Students gathered around a docent giving a demonstration on ocean acidification

As the Bay Area’s leading cultural institution dedicated to opening our doors to the entire community, we’re proud to offer a variety of free and reduced admission opportunities and access programs that bring the wonders of science and the natural world to life for over 210,000 visitors each year. By lowering barriers to entry—whether cost, access, language, or culture—we’re creating an Academy for All.

Free and Reduced Admission Programs

A woman holds a young girl in front of the penguin exhibit

Through Neighborhood Free Weekends for San Francisco residents and other access programs for the public, the Academy offers full access to all the museum has to offer free of charge on select days of the year.

The Academy offers Free Admission tickets to low-income families through Community Access Ticket Services (CATS), a partnership with social service agencies in the Bay Area. CATS ensures qualified low-income families can attend the Academy at any time. The Academy donates the largest number of free tickets to CATS out of any organization, contributing 9,000 tickets annually.

Through the Discover & Go Library Program, the Academy provides passes to moderate- to low-income neighborhood libraries, including San Francisco, Richmond, Alameda, Contra Costa, Berkeley, Oakland, as well as over 40 local library systems.

We’re proud to introduce an all-new way to become part of the Academy: the Community Value membership. At $159 annually, this membership provides families with affordable access to the Academy 220+ days a year.


Museums for All

Museums for All logo

The Academy is a proud partner in Museums for All, a collaborative initiative that ensures every child and family has access to a world-class museum experience by offering reduced admission. Visitors with an EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) or WIC card can simply present it at the ticket window upon arrival to receive $3 Daytime Admission. Limit 4 per group per visit.


School and Youth Field Trips

Academy staff demonstrates proper magnifying glass technique to youngsters

More than 155,000 students and young people from across the Bay Area visit the Academy on free or subsidized field trips. Young visitors gain an invaluable learning experience outside the classroom, engaging face-to-face with natural wonders, authentic science, and environmental awareness.

We’re also proud to welcome 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade San Francisco students on field trips, providing free transportation, admission, and educational materials through the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Enhanced Museum Visits program.


A Diverse & Inclusive Workforce

Proud graduates of the Academy ARC program pose with their diplomas

As part of our unwavering commitment to reflecting the diverse communities that we serve, we actively recruit individuals traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields with the help of local partnerships.

Our partnership with The ARC of San Francisco and AccessSFUSD matches the Academy with a range of youth and adults with developmental disabilities who gain valuable work experience and build professional skills in a number of roles and areas of the museum suited to their interests and abilities.

We work closely with Sunset Youth Services and Larkin Street Youth Services to provide work opportunities to at-risk young adults eager to develop professional skills. We also work with custodial vendors that provide job training and professional support to recently arrived immigrants on staff.

MEAF logo

The Academy is proud to lead the Museums4Inclusion internship program for youth with developmental and intellectual disabilities. By providing hands-on science learning experience and job training opportunities, Museums4Inclusion aims to develop and grow equitable, inclusive workplaces that reflect the diverse communities that museums serve. This program is generously supported by Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation.



A girl and a penguin come face to face

We're committed to making our exhibits, programs, digital offerings, and services accessible to everyone, and are standing by to ensure every visitor is accommodated during their time at the museum—including visitors who don't speak English. Through efforts like translating the Giants of Land and Sea and Skin exhibits into Chinese (中文), Filipino, and Spanish (español) and hosting Language Days, we celebrate and embrace our multilingual region. 


Support Academy for All

We are committed to opening our doors so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of scientific literacy. Would you like to help?

The Academy for All initiative is made possible through the support of visionary donors. The Academy gratefully acknowledges the lead partners listed below.

  • City of San Francisco: Department of Children, Youth and Their Families​
  • Leslie & Troy Daniels
  • Doris Fisher
  • Genentech, Inc.
  • Google, Inc.
  • Heising-Simons Foundation
  • Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Barry and Marie Lipman
  • Marin Community Foundation
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company
  • Target
  • Temasek
  • Wells Fargo