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Admissions Requirements

Undergraduate Admissions Requirements

The Academy of Art University maintains a no-barrier admissions policy for all undergraduate programs.* The Academy was built on the educational philosophy that all students interested in studying art and design deserve the opportunity to do so. Previous experience with art and design is not required for admission, and students of all skill levels are encouraged to apply. The Academy offers foundations courses that provide students with core art and design skills. It is our belief that all students willing to make the appropriate commitment have the ability to learn professional-level skills.

The Academy of Art University requires all students in degree-seeking programs to have a high school degree or an equivalency. The Academy of Art University accepts the following as proof of high school graduation:

  • Official, sealed copy of high school transcript or GED
  • Signed Proof of High School Equivalency Declaration Form
  • Signed Home School Program Certification form and transcripts
  • CHSPE Letter

Transcripts or proof of high school graduation must be received before the end of the first semester. Transcripts should be delivered or mailed in envelopes sealed by the previous institutions you attended. Your transcripts or proof of high school graduation must be sent to: Academy of Art University, Articulation Office, 79 New Montgomery Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105-3410.

Graduate Admissions Requirements

The Academy of Art University graduate programs are designed for students who desire to improve their portfolio. The Academy requires graduate applicants to demonstrate their ability and intent to complete a Master of Art (MA), Master of Fine Art (MFA), or Master of Architecture program (M. Arch.).* After submitting the application form and application fee, graduate applicants must submit the following additional items to be considered for admission. Students may only register for graduate classes after being admitted into a Master of Art, Master of Fine Art, or Master of Architecture program.

Statement of Intent: One page, typed, explaining your goals in Graduate School. Contact Graduate Admissions for department specific details.

Résumé: Describe your educational and professional experience.

Official College Transcripts: Sealed transcripts may be sent directly from the college(s) attended or may be submitted by the applicant. Transcripts must show completion of an undergraduate degree. You must submit official transcripts from the institution from which you graduated.

Registration for graduate classes

Once accepted into the Graduate Program, student portfolios will be reviewed for placement purposes in the curriculum.

Portfolio: A body of work representing the chosen discipline will be required. A description list is helpful to accompany portfolios when being reviewed, with all pieces labeled with your name and the title, size, medium and year. For collaborative works, please explain your role in the creative process. International applicants are asked to provide an English translation of any copy/written material presented as part of the portfolio. Applicants should contact an Admissions Representative for details on portfolio submission, including content and format requirements.**

Based on the skill level of the portfolio, a candidate applying to the MFA or M. Arch. program may be required to take preparatory classes in advance of entering graduate-level classes. Units earned for preparatory classes are not counted as part of the total units necessary to receive an MFA or M. Arch. degree. Candidates granted provisional acceptance to the Master of Fine Arts Program must successfully complete classes designated by the admissions committee before enrolling in the MFA or M. Arch. degree program.