrees awarded to Hispanics according to “Top 100 Colleges for Hispanics” from Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, May 2010.

The School’s staff includes two Equipment Technicians, one Information Technology Consultant, one Administrative Support Assistant, one Administrative Support Coordinator, and one Fiscal Affairs Coordinator.

For students’ convenience, there is a university art supply store, Blik Art Materials, on the premises.

The Community and Outreach….

SDSU is situated in San Diego, CA, in a culturally diverse urban environment. The School of Art and Design is opening a gallery in the heart of San Diego’s thriving downtown district, which will host visual and performing arts exhibitions. The School also maintains the University Art Gallery on the School’s premises, exhibiting contemporary art by regional, national and international artists, and it offers educational lectures as well. Additionally, there are two student galleries located within the School’s premises that exhibit group and solo student exhibitions.

SDSU’s graphic and interior design programs play a major role in the larger San Diego design community. These disciplines participate with a large variety of businesses in their student internship programs, building bridges between San Diego’s design industry and the School, and providing opportunities and career stepping stones for its students.

The School of Art and Design also works closely with its nonprofit community support organization, The SDSU Art Council. The SDSU Art Council provides individuals interested in participating in the support of art and design an avenue to build bridges between the School of Art and Design and its larger community.

Funding Resources

SDSU’s School of Art and Design receives its funding from both California State University funds as well as private grants for well-equipped and diverse facilities. Furthermore, a variety of competitive scholarships and fellowships are available to students from a variety of nonprofit and private donations and endowments. Some of these funds received include:

  • $1.64 million gift for 60-year lease to the new Downtown gallery
  • $230,000 grant for woodworking, foundry, and 3D rapid prototyping equipment
  • $1 million private endowment for graduate scholarships, including tuition waivers and graduate assistantships for out-of-state residents in the Fine Art and Applied Design emphasis programs

Other funds for which students of the School of Art and Design are eligible to apply include unique fellowship, grant, and paid internship opportunities through the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design. SDSU is one of only 64 universities whose art students are invited to compete for these funds to help them with post-graduate endeavors in craft making, research, or museum experience dealing with craft-based exhibitions or collections.

Local Life

SDSU is located in the city of San Diego at the southernmost tip of California. The university is approximately 20 miles north of Mexico’s border, and is situated in between both Pacific Ocean beaches and state and national park wooded mountains and deserts alike. Its location makes for a rich environment of cultural diversity, urban activities, and a wealth of diverse natural environments to enjoy for exploration and recreation. Within SDSU’s larger community are several art museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (MCASD), the San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA), theMuseum of Photographic Arts (MoPA), and the Mingei International Museum. There are also dozens of other local galleries and visual and performing arts organizations in the metroplex, as well as design districts for graphic and interior design. Students can also enjoy bridging the gap to local, national, and international art and design communities by participating in student professional organizations, such as the AIGA for graphic designers, ASID (American Society for Interior Design), the Furniture Society for furniture designers,NCECA for ceramics, SNAG for metalsmiths, and more.

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