PreCollege Policies

Student Experience + Expectations

SFAI PreCollege encourages artistic experimentation and freedom of expression within a supportive and structured campus environment. 

At PreCollege, students are treated as undergraduates with the associated privileges and responsibilities. All students are expected to uphold the policies outlined in the Student and Campus Handbook.

As safety is always a top priority, special rules apply to PreCollege students, including; a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol, and for students living in housing—evening curfew, and the need for parental and/or guardian permission to leave campus overnight. All residence hall policies are outlined in the residence agreement and/or housing application, which students and families receive after acceptance to the program.

Students must be able to follow all policies or should not consider attending. Policy violations may result in a warning, probation, or immediate dismissal. For more information on our conduct policy and appeal process, please refer to the Student and Campus Handbook. All policy materials must be read and acknowledged prior to the start of the program.


Note to Families: Successful PreCollege students are those who are ready to live away from home for four weeks, and who are eager to learn and grow their artistic practice in the vibrant urban environment of San Francisco. SFAI is full of amazing resources—most everyone you meet here is a practicing artist. PreCollege Staff, Faculty, Professional Housing Staff, and Resident Advisors are all here to support student success, but proactive communication is key. If we don’t know about it, we can’t help.

PreCollege students who take initiative both in and outside of the classroom including prioritizing their schedule to complete projects, and actively seeking out information and guidance from faculty, or other appropriate staff to find solutions, are most successful in their coursework and are most satisfied with their experience. If families are seeking a less rigorous or more sheltered environment, they should consider the nature of this program very carefully before applying.

Questions about the PreCollege experience? Call us: 415.749.4454 or email:

Academic + Attendance Requirements

PreCollege students earn four units of college credit, and the program follows college curriculum and standards. As we want all students to be successful and complete their projects, we have specific academic and attendance policies.

SFAI PreCollege students are required to:

  • Arrive on campus on time at the start of the program and attend student orientation(s).

    Required Student Orientation(s)

    Sunday, June 14 – For students living in SFAI housing
    Join us for housing orientation from 3:30–5:30pm at the Residence Hall. We’ll get you settled, begin getting to know each other, and review housing policies. Following orientation, we will have a provided dinner for all students in residence from 6–8pm.

    Monday, June 15 – For ALL PreCollege students
    We will begin students’ welcome to campus with a continental breakfast reception at 9am at 800 Chestnut Street. Students will attend class, beginning at 9:30am. At 11:30am students will meet the faculty, tour campus, enjoy a communal lunch, and learn more about program policies.
  • Attend and actively engage in class, including completing required projects and assignments.
  • Attend required studio hours after class on Tuesday and Thursdays from 4:30–6:30pm. Evening Studio allows you to practice making work independently and is a fruitful time for collaboration and peer support. Evening Studio is supported by Teaching Assistants and a PreCollege Staff member, I ­Studios, equipment, and campus resources are available throughout the week, and students should expect to commit approximately ten hours per week—including the required studio hours—to thoroughly develop and complete projects.
  • Attend all Friday Workshops + Art In Context field trips (June 19 + 26), and the final exhibition on July 10. Attendance in all Friday sessions is mandatory. If you choose to withdraw from PreCollege early without attending the final exhibition you will not receive program credit.
  • Arrive to each class on time and prepared. Review and fully understand the guidelines for classroom behavior and academic performance as outlined in each instructor’s syllabus.

    Absences: You are permitted a maximum of three pre-excused absences during PreCollege. Please note that any pre-excused absence will impact your ability to fully engage in the program and complete coursework. Absences that are not pre-excused may result may in program dismissal, however, we understand that life happens—if you are ill, or have a medical or family emergency, communicate to your faculty and the PreCollege Director as soon as possible.

    We do not permit absences for family events such as weddings, birthdays, vacations or other social engagements during class-time. Students in housing are welcome to attend these or other events after class/studio hours up until curfew, or on the weekends up until curfew, or for the entire weekend (Friday evening up until Sunday curfew) with parental approval and upon completion of any needed housing forms. Housing forms will be sent to students and families prior to the start of the program. 

Withdrawal + Refund Policy

Last day for a 100% refund minus $100 deposits ($200 total if in housing), with written notice, is Wednesday, May 13, 2020.

Last day for an 80% refund minus $100 deposits ($200 total if in housing), with written notice, is Friday, June 5, 2020.

Last day for a 50% refund minus $100 deposits ($200 total if in housing), with written notice, is Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

No refunds after Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

IMPORTANT: No tuition or other fees are refunded to a student who is asked to leave the program for a violation of school policies or regulations.