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Transfer Credit Guidelines

Planning to transfer to MassArt? This is a guide for understanding the unique nature of MassArt’s curriculum, requirements, and transfer credit policies.

As a transfer applicant to MassArt, your transfer credit and placement level (as a first-year transfer/Foundation, sophomore, or junior) is determined on a case-by-case basis by the Admissions and Faculty Review Committees.

Placement is primarily determined by the student’s transferable studio credits. MassArt is looking for strong applicants in both academic and studio performance.

      • • The College accepts a maximum of 60 transfer credits, a maximum of 36 Studio Art Credits & a maximum of 24 Liberal Arts/History of Arts Credits.
      • • Students are required to spend at least two years and earn a minimum of 60 MassArt credits in order to earn a BFA.
      • • A letter grade of C or better must be earned in a 100-level course or higher with comparable credit hours in order to receive credit.
      • • The number of overall credits that transfer will not necessarily determine which level a student is placed.

      Studio Art Credit + Placement The number of transferable studio credits (not liberal arts) earned at previous post-secondary institutions determines the level at which you are eligible to enter as a transfer student.The Admissions team and Faculty Review Committees will evaluate the student's portfolio, course descriptions, and college transcripts when awarding credit. Portfolios should demonstrate skills gained in previous studio courses.
      All MassArt students begin in the first-year Foundation Program. Students must complete the Foundation year (or comparable coursework at a previous institution) before beginning in their chosen major as a sophomore. The required Foundation year is designed to give students a strong foundation in studio art and design and set you up to succeed in any major you choose.
      Throughout the year students will enroll in six studio art classes, two history of art classes, and two liberal arts classes: - Studio for Drawing (Fall) - Visual Language (Fall - Form Study (Fall or Spring) - Drawing Projects (Spring) - Time (Spring) - Studio elective (Fall or Spring) - Thinking, Making, Writing: Using Words with Clarity and Flair - First Year Seminar - Intro to Western Art - History of Art elective
      Liberal Arts and History of Art Credit Though additional Liberal Arts/History of Art courses (beyond the Foundation requirements) will not determine students’ placement level; they may still transfer, pending they meet our credit requirements. Classes must be comparable to MassArt courses in order for credit to transfer. Having additional liberal arts credits will provide additional flexibility in student schedules.
      Advanced Placement Transfer Credit Students who have received a score of 3, 4, or 5 in Advanced Placement examinations (AP exams) are eligible to receive transfer credit for studio electives, liberal arts electives, or History of Art electives at MassArt. The only AP course equivalent to a specific, required MassArt course is AP Art History which is equivalent to HART-100 Intro to Western Art; an exam score of 4 or 5 is required to receive credit for this course. Please submit official exam scores to the Office of Admissions as soon as they are available prior to enrolling at MassArt for review.
      View MassArt’s course equivalency guide for a list of examples of equivalent courses transfer students can take at other institutions to fulfil MassArt’s Foundation, Liberal Arts, and History of Art requirements.

    • All students are required to complete the Foundation year before beginning in their chosen major. Students who have not completed any studio courses at the college level will transfer in as Foundation students and it will likely take 4 years to earn your degree from MassArt.
      Students who have completed or are currently enrolled in roughly half of the Foundation requirements are eligible and encouraged to apply for the Spring semester.
      • • Students must have completed or be currently enrolled in at least three college-level studio courses including a drawing class and a class comparable to Visual Language (Two-Dimensional Design, Design and Color Theory).
      • • Additionally, students should also have completed or be currently enrolled in a 100-level or higher English Composition class and a history of art class.

      Students who do not meet these prerequisites should apply for the fall semester.
      View MassArt’s course equivalency guide for a list of examples of equivalent courses transfer students can take at other institutions to fulfil MassArt’s Foundation, Liberal Arts, and History of Art requirements.

    • Transfer students must have completed comparable coursework to be considered for advanced (Sophomore of Junior) placement within a major. Students who have not completed comparable courses will likely be placed as a Foundation student. Students who have completed coursework comparable to MassArt’s Foundation program may be placed as Sophomores.
      If students have completed additional major studio coursework, they may be eligible for placement as a 2nd semester Sophomore or 1st semester Junior. Faculty will evaluate student credentials compared to those of enrolled MassArt students to determine whether they are qualified for advanced placement in their chosen program.
      View a list of MassArt's undergraduate programs to learn more about each department and courses.

Ready to apply? Check out MassArt’s Transfer Application Requirements.

Questions? Please contact Shannon Gallagher, Transfer Admissions Counselor, at Or view more opportunities to connect with us.