School of Visual Arts


Located in New York City, the east-coast epicenter for art and culture, the School of Visual Arts offers more than 10 areas of study for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and nearly 20 graduate programs. The school also offers continuing education courses, youth courses and an excellent study abroad program.

There are no intercollegiate sports offered at SVU, but activities abound. Because NYC is their campus, there are always activities to participate in including exhibits, broadway and off-broadway theater events, museums, and the ability to attend profesional sporting events such as Knicks and Rangers games.

In addition to the endless activities offered by the city, the school also has a yearbook, a magazine and a radio station. The Student Center is a meeting place for students and offers bands, movie nights, exhibits, talent shows and free food events. Between all of the engaging activities offered by the School of Visual Arts and the ready access to everything that New York City has to offer, students need never fear having nothing to do.


Information Summary

Ranks 58th in New York and 555th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 85.9
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $66,768
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 29 / 1323
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 10 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 86% / 100%
Enrollment Total (all students) 4,390


Undergraduate Programs

The School of Visual Arts offers a full-time Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in several different subjects including animation, computer art, film, graphic design, photography and advertising. The program is a standard 4-year program for students that attend full time and classes are offered both during the day and in the evenings. SVA prides itself on the passionate students, rigorous curriculum and outstanding faculty and glories in the fact that they are located in the vibrant and exciting New York City.

In addition to the standard degree programs, SVA also offers an undergraduate honors program. The honors program is unique in that during the first year, students examine modernity and modernism in four liberal arts courses in order to develop a sound base of knowledge in the visible world. During the second year, students study the historical, intellectual and artistic origins of modernity. This first two years of study satisfy most of the student’s art history, humanities and sciences requirements for the bachelor’s program.

During the third year, students complete the art history and science colloquium and get to take a trip abroad during spring break. The science colloquium is offered in conjunction with the Museum of Natural History. Students wishing to apply to this program should do so by March 15.

Graduate Programs

The School of Visual Arts offers nearly 20 graduate programs that all offer rigorous training using hands-on methods. Many schools have graduate arts programs, but many of them are teaching art with the goal of producing teachers. The goal of every program at SVA is to teach the skills and methods necessary to help further the careers of working artists. Even in such programs as the Art Therapy program, the primary goal is not to produce a therapist who also has art skills but to produce an artist who can use their art as a therapeutic tool for people with physical or mental challenges; an artist-as-therapist strategy.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

The School of Visual Arts offers a unique type of study-abroad program. The school firmly believes that renewal, along with gaining new insights and experiences, is crucial to the creative process. Because of this belief, the study/work abroad program is open not only to full-time students but also to continuing education students, working artists and other professionals. People that participate in this program get a unique opportunity to participate in other cultures in order to learn more about their own histories, expand personal and professional perspectives and gain inspiration while renewing and recharging.

Students may choose from many different destinations including Barcelona, Southern France, Venice, Shanghai, Istanbul and Nicaragua among many others. There is even financial aid available for all students who participate.


Undergraduate Admissions

First-time students seeking to obtain an undergraduate degree from the School of Visual Arts need to submit several documents in order to be considered for admission. These documents include the application and accompanying application fee, SAT/ACT scores, official high school transcripts (even for students who have earned a GED) and a statement of intent. Students must also submit a portfolio of work. Depending upon the medium, the portfolio should contain about 15-20 pieces. Film and video applicants will need to submit an essay in lieu of a portfolio and students that do not attend on-campus portfolio review sessions may submit a digital portfolio.

All applicants with a 3.0 or higher will be considered for scholarships but freshman students that wish to be considered should submit a completed application packet by February 1 and transfer students need to apply by March 1. Students who are awarded scholarships will be notified.

Graduate Admissions

The graduate admissions process at the School of Visual Arts is fairly straightforward but students should ensure that all packets are complete because if not, they will not be reviewed. All applicants are required to submit the application and fee along with a CV/resume, personal statement or statement of intent, official college transcripts and 3 letters of recommendation. Also, some students are required to submit a portfolio and/or writing samples. Student interviews may also be required but this is determined on a student-by-student basis.

Students submitting transcripts from non-US universities are required to submit an evaluation of foreign transcripts and English Proficiency tests may be required if English is not a student’s first language.

There may be additional requirements per program so students should work closely with the school to ensure that all requirements are met.

Financial Aid

The School of Visual Arts offers financial aid in the form of private and public scholarships, grants, federally-subsidized loans and work-study programs. There are both merit-based and need-based scholarships available as well as special programs for New York residents. In order to be eligible for all forms of aid available, students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is available online beginning in January.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 231st for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in New York.


  • School of Visual Arts. School of Visual Arts. 2011. Web. 31 Aug 2011.
  • NYC The Official Guide. in conjunction with 2011. Web. 31 Aug 2011.

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