Listed below are the materials we request from students who would like to gain entry to our bachelor of fine art degree program as full-time, part-time, first-time, or transfer students. PCA&D operates on a rolling admission calendar meaning that applications are accepted and decisions are made throughout the year. Priority for scholarships is given to candidates who apply by March 1st for the fall semester and December 1st for the Spring semester.

The admission department assesses students on a non-discriminatory basis and does not exclude the recruitment or enrollment of students based on financial background, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, national or ethnic origin, or veteran status and does not discriminate against members of protected classes under the law.


We ask students that are attending college for the first-time, transferring from another institution, or live internationally* to submit the following:



An application, along with the non-refundable application fee ($40 USD), can be submitted online, by mail, or at a PCA&D Open House.



Portfolios should contain 10 – 15 pieces of recent, original artwork, including a minimum of 3 pieces from direct observation. We ask for pieces from direct observation regardless of the major you wish to pursue and they should show an understand of value and strong composition. We encourage you to submit your portfolio in-person, but digital portfolios are also accepted. Click the button below for more detailed information about building your portfolio.

In-person Review: To submit your portfolio in-person contact your admissions counselor, email, or call (800) 689-0379, ext. 1001. We also conduct in-person reviews throughout the year at each PCA&D Open House and at National Portfolio Days on the East Coast.

Digital Review: You can upload your portfolio at PCA&D SlideRoom. If you upload your portfolio, please leave commentary on each of your pieces to give your counselor context for your work.

NEVER send original work via mail or other delivery service.


Personal Statement

A typed personal statement of 250 – 500 words that describe: your reasons for choosing a visual arts education, any influences that led to this choice, visual art experiences you have had in and outside of the classroom, any involvement in clubs or jobs, and your current creative goals. We are looking for an expression of your passion and commitment to art. Applicants should list their full name and mailing address on the statement. The statement may be printed and mailed or emailed as a PDF to



We require an official high school transcript from all applicants. Applicants not holding a high school diploma must submit an official GED or HiSET transcript as well as high school transcripts. Pennsylvania and several other state GED or HiSET transcript requests are available on the web at https:// www.diplomasender.comTransfer students must also submit transcripts from all completed college coursework along with course descriptions in addition to their high school transcript. PCA&D does not consider applications for students who do not have a high school diploma or equivalency.


Interview (Optional)

We want to meet you! We welcome you to schedule a personal interview with a PCA&D admissions counselor. The interview enables the college to assess each applicant’s artistic background, intent, level of commitment, and ability to benefit from advanced study in the arts. To schedule an interview, contact our office at 800.689.0379 ext. 1001 or


Letters of Recommendation (Optional or by Request)

Letters of recommendation from art teachers, academic instructors, guidance counselors, employers, volunteer supervisors, etc. are a fantastic addition to your application. These should not be from friends and family members. Anyone submitting a letter on your behalf can send their letter by mail or send a PDF via email to Counselors may request letters of recommendation to better understand a student with a below-average GPA.


Test Scores (Optional, Required for International)

PCA&D is one of over 900 four-year colleges and universities that do not use the SAT or ACT to admit applicants. As a test-optional institution, we place more emphasis on who you are as a person, student, and artist. Although PCA&D does not require ACT or SAT scores, you are welcome to submit them.

PCA&D’s College Board code is 002681.

PCA&D’s ACT College code is 3569.

If you are an international applicant and your first language is not English, you must submit the TOEFL (required score of 80) or the IELTS (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.


Résumé (Sometimes Required)

If you have been out of high school or not enrolled at a college or university for more than six months, you must submit a résumé. These can be submitted by mail or as a PDF via email to


*International students wishing to enter the BFA degree program at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design must apply one year in advance of the semester they plan to enroll. International students must have completed all of their country’s primary and secondary school requirements. International applicants whose first language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam and have the results sent by the application deadline.  Students should utilize a credential evaluation service for transcripts. A list of potential service providers can be found at International students should download our current catalog for more information.