How to Apply

School of Visual Arts

Undergraduate Admissions

All applicants to the College of Fine Arts must apply through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and meet the standards of admission to Boston University. In addition to completing an application to Boston University, all prospective CFA students must have an artistic evaluation by the College of Fine Arts. All portfolios must be submitted digitally at

Applicants to the undergraduate program in the School of Visual Arts at Boston University may either upload their portfolio online, or attend an on-campus portfolio review day. Monday, January 23rd will be an on official portfolio review day in which students have their portfolios reviewed by faculty members as part of their application for admission.  Students will also have an opportunity to attend a class. To register please email Jessica Caccamo at:

Portfolios are to consist of at least fifteen (15) and not more than twenty (20) samples of work. The portfolio review committee is especially interested in seeing examples of the applicant’s ability to work from observation.

Required samples of work
  • 1 Portrait from Observation
  • 2 Still-Lifes from Observation

Portfolios consisting primarily of photography are not acceptable.

Visual Arts Portfolio Submission Deadlines
Early Decision Trustee Applicants ED2 Regular Decision
November 1 December 1 January 3 January 3 (February 1 for portfolio)

The Boston University School of Visual Arts offers Portfolio Feedback Sessions in the fall and Final Portfolio Reviews in January. Portfolio Feedback Sessions give students the chance to meet with a faculty member in order to fine-tune their portfolio before applying. Final Portfolio Reviews are for applicants who choose to present their final admissions portfolio on campus in addition to submitting it online. To register please email Jessica Caccamo at:

Spring Portfolio Review Session

On Monday, January 23 you may register to have your formal portfolio review completed on-campus with a School of Visual Arts faculty member.This review is optional. Please note that should you participate you must still submit your portfolio via Slideroom by February 1 to be considered for a School of Visual Arts merit award. In addition to the portfolio review, you will also have the opportunity to take a tour of our facilities and sit in on a foundation class. Register here.

All registrants will receive a confirmation email a week prior to the event with a detailed itinerary.  Please contact Jessica Caccamo with any questions. 

Students interested in transferring to Boston University’s School of Visual Arts should refer to the University’s transfer policies and guidelines on the BU Admissions website.

All applicant portfolios will be evaluated for first semester freshman standing. Students may enter the program at a higher studio level should their transcript and portfolio reflect and adequate amount of studio practice at the collegiate level. This will be contingent upon a transcript evaluation performed on a case-by-case basis. The highest level that a student may enter the program is as a first-semester junior.

Admitted students seeking advanced standing are strongly encouraged to contact Jessica Caccamo, Assistant Director for Admissions in the School of Visual Arts, to complete the transcript evaluation process before submitting their enrollment deposit. Read more about the transfer process at  

Graduate Admissions

Graduate Portfolio Requirements

Graduate Application Instructions


The School of Visual Arts offers Master of Fine Arts degree programs in Graphic Design, Painting, and Sculpture; and Master of Arts degree programs in Art Education, and Art Education With Initial License. A one-year Certificate program in Graphic Design is also offered. After completing the first year, Certificate students may transfer all credits to the MFA-Graphic Design program. 

Prospective students must apply online. Applicants to the College of Fine Arts must submit a complete application, including all supporting materials before submitting a portfolio.

All portfolios must be submitted digitally at DVDs, CDs, and paper portfolios will not be reviewed or returned.

Your application must be completed online and submitted electronically once you have entered the required information. You may access your application and change your answers as many times as you like before submitting it by using your Web Login from any computer. Please note that in order to complete the online application, you must pay the application fee online using a credit card.


  • January 16 for all on-campus graduate Visual Arts programs. The application, supporting materials, and portfolio are all required by this date. TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students must be received by this date.

International Students

International students must prove English proficiency in one of two ways.

1. By completing a degree from an institution in which English was the language of instruction before the time of enrollment at BU.

2. By submitting a TOEFL or IELTS score that meets or exceeds our minimum requirement. For more information, please go here.

Your questions are welcome and we are happy to assist you.

Requirements for All Applicants

  • Completed application online for graduate admission to the College of Fine Arts.
  • Portfolio digitally submitted—specific portfolio requirements for each major can be found here.
  • Non-refundable application fee of $95 submitted using online application.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professionals/educators. These may be submitted online using supplied Letter of Recommendation Form.
  • Transcripts from all colleges/universities attended uploaded to the application by the applicant. Please do not send transcripts.
  • Personal statement indicating the applicant’s purpose in pursuing graduate work, career objectives, and particular interest in BU.
  • Artistic résumé.