The decision to attend graduate school is a pivotal step toward personal, creative and professional growth

To better inform your choice, we encourage you to visit our campuses and become familiar with the work of our alumni and faculty. Our Admissions counselors will guide you through application process, provide portfolio advice, answer your questions and serve as your admissions mentors.

The faculty and chair of each graduate department make final admissions decisions. In the case of the Innovation Systems Design dual-degree program, a joint decision will be made by both institutions after the student is enrolled in Graduate Industrial Design.

Send all admissions materials to:

Admissions Office
ArtCenter College of Design
1700 Lida St.
Pasadena, CA 91103

1. A Fully Completed Application

Applications can be completed online or downloaded from our site.

2. A non-refundable application fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $50 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents or $70 for non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent residents is required. The online application will prompt you to submit a payment. A check may be attached if you are downloading the application and submitting it by mail, payable to ArtCenter College of Design. To apply for a fee waiver, email for information. We cannot refund the fee once it has been paid through the online process.

3. Official transcripts from all colleges attended

Official transcripts should be sent directly to the Admissions Office from each issuing institution. Request your transcripts at the time of or prior to submitting your application. They will be held on file if they arrive before your application form. Transcripts from international schools that are not provided in English directly from the issuing institution must be presented both in the original language form and translated into English by a translation agency or official translator.

If you have attended a non degree-granting school or program, be sure to list it on your application.

Please be aware that once submitted, all documents become the property of the College and cannot be returned to the applicant.

For all graduate programs a completed undergraduate degree must be verified prior to enrollment.

4. English as a foreign language proficiency

ArtCenter welcomes international students and values cultural diversity in the classroom. Graduate applicants whose bachelor's degree was achieved in a language other than English must take the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) or I.E.L.T.S. to be considered for admission. The Committee may request testing from students who took ESL or English Language Acquisition classes (including English/Writing for Multilingual Speakers) in college. The Committee also may request testing from any student whose command of English is in doubt, including students who took ESL classes in high school. In addition, the Committee may review the individual scores on each section of the test. The Committee may request testing from any student whose command of English is in doubt.

  • TOEFL: a minimum score of 100 is required on the iBT. ArtCenter’s School Code is 4009. Effective August 1, 2019, the TOEFL “My Best” scores may be considered, but only in relation to the most recent score report section and composite scores. The overall performance on all tests will be considered when evaluating the test outcomes, and therefore the “My Best” scores will be part of the considerations.
  • IELTS: a minimum score of 7.0 is required on the Academic I.E.L.T.S. We do not participate in electronic download of scores from I.E.L.T.S. and no school code is required.

The score must be sent directly from the testing service and must have been taken within two years prior to the time of application. Institutional versions of the test are not accepted. Visit or for information on testing dates and procedures.

NOTE: For Fall 2020 applicants in mainland China and neighboring countries who are unable to take the TOEFL or IELTS due to test center closures related to combating the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-CoV), ArtCenter will accept the Duolingo DET in place of the TOEFL or IELTS. A minimum score of a 120 is required for graduate applicants. If you have not been impacted by a test center closure, you must take the TOEFL or IELTS.

5. Program-Specific Requirements

Each graduate department requires a portfolio and writing component for admission. Writing samples may include a personal statement, resume, or answers to specific prompts. Certain departments also require letters of recommendation. Please select your program of interest below for admission requirements specific to that department.

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