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Transfer Credit Guidelines

As a transfer applicant to MassArt, the transfer of credit and level of placement are determined on a case-by-case basis by the Admissions and Faculty Review Committees.

The College accepts a maximum of 60 transfer credits and requires a student to spend at least two years and earn a minimum of 60 credits at MassArt in order to earn a BFA. MassArt is looking for strong applicants in both academic and studio performance.

If you are considering attending a Massachusetts community college to transfer to MassArt, learn more about the state's Commonwealth Commitment program.

Transfer credit for studio courses

Applicants may be placed as foundation (freshman) transfers or advanced transfers into the sophomore or junior level within a particular major. 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.

Through the portfolio, the Admissions and Faculty Review Committees assess your studio skills and the studio courses that will transfer toward degree requirements. Faculty compare your level of accomplishment to that expected of enrolled MassArt students and determine whether you are qualified for advanced status in the area you have chosen.

Studio credit is awarded based on an evaluation of the student's portfolio, course descriptions, and college transcripts, provided the student earned a grade of C or better in a 100 level or higher course. Portfolios should demonstrate skills gained in previous studio courses. A maximum of 36 studio art credits may be accepted pending review.

The chart below outlines the courses students take during the first-year Foundation Program at MassArt. Students enroll in six studio art classes, two history of art classes, and two liberal arts classes. Transfer students must have completed comparable coursework to be considered for advanced placement within a major.

MassArt Course Code and NameSemesterCredits Required


Examples of Equivalent Courses
SFDN 181 Studio for DrawingFall3 cr.Introduction to formal principles, breadth of drawing practice focusing on figurative and direct observational work
SFDN 182 Visual LanguageFall3 cr.2D Design, Design and Color Theory
SFDN 183 Form StudyFall/Spring3 cr.Intro to 3D Design, Sculpture
SFDN 185 Drawing ProjectsSpring3 cr.Drawing II, Drawing with Color, Drawing for Designers
SFDN 191 TimeSpring3 cr.Intro to Film/Video, Intro to Time-Based Media, 4D, Video Production, Animation
Studio ElectiveFall/Spring3 cr.Any comparable studio art, music, performance, or theater-based course
HART 100 Intro to Western ArtFall/Spring3 cr.Art History I, Ancient to Modern Art, Ancient to Medieval Art, Renaissance to Modern Art
HART (History of Art) ElectiveFall/Spring3 cr.Art History II, Modern Art, History of Photography, Fashion History, Renaissance Art
LALW 100 Thinking, Making, WritingFall/Spring3 cr.English Composition, ENG 101, Writing
FRSM 100 Freshman SeminarFall/Spring3 cr.A reading-intensive introduction to the history of art or liberal arts, emphasizing critical reading and thinking

Transfer credit for liberal arts and history of art courses

Liberal art credit is awarded for comparable liberal arts and history of art classes provided the student earned a grade of C or better in a 100 level or higher course. A maximum of 24 liberal art and history of art credits may be accepted.

In addition to the two liberal arts and two history of art classes taken during the first-year Foundation program, students may earn transfer credit for the classes below:

MassArt Course Code and NameCredits RequiredExamples of Equivalent Courses
LALW 200 Literary Traditions3 creditsLiterature of the Western World, Survey of Lit


LASS 280 Intro to Psychology3 credits*Intro to Psychology, Psych 101
LALW Electives3 credits/12 max

Literature, Writing, Film Criticism, Foreign Language, Public Speaking, Communications

LASS Electives


6 credits/15 maxPsychology (not Intro), Sociology, U.S. History, Government, Economics, Music Theory
LAMS Electives3 credits/12 maxBiology, Algebra, Astronomy, Calculus, Chemistry
HART Electives6 credits/15 max


Art History II, Modern Art, History of Photography, Fashion History, Renaissance Art

*Art Education majors