About the School of Art + Design

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The School of Art and Design is in the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA) at SDSU and is home to over 760 undergraduate and nearly 25 graduate candidates studying a variety of disciplines. With more than 35,000 students, SDSU is the largest university in San Diego and the third largest in California.


The School of Art and Design is dedicated to educate, support, and empower our diverse student body to become active participants in the evolution of art and design. We seek to prepare curious and engaged creative practitioners and empathetic scholars that will develop their unique voices and create positive change in local and global communities.


The School of Art and Design at San Diego State University values equity, inclusion, and a diversity of perspectives, media, and approaches. We advocate access to art for all and support the vital role that art and design play in societal movements, communal growth, and individual expression. The School promotes integrity, innovation, and collaboration through teaching, creative endeavors, and community engagement.


The School of Art + Design at San Diego State University envisions a global community where the arts are valued and accessible to all. We seek to inspire students to learn and apply techniques and skills that will enable them to find their voice, hone their vision, and thrive as artists and humans. We support students to remain curious lifelong learners that actively participate in solutions-based thinking, creative practice, and community building.


The School of Art + Design at San Diego State University educates, inspires, and prepares a new generation of artists, designers, scholars, and educators to both thrive as individuals and collectively transform our world. Located at the border with Mexico, the School is dedicated to the integration of art, design, and community building. We support our students to become engaged global citizens and active participants in local communities. We prepare students to seek, create, or attain meaningful work and professional opportunities in the field. Our curriculum spans contemporary craft, new media and design, art history, community-engaged practice, and a wide variety of arts disciplines including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, bookmaking, wood and metalwork, ceramics, and social practice. Through both discipline-specific and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning, we support students to innovate solutions, express ideas, imagine possibilities, and interpret the world through historical, cultural, and global contexts.

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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 the contemporary art scene in Tijuana. San Diego 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. From the hustle and bustle of the Gaslamp Quarter downtown to the charming and eclectic beach towns of Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, and La Jolla, San Diego offers a wide variety of social and cultural activities.

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), the Museum 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 area, 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 a number of active student and professional organizations.

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