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How to Apply

PCA&D has rolling admissions, which means applications will be reviewed throughout the calendar year on an individual basis.

Spring semester start

Deadline for priority scholarship and aid consideration is November 1st. Any requests to apply for spring after December 17th will be evaluated case-by-case.

Fall semester start

Deadline for priority scholarship and aid consideration is April 1st. Any requests to apply for fall after July 31st will be evaluated case-by-case.

Contact the Admissions Office at 800.689.0379 or admissions@pcad.edu for more information.

Apply today to start your future with PCA&D!

Submit These Items to Apply

All students begin the admissions process by submitting an online application. You may submit through either the PCA&D application or the Common App application.

If using the PCA&D application, a non-refundable fee of $40 USD will be applied upon submission. You will be granted access to our Application Hub that will serve as your home base throughout the admissions process. You’ll be able to submit materials, check for updates, make payments, find helpful resources, and more.

PCA&D ApplicationCommon App Application

Portfolios should contain 8 – 10 pieces of recent, original artwork, including at least 2 pieces from direct observation. We ask for pieces from direct observation regardless of the major you wish to pursue and they should show an understanding of value and strong composition.

Submit Your Portfolio

(Optional) Schedule a One-on-One Portfolio Meeting: To schedule, contact your admissions counselor or email admissions@pcad.edu. We also review artwork throughout the year at PCA&D Admissions Events, high school and college visits, and National Portfolio Days.

NEVER send original artwork via mail or another delivery service.

You don’t need to send a personal statement if you’re submitting your application through Common App.

If you’re applying with the PCA&D application, upload a typed personal statement of 250 – 500 words to your account on our Application Hub. Your personal statement should tell the admissions team: why you? Answer questions like: Who are you? Why art? Why art school? Why PCA&D, specifically? In your writing, show us the bold, creative, you. Make a personal statement, literally.

Application Hub login

Your statement may also be printed and mailed or emailed as a PDF to admissions@pcad.edu. *If you send your statement through Google Docs, please check the document’s sharing settings prior to sending.

We require official transcripts from all applicants for their most recently completed degree. Transfer students must submit transcripts from all colleges where courses were completed. Transcripts should be requested and sent directly from your previous institution to PCA&D via mail, Parchment, SCOIR, or to admissions@pcad.edu with a written statement of authenticity.

Applicants not holding a high school diploma must submit an official GED or HiSET transcript in addition to high school transcripts. Pennsylvania and several other state GED or HiSET transcript requests are available here. PCA&D does not consider applications for students who do not have a high school diploma or equivalency.

PCA&D welcomes applicants who have previously attended college or completed college-level work. Each student’s path to transfer is unique, which is why PCA&D evaluates transfer credit based on the student’s portfolio, course descriptions, and all classes listed with a “C” or better in all 100+ level courses on the student’s college transcripts.

More About Transferring

International students must have completed all of their country’s primary and secondary school requirements. Students should use a credential evaluation service for transcripts, find a list of potential service providers here.

If you are an international applicant and your first language is not English, you must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieve the required score of 80, or the IELTS and achieve the required score of 6.5. In place of TOEFL or IELTS scores, PCA&D will accept ELS’s Certificate of Completion- Level 112 – English for Academic Purposes as proof of competency in English. Test scores have to be sent to PCA&D prior to the application deadline.

International students should download our academic catalog for more information.

Additional Items

PCA&D is one of over 900 four-year colleges and universities that do not use the SAT or ACT to admit applicants. We place more emphasis on who you are as a person, student, and artist. Although PCA&D will not consider ACT or SAT scores when reviewing your application, you are welcome to submit them.

PCA&D’s College Board code is 002681. Click here to send your score.

PCA&D’s ACT College code is 3569. Click here to send your score.

PCA&D does not require letters of recommendation, however, they are a fantastic addition to your application. These should not be from friends and family members, but from art teachers, academic instructors, guidance counselors, employers, volunteer supervisors, etc. Anyone submitting a letter on your behalf can send their letter by mail, Parchment, or send a PDF via email to admissions@pcad.edu.

If you have been out of high school and not enrolled at a college or university for more than six months, you must submit a résumé. These can be uploaded to your Applicant Status Portal, submitted by mail, or as a PDF via email to admissions@pcad.edu.

Request More Information

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design prohibits discrimination against and harassment on the basis of age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, family or marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, disability, religion, veteran status, or any other protected class in any aspects of its employment process, admissions process, and programs and activities. Pennsylvania College of Art & Design prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment in accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Policies & Nondiscrimination Guidelines, City of Lancaster General Legislation Chapter 125/Ord. No. 10-2001, and all other applicable federal, state, and local laws.

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