Application Requirements

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 the application process, provide portfolio advice, answer your questions, and serve as your admissions mentors.

Upload your materials through the applicant portal or send materials to:

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

1. A Fully Completed Application

Applications can be completed online.

2. A non-refundable application fee

A nonrefundable application fee of $50 is required when submitting the online application. To apply for a fee waiver, email for information. We cannot refund the fee once it has been paid through the online process.

3. Transcripts from all colleges attended

Transcripts from all colleges attended are required. Unofficial transcripts that clearly list your name and the institution’s name can be uploaded through the online application or submitted through the applicant portal. While unofficial transcripts are accepted during the application process, if you are admitted, your enrollment will be contingent upon receipt of official transcripts confirming your bachelor’s degree from all colleges attended by one week prior to the start of the term.

When submitting official transcripts prior to enrollment, please make sure they are sent in a sealed official envelope from each institution you have attended, or electronically via secure electronic transcript service like Naviance, Parchment, National Student Clearinghouse, Scribbles, or eTranscript.

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, official translator or World Education Services (WES).

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

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. Short Essay

A response to this short essay question is required to submit your online application:

ArtCenter believes that our community is enriched when our classrooms are filled with individuals with different lived experiences and points of view. Tell us how your lived experience informs your point of view as a creative and as an individual. Have you encountered challenges associated with what makes you unique and, if so, how have you addressed these challenges? (400 words recommended).

5. English as a foreign language proficiency

ArtCenter welcomes international students and values cultural diversity in the classroom. Graduate applicants who have not completed a bachelor's degree in which the language of instruction was English must take the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT), IELTS or Duolingo English Test. The Committee will request testing from students who took ESL or English Language Acquisition classes (including English/Writing for Multilingual Speakers) in college. In addition, the Committee may review the individual scores on each section of the test. The Committee may request testing and/or an interview 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 IELTS.
  • Duolingo English Test: a minimum DET score of a 130 is required (for Fall 2023 applicants forward).

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.

Official scores must be received directly from the testing agency. Visit,, or for information on testing dates and procedures.

6. Program-Specific Requirements

Each graduate department requires a portfolio, written essays, and a resume for admission. All required documents can be uploaded through the online application. Certain departments also require letters of recommendation. You will also be able to list contacts for any required or optional letters of recommendation in the online application.

Program Requirements by Major

wood sculpture

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