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Admissions Standards


To be admitted to MassArt, students must meet specific academic standards. Learn more about these standards and exemptions below:

Standards for First-Time College Students

All first-year applicants are required to successfully complete the following courses in each academic subject over their four years of high school:

SubjectMinimum Years of Study
English (composition and literature)4
Math*(algebra I and II and geometry or comparable course work2
Sciences (laboratory)2
Additional mathematics or science1
Social sciences (including one course in U.S. history)2
Foreign language* (in one language)2
Visual art**2
Electives(from the above subjects or computer science, humanities, performing arts)2
Minimum Total Units17

*Foreign-language or algebra courses taken in the eighth grade can satisfy the area requirements if they appear on the high school transcript and if the applicant successfully completes the next level course with a grade of "C" or better. Eighth grade courses do not reduce the 17 units required in high school. Students may substitute additional electives or courses in other required subject areas.
**Students from high schools without art programs may substitute electives from other areas above, but are expected to pursue art through outside classes. Exceptions to this requirement are rare.

A high school GPA is calculated for each applicant on a 4.0 scale; all college prep, honors, and AP courses are included, and the GPA is weighted for honors AP classes The recommended GPA for admission is 3.0, though students are admitted from a range of academic backgrounds, and applicants below a 3.0 are considered for admission. A student's portfolio, essay, letter of recommendation, and activity list are also factors in the admissions process. Students are not admitted with a high school GPA below 2.3.

MassArt understands that transcripts may be affected as a result of schools moving to online/hybrid instruction due to COVID-19. Future applicants whose grades are affected will not be penalized for pass/fail grades, assuming the student receives a passing grade. MassArt continues to be test-optional and does not require standardized test scores (SAT/ACT) as part of our admission requirements or scholarship process; learn more.


Transfer applicants must present a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.5 at the college most recently attended. Students with fewer than twelve college transfer credits must meet the standards for first-time college students in addition to the minimum 2.5 college GPA requirement. Students who have earned college credits while enrolled in high school but have not been enrolled at a post-secondary institution after graduating are considered to be first-time college students; they must meet the standards for first-time college students although they may be awarded MassArt credits for college-level courses.

MassArt understands that transcripts may be affected as a result of schools moving to online/hybrid instruction due to COVID-19. Future applicants whose grades are affected will not be penalized for pass/fail grades, assuming the student receives a passing grade.


Applicants with professionally diagnosed and documented learning disabilities must complete the 17 required academic courses with a minimum required GPA of 3.0. If a student's GPA falls below 3.0, MassArt reserves the right to contact the student and/or their school counselor during the admissions process to further determine a student's college readiness. Learning disabled applicants may substitute two college preparatory electives for the two required foreign language courses only if they present results of a psycho-educational evaluation completed within the past three years that includes a specific diagnosis of a learning disability that leads to the inability to succeed in a foreign language.

ESL applicants must complete the 17 required college preparatory courses with two exceptions:

  • ESL applicants may substitute two electives for the required foreign language courses
  • ESL applicants may substitute up to two years of college preparatory ESL English courses for college preparatory English courses provided they achieve a rank of at least the 62nd percentile on the TOEFL or the IELTS (550 on the paper TOEFL, or 85 on the internet based test; 6.0 on the IELTS)

Vocational-technical students must complete 17 college preparatory courses, distributed in the same manner and with the same minimum grade point averages required of other high school graduates, with the following exceptions:
Two vocational-technical courses may be used to fulfill the two required electives Vocational-technical high school graduates who do not complete the two required college preparatory foreign language courses must complete an additional college preparatory elective course, for a total of three such courses, and satisfy one of the following options:

  • Complete at least one Carnegie unit of foreign language
  • Complete an additional Carnegie unit of mathematics or science
  • Complete one Carnegie unit of computer science

MassArt requires official evaluation from a documentation service to determine whether the transcript of a non-U.S. high school graduate is comparable to the required college preparatory course distribution. This includes course-by-course evaluations for both secondary school (high school) and college transcripts. These evaluations can take up to six weeks to complete, so please begin this process early. Evaluations must be arranged through NACES or AICE approved members:

International applicants who have academic documents from institutions outside of the U.S. are required to submit official (original, attested, or certified true) copies of academic records for secondary school education and any college-level study. Please note that this should begin with the first year of secondary school or high school. Credentials in languages other than English must be accompanied by a certified literal English translation. Translations must be complete, literal, word-for-word translations and mirror the original document.

All secondary (high school) and post-secondary (college) transcripts should be converted into the U.S. educational equivalencies. Records that are not converted into the U.S. equivalencies must have a course-by-course evaluation by an external evaluation agency and should include:

  • Name of the educational institution
  • Country where it is located
  • Length of study and its U.S. equivalent
  • Courses studied by year
  • A conversion of grades and/or examinations to the U.S. grade equivalents of A, B, C, D and F on a 4-point scale
  • Total credits earned and conversion of course hours to U.S. semester hours
  • U.S. degree equivalent • T: 617.879.7222 • F: 617.879.7250