The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale


The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale is a private applied-arts college located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The institute is one of 42 art institutes established in North America and was founded in 1968 by the late Mark K. Wheeler. The institute offers Bachelor of Science and Associate of Science degrees, as well as “diploma” programs in selected areas of study, preparing students for entry level employment upon completion.

The institute offers programs in five areas: culinary, design, fashion, media arts, and general education. The culinary program features degree programs in Baking and Pastry, Culinary Arts, and Culinary Management, as well as diploma programs in the Art of Cooking, Baking and Pastry, and Culinary Arts. Graduates leave prepared to work in one of the dominant industries in the region, with the flexibility to pursue employment throughout the country and the world.

The institute’s design school features degree programs in Graphic Design, Interior Design, Advertising, Illustration, Industrial Design, and Interior Design, as well as a diploma program in Residential Design.

In the fashion school, students can seek degrees in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising, as well as a diploma in Fashion Retailing.

In the media arts school, degree programs include Photography, Video Production, Web Design and Interactive Media, Digital Filmmaking and Video Production, Game Art and Design, Media Arts and Animation, Photography, Visual Effects and Motion Graphics, and Web Design and Interactive Media, with diploma programs offered in Digital Image Management, Web Design and Development, and Web Design and Interactive Communications.

The Art Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools to award diplomas, associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees. Accreditation for the Interior Design program comes from the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, while the Bachelor of Science degree program in Culinary Arts Management is accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).

Most Popular Fields of Study

Information Summary

Ranks 116th in Florida and 3132nd overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 49.2
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance N/A
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 26 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 67% / 56%
Enrollment Total (all students) 1,924


Proof of graduation from a high school whose accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Depart of Education is required, or passing scores on a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) test. Also, each applicant to the institute is interviewed, either in person or by telephone, by an assistant director of admissions at the school. The purpose of the interview is to explore the prospective student’s background, assist the student in identifying areas of study, and provide information regarding academic support at the school. Applicants must also complete an essay of 150 words stating how attaining an education through the art institute will help them achieve career goals.


Campus :: The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale College Building :: The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale
College Campus :: The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

Financial Aid

All enrolling students seeking financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The institute does participate in several alternative loan programs if federal aid does not meet a student’s need. Interest rates, processing fees, eligibility requirements, and repayment terms differ for each program. Alternative loans are through private lenders and usually require a credit check and/or a co-signer.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 1150th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Florida.


The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale offers students housing in its Sunrise Hall East and West locations, about five miles from the campus and one mile from the beach. Each building is a fully supervised housing facility with a director of housing, assistant director, and housing coordinator on-site. Three professional staff members live in the facilities, including the assistant director. Security professionals patrol both halls on foot and on bike Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. till 7 a.m.; and on weekends security is present 24 hours.

There are numerous opportunities for students to get involved on campus, from student government to a variety of clubs and organizations, including the fashion club, gay- straight alliance, art asylum, student green club, and more. The institute also offers student support services ranging from time management to problem solving skills and transition to college.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics

Local Community

Fort Lauderdale is a prime tourist destination on the east coast of Florida, and is sometimes referred to as the “Venice of America,” a reference to its canal system. The city was founded, in a sense, upon completion of the Fort Lauderdale in 1838. The stockade was abandoned in 1842 and re-settled in the late 1890s, with official incorporation of the city taking place in 1911. The city saw its first boom years in the 1920s Florida Land Boom, and has retained its popularity since, with a current population estimated at about 165,000.

Fort Lauderdale is a major yachting center, one of the nation’s largest tourist destinations, and a beach city with a tropical rainforest climate and the all of the ocean-related activities its location entails. The area is known for beaches and beach life, and until recently was also known as a prime spring break destination for college students. Stricter enforcement of laws has led to a decline in the area’s reputation as a party haven for out-of-towners, and the cultural offerings of Fort Lauderdale have taken more of a front seat in local promotions.

Transportation in the city is provided by Broward County Transit (BCT), as well as Tri- Rail, a commuter rail system that connects the major cities and airports of South Florida. Also, the Wave, a new 2.7-mile electric streetcar system costing $125 million, is being planned for the downtown.

The area is home to the Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, numerous museums and shopping districts, the International Swimming Hall of Fame (part of the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex), the Riverwalk Arts and Entertainment District, and scam-artist debunker James Randi’s Educational Foundation.

In addition to “snowbirds,” nightlife, and nature, the city is also becoming known as a destination spot for gay and lesbian tourists.

Additional School Information

In addition to in-class opportunities, the institute offers a number of hands-on experiences for students, including operation of its own restaurant on campus. The Chef’s Palette offers meals prepared and served by students of the International Culinary School, and was the winner of the 2005 American Culinary Federation’s Achievement of Excellence Award. The institute also was awarded the 2001 Career College of the Year Distinguished Performance Award from the National Alliance of Business.


  • The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. Web. 19 August 2011.
  • City of Fort Lauderdale. Web. 19 August 2011.

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