The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna has been a leading European training center for artists for more than 300 years. As a matter of fact, it houses two of the most significant Austrian art collections, i.e. the "Gemäldegalerie" (Paintings Gallery) and the "Kupferstichkabinett" (The Graphic Collection).
Today, we offer some 1,400 students a variety of courses ranging from painting and sculpture to photography and video, performance and conceptual art, also including architecture, scenography and conservation/restoration. By offering seminars and carrying out a great variety of projects, the Institutes of Art Theory and Cultural Studies and of Natural Sciences and Technology in the Arts ensure a high theoretical standard in all the departments. This is closely linked to the training of art teachers, which we consider central in conveying and communicating art to others. The course structure, based on diploma studies and/or bachelor/master programs, is augmented through various doctoral studies, including an internationally renowned PhD-in-Practice program, as well as through the master program Critical Studies. This wide range of courses offered by the Academy enables students to pursue their own individual goals, and to obtain a variety of qualifications.
As a university, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna is especially dedicated to teaching processes based on research and art alike, i.e. on scientific and artistic research, the findings of which are integrated into the curricula in different ways and communicated to a wider public through exhibitions, symposia, lectures and a publication series. Conveying a complex understanding of art to a knowledge-based society is one of the main tasks of the Academy, apart from teaching students.
The strength of the Academy lies both in its teaching staff of successful, internationally recognized artists, and in its students from over 50 different countries, thus endorsing Vienna's central role as a mediator between East and West. The Academy also cooperates with universities and other institutions of art and culture worldwide. By the same token, the Academy encourages its students to gather international experience in the course of their studies, and supports them in their endeavors.
The Academy of Fine Arts is the only Austrian university where women hold at least 50% of all positions in all staff categories and on all management levels. Such consistent enforcement of the federal Equal Opportunities Act by the relevant university bodies proves that gender fairness can also be achieved on the level of tertiary education.
The Academy's teaching and research work rests on a differentiated concept of art which relates to the aesthetic appearance of a work of art as well as to the characteristic forms of thought underlying artistic practice. First and foremost, we understand art as a mode of thinking and acting which becomes manifest in a wide range of media. Art, as a specific form of insight, can also be expressed by representatives of many professions seemingly unrelated to art. Consequently, with its collections such as the said Paintings Gallery and The Graphic Collection, the Academy provides a wide spectrum of offers for lecturers, students, and to the interested.
Quality Assurance and Standards
At the Academy of Fine Arts, students are prepared for innovative work in an ever widening field of social practice. We insist on the highest standards in teaching and research, but encourage our students to experiment at the same time. With a teacher-student ratio of 1:6, the Academy offers highly individual care and support to students, which puts it on a par with any outstanding art school worldwide, and which is also reflected in its teaching regime.
To safeguard these qualities, students undergo a comprehensive selection procedure prior to admission, while our lecturers are regularly assessed by students and peers. The Academy's artistic output, on the other hand, is judged by international experts at regular intervals.
Five buildings, covering a total area of 33,500 square meters, provide sufficient space for teaching and research. All the sections are equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories, workshops, and studios. In particular, the video and sound studios are among the best of their kind in Austria.
In addition, students and graduates have the opportunity to present and display their work in numerous exhibition rooms.
Staff & Management
All those working at or for the Academy, be it in teaching and research or in administration, do so in an atmosphere of mutual respect and harmony. We are convinced that we can only achieve our common goals in a joint effort, through cooperation.
Aware that effective management rests on trust and a positive attitude, we strive to foster our employees' strengths.
To further improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our work, we have been investing in all our employees' personal development and further training, and we regularly report on such staff development measures.
Position & Market Behavior
Aware of its leading position in Central Europe, the Academy will continue in its pursuit of and dedication to high quality and international standing, thus competing with the world's best art universities for lecturers and students. Located at the heart of a cultural metropolis such as Vienna, the Academy of Fine Arts is internationally considered a strong competitor as it offers excellent working conditions and has its own Paintings Gallery and The Graphic Collection, where students are given the chance to study earlier epochs of art.
Funding & Transparency
The Academy is mainly funded by the state, but also relies financially on the earnings gained through services and publications, as well as through third-party funds and sponsoring. Needless to say, we manage our budget economically and with utmost care, which is why we always publish our balance sheets containing the main figures and other significant parameters.
To give us more scope of action, however, we actively seek the support of people and institutions who share our values and objectives. Especially, we would like to invite our alumni and alumnae, but also those who are interested in art, to support the Academy financially.
State & Society
Our work is oriented on the principles of gender mainstreaming and anti-discrimination. We invest our resources responsibly and with a view to environmental sustainability.
We fulfil our social commitment by doing what we do best--i.e., by developing, training, and promoting artists. The Academy supports eligible students by granting scholarships funded by tuition fees and other financial means.
The strength of the Academy lies both in its teaching staff
of successful, internationally recognized artists,
and in its students from over 50 different countries,
thus endorsing Vienna's central role as a mediator between
East and West. The Academy also cooperates with
universities and other institutions of art and culture worldwide.
By the same token, the Academy encourages its students to
gather international experience in the course of their studies,
and supports them in their endeavors.Aware of its leading
position in Central Europe, the Academy will continue in its
pursuit of and dedication to high quality and international
standing, thus competing with the world's best art universities
for lecturers and students.
Established in the 17th century and aware of its roots in
central European artistic traditions, the Academy today
focuses on providing up to date education in contemporary
art. The city of Vienna is home to three universities of the
arts, and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna collaborates both
with the University of Applied Arts as well as the University of
Music and Performing Arts. Furthermore, the Academy
cooperates with museums, art galleries and various national
businesses on specific projects. One recent project has been
the collaboration with social-business-hotel Magdas.
In addition to being an educational institution, the Academy
houses two internationally renowned art collections, the
Picture Gallery and the Prints and Drawings Collection.
We offer our students a large variety of courses ranging from
painting and sculpture to photography and video, performance
and conceptual art, also including architecture, scenography
and conservation/restoration. Classes on classes on art
theory and history as well as methodological questions
complement studio practice and art education. Furthermore,
our students are given the opportunity to obtain profound
theoretical and practice-oriented education in the subjects of
colour science, theory of perception, materials science and
colour chemistry. This is all closely linked to the training of
art teachers, which we consider central in conveying and
communicating art to others.
faculties and departments
Institute of Fine Arts
Institute of Art and Architecture
Institute of Scenography
Institute for Conservation/Restoration
Institute for Education in the Arts
Institute for Art Theories and Cultural Studies
Institute for Natural Sciences and Technology in the Arts
bachelor level programs
073 Architecture, Arts and Architecture - 3 years, BArch
0114 Teacher training with subject specialization, Education in the Arts - 3 years, BAEd
master level programs
073 Architecture, Arts and Architecture - 2 years, MArch
0114 Teacher training with subject specialization, Education in the Arts - 2 year, MAEds
021 Arts, Master in Critical Studies - 2 years, M.A.
021 Arts, Diploma programme in Fine Arts - 4 years, Mag.art.
021 Diploma programme in Conservation/Restoration - 5 years, Mag.art.
021 Arts, Diploma programme in Scenography - 4 years, Mag.art.
research activity and main areas
Research projects hosted at the Academy create a
stimulating climate of artistic/intellectual debate. Our main
research areas are the fields of artistic research/arts based
research, art theory/art history, natural sciences
(material analysis) and conservation/restoration. In discursive
events like public lectures, conferences and symposia,
research findings are discussed and disseminated.
doctorate level programs
PhD in Practice, PhD
Doctoral programme in Philosophy, Dr.phil.
021 Arts including Conservation and Restoration
Doctoral programme Conservation/Restoration, Dr.rer.nat. or Dr. phil.
053 Physical Sciences / 0531 Chemistry
Doctoral programme in Technology in the Arts, Dr.rer.nat.
Doctoral programme in Technical Sciences (Architecture), Dr. techn.
subject areas for exchange students
02 Arts and humanities
021 Arts including Scenography
021 Arts including Conservation/Restoration
0114 Education in the Arts
053 Physical Sciences / 0531 Chemistry (Conservation/Restoration)
31st of March to apply for the following winter term
31st October to apply for the following summer term
1. If you wish to come to Austria as an exchange student for a semester or for a year of study at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, or work on project-related artwork or research, you need not necessarily be able to speak German. It is entirely possible to live in Vienna for a limited period and to study without being able to speak German.
We offer a range of English-language courses; moreover, many of our teachers are prepared to assist students in English. Yet, please make sure that you determine in advance whether your study program offers a sufficient number of courses in English. We also recommend taking advantage of our offer of German-language courses.
Winter Term: 1st October - 30th January
Summer Term: 1st March - 30th June
cost of living per month (studying and living)