Public Education FAQs

I have signed up for a Public Education/ACE class in the past, but I don’t remember my username or password on the registration site.

If you have forgotten your username (we recommend using your preferred email address) or password, the login section of the registration site provides Forgot Username and Forgot Password links to help you reset. If you have further problems, send an email to, and we can retrieve either or both for you.

I am not a U.S. Citizen or U.S. Permanent Resident and I want to take Public Education classes. What information should I be aware of before I register?

We are so pleased that you would like to take a class with us!  Please read through the visa information below. If you have any additional questions, please e-mail us at:

If you plan to enter the United States on a B-type tourist visa, or are currently in the United States on another visa type, you may only be authorized to take course work for personal enrichment. In other words, you may not enroll in courses for academic credit. Public Education courses fit this enrichment only requirement and you would be eligible to enroll in any SFAI Public Education courses as a tourist in the United States.

As Public Education classes are non-credit, and for personal enrichment only, this program does not fulfill the requirements for I-20 certificates for the F-1 student visa. There is no appropriate visa category for students whose primary purpose for coming to the United States is part-time study. To attend SFAI as an F1 visa holder, you must be formally admitted to a full time degree seeking program.

Can I sign a friend or family member up for a class using my account?

Yes, you can. While it is preferable that each adult student have and manage their own account, you are able to sign up a family member or friend. Under the My Account section of the registration website, click Add Account Member. You will have the option of selecting your family member or friend as the registrant for classes.

I am having trouble with the registration site. Can I register over the phone?

Of course.  Call  us at 415-749-4554.

I am not sure of my schedule but want to secure my spot in a class. What are your refund policies?

Visit our policies page for complete details on course refunds.

Does the tuition fee include materials?

It does not. Materials lists will be provided to students prior to the class start date. 

Where do I find my materials list?

Materials lists will be posted on our website prior to the class starting.  Visit and use the left-hand menu categories (i.e., “painting +drawing” or “sculpture”) to find your class materials list.

Will I have access to the studio outside of class time?

Unfortunately, most SFAI studios are only available to Public Education students during class time. Studio classes are immersive and hands-on, providing students with ample time to complete their projects.  The Digital Imaging Studio is available by appointment, allowing students to expertly print digital files. The Friday Open Drawing studio offers students the opportunity to drop-in and work from a figure model.

I am not sure about a class, can I show up on the first class and then decide?

No. We do not allow auditing in Public Education courses. If you are unsure of a class, please contact our staff and we will be happy to put you in touch with the instructor to get you as much information as possible.

Where do classes take place and how do I get there?

All classes take place at 800 Chestnut Street, between Jones and Leavenworth. You will find directions by car or public transit to our campus online at
The San Francisco Art Institute is located in a residential neighborhood, and two-hour parking is available on all of the streets immediately surrounding the school. The two-hour restriction cuts off at 9 pm, so evening Public Education students (in the Spring and Fall semesters) do not need to worry about moving their car during class. Summer courses typically begin at 6:30pm, and Public Education students are encouraged to take a break during class to move their car if necessary.

When will next semester’s classes be posted?

Course schedules are posted days before registration begins:

  • Spring registration begins December 1
  • Summer  registration begins April 1
  • Fall registration begins July 1

We will send you an email to notify you once registration is open. If you’re not on our emailing list, please send a message to

Do you offer certificates?

We do not offer any certificates at this time. All of our Public Education classes are non-credit. If you need proof of enrollment, we are happy to provide a letter stating that you were enrolled in a course(s). No official transcript is available.

I am interested in teaching a Public Education course. What do I do?

We send out a call for instructors once a year. To receive the call, email a letter of interest to Barbara Garber, Director of Public Education, at

I am a teenager, can I take these classes?

The minimum age for enrollment for our Public Education courses is 17 years-old.
We also offer two summer programs for teenagers: