Our broad-based, four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is designed to develop the commitment, knowledge and skills necessary to work as an artist in a rapidly changing world. We seek creative students with a wide range of talents, aptitudes and backgrounds.
Many undergraduates receive minors or even double major in other fields, and go on to obtain Master’s degrees not only in fine arts, but also in a variety of fields spanning business administration to environmental law.
Undergraduate admissions is conducted through CMU’s University Office of Admission in cooperation with School of Art faculty and staff.
- Nov. 1 – Early Decision: CMU Application & SlideRoom Portfolio Submission
- Jan. 4 – Regular Decision: CMU Undergraduate Application
- Jan. 15 – Regular Decision SlideRoom Portfolio Submission
Please note: All applicants are considered for fall semester admission only
- Art portfolio review
- High school grades
- Standardized (SAT) test scores
- Extracurricular activities
- Personal statements
About Slideroom All application materials and portfolios must be submitted through SlideRoom. SlideRoom is an online service will allow you to upload, label, arrange and submit your portfolio electronically, allows digital images, videos, PDF files, audio files and links to external sites like YouTube.
Please note: SlideRoom charges $15.00 to manage your portfolio for the School of Art. SlideRoom is a private company contracted by Carnegie Mellon to manage applicant portfolios; this money does not go to Carnegie Mellon.
Evaluation: Admission decisions are based on a holistic consideration of each applicant’s portfolio, alongside their academic and other achievements. Portfolios are reviewed by multiple full-time faculty members from the School of Art. We’re just as interested in your imagination and creative thinking skills as your technical skills. We particularly love to see what you make for yourself, so we ask that your portfolio include as much work as possible done independently and outside of the classroom.
In addition to the required SlideRoom portfolio submission, applicants may also sign up for an optional interview with a professor from the School of Art. This is an excellent opportunity to meet a member of our faculty for a conversation about your work and your plans for study. It is also a good opportunity to ask any questions you might have that are specifically about the School of Art. The interview is not a formal portfolio evaluation, but you should come prepared to show and discuss some examples of your work; these pieces will serve as a starting point for an interview between you and the faculty members.
Interviews will be held on November 1 for early decision applicants and on February 7 and 15 for regular decision applicants.
Preparing to Share Portfolio Materials During the Interview:
You will show your work by using the screen share function in Zoom.
There will not be time to look at every work in your portfolio, so plan to share a small selection of work that you consider your best work.
One easy way to show your work will be to simply login to your SlideRoom account (login before the start of the interview) and share the portfolio you are submitting to CMU. If you plan to share time-based work such as video or game design, keep in mind that time will be very limited, and plan to show only a short representative sample. Video playback may also not appear over Zoom.
School of Art Faculty are also interested in seeing your sketchbooks, website, side projects that you may not have included in your portfolio, etc., so we recommend that you have some of those items at the ready to share as well.
Transfer Students: Transfer from outside CMU is only available into BFA program. Applicants must complete all admission requirements, including the portfolio review. Transfer students should expect to have freshmen status for at least the first semester at the School of Art. Transfer credit is evaluated after the applicant has studied at the School of Art for a period of time. Course credit is generally transferred in the first semester, prior to spring registration.
Exchange Students: BFA students interested in attending CMU through international exchange programs must register with the international study coordinator at their home schools. Only institutions with active Exchange Protocols with the School of Art are eligible to attend.
As part of the application, students or their school’s international study coordinator must send:
- Passport copy
- Copy of TOEFL Scores
- CMU Exchange Application
- Official Transcript
Once accepted, the School of Art sends a packet of information for students to read and complete that includes:
- Office of International Education forms
- Housing Application
- Acceptance letter
- Art course registration form
- Orientation letter