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 a variety of courses ranging from painting and sculpture to photography and video, performance and conceptual art, also including architecture, scenography and conservation/restoration is being offered to 1,400 enrolled students. By giving 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 is considered central for 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 advocating 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, it encourages its students to gather international experience in the course of their studies, and supports them in their endeavors.