How to Apply

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

Fall semester

New applications are being accepted for Spring or Fall 2024 classes. Our Spring semester begins on Tuesday, January 16.

To connect with a personal admission counselor, call 800.689.0379 ext. 1001 or email admissions@pcad.edu.

Apply today to start your future with PCA&D!

Use either the PCA&D application or the Common App application.

Submitting an application to PCA&D is free! Once submitted, you’ll gain access to a PCA&D Applicant Portal 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. If your portfolio only consists of fan art or fan edits, you will be asked to submit different pieces.

Transfer students intending to major in Animation & Game Art, Fine Art, or Illustration must include at least 2 pieces from direct observation. Those pieces should show an understanding of value and strong composition.

Learn More & 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 through your PCA&D Applicant Portal. 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 taken, regardless of completion or credits received. 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.

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, and does not consider them during your application review for admission.

Resumes can be uploaded to your Applicant Status Portal, submitted by mail, or as a PDF via email to admissions@pcad.edu.

Choose from 13 Undergraduate Certificates and expand your skills in your current career or jumpstart something new. Certificates with total credits of 16 or above are eligible for financial aid. Learn more

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.