How to transfer to PCA&D: Tips and resources

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Thursday, December 27th, 2018

It’s that time of year where many students are thinking about a change in their college attendance or are about to finish high school but are thinking a start at community college might be the path. If this is you, I have some advice to share! I’m Rebecca Adey, Assistant Director of Admissions. A large part of my job at PCA&D is assisting other admissions counselors and prospective transfer students with credit transfer.

Every year, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design welcomes students who transfer to us from another college or university. Some students come to us from a local community college, others transfer from four-year colleges and universities, some come to us from our 2+2 partners, and others seek us out to continue their education after some time off to reassess their goals.

Each Journey to College Transfer is Unique

According to the National Association of College Admission Counseling, a third of students end up transferring to other colleges and universities, so you are not alone in your desire to find another academic home. Students often decide to transfer when they realize what they really DO want, have achieved certain educational or financial goals, or are just ready to spread their wings. Transfers apply to PCA&D for these reasons and more, but they all come to PCA&D because they’ve decided that our guidance will lead them to a professional life in art.

How We View Your Transfer of Credits

A smooth transfer takes a little planning and the admissions department is here to help you with the transition. When I first meet with someone interested in transferring, I try to get a sense of what classes they have already taken so I can assess how their classroom experiences will best transfer into PCA&D’s course of study. Skills, techniques, historical context, and critical thinking support all work in the arts at every stage in an artist’s career. Through receiving your college transcript(s)  we are able to offer advice on coursework to take during the remaining semesters at your current institution that will best help the transition into our program.

Advice For Planning Credit Transfer

If you aren’t in college yet, but plan to begin your education at a community college or other university before attending PCA&D, I encourage you to contact a PCA&D admissions counselor. We are always happy to advise students on coursework that will help ensure a smooth transfer to PCA&D.To make sure your coursework at another college will be a good match to PCA&D’s freshman Foundation Year and make the transition easier I recommend the following:

  • Closely follow the curriculum outlined for students in our Foundation year including Drawing I & II, 2D Design, Painting I or Color Theory; and depending upon what your college offers, 3D Design, and a Digital Imaging or Digital Photography class.
  • Enroll in classes that are a combination of studio and liberal arts rather than focusing on only taking liberal art or “Gen Ed” subjects. Your liberal arts should include English Composition I & II and Western Art History I & II.
  • Earn good grades; only courses completed with a “C” or better in 100 level classes or higher will be eligible for transfer credit.


And please, contact us! PCA&D is a specialized college; sometimes transfer or academic advisors at your current college or university may be less familiar with visual art education. We’re always available to advise you so you are able make the most of your time and financial investment prior to transferring. And if you are really considering PCA&D for your future, keep an eye on our blog as we will be featuring a few of our current students who transferred to PCA&D. We are excited to share their stories of transfer and decisions to create their life in art with us.