Transfer Students

Approximately one-third to one-half of all new students enter MassArt as transfers. They 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.

Applicants may transfer to MassArt as freshman transfers, sophomores, or juniors. 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. In addition, the transfer of credit
and level of placement are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Transfer Admissions Standards

Transfer applicants must present a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.5 at the college most recently attended. Applicants with fewer than 12 college transfer credits must also meet the first-time freshman prerequisites. 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 freshmen. They must meet the freshman standards, although they may be awarded MassArt credit for college-level courses.

Special Transfer Application Requirements

Transfer applicants must submit the same materials required of first-time freshman applicants with some specific guidelines and additional requirements.

List of Current Courses

If you are currently enrolled in any college courses, send an in-process transcript or a list of the courses not on the transcripts that will be completed by the date you plan to enter the college.

College Course Descriptions
To help MassArt evaluate college transcripts accurately, send photocopies of college catalog pages which contain descriptions of courses you have completed or will complete by the date you enroll at MassArt. Your name and the name of the college must appear on each page. Do not send complete catalogs.

Statement of Purpose
In the statement of purpose, applicants should explain why they have chosen the particular concentration to which they are applying. This can be the main topic of the statement or supplement other themes. The statement should be no shorter than 500 words, or at least two typed pages.

Transfer Portfolios

All transfer applicants must submit a two-part portfolio. If you are submitting your portfolio on a CD-R, please create two separate folders for each part. The first piece will consist of the general admissions portfolio with 15-20 pieces of your strongest and most recent work. Additionally, transfer applicants seeking credit in studio art classes must submit a transfer portfolio with 3 images per class for evaluation.  If you are uploading your work to Slideroom, you will differentiate between the transfer and the general admissions portfolio within the description box for each piece of artwork.   

Please label your images as follows: JPEGs beginning with your family (last) name followed by the class name and a number corresponding to the image's details on the portfolio description list. Single digit numbers should begin with a zero (i.e. smith_m_painting1_02). This will ensure your images stay in the intended order when reviewed.

Through the portfolio, the faculty review committee assesses your studio skills and the studio courses that will transfer toward degree requirements. These additional images should reflect the knowledge and skills gained from studio courses or experience gained from a work environment. Portfolios should demonstrate strengths in the specific area you intend to study. 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.

Transfer Credit Guidelines
Each student's educational history is unique, so we have listed the following guidelines to help you understand how transfer credits and placement are determined. The College accepts a maximum of 69 transfer credits toward the BFA degree: 39 maximum in the studio areas and 30 maximum in Liberal Arts/History of Art. Regardless of the number of credits transferred, students must earn a minimum of 60 credits once matriculated in the degree program at MassArt (or its consortial partners) in order to earn a BFA.

Once again, placement is not based on the number of credits that a transfer applicant has already completed but the distribution of these credits as they pertain to MassArt's curriculum as well as the strength of the portfolio.

Accepted transfer applicants are notified of the level to which they have been accepted in decision letters. If you are currently enrolled in classes, a final transfer credit evaluation will be completed once final semester grades have been received.

Studio Courses
Provided the student earned a grade of C or better, studio credit is awarded based on an evaluation of the student's portfolio, course descriptions and college transcripts, to a maximum of 39 credits.

Transfer credits are awarded based on current MassArt requirements and curriculum and are subject to department chair approval. Studio credits will not be awarded without visual documentation on file.

Applicants seeking credit in studio art classes must also submit 3 images per class for evaluation. These images should be in a separate folder labeled "for transfer review." Images placed in this folder should be labeled with the student name, class name and image number (i.e. smith_m_painting1_02).

Liberal Arts/History of Art Courses
Credit will be awarded for comparable liberal arts and history of art classes, to a maximum of 30 credits, provided the student earned a grade of a C or better.

Because of the studio-based nature of a BFA degree program, it is not uncommon for applicants who have completed extensive coursework in liberal arts and history of art to be placed in the foundation program.



• application form
• $50 application fee
• statement of purpose
• portfolio including transfer images and description list
• high school transcript(s)/official record of GED scores
• SAT or ACT scores
• two letters of recommendation
• list of activities/resume
• college transcript(s)
• college course descriptions
• list of current courses


• all transfer student materials
• TOEFL or IELTS scores
• official evaluations of all educational records
• English translation of transcripts


Questions? Call 617 879 7222 or email


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