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.
Please note: Applicants admitted to one of the programs in Deitrich College of Humanities, Mellon College of Science, School of Computer Science and a school within College of Fine Arts are automatically admitted into the appropriate BXA degree, with some exceptions in the School of Drama. Please check with your admissions counselor in both colleges and schools.
- Nov. 1 – Early Decision: CMU Application & SlideRoom Portfolio Submission
- Jan. 1 – 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.
Guidelines: In addition to the required SlideRoom portfolio submission, applicants are encouraged to visit campus for an optional interview with professors from the School of Art. This is an excellent opportunity to meet faculty and tour Carnegie Mellon University’s campus. Bring a selection of work that you consider the best work in your portfolio. These pieces will serve as a starting point for an interview between you and the faculty members.
2017-18 On-Campus Interview Dates
- Nov 12 at 1:00pm (Early Decision only)
- Jan 21 at 1:00pm
- Jan 28 at 1:00pm
- Feb 4 at 1:00pm
On-Campus Portfolio Materials To Bring: 6 to 10 artworks comprised of any of the following:
- Sketchbooks or illustrated journals
- Actual two-dimensional work such as drawings, paintings, photographs, prints, etc. (Matting and mounting of works isn’t necessary. Do apply fixative to works that might smudge.)
- Small and non-fragile three-dimensional work such as sculpture, ceramics, glass, textiles, etc.
- Another sketchbook, illustrated journal, etc. (Each of these is considered one item.)
- Digital images, animation, videos or interactive work. These may be presented from a disc you bring or from your own laptop computer or tablet.
Your full portfolio will be reviewed by multiple faculty members on SlideRoom. Therefore, for the interview, there’s no need to bring your entire portfolio. Just bring a selection of your best work that can be used as a starting point for the conversation during the interview. Please don’t bring large or fragile work. Due to space and time constraints, and for your own convenience, we ask that you not bring flatwork larger than 30”x44”. For large, heavy and/or fragile works, we strongly encourage you to bring photographic documentation instead. You may also present your work in the form of a website; please test your URL beforehand in Mac OSX, or bring your own laptop.
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