PCA&D operates on a rolling admissions calendar, which means applications will be reviewed throughout the calendar year on an individual basis. The priority application deadline is March 1st for fall semester applicants, and December 1 for spring semester applicants. Apply today to start your future with PCA&D.

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.


Submit These Items to Apply:



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



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. Click the button below for more information about building your portfolio and a link to our upload site.

(Optional) Schedule a One-on-One Review: 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 other delivery service.


Personal Statement

Submit your application to PCA&D. After you’ve submitted, upload a typed personal statement of 250 – 500 words to your Applicant Status Portal that describes: 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.

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 listing their most recent coursework. 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.



Application Questions:


Do I Need to Send Test Scores?

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.


Are you a Transfer Student?

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.


Are you an International Student?

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 current catalog for more information.



Additional Items:

Recommendation Letters

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.