At Southwest School of Art, we are uniquely equipped to help students develop their own individualized, independent voices, while providing the tools they need to flourish in their career.  SSA students receive a solid general education and share intense studio experiences in an intimate, art-focused environment.

Our faculty is made up of working artists who are well connected in the San Antonio art scene and our program centers on the process of making, with a great deal of emphasis placed on developing creative thinking and studio skills. 

Southwest School of Art is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and is the only independent college of art in Texas.

For detailed information on our program, please take a look at our view book below.


A current web browser is required to access this interactive version of our view book. If you are having trouble viewing, please click HERE for a pdf version.


The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program at Southwest School of Art deeply immerses students in the process of making as a form of inquiry and discovery. With equal emphasis on content and skill, we instill in our students an appreciation for both tradition and innovation, which equips them to move freely between the creation of one-of-a kind works and applied design.

Areas of studio emphasis include: Ceramics, Painting, Metals, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture & Integrated Media.

Foundation Studios provide an immersive, transformative experience that covers vocabulary, materials, technical skills, and 2-D, 3-D, and digital design. Students learn fundamentals that may be used across an array of art forms.

Area Studios dive deeply into particular materials and explore traditional and innovative techniques.

Studio courses teach students to take risks and explore, within a framework of critical evaluation and reflection, and to communicate their ideas critically. Our students have the opportunity to work across disciplines, while concentrating in a specific area.

Non-studio classes include business, math, science, literature, art history, economics, and philosophy. These general education classes provide students with practical knowledge and foundational context for navigating the world around them.

The very intimate nature of our BFA program fosters a unique and valuable mentor/student relationship with each of our faculty members, which will endure long after students move into full-time pursuit of their professional interests. Graduates of the program will stand ready to enter a modern economy, driven by a convergence of culture, commerce, and creativity.

In short, we want every one of our program graduates to leave with the skills necessary to think critically, work expertly and engage professionally.


The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has granted a Certificate of Authority to Southwest School of Art to award the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

This certificate does not constitute accreditation; the issuance of this certificate attests only that the institution has met the Board's standards established for nonexempt institutions.

Questions or complaints about this institution should be addressed to: 
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, TX 78711
(512) 427-6200

Share This


Nia Jaramillo

I chose to attend SSA because of the intimate class sizes and one on one attention from professors. As the only independent college of art in Texas, SSA allows me to be completely immersed in a creative environment surrounded by like-minded individuals. Although I've only been at SSA for one semester, I can already see an improvement in my work and self-confidence as an artist. I know that I am right where I'm supposed to be. As a San Antonio native, SSA is close to home. It's right in the heart of downtown, next to my favorite public library that I came to as a child. There's a sense of community that I get from SSA that makes me feel like I'm a part of something greater.


Jillian Sortore

SSA Chair and Professor of Metals Jillian Sortore received her Master of Fine Arts from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2010 and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jewelry Design and Metals from Pittsburg State University in 2006. A variety of materials inform her work, which ranges from cheerfully lightweight and bright earrings to wearable sculptural adornment. Jillian’s work is featured at Equinox Gallery in San Antonio and is included in the current exhibition Amend, an invitational online exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment.

eNewsletter Sign-up

Your Information
Click to view help for this field.