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transferring to massart
Approximately one-third to one-half of all new students enter MassArt as transfers. A transfer student is anyone who has earned college credit after receiving a high school diploma or equivalent. Typically, these students have either acquired or were pursuing degrees from accredited four-year liberal arts colleges, universities, two-year community colleges, or other colleges of art or design. View MassArt's transfer credit guidelines.
If you are considering attending a Massachusetts community college to transfer to MassArt, learn more about the state's Commonwealth Commitment program. Please note that MassArt accepts Commonwealth Commitment applications, but does not accept the Mass Transfer application. If you are currently attending a Massachusetts Community College and are not applying through Commonwealth Commitment, please complete a MassArt application.
Before applying, applicants should review MassArt's admissions standards.
The priority deadline for Fall 2019 is March 1, 2019. Please submit all materials by this deadline.
Transfer application requirement checklist
- Application form and $70 application fee
- Official high school and college transcripts
- Official SAT or ACT scores (optional)
- Official English proficiency exam scores (non-native English speakers only)
- Two letters of recommendation
- Résumé / list of activities
- Proof of graduation
- Copy of permanent registration card (legal permanent residents only)
Application form and fee
Students should apply online by completing the Common Application. The application form and $70 fee must be submitted to be considered for admission.
- Step 1: Complete the Common Application and pay the application fee by credit card, following the link above
- Step 2: Upload supplementary materials electronically or mail/deliver them to MassArt's Admissions Office
- Step 3: Upload the portfolio; after submitting the Common Application, you will be emailed a link (within two days of receipt of your application) through which you can upload the portfolio
- Step 4: Check the status of your application using the application portal
Application fee waiver
An application fee waiver request will be considered in cases of extreme financial hardship substantiated by a College Board fee waiver form issued from your guidance counselor or a letter from your social worker, financial aid officer, or clergy person. This waiver may be submitted by fax, email, or mail. Your application will not be considered complete until this request is received by the Admissions Office.
The application essay gives you an opportunity to express yourself in words and gives the Admissions Committee more insight into who you are as an individual. Please answer one of the following questions, and provide a statement of at least 500 words:
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma - anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
5. Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
6. Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
If you have not taken any studio art or design courses at the college level, please submit a portfolio of 15-20 examples of your strongest and most recent artwork, reflecting your interests, skills, and willingness to explore, experiment, and express yourself. Your portfolio may concentrate on a single medium or may show a variety of media. We encourage you to include work representing a sustained interest and/or development over time.
If you have completed studio art or design courses at the college level, it may be appropriate to submit a portfolio with more than 15-20 examples of artwork. Keeping in mind the guidelines listed above, please submit 3-5 examples from each class, reflecting the knowledge gained in those courses. Transfer credit will be awarded based on the strength of the examples provided.
Portfolios must be submitted digitally. Please apply using the Common Application, and a link will be provided for you to complete your portfolio.
Official high school and college transcripts
All transcripts must be official. In order to be considered official, transcripts can be sent one of two ways:
- Directly to MassArt in an envelope stamped and sealed by a high school or a college registrar
- Electronically through the Common Application
High school/secondary school
Unless you currently hold a baccaluareate degree or have earned 60 credits or more at the point of applying, please submit your official high school/secondary school transcript.
High School Equivalency
If you have completed the General Education Diploma (GED) or HiSET, please send us your official score report including percentages and your high school transcript. MassArt's HiSET code is MA1001010.
To be considered for admission, home-schooled students must submit transcripts or the GED/HiSET. Please note that the college does not consider applicants who do not have a high school diploma or equivalency.
Official transcripts must be submitted for all colleges/post-secondary schools you attended. Please submit a list of in-progress courses if they do not appear on the transcript.
College course descriptions
For the purposes of evaluating transfer credit, applicants should provide a list of course descriptions for completed classes. Descriptions may be copied from a college catalog or website.
SAT or ACT scores (optional)
Massachusetts College of Art and Design will no longer require standardized tests scores (SAT/ACT) as part of our admission requirements.
MassArt reserves the right to contact the student during the admissions process to further determine a student's college readiness. International students whose native language is not English will be required to submit English proficiency exam scores to demonstrate language proficiency. If an applicant submits test scores, we will not factor these test scores into the admission decision, but will reserve the right to use these scores in statistical analysis if the student is admitted and decides to enroll at MassArt. In addition, test scores will not be used for merit scholarship consideration.
If you choose to submit test scores, MassArt's SAT school code is 3516. MassArt's ACT school code is 1846. SAT or ACT reports should be sent directly from the College Board, American College Testing or through the high school guidance office.
For any exceptions, more information can be found under admissions standards.
OFFICIAL ENGLISH PROFICIENCY EXAM SCORES (Non-Native English speakers only)
Students whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate English language proficiency by submitting official TOEFL, IELTS, DuoLingo, or the Pearson Test of English scores as part of the application process. Learn more
Two letters of recommendation
Letters of recommendation can be very helpful in consideration of your application. It's best to choose someone who can discuss your potential as a student, your motivation, skills, background, and character. This person should have first-hand knowledge of your art or academic achievements. We recommend asking someone, such as an art teacher, liberal arts teacher, guidance counselor, employer, or mentor.
Using the Common Application, you can provide the contact information of the recommender, and they will be able to submit an online form on your behalf. We will also accept letters of recommendation via postal mail, or e-mail sent directly from the reference's account to email@example.com. All recommendation letters must sent by the reference, or be on signed high school, college, or business letterhead and sent in a sealed envelope. We will not accept recommendation letters sent by a student or a family member that have not been signed and sealed by the reference.
Please note the Common Application refers to recommenders as "Academic Evaluators."
Résumé / list of activities
Include a list of your activities including employment, community service, school clubs, organizations, and extracurricular interests. Specify positions held (if any), length of service, and awards or prizes.
Copy of permanent registration card (legal permanent residents only)
Legal permanent residents of the U.S. must submit a copy of the front and back of your permanent registration card along with your application materials in order to be considered for admission.
Proof of graduation
MassArt requires proof of graduation for all first year and transfer students. This is necessary for both residency documentation and financial aid verification.
Transfer applicants with an academic transcript that indicates they have successfully completed at least two years of post-secondary education (48 or more credits, not including college credits completed while in high school), have adequate documentation to fulfill the proof of graduation requirement. If credits are currently in progress, you must provide the final college transcript noting successful competition of those course in order to enroll. Failure to do so will require you to submit your proof of graduation, and you will not be able to start classes without proper documentation. To satisfy this requirement, you may submit one of the following:
- A final high school transcript from a U.S. high school or U.S.-accredited high school, including a date of graduation; signed, stamped, or sealed by a school official, and sent from your high school or recognized third-party vendor
- A Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED) or High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) results sent directly from the testing organization
- An official copy of documentation sent directly from the IB Organization indicating that a diploma has been awarded
- Some national exam results: GCE/GCSE exams (O-Level and AS-level), India Secondary School Examinations, Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Exams, and CAPE I, etc.
- Home-schooled students have the additional option to submit a letter from a local school district official or state education agency certifying that the student received an education substantially equivalent to instruction given to students graduating from high school in a public or private institution
If you are mailing materials, please address your package to:
Office of Admissions
Massachusetts College of Art and Design
621 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Admissions decision letters are released electronically within a student's Application Portal. Decisions are released on a rolling basis; please allow 4-6 weeks from the time your application is complete, following March 1, to expect a decision.
If you have questions about your decision letter, please contact the Admissions Office.