What do you offer that other programs don’t?

This is the first and only advertising/design program in Austin that is taught entirely by working professionals. You’ll be learning firsthand from people who create the work you see online, in print
and on TV every day. Students learn in a real-world working environment because courses are held
at ad agencies, design firms and studios in Austin.

Where and when are classes held?

All courses are held one night per week at actual ad agencies and studios. Specific places and times will be determined during registration.

How much is tuition?

Tuition is $750 for most courses (see Courses section for specific tuition breakdown). Each course is eight weeks of instruction one night per week.

Tuition must be received in full by five business days prior to the first day of each new course. Payment can be made in the form of check or money order.

Do you offer financial aid?

We do not offer financial aid but will work out a payment plan with you if necessary. We believe that the cost of a solid education should not outweigh the financial means of people who have desire and talent.

Do I need a portfolio to apply or to be accepted?

We don’t expect you to have a finished and complete portfolio to show. What we want to see
is evidence of your creativity, problem-solving skills and artistic drive. Speculative ads, design work, writing and all things created digitally are acceptable portfolio pieces. We want to evaluate your creative potential and see how passionate you are about your professional goals.

We are looking only for those who are goal-oriented and seriously motivated. Courses are fast paced and challenging to reflect a real-world experience. Acceptance into courses will be based upon a review of your work and interview.

Can I sign up for all courses at the same time?

We currently enroll students on a per-semester basis only because specific course offerings each semester are based upon enrollment needs and instructor availability. Course offerings may also change occasionally to reflect advances in the industry.

It is also our belief that students should only financially commit to courses on an as-needed basis each semester instead of enrolling into the entire program at the onset. While retention of students is important to us, our main priority is that we help students create the best work for their portfolios, whether that takes our complete course offerings or just one.

Can I enroll if I’m already working in advertising or design?

Sure. If you’re looking to switch to the creative side of advertising/design from your current position or
are already an art director, copywriter or designer looking to hone your skills, we're happy to help.

Will I have to supply my own materials and what will I need?

Yes, you will need to have your own supplies. For concept courses, the focus will be on ideas, not execution, so you’ll just need markers and paper. For classes that deal in execution and design, you’ll need your own computer and have a firm grasp of Adobe creative programs (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, etc.). This is especially important if you want to be an art director or designer. For copywriters, you’ll still need to be able to comp up your work, either on your own or with the help of an art director partner or friend. Concepts are and will always be king, but in our competitive industry, slickness definitely counts when it comes to your work getting noticed.

Will I be graded, and do you offer a certificate of completion?

We do not operate on the grading system. Your primary motivation should be to come out of this at
the end with an employable portfolio, not a good report card. Grades and degrees matter in most office professions but not in the creative side of advertising or design. When interviewing, ad agencies and design firms may be interested where you went to school but solely to give them a point of reference and some knowledge of your background. Firms will ultimately hire you based on your portfolio, talent and attitude.

Are you an accredited school?

Not at this time. Sorry, our courses can’t be applied to college credit.

Do you offer courses online?

Not at this time, but we’re working on it.

What happens if a class is canceled during the eight-week period?

The nature of courses being taught by full-time professionals is such that sometimes they may need to cancel a class due to their busy random schedules. They may need to travel for television production or
a client meeting, etc. Should a class be canceled during the week, a substitute instructor will fill in, class
will be rescheduled or your instructor will review your work online.

If an entire course is cancelled for any reason prior to the first class meeting, you’ll be notified and your payment will be fully refunded.

Do you offer job placement services?

Finding a job in advertising and design is very tough even in the best economic conditions, so the completion of any individual courses or the entire program offerings will not guarantee you a job. However, we’ll help you out any way we can.


Classes are supportive
and collaborative, but by
no means easy, just like working in advertising and design.

"This is a place that defines you: it defines whether you have it or not and if you want it or not. This is not a typical college class with your typical instructors, textbook assignments and grading systems. ACD is a place that challenges your creativity and encourages you to discover the potential of an idea. But it will only happen if you have it and if you want it."

Edgar Mireless
ACD Alumni
Art Director Intern
LatinWorks, Austin

"After a year and a half
at ACD, I walked out with awards, job offers and most importantly, a portfolio
I was proud to share."

Elizabeth Perez
ACD Alumni
Art Director
Leo Burnett, Chicago

"I learned to think and work outside my comfort zone to
a point where it became my comfort zone."

Diana Al-Zubeidi
ACD Alumni
Ogilvy & Mather, Dubai