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Commonwealth Commitment

The Commonwealth Commitment is a pathway offered through the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s MassTransfer program. It allows Massachusetts students to significantly lower the cost of a bachelor’s degree by beginning their coursework at a state community college before transferring to a Massachusetts state university such as MassArt.

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The Commonwealth Commitment is for Massachusetts high school students interested in attending MassArt who have the opportunity to take coursework equivalent to our Studio Foundation year (MassArt’s first-year student requirements) at any state community college and then transfer to MassArt as a sophomore with reduced tuition and fees among other benefits

Take the Commonwealth Commitment and pledge to enroll full-time and maintain a 3.00+ grade point average as you follow a MassTransfer A2B Mapped degree program.

On top of MassTransfer benefits, you will shave thousands of additional dollars off your degree sticker price through a combination of special savings offered only to Commonwealth Commitment students.

Commonwealth Commitment may also be a good option for students who would benefit from improving their GPA and/or portfolio at a community college before applying to MassArt.

  • Begin at a Massachusetts community college and enroll in the Commonwealth Commitment program before completing 15 credits
  • Take equivalent coursework to MassArt’s required Foundation year outlined in our A2B pathways (all MassArt students are required to begin their studies as a first-year student in the Foundation program before beginning in their chosen major)
  • Transfer to MassArt after one year*
  • Complete their bachelor’s degree within 3 years at MassArt
  • Maintain full-time, continuous enrollment and a cumulative 3.00+ GPA, in order to stay enrolled in the program

*Because MassArt has a highly sequential curriculum, we have a unique relationship with the Commonwealth Commitment. Students are able to apply to transfer to MassArt after one year because community colleges seldom have the equivalents to MassArt’s specific sophomore major studio requirements. Commonwealth Commitment students typically transfer in as sophomores and spend 3 years earning their BFA at MassArt. Students can transfer their MassArt credits back to the community college to earn their associate degree

Freeze on all increases on tuition & mandatory fees upon program entry (valid until student successfully completes or leaves Commonwealth Commitment program)

  • A 10% rebate off tuition & mandatory fees, payable at the end of every successfully completed semester
  • Additional MassTransfer Tuition Credit on bachelor’s degree program entry (valued at $1,030 per year)
  • Guaranteed Admission – space permitting and pending portfolio review*
  • Students applying to transfer to MassArt must complete an application via the CommonApp and submit an essay as well as a portfolio; learn more about MassArt’s application requirements

*Students must submit coursework samples from each studio class in their application portfolio. 

Visit the Commonwealth Commitment website

  1. Start by researching the right community college for you.
    Students who are interested in transferring to MassArt will want to ensure their community college offers equivalent coursework to MassArt’s Foundation year program. Students will also want to factor in location, student services, elective course offerings, etc.  
  2. Connect with a counselor and enroll in Commonwealth Commitment. Students can speak with a transfer counselor at their community college about filling out their Commonwealth Commitment participation form (students must submit their participation form prior to earning 15 college credits at the community college, excluding dual enrollment credits or development courses).

    Once enrolled, you may want to talk to your transfer counselor or an academic advisor to make sure you are enrolling in the right courses to set you up for a smooth transfer. Students should have at least eight out of MassArt’s ten Foundation requirements completed in order to be eligible to transfer at the sophomore level (students can “make up” up to two remaining requirements at MassArt). You can reference MassArt’s Foundation course equivalency chart. For additional support, you can also connect with Shannon Gallagher, Transfer Admissions Counselor at MassArt, at 
  3. Ace your classes!
    In order for credit to transfer, students must earn a grade of ‘C’ or higher in courses that are 100-level or higher. Keep in mind that studio credit is evaluated based on your transcripts as well as your portfolio; please document and save your artwork to include in the portfolio portion of your application. Ideally, students should have 3-5 work samples from each studio class. Portfolios should include 20-30 pieces overall. Please review MassArt’s portfolio tips. 
  4. Ready to apply?
    Commonwealth Commitment students transferring in at the sophomore level must begin their coursework at MassArt in the Fall (some programs do make exceptions, please inquire). The application deadline for the fall semester is March 1. After the Common Application is submitted you will receive two emails with login information and a link to the MassArt Applicant Portal. It can take up to 24-hours after submitting your Common Application to receive these emails – plan your time accordingly.

  5. MassArt Transfer Application
    Once you submit your application and all required materials, the admissions team will review your materials and verify your eligibility for the program. An application fee waiver will be granted once your eligibility has been verified. 


Are you a Massachusetts high school student interested in attending MassArt? If so, you can earn significant savings on the cost of your education while strengthening your application to MassArt by participating in the state’s MassTransfer program.

Through the program, you would begin your coursework at a local community college by following MassTransfer’s 30-credit A2B Mapped Pathway (and take equivalent coursework to MassArt’s first-year student requirements). Upon completion, you would transfer to MassArt at the sophomore level into the undergraduate program of your choice, pending space availability.

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Students who are not eligible for Commonwealth Commitment are encouraged to check out the MassTransfer A2B Pathway. The A2B pathway offers students the flexibility to take less than a full-time course load each semester while still providing application and tuition benefits (though benefits are not as extensive as with Commonwealth Commitment).

Visit Masstransfer Comparison Page

Students are also encouraged to reference MassArt’s Transfer Credit Guidelines and Transfer Application Checklist when ready to apply.

Tuition Free Community College (TFCC)

College is too important to be limited to those who can afford it. That’s why the Tuition-Free Community College (TFCC) Plan is piloting a partnership with Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt) to help Pell-eligible students transfer for free.

The program will cover tuition, fees, and mandatory supplies for students transferring from a partner community college to a bachelor’s degree program at MassArt. TFCC covers 3 years of funding at MassArt. We strongly recommend meeting with a counselor to help you plan ahead and prepare to graduate within three years after transferring.

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The following costs are covered for most TFCC students:

  • Tuition and mandatory fees remaining after financial aid has been applied.
  • $250 each semester for up to three years of college-related expenses such as books or transportation.

Debt of up to $2,500 for students with an outstanding balance at a partner college that is preventing a student from re-enrolling at that college. TFCC provides funding for up to three years, including summer semester.

To be eligible, you must:

Eligible Boston Zip Codes

Boston Bridge is the partnership between the Tuition Free Community College Plan (TFCC) and the State’s Commonwealth Commitment program that allows eligible students to earn a bachelor’s degree free of tuition and mandatory fees.

The Boston Bridge combines the benefits of the Tuition-Free Community College Plan with the benefits of Commonwealth Commitment. Commonwealth Commitment is a state plan that makes the continuation to four-year college more affordable. Through the Boston Bridge, you can attend one of TFCC’s participating community colleges and then transfer to one of Massachusetts’ four-year state schools to finish your bachelor’s degree at no cost.

Students interested in the TFCC plan should apply to MassArt by the priority deadline of March 1, 2024 for Fall 2024 enrollment. The application will be available starting in September; please check back. Learn more about transfer application requirements.

To learn more about the Tuition Free Community College Plan, visit

Shannon Gallagher Assistant Director of Transfer Admission, Admissions


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